Chili Citrus Avocado Chicken Salad

It’s a rare treat for me to get avocados at a decent price here in NY.  We always see them during the Super Bowl (for guacamole), but really the best time to buy them is now. But, I got a great deal at Imperfect Foods on both limes and avocados the other day. So, I decided to take advantage and create a chili citrus avocado chicken salad.

I must say it was a smashing success. The sweet limes, velvety avocado, bright and crunchy veggies, and the spicy chicken combine for a carnival of flavor and color.

The chili citrus chicken recipe is one I already had (here on the site).  Adding the veggies and the dressing transformed it into a completely different meal.

Great for hot weather.  Make extra chicken the night before for dinner and you don’t have to cook at all the next day.




 

Chili Citrus Avocado Chicken Salad Substitutions and Variations

  • Mix together whatever greens you like: spinach, leafy green lettuce, romaine, red lettuce, etc.
  • I used cucumber, carrots, and tomatoes as veggies, but feel free to substitute bell pepper, mushrooms, snap peas, cooked corn, or whatever other salad veggies strike your fancy
  • Add some orange segments to punch up the citrus flavor

More Entree Salad Recipes

belgian potato salade liegoiseBelgian Potato Salade Liegoise

A traditional Belgian warm potato salad made with green beans, and sausage.  It’s then dressed with a quick vinaigrette that takes only seconds to make. The result is savory, filling, and easy.

leftover roast lamb eggplant spinach saladLeftover Roast Lamb Eggplant and Spinach Salad

Transform your lamb breast leftovers into a second meal (or make extra).  The creamy eggplant and the spinach balance the strong flavor of the lamb, all topped with a garlicky easy aioli dressing.

 

cold leftover steak saladCold Leftover Steak Salad with Goat Cheese and Red Wine Vinaigrette

Forget the classic steak sandwich for a minute and use your leftovers to make this salad instead.  Chop some veggies, add goat cheese, and make a quick red wine vinaigrette. A full meal with no cooking! Ta da!

mixed greens egg potato chicken saladMixed Greens Egg Potato and Chicken Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Another great entree salad that’s easy and flavorful (without a lot of work). Use spinach, mixed greens, chicken, or tuna. It’s flexible and easy. All you have to cook is the potato and the egg.




Pan Fried Salmon with Nectarine Salsa

Does this happen to you? I bought a big bag of nectarines from Imperfect Foods without thinking what to do with them, or how I was going to eat all those nectarines all by myself.  Sometimes my eyes get ahead of my brain. Uh oh, now what? But, I had previously bought salmon from them and frozen it. I thought, well the sweet nectarines should pair beautifully with the fish. So, the answer was pan-fried salmon with nectarine salsa!

And then later, there will be nectarine mini tarts. Because why not.

Nectarine makes a refreshing change from the usual tomato. They’re sweeter, juicier, and a perfect foil for the tangy lime and spicy jalapeño. And summer is the ideal time to take advantage. The salmon was simply pan-fried with a squeeze of lime and a few seasonings.

This made a bit more salsa than I needed for just the salmon. But, it was fantastic over eggs the next day.




Pan Fried Salmon with Nectarine Salsa Substitutions and Variations

  • Don’t have salmon? This would work beautifully with a pork chop too. Pan-fry with some olive oil and cumin
  • Or, try the salsa with some scrambled eggs
  • Haven’t got jalapeño? Use red pepper flakes instead

More Salmon Recipes

salmon in foil packet with potatoesSalmon in Foil Packet with Potatoes

Season, fold, and bake. No cleanup, and it’s a whole meal in a simple packet.

 

salmon greek yogurt dill sauceSalmon with Greek Yogurt Dill Sauce

Crispy cucumbers, creamy yogurt, and touch of fresh dill add brightness and freshness to this sauce. Let it sit if you can to let the flavors meld.

