Jerk Chicken Salad

I’ve always liked food with a little zing, no matter if it’s an appetizer, side or main course. One of my mottos when I was younger was, “More hotter, more better.” My tastes have tamed down some as I’ve gotten a little older, but spicy food still appeals to me.

Earlier today, we went out for lunch at the Blue Moose restaurant in East Grand Forks, and I ordered a mini-salad that featured some buffalo chicken with a Caribbean flair. It was excellent with the blue cheese dressing that accompanied it.

But you don’t have to go out to enjoy this kind of food. After returning home, I came across the following recipe for this jerk-seasoned chicken salad along with another for a with berries. Combined, they could make a quick, refreshing summer supper.

Jerk-Seasoned Chicken Salad
10 ounces cooked chicken breast strips or cubes
2 teaspoons jerk seasoning
1 teaspoon canola oil
5 cups washed, ready-to-eat salad greens
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1 cup sliced green bell pepper
4 tablespoons reduced-fat oil and vinegar dressing
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 ripe, medium tomato cut into wedges
2 crusty sourdough rolls
Toss chicken with jerk seasoning in a small bowl. Heat oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and saute 2 minutes.
Divide lettuce between 2 dinner plates. Scatter celery and green pepper on top. Spoon dressing over vegetables. Add chicken to the salad. Sprinkle cilantro on top and place tomato wedges around the edges. Serve with rolls.
Yield: Serves 2.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 428 calories, 23 percent of calories from fat, 10.8 grams fat (1.9 grams saturated, 4.3 grams monounsaturated), 127 milligrams cholesterol, 49.3 grams protein, 37.3 grams carbohydrates, 7.2 grams fiber, 758 milligrams sodium.

Mixed Berry Salad
1 cup fresh strawberries, washed and cut in half
1 cup fresh blueberries, washed
2 tablespoons reduced-fat oil and vinegar dressing
¼ cup flaked or shredded coconut
Mix berries in a small bowl. Toss with dressing. Divide berries between the 2 dinner plates and sprinkle with coconut.
Yield: Serves 2.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving:132 calories, 38 percent of calories from fat, 5.6 grams fat (3.8 grams saturated, 0.6 grams monounsaturated), 1 milligram cholesterol, 1.4 gram protein, 21.8 grams carbohydrates, 4.3 grams fiber, 40 milligrams sodium.