Like many summer favorites, chicken salad has all the makings of a refreshing, light meal except for all that mayonnaise.
An easy way to lighten it up is to substitute nonfat plain Greek yogurt.
Grilling the chicken is another easy way to pump up the flavor while adding virtually no fat.
For this recipe, we freshened up our salad by adding some berbere, an Ethiopian spice blend that can feature any number of seasonings, but often includes ginger, cardamom, garlic, cumin and chiles. If you can't find it or you prefer something a little more tame, switch it out for another spice blend, such as curry powder or Italian seasoning.
For even more flavor and some textural contrast, we added chopped Peppadew peppers. You usually can find these alongside the olives at the grocer. Cherry peppers also would work. After some chopped fennel bulb, a handful of toasted almonds and some grapes, we were finished.
We like to serve this salad stuffed in whole-wheat pita pockets with salad greens, but you also could spoon it over a bed of greens for a hearty salad.
Tangy grilled chicken salad
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and ground black pepper
Canola or vegetable oil
1 to 2 teaspoons berbere seasoning
1 (5.3-ounce) container nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup chopped Peppadew peppers
1/2 bulb fresh fennel, trimmed and diced
1 cup red grapes, halved
1/4 cup slivered, toasted almonds
4 small whole-grain pita pockets
2 cups salad greens
Heat the grill to medium-high.
Place the chicken breasts between sheets of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet or rolling pin, pound the meat to an even 1/2-inch thickness. Season with salt and black pepper.
Soak a crumpled paper towel with the oil. Clasping the paper towel with tongs, oil the grates of the grill. Grill the chicken breasts for 4 minutes per side, or until the chicken is cooked through and reaches 165 degrees. Cool, then cut into small chunks.
In a large bowl, combine the berbere with the yogurt, Peppadew peppers, fennel, grapes, almonds and the cooled chopped chicken.
Mix well, then season with salt and pepper.
Fill each pita pocket with a quarter of the salad greens, then spoon some of the chicken salad into it.
Servings • 4
Source: The Associated Press