 

smoked salmon artichoke saladSmoked Salmon Artichoke Salad

This works with either smoked or cooked salmon.  The citrus is sweet and bright, and the marinated artichokes add kick.

 

smoked salmon pasta with tomato cream sauceSmoked Salmon Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

Creamy, velvety and elegant enough for a special occasion. Yet, it’s surprisingly easy to make.

 

 




Peruvian Roast Chicken in Green Sauce Recipe

I tried this Peruvian roast chicken in green sauce recipe for the first time last week, and I can’t stop eating it! It’s not just the chicken either, it’s the sauce. I loooove the sauce. I made enough to have extra, and I’ve been putting it on everything. It’s tangy, spicy, garlicky, and just spectacular.  And the chicken is lip-smackingly good too!

There are two stages to this recipe, which I adapted from Epicurious, but since we’re only making it for one person (instead of a whole chicken) we can cut some steps and speed everything up. The reviews on the original commented that it was a lot of work (but worth the trouble). But, my way, it isn’t a lot of bother at all.  There’s a lot less to chop and a single chicken thigh cooks a lot faster than a whole bird. You wait less and you don’t have to baste as much either. No need to butterfly/spatchcock one piece of chicken!

First you mix up a spice rub for the chicken and spread it on the meat. While the chicken cooks, you make up the sauce, which is essentially tossing ingredients in a mini chopper or blender and then mixing them together with some mayonnaise. Baste the chicken once and then serve it with the sauce.

The chicken cooks at a higher temperature than usual, so it ends up with crispy skin, while still retaining its juices. Plus, it’s ready in 35-40 minutes instead of an hour and a half.

If you like, you can add a salad of cucumber, avocado, lime, olive oil, and scallions on the side.




Peruvian Roast Chicken with Green Sauce Substitutions and Variations

Unlike the usual changes, this list is largely focused on the sauce, rather than the chicken.

  • Try different herbs or combinations of herbs and leafy greens instead of the spinach. You could use basil, coriander (the original recipe), or some sage
  • Instead of mayonnaise, try Greek yogurt or lebne
  • Serve the sauce over eggs with crusty bread
  • Use the sauce as a dip with fresh cut up carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers, and cucumber wedges
  • if you don’t have fresh lemon, use dried lemon peel and bottled lemon juice

More Chicken Recipes

crispy lemon chicken thighCrispy Lemon Chicken Thigh Recipe for One

Great hot or cold, this is perfect for picnics. There’s three kinds of lemon (don’t worry, nothing unusual), and a crispy crust that tastes like you fried it (but you won’t have to).

 

chili citrus chicken thighChili Citrus Chicken Thigh Recipe for One

The flavors of Buffalo wings, without any frying. The garlic adds zest and the chili packs the heat (but not too much heat). Cheaper than wings too.

 

feta brined roast chickenFeta Brined Roast Chicken

Bathed in a briny blend of of feta cheese and lemon to keep it moist, and lock in flavor. Serve the finished chicken on a bed of earthy spinach.

 

honey sticky garlic chickenHoney Sticky Garlic Chicken

Delight your taste buds and fight colds with this crispy/sweet/spicy chicken. Ready in 30 minutes, from pantry ingredients.

 




Vietnamese Chicken with Lime and Ginger

Great for a weeknight dinner, this Vietnamese baked chicken with lime is an easy meal that requires very little active work.  Measure, mince, and pour, then let it sit.  Once it’s finished marinating, all you have to do is cook it for half an hour. The ginger and garlic are warm and spicy, while the chili garlic sauce has a bit of a kick. The lime adds brightness and a citrusy tang that complements the spicy flavors and cools them down. 

The original recipe called for chili garlic paste, palm sugar, and fish sauce.  And, it’s true, those ingredients would be more authentic. However, they also violate my own rules about avoiding  hard-to-find or one use ingredients.  I don’t want to buy an entire bottle or brick of something (like palm sugar) just to have it sit there. And where would I even find palm sugar? Nope.

