Let’s face it.
Winter is not always kind to our bodies. The thought of getting out of that warm bed to exercise in 1 degree Celsius is just not attractive….
And so begins the 4 month incubation of your food baby.
Not happy and welcome like you’re conventional child baby…oh no…this food baby lives off red wine and curry and refuses to budge once settled…
Enter the September Slimdown. It’s time to throw away the curry house takeaway menu and hit that treadmill.
One of my favourite things to eat in September are salads, largely because we in South Africa are spoilt for choice when it comes to fresh produce availability at this time. Today, I am sharing one of the simplest salads you will ever have to prepare, packed full of flavour and the nutrients your body needs to recover from all that exercising you’ll be doing.
4 chicken breasts
2 Cos lettuces, shredded to your preference
Half a cucumber, sliced into quarters
1 pepper (I like the green ones!) de-seeded and sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
150 – 200g of feta, cut into cubes
½ a cup of olives (Do yourself a favour and buy the pitted ones…pips are a HACK)
2 whole tomatoes, cut into wedges OR 1 punnet of baby tomatoes
For the Marinade:
Half the problem with 60% of every chicken salad I’ve ever eaten is that the chicken itself is flavourless, despite all the other gorgeous ingredients in the bowl. It drives me nuts and puts me off ever ordering chicken in a salad. The marinade for the chicken in this salad solves that problem one time and is adapted from a Greek roast chicken recipe I was given by my mum.
Juice of 1 lemon
A good glug of olive oil (about ¼ cup)
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons dried oregano*
2 teaspoons garlic (minced)
Salt and pepper to taste (be generous here)
I mean this couldn’t be easier if it tried….
Mix all the marinade ingredients together and pour ½ of it over the chicken and keep the rest for later
For the best results, marinade the chicken for 1 hour. If that’s not an option, 30 minutes will ensure all the flavour is still there. Covering the chicken dish in cling wrap will ensure even better soak up
While the chicken is juicing up, cut up all the accompanying ingredients (except the avocado) and mix in a bowl
Once the chicken is marinated, cook it on a medium to high heat (use a grill pan if you have, if not a standard frying pan is great). 5 – 6 minutes a side is the general rule, but the size of the fillet will increase or decrease this
Allow the chicken to rest for 3-5 minutes, after which you can slice it and the avocado and add both to the salad bowl
Finally, add the remaining dressing reserved in the first step of the recipe and serve
This dish is great for vegetarians, and the chicken is easily substituted with chickpeas
Too healthy for you or too fussy for your kids? Add a pita bread in which you can squeeze all the contents of the salad into. Just leave out the contents your kids don’t want
*Dried herbs are great because the flavour is so concentrated. HOWEVER…whenever you have the option, use fresh herbs. A handy conversion tip to remember is that for every 1 teaspoon of dried herbs, you can replace it with one tablespoon of fresh herbs. This is just a general rule of thumb, and ultimately you should use your taste preference to determine the conversion that best suits you
Yay for week two of Little Blue Naartjie!
I hope this recipe helps those of you embarking on September Slimdown