Thursday, July 18, 2013

Grilled Chicken Panzanella


I still know a few people who think carbs are the devil, and that avoiding them is the key to weight loss. I don't subscribe to this school of thought. Your body needs carbs. Carbs are not the bad guy they were once made out to be. Sure, some carbs are better for you than others. Brown rice and whole wheat pasta are better carb choices than regular pasta, white rice, and white potatoes. I would never advocate eating a box of pasta. I would advocate eating a serving of pasta, though. While it really should be whole wheat pasta, if you want that white pasta, eat it!

I believe in eating what you want, just in moderation. I don't deny myself what I want when I want it. I just eat a little bit. If, come hell or high water, I want that pasta, I'm going to eat it. Just a serving size however, and then I fill the rest of my plate with vegetables. Vegetables are my secret for not going hungry. Instead of loading up on calorie-laden side dishes, fill your plate with veggies. You still get to eat a plate full of food which makes my tummy happy, but you're eating a lot less calories. This makes my brain happy :)

One very nutritionally-confused person told me they wouldn't like this salad because it's too carb heavy. They told me I shouldn't be eating it, because of all those carbs. Sad, I thought, to go through life completely avoiding carbs. I'll continue to eat my carbs, like this salad. Because, you can simply eat low-carb the rest of the day to make up for the bread carbs. Easy peasy. And much more delicious :)

Ingredients:

1 chicken breast
4 ounces ciabatta bread, cut into cubes
1 tbsp olive oil (divided)
Salt, pepper, garlic powder
3 tomatoes, deseeded and diced
1 cucumber, deseeded and diced
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat gas grill to high heat. Brush 1/2 tbsp olive oil onto chicken breast. Season chicken breast with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. When grill is hot, turn burners to low and place chicken on the grill. Close and let cook 4 minutes. Flip chicken over. Cook for another 4 minutes. Flip twice more, cooking 1 minute on each side. Remove from heat, and let rest for 10 minutes before chopping it. Set aside.
2. Preheat broiler on oven. In a large bowl combine bread cubes with remaining olive oil, toss to coat. Season bread with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Toss well to evenly season bread. Spread bread in a single layer on a coated cookie sheet. Place under the broiler, and broil for 4-5 minutes, stirring often. Bread is complete when lightly browned on all sides. Set aside.
3. In a large salad bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumber, basil, grilled chicken, and toasted bread cubes. In a smaller bowl, thoroughly whisk together the olive oil and vinegar. Drizzle dressing over salad, toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Consume immediately!

*Recipe adapted from Cooking Light*

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