Salads for lunch, sure, I do it often. But for dinner? Nope. Not for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love salads and I have them as the appetizer portion of my dinner, just not as my main course. For my main course, I tend to like my dinners a little “meatier” (pun intended).
When the days get warmer and longer, I love to get outside and use my grill as much as possible. One of the meals I turn to is what I call “Chicken Chop”. The secret to making this more than just an ordinary grilled chicken salad and a dish worthy of calling “dinner” is the marinating of the chicken AND the vegetables as well as chopping the vegetables as close to the same size as possible. This is kind of like a summertime chicken Milanese. Haven’t I told you I wasn’t reinventing the wheel?
This is a dish that you can get creative with. Substitute flank steak, shrimp, or even salmon for the chicken if you prefer. And you can swap any marinade, raw vegetable and reduced fat cheese for the ones I included. Chopped canned artichokes or hearts of palm also work well here.
So get chopping and start creating your own “chop”.
- 1 cup dijon vinaigrette, or any low fat or fat free balsamic vinaigrette divided
- 3 garlic cloves, minced (or equivalent jarred)
- 24 oz thinly sliced boneless skinless chicken breast halves or regular chicken breast halves pounded thin*
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half or quarters
- ¼ cup red onion, chopped
- 2 Persian cucumbers (or 1 English cucumber), diced
- ½ cup grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
- Preheat your grill to medium heat.
- In a resealable plastic bag combine, ½ cup vinaigrette and garlic.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper and marinate the chicken by adding it to the plastic bag; seal the bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 30 minutes-2 hours.
- In a medium sized bowl combine all of your vegetables and add ¼ cup of the salad dressing. Combine and let it marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or longer.
- Grill the chicken, turning once, about 5 minutes on the first side and then flip over and cook for about 3 additional minutes, until chicken is done.
- Transfer to a plate and top each chicken breast with chopped salad.
- Drizzle with cheese and remaining ¼ cup of vinaigrette if desired.