Sunday, July 20, 2014

// S I M P L E S U M M E R, S I M P L E F O O D: grilled chicken salad //

It's not too late to start a summer series, is it?

I didn't think so. 

This series, Simple Summer, Simple Food, is inspired by my need to not use my oven during the summer.  Except for on the occasional cool day (which we actually have had a good number of this year) our house does not recover from having the oven on.  It just stays hot for days on end and no amount of strategic fan maneuvering, or blasting of our little window a/c units (that's right, no central air here) can cool it off. So it's important for me to keep a running tally of meals I can make without the use of the oven, and stove too, if possible. And I'll be sharing that list with you over the next few weeks! 

And so, without further ado...


Grilled Chicken Salad



This salad is actually very simple. It's basically whatever greens you want with whatever veggies you want with sliced up grilled chicken breast on top.  

We used spring mix, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, bell peppers, and sugar snap peas (from the garden). 

Season the chicken breasts with a dry rub: salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, sugar, paprika, cumin, garlic powder. Or use a rub from the store, maybe some southwestern mix! Whatever you use, coat them well and take them outside and grill them.  

Grilling is one of those things that always looks so quick and easy, but when we do it, ends up being incredibly inefficient. Either our meat's not ready and the coals are, or the coals are not lighting and we get have to wait for them. Then there's a million trips in and out of the house and by the time we get set up and get going and it always seems like a lot of work for a few pieces of meat. Don't get me wrong, I love grilling! I'm just saying that when we do grill we like to make the most of it and grill as many things as possible. So while you're at it chop up some sweet potatoes, toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper, wrap them in tin foil, and stick those of the grill as well. The sweet potato fries and chicken will both take about 25-30 minutes.

While those are grilling make the salad dressing:

(makes enough for two very large servings)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (find in the Asian section of the grocery store)
1/4 of an avocado cut into small pieces

Place all ingredients in large bowl and whisk until well combined. If it seems too think, add a little water.  Pour half of the dressing out into a small bowl and set aside.

Add your greens to the dressing in the large bowl and toss to coat. Pour the greens out onto your plates and top them with the veggies of your choosing as well as the sliced up chicken breast.  Drizzle the remaining dressing on top.

If you want to, mix some of that chili garlic sauce with some mayo for a nice dipping sauce to go with your sweet potato fries.

And voila! You have a yummy, filling, and pretty healthy meal and your house is still relatively cool!

Enjoy!


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