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Italian Chicken Salad




We have had some lovely weather the past couple of days.  Nice and summery weather. Not too hot, and not too cold. Just right as Goldilocks would say.  Summery salad kind of weather.  There is nothing I like more than enjoying a nice salad for my dinner sitting outside at our patio table.  Today I made an Italian Chicken Salad, inspired by the contents of my June Degustabox!


Every month I am the lucky recipient of a Degustabox.  Once a month, around the middle of the month, I am gifted with one of these lovely boxes which contain a delicious assortment of all things foodie.  I just love these boxes. Opening each one is tiny a bit like opening a Christmas gift. Always a surprise, and always filled with things that pique my interest and desire to try. Degustabox is a monthly foodie subscription service that sends out a range of 10 to 15 specially selected foodie products. I even have a code that  can give you which will  give you a £5 discount off of your first box. I will tell you about that at the end.


There's always a great mix of new products that I haven't tried before, as well as plenty of treats from more established brands. Quite often you will have the opportunity to try  new products before they arrive in the shops, so it can be a bit of a sneak peak! Each Degustabox costs only £12.99, delivery costs are included in the price, and there is no fixed contract involved. You can cancel at any time. I love getting these boxes! In my opinion, they are great value for money spent.   



One of the items in the June box was Newman's Own Italian Salad Dressing.  I love the Newman's Own dressings, and the fact that a portion of the proceeds go towards charity.  I also love the flavours of them.  They are really nice. One thing I like to do with Italian Salad Dressing in the summer is to marinade chicken breasts in it for grilling. So I created a salad around that premise, but first, here is a bit about what else was in the June Box.


TREK Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt Protein Nut Bars (3 X 40g)  1X £2.50

Crunchy roasted peanuts & whole almonds, with a sprinkling of dark chocolate chips & a touch of sea salt. TREK Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt Protein Nut Bars are packed with 10g of plant-based protein, have less than 5% of sugar and are high in fibre.

Available at Asda, Ocado, Sainsbury's, Waitrose and Amazon

This is a product I was already familiar with as I buy them all the time.  Delicious!  I had not tasted this flavour of them yet, and really enjoyed the taste.

SAVOURSMITHS Truffle and Rosemary Crisps 1 X £1.50

Fresh sprigs of Rosemary is combined with a hint of the wild, earthy and decadent taste of black truffle to create a unique snacking experience.

What can I say, I've never met a potato crisp I didn't like except for maybe prawn cocktail ones. These were no exception. Thoroughly delicious!  Moreish even.  Very crisp. I am not sure what a truffle tastes like, but I did get the rosemary flavour.

HELLMAN'S Chilli Mayonnaise fired by Tabasco 1 X £1.99

The nations favourite Hellmann's Mayonnaise combined with the iconic Tabasco brand pepper sauce to create new Hellmann's Tabasco Mayo. The perfect addition to spice up your chicken tacos, burgers, falafel wraps and everything in between.

Available at most major supermarket chains.

Next to homemade, Hellman's has always been my mayo of choice.  This was lovely with a nice heat. 

GARBANZO SNACKS Bombay Twist/Thai Sweet Chilli/Tomato Salsa £2.29

Garbanzo Snacks is a new Gourmet range of  Vegan snacks in three wonderful flavours with crunchy chickpeas, caramelised Pumpkin seeds and sweet caramelised red onions. Our Artisan kitchens use only natural ingredients, Gluten-Free with no artificial additives or preservatives. Healthy doesn't have to be boring, enjoy!

Available at Ocado.

The perfect snack for when the boss is barbecuing and you are having drinks before dinner. I have not tried them all yet, but they are nice and crunchy which is something I really like. I have tasted the Bombay Twist ones and quite liked them.


DRGN Turmeric Superdrink 1 X £1.85 

DRGN Turmeric Superdrink is an 'Asian fusion' natural energy and wellness drink, without caffeine. Inspired by the Far East, this refreshing Citrus drink is packed with pan-Asian 'superfoods', vitamins and minerals. DRGN can be enjoyed any time of the day. With less sugar and nothing artificial, DRGN is the smarter choice.

Available on drgndrink.com and on Amazon, independent grocers and cafes.  

Quite pricey for such a small can, but it did have a lovely flavour. It reminded us of Apple Cider in a way, which was rather odd as it is supposed to be citrus.  My husband really enjoyed it and found it quite refreshing.

