Saturday, June 1, 2013

Recipe: Chicken Salad with Creamy Balsamic Dressing

Salad is an interesting topic for WLS patients - most people immediately go to "salad" as a food for those on a diet, but what is typically thought of as a salad is actually a rather poor choice for us - lettuce is pretty much void of nutritional content, vegetables are good, but then it's usually doused in very fattening dressings and other toppings. This salad uses a lean boneless skinless chicken breast for protein, goes light on the lettuce, and gets considerable flavor from the balsamic component of the dressing. As with any dish with just a few ingredients, using the highest quality produce you can find is paramount.

You may used left over chicken, rotisserie chicken, or cook a breast fresh - coat a single boneless skinless breast with a very light coating of olive oil or mayonaisse, bake for approx. 20 minutes at 375F, let rest until you can handle it comfortably to slice.

  • 3-oz boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1/2 flavorful heirloom tomato - variety of your choice, chopped
  • 1 oz sliced pickled beets
  • 1 cup salad greens
  • 2 tsp finely grated Romano cheese
For Dressing

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise - low fat or regular
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp milk

For dressing choose a moderately priced brand, there's no need to use super expensive imported brands, but don't use the bargain brand either.

To make dressing, combine vinegar, brown sugar, and soy sauce in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil then reduce to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes until syrupy - sauce should coat a spoon without running off. Let cool.

Combine mayonnaise  with 1/2 tsp vinegar reduction to start, adding a bit more to taste - I like mine fairly flavorful, so my ratio was about 2:1. Thin as desired with milk for your preferred dressing consistency.

Remaining reduction can be kept air-tight in the refrigerator for other uses.

Combine first 4 salad ingredients in a serving bowl. Drizzle with dressing, then top with cheese and serve.

Nutritional information based on use of regular mayonnaise for dressing.

Per serving: 245 calories, 15g fat, 10g carbohydrates, 8g sugars, 17g protein

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