I was in Los Angeles back in April for a wellness conference. While there I had the opportunity to eat at one of their new food concepts; a “Modern Cafeteria Style” eatery called Lemonade. I had actually received their cookbook from