August 1, 2011 in Features

Dinner in Minutes: Jerk seasoning puts zing in supper salad

Linda Gassenheimer, Miami Herald

A pair of salads – one with jerk-seasoned chicken, the other with berries – makes a quick, refreshing summer supper.

Jerk seasoning tossed with cooked, boneless, skinless chicken breast meat gives zip to this Caribbean-influenced dinner.

Allspice, the fruit of the pimiento tree, is the key ingredient in this Jamaican seasoning blend. True jerk recipes are grilled over pimiento branches.

Seasonal berries garnished with coconut add a sweet counterpoint to the meal, which contains 560 calories per serving with 26 percent of calories from fat.

Jerk-Seasoned Chicken Salad

10 ounces cooked chicken breast strips or cubes

2 teaspoons jerk seasoning

1 teaspoon canola oil

5 cups washed, ready-to-eat salad greens

1 cup thinly sliced celery

1 cup sliced green bell pepper

4 tablespoons reduced-fat oil and vinegar dressing

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 ripe, medium tomato cut into wedges

2 crusty sourdough rolls (1 1/2 ounces each)

Toss chicken with jerk seasoning in a small bowl. Heat oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sauté 2 minutes.

Divide lettuce between two dinner plates. Scatter celery and green pepper on top. Spoon dressing over vegetables.

Add chicken to the salad. Sprinkle cilantro on top and place tomato wedges around the edges. Serve with rolls.

Yield: 2 servings.

Nutrition per serving: 428 calories (23 percent from fat), 10.8 grams fat (1.9 grams saturated, 4.3 grams monounsaturated), 127 milligrams cholesterol, 49.3 grams protein, 37.3 grams carbohydrates, 7.2 grams fiber, 758 milligrams sodium.

Mixed Berry Salad

1 cup fresh strawberries, washed and cut in half

1 cup fresh blueberries, washed

2 tablespoons reduced-fat oil and vinegar dressing

1/4 cup flaked or shredded coconut

Mix berries in a small bowl. Toss with dressing. Divide berries between the two dinner plates and sprinkle with coconut.

Yield: 2 servings.

Nutrition per serving: 132 calories (38 percent from fat), 5.6 grams fat (3.8 grams saturated, 0.6 gram monounsaturated), 1 milligram cholesterol, 1.4 grams protein, 21.8 grams carbohydrates, 4.3 grams fiber, 40 milligrams sodium.

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