Friday, June 4, 2010

Grilled Chicken and Corn Salad with Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette

Yesterday, I picked up my very first basket from the local Farmer's Market Basket warehouse (props to Jayme for suggesting it!). I signed up to get a small basket every other week, but I may have to increase either the basket size or delivery frequency, as I was so super impressed with what I got for $10: a bunch of lettuce, bananas, apples, peaches, green onions, a HUGE sweet potato, 3 ears of corn, a super delicious tomato, and a cucumber. It was worth it to have someone else assemble a basket of goodies for me, and save me the time of perusing different market stands or the produce section to figure out what I wanted to cook with that week. Plus, a lot of the produce was from local farmers. After what felt like a super long day at work, I was revitalized just by making dinner, since I challenged myself to use as much of the basket as possible last night. I came up with the following:

Yes, I realize I am on a major salad kick. Don't be fooled into thinking I'm super healthy, though. The healthiness of dinner is sufficiently balanced with my nightly post-dinner snack habit: chocolate truffles (if I have them), ice cream (probably the healthier option, as at least it's Edy's Slow-Churned low-fat) or graham crackers covered in Nutella with a glass of milk.

Oh, and I was halfway done with this salad at the point I took the picture. Oops!

I realized that I had some chicken breasts in the freezer, and some nearly-bad avocados and a half can of black beans hanging out in the fridge, and I knew that I wanted to grill that precious corn, so I did a little cookbook scouring and came up with a dressing that I thought would match everything else I'd have going on in the salad. I ended up with a little lettuce and tomato left over - which will go to good use in my carbo-loading dinner tonight (triathlon tomorrow!). Here's how I made my tasty noms salad.

Grill the following:
* 2 chicken breasts, butterflied or split into portions of equal thickness for uniform grilling time, that have been marinating in Dale's sauce (or soy sauce if you don't keep Dale's in your fridge)
*grill them until they reach an internal temperature of about 155-157, remove from grill, cover with tin foil, and allow to rest for 5 minutes before chopping or shredding with your fingers to go on top of the salad

* 3 ears corn, husked, drizzled with olive oil and tossed with salt (throw on the grill and rotate about every 4 minutes until all "sides" are sufficiently cooked)
* once the corn is cooked, allow to cool slightly, then remove the kernels from the cob with a knife so you can add it to the salad

In the meantime, prepare the rest of the salad:
* dark green lettuce, rinsed and rough chopped
* diced tomato
* diced avocado
* some black beans, out of the can, drained and rinsed
* green onions or scallions, diced

Set aside and make the dressing in your blender, mini food processor, a sealed container, or a bowl with a whisk:
* couple tablespoons of cilantro (yay, herb garden!)
* zest of one lime
* juice of 2 limes (anyone else noticed that the limes this year are just not that juicy?)
* twice as much extra virgin olive oil as there is lime juice
* generous pinch of salt
* about 1/2 - 1 teaspoon chili powder

Assemble and enjoy!

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