Tag Archives: romaine

Grilled Panzanella Salad with Chicken

11 Jul

I could eat bread at every single meal.  It makes a fine side, a scoop for liquidy items, a delivery system for meats or cheeses, a reason to get up in the morning.  Well, not the only reason (unless you count toast). 

I COULD eat bread at every meal, but I DON’T because tied to that carby goodness is the fact that as much as I love bread, it is not good for me to eat as much of it as I’d like.  In order to justify bread consumption, I try to pair it up with equal or greater portions of veggies.  Although that ratio is not nutritionally proven in any way, it makes me feel better, mentally and physically.  And as anyone who is on day one of a no-carbs diet can tell you, bread is definitely tied to a positive outlook on life.

This salad uses the standard components of a Panzanella salad – tomatoes, cucumbers, and cubed bread.  Instead of using dry, old bread, I like to grill the baguette to give it crunch and added flavor.  And as long as you’re going to grill, might as well throw the onion and romaine on there as well to add a smoky, warm, and slightly wilty twist to the traditional salad.  Even though chicken isn’t always used, I like to make it a complete meal by adding protein to the mix.  The dressing for this salad is a little lighter than the norm, but it packs plenty of flavor without adding much extra fat.

Grilled Panzanella Salad with Chicken
Serves: 4
Serving Size: 1 Salad

DRESSING
2 T. lemon juice
1 T. cider vinegar
1 T. olive oil
1 T. water
1 t. lemon zest

SALAD
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1/2 c. Kalamata olives, halved
1/2 c. mixed fresh herbs (parsley, chives, basil, oregano)
14 oz. chicken breasts
1 head romaine, halved lengthwise
1 onion, halved
1/2 baguette, cut lengthwise
3 T. olive oil, divided
1 clove garlic, peeled
4 oz. mozzarella, cubed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients, stir to combine.

In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumber, Kalamata olives, herbs and dressing.  Stir to combine.  This can be done up to a few hours ahead.

Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Place onion on a skewer.  Using 1 T. olive oil, lightly brush sides onion, and both sides of romaine.  Using 2 T. olive oil, brush both sides of the baguette.   Season onion, romaine, and baguette with salt and pepper.

Place onions and chicken on grill over medium high heat. Chicken will take approximately 5-7 minutes per side.  When about halfway through cooking, add baguette and romaine, grilling for about 2-3 minutes per side.  Remove all from grill.  Cut chicken and onion into bite-sized chunks and add to tomato mixture.   Stir to combine, then remove any excess dressing and set aside.

Rub the garlic clove over the inside surface of the grilled baguette, then cut the bread into cubes.  Add to salad. 

Coarsely chop romaine into bite-sized pieces and divide between four plates.  Scoop panzanella mixture onto each plate, top with mozzarella cubes, and drizzle with reserved dressing.  Serve.

Estimated Calories: 486 cal/serving

Print it: Grilled Panzanella Salad with Chicken

Notes:
1. You could easily make this non-dairy by omitting the mozzarella.
2. For this recipe, I used a package of Just BARE Chicken by Gold’n Plump.  I especially like these chicken breasts for grilling because they are so even in size and thickness, which makes cooking them properly easier for a grill novice like me.
3. Chicken tastes better when wearing chicken hats.

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BBQ Chicken Salad

3 Jul

Yesterday’s weather was just about perfect – sunny, warm, slightly breezy.   All of which make grilling a great option for lunch.  Earlier in the week I received a package of Just BARE Chicken breasts from Gold’n Plump, and I was excited to give them a try on the grill.  Hungry for a healthy, but flavorful lunch, we made a grilled chicken salad loaded up with toppings.

I was worried that a BBQ dressing might seem kind of heavy and wasn’t sure if I would like it as dressing instead of in its traditional sauce form.  I based the flavors off of the mop sauce used at my favorite BBQ place in Texas – Cooper’s Old Time Pit BBQ.  At Coopers, they dunk meat from the grill right into the sauce to give it a light coating of vinegary flavor and spices.  Knowing that it is great for smoky bbq, I used similar flavors to create this light and low-calorie dressing.

Notes:
1. I usually buy Gold’n Plump chicken, but this was my first time trying their Just BARE Chicken brand.  They were terrific, especially for grilling.  Tender and juicy as expected, these chicken breasts were very uniform in thickness and size, which made grilling them evenly much easier.  I’d definitely use these again.
2. If you are avoiding dairy, simply skip the queso fresco or substitute a non-dairy cheese
3. You may want to consider making the whole baguette instead of just half, it is quite popular and no one feels guilty for taking the last slice.

BBQ Chicken Salad
Serves: 4
Serving Size:  1 Salad

DRESSING
1/2 t. paprika
1/2 t. chili powder
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 t. cumin
2 T. beer
1 T. ketchup
1 t. brown sugar
1 t. cider vinegar
1/2 t. Worcestershire
1/4 c. water

SALAD
14 oz. chicken breasts
1 green pepper, cut into thick chunks
1 onion, halved
1 head romaine, halved lengthwise
1 T. olive oil
2 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 roma tomatoes, halved and sliced
1/4 c. queso fresco, crumbled
1/2 baguette, halved lengthwise
2 T. olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, combine the first four dressing ingredients, stir to combine.  Add remaining ingredients and stir until well mixed.  Set aside.  This can be made ahead.

Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Place green pepper and onion on a skewer.  Using 1 T. olive oil, lightly brush sides of peppers, onion, and both sides of romaine.  Season with salt and pepper.  Using 2 T. olive oil, brush both sides of the baguette.

Place peppers, onions and chicken on grill over medium high heat.  Chicken will take approximately 5-7 minutes per side.  Remove chicken, dice, and add to dressing.  While chicken is soaking up the bbq dressing, place romaine and baguette on the grill, for about 2-3 minutes per side.  Remove romaine, onions and peppers, and baguette.

Rub the garlic clove over the inside surface of the grilled baguette, then slice baguette for serving.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then set aside.

Coarsely chop the romaine and divide between plates.  Top the romaine with peppers and onions, crumbled bacon, roma tomatoes, and queso fresco.   Remove the chicken from the bbq dressing and divide between plates, then drizzle some of the remaining sauce over each salad.  Serve with grilled garlic baguette.

Estimated Calories:  372 cal/serving

Print it: BBQ Chicken Salad

One more note, Gold’n Plump has a Facebook page specifically for their Just BARE Chicken brand.  On that page, they post all kinds of links to great recipes for chicken, sides, and tasty desserts.  I’d recommend it.