The Salad Variations

Fried chicken salad

200 grams of chicken breast
75-100 grams of lettuce
4 cherry tomatoes
100 grams of cottage cheese or mozzarella
1 tablespoon of olive oil

This is how I clean chicken breast. I cut off a lot of weird bits, as shown on the left of the first pic. Then dice it into pieces of about one inch, as shown on the right. It’s hard to do this because it seems so wasteful, but part of my “Life As An Adult” motto is that it’s more wasteful to throw out food because I can’t eat it due to ickyness. So. I simply don’t buy meat everyday. And when I do, I’m allowed to cut off the weird bits.

Next, I put a bit of olive oil in a frying pan, just enough to cover the bottom, add chicken pieces, and put it on a medium to high heat. Basically just high enough to make spluttering noises but not so high that there’s oil flying everywhere.

Then I ignore the pan for a while and start sorting out the lettuce. See, the thing is that I really like this mixed bag, but they’ve started putting too much onion in it and that’s smelly and awful. So I pick out all the actual leaves. I can do that, I’m an adult now. Even if it takes 10 minutes.

Which, incidentally, is about the time needed for the chicken pieces to become nice and brown and crispy. Put the lettuce in a bowl and stir the chicken to get it to brown on the other side as well. Be careful of oil splatters.

Next, I want to add the cottage cheese to the salad, but as it turns out the best before date was about a week ago. Yay executive function! Disregarding that, I rely on my awesome autistic senses to taste if it’s gone off. Oh, actually it has. Yay autistic senses! So I use some mozzarella instead, diced into small bits.

Then I slice the cherry tomatoes into quarters. The chicken should be completely done by now so I add everything to the bowl, then add some extra virgin olive oil as a dressing. I don’t use store bought dressings, because vinegar and sugar and lots of crap. This salad doesn’t need it.

You can leave out ingredients or add others if you so wish (cucumber!). That’s the great thing about salads. You can add whatever you like. Except if you don’t like lettuce, then you might have a problem. But even then, fried chicken bits with tomatoes and cottage cheese is pretty yummy as well.

Endive and orange salad

4 endives
4 oranges, peeled and sliced
a small handful of walnuts
3 slices of blue cheese
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

So, endives. Also called chicory sometimes. It’s a very popular vegetable in the Netherlands. I don’t really like it when it’s cooked. But raw? Yum. I have this thing for bitter tasting stuff. If bitter is your thing as well (there’s a reason chicory root is used as a coffee substitute), then you’ll probably like this salad.

Anyway. Clean the endives, remove any outer leaves that look shrivelled or brown. Slice into small strips, about half an inch wide. I cut off the tip here because it was green, basically the more green the more bitter, but there is a limit to what I can take. After I’ve sliced up the endives, I take out the inner core which is a bit tough and again, very bitter.

Then I cut the oranges into segments.

Once I’ve done that, I add some walnuts, about five of them broken into small pieces. Say a small handful.

For the blue cheese, I’ve chosen a Rochebaron this time, because it’s not extremely pungent and has a very creamy texture, a bit like brie. But sometimes I use a more pungent one like Danish Blue as well. I cut this into small cubes. Not too much or it will completely dominate the salad.

Finish with some extra virgin olive oil as a dressing, together with the juice from peeling and slicing the oranges. Same goes for this salad, play around with ingredients you like and leave out things you don’t like. It’s all good.

10 thoughts on “The Salad Variations

  1. Pingback: Oranges are not the only fruit | autisticook

  2. The chicken salad looks really tasty! You’ve got a good eye for the photo presentation — better than some cookery books I’ve read. I’m so glad I’d eaten my breakfast before reading this, else I’d have been getting rather hungry 😉

      • Not at all: illustrating the recipe and techniques adds so much to the writing. It’s a huge benefit to see what you’re describing.

        As for sucking badly, you should see some of my photos… or perhaps not — there’s a reason I don’t include a lot of images in my posts 😉

        • When I decided to do recipes, I *knew* I would have to include pictures and sensory stuff. It’s one of my main frustrations with cooking, knitting, well basically anything that involves working with your hands and doesn’t have a visual description. It took me years and years to figure out some of this stuff. Nowadays we have Youtube which is a godsend in so many ways. But pictures, no matter how crappy, still show a lot more than just words.

        • So true. One thing I always loved about Lego and model kits (and flat-pack furniture which is model kits at a grown-up scale) is the step-by-step assembly diagrams. As you say, without visual aids you must necessarily translate the words into images mentally. I know when it comes to cooking that unless I’ve seen what is being described in the recipe, usually when doing something similar a on previous occasion, I won’t properly understand it. I initially learned by watching and copying.

  3. The salads look really tasty 🙂

    A question (disclaimer: this is not in any way a judgment on you selecting the meat that doesn’t feel icky to you, just a neutral question): have you tried making hamburger out of the icky meat parts? Either hamburgers per se or minced meat (is this the correct way to say) sauteed with something you like, if that doesn’t feel icky to you, could be a way to use the icky parts in a non-icky way. If that is icky to you, again, no judgment here. As you correctly said, throwing away a whole meal because of icky parts, that would be the wasteful decision. Yours is the sensible decision.

    • It’s an interesting idea, but I think I would have to invest in a fairly high grade meat grinder to make sure there would be no chunks left. And a meat grinder would also be a b!tch to clean, which is another one of my weaknesses, lol. But still, interesting idea.

  4. Grind, that’s the word! (I have a peculiar interest in words).

    True, grinders are awful to clean, though some are less awful than others.

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