3 Chicken Salads for Summer

Summer is rolling in with a vengeance, so many of us are starting to adjust our daily routines to suit the balmy weather and long, bright days. Push the hot chocolate mix to the back of the cupboard and put some ice-trays in the freezer. It is going to get hotter and stickier so wave good-bye to slow-cooks and say hello to quick and fresh. Here are three easy recipes for tasty, convenient chicken salad:
Asian Chicken Salad 299 Calories per Serve
This chicken salad tingles the taste buds with a nutty blend of crunch and ginger. Perfect for those long evenings when the sun does not want to set and you long for an excuse to enjoy a second chardonnay. If you get the dressing right, this is one you will come back to for years to come. Serves two.
Ingredients:
4 cups shredded iceberg lettuce or whole baby spinach leaves
1 cup shredded fresh coriander
½ cup chopped scallions
½ cup sliced almonds
180g diced, roasted chicken breast
Optional: 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
For the Dressing:
½ grated garlic clove
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
½ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon sesame oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
  1. Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl, whisk until well blended
  2. Toss remaining ingredients in a bowl with dressing
  3. Serve immediately
Garlic Chicken Salad 349 calories per serve
This recipe is all about the chicken. Chicken breast is a bland meat which works well to soak up flavours and this recipe is designed to make that happen. Serves two.
Ingredients:
2 medium sized chicken breasts, cubed
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 cloves garlic, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
2 celery stalks, chopped
½ medium tomato, chopped
2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
Directions:
  1. Mix olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper
  2. Add chicken, place in fridge to marinate for at least two hours
  3. Pan-fry until chicken cubes are golden-brown and cooked through
  4. Cool chicken to room temperature, then combine with remaining ingredients
  5. Serve immediately
Chicken Curry Salad 200 calories per serve
Now, for something a little different. Curry salads are a great way to shake up your notions of what a salad experience should be. The trick is to choose a mild curry which does not overpower the crisp freshness and natural tang of the apple. Serves four.
Ingredients:
½ cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 teaspoon of your favourite curry powder
Salt and pepper to taste
2 spring onions, sliced
¼ cup cashew nuts, chopped
1 medium apple, cubed
2 cups cooked chicken breast, cubed
Directions:
  1. Blend cottage cheese with curry powder, salt and pepper until well mixed and smooth
  2. Add remaining ingredients and stir
  3. Serve immediately
Chicken salads offer the adventurous home-chef the opportunity for endless experimentation. Try different combinations of leafy greens and onions for crunch variations. Carrots, capsicum and chilli add colour and texture. Go with vinegar-based dressings if you want refreshment, or mayonnaise-based options if comfort is your priority. If you like more flavour in your meat, swap breast for thigh or thinly-sliced beef, pork or lamb.
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