I'm still persevering on my Dangerous Days Diet. I lost 3 pounds and now my body thinks it must prevent my imminent death from starvation by responding to the slightest food provocation. Have you ever really noticed how many commercials feature food? I need something filling at times like this, low calorie, and
quick. And it should take a considerable amount of time to chew, giving my brain time to get satiated, and my jaws to tire. So, it didn't matter if the food was fabulous---I just needed to eat something healthy before I gave in to the insane voice in my mind yelling, "Go get a Double-Double In-And-Out Burger now!!!" Thus, I was happy to discover that this dish of Chicken Salad, With Cumin Scented Carrot Riata was quite delicious, fast, and required lots of chewing. I used a store bought rotisserie chicken, because I can control myself around them. If I bake a chicken myself, I peel all the crispy skin off and eat it, as soon as it comes out of the oven. Not so with a store bought chicken, the skin is always forgettable. In fact, I'm starting to lose control just thinking about a freshly roasted chicken, with crackly skin and juicy meat......
Herbs and spices turn this simple recipe into something special. The carrot riata has cumin seed and cilantro, and the chicken salad contains fresh mint, ground cumin, and more cilantro. I love all of them, but it seemed that the ground cumin made the biggest impact on the taste. I go through quite a bit of cumin each year, particularly in Mexican and Indian dishes. Try adding a teaspoon of it to rice cooked in stock. I'm submitting this recipe to Weekend Herb Blogging, which was created by the wonderful Kalyn at Kalyn's Kitchen, but is being hosted this week by The Expatriate Chef at The Expatriate's Kitchen.
I changed the original recipe to make it lower in calories. The original recipe called for whole milk yogurt, but I substituted non-fat Greek yogurt. I also reduced the amount of olive oil, and the end result was delicious, despite their absence.
Chicken Salad With Cumin Scented Carrot Riata
(Adapted from Food & Wine)
!/2 of a roasted chicken, meat shredded (a little over 2 cups)
3-4 large radishes, thickly sliced
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped mint leaves
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Cumin-Scented Carrot Raita (See below)
Lime wedges and warmed pita
In a large bowl, toss the chicken with the radishes, onion, mint and cumin. Stir in the raita and season with salt and cayenne. Serve with lime wedges and warmed pita.
2/3 cup plain nonfat-milk greek yogurt (or regular nonfat yogurt)
1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 carrots, coarsely shredded
2 scallions, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
1 heaping tablespoon finely chopped cilantro leaves
If using regular yogurt do the following (there is no need to do this with Greek yogurt which is already very thick): Spoon the yogurt into a coffee filter set in a strainer and let stand until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Transfer the yogurt to a medium bowl.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small skillet. Add the garlic and cumin seeds and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the carrots and scallions and cook, stirring, until just heated through. Add the carrot mixture and the cilantro to the yogurt and season with salt and cayenne. Serve the riata warm, at room temperature or chilled.