It is snowing, sleeting, and blowing in Saint Paul.  Again.  I mostly don’t mind it.  As long as I don’t have to drive.

When I came home from the market today, it was pouring tiny bits of frozen rain–treacherous.  I got the groceries up the slippery steps and emailed my boss I was opting out of a dinner meeting.   She agreed and canceled it.  Phew.  By then the biggest snowflakes I’d ever seen were flying like big crystal kites colliding over and over in a  shivering maelstrom.  My little warm kitchen never looked so good.

My welcoming committee.

Yesterday, however, was a gorgeous day with little time for cooking.  A day to say, “I need to use those last couple of pieces of chicken and, oh, those mushrooms shouldn’t really see the morning light.  And it needs to be done pretty quickly because I have to go to rehearsal.”  (Even if you have to cook the chicken thighs, it’ll only take another five minutes.)

In the frig was a container of baby kale  — a popular blog search on More Time —  and I decided to do something a little out of the ordinary with it.  I ended up with an attractive salad with a little warmth.  Dave added some Triscuits and blue cheese; I ate just the Triscuits to watch my p’s and q’s.  Here’s how:

baby kale and chicken salad — 10 minutes to dinner

3-4 servings    296 calories or 5 Weight Watcher Points per serving

 Ingredients:

  •  4 3-ounce pieces grilled or rotisserie chicken
  •  1 Tablespoon olive oil, Kosher salt/fresh ground pepper
  •  2 cups fresh vegetables (nearly any will do–see below for mine)
  •  1 cup baby kale
  • 6-7 cups fresh greens
  •  1/2 lemon
  • Sherry or red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sliced or blanched almonds.

To a 10-inch skillet, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and a few grinds of black pepper along with a pinch of crushed red pepper; heat over medium flame for a minute or so.  Stir in 4 ounces sliced button mushrooms, 1/2 cup chopped asparagus, 1 peeled and thinly sliced carrot,  1/4 cup each chopped onion and red bell pepper.  Let cook down 4-5 minutes;  add a chopped clove of garlic.  Sprinkle with a bit of kosher salt.  (Most chopped fresh vegetables you have would work; these are the ones I had on hand.)

Add a cup of baby kale.  (Could sub spinach.)  Stir and let cook a minute or two.  (This cooks down a lot; you could add more if you like.)

Meantime, toast 2 tablespoons sliced, chopped or blanched almonds (or walnuts) over low heat 4-5 minutes.

In a large bowl, toss 6 cups fresh greens or fresh spinach with a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice and a good sprinkling of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.

Line the perimeter of a large platter with the greens, leaving some room at the center.  Spoon out the cooked vegetables onto the platter in the middle and top with three or four pieces of cooked chicken, in this case thighs I had cooked earlier.  (I warmed them briefly with the almonds just to take the chill off of them, but you could of course eat them cold.)

Top with toasted almonds.  Drizzle salad with a tablespoon or so of sherry or red wine vinegar.
Dave liked a little blue cheese dressing with his.  I liked it without. Blue Cheese dressing is about 80 fat calories per tablespoon.

MAKE A BIGGER MEAL:  Serve with whole wheat crackers and cheese or a piece of whole wheat toast and butter if you’re starved.   Or:  add 2 cups cooked brown rice to the salad for an additional 109 calories per serving. Toss the cooked rice in with the vegetables as they cook or add at end.

Sing a new song; stay warm,
Alyce

SWORDFISH WITH GINGER-ASPARAGUS RICE AND MANGO SALSA ON DINNER PLACE RIGHT NOW:

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