Refreshing Salad with Chicken & Avocado

Chicken Avocado Pasta salad in Thousand Island Dressing

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  1. Rotini Pasta- 1 cup
  2. Cubed Chicken Breast- 1 cup
  3. Cubed Avocado- 1 cup
  4. Diced Cucumber- 2 cups
  5. Chopped Romaine Lettuce- 1 cup
  6. Corn Kernels- ½ cup
  7. Thinly Sliced Onions- ¼ cup
  8. Sliced Tomatoes- 1 cup
  9. Sliced black olives- ¼ cup
  10. Thousand Island Dressing- 2 tbsp
  11. Olive oil- 3 tbsp
  12. Salt- as per taste
  13. Pepper- as per taste

Directions

Step One

Boil and cook the pasta in 2-3 cups of water in a vessel on medium heat. Once the pasta is half cooked, add salt and allow the pasta to cook completely. Transfer the cooked pasta to a colander and drain the water. Keep aside to cool.

Step Two

In a separate pan, add 2 tsp of olive oil and cook the cubed chicken breast for about 10- 15 mins on medium heat. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from pan and keep aside to cool.

Step Three

Simultaneously, in a vessel, boil the corn kernels for about 15 mins. Once it is cooked, remove and keep aside to cool.

Step Four

In a big salad bowl, mix the cucumber, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, avocados, olives, cooked corn, cooked chicken and pasta. Drizzle with some olive oil. Season with salt and then, add the Thousand Island dressing. Gently mix the salad.

Enjoy a light refreshing dinner.

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Chicken in buttery masala

Butter Chicken

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Medium
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Ingredients

  1. Boneless chicken breast- 400 gms
  2. Onion- 1 cup
  3. Tomatoes- 1 cup
  4. Ginger garlic paste- 1 tbsp
  5. Cashew nut paste- ½ cup
  6. Chilli powder- 1 tbsp
  7. Turmeric powder- ¼ tsp
  8. Garam masala- ½ tsp
  9. Butter- ½ cup
  10. Cream- ½ cup
  11. Water- 1 cup
  12. Oil- 1 tsp
  13. Salt- as per taste

For marination

  1. Ginger garlic paste- 1 tbsp
  2. Chilli powder- 1 tbsp
  3. Turmeric powder- ½ tsp
  4. Curd- 1 tbsp

Directions

Step One

Clean the boneless chicken breast pieces well and cut into small cubes. Pat dry with a kitchen towel. Place the cubes in a bowl. Add ginger garlic paste, chilli powder, turmeric powder, curd and salt. Massage the chicken pieces well. Keep aside for atleast 1 hour.

Step Two

After an hour, place the chicken pieces in a greased baking dish. Drizzle some oil and grill it for about 18 minutes at 200°C. Once grilled, keep it aside.

Step Three

Simultaneously, in a pan, heat some oil and melt 1 tbsp butter on medium heat. Add and brown the chopped onions. Season with salt. Add ginger garlic paste and cook till the raw smell disappears. Then, add Chilli powder, turmeric powder and garam masala. Add the tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes are soft and mushy. Keep aside to cool. Once cool, grind the mixture into a smooth paste.

Step Four

Grind some cashew nuts in 2 tbsp water.  Add this cashew nut paste, along with ½ cup water to the curry. On simmer, allow the mixture to come to a boil.

Step Five

Add the grilled chicken pieces to the curry, along with the remaining butter. Allow the masala to coat the chicken well.

Step Six

Switch off the flame. Once the curry cools down a bit, then add some cream. Garnish with more cream and a dallop of butter.

 

Tip: 1. Garam Masala is basically a mixture of ground spices such as cumin, coriander and cardamom used in Indian cooking. These spices are usually toasted and then ground in order to bring out more flavor and aroma. “Garam” translates into “hot”, however this mixture need not necessarily be hot or spicy. You need not make it. It can be purchased off the shelf at major supermarkets selling Indian spices and food-stuff.

 

Keep Calm and Eat Meatballs..!!

Chilli Lime Meatballs

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Medium
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Ingredients

  1. Minced chicken- 500 gms
  2. Spring onion- finely chopped- 1 cup
  3. Green Capsicum- finely chopped- 1 cup
  4. Cilantro- finely chopped-1 cup
  5. Green Chilli- finely chopped- 3 tsp
  6. Garlic powder- ½ tsp
  7. Lemon juice- 3 tsp
  8. Cheddar cheese- 3 tbsp
  9. Salt- as per taste
  10. Extra virgin Olive oil- 1 tbsp

For the Simple Guacamole/ Avocado base:

  1. Avocado- 1
  2. Lemon juice- 2 tsp
  3. Pepper
  4. Salt

Directions

Step One

Finely chop the capsicum, spring onion, cilantro and green chillies. In a mixing bowl, mix minced chicken, spring onion, capsicum, cilantro, garlic powder, cheddar cheese and green chillies. Add the lemon juice and salt, and mix it well

Step Two

Roll small sized balls of the chicken mix and keep it aside. Freeze it for about 15 mins so that the balls are well set.

Step Three

In a medium skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, place the balls carefully into the pan, cover the lid and cook for 15 mins on each side. Keep aside, once the meatballs are cooked.

Step Four

Wash and peel an avocado. Mash it into a pulp. Squeeze 2 tsp of lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. The Avocado preparation can be used as an accompaniment. See Tip below.

Tips:

  1. Avocados are generally very bland and need external flavoring like salt. In fact, it needs a generous amount of salt. Add salt to the Avocados after measuring the amount of salt that you have already used in the meatballs and as per taste. This is so that you don’t over or under-utilize salt. 
  2. This is a simple Guacamole, more like mashed avocados. The usual and main ingredients of a Guac are missing in action here as we don’t want to take the attention away from the meatballs and maintain the balance of flavors here. We’ll do a separate post on how to make an Guacamole soon!  🙂

Step Five

Serve it as a starter or convert it into a low carb meal.

Green delight!.. with some chicken!

Summer has kicked in.. What better to have than a refreshing Caesar’s salad. This is again Mr. A’s favorite salad. Since I had no mayonnaise in my kitchen, I managed to find my own variation of the recipe, with Cream Cheese. I was skeptical about this variation but the end result was perfect..!

Chicken Ceasar's Salad

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 medium romaine lettuce
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Parmesan (to sprinkle)
  • 5 tbsp cream cheese
  • Croutons
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions

  1. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Drizzle some olive oil. Place pan over a medium heat for a couple of minutes. Lay the chicken on the pan and cook for 4 mins on either sides.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix cream cheese, minced garlic, olive oil. Add one or two tbsp water, if the mix is too thick.
  3. Cut lettuce into medium pieces and put in a large bowl. Once the chicken cools, cut it into thin, long slices.
  4. Add most of the dressing and toss the salad. Scatter the croutons, then drizzle with the remaining dressing. Sprinkle the Parmesan on top and serve immediately.

Spicy Couscous and Chicken

In my attempt to have a healthy, nutritious meal with my family, here is a simple one-pot dinner recipe.

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 900 g diced chicken thighs
  • 1 1/2 cup couscous
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 375ml (1 1/2 cups) boiling water
  • 1 finely chopped capsicum
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup diced cabbage
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 thin sliced onion
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh coriander
  • Lemon juice, to taste

Directions

  1. Marinate chicken pieces in the spices, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook till its about half done.
  2. Add onion, garlic, veggies and chicken stock. Cover and cook  for 25 mins until the chicken is tender.
  3. Add the couscous. Stir and cook till the liquid absorbed.
  4. Garnish with coriander leaves.