Zucchini and Chicken Salad

Here is a great meal for a summer evening when you don’t feel like doing a lot of cooking. Only a few ingredients are required, and they combine to create a dish that tastes delicious. First you make a simple dressing out of lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. The thin slices of zucchini marinate in the dressing, which cooks the zucchini slightly thanks to the acidic lemon juice. The only actual cooking required for this recipe is the cooking of the chicken breast halves (and a quick toasting of some pecans). Tossing the warm, cooked chicken slices with the other salad ingredients helps to slightly wilt the spinach and bring the flavors together.

The best part of this meal is that it is so quick and easy to put together. I was able to get it on the table in just about 30 minutes, even with Julia playing on the kitchen floor. When I went outside to tell Brad that dinner was almost ready and he should wrap up his yard work, he couldn’t believe that it was already time to eat!

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I recommend serving the salad with some crusty bread to round out the meal.  Enjoy!

Zucchini and Chicken Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 1/4 pounds zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 8 ounces spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup toasted chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of the olive oil, the lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the zucchini and toss to coat. Let marinate while cooking the chicken.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Cook until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 7 minutes per side. Remove from the skillet and slice thin.
  3. Toss the chicken with the zucchini mixture (I did not use all of the dressing), spinach, red onion, pecans, and Parmesan cheese. Serve.

Recipe adapted from Everyday Food: Great Food Fast

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