January 12, 2008

Healthy Meal: Chicken-Beet Salad Sandwiches with Onions and Goat Cheese

I picked up some beets at the farmer’s market at Lincoln Center, and then went searching for a way to use them other than just plain as a side dish. What I came up with is an adaptation of a recipe I found over at Food Network under a ridiculously cheesy name. I’ve modified it quite a bit, so I’m going to post my own full version of the recipe.

Take a beet (~85g), peel it, dice it, and boil it for 10-15 mins. Don’t let it get mushy – you want it to be slightly al dente so your sandwich has some substance. While the beets are cooking, mix 1 tsp dijon mustard, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp black pepper, and 1 tbsp cider vinegar. I put them in a teeny tiny tupperware container and just shake it up.

Once the beets are done, drain. In a good-sized bowl, mix the beets with 3 oz chunk chicken breast (found in canned goods near the tuna. I was trying to use up my chunk chicken breast and I also wanted it to have a chicken salad consistency, but you could also use grilled chicken breast if you diced it small enough, and it would have a lot less sodium). Chop two slices of red onion and add those. You could add other veggies here if you want – I didn’t, but in the future I’d try green peppers, celery, or maybe even 1/2 apple. Once it’s all mixed together, pour the dressing over and stir again to combine. Next, crumble in one serving of Trader Joe’s Chevre Lite (it’s goat cheese that only has 35 cals per serving! Amazing). Stir one last time.

Get out two mini whole wheat pitas, and slice one end of each so you can stuff them. Then, do just that – stuff them until you’ve used up all your chicken salad. Pop them in the toaster for 5 minutes, and you’re done.

Nutrition facts
273 calories for both pitas stuffed full

Review: 5/5
This is SO filling – you’ll think you’re done eating after one of the mini pitas, and then you realize you still have a whole second one! And at only 273 calories for BOTH, it’s a real calorie bargain. The beets and goat cheese add a great flavor, and the goat cheese and mustard make it taste very rich and creamy. Finally, toasting the sandwiches a bit gives the pita bread a bit of crunch that really makes you enjoy the sandwich (as opposed to just eating the mix as a salad or something). This was a very quick recipe – took me about 20 minutes total. It’s not impressive at least as far as presentation (come on, it’s a sandwich), so I wouldn’t necessarily break it out for company, but the flavors are awesome so it’s really delicious, and might impress your family at least. Yummy! I want to make this often.


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