Chicken and Wild Rice Salad with Sun-dried Tomato Tapenade

Let me tell you about my work-from-home days.

These are the days when I sleep in an extra half hour and get weird "don't you have to be at work?" eyes from the older folks at the gym at 7:30 am.

These are the days when getting dressed means changing out of pyjama bottoms and a t-shirt and changing into yoga pants, a more fitted t-shirt, and a little mascara.  A very little.

These are the days when I participate in conference calls wrapped head-to-toe in a fleece blanket with only my mouth exposed for breathing and talking because I'm too cheap to turn the heat up.  Who am I kidding?  These are the days when I turn the heat up and wrap myself in fleece anyway.

These are the days when I have to resist every primal urge to raid the pantry when I'm stressed.  And I get stressed a lot.

These are the days when my cat is extremely confused and majorly resentful that I observe his secret daytime behavior.

And these are the days where there's no clear segue from daytime into evening time, from work time into after-work time.  These are the days I have to remind myself to log off, to close the door, to let it all go.  I'm not always good at this.

But I'm certainly not complaining!  Being able to work from home is a luxury and a part of my job with which I'm most satisfied.  I'm just keenly aware of how un-routine these days can be.

So I make dinner!  And I (try to) unwind.  And then I find myself chopping vegetables with scary force and practicing what I could have said, what I should have said, what I'll say tomorrow.  Again, I'm not always good at letting it all go. 

Making dinner after switching off the computer is the equivalent to my 30-minute commute home.  It switches my gears.  Do you know how relaxing it can be to put together a healthy meal?  Do you think I'm crazy?  Listen up.

Making tonight's chicken and wild rice salad was the perfect end to a sorta nutty day.  It involved beating the pulp out of baked chicken with my hand-mixer.  So satisfying.  It involved dumping ingredients into a machine and letting a blade do all the work.  And it involved setting a pot of wild rice to cook on the stove, watching Buckwild for half an hour, and then stirring everything together in a big bowl.  Easy!

In other news, I don't really watch Buckwild.  Ok I've only seen one episode just to give it a chance.  Ok three.

Chicken and Wild Rice Salad
Sun-dried Tomato Tapenade
Adapted from Living Tastefully
Serves 4

1 lb skinless, boneless, chicken breast
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
Few handfuls of sun-dried tomato halves, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tbs red wine vinegar
3 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tbs soy sauce
Juice of 1 lime
2 c wild rice, cooked
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 c sliced almonds
1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper, and place on a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until cooked through.  Using your stand mixer, hand-mixer, or two forks, shred the chicken while hot, and set aside.

Heat a small skillet over medium heat, and coat with 1 tbs of the olive oil.  Add the red onion, and saute until soft and browned, about 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

To make the dressing, place half of the sun-dried tomato halves, garlic, the vinegars, soy sauce, and lime juice in the bowl of a food processor.  Mix to combine.  With the blade running, slowly add the last 1 tbs of the olive oil, and blend the mixture turns into a smooth paste.

In a serving bowl, combine the wild rice, grape tomatoes, almonds, parsley, wilted onion, shredded chicken, and the rest of the sun-dried tomatoes.  Pour the dressing over the top and mix gently to combine.  Serve at room temperature or slightly warmed.


Mischna Ong said...

I love the posts you have in here. I used to make salads with nana all the time. I can even recall her teepee in the middle of the garden.

Mischna Ong

nancy john said...

Salad making is actually an art also good looking salad dressing always inspire me

Healthy recipe for Spicy fruit salad

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