A pair of salads -- one with jerk-seasoned chicken, the other with berries -- makes a quick, refreshing summer supper.
Jerk seasoning tossed with cooked, boneless, skinless chicken breast meat gives zip to this Caribbean-influenced dinner. Allspice, the fruit of the pimiento tree, is the key ingredient in this Jamaican seasoning blend. True jerk recipes are grilled over pimiento branches.
Seasonal berries garnished with coconut add a sweet counterpoint to the meal, which contains 560 calories per serving with 26 percent of calories from fat.
Any vegetables can be used for the salad.
Jerk-Seasoned Chicken Salad
10 ounces cooked chicken breast strips or cubes
2 teaspoons jerk seasoning
1 teaspoon canola oil
5 cups washed, ready-to-eat salad greens
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1 cup sliced green bell pepper
4 tablespoons reduced-fat oil and vinegar dressing
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 ripe, medium tomato cut into wedges
2 crusty sourdough rolls (1 1/2-ounces each)
Toss chicken with jerk seasoning in a small bowl. Heat oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and saute 2 minutes.
Divide lettuce between two dinner plates. Scatter celery and green pepper on top. Spoon dressing over vegetables. Add chicken to the salad. Sprinkle cilantro on top and place tomato wedges around the edges. Serve with rolls. Makes 2 servings.
Per serving: 428 calories (23 percent from fat), 10.8 grams fat (1.9 grams saturated, 4.3 grams monounsaturated), 127 milligrams cholesterol, 49.3 grams protein, 37.3 grams carbohydrates, 7.2 grams fiber, 758 milligrams sodium.
Mixed Berry Salad
1 cup fresh strawberries, washed and cut in half
1 cup fresh blueberries, washed
2 tablespoons reduced-fat oil and vinegar dressing
1/4 cup flaked or shredded coconut
Mix berries in a small bowl. Toss with dressing. Divide berries between the two dinner plates and sprinkle with coconut. Makes 2 servings.
Per serving: 132 calories (38 percent from fat), 5.6 grams fat (3.8 grams saturated, 0.6 gram monounsaturated), 1 milligram cholesterol, 1.4 grams protein, 21.8 grams carbohydrates, 4.3 grams fiber, 40 milligrams sodium.
Linda Gassenheimer is the author of 14 cookbooks including her newest, "The Flavors of the Florida Keys" (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2010).