A salad can be both healthy and tasty

Published 8:46 pm Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I hope everyone had a great week! Mine was very busy and I just want to sit back and relax this week, but I know life just won’t let me.

I figured with all the rich desserts and heavy foods I’ve done these past couple of weeks, I’d walk on the lighter side this week. I decided that if I was going to do a salad, I’d do one you just can’t turn down.

Pecan encrusted chicken with fresh Romain, more pecans and, because I can’t go 100-percent healthy, homemade honey mustard dressing. Not too bad!

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For the chicken:

1 cup pecan pieces

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/2 tbs salt

1/2 tbs onion powder

1/2 tbs garlic powder

1/2 tbs paprika

1 tbs honey

2 large eggs

1/2 cup light tasting olive oil

2 lbs chicken breast cut into strips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line and lightly grease baking sheet. In a food processor, combine the first seven ingredients and pulse well. In another bowl, beat eggs and olive oil together. Pour pecan bread crumb mixture into a large plate or pan. Dip chicken into egg mixture then dredge into crumb mix. Coat the chicken well, then shake off the excess. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, turning the chicken halfway through the cook time. I’m not going to give you exact measurements on the salad; just add as much of each thing as you like.

While chicken is cooking, wash your fresh Romain. You can use just the hearts if you like, but please don’t use iceberg. It has no taste nor any nutritional value. In a large salad bowl, roughly break up the lettuce and add in some shredded carrots, sliced cucumbers, toasted pecans and some dried cranberries for some added sweetness.

For the dressing, mix together in a bowl three-quarters cup regular mustard, one-third cup your favorite mayo, one-quarter cup honey and a pinch of salt and red pepper. If you want it a little sweeter, add more honey. If you want a lighter dressing, use low-fat mayo or pick you up some balsamic vinaigrette at the store.

Plate the salads, throw on your pecan encrusted chicken, add your dressing – maybe even a little feta cheese on top – and you have perfection. Enjoy!

You know what, we’ve been so good, I think we deserve a brownie a la mode for dessert. Just kidding…no, I’m not!

Until next time, have fun in the kitchen, experiment and indulge your cravings!

Laura Clements is the manager of Kafe Buzz