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Monday, February 25, 2008

WTSIM Salad - Warm Vegetable Salad

This month is the first time I get to participate in the Waiter There's Something In My... SALAD. Andy of Spittoon Extra has admitted he isn't eating enough fruits and veggies. Well, neither am I. I just don't seem to know what to do about it. I am ashamed to admit that the first thing I thought was, "Oh, I'm not going to participate in this one either." Let's face it. I am notorious with friends and family for being the one who never eats salad and has a hard time with most vegetables. You see, when I was growing up, salad meant tomatoes and iceberg lettuce. I hate raw tomatoes (I know, I'm weird!) and I really despise iceberg lettuce.

I've come a long way and I do eat a bit of salad here and there now. Mostly romaine or spinach though, and I do like it, but I still can't sit down and just eat salad, not a whole serving anyway. What I have been struggling with is finding ways to eat more fruits and veggies. Still, I just didn't see this one happening for me. I just couldn't let it go though. I really want to do a lot better at this and I know that it is important. I just never seem to know how to make it happen.

And that, is exactly why I thought at first that I wouldn't participate in WTSIM...Salad. I mean, as addicted as I am to food blogging events, even I can't justify making something that I won't eat. So, it is thanks to Andy and his idea for this month's theme that I kept thinking about the salad issue for the past week or so. It really bothered me that I'm not eating very well and here was one more reason to try harder.

Now enters the channel I watch probably way too much of. Food Network of course. I saw Giada make this "Warm Vegetable Salad." It looked good. Surprise, surprise. I've made cold salads, fruit salads, pasta salads and still it hadn't occurred to me to make a simple vegetable salad - no lettuce involved. It didn't look too difficult to put together quickly and plenty of flexibility with the ingredients.

That's when it struck me, "I never thought about that!" So, here is my adaptation of Giada's recipe. I will say though, that I only varied from Giada's original recipe because of some allergy restrictions for my mom, who was visiting when we made this (she is allergic to garlic). Since the garlic seemed important for the flavor profile I ended up making a kind of honey mustard vinaigrette. I will definitely be trying to make Giada's version, as well as this version, but I really liked the honey mustard on it as well. This was easy and tasted great (even the leftovers I had for lunch today! Yea me, vegetables two days in a row!)

To try to keep things somewhat fresh and healthy for the rest of the meal I served grilled marinated chicken with the salad. It ended up being perfect together. The chicken was moist and tasted wonderful along side the hearty, yet healthy, salad. So, for once, I feel like I did good with what we ate. This is a simple chicken to make, which I've adapted numerous ways, depending on what we have on hand. So, without further ado, here are my recipes for a Warm Vegetable Salad and Grilled Yogurt Mint Marinated Chicken.

I really owe a big thanks to Andy for the theme for this one and forcing me to think outside my comfort (food) zone and make something new. Because of him, I now have a new favorite that everyone loved and made me feel a whole lot better. So, Thanks Andy!!

Warm Vegetable Salad

2 whole red peppers
1 1/2 pound assorted red and Yukon gold potatoes, cubed into large pieces
3/4 pounds green beans, trimmed and halved (I had pre-trimmed frozen on-hand)
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
freshly ground red pepper to taste (I added about 1/8 tsp)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey

Preheat the broiler. Place the red peppers on a foil lined baking sheet. Place the red peppers under the boiler. Turning every 2 to 3 minutes cook the peppers until the skin is blistered, about 8 to 9 minutes total. Place the blistered peppers in a plastic bag. Seal the bag and allow the peppers to sit for 10 minutes to allow the skin to separate and to let cool.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes and cook until tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain the potatoes and place in a large bowl. Add the green beans to the pot. Cook the green beans until tender, about 3 minutes (4 minutes if using frozen). Remove the green beans to the bowl with the potatoes. Remove the peppers from the plastic bag. Peel off the skin from the peppers. Slice the pepper flesh into wide strips and remove the seeds and veins. Place them in the bowl with the potatoes and green beans. Add the chives and parsley and toss to combine.

In a small bowl combine the white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard and honey. Whisk in the olive oil. Stir in the salt and freshly ground black and red peppers. Toss the warm vegetables with the honey mustard vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

Grilled Yogurt Mint Marinated Chicken

1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
w teaspoons ground coriander (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Lime or Lemon wedges, to garnish

In a shallow glass dish, whisk together all the ingredients.

Add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.

Heat the grill or grill pan to medium heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade. Lightly oil the grill and place the chicken until marked and cooked through (approximately 6 minutes on each side. Garnish with lemon or lime wedges.


Deborah said...

I would die if I was allergic to garlic. We use it in practically everything!!

This salad sounds delicious, and a perfect way to get some veggies in!

Helen said...

Oh there's nothing wrong with despising iceberg lettuce - it's completely flavourless! I hope your salad helps you to eat more veggies.

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