Most of my recipes are inspired by particular requests from my friends and family. More often than not, someone asks me to recreate a dish into a healthier version so they can stay on track with their personal health goals. I love supporting my friends and family and below is a hearty salad that your family will be sure to enjoy!
This week a friend asked me to recreate a version of jerk chicken that he could enjoy in a salad. He wanted to start eating salads, but more so, wanted one that would fill him up. He wanted to eat healthier but also keep his hunger levels under control. So with a task at hand, I created a basic jerk marinade that you can you use on poultry and beef.
I soon discovered that most authentic Jamaican jerk marinade recipes called for ingredients either I couldn’t find in my regular grocery store or they simply weren’t available. So I created one that uses ingredients that you can find in any regular grocery store.
I used jalapeño peppers to bring the heat and allspice and nutmeg to bring the flavor (traditional spices used in jerk marinades).
I used a blender for both the marinade and the dressing– any high powered blender will do. Give it a try, I hope you enjoy it!
- Jerk Chicken Marinade:
- ½ tablespoon allspice
- ½ tablespoon nutmeg
- ½ tablespoon ground thyme
- ¼ tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¾ tablespoon coconut sugar or regular sugar
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 4 stalks scallions with green stems
- 2 whole jalapeños with seeds
- Ginger Citrus Dressing:
- ½ small avocado
- Juice of one orange
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 inch peeled ginger
- pinch of salt
- splash of apple cider vinegar
- 4 cups Arugula
- 2 cups Romaine, torn into bite size pieces
- 1 Thinly sliced shallot or ½ thinly sliced red onion
- 12 Cherry tomatoes, halved
- Place all marinade ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Place lightly salted chicken breasts into a shallow container. Cover with marinade and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
- Wash blender, place all dressing ingredients into the blender and mix until smooth. Place into a small container and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Heat grill to medium-high heat. Divide chicken pieces onto 4 skewers and grill until cooked through. About 5 to 6 minutes per side. Remove from grill and let slightly cool.
- To make salads place arugula, romaine, tomatoes and onion in serving bowls. Add one skewer per plate and top with citrus ginger dressing.
Laura Cowan is a second career dietetic student studying at Kansas State University. Her food philosophy focuses around the idea of “bio-individuality” and to approach healthy eating with primarily unprocessed whole foods.