Monday, March 24, 2008

Spa Dinner

As I mentioned in my menu plan for this week, we had a "Spa Dinner" last night. Which really has nothing to do with a spa or a spa diet other than I for some reason associate curried chicken salad with spa fare. That with artichokes and you're practically wrapped in a towel in the steam room.

As promised, here is my recipe for the super easy and really delicious Curried Chicken Salad. This is a great spring dinner and makes excellent lunch leftovers. I got the inspiration from Epicurious and then made it my own from there. Feel free to do the same!

Dena's Curried Chicken Salad

2 boneless, skinless organic chicken breasts
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup plain organic yogurt
4-5 teaspoons good quality curry powder, depending on how you like it
Juice from 1 lime
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 medium organic red onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
Half a large, firm, crisp organic apple (like a Fuji or a Granny Smith), chopped
1/2 cup salted roasted organic cashews, roughly chopped

Bring enough water to cover both chicken breasts to boil in a saucepan. Add chicken and simmer, uncovered, 6 minutes. Remove pan from heat and cover, then let stand until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate and let cool, about 10 minutes. Chop into 1/2-inch pieces.

While chicken is cooling, whisk together mayo, yogurt, curry, lime juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add chicken, onion, apple, and cashews and stir gently to combine.

I like to add raisins in on occasion, or use fresh organic grapes instead of apple, depending on the season and my mood.

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As for the gorgeous and delicious artichokes, a brilliant step-by-step tutorial on how to make them (it's easy) is here on one of my fave food blogs, Citymama. I serve it with a simple garlic aioli -- combine mayo with finely minced garlic, add some lemon juice, and voila: you're instantly fancy.

To roast asparagus: preheat oven to 350F. Cut off ends, about 2-3 inches from bottom depending on their tenderness. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss asparagus with extra virgin olive oil, plenty of salt and pepper, and chopped garlic. Pop in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

Enjoy your version of Spa Dinner!

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