Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mediterranean Summer Salad with Grilled Chicken

This salad is crisp and fresh - perfect for a summer lunch.

Serves 2

1 head romaine, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, julienned
3" segment of cucumber, halved, seeded, julienned
10 - 12 pitted kalamata olives, halved
3 - 4 oz. french green beans *See Notes
6 sliver-think cuts of 1/2 red onion, segments separated
1/2 lb. cooked chicken, roughly chopped to bite-size *See Notes
1 Tbsp. feta cheese, crumbled *See Notes

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and top with dressing. Turn lightly with a large spoon to coat evenly. Divide in half and spoon onto plates. Enjoy.

Green beans - I used about half of a bag of Trader Joe's French Green beans. You can throw them in raw, but I like to cook them a bit. The cooking directions on the bag suggest 3 - 4 minutes in the microwave. I find this to be too much - 1.5 minutes will give you a crisp-tender green bean. You can also use traditional green beans. If you do, I would recommend steaming or microwaving to soften and chopping into bite size pieces.
Chicken - Most grocery stores offer pre-cooked chicken options. Trader Joe's Just Chicken is cooked and cut into strips. If you buy flavored/marinated pre-cooked chicken, check the ingredients list for sugary foods. For this recipe, I barbecued chicken breast tenders drizzled in extra-virgin olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper, over medium heat for approximatley 4 minutes per side.
Feta - Feta cheese is a natural accompaniment for the flavors above. Remember that cheese is a protein, so if you include it, cut back a bit on the chicken. If you're a vegetarian, you can ditch the chicken altogether and mix in a 1/2 to 1 cup of crumbled feta.

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