04 Aug Chicken salad with blueberries
Last week a heatwave went through the UK, and we broke the heat record. It was officially the hottest day ever. That entire week was pretty much up there. As a Scandinavian with a preference for the chilly winter weather I can safely say I struggled. When it gets too hot, I just find it hard to breathe, sleep, eat or any other activity required to survive. My diet was mostly ice water and ice lollies (UK term for popsicles). When it’s that hot, cooking is definitely not my afternoon activity of choice. To make matters worse my kitchen is located inconveniently at an angle where the sun is beaming through the windows around dinner time. Combine that with the heat of cooking appliances and you have the perfect setup to put me in a bad mood. To tackle these challenges, I have decided on two ground rules for hot summer day cooking: 1. Mainly eat food that requires no or little use of heat appliances, 2. Make sure you’re proper full so you don’t have to go back to the kitchen later. Therefore, here you go, a tasty, filling chicken salad with refreshing blueberries that takes about 10 minutes to cook.
What dressing goes with chicken salad?
There are many options to choose from. For a lighter version, a simple vinaigrette is great. Caesar dressing is a classic choice, but even just a ranch or any other mayo based dressing should be fine. It all comes down to your preference. Keep in mind that dressings can be very calorie rich, so make sure you’re not adding too much. If you use store bought dressing, just check the nutrition label on the bottle. My suggestion: do whatever you prefer. I just squeezed the juice of half a lemon over mine, my partner chose to eat it plain with no dressing at all.
Now, let me just take a minute to apologize for the lack of lettuce. My fridge had been acting up, and the majority of my leefy greens were frozen at the back of the fridge when I made this, and frankly I couldn’t be bothered to think of a solution. Normally I would add a few more handfuls of greens to my salads. To make up for it, the salad has got some bomb flavours in there. Blueberries, yum. Pumpkin seeds, double yum. Walnuts, say no more. It’s great. What’s awesome is that with salads like these you can add literally whatever you have on hand, or you can include or exclude ingredients based on personal preferences. My partner is not big on the walnuts, so he didn’t get any.
This blueberry chicken salad has plenty of healthy fats from the walnuts and pumpkin seeds, which is also where the majority of the calories come from. If you prefer to keep the calories down, just remove either or both of these ingredients, and substitute with more veggies.
Chicken salad with blueberries
- 2 chicken breast fillets
- 1 pinch chili powder
- 1 pinch salt, pepper
- spinach or other leafy greens
- pumpkin seeds
- dressing or vinaigrette (optional)
- Season chicken with a pinch of chili powder, salt and pepper on both sides. Cook in a frying pan on medium heat with some oil, butter or cooking spray. After a few minutes, when it is starting to brown, flip them over. Chicken takes about 10 minutes total, and is cooked when you poke it and the juices run clear.
- Meanwhile, prepare the other ingredients. You can either plate each ingredient individually, or mix them together in a mixing bowl, then move to a plate. Add as much of each ingredient as you prefer.
- When the chicken is cooked, slice it up as shown in the picture. Estimate 1 chicken breast fillet per person, along with appropriate amounts of salad.