Something towards the healthier side

My cousin came over for dinner last night and since she’s trying to lose weight, I wanted to do something that was healthy, but didn’t feel like the standard grilled chicken and vegetables fare.  Mark Bittman’s Chicken Curry in a Hurry that Elise had highlighted had been in my head as something easy, yet high in protein.  But, I needed a salad, some vegetables.  I looked through all of my cookbooks and found a recipe in Local Flavors that I liked, but I knew my grocery shopping was going to be limited and I wasn’t sure I would be able to find the ingredients that I needed.  I had bookmarked the recipe for Carrot and Avocado salad from Chocolate and Zucchini and that stuck in my head.  I love avocado’s and will use them anytime I can, so I decided to go with it.

Carottes Rapées à l’Avocat

– One small ripe avocado, about 150 grams (5 1/3 ounces), diced
– The juice of a lemon or an orange
– A dash of balsamic vinegar or oxymel
– Fine sea salt, freshly ground pepper
– Tabasco sauce or similar (I use Bayou Red) or strong mustard, to taste
– 4 medium carrots, about 450 grams (1 pound) total, peeled and grated
– 250 grams (9 ounces) firm tofu or cooked chicken, diced
– Toasted seeds — sunflower, sesame, flax, or a mix thereof

Serves 2.

Combine the avocado, lemon juice, and balsamic vinegar in a medium salad bowl, and mash the avocado roughly with a fork. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and Tabasco sauce. Fold in the carrots and tofu, and stir until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for half an hour or up to a day. Toss again before serving, adjust the seasoning, and sprinkle with liberal amounts of toasted seeds.

I do think that you could substitute some jicama for one of the carrots and it would be fabulous. I used tofu because I was doing chicken in the main dish, but I think if you do do chicken here, it needs to be flavorful, not just grilled chicken. Again, this salad was fabulous and bright and perfect for summer.

Chicken Curry in a Hurry
1 Tbsp corn, grapeseed, or olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
1/3 cup golden raisins (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons yellow curry powder, or to taste
4 skinless, boneless, chicken breast halves (1 to 1 1/2 pounds)*
1 cup sour cream
Minced fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish

* Chicken breasts can be so huge. I prefer smaller pieces and so cut each breast into thirds to make something more like chicken tenders.

1. Put the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add the onions (and optional raisins), sprinkle with some salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium, sprinkle with half of the curry powder, and continue to cook a minute or two.

2 Meanwhile, season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle it with the remaining curry powder. Move the onion to one side of the skillet and add the chicken in one layer. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate.

3 **Add the sour cream and stir constantly over medium-low heat until the mixture is nice and thick. Return the chicken to the skillet and cook for a couple more minutes, or until cooked through, turning once.

Garnish with cilantro or parsley and serve with rice.

** As I scrubbed the pan, I noticed there were tons of delicious brown bits that were wasted. When I make this again, I would deglaze the pan at this point with a little chicken broth, then add the sour cream.

Serves 4.

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