New year, new recipes! This week, we are trying out some recipes from the Bon Appetit Food Lover's Cleanse, as well as some other healthy recipes to reset a bit after lots of holiday indulgence. Last night, we made delicious lemongrass chicken thighs alongside a super colorful kale salad and brown rice. The chicken is very easy, especially if you purchase the lemongrass and ginger pre-pureed in tubes at the supermarket. It's a little more expensive, but I love this shortcut because it encourages me to use these ingredients way more often (and there's no waste from leftovers as the purees keep in the fridge pretty much indefinitely). After a quick soak in the marinade, the chicken is roasted and broiled until nicely browned. I love this method of making chicken thighs, as they end up full of flavor and don't dry out.
As good as the chicken was, I'd say the kale salad is the star of this plate. Lacinato kale is ideal for this dish as it wilts down more easily, but we could only find curly kale at the market and it worked just fine -- it just takes a bit more muscle to break it down in the "massaging" step. Green mango goes really well with the kale, although ripe mango would be great too. Shredded carrot adds even more color and toasted cashews add a bit of crunch. Yum! The salad is even better the next day, so don't be afraid of leftovers.
Lemongrass Chicken (adapted from Bon Appetit)
4 T lemongrass puree
1 T ginger puree
1 shallot, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or more -- there is plenty of marinade)
1. Whisk together the lemongrass and ginger purees, the shallot, the salt, the turmeric, and the coconut milk. Add the chicken to the marinade and chill at least 1 hour (up to 1 day).
2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Shake excess marinade off the chicken and arrange in a single layer on a foil-lined, oiled baking sheet. Roast 15 minutes.
3. Flip the chicken, turn on the broiler, and cook until golden brown, 2-4 minutes. Keep a close eye to make sure the chicken does not burn! Serve with kale salad (recipe below) and brown rice.
Kale Salad with Mango (adapted from Heather Pierce and Erin Stutland)
1 large bunch of kale or 2 smaller bunches of kale
4 T olive oil, divided
Sprinkle of salt
1 green mango, diced very small
1/2 cup toasted cashew pieces
1 T Dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
1. Rinse the kale and pat dry. Tear off teh stems, and then tear or cut into small pieces. Add to a large bowl along with 1 T of the oil and the salt, and massage until tender (2-3 minutes). Curly kale will take more work, while lacinato kale will wilt down more quickly
2. Peel the carrot and grate into the salad. Add the diced mango and toasted cashews.
3. In a small jar, combine the remaining 3 T olive oil, zest and juice of the lemon, the olive oil, and the honey. Screw the lid on tightly and shake to combine.
4. Toss the dressing with the salad.