Tuesday, April 30

Smoked Chicken and Artichoke Salad

Dave and I have spent two weekends this month at music festivals. As far as healthy meal options go they rate somewhere between the county fair and a baseball game. Coachella was definitely the healthier of the two with some vegan and vegetarian options but Stagecoach was a BBQ fest with more pulled pork than you've ever dreamed of.
This being the case we decided to do a "salad cleanse" this week. Luckily I have a fantastic recipe book so we will be making our way through it until we're back to feeling green and clean. I started with the smoked chicken salad so we could slowly ween ourselves off of the BBQ

2 tbsp olive oil
1 leafy celery head
3 oz canned artichoke hearts*
2 tbsp roughly chopped parsley
3 smoked chicken breasts (I got mine at Whole Foods)

1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
4 tbsp olive oil

Make the dressing by beating together the mustard, vinegar, and oil.
Brush each artichoke half with a bit of the dressing and place on a piece of aluminum foil under the broiler until lightly brown (3-4 minutes.)
Remove the leaves from the center of the celery, reserving the leaves. Finely slice 3 stalks and put them in a large salad bowl with the leaves, parsley and artichokes.
Thinly slice the smoked chicken breasts and add to the bowl with the celery, parsley and artichokes.
Drizzle the remaining dressing over the salad and lightly mix.

*To make your own artichoke hearts start by removing all green leaves from the uncooked artichokes so only the yellowish, soft leaves remain. With a sharp knife remove the pointy tops and the ends of the stems. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the rough bits of leaves that remain on the hearts as well as the stems. Cut each artichoke in half and using a paring knife remove the sharp, purple leaves and fuzz in the center. Place each artichoke half in a large bowl of cold water, ice cubes and lemon juice for several minutes. Transfer to a pot of boiling water and cook for 6-8 minutes.

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