Friday, February 17, 2012

Chicken & Wild Rice Salad

During the weekends, I make sure to set aside time to prepare my meals for the work week. This semester has challenged me a little because I'm working longer shifts so I could have more days off, which means I not only eat lunch at work, I'm also eating dinner. My weekend preparations are a little more in-depth, but it saves me a lot of time and money throughout the week.

I tend to be a health nut and I like to know what goes into my food. As I mentioned many times previously, Mr. B and I are not fans of eating out/fast food. And although it would be easier to order out for dinner, along with my co-workers, it's harder on my wallet and my health.

For my lunches and dinners throughout the week, I rely on big batches of soups and salads to get me through. They're quick, and since Mr. B doesn't like them, they give me plenty of meals. Although I've come a long way, my husband is still a picky eater. Unfortunately, he dislikes many of my favorites, like peanut butter, peas, couscous, carrots, pasta salads, cream cheese, nuts, soups...and cheesecake. So I take these opportunities to make the meals I love.

This Chicken and Wild Rice Salad is a staple in my work-meals repertoire.

It primarily consists of everything my husband dislikes: carrots, celery, dried cranberries and almonds. And it's best eaten cold. This salad makes huge portions, perfect for my weekly lunch or dinner.

Chicken & Wild Rice Salad

Serves 6

1/4 c white wine vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 c chicken broth
1 1/2 c uncooked wild rice
1 Tbsp butter
1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 c chopped celery
1/2 c shredded carrots
1/3 cried cranberries
1/4 c chopped almonds, toasted
2 Tbsp minced red onion

Combine the first five ingredients in medium bowl, Gradually add oil, whisking until well blended. Cover dressing and chill. Meanwhile, combine broth, rice and butter in medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. (The time can vary depending on the rice you use.) Remove rice mix from heat; cool. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook eight minutes on each side until done. Cool; cut into 1/2" cubes Combine cooked rice, chicken, celery, carrots, cranberries, almonds and onion in large bowl. Add dressing; toss gently to coat. Cover and chill.

*NOTE: Salad will keep in refrigerator for several days.

**NOTE: This salad can easily be made vegetarian. Omit the chicken and use a vegetable broth instead. (I actually had a vegetarian co-worker tell me that my salad looked amazing.) Yes, it's that amazing.

Nutritional Information
Per serving: Calories 352; Fat 10; Carbs 40; Fiber 4; Protein 25

With Love and God Bless,

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