Over the weekend, I did my one-week grocery shopping at NTUC and bought the following
What I did this time was to cook the vegetables, including the baby potatoes with Japanese sesame sauce and a little bit of butter. I then diced the chicken breasts into smaller cubes, and then added some sesame oil as well as the Japanese sesame sauce and then stirred and mixed them, to marinate the chicken.
After the veggies are cooked, I then added the marinated chicken and then cooked it again.
The Chinese Celery or Cilantro happens to be a really versatile vegetable to have. Adding cilantro is a great way to add flavor to a dish or beverage without adding extra calories, fat, or sodium.
Cilantro is a tender herb (along with mint and basil) which has gentle leaves that are best to add either raw or near the end of cooking in order to maintain their delicate flavor and texture. Unfortunately, my cilantro is getting shrivelled, so I decided to snip all of it to add to the salad.
Making salads can be really quick and fun, and it's healthy!
I have been, occasionally, posting the end-results of my (simple) salad creations, but I have never shown the behind-the-scenes of how my salads were done. Making salads is not exactly an exciting affair - I would rummage through the fridge to see what I have bought (and what was left over from the previous week). I would defrost the frozen chicken breast. I would then do all the chopping and slicing, before putting everything together with a salad sauce of the day.
Frozen chicken and celery
Most of the chicken that we can find in the local supermarkets are of the frozen variety, and mainly imported from Brazil. I used to purchase "fresh" thawed frozen chicken from Sheng Siong at $2.50 per piece, but I have since switched to packed frozen chicken breasts.
Why so? Because it is not ideal to refreeze thawed chicken. With the right package of frozen chicken breasts readily available in most of the major supermarket chains, I find this a cheaper and more convenient option.
I would almost always choose chicken breast over any other meats (with the rare occasion of Atlantic salmon, which is delicious but out of my budget). With so many damaging reports about red meats, I reckoned that it would be better to stick with poultry. For the evening, I also sliced the celery into small bits, but only after tearing the edges off, together with its fiber.
After I have defrosted the chicken in the microwave (about 6 minutes or slightly longer), I would then slice them into cubes. Chicken pieces cubed are easier to mix and easier to eat.
One big tip about eating salad lunches on a regular basis is to find a good variety of salad sauces. This evening, I would use the Bibigo Korean BBQ Sauce. I marinated the chicken cubes with a spoonful of the sauce and then cook it for about 4 minutes in the microwave.
Kale and Chillies
While the chicken is cooking in the microwave, I added the kale leaves (which I prepared the day before. I added salt, massaged the leaves and then left them in a plastic bag overnight in the fridge, and it should keep for a few days) as well as sliced the red chillies.
Again, in recent years, there has been studies touting the incredible health benefits of red chillies, and how they can help with weight management as well as with inflammation. I would use a chopper (my favourite type of knife), to slice the chillies into small bits, and then remove the seeds before adding them into the salad bowl.
Coriander or Cilantro!
While kale is a super vegetable and looks nice and green, it's pretty tough and difficult to eat. Hence, by adding some cilantro into the salad mix, it imbues a touch of freshness, brought about by the awesome flavours of the cilantro.
Cilantro herb is very low in calories and contains no cholesterol. However, its deep-green leaves possess good amounts of antioxidants, essential oils, vitamins, and dietary fiber, which may help reduce LDL or "bad cholesterol" levels in the blood.
Cooling off the chicken
Make sure that the cooked chicken is really cooked (as sometimes the chicken might not be well spread out, and hence parts of it might not cook well). Make sure that the marination is absorbed into the chicken. I would add another half spoonful of the Korean sauce and mix it with the salads to ensure that it will have some flavour too.
Depends on whether you prefer to have your salads "dry" or your salads "wet", you can decide whether to drain the juices from the chicken away or to keep it as part of the salad sauce.
The awesome chicken salad!
And there you go! A really colourful salad that looks fresh and appetising!
As mentioned in my last posting, one trick about sticking to making salad lunches for the week ahead -- is to doing the entire week's shopping during the weekends. Hence, a few hours earlier, right after my gym, I decided to head down to GIANT to do my usual salad shopping. I ended up buying these items:
How to prepare Kale?
While kale salads are full of nutrients and fiber, making kale worthy of its status as a super-vegetable, it is not always easy to prepare kale. The last time I bought some kale for my salad, I had a hard time finishing the salad that I prepared.
Hence, I learned some useful tips to make kale a lot more delicious and edible in my salads:
My name is Willie, and I like to muse about things. Things related to me are Wellaholic.