Shanamama Menu


Spiced chicken over a green salad with balsamic vinaigrette

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You ever have one of those nights where you haven’t planned anything for dinner and by five o’clock you’re running around the kitchen desperately trying to find something to make? Last week I had one of those nights. I knew I had chicken but other then that I didn’t know how I was going to prepare it, what side dish I would make, heck I didn’t even know if I had anything for a side dish.
What was I to do in a pinch? I had no choice but to bust out the cooking books. The one’s I have bought over the years that I rarely ever look at. Tonight I grabbed a Rachel Ray 30 minute meals cookbook and began to scour the pages for anything chicken related. After countless recipes being denied do to lack of ingredients I finally found one for an Israeli Rub. Aha, this could work. I don’t have some of the seasonings in the form she calls for because I am not a big dried leafy person so I use ground spices but it could work. So here’s what I did.
Chicken Rub
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons corrianderĀ 
1.5 oregano
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Mix all seasonings together in a small bowl
Phew that was rough, need a break after all that hard work šŸ˜‰
Too bad, moving right along now.
4-5 Chicken breasts, trimmed of fat. If they are very thick slice them in half. Put the chicken in a bowl, pour a little bit of olive oil over the chicken and mix. Then generously pour on the rub. Don’t go overboard and use it all. Save some for the next time you make this dish. I still have about 1.5 tablespoons left and trust me, the chicken was not lacking in the flavor department.
Mix the chicken to make sure it’s completely coated. I say mix because I just tossed it around with my spatula instead of sticking my hands in. Let sit in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.
While your chicken in marinating prepare your salad.Ā 
Approximately 3-4 cups of greens, any kind you like. I used a pre-mixed bag from the store with spinach & spring leaves.Ā 
1-2 Hearts of palm (not the jars just 1-2 of the vegetable)
Red onion-thinly slicedĀ 
Tomato-thinly slicedĀ 
Totally up to you but I don’t like having big pieces of lettuce in my salads so I chop everything. After you chop (or not) your lettuce mix with the hearts of palm, onions and tomato.Ā 
Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
2 cups of olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic (if you have a garlic press now’s the time to pull it out)
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons brown sugar (this is optional, if you are using a good quality balsamic it’s not necessary but wont really hurt if you add it anyways, it will just thicken it up a bit)
Unless you like wilted lettuce I would not put the salad dressing on your salad until you are ready to serve it. Just place the dressing to the side and your salad in the fridge.

Back to the chicken. Pour about 1.5 teaspoons into a large pan and turn on to medium/medium high heat. Once warm cook chicken breasts for seven minutes on each side. Remember if your chicken is on the thicker side it may take a little bit longer to fully cook. If you have sliced them in half seven minutes should cook them perfectly. Always cut open a breast just to double check that it is in fact fully cooked.

Once your chicken is fully cook let it rest for a few minutes so the juices do not flow out which will dry your chicken out. Then you can either leave the chicken whole or thinly slice your chicken. Now you can mix your salad and the dressing together. To plate your meal I topped the salad with the chicken.

Since this is a light meal I wouldn’t suggest serving with a heavy side such as potatoes or noodles, think more along the lines of healthy. I quickly cooked up some zucchini in butter and a dash of salt and served it along side the salad. To my surprise my kids actually mixed the zucchini in with the salad and ate it that way. Who knew kids loved vegetables!

The final result:Ā 

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