Potato and Chicken Salad With Salsa Verde

Serves 2.

Note: Adding a fresh herb — in this case, a mint sprig — to the cooking water is a small step that makes a big difference. The salsa verde can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. Adapted from “No Time to Cook: Fresh and Easy Recipes for a Fast Forward World,” by Donna Hay.

For the salsa verde:

• 1 c. loosely packed flat-leaf parsley leaves

• 1 c. loosely packed mint leaves

• 1/2 c. loosely packed dill sprigs

• 1/4 c. olive oil

• 1 tbsp. Dijon-style mustard

• 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

• Freshly cracked black pepper

 

For the salad:

• 6 fingerling potatoes

• 1 sprig mint

• Kosher salt

• 2 cooked chicken breast halves, cut into thick strips or shredded

• 1 tbsp. capers (preferably salt-packed), rinsed and drained

• 2 oz. baby arugula leaves

Directions

For the salsa verde: Combine the parsley, mint, dill, oil, mustard, lemon juice and pepper in a food processor; pulse just until coarsely chopped.

For the salad: Combine the potatoes, the sprig of mint and a generous pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Add enough cool water to cover by at least 1 inch, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are just tender enough to pierce with a sharp knife.

Drain; cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and return them to the (empty) saucepan over low heat, along with the chicken and capers. Toss to incorporate and cook just long enough to warm everything through. Turn off the heat.

Add the salsa verde to the saucepan and toss gently to coat.

Divide the arugula between plates. Top with the dressed salad. Serve right away.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 490 Fat 31 g Sodium 320 mg

Carbohydrates 26 g Saturated fat 5 g Protein 32 g Cholesterol 75 mg Dietary fiber 5 g

 

Tastes Like Chicken Salad

Serves 12.

Note: This nutty treatment is assertively herb-flavored. Serve on grilled bread or atop salad greens. The sunflower seeds need to soak for 4 hours. The salad needs to rest (to blend flavors) before serving. It can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Adapted from “Cook for Your Life: Fresh, Delicious Recipes,” by Ian Thorpe.

 

For the salad:

• 3 c. roasted, unsalted hulled sunflower seeds

• 4 ribs celery, thinly sliced

• 3 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced

• 3 tbsp. dried oregano

• 3 tbsp. dried thyme

• 3 tbsp. dried sage

 

For the dressing:

• 1/2 c. roasted, unsalted macadamia nuts

• 1/2 c. roasted, unsalted cashews

• 1/2 c. pine nuts

• 1/2 c. roasted, unsalted Brazil nuts

• 1/4 c. coarse-grain mustard

• 6 cloves garlic, crushed

• 1 1/2 tbsp. fine sea salt

• 2 c. coconut water

• 1 1/4 c. fresh lemon juice (from 5 to 6 lemons)

Directions

For the salad: Put the sunflower seeds in a large bowl. Cover with cold water (by at least 1 inch); soak for 4 hours.

For the dressing: Combine the macadamia nuts, cashews, pine nuts, Brazil nuts, mustard, garlic and salt in a food processor or blender; process until smooth.

With the motor running, gradually add the coconut water and lemon juice to form a creamy-looking dressing.

Drain the sunflower seeds and shake them dry. Wipe out the bowl they were soaking in, then return the dry seeds to the bowl along with the celery, green onions, oregano, thyme and sage.

Pour the dressing over the mixture and toss to incorporate. For best flavor, cover loosely and let the mixture rest for 30 minutes before serving. Serve at room temperature.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 370 Fat 31 g Sodium 980 mg

Carbohydrates 18 g Saturated fat 4 g

Protein 10 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 6 g

Chicken Salad for the Ladies

Serves 5 to 6.

Note: As the recipe’s author explains, “the ladies” played tennis together and lunched on this at their end-of-season social. Chutney-based chicken salads are classic, especially when fresh mango is involved. This one contains peanuts and green onions for crunch. Major Grey’s chutney is widely available in several brands. Using a store-bought rotisserie bird keeps this dish easy, but if you’d rather cook the chicken yourself, trim 4 or 5 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves of visible fat. Season them generously with salt and pepper, and arrange them on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Cover tightly with foil; bake in a 300-degree oven for 30 minutes. Cool before cutting. The salad can be made and refrigerated a day in advance. Taste, and season as needed (with salt and pepper) before serving. Adapted from “The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center/Park Avenue Potluck: Recipes From New York’s Savviest Hostesses,” by Florence Fabricant.

• 5 c. cooked chicken, preferably white meat, cut into bite-size pieces (see Note)

• 3/4 c. chopped green onions

• Flesh from 1 large mango, diced (1 c.)

