Archive for the ‘Salad’ Category

Summer’s here and so is the June Daring Cook’s Challenge!!

I was driving to work the other day and the weather forecast was being read on the radio. And this is what they said – “Cooler temperatures today, with a high of 106F”. That’s when I knew summer in Phoenix has arrived. So when the daring cooks challenge for June was announced, it fit in perfectly with the rising summer temperatures. A healthy potato salad!!! I have never been a fan of the mayonnaise laden potato salads that are so common. So I decided to create my version of a potato salad, healthy and fresh!!!

Jami Sorrento was our June Daring Cooks hostess and she chose to challenge us to celebrate the humble spud by making a delicious and healthy potato salad. The Daring Cooks Potato Salad Challenge was sponsored by the nice people at the United States Potato Board, who awarded prizes to the top 3 most creative and healthy potato salads. A medium-size (5.3 ounce) potato has 110 calories, no fat, no cholesterol, no sodium and includes nearly half your daily value of vitamin C and has more potassium than a banana!

I chose to make a potato and chicken sausage salad with a lime-garlic-basil dressing. The chicken sausage is optional, I added it in because I found these interesting jalapeno-mango chicken sausages, which I thought would go well with the potato salad. And they added an awesome twist to the potato salad. This recipe serves 2 and takes about 1/2 hour to make (most of the time is spent in roasting the potatoes).

Ingredients:

  1. 20-25 small red potatoes (halved with skin)
  2. 1 jalapeno-mango chicken sausage (sliced and cooked)
  3. 1/2 cup chopped green onions (only the green part)
  4. salt to taste
  5. 1/4-1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  6. 2 tbsp olive oil

For the dressing

  1. 1/8 cup olive oil
  2. 1/4 cup lime juice
  3. 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  4. 1/4 tsp black pepper
  5. salt to taste
  6. 2 cloves chopped roasted garlic
  7. 1/4 – 1/2 tsp red chili flakes

Directions:

  • Mix the potatoes with the olive oil, salt and black pepper.
  • Roast it in the oven till the potatoes are cooked through.
  • Mix the cooked chicken sausages, potatoes and green onions.
  • Mix all the ingredients under ‘For the dressing’ in a grinder.
  • Mix the dressing with the salad and serve it warm.

I promise, you will love it. The dressing adds a fresh zing to the potato salad. And the sausage is completely optional. I loved it though as the sausage added an interesting twist to the potato salad.

A Light and Spicy Delight!!!

After a simple yet quite a heavy lunch yesterday, I really wanted something light to eat for dinner but Amit wanted something spicy yet light. Now that’s a tough combination. But well a chicken salad with a spicy and tangy dressing sounded just about perfect.

I looked up this recipe online and found this very interesting looking recipe. I just had to try it. I made a few changes to the recipe, but in essence it’s the same. I have added a link to the original recipe at the end of this post.

This serves 2-3 persons and takes about 30 minutes from start to finish. I cooked the chicken in a saucepan but the broiler or grill would be a preferred choice. It would cut the calories from the oil you would otherwise have to use, and if you use the broiler, it’s quicker and less messier.

Ingredients:

  1. 8 chicken thigh tenders (cut into small chunks or strips)
  2. 1 large bowl salad greens

Marinade for Chicken:

  1. 3 tbsp fish sauce
  2. 6 garlic cloves (crushed)
  3. 1.5 tbsp soy sauce (low sodium)
  4. 2 tbsp lime juice
  5. 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

For Salad Dressing:

  1. 1/2 cup water
  2. 1.5 stalk lemongrass (cut into pieces)
  3. 1 tbsp fish sauce
  4. 3 tbsp soy sauce
  5. 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  6. 1.5 tbsp brown sugar
  7. 2 tbsp lime juice
  8. 3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  9. 1 red chilli (chopped fine) – if you don’t want it spicy, you can avoid this chilli and reduce the brown sugar by 1/2 tbsp

Directions:

  • Mix the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the chicken and make sure that the marinade completely covers the chicken.
  • Then sprinkle the sesame seeds over the chicken pieces on both sides.
  • Leave the chicken marinade aside for about 15 minutes.
  • Pre-heat the oven at the broiler setting.
  • While the chicken is marinating, complete the first step of the salad dressing.
  • Add the water to a saucepan and add the lemongrass to it. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Now strain the lemongrass out of the water and add the rest of the salad dressing ingredients to the saucepan.
  • Now put the pan with the chicken in the broiler. Turn over the chicken every 5 minutes. You will need to turn it over 3 times.
  • Once the dressing ingredients come to a simmer, take the saucepan off the heat.
  • Cool the salad dressing in the refrigerator. Once the chicken is cooked, toss the salad greens with the dressing.
  • Add the chicken on top and serve while the chicken is still warm.

You may want to taste test the salad dressing, and add more spice, lime or sugar to adjust the dressing to your taste. This is a very light salad, but very filling thanks to the chicken. The greens, the tangy spicy dressing and the chicken flavors come together very well. ANd it’s a pretty easy to make and quick chicken salad with a twist. You can find the original recipe at this link http://thaifood.about.com/od/thaisnacks/r/thaichickensala.htm. Hope you enjoy this light, spicy and tangy salad as much as we did.