Grilled Chicken Salad

Here’s another Mother’s Day recipe – I made this grilled chicken salad with a vinaigrette dressing, mango, and pita and tzatziki on the side.  The salad makes a nice light and tasty meal.

I watched this TED talk by a young girl named Lauren Hodge who speaks about her research on reducing the carcinogenic effects of grilling.  She says that you can reduce the carcinogens by up to 90% in grilled chicken simply by marinating it in lemon juice.  Great information, and inspiring to hear someone so young being so dedicated to research.  A helpful and tasty tip – thanks Lauren!

What you need:

2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless

juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon dry oregano

1 teaspoon sumac (available in middle eastern shops)

2 tablespoons olive oil

What you do:

1. Combine all the ingredients in a shallow pan or ziplock bag.  Allow to marinate for 1/2 hour to a few hours.

2.  Grill the chicken for about 4-5 minutes per side, until no longer pink.  Be careful not to cook it too long.  This will not only dry it out, but also increases the carcinogens in the meat.

3.  While the chicken is grilling, prepare the salad with vinaigrette and mango on the side.

4.  Slice the chicken and arrange it on the salad.

Yogurt Cheese

Yogurt cheese is a great versatile spread, and it’s really easy to make.  I usually use it as a spread for crackers or bread, as in the recipe below, and it can also be used as a substitute for cream cheese or sour cream in a lot of other recipes.  I’ve never tried baking with it though – I’m not sure how it would react when heated.  As a person who is lactose-intolerant but can eat yogurt, this recipe has been a god-send!

I like to sprinkle sumac on my yogurt cheese.  I’ve never seen it in my local grocery store, but I found it at a Lebanese shop.  It’s got a bit of a tartness to it that goes perfectly with yogurt, and it’s got a great deep red colour.

What you need:

plain yogurt, must not be no- or low-fat or thickened with corn starch!

salt

ground sumac

cheesecloth

sieve

bowl

What you do:

1. Line a sieve with cheesecloth, and place it in a bowl.  Pour the yogurt into it, then tie up the cloth and place in the fridge.  About half the liquid will drain out, so use about twice as much yogurt as you would like to have at the end.

2.  Leave several hours, up to a day or two – I usually leave it draining for just less than a day.  You may need to pour off some of the liquid that collects in the bowl.

3.  Place yogurt cheese in a bowl and top with sumac and salt. Of course you can also substitute any of your favourite herbs – I’ve used garlic salt before, and a bit of oregano.

4.  Serve with naan, flatbread, crackers or any bready substance of your choice.  It can also be used as a vegetable dip.

I make my own yogurt – it’s easy to do, and really cheap… stay tuned for that posting.