My body is still recovering from the heavily carbed out holiday season I had. Spending time with family, even one as obsessed with healthy eating as mine, still means my mother makes her famous macaroni and cheese for my nephew. And my brother makes French toast for everyone. And I cooked three different types of meat for Thanksgiving, and made gravy for all of them. Because you only do this during this one time of the year.
Then, you must recover. My smoothie breakfasts and salad lunches return. I’m a frequent salad eater. It is mostly because I love my vegetables (really!) but also because it’s good health wise. And can quickly trim the excess pounds turkey gravy and mashed potatoes can add.
I can thank my family for the early appreciation for my veggies. Green leafy things taste awesome, but sometimes, you need a little more. I never use store bought salad dressing, but usually make my own. The toasted walnut coating is a little bit like a salad dressing, and a little bit like a crouton.
The star of my salad isn’t always the tomatoes or avocado, or even my protein. Today, the salad was made by the crust I made for my chicken breast. So, here’s the quick and dirty of the chicken coating:
Black Walnut coated chicken
2 chicken breasts (deboned)
2 T butter
2 T grape seed oil (smoky bacon flavor is what I used)
2 t Worcestershire sauce
¼ C Olive oil
¼ C Black Walnuts (I ordered them from Nuts Online) coarsely chopped
½ t black pepper
½ t garlic powder
2 t toasted onion flakes
1/2 t salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Melt butter over medium heat in a heat resistant skillet
- Add Worcestershire sauce and grape seed oil to it and turn heat up to medium high.
- Brown chopped walnuts in the pan for about 60 seconds. Remember to keep them moving in the pan so they don’t burn..
- Add onions, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt.
- Remove mixture from skillet and place on a separate plate.
- Press nut mixture onto the surface of the chicken breasts, ensuring that they are coated on all sides.
- Add olive oil to skillet.
- Brown coated chicken breasts for three minutes on each side. Place remaining nuts and butter mixture into the skillet while it is browning.
- Place entire skillet into preheated oven for 17 minutes.
- Remove and let rest for 5 minutes. (This is super important! Otherwise, all the juices will run out of the chicken breast as soon as you slice it and the chicken will be dry. Just let it sit there for five minutes. Really.)
- Slice and serve on salad or carbohydrate.
- Drizzle nuts and oil in the pan over top.
I will have salad for lunch today. For tonight, the chicken and mixture will go over basmati rice and steamed baby spinach. You enjoy it however you like. Which if you’re like me, might mean placing the toasted walnuts straight into my mouth from the pan.