• 1/3 c. Major Grey’s mango chutney (see Note)

• 1/4 c. regular or low-fat mayonnaise, do not use nonfat

• Juice of 1 lemon

•1 1/2 c. plain, whole-milk Greek-style yogurt

• 1 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce

• 1/3 c. roasted, salted peanuts, lightly crushed, for garnish, optional

• 1/3 c. chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish, optional

Directions

Combine the chicken, green onions, mango, chutney, mayonnaise, lemon juice, yogurt and soy sauce in a serving bowl; stir to blend well.

Just before serving, garnish with the peanuts and cilantro, if desired. Serve atop avocado halves, if desired.

Nutrition information per serving of 6, using low-fat mayonnaise:

Calories 340 Fat 9 g Sodium 450 mg

Carbohydrates 23 g Saturated fat 3 g

Protein 42 g Cholesterol 105 mg Dietary fiber 0 g

 

Saffron Chicken, Lemon and Green Bean Salad

Serves 4.

Note: It’s hard to believe that such a quick marinade accounts for such bright color and flavor in the chicken. But the subtle star of the dish is the lemon peel, mellowed and tenderized by poaching. The lemon can be poached and refrigerated up to 5 days in advance. The salad can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Adapted from “The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life,” by Ellie Krieger.

• 1 lemon (preferably unwaxed), scrubbed well

• 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided, plus more as needed

• Pinch of saffron threads, crumbled

• 2 tbsp. finely chopped mint leaves

• 1 clove garlic, minced

• 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

• 1/4 c. olive oil, divided

• About 1 1/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (tenderloins removed), trimmed of visible fat

• 1 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed

• 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh thyme leaves

• 1 tbsp. honey

• Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Use a fork to prick the lemon in 3 or 4 places. Place in a small saucepan along with 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cover with water; bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 50 minutes or until quite tender. Drain and cool.

Meanwhile, whisk together the saffron, mint, garlic, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the oil and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a gallon-size zip-top plastic bag. Add the chicken and seal. Massage to coat; let it marinate (at room temperature) while you prep the beans.

Set up a steamer over a few inches of barely bubbling water (over medium heat). Place the beans inside; cover and steam for 4 minutes or until crisp-tender and a brighter shade of green. Cool, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces, transferring them to a mixing bowl as you work.

Grease a large skillet with cooking oil spray and place it over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the marinated chicken. (It’s OK if some marinade remains on the chicken; discard any remaining marinade.) Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, then turn the chicken over and cook on the second side for 6 to 8 minutes or as needed, until the chicken is cooked through and nicely browned. Cool, then cut into bite-size pieces, transferring them to the bowl of green beans.

Slice off and discard the ends of the lemon, then cut the fruit in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard the flesh and pulp. Cut the remaining peel (with pith) into thin slices, then into 1/4-inch pieces, adding them to the bowl as you work. Add the thyme.

Whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and the honey in a liquid measuring cup, then whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil to form an emulsified dressing. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Pour the dressing over the lemon-chicken mixture and toss to incorporate. Serve at room temperature.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 340 Fat 16 g Sodium 400 mg

Carbohydrates 17 g Saturated fat 3 g Protein 35 g Cholesterol 80 mg Dietary fiber 5 g

 

Pecan Chicken Salad

Serves 12 to 14.

Note: A classic combination of pecans, celery and grapes. To toast pecans, spread them on a rimmed baking sheet; toast at 325 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice, until the nuts are fragrant and lightly browned. Cool completely before using. Refrigerate the chicken salad for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days before serving. Adapted from “The New Basics Cookbook,” by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins.

• 3 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, patted dry

• 3 c. no-salt-added chicken broth, heated to almost boiling

• 1 lb. seedless green grapes, some cut in half

• 1 1/2 c. pecan halves, toasted (see Note)

• 1 c. diced celery

• 1 c. chopped fresh dill, plus a few sprigs for garnish

• 1 c. regular or low-fat sour cream (do not use nonfat)

• 1 1/4 c. regular or low-fat mayonnaise (do not use nonfat)

• Kosher salt

• Freshly ground black pepper

• 2 bunches watercress, optional

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Arrange the chicken breast halves in a single layer in a shallow baking dish, then pour in the broth. Lay a sheet of aluminum foil or parchment paper over the baking dish; bake for 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Use tongs to transfer the chicken to a plate to cool; discard the broth. Shred the chicken into bite-size pieces, placing them in a large mixing bowl as you work, and add the grapes, pecans, celery and chopped dill; toss to incorporate.

Whisk together the sour cream and mayonnaise in a medium bowl, then scrape it into the bowl with the chicken. Toss to coat, then season well with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Arrange beds of watercress on individual plates, if desired; top with equal portions of the chicken salad. Garnish with sprigs of dill. Serve right away.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 390 Fat 20 g Sodium 450 mg

Carbohydrates 19 g Saturated fat 3 g Protein 34 g Cholesterol 85 mg Dietary fiber 2 g