So, I cheated.  I used chili garlic sauce (not paste), swapped brown sugar for palm sugar, and ditched the fish sauce in favor of Worcestershire sauce (which does have some anchovies in it). I also wanted (for personal preference) to avoid all the salt in the fish sauce.

Marinating, even for a short time, helps the chicken absorb lots of flavor. 

When you’re ready to start cooking, just pour out the marinade, pop the chicken in the oven, and wait half an hour. Dinner is done!

 

Tip: Make extra rice and freeze it in little baggies. Then when you want rice another day, all you have to do is microwave it. One minute rice!




Vietnamese Baked Chicken with Lime Substitutions and Variations

  • add some soy sauce to the marinade
  • swap the lime zest for lemongrass (you can buy lemongrass paste, which is easier to find in western markets than the stalks)
  • chop up some cilantro and add that to the marinade
  • if you do like fish sauce, I’m told Red Boat and Three Crabs are good brands (avoid the Taste of Thai, it’s full of sugar)

More Chicken Recipes

Jewish chicken curry chitarneeJewish Chicken Curry Chitarnee

A Jewish curry? Yep.  It’s flavored with onions, lemon, and cardamom. It’s not spicy, more aromatic, tangy, and mellow.  Only one pot too. And since it’s got potatoes cooked along in that pot, the entire meal is one pot, not just the main course.

honey sticky garlic chickenHoney Sticky Garlic Chicken

Want to fight some nasty germs? This chicken will help. There’s chili garlic sauce, hot peppers, and garlic: all of which help clear your head. It’s also easy to make. Just brown the chicken and make a quick sauce.

peruvian roast chicken with green saucePeruvian Roast Chicken in Green Sauce Recipe

I just can’t stop eating this. The sauce has spicy peppers, earthy spinach, and citrusy lime, with just a touch of mayo to hold it all together.  Great for chicken, or for a veggie dip.

stir fry chicken peanut sauce recipeStir Fry Chicken with Peanut Sauce

You don’t have to go out for “takeout” food. Make it yourself at home. Eat it hot right away, or chill, add extra veggies, and transform it into a salad.

 




Chopped Israeli Salad for One Person

Chopped Israeli salad isn’t quite what you might assume. It doesn’t have lettuce or carrots.  It’s not even eaten when you’d expect.  Israeli salad isn’t for lunch or dinner. Instead people eat it for breakfast with eggs, hummus, pita bread, fish, and olives. Not being much of a standard American breakfast person, I approve!

Of course, all of those things make a great lunch too, especially on a hot day when  you don’t want to get anywhere near a stove or an oven. I adapted this recipe from a comment on Tori Avery’s web site. 

She had a recipe for Israeli salad, and a commenter, Schelly Talalay Dardashti, pointed out that there’s a Persian version called “salad e-shirazi.”

She said it calls for red onion and parsley (neither of which I had).  However, I did decide to follow her suggestion and use lime juice instead of lemon juice and add mint.

Make sure to use either Persian cucumbers or English cucumbers (rather than the standard kind).  The Persian (or mini) cucumbers are shorter and thinner than standard cucumbers and usually sold in sealed packages.  The English (or hothouse) cucumbers are the long, skinny ones individually wrapped in plastic wrap.

They’re easier to cut up and you don’t have to peel them! Also, the standard cukes tend to be more bitter.

I cut everything up, mixed it together, and left it out on the counter for a couple of hours (there’s nothing to spoil quickly) so that the flavors would blend.  Also, if you put tomatoes in the fridge, they start to lose their flavor.

You can serve this salad with the pita and etc. I mentioned above for a light meal or as a side dish with a sandwich or some eggs. You can make plain scrambled eggs, a frittata, or keep the Persian theme going and serve it with Persian eggs. I added about 1/4 C of eggplant I had left over (recipe here and it’s even for one person).

There’s no picture of the eggs because I was hungry and started eating before I remembered to take one!




