Thai Chicken Salad

 

Thai Chicken Salad

1 cup long-grain brown rice
2 cups shredded/pulled rotisserie chicken
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/3 cup sliced green onions
1/3 cup dry-roasted peanuts, divided
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced or put though garlic press

Cook rice according to package directions.  Transfer rice to a large bowl; fluff with a fork. Cool. Add chicken, carrot, onions, 2 tablespoons peanuts, 2 tablespoons cilantro, and salt to rice; toss to combine. Combine juice and remaining ingredients in a small bowl; drizzle over rice mixture and toss to combine.  Sprinkle each serving with remaining peanuts and cilantro; serve with lime wedges.

 

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Salmon with Arugula, Tomato, and Caper Sauce

6 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 cup lightly packed chopped fresh Arugula
¼ cup olive oil
1 small shallot, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon drained capers
4 6-ounce salmon fillets

Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper; set aside. Preheat broiler. Brush both sides of salmon with a small amount of additional olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Broil without turning until just cooked through, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer salmon to plates. Spoon tomato mixture over. Garnish with lemon wedges.

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Fusilli with Spinach, Chickpeas, and Feta

1-16 oz. box fusilli (spiral-shaped) pasta

Fusilli with Spinach, Chickpeas, and Feta

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2  teaspoon salt

1/2  teaspoon black pepper

2 (15-oz) cans chickpeas, drained

9-ounce bag fresh spinach, coarsely chopped

1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese

In a large serving bowl, combine crushed garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and chickpeas.  Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. While pasta is cooking, chop spinach leaves and add to bowl.  Add crumbled feta and toss well.  Drain pasta and add to bowl; toss again.  Serve warm.  (10-12 servings)

This is one of my favorites and makes a  frequent appearance at family barbecues. It is simple and most of the steps can be completed well in advance of the crowd’s arrival (just short of cooking and adding the pasta).  Make sure you cook your pasta just until firm (al dente) as over cooking pasta causes the starch to be broken down into sugar more readily.  Chickpeas are legumes; they are a healthful carbohydrate with a low glycemic index (producing very little blood sugar).  They are a healthful source of  protein,  folate, magnesium, and zinc, and they are low in fat.  Spinach is rich in iron, calcium, and lutein (good for eye health).

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