Simple Paleo: Chinois Chicken Salad

Chinois Chicken.jpg

By Suzanne 

Dinning out is often challenging to persons adhering to Paleolithic nutrition.  I was delighted to order a Chinois Chicken Salad (pictured above) at a local burger joint, Lil H Burger in Denver, Colorado.  If you have an opportunity to visit this restaurant simply request the wontons be held from your salad and order the dressing on the side.  The salad was so tasty I omitted the dressing completely. 

Following is my attempt to recreate this gem at home beginning with the grilled boneless chicken breast. 

The chicken breast is the centerpiece of this simple salad and careful selection and preparation of the meat is essential to serving a delicious meal.  Cook's Illustrated reports that the typical American consumes approximately 84 pounds of chicken per year and the majority of sales in stores are for boneless chicken breasts.  In taste-tests Cook's Illustrated (2012) recommends the Bell & Evan's air chilled boneless, skinless chicken breasts for overall quality, taste, and texture.  I purchased the local Whole Foods organic skinless chicken breasts with an animal welfare rating of 2.  When purchasing prepackaged chicken breasts check the ingredient list and be aware that "injected" or "enhanced" chicken breasts may dilute the taste of the chicken with sodium, broth, and water. 

The breasts for this salad are lightly salted and peppered prior to cooking.  I use a Panini pan to grill chicken breasts; however, the chicken breasts may also be gently sautéed in olive oil in a conventional pan or prepared on the grill with internal temperature of the breasts reaching 160 degrees.  I encourage you to use your favored method of preparation.  After cooking allow the breasts to rest 10 minutes after cooking and prior to serving on the salad.  

Salad-serves 4 

  • 1 5 ounce container organic baby romaine greens, rinsed
  • 1 cup organic green cabbage- shredded coarsely
  • 2 organic granny smith apples thinly sliced (16 slices per apple)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds (optional)
  • 4 grilled chicken breasts sliced with a diagonal cut (this technique is called “fanning”)

Mustard vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 turn of celtic sea salt from salt mill (large pinch)
  • 1 tsp. organic french thyme (dried)

Combine ingredients for vinaigrette in mini food processor and mix for 15 seconds.  Allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes prior to serving.  I served this dressing on the side to allow for individual choice and preference regarding the amount of dressing per salad.  The remaining dressing may be refrigerated for up to one week.

In a large mixing bowl combine romaine and shredded cabbage mixing gently, refrigerate prior to serving.  Slice apples approximately 10 minutes prior to assembling the salad to prevent browning of fruit.  Set cranberries and sesame seeds to the side en mise. 

Prepare four plates.  Distribute salad greens evenly on plates into four servings.  Sprinkle cranberries and sesame seeds (optional) evenly over salad.  Apply apple slices in circular pattern.  Complete the salad with individual sliced chicken breasts placed on the greens.  Serve and Enjoy with mustard vinaigrette served on the side.

Substitutions

I received positive comments from my family about this salad- most especially the chicken breast reaffirming my philosophy that product quality is crucial to successful cooking.  One possible substitution is kiwi and walnuts for the apples and sesame seeds.  The basic recipe is a simple palette for your special touch. Enjoy!

Initially published 9/5/12

Sunday Image: “Fantasy-like landscape” of the Carina Nebula

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope peers into the central region of the Carina Nebula where birthing stars create overlapping bubbles of hot gas. This 50-light-year-wide view is among the largest panoramic images taken by Hubble. As described on HubbleSite:

“The fantasy-like landscape of the nebula is sculpted by the action of outflowing winds and scorching ultraviolet radiation from the monster stars that inhabit this inferno.”

The 2015 Corporate Leaders in Renewable Energy

Corporate interest in utility-scale renewable energy is heating up. According to CleanTechnica, six Fortune 500 companies reached purchase agreements for solar and wind power in 2015. Hopefully we are witnessing a race for renewable energy megawatts. The results so far -

These six companies ordered a total 710 megawatts of renewable energy this year, which by a current average of 164 homes/MW is enough to power approximately 116,000 homes.  Three of the companies are in the technology industry, one in the auto industry, and one in healthcare.  The current leader, Dow Chemical, is in the chemical industry.

