Monday, May 11, 2009

: you make friends with salad :

When the weather starts to get warmer, roasts and stews take the backburner in my mind and I start craving lighter meals. One of our favourite salads in this house is a mango chicken salad. So easy to make, super healthy, and I even add a little extra protein and fibre to this with some sesame seeds, flax seeds, and almonds.

I threw together the dressing by experimenting with a few different condiments in my pantry. Granted, I do think my condiment collection is quite extensive (I own 11 different kinds of vinegars), but you can easily find all these ingredients in your local grocery store :)

Interesting fact - when you see mustard in a dressing, it isn't necessarily used for flavouring purposes, but works as an emulsifier to help suspend two immiscible (un-blendable) liquids. In this case, oil vs everything else! While the dressing isn't really mixed together, it gives the illusion that it is.

Isn't food science fun?

Mango Chicken Salad (makes 4 servings):

2 x sweet ripe mangoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 x chicken breasts
8 cups baby spinach
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp flax seeds
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Sesame-soy dressing (below)

1. Toast sesame seeds, flax seeds and sliced almonds in a pan until slightly browned and aromatic. Set aside.
2. Cook chicken breast on a grill or pan until cooked through. Let cool and dice into 1 inch cubes.
3. Dice mangoes into 1 inch cubes.
4. Assemble spinach on plate, and layer with chicken and mango.
5. Sprinkle sesame seeds and almonds on top.
6. Top with dressing.

Sesame-Soy Dressing (makes approx. 1/2 cup):

2 tsp light soy sauce
4 tsp balsamic vinegar
1.5 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
8 Tbsp canola

1. Mix all ingredients together.

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