Friday, April 22, 2011

White Bean Salad with Chicken and Sugar Snap Peas

I continue playing with spring's bounty tonight; sugar snap peas, fresh arugula, and more adorable Vidalia green onions enliven this dish  This main dish salad would make an elegant entree for a springtime luncheon.

  • 2 cups sugar snap peas
  • 8 ounces Match chicken, thawed
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 2 cups torn arugula
  • 2 cups rinsed and drained canned cannellini beans
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 Lightlife bacon slices
  • 1/2 cup chopped Vidalia green onions
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup vegan chicken broth (prepared from Not Chick'n bouillon)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1. Steam the sugar snap peas, covered, for 3 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cold water.

2. Sprinkle the Match chicken with 1/8 teaspoon black pepper and 1/8 teaspoon salt.  Heat the canola oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken and cook for 4 minutes on each side.  Let stand until cool enough to handle, then shred the chicken by hand.

Note: to ensure that the chicken cooks evenly, divide into 2 or 3 smaller patties, rather than cooking in one large piece. 

3. Place the chicken in a large bowl, along with the sugar snap peas, arugula, and cannellini beans, tossing to combine.

4. Coat the skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat; add the bacon and cook for about 4 minutes, until crisp.  Remove from the pan and crumble.  Re-coat the skillet with cooking spray and add the Vidalia green onions and garlic to the pan; cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently - the onion should be soft by the end.  Remove from heat and add the remaining black pepper (1/4 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon), an additional 1/8 teaspoon salt, the crumbled bacon, the chicken broth, the parsley, the lemon juice, and the cider vinegar.  Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.  Because of the warm vinaigrette, this salad is best served immediately. 

Nutrition Info:
4 servings (1 and 1/4 cups), Calories 229

Tasting Notes:
Wonderful, contrasting tastes - the sweet sugar snap peas versus the savory bacon, the peppery arugula versus the mellow cannellini etc.  Next time I would increase the amount of arugula - or perhaps simply serve the other ingredients over a bed of arugula on each salad plate - since the chicken and white beans dominated and I wanted a bit more green in each bite.  Using broth as the base of the dressing made it a bit thin for my tastes; you might try using equal parts oil and cider vinegar instead. I also would definitely use Gardein chicken next time.


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