LUCOZADE Energy Watermelon and Strawberry Cooler 1 X £1.20 

Introducing the newest great tasting flavour to the Lucozade Energy Range! Watermelon &Strawberry Cooler is a blend of refreshingly fruity flavours which will get your taste buds tingling this summer. For maximum enjoyment, chill it in the fridge before drinking.

Available at Morrison's and multiple high street and convenience stores.  

I wasn't able to taste this myself as I am a diabetic, but Todd loves Lucozade and enjoyed this new flavour.

KOLIBRI BOTANICAL DRINKS Strawberry & Basil/Cardamom & Chili 2 X £3.75
Award winning, luxury lightly sparkling botanical infusions with very low sugar and flavours tailored to taste. Made in Britain, all natural ingredients, low calorie and no artificial sweeteners.

Available on Amazon and Holland & Barrett. 

Nice drinks with beautifully different flavours. I love that they are low in calories and sugar.  The packaging is very pretty also.


THE FREE FROM KITCHEN CO Free from Choc Bar 100g/Salted Caramel Chocolate Slab
£1.50 Choc
£2.50 Salted

Here at The Free From Kitchen Co., we promise to always be gluten, wheat and milk free. Our products will suit everyone, whether its for a lifestyle choice or medical reasons, we aim to deliver fun, colourful and innovative products without compromising on quality.

Available in Tesco.   

I have not tried these yet, but hello  . . . chocolate. What can be wrong with that!

MAVERICKS Healthier Snacks for Kids $0.75

We believe every Maverick Maker should be fired up for fun an adventure, so we've created a range of healthier snacks for kids, which do just that. Pick up a pack of Poppin' Corn, Breadkicks, Fruit Brix, Smart Cookies and Fruit Laces. Always under 100 cals, always no added sugar options, and always added goodness. 

I have eaten the Poppen Corn one and it was quite nice.  Rather reminded me of those other puffed corn snacks in texture but there was a nice cheesy flavour. I think it is a positive that they are healthier for children than many of the regular snacks available today.  A bit pricey however for a child's snack and the size of the bag.


ROWNTREE'S RANDOMS  Sharing Bag 1 X £1.29

More random than a monkey playing a saxophone. Let your random side out with every pack of completely unpredictable Rowntree's Randoms. From ping-pong paddles to paintbrushes, snowflakes to saxophones, every bag contains billions of possible combinations. You'll never know quite what you are going to get!

Available in the major supermarket chains, wholesale, convenience & independent shops. 

Again I was unable to try these as I can't eat sugar.

 NEWMAN'S OWN Italian Dressing 1 X £1.75 

Our best selling original dressing with red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.

Available in the major supermarket chains. 


This was the product I chose to highlight with a recipe and what a tasty recipe it is!  A tasty dressing for a delicious recipe! 


Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are marinated in some of the Italian Salad Dressing for about an hour or so.  I pound them to an even layer first and prick them all over with a fork before marinating so that the flavours get right in there.


While the chicken is marinating I get busy with roasting my pepper, softening my sun dried tomatoes and making my cheese crisps.


Roasting peppers is really quite easy.  Just pop them onto a baking tray and bang them into a really hot oven until they look quite charred.  Remove and set aside. They will deflat and cool, and the skin will be really easy to remove.


The cheese crisps are also very easy to make and whilst optional I highly recommend making them.  They add a really nice touch.


These ones are a combination of grated Parmesan and Cheddar cheeses along with some Italian Garlic seasoning.  You put them onto a baking sheet in  tablespoon quantities and bake at a hot temperature for a few minutes.


The cheese melts and spreads out and becomes quite crisp. Very moreish.  I used to make these all the time when I worked at the Manor for luncheons and dinner parties.  They are great served with drinks also. (On their own of course!)



The salad also includes minced re-hydrated sun dried tomatoes. I really love the kick that sun-dried tomatoes bring to any dish.


As well the salad includes one of my all time favourite ingredients, especially served with chicken.  Artichokes.  Tinned artichokes, drained, quartered and dried.  Lovely.


Finally there are Italian green olives, quartered . . .  I do so adore olives.


You grill the chicken and mix it with the remaining ingredients and some more of the Italian dressing to moisten.



This gets spooned over top of the lettuces to serve, and a few cheese crisps are popped on top. Totally delightful!   This salad is a wonderful blend of flavours, textures and deliciousness!


