Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Planned Dinners: One Down, Four to Go.

The tabbouleh salad with grilled chicken was great last night. We quaffed a summery dry rose and munched pita chips with cilantro-jalapeno hummus and tried to pretend it wasn't 53 degrees and foggy outside. San Francisco is a such a treat in July.

Tabbouleh and Grilled Chicken Salad

This recipe involves more prep than in most of my recipes simply because it has more ingredients than I usually use. But since you can do some or all of the prep ahead of time - in fact, tabbouleh tastes better if you make it up early in the day (or the night before) and let the flavors blend in the fridge - you don't have to get all stressed about doing everything all at once.

For the tabbouleh:

  • 3/4 cup bulgur (or a prefab box of tabbouleh mix, if you can't find plain bulgur)
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

For the chicken:

  • 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Montreal steak seasoning

First, the chicken. Put all the ingredients in a ziplock bag and squash it around so the chicken is coated. Let it marinate for at least an hour and up to 24 hours. (You can also make up a bunch of these bags o' chicken and freeze them in marinade so they're ready to roll at some later date.)

When you're ready, grill the chicken breasts over medium-high heat for about 7 minutes on each side, depending on how thick they are. Pull them off the grill, cover them in foil, and let them sit for about 10 minutes.

Next, the tabbouleh. Pour the bulgur into a medium bowl and pour a cup of boiling water over it. Stir it up, cover it, and put it to one side for half an hour or so until it absorbs all the water.

Meanwhile, prep all your veggies and garlic and herbs and throw them all in one big bowl. Toss them with the lemon oil and cumin.

When the bulgur is ready, stir it into the veggie mixture. Add the olive oil and feta cheese and mix gently. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

When you're ready to serve, thinly slice the chicken and place it on top of a mound of tabbouleh.

This stuff keeps well in the fridge for up to a week, unless your teenager mows it all in a single sitting. One way to avoid this behavior is to point out to the child that the dish is extremely healthy: Divided into three servings, it's about 300 calories per plate, with 28g protein, 25g carbs, 9g fat, and 6g fiber.

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