Published on January 13th, 2012 | by Gareth1
Mediterranean Chicken, beetroot and pea salad
Perhaps it’s the cynic in me, but I have already noticed the well intended New Years resolutions are beginning to flag like a pair of well worn undies on the washing line. These are the declarations of healthy living usually made on January one, when people aren’t sober enough to think clearly or are feeling sorry for themselves for over indulging only hours before. It’s nothing to be ashamed about; we’ve all been there at some point…haven’t we??
The thing is most peoples idea of healthy means fat free, taste free and fun free with the sex appeal of those well worn undies. Let’s face it unless you are a gym junkie you probably resent having to munch on lettuce, celery and a plain lean chicken breast as part of a self enforced penance for gorging. Or if like me, you might just hate salad, something to do with being scarred by 70s childhood memories of recipe card inspired salads containing peanuts, grated carrot, raisins on a bed of iceberg lettuce drenched in a vegetable oil and vinegar dressing (it’s okay I still love you mum and your baking was to die for).
Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean a compromise on flavour. I think this recipe might just help you out in the delicious, visually appealing and healthy options department, even if only for one meal.
The marinade transforms an otherwise bland piece of chicken and the salad has a fresh sweetness to it, not to mention being packed with iron and antioxidants.
Mediterranean lemon chicken
- 3 medium sized chicken breasts (ideally free range)
- 3 large cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp ground rock salt
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 3 tsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp dried rosemary
- 2 tsp oregano
Beetroot and pea salad
- 1 cup fresh (or frozen) baby garden peas
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 1 medium sized beetroot
- 100gm feta cheese (crumbly kind)
- Handful fresh mint leaves
- 2 tsp lime juice
- Cut the stalks and leaves off the beetroot and put into a pan of boiling water, making sure the beetroot is fully submerged.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 hours or until the beetroot is soft all the way through.
- Once cooked transfer to a bowl of cold water and allow to cool.
- Crush the garlic to a pulp and mix with the rest of the marinade ingredients.
- Transfer the marinade and chicken to a glass or stainless steel bowl, mix together ensuring the chicken is fully coated.
- Cover the bowl and put in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
- Boil the peas for 2-3 minutes, drain and plunge the peas into a bowl of iced water. This will help ensure they maintain their fresh green colour.
- Wash the spinach leaves and put into a serving bowl.
- Once the beetroot has cooled peel and slice, add the slices to spinach.
- Heat a griddle or frying pan on a low heat, add the chicken and cook slowly. If it begins to catch add a little more oil and reduce the heat.
- Crumble the feta over the salad and sprinkle the peas and mint leaves.
- When the chicken is cooked squeeze some fresh lime juice over the salad and serve.
- The salad is great on its own and is fantastic with a little prosciutto ham.