Chicken Burgers with Shallots, Mustard, and Capers; Japanese Cucumber Salad with Cilantro, Mint, and Ginger Rice Wine Vinegar Dressing

By Ira,

This is a very easy and delicious meal. All you need to do is add shallots, mustard, capers, and lemon zest to ground chicken, form it into patties and cook it. For the side dish, cucumbers need to be finely sliced lengthwise, then topped with cilantro, mint, and then the ginger rice wine dressing.

First, prepare the plate of cucumbers, and make the dressing, but don’t pour it over the cucumbers yet. Then make the burgers, and while they’re cooking, prepare the toppings, toast the buns, and drizzle the dressing over the cucumbers.

Chicken Burgers with Shallots, Mustard, and Capers

Serves 4

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 2 tablespoons capers, minced
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1 generous tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons coconut or grapeseed oil
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • Plus Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard to serve

In a medium bowl, add the chicken, capers, shallots, dijon, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Mix gently. Form into 4 equal patties.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil, then the patties. If you have a smaller skillet, then you can cook 2 patties at a time. Cook for 5-7 minutes on one side,

flip, and cook the other side for another 5-7 minutes or until well done. Serve with slightly toasted burger buns, and any other toppings you like.

Japanese Cucumber Salad with Cilantro, Mint, and Ginger Rice Wine Vinegar Dressing

Serves 4 – adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Happy Days with the Naked Chef

  • 4 small cucumbers
  • a small handful of mint leaves
  • a small handful of cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1-inch size piece of ginger, grated
  • zest of 1/2 lime

Finley slice the cucumbers using a mandolin, or a potato peeler. Arrange it on a plate. Top it with torn leaves of mint and cilantro.

In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, rice wine vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar, ginger, and lime zest.

Drizzle the dressing over the cucumbers and serve.

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Buffalo Chicken Salad

By Ira,

If you think salads are boring, you should try this one. It’s delicious and light. The chicken is seasoned with smoked paprika and chile powder, then tossed with blue cheese and all the other vegetables. And don’t feel guilty about adding too much dressing: it’s just yogurt, buttermilk, onion, and hot sauce. You will notice that you’re eating all the colors of the rainbow in the one salad.

Serves 4 – Adapted from Clean Eating magazine

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4 medium breasts)
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons coconut oil, or grapeseed oil
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped into big chunks (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup low fat plain Greek-style yogurt
  • 5 tablespoons low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 or 1 1/2 tablespoon hot sauce (or buffalo)
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 head red leaf lettuce, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, left whole or halved
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, julienned or shredded
  • 2 oz blue cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
  • salt

Note: don’t substitute plain paprika for the smoked one. The smoked paprika gives it an amazingly deep flavor. If you can’t find red leaf lettuce, just substitute it with the romaine lettuce like I did. But by using the red leaf lettuce, you will have all the colors of the rainbow.

Place the chicken on a cutting board, cover it with cling wrap and pound the pieces so they become thinner (you can even cut the chicken in half so each chicken breast turns into 2). Sprinkle the pieces evenly on both sides with smoked paprika, chile powder, and salt.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 teaspoon oil, then the chicken pieces, and cook on each side for 5-7 minutes depending on its thickness.

When done, set it aside on a clean cutting board for a few minutes before slicing it into strips. If your skillet is too small, then cook two chicken breasts at a time and keep the cooked ones warm under foil.

Meanwhile, in a blender, add the yogurt, buttermilk, onion, and 1 tablespoon hot sauce.

Blend until smooth. Taste to see if you’d like to add the additional 1/2 tablespoon hot sauce (I did because the buttermilk and the yogurt mellow the spiciness of the hot sauce).

Divide the lettuce between 4 plates, then top it with the bell pepper, tomatoes, carrots, and cheese.

Drizzle the dressing on the salad.

Top with the chicken, then drizzle more dressing on top if you wish.

Hoisin Glazed Chicken Wraps with Romaine Lettuce and Cucumber

By Ira,

This meal comes together very quickly and is very delicious. You can even prepare any leftover wraps, wrap them in cling wrap, and have them cold the next day for lunch.

Serves 4-6 – Adapted from Bon Appetit

  • 2 teaspoons oil such as canola
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch long strips
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 bunches green onions, diced
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, minced
  • 2-4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 6 flour tortillas
  • 2 bunches romaine lettuce
  • 1 large cucumber, or 2-3 small small ones, cut into 2-inch long strips

Note: some hoisin sauce brands are thicker and more concentrated than others. You can start by adding 2 tablepsoons hoisin sauce, taste it and then increase the amount accordingly.

Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, then add the chicken, and stir until almost cooked about 5-7 minutes.

Then add the green onions and stir-fry for 2 minutes.

Then add the cilantro and garlic and stir-fry for 1 more minute.

Add 2 tablespoons water and the hoisin sauce.

Stir for 1 more minute.

Warm the tortillas either in the microwave for a few seconds, or heat them on a dry skillet.

To assemble, place the romaine lettuce and cucumber (divided into 6) on each tortilla.

Then add the chicken, wrap and enjoy.