Summer Dinner Salad with Chicken and Green Beans

So there is a dish of leftover rotisserie chicken in my fridge.  Hot days mean I prefer no cooking whenever possible.  Something cool and refreshing like a salad would be nice; top with some chicken and you have a delightful meal.

Let me share a salad I made with the veggies in my fridge and some of that tender tasty chicken, my easy recipe is at https://myworldwithoutwheat.wordpress.com/2015/06/13/hot-day-slow-cooker-rotisserie-chicken-revolution/ or buy one if you prefer.  Use a salad dressing you enjoy but I want to give you my favorite recipe for vinaigrette; I keep a jar of it in the fridge and generally my company requests it for salad hands down over any bottled store gf dressing.

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Chunks of plump rotisserie breast meat ready to cut up into smaller pieces for salad.

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Angie’s Supper Salad (for one; double for two)

A big handful of fresh garden greens: I used loose leaf ones from the garden.  Use what you prefer but please, no ice burg!

2-4 radishes, cut into thin slices

Half an avocado, cut into it to create cubes and scoop out with a spoon

¼-1/2 cup slices of European cucumber; I like to cut them into half moons

1 stalk celery cut into thin half moons.

1/3 cup chick peas

½ cup diced rotisserie chicken

½ cup fresh green beans, steamed for 3-4 minutes until tender crisp; cooled

Directions:

I arrange the lettuce on a dinner plate.  Top with the radishes, cucumber, celery and then the avocado and chick peas.

Put the diced chicken on top and then the green beans; see picture!  Pour dressing lightly over the salad. Enjoy!

Notes: don’t cut the chicken into tiny or huge pieces; make them bite sized.  Don’t overcook the green beans. Swap out anything you despise for a veggie you prefer.   This is a good flavor combination though so if you like these vegetables you should adore this salad.

Vinaigrette Dressing:

Here is my basic vinaigrette recipe.  You can alter it to your tastes and leftovers keep for several weeks in the fridge.  I use one of those Good Seasoning’s jars but add my own ingredients. You can use any jar with a tight lid and measure in the ingredients.

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Fill it to the vinegar line with red wine vinegar, not cheap stuff (1/4 cup)

Add some filtered water to the water line (about 1/3 inch more or 2 tbsp)

½ tsp Dijon mustard or whole grain mustard

½ tsp sea salt

¼ tsp dried thyme or oregano

one garlic clove (peeled and mashed down a bit to release flavor)

1 tsp mayonnaise

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

½ tsp sugar or 1 tsp. honey

Top off with some extra virgin olive oil, stop a bit before the oil line and finish it with lighter olive oil (total of ½ cup plus 1 tbsp.)

Shake it up really well.  It tastes best at room temperature. Try to remember to make it early so you can let it marinate for at least an hour before you use it.  Keep leftover dressing in the refrigerator. The mustard adds snap and the bit of mayonnaise helps the dressing stay emulsified (fully blended) longer than it would without the mayo.

Use the veggies you have and don’t sweat the proportions but don’t put too much of any one veggie in; you want them to be like treasures to be discovered in the nest of fresh greens all lightly coated with your tasty vinaigrette.  If you prefer another dressing choice I recommend trying to make your own green goddess dressing; lots of versions on various cooking websites like foodnetwork.com.  Make yours full of fresh herbs and it will be delightful with this salad.

Be creative and have fun making healthy and yummy dinner salads that will satisfy your appetite and keep you feeling great!

Chicken Salad, Two Ways…Too Delish!

Chicken salad is a pleasant meal on a hot evening. Cool, easy to construct and it can be varied in many ways.  I made two new versions in the past week or so and wanted to share them.  The chicken was some oven roasted chicken thighs I cut up cold for the salads.  Use whatever kind of cooked chicken you prefer.  If you buy rotisserie chicken be aware that most is not gf; ask or check online.  It can be so convenient on a hot summer day but be sure it is safe for you.  For those of us with celiac disease, spice blends sometimes contain wheat flour and also some rotisserie chicken is coated with spice blends mixed with flour.  I think Costco has gf rotisserie chicken.

I like fruit, particularly grapes, in my chicken salad but I didn’t have much on hand so I went with what produce was in the fridge.  I often have mine with lettuce, I am guessing it would be great on gf toast if sandwiches are your preference. This week I served sauteed spinach with asparagus as my side dish; no starch; makes all my low carbing friends extra happy.

Last November I posted a similar recipe – actually turkey salad but it would be tasty made with chicken.  It was the classic style with grapes and walnuts dressed up with an addition of avocado slices and pomegranate seeds.  Hard to find those ruby seeds right now but blueberries might make a great substitute.

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Chicken Salad: Variation 1 – with avocado

(Makes 2 servings)

1 large chicken thigh, skinned, cut off bone into small chunks

1 small stalk celery cut in small cubes

1-2 tbsp. minced shallots or red onion

2-3 tbsp. light mayonnaise – I prefer Hellman’s

1 tsp. red wine vinegar

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 small avocado, cut in half, remove seed and cut flesh in cubes

1-2 tbsp. coarsely chopped walnuts

Directions; cut everything up. Place the mayo, vinegar, mustard and salt/pepper to taste in a mixing bowl; mix.  Add the rest of the ingredients, stir gently: you don’t want to mush up the avocado.  Serve with fresh loose leaf lettuce.

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Chicken Salad Variation 2 –   I used cherry radishes and raw zucchini but you could use any veggies you enjoy.

(2 servings)

1 large chicken thigh, skinned, cut off bone into small chunks

1 small stalk celery cut in small cubes

1-2 tbsp. minced shallots or red onion

2-3 tbsp. light mayonnaise – I prefer Hellman’s

1 tsp. red wine vinegar

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

3 to 5 fresh radishes, cut off ends and cut into thin rounds

1/3 to ½ cup small cubes of raw zucchini

1-2 tbsp. coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions; cut everything up. Place the mayo, vinegar, mustard and salt/pepper to taste in a mixing bowl; mix.  Add the rest of the ingredients, stir to mix.  Serve with fresh loose leaf lettuce.

Notes: you could use 2 smaller thighs if that is what you have and the dressing mixture is fluid; can use more or less mustard, vinegar, and mayo; spicer with more mustard plus some like the mixture almost dry and others want a moist chicken salad.  Enjoy it in an avocado half or in a hollowed out tomato for a fancy luncheon entree!