Hearty congratulations to these companies for leading the way!

The year is still young. It’s time to hear from other Fortune 500 companies. 

The grandeur of North America’s Great Sand Dunes

Among the Earth’s many fascinating nooks and crannies, Great Sands Dunes National Park & Preserve stands apart for its rugged grandeur. Hugging the eastern edge of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range in southern Colorado, this 330 square-mile dune field contains the tallest sand dunes in North America. Protected as a national monument in 1932, this wondrous landscape became the Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve in 2004.

The extensive volume of sand comprising this park is believed to have originated in a vast lake, which was formed from glacial runoff at the end of the last ice age. As this lake dried, forceful winds picked up the sand that was left behind and deposited it along the eastern edge of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, where it accumulated over thousands of years.

These days drivers entering the Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve along its southern access are regularly astonished by the vista that greets them. Among its hundreds of dunes, five stand over 700 feet tall and more than thirty tower upwards of 600 feet. Hiking the Great Sand Dunes, either the smaller dunes at the edge of the park or one of the taller dunes, is an activity not to be missed. A round trip hike from the Dunes Parking Lot to the giant High Dune should last no more than two hours. And a 6-mile round trip hike to the colossal Star Dune will generally take around five hours.

Epic, almost surreal in their grandeur, the Great Sand Dunes stand as a testament to the mighty forces of nature, showing us how over time wind and water can build breath-taking mountains from the tiniest of stones. We’re fortunate to possess such a reminder of the power of nature and the fragility of its works, the appreciation of which may reveal to us anew the delicate beauty of this world in which we live.

John Oró & John Michael Oro

Donny’s advice on Paleo dinning with friends

   Credit: PaleononPaleo.com

   Credit: PaleononPaleo.com

Donny, an undergraduate student at Ohio State University, lost 40 lbs after 6 months on the Paleo diet. She experienced many other benefits as well, including, “unblemished skin, healthier hair and nails, endless energy… and a great night’s sleep every single night.” Like most college students, she enjoys a good dinner party or a night out. However, she found it hard to adhere to the Paleo diet when dining with friends. Her advice as reported in PaleoNonPaleo:

1. Don’t let your new choices affect your social life. Don’t decline dinner party invitations, just offer to bring something to the party that you know you’ll be able to eat.

2. My friends and I used to spend an exorbitant amount of money going out for nights on the town including dinner and drinks. Now, at my suggestion, we spend a lot more of those nights cooking dinner together at one of our apartments and then watching a movie or sitting around a table playing a board game. It’s really brought us closer, and we all agree that we have a lot more fun now.

3. If you’re dining out, outline the basics for your waiter. Most restaurants are a lot more accommodating than you think that they are, and will happily cook your food in olive oil and avoid feeding you gluten. On that same note, a lot of restaurants have gluten-free menus that aren’t advertised. I can usually find lots of paleo options (or options that can be made paleo) on those.

Read about Donny at PaleoNonPaleo.

Find more Success Stories here

Mark Sisson on the Primal lifestyle

Mark Sisson, of MarksDailyApple.com, writes about "tapping into our genetic recipe for health, happiness, and fulfillment" in his book The Primal Connection. Here is a brief section from the Introduction on moving from "the age of distractions" to a "healthy, grounded life."

