Monday, August 4, 2014

Cajun Chicken Salad

This chicken and mango salad recipe is a great summer standby and is given its fresh zing with the lime mayonaise dressing .Take it in a picnic or share it with family at home .
To prepare a mango , first peel it using a vegetable peeler or paring knife .Then , stand the mango on one of its narrow edges and use a sharp knife to cut down along one side of the stem and just grazing the pit .Repeat on the other side .Cut each half into slices .Slice off any flesh left clinging to the pit .

Serves 4                     
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast
   about 140 g / 5 oz each
4 tsp Cajun seasoning
2 tsp corn oil (optional)
1 ripe mango , peeled , pitted and 
   cut into thick slices
200 g / 7 oz mixed salad leaves
1 red onion , thinly sliced and
   cut in half
175 g/ 6 oz cooked beetroot , diced
85 g /3 oz radishes , sliced
55 g / 2 oz walnut halves
4 tbsp walnut oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper
2 tbsp sesame seeds

1 . Make 3 diagonal slashes across each chicken breast . Put the chicken into a shallow dish and sprinkle all over with the Cajun seasoning . Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes .

2 . When ready to cook , brush a griddle pan with the corn oil , if using . Heat over high heat until very hot and a few drops of water sprinkled into the pan sizzle immediately . Add the chicken and cook for 7 - 8 minutes on each side , or until thoroughly cooked . If still slightly pink in the center , cook a little longer .Remove the chicken and set aside .

3 . Add the mango slices to the pan and cook for 2 minutes on each side . Remove from the pan and set aside .

4 . Meanwhile , arrange the salad leaves in a salad bowl , reserving a few for a garnish , and sprinkle over the onion , beetroot , radishes and walnut halves .

5 . Put the walnut oil ,  lemon juice ,salt and pepper in a screw -top jar and shake until well blended .Pour over the salad and sprinkle with the sesame seeds .

6 . Arrange the mango and the salad on a serving plate, top with the chicken breast and garnish with a few of the salad leaves .

Making healthier salad:
Strong foundation
-First things first :Start by upping the nutritional ante by choosing a base for your salad that provides important nutrients like folic acid and lutein .Give up the iceberg for mesclun greens , baby spinach or a spring mix that includes a variety of dark green lettuces . For less than 20 calories per two cups you can have a tasty , nutrient -rich base .

Pile on the veggies
- Take adventage of fresh vegetables and load them on top of your greens - at 25 calories or less per 1/2 cup serving you can't go wrong .Choose a variety of colors to get the most health benefits - red bell peppers , broccoli , carrots , sugar snap peas , cucumbers , and red onions are all great choices .Be sure to stick with or lightly steamed vegetables and steer clear of ones that are fried or swimming in only marinades .

Add a healthy prorein
-Add grilled salmon , chicken breast or canned tuna as a healthy protein option .Aim for around 4 ounces .Tofu or tempeh makes for a great vegan option .Protein is filling and also helps to stabilize blood sugar .Skip the fried chicken or fried fish ,.And go easy on the cheese .

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