When I planned this dinner, I did not think it would turn out so delicious, and definitely not something that could go into my files of “Celebrate Wednesday“. A simple grilled chicken served with a humble zucchini salad? What could be so special about that? Hard to pinpoint a particular reason, but I feel this meal was a gastronomic jackpot: the whole combination of flavors is perfect. Refreshing, light, and satisfying. You can change the salad around in lots of ways, as long as you add the dressing a few minutes before serving. That will make sure the zucchini will get the right texture, losing some of its raw bite. Fresh mint, shaved celery, shaved fennel, those are some of the ingredients that come to mind as add-ons. The chicken marinade will go with pretty much any protein. Including tofu, if you are so inclined… 😉
GRILLED MISO CHICKEN
(adapted from Happy Food Happy Home blog)
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons miso paste
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
juice of 1 lime (2-3 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tsp black pepper
pinch of salt
Whisk together the marinade ingredients in a small bowl.
Place the chicken in a large ziplock bag and add the marinade. Toss everything around in the bag to coat all the chicken pieces. Marinade for at least 30 minutes and up to two hours.
Grill the chicken using the 7-6-5 method: seven minutes on the first side, flip the pieces over, grill for 6 more minutes. Turn the grill off without opening the lid, and let the chicken stay inside for 5 minutes. Remove from the grill, let the meat rest for 5 to 10 minutes slightly tented with aluminum foil, slice and serve.
to print the Grilled Miso Chicken recipe, click here
SPIRALIZED ZUCCHINI AND CUCUMBER SALAD
(from the Bewitching Kitchen, inspired by Skinny Kitchen)
2 zucchini, ends trimmed, cut on a spiral cutter
1/2 English cucumber, end trimmed, cut on a spiral cutter
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 Tablespoon olive oil or to taste
1 avocado, cut in pieces
handful of grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
salt and pepper to taste
Use a spiralizer or a mandolin fitted with a julienne blade and cut the zucchini into very thin, spaghetti-like strands. Do the same for the cucumber, but place it over paper towels to drain excess liquid. To make it easier to serve, trim the strands cutting with scissors or a sharp knife, so that they are about 8 inches long. Place both veggies in a large serving bowl. Reserve.
In a small bowl, make a quick emulsion whisking the olive oil and lemon juice, a touch of salt and pepper. When it’s all emulsified, add the lemon zest.
Drizzle the dressing all over the strands of zucchini, and toss to coat. Allow it to sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes. Add the avocado pieces, the tomatoes, toss gently to combine. Sprinkle cilantro, adjust seasoning, and serve.
to print the salad recipe, click here
Comments: First, my apologies for being unable to give immediate credit to the grilled chicken marinade. I found it in the internet, thought I had bookmarked it, but instead I did a cut and paste of the ingredients and sent to myself by email. (Palm hits the forehead!) Since I clear my bookmark history every week, no luck tracking it down. (Head shake in disbelief…) Hopefully a lesson was learned. However, thanks to one of my dear readers, I could retrieve the source, and correct my mistake. It came from Happy Food Happy Home. Cute name for a blog… 😉 Thank you, Nan, for finding the source for me.
The salad. Of course, the spiralizer makes it super fun and interesting, but taste should come first, and in this category we also have a winner. However, depending on how watery your cucumber might be, you could run into problems. One way around it would be spiralizing only the zucchini and adding the cucumber in small pieces together with the avocado & tomatoes. You can salt them very lightly and wait for a few minutes until the salt draws most of the excessive liquid out. A brief rinse, a brief encounter with paper towels, and voilà: perfect cucumber! This is harder to do with the strands, so keep this in mind if you try this salad.
The husband verdict: you can make this recipe ANYTIME. It is awesome!
When you witness a man who loves pasta, rice, and potatoes giving such a compliment to zucchini, you know you got something special going… As special as offering two recipes in a single post (wink, wink). Almost as special as a Wednesday evening rescued from the boring middle of the week…
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