I know it is way past the Super Bowl now and I had plans to write this much sooner if not for the lack of internet this week.
Every January/February it is the same struggle. You try to get back on track for eating healthy and watching calories. Then the events start to hit again. This year it was Super Bowl, Mardi Gras, Chinese New Year, and Valentines day all wrapped into a short two week period. Not that we celebrate all of these events but it can get difficult to stay on top of healthy eating.
So this year I decided to do something different for the super bowl: a gluten-free salad. Now before you get upset or confused let me tell you what was in it: chicken breast in buffalo wing sauce, romaine lettuce, pickled red cabbage, blue cheese crumbles, and homemade potato chips for croutons. Does that sound better?
Let’s just say my husband did not complain. So how did I make it?
Step one: Well it does take some planning to make the red cabbage salad. I grew up near Northwoods Inn, a ski themed steakhouse in Southern California. There they have a famous red cabbage salad that my husband learned to enjoy. So I looked online for as close a recipe as possible.
Here is the recipe I used: http://melissasloveoffood.com/2011/06/02/almost-famous-cabbage-salad/
Even though this recipe calls for only 4 days of it sitting I found it was better after almost a full week but I am sure that depends on how thinly you slice the cabbage.
Step Two: To make the buffalo chicken I use all white breast meat. My husband is not a fan of working around bones. I cut 2 large chicken breast into cutlets or cubes removing any access fat.
Then I put the meat into a ziplock bag and add the buffalo sauce ingredients:
1/4 C-1/2C red hot pepper sauce
1 tsp pepper and salt
1Tbs garlic and corn starch
and 1/4 C butter (I use low-fat butter spread).
These measurements can change depending on how garlicky or spicy you want your sauce to be. More butter means less heat, more garlic or hot pepper sauce means a spicier sauce.
I let that sit and marinade for at least and hour in the fridge. Then I heat up a pan or skillet with vegetable oil and place the chicken in it. I turn the burner on low, put a lid on it, and let it cook down. If you let it cook on high for too long the sauce will break down and the hot pepper sauce will get very spicy.
This usually takes 10 minute or so but may be longer depending on the size of your cutlets and temperature of your burner. I double check them to make sure they are done by cutting into one cube. The chicken is better if you let it sit and cool a little before serving this way the corn starch has a chance to help bind the sauce together.
Step Three: I make the croutons as the same time as the chicken cooks. For this I use a handful of fingerling potatoes or you can use baby red potatoes:
1. I preheated the oven at 350 F and cut the potatoes into as thin of slices as possible.
2. Then wrapped a baking sheet in tin foil and drizzled it with olive oil.
3. Laid the potatoes evenly and lightly salted with season salt.
4. They baked for about 30 minutes to 45 minutes.
Some were ready sooner than others- so after 30 minutes I checked every 10 minutes. When they are crispy and with little to no bend they are done.
To create the salad I cut up romaine lettuce, red onion, and carrot and mixed this together with blue cheese dressing. Then began to layer the goodies: red cabbage, then the Buffalo Chicken, blue cheese crumbles, and potato croutons on top.
What do you think an acceptable alternative?