Citrus, strawberry give chicken salad splash of color
By Jill Wendholt Silva
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Romans may have draped themselves in togas, but they reportedly dressed their salads with a sprinkling of salt. After all, the word "salad" is from the Latin sal, or salt.
Although modern-day salad lovers have more healthy baby greens to choose from than ever before, too often they're drenched in a pool of store-bought salad dressing.
"Unfortunately, the majority of these prepared dressings are 'chemical gumbos' freighted with preservatives, emulsifiers, stabilizers, texturizers, artificial colors and flavors. Most are also too sweet, too salty, too expensive," Jean Anderson writes in "The Nutrition Bible."
The Star's Citrus and Strawberry Chicken Salad features an easy-to-make tangy strawberry and citrus juice emulsion that dresses the salad in a splash of hot pink — no additives required.
Cooking tip: To toast pecans, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread pecans in a single layer in a pan. Bake 5 to 7 minutes or until toasted.
The dressing yields 2/3 cup. Store any extra in the refrigerator for another use.
CITRUS AND STRAWBERRY CHICKEN SALAD
Makes 4 servings
Place halved strawberries, orange juice, vegetable oil, lemon juice, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, salt and pepper in blender. Process until smooth. Pour into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer, stirring occasionally, about 3 to 4 minutes or until thickened; remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly. Measure out 1/2 cup dressing to use for salad; cover and refrigerate remaining dressing for another use.
Sprinkle chicken lightly with chili powder, salt and pepper.
Heat a grill skillet or a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Spray generously with nonstick cooking spray. Cook chicken about 4 to 5 minutes per side or until done. Set aside.
Place greens, sliced strawberries, Mandarin oranges, green onion and celery in a large bowl. Toss with 1/4 cup of the dressing mixture.
Divide salad mixture equally between four dinner plates. Slice chicken and place on top of greens. Drizzle with remaining dressing. Top with pecans.
Per serving (about 2 cups salad, 4 ounces cooked chicken and 2 tablespoons dressing): 273 calories (30 percent from fat), 9 grams total fat (1 gram saturated), 66 milligrams cholesterol, 18 grams carbohydrates, 30 grams protein, 219 milligrams sodium, 5 grams dietary fiber.