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Published: Saturday, 3/17/2007

Pan-Seared Sirloin Salad with Potatoes and Asparagus

1 small bag (24 ounces) mini red potatoes (see Cook's note)

8 ounces fresh asparagus

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

2 well-marbled sirloin steaks (about 12 ounces, each)

8 cups (loosely packed) prewashed, torn romaine lettuce

4 ounces creamy "lite" dressing of choice, such as Lite Creamy Italian, Ranch, or Bleu cheese, or more to taste

Cook's note: Using the mini red potatoes makes for even faster prep and cooking, but you can substitute the same weight of regular red potatoes, sliced into 3/4-inch pieces if you prefer.

Place about 4 cups of water in a large soup pot or Dutch oven and place it over high heat. While the water comes to a boil, rinse and quarter the potatoes. (See Cook's note if using larger red potatoes.) Place the potatoes in the boiling water and cook just until tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Drain and rinse with cool water and set aside.

Meanwhile, rinse the asparagus and snap the tough ends off. Cut the spears into about 2-inch pieces. Place in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes, or until just tender. Remove from the microwave, and set aside to cool.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Trim the steaks of any excess fat and cut each in half lengthwise, making 4 small steaks total. Place the steaks in the hot skillet and sear on the first side until slightly browned, about 5 to 6 minutes. Turn the steaks and sear on the opposite side for about 5 minutes more for medium rare (or longer as desired). Remove the steaks from the heat. Slice the steaks into 1/4-inch slices, and set aside.

Place an equal amount of the salad greens on each dinner plate. Top each plate with one-quarter of the potatoes, asparagus and steak. Drizzle with salad dressing and serve.

Yield: 4 servings

Approximate values per serving: 636 calories (47 percent from fat), 33 g fat (12 g saturated), 125 mg cholesterol, 43 g protein, 40 g carbohydrates, 5 g dietary fiber, 395 mg sodium

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