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Madarine Chicken Salad

April 21, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 162

One of my favorite chicken salads is the Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad. Fridays has a good one and O'Charleys is even better. Extra green romaine, pecan crusted chicken tenders, mandarin oranges, dried cranberries, crumbled blue cheese, candied pecans and served with balsamic vinaigrette dressing just taste so darn good. At 1020 calories, I had to create a leaner version for home.

During my research in creating a lean and cleaner version, I was shocked to see where the bulk of the calories came from. Pecan, Pecans, Pecans!!! Now these nuts do have nutritional value but excess is not needed here. So the first change I made was the pecan battered chicken. I used brown rice bread crumbs to batter my chicken breast in place of the pecans. One cup of crushed pecan is approximately 750 calories in comparison to the 160 calories in the cup of brown rice bread crumbs. Brown rice is also a lower glycemic food along with being gluten-free. The chicken breast is first dipped in egg whites and then 1 cup of brown rice bread crumbs are used to batter the raw chicken breast. This is a 590 calorie difference than using crushed pecans. Once battered I baked the chicken breast in a pan coated with a 0 calorie, 0 fat oil spray instead of deep-fried.

The second change was using plain pecan halves sprinkled over the top in place of candied pecans. ¼ cup of candied pecan halves is 492 calories vs. plain pecans that are 400 calories for ¼ cup. That is almost 100 extra calories with the candied version.

The third change I made was to eliminate the dried cranberries. Ridding the salad of this dried fruit is also shedding approximately 160 calories.

The fourth and final change made was to use sugar-free mandarin oranges in place of mandarins in sugary syrup. The 4 oz of sugar-free contains 40 calories vs. 4 oz of sugary syrup mandarins which has 70 calories.

My version contained dark green romaine lettuce, sugar-free mandarin oranges, tomatoes, gluten-free brown rice bread crumb crusted chicken breast, tomatoes, ¼ cup pecans, ¼ cup blue cheese crumbles and lite raspberry vinaigrette. These minor changes while not drastically altering the taste cut the caloric intake in half.

Ingredients:

  • Boneless chicken breast
  • 1 cup Brown rice bread crumbs
  • Tomatoes
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce
  • ¼ cup blue cheese crumbles
  • ¼ cup pecan halves
  • Lite Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing
  • Fat/Calorie free Oil Spray
  • 4 oz cup Del Monte sugar-free mandarin orange
  • One egg (separate the egg white).
Source: EzineArticles
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Clean Eating Madarine Chicken Salad

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Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad

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