Recipe: Dinner Salad

The sauteed rice in this salad adds a buttery, chewy crunch that delights the taste buds.

Salads are remarkably quick and simple to make, and if you think of them as a canvas, on which you add all sorts of elements — in this case, rice, chicken, and sesame seeds — you wind up with a piece of art that you eat.

And when you think, “salad,” think beyond just lettuce, to greens of all sorts. I incorporated kale in this recipe, and its aggressive, slightly peppery taste adds depth and interest. It also adds nutrition: one of the “superfoods” that also happens to be fashionable, kale is full of vitamins and fiber, and according to whfoods.org, it provides comprehensive support for the body’s detoxification system.

When the produce you eat is grown in healthy soil, without artificial chemicals or sprays, you might find it easier to eat, because it tastes better. If you haven’t already, cultivate an attitude of celebrating all of the food you eat, as opposed to getting the vegetable out of the way so that you can enjoy the rest of the meal.

Dinner Salad: Makes three dinner salads or four smaller side salads

Ingredients:

1 head Buttercrunch, Red Sail, or other decent, organic leaf lettuce (from Deer Pond Gardens if you’re in the Dayton, WA area)

4 ounces Kale

2-4 boneless skinless chicken thighs (or breasts, if that’s what you’ve got; or leftover cooked chicken. I used the smaller number of thighs because we eat less meat to stretch the grocery budget, but feel free to add more if you like a lot of meat)

1 cup leftover rice (mine was brown)

2 Tablespoons butter

1/2 cup chopped green onion

3 Tablespoons sesame seeds

Easy, EASY Salad Dressing

In a small, covered saucepan, cook the chicken over medium heat until it’s done.

Melt the butter in a skillet and fry the rice in it until hot. I fried mine until it was slightly crispy.

Slice the lettuce and kale into ribbons and arrange on plates. Sprinkle the onions atop. Once the chicken is done and the rice is hot, chop up the chicken into small, bite-sized pieces and sprinkle over the onions. Top with rice and sesame seeds.

For a variation on the dressing, replace half of the lemon juice in the Easy, EASY Salad Dressing recipe with the chicken broth. If you have fresh sage leafs on hand, chop up six and add to the dressing; if you’re using the immersion blender, it will frappe the leaves for you; if you’re whisking the dressing together by hand, mince the leaves before you whisk them in.

Bon Appetit.

This is a good time to mention that cooking for yourself, if it’s not something you already to, is a good thing to learn, not only because you eat better, but because you save money. For more on saving money, check out the book, Live Happily on Less — there’s an image of it on the right menu bar, and clicking on the image will take you to its Amazon page where you can peek inside the book.

Child of Eden by Steve Henderson. Original oil on panel available at Steve Henderson Fine Art. Licensed open edition print at iCanvasART.

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