I like to plan ahead, even if things don’t always work out that way. Sometimes half the fun is in the planning, such as a vacation or an upcoming weekend. And sometimes the anticipation is better than the reality LOL! I do a lot of food planning – classes, family meals for the week, and holidays, for example. It’s truly one of my favorite things to do and I love thinking about how everyone will enjoy a particular meal or recipe.
Something happens to me when a new season begins on the calendar. I really shift my perspective and think about how I can adapt to become more in tune with nature’s new energy. The easiest way to do this is to change the foods that I buy and eat. We used to put on weight during the winter because we intentionally needed to pad ourselves with extra fat to keep ourselves warm. I did the same but by unintentionally eating too much chocolate over the holidays. How’s that for staying in synch with nature?? Ooops!
The first day of Spring just passed and I feel like it’s a new year, which it is in nature. So much growth, rebirth, cleaning out, detoxing is all happening. I am dusting off my grill and looking forward to inviting friends over and eating outdoors. I aways have one “safe” spring/summer entertaining recipe up my sleeve and here’s my latest.
I’m calling it a Greek-style Grilled Chicken Paillard. Chicken paillard is a pounded piece of protein, in this case chicken. It is the first chicken dish I taught my older daughter how to make because it’s quick and easy and really versatile. Normally I serve it over arugula with parmesan, lemon and olive oil. Very classic and simple. But everyone I know loves Mediterranean flavors and a good Greek salad, so I thought I would combine the two and this was a HUGE hit in my house with my kids and me. I also made it for a couple of girlfriends and they deemed it “the perfect meal.” Wow! It kind is — very flavorful with garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, oregano and olive oil PLUS all the juiciness from tomatoes, olives and onions. I am so looking forward to serving this in the coming months and beyond.
“You never know if you’re going to like something until you try it” is an expression I use all the time in my kitchen with both my picky son and my adult students. I tried a Moink Box for the first time last fall and I was very impressed. You can read up about the inspiring story behind Moink here. The company is both a source for humanely-raised and ethically-sourced meats and fish for the consumer, as well as an outlet for grass-based farmers to sell their proteins. I really struggle with the idea of buying organic meat and poultry from the supermarket when I know it’s from a mega farm. But I also don’t have time to run around visiting local farms as much as I love the idea of that. But I have been so happy with the quality of the proteins in the Moink Box, that I have continued to subscribe.
Moink boxes are customizable which is key for me since we don’t eat pork or lamb. So I was easily able to swap those out for wild salmon, which is my favorite animal protein. Everything comes frozen, which is awesome for working mamas, like me. No time to run to the grocery store? Pull it out of the freezer. But the most important thing is that all the proteins are grass-fed/pastured/wild, humanely-raised without antibiotics on small farms. You can see the contents of one of my Moink Boxes above. I used the boneless, skinless chicken breasts in this recipe, but I have tried multiple types of beef and salmon. All high quality! A Moink Box would make a great housewarming gift or Father’s Day gift. Use SPRING18 to get $15 off your first box order! And grilling season is just around the corner, so even if your grill is covered in snow right now, it won’t be for long!
I love love love seeing your creations. Please tag me @pamelasalzman #pamelasalzman !
- 4 Tablespoons unrefined, extra-virgin olive oil plus extra for drizzling
- 4 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 large lemons)
- 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons dried oregano, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt or sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 bone-less skin-less chicken breasts
- 2 Persian cucumbers or ½ English cucumber, diced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
- ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion or pickled onion (there's a recipe for pickled shallots in my book on page 109)
- 2 Tablespoons roughly chopped kalamata olives
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese or avocado (or both)
- Heat the grill to medium. In a screw-top jar combine the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Shake until combined. Measure 2 Tablespoons for the salad and set aside the remainder for the marinade.
- Place the chicken breasts one at a time in between two pieces of plastic wrap or in a large ziploc bag and pound to a ¼-inch thickness on a cutting board. You can use a meat mallet or a rolling pin. The idea is to get the chicken to an even thickness all around. Remove from the plastic and place in a glass baking dish and add the reserved marinade. Allow to sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes.
- Make the Greek salad topping. In a medium bowl, combine the cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, kalamata olives and toss with the reserved 2 Tablespoons of dressing. Top with the feta (or avocado, if using) and set aside.
- Grill the chicken until grill marks appear and the chicken releases easily from the grill, about 3-4 minutes. Turn the chicken and grill the other side until cooked through, about 2 minutes longer.
- Place the chicken on a platter and top with salad.