Substitutions and Variations for Chopped Israeli Salad

  • Try the full standard Persian version, “salad-e-shirazi,” which is made with seeded cukes and tomatoes, red onion, parsley, mint, salt, pepper, lemon juice (or lime juice) and a bit of olive oil.
  • Make it more filing with some crumbled feta cheese.
  • Add some red bell pepper (or try orange or yellow for more color), cut into tiny pieces
  • Chop some radishes and add them to the salad
  • The Book of Jewish Food has a variation popular with Baghdadi Jews in India: add grated ginger and some chopped chili peppers.

Ingredients and Tools for Chopped Israeli Salad

Oxo Lemon/Lime Reamer

You can squeeze the lime with your hands, but it’s a bit messy.  It’s much easier (and neater) to use a reamer instead. And since it’s made by Oxo, it’s comfortable to use.  Tip: Leave the fruit out to get to room temperature (or zap it in the microwave for 5 seconds). It will juice more easily.

Oxo Salad Chopper (mezzaluna) and bowl

You can use a sharp knife to cut up your salad, but it’s even easier with a salad chopper.  The double blades chop the salad, veggies, cheese, etc into tiny little pieces. And it takes a lot less effort. Just rock your hand back and forth.

More One Person Salad Recipes

mixed greens egg potato chicken saladMixed Greens Egg Potato and Chicken Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Toss together your favorite greens and veggies, add hard boiled egg and leftover chicken, and you’ve got a new twist on the old chef salad.

 

blueberry and spinach salad with fetaBlueberry Spinach Salad with Feta Cheese and Walnuts

The perfect summer meal when it’s too hot to cook, this recipe is packed with sweet blueberries, salty/tangy feta, and crunchy walnuts.

 

strawberry spinach salad balsamic dressing feta cheeseStrawberry Spinach Salad with Balsamic Dressing and Feta Cheese

Don’t have blueberries? Or want a change? Try this spinach and strawberry salad. Sweet, tangy, and fruity. No cooking required.

 

leftover roast lamb eggplant spinach saladLeftover Roast Lamb Eggplant and Spinach Salad

If you didn’t quite eat all your lamb breast, use the leftovers for this salad. Rich lamb, creamy soft eggplant, and earthy spinach work beautifully together for a festival of flavors.




Watermelon Slush

When it’s just too darn hot outside, a big slice of watermelon really hits the spot. The trouble is, you often end up with watermelon juice all over yourself (your face, your clothes, everywhere).  This watermelon slush solves the drippy watermelon problem.  It’s sort of like a smoothie (and technically called a licuado), but without yogurt.

I could just drink these all day. It’s cool, refreshing, and really easy to make.

There’s just a few ingredients: watermelon, ice cubes, and lime. And, if you like, you get the added attraction of making it into an adult beverage with a shot of rum or vodka.

The original recipe called for a bit of sugar, but I found it was sweet enough without it.  This way you get more watermelon flavor.

Ahhhhh.




Substitutions and Variations for Watermelon Slush

  • make half and half mango and watermelon
  • add a sprig of fresh mint (or basil)
  • swap some of the watermelon for strawberries
  • add half a banana

Tools and Ingredients to Make a Watermelon Slush


Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender

This hand blender is the best! Use it to make smoothies, puree soup, salad dressing, milkshakes, applesauce, or dips. Just stick the blender in the pot or bowl, push the button, and blend.  Unlike my last blender, this one has a detachable attachment.  Just remove it to clean (without worrying about damaging the motor).

More Smoothies/Slushies and Cocktails

banana smoothie for oneBanana Smoothie Recipe for One

Got overripe bananas? They make great smoothies. This one has nutmeg, cinnamon, and yogurt. Easy, healthy, and refreshing too.

 

strawberry basil mojito

Strawberry Basil Mojito with Lime

For the adults in the room (that’s us), try this wonderful summer quencher. It’s a twist on the usual mojito. This one has strawberries in it (peach would be good too).