Thai Chicken Salad

Salad, greens, ruffage, or as my step-father calls it “The Silent Killer,” based on Jeffrey Steingarten’s book “The Man Who Ate Everything.”  Yes, I read the book, but I didn’t believe it.  I cannot live without salad – it is my stand-by lunch every day.  I cannot get enough greens, as I like to call it.  There is something about that fresh crunching sound that really invigorates me.

Every summer we have one or two weeks when it is so hot, you don’t want to turn on the oven or the stove.  Occasionally it gets too hot to even grill outside – of course as I sit here on this sunny day in May when it is barely getting out of the 50s, I can’t ever imagine that will happen again.  Unless I have just ruined it for us, yes, it does eventually get warm – at least for a few days.  I remember my husband saying that a good hearty salad would be perfect on those hot days – thus avoiding the oven, store and grill.  So, when I saw this recipe in Cooking Light – I decided to give it a try – just to see if this would make the mark.

Let me first start out by saying that I made enough salad to feed a small army – but it was delicious.  The dressing was light, yet potent enough to give it a wonderful peanut flavor.  The sprouts made it slight bitter, but I loved that – and the red peppers added a touch of sweetness.  The fresh lime though really made the salad.  I ended up squeezing a few extra sections onto my helping, and it was just the touch it needed.  This summer, when you don’t feel like cooking – go and get yourself some cooked chicken from the market, and whip this one up – it will fill you up, without creating any heat!

Ingredients

  • 6 cups torn romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
  • 2 cups fresh bean sprouts
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 3/4 cup sliced celery
  • 2/3 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
  • 4  lime wedges (optional)

Preparation

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine coconut milk and next 5 ingredients (through red pepper) in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and cool for 2 minutes. Pour warm coconut milk mixture over lettuce mixture. Sprinkle with peanuts; serve with lime wedges, if desired. Serve immediately.

Serves 4-6 as a main course.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Thai Chicken Salad

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Greek-Style Pork Chops

Summer to me is synonymous with grilling – even if it is cold and rainy outside.  For some reason, the fact that it is summer encourages me to buy meat at the market that tastes great on the grill.  My husband is the grill master of the house.  So, I have a confession to make…I don’t even know how to use the grill, or turn it on.  I really rely on him to do the grilling, which means I can spend more time baking.  We all win.

I saw this recipe in Cooking Light, and it looked so simple, I had to make it right away – especially because my market basket just happened to come with all the other ingredients.  Everything about this dish was terrific.  The yogurt gave the pork just a little extra punch, and it also went perfectly with the cucumber tomato salad.  The next night I served the rest of the salad with the leftover yogurt, and it made a wonderful dressing.  If you don’t have a grill, you could easily do the pork in a grill pan on the stove – but it is summer (at least in spirit here), so at my house we grill outside.

Ingredients

  • 2  tablespoons  red wine vinegar, divided
  • 1  teaspoon  dried oregano
  • 2  teaspoons  olive oil, divided
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 4  (4-ounce) boneless center-cut loin pork chops
  • 3/4  cup  plain fat-free Greek-style yogurt
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt, divided
  • 1 1/2  cups  diced plum tomatoes (about 2 medium)
  • 1  cup  diced seeded cucumber
  • 1/2  cup  diced red onion
  • Cooking spray

Preparation

Combine 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, oregano, 1 teaspoon olive oil, and garlic in a zip-top plastic bag. Add pork to bag, and seal. Marinate for 20 minutes at room temperature, turning after 10 minutes. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar, remaining 1 teaspoon oil, yogurt, 1 tablespoon dill, and 1/8 teaspoon salt, stirring well with a whisk. Cover and chill. Combine tomatoes, cucumber, and onion. Sprinkle tomato mixture with 1/8 teaspoon salt; toss to combine.

Heat a grill. Remove pork from bag, and discard marinade. Sprinkle both sides of pork evenly with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add pork to grill, and cook for 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove pork from grill, and let stand for 2 minutes. Place 3/4 cup tomato mixture on each of 4 plates, and top each serving with 1 pork chop and about 3 tablespoons yogurt mixture.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Greek-Style Pork Chops

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