Yield: 4 - 6
Author:

Italian Chicken Salad

Lovely salad with bits of sun dried tomato, roasted peppers, artichokes, olives and grilled chicken.

ingredients:

For the chicken:
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 120ml Italian salad dressing (1/2 cup)
You will also need:
  • 1 (400g/14oz) tin of artichoke hearts
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, skinned and cut into strips
  • 6 to 8 sun dried tomatoes
  • 12 French green olives, pitted and sliced lengthwise into quarters
  • 3 TBS minced fresh parsley
  • 300g salad greens (4 cups)
  • Your favourite Italian salad dressing to dress (about 120ml/1/2 cup)
Optional Cheese Crisp Topping:
  • 45g grated Parmesan Cheese (1/4 cup)
  • 30g grated cheddar cheese (1/4cup)
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Italian Seasoning

instructions:

How to cook Italian Chicken Salad

  1. If you are making the cheese crisps make them first. Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 7. Line a baking tray with baking paper.. Mix the two cheeses in a bowl along with the seasoning mix. Place in TBS on the baking paper, leaving at least 2 inches between each for spreading. Bake in the preheated oven for about 5 minutes until golden brown. (Watch carefully as there is literally seconds between them being brown or being burnt). Let cool on the sheet or a few minutes, then scoop off onto paper towels to cool completely. (This will also absorb any excess fat.)
  2. Put the sundried tomatoes into a bowl. Cover with boiling water. Let rest for about 15 minutes until softened. Drain well and then mince. Drain and rinse the artichoke hearts. Cut into quarters and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Pound your chicken breasts to an even thickness. Place into a bowl and cover with the Italian Salad Dressing. Leave to marinate for a couple hours. Drain well and discard the marinade. Lightly oil a grill pan, skillet or outdoor grill. Cook the chicken for 4 to 5 minutes per side, until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then cut into strips about 1/2 inch wide.
  4. Combine the minced tomatoes, grilled chicken, roasted peppers, artichoke hearts, parsley and olives in a bowl. Just before serving moisten with the Italian salad dressing. tossing to coat all of the ingredients.
  5. Place 1/4 of the salad greens on each of four chilled plates. Divide the chicken mixture amongst them, placing it on top. If desired garnish each serving with a couple of cheese crisps. Serve immediately.
Created using The Recipes Generator




It wasn't until I checked this post all over I realised that I had left out these.  Smith & Sinclair Alcoholic Gummies.  Probably because they weren't on my fact sheet.  I am not able to taste them for religious reasons but I can see where they might be fun to serve at a dinner or party for those who do. They have quite a few different flavours suitable for different occasions. To find out more click the link.


Also included in the June box was a mystery product to trial. Lentil, Corn, Pea and Black Bean Tortillas.   These were thin and crisp and had a nice flavour.  Not too salty. They were not as crisp as a regular corn tortilla, which might be a plus for some, especially if you are a person with older teeth.   They kind of reminded me of really thin and crisp corn/rice cakes.  I quite liked them personally. They were tasty and interesting.  Different, but in a good way.  I did like the idea of being able to trial a mystery product!  I hope they do it again sometime.

Many thanks to Degustabox UK for gifting me this box. I have to say I really look forward to getting my box each month. There are always lots of things in it to enjoy and new products to try out. I highly recommend. You can also tailor the boxes to your own likes and dislikes by filling in your own Taste Profile.  If you like the sound of this box, why not sign up now! I find them to be really good value for money spent and I really enjoy trying out new products that I have not tried before.   Included is also a detailed information card  which tells you all about each product included, and other extras such as recipes, etc.   

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 So, that was the June Degustabox - a nice selection of products as always. We loved it. The price of each Degustabox is £12.99 (including delivery). To order your box, visit www.degustabox.com 

Use the code 2ROE0 to get £5 off your first Degustabox, free delivery – enjoy! 
     
I was gifted with the box free of charge, however any and all opinions are my own. 



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Marie Rayner
4 Comments
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4 comments:

  1. Fun to see all the goodies in your Degustabox. I'm definitely going to make those cheese crisps - so pretty to have with a salad. Hugs, Elaine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think they would be great with soups also Elaine! Or even just eaten as is. I know. I'm very naughty! xoxo

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Monique! It is filled with beautiful flavours and textures! xoxo

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