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Green salad with Dates, Smoked Almonds, and Goat Cheese This salad has a lot of ingredients, but it is well worth the work. Smoked almonds and chopped dates add strong smoky/salty/sweet flavors to the crunchy lettuce, cabbage, and celery mix. Beans, chickpeas, and shredded precooked chicken provide protein, and crumbled goat cheese acts as a creamy accent. A simple red wine vinaigrette is included in the recipe, but feel free to improvise - just about any vinaigrette will do. Made ahead of time on Sunday, it makes for a easy, healthy work lunch and will last for nearly a week properly stored in the fridge. For a vegetarian version, just omit the chicken. Salad:

1 head romaine lettuce, shredded
1 head leaf lettuce, shredded
1/2 small head red cabbage, shredded very fine
3-4 stalks celery, chopped

Toppings:

Cooked chicken, shredded
1/2 cup dried dates, pitted and chopped in quarters
1/2 cup smoked salted almonds, roughly chopped
1 12-ounce can chickpeas and/or 1 12-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and well drained
4 ounces goat cheese crumbled
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Optional: 6 shallots OR 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
Avocado

Dressing:

1/4 c. red wine vinegar
2 Tbs. mustard
1/2 Tbs. honey or fruit jam
1 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbs. olive oil


To make ahead: Mix the salad ingredients (washed and thoroughly dried) together. Store in large plastic containers lined with paper towels. Top with the finely chopped shallots or red onion, dates, almonds, and legumes.

Per serving: Toss with the goat cheese, top with chicken and/or avocado, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add dressing to taste

Whisk the jam/honey, mustard, and seasoning together. Add vinegar, stir well, and slowly add oil while whisking until emulsified.

Original Recipe

This chicken dish is highly spiced with coriander, cumin, paprika, and cinnamon, and slightly sweet from a little brown sugar and a lot of chopped dates. Starts out on the stove & finishes in the oven.

Chicken:
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
8 chicken thighs (about 2 pounds), skinned
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/4 cups shallots or sweet onions, peeled and quartered
1 1/4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
12 whole pitted dates, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
Couscous:
3/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 cup uncooked couscous
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Preheat oven to 375°.

To prepare chicken, combine first 9 ingredients in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in flour mixture. Reserve remaining flour mixture.

Heat oil in a large ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes on one side. Turn chicken; remove skillet from heat. Combine reserved flour mixture and shallots; add to skillet. Stir in 1/4 cup broth and dates. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until chicken is done.

Remove chicken from skillet. Place skillet over medium heat; stir in 1 cup broth. Cook 1 minute; stir in cilantro. Return chicken to pan. Cover; remove pan from heat.

To prepare couscous, combine 3/4 cup broth, water, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon cumin in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Stir in couscous. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Stir in almonds. Serve with chicken and sauce.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 thighs, 1/4 cup sauce, and 3/4 cup couscous)
Nutritional Information
Calories: 590 (24% from fat)
Fat: 15.9g (sat 3g,mono 7.2g,poly 3.3g)
Original recipe