Chicken salad ideas for summer

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Chicken is the perfect addition to a healthy summer salad and works well with all sorts of other ingredients, whether in a cool and stylish chicken and chickpea salad or a hot and spicy Thai-inspired dish.

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Chicken is naturally low in fat and high in protein; in addition, lean meat benefits people who are watching their weight or controlling their calorie intake. If this applies to you, simply remove the skin before serving.

For your salad base for your chicken recipes, use whichever summer vegetables you like. This includes lettuce, cucumber, uncooked fresh peas, tomatoes, grated carrot, spinach, watercress, radish – the list goes on.

Tandoori chicken salad

Mix curry powder with low-fat natural yoghurt and either stir into cooked chicken or use as a marinade for raw meat and refrigerate overnight. Add lettuce and the vegetables of your choice.

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Slimline Caesar

Traditional Caesar salad dressing is very rich and high in calories. For a slimline version, keep the base ingredient of romaine lettuce but replace the mayo with silken tofu and bake the croutons rather than frying them.

Thai chicken salad

Mix up a Thai-inspired dressing with soy, ginger, chilli, lemongrass, fish sauce, lime juice, and a touch of honey and oil. Sprinkle with sesame seeds for added protein and serve with salad leaves or add plain rice noodles to create a filling main course dish.

Barbecue chicken

Baste chicken portions with a homemade sauce made from honey, mustard, tomato sauce and olive oil, then cook the chicken portions on the barbecue or on a griddle to add smoky flavours to your meat. Serve on a bed of leaves and summer vegetables.

Chicken and chickpeas

Chickpeas, which are packed full of fibre, folate, iron and other vitamins, work well with chicken. Serve with a yoghurt-based dressing, baby spinach, coriander, and a little chilli and lemon for a middle-eastern inspired salad.

Top tips

Resources such as http://food-tales.com/food-recipes/chicken/ have plenty hints, tips, recipes and videos to inspire you.

Finally, mix your own dressings instead of going for shop-bought options, which tend to be much higher in salt, sugar and fat, and make swaps such as replacing mayonnaise with natural yoghurt Marinating the meat before cooking will add plenty of flavour and help you to cut down on additional dressings.

Written by Alex

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