Salad Spree: Cherry Chicken Curry Salad

Chicken Curry Salad

It’s our final week of May’s Salad Spree! But not to worry, I love salads and won’t be able to contain myself from posting salad recipes throughout the summer.

This week’s salad is for my chicken loving friends. It brings together the beautiful flavors of dried cherries and curry and uses gut friendly Greek yogurt instead of the commonly used mayo. I highly recommend using organic chicken (this is an excellent use for leftover meat after roasting a whole chicken.) Enjoy it on lightly toasted whole grain bread or over a bed of greens with a little olive oil and lemon juice.

Recipe: Cherry Chicken Curry Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Organic Chicken (cooked, cubed or shredded)
  • 2T Red Onion (minced)
  • 1 Green Onion (green parts chopped small)
  • 1/2 cup Dried Cherries (rough chop)
  • 2 stalks Celery (chopped small)
  • Handful of Spinach (chopped tiny)
  • 2T Parsley (chopped tiny)
  • 1/4 cup Organic Greek Yogurt
  • 1t Curry Powder
  • 1t Dijon Mustard
  • 1t Sea Salt
  • Juice of a Lemon
  • A few cranks of Black Pepper

Instructions

  1. Mix first six ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
  2. In a little bowl mix the yogurt, curry powder, Dijon mustard, and sea salt.
  3. Toss the yogurt mixture in with the chicken mixture.
  4. Squeeze the lemon juice into the mixture.
  5. Crank the black pepper over the top to taste.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

Did you enjoy our Salad Spree? Which salads did you try? I’d love to hear all about it!

Weekly Tip: Use Fresh Herbs {Cilantro}

Cilantro

Any meal can be elevated with the addition of a chopped fresh herb. We have enjoyed a bunch of cilantro in our weekly farm box for the past few weeks and I was recently reminded of what a powerhouse herb it is. Cilantro is a known detoxifying herb, due to its ability to “chelate” (a fancy word for remove) heavy metals from the system (such as mercury, aluminum and lead). It is also packed with antioxidants (more concentrated than fruits and vegetables for the most part) and is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.

All of this and it tastes great too! EXCEPT to some people who belong to the I Hate Cilantro Club.  Have you heard of this? Some people taste soap when they taste cilantro and can’t figure out why the rest of us love it. Julia Childs was a soapy cilantro person, so in my book that makes this affliction legit.  My apologies to those of you with this issue – we’ll pick another herb in the weeks to come!

For my cilantro lovers, here’s a tasty fresh salsa that includes the peaches that recently appeared at the farmers markets. It’s holding me over until the tomatoes are ready!

Salsa

Recipe: Peach Cilantro Salsa

Ingredients

  • 1 Peach (small dice)
  • 2T Cilantro (chopped tiny)
  • 1/2 Spring Onion (minced)
  • 1 squeeze of Lime (to taste)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Optional: 1T Jalapeño (minced)

Instructions

  1. Mix it all together.
  2. A little time in the refrigerator helps the flavors meld together. Good luck waiting that long!
  3. Serve over tacos, with chips and/or guacamole, on bruschetta — whatever works!

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 2

Cilantro is also wonderful blended in a pesto. Or soaked in chilled water with melon for a vitamin water. Or chopped up and used to top meats, beans, salads, humus, Mexican specialities, and Thai soups, to name a few. Cilantro also aids digestion, so chewing a stalk with a few leaves (or pouring hot water over the stalks to make a quick tea) at the end of the meal can do a body good.

So let’s hear it… how many of you are in the I Hate Cilantro Club?

Do they have a club for us Cilantro Lovers?

SALAD SPREE Recipe: Confetti Pasta Salad

Confetti Pasta Salad with text

Here in Northern California it is getting hot! And that means it is time to stop making so many soups and start making big salads. To kick-off salad season here at the Lean.Green.Kitchen, we are having a SALAD SPREE during the month of May. Each week we’ll be putting together a salad recipe to add to your salad arsenal for the upcoming months.

No better way to start off our SALAD SPREE then with a party salad.  This one is all about celebrating whatever you have in those veggie drawers in the fridge and in the pantry and making it work. This Confetti Pasta Salad could also be called Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad or Rainbow Dare Pasta Salad because it has a lot going on and a lot of flexibility.  The recipe below shows what I put into mine today.  Note: Salad clean-up is much easier than actual confetti.

Recipe: Confetti Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

  • 10oz of smallish whole wheat pasta (or any smaller pasta, including gluten free)

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (use your good stuff here!)
  • 1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Lemon Juice (freshly squeezed preferred)
  • 2 T Honey (warm it until it is pretty runny)
  • 1t Dried Oregano
  • 1T Dijon Mustard
  • 2 pinches Sea Salt
  • 1 pinch Black Pepper
  • 2 cloves Garlic

Confetti Add-Ins

  • 1 Bell Pepper (small dice)
  • 6 Baby Carrots (or 1-2 Big Carrots) (thin rounds)
  • 1 med Cucumber (small dice)
  • 1-2 Spring Onion (minced)
  • 1 stalk Green Garlic (thin half-rounds of white and green)
  • 2 handfuls Sugar Snap Peas (chopped)
  • 1/2 med Zucchini (small dice)
  • 12 Basil Leaves (chopped fine)
  • 1 can Artichoke Hearts (drained and chopped)
  • 1/2 cup Olives (sliced)
  • 8oz Garbanzo Beans (drained)
  • 1/4 cup Sun-Dried Tomatoes (juilenned)
  • 4 Kale Leaves (chopped fine) *This is a great place for hiding those leafy greens!
  • 1T Parsley (chopped fine for topper)

*You can choose whatever veggies, beans, and herbs sound good to you. The Rainbow Dare is a challenge to have as many colors of the rainbow represented in your add-in choices! Shredded chicken and feta cheese are also nice.

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Let cool.
  2. Blend dressing ingredients together. I recommend using a blender for this to really incorporate the honey.
  3. Prep all the add-ins.
  4. Combine the pasta, the dressing and the add-ins. Toss gently and if you can stand it, let the salad chill in the refrigerator for a little while.

Preparation time: 30 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6

This salad is my take on a recipe that I found on the internet over two years ago.  After much searching I found the original, so I could give proper due to Danica (who luckily named her pasta salad “Danica’s Pasta Salad” thus helping me find her!  Her original recipe is here: http://danicasdaily.com/vegan-pasta-salad/

Let the SALAD SPREE begin!