Thursday, May 17, 2012

Limited Kitchen – Simple Citrus Salad [Matt]

Citrus salad is a bit of an over-promise only because it implies that you would do something strange, like put some sort of fruit in your salad. Leave that for the jello.

- lean mean chicken breasts (organic and as free of constraint as possible, pay the extra 2 bucks) - mixed green salad
- a few lemons (i'm sure you'll make this more than once with all that free-range chicken that I got you to buy)
- croutons
- parmesan reggiano
- olive oil / balsamic (or apple cider vinegar if that suites your style better, but if you do that add a splash of spicy mustard. variations can be riveting)
- avocado, tomato, and olives can all be great additions depending on your tastes

The night before:
Preheat the oven to 'hot enough to cook your chicken.' While your oven heats, take the chicken breasts out of container. Wash under warm water. Blot with a paper towel. Trim off any fat or unsightly bits. Grab a few of your favorite spices. Toss them on the breasts. Have fun with it. Throw the spiced breasts on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Put them in the oven and let them cook through.

When done, let them cool and then cut them into 4 - 6 oz servings pending your future-immanent lunchtime hunger. Stick the baggies of cooked chicken in the fridge.

The big day of:
Morning prep - wash the salad. Drizzle the olive oil and balsamic into a small container. Here's the most exciting part... now cut the lemon. Squeeze it into the dressing mixture. What just happened there will change your salad from being standard, boring, chicken on a salad into a zesty smile-fest. 

The under-taxing prep continues when you grate cheese into a baggie and place croutons in another (to cut down on baggie consumption Ziplock has created a 3-section salad container that is pretty great). So now you should be good to leave your abode with your bagged chicken, mixed greens, dressing, croutons (only a few, otherwise it kinda kills the point of a salad), and grated parmesan.

In your work kitchen:
Grab a large bowl (or I guess bring one if your work place is really cheap) and place chicken inside. Use a fork and knife to cut the chicken breast into bite size portions (saves work later and potential stains on your pants). Place the cut chicken in the microwave for about 45 seconds. Remove chicken from microwave and add your baggie of dressing (this helps cool the chicken to room temp so it doesn't wilt your lettuce on contact).

Drop in your greens. Throw in your croutons. Sprinkle that cheese. Use your fork and knife as mixing tools.

 Now eat your zesty, healthy, salad that tastes like fun instead of sadness.

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