Buffalo Salad with Roasted Cauliflower, Chickpeas and Chicken

25 02 2014

Have a craving for greasy bar food like buffalo chicken wings but trying to eat healthier? Try this quick and tasty buffalo salad! This meal, which offers a nice buffalo kick but isn’t drowning in sauce, is packed with protein and fiber, quite obviously healthier than a fried chicken wing. And the creamy blue cheese yogurt dressing is a perfect complement to the tang of the hot sauce, but lighter than anything you’ll be served up in a bar. Winner, winner…buffalo chicken dinner! 🙂

Buffalo Salad with Roasted Cauliflower, Chickpeas and Chicken

Buffalo Salad with Roasted Cauliflower, Chickpeas and Chicken

The following serves 2-3 (adapted from Girl Makes Food):

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • Half a head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
  • 1/4 cup Frank’s hot sauce
  • 3 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 1/3 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp diced green onion
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400.

In a large bowl, toss cauliflower with olive oil and season with salt to taste. Spread the cauliflower evenly in one layer on a lined (or sprayed with non-stick spray) baking sheet. Roast for about 15-20 minutes, or until cauliflower is brown and crisp on the edges.

Meanwhile, add a little olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper and saute until cooked through, 5-7 minutes. Next add the drained chickpeas and a couple of dashes of Frank’s hot sauce. Continue to cook the chicken and chickpeas a few more minutes, until chickpeas toast slightly.

While the chicken and cauliflower are cooking, make the dressing. Add yogurt, blue cheese, vinegar, parsley, green onion and salt and pepper to taste in a food processor or blender, and process until smooth. If the dressing seems too chunky and sticking to the sides of the food processor, add a little oil, a tsp or so while the machine is running to help it keep moving. Set aside until you’re ready to serve. This Girl’s tip: I don’t mind the light green tint of the dressing, which comes from the parsley and green onion. However if it bothers you, leave the parsley and green onions out while you process the other ingredients until smooth, then lightly toss in the herbs after.

Add the celery and hot sauce to the same large bowl you used earlier. Add the roasted cauliflower, cooked chicken and chickpeas and toss everything until well coated. Taste, and season with salt if needed (although you probably won’t need it).

Divide the chicken-cauliflower mixture among plates and top with the blue cheese dressing to taste.

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