In the age of distractions, relentless stress, strained relationships, and overemphasized materialism, we often try to rationalize our way toward some precipitous point of balance. We follow regimens. We manage our time and relationships. We pencil in physical activities. We compartmentalize our needs and anxieties. For all the comforts and conveniences, the innovations and the accommodations, something about this whole picture of modern living isn't working for us. For all our knowledge, we impose an increasingly narrow, shallow definition on well being. 
So, what makes for a healthy, grounded life, anyway? What does it genuinely mean to thrive, to feel satisfied and fulfilled? We assume the answers are to be found in further progress: a new medication, a more elaborate gadget, the latest fitness class, or a social trend. The truth is, the answers we seek are often not that complicated. 
What if it isn’t a failure of progress but the frustration of some unmet meed at the cellular level? What if we entertain the notion that we aren’t - all of us as a hominid species - living the lives we were designed to live? Forget the caves and the skins and matted hair for a minute. I’m talking about a life of physical challenge but ample leisure. I’m talking about living by the natural ebb and flow of light and darkness, season to season. I’m talking about living in smaller groups. I’m talking about play and creativity and getting dirt under our fingernails - a life of the raw senses and and overlapping of the self with the natural environment.

Related Post: Book: The Primal Connection

ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE

French girl becomes blind due to clouding of her lenses -

Beauty in a world beyond light -

A young German soldier avoids life in a coal mine -

Since childhood, he is fascinated by sending & capturing of messages beyond visible light -

Radio -

Their paths cross - 

World War II, thus some harsh episodes -

An ultimately tense tale in a world hopefully gone by -

LocalHarvest: Making fresh locally grown food easy to find

Looking for fresh food grown locally? The LocalHarvest online directory helps you find “over 30,000 family farms and farmers markets, along with restaurants and grocery stores that feature local food.” Over 7 million people search the directory yearly “to find local food, farm events, and family farmer-grown specialty products.”  Using the sites Google Map, you can search by farm, farmers market, Grocery/Co-op, restaurant or more. You can also search by product, and best of all, by city or zip code. 

Take a look and see what you can find. If you grow locally, get registered to be included.

Book: The Sixth Extinction

Just started reading The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert, a writer for The New Yorker. (Her previous book was Field Notes from A Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change.)

The following few paragraphs from the Prologue give you an idea of the subject matter and her writing style. Here she traces our early history from our spread out of Africa to our modern ability to drill for energy and its Earth changing consequences:

Although a land animal, our species – ever inventive – crosses the sea. It reaches islands inhabited by evolution’s outliers: birds that lay foot-long eggs, pig-sized hippos, giant skinks. Accustomed to isolation, these creatures are ill equipped to deal with the newcomers or their fellow travelers (mostly rats). Many of them, too, succumb.

The process continues, in fits and starts, for thousands of years, until the species, no longer so new, has spread to practically every corner of the globe. At this point, several things happen more or less at once that allow Homo sapiens, as it has come to call itself, to reproduce at an unprecedented rate. In a single century the population doubles; then it doubles again, and then again. Vast forests area razed. Humans do this deliberately, in order to feed themselves. Less, deliberately, they shift organisms from one continent to another, reassembling the biosphere.

Meanwhile, an even stranger and more radical transformation is under way. Having discovered subterranean reserves or energy, humans begin to change the composition of the atmosphere. This in turn, alters the climates and the chemistry of the oceans. Some plants and animals adjust by moving. They climb mountains and migrate toward the poses. But a great many- at first hundreds, then thousands, and finally perhaps millions – find themselves marooned. Extinction rates soar, and the texture of life changes.

Evidence for Paleo foods continues to grow: Almonds

IMAGE: Daniel Schwen

IMAGE: Daniel Schwen

Science World Report reviews a new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association on snacking on muffins versus almonds in overweight middle-aged adults with elevated LDL cholesterol:

While past evidence has shown that eating almonds can improve heart health, the researchers decided to investigate this phenomenon a bit further. They conducted 12-week, randomized, controlled clinical studies. In all, 52 overweight, middle-aged adults who had a high total and LDL cholesterol but were otherwise healthy participated. These volunteers ate cholesterol-lowering diets that were identical; the only difference is that one group was given a daily snack of 1.5 ounces of whole natural almonds, while the other group was given a banana muffin that provided the same number of calories.

According to one of the studies authors:

Our research found that substituting almonds for a high-carbohydrate snack improved numerous heart health risk factors, including the new finding that eating almonds reduced belly fat. Choosing almonds as a snack may be a simple way to help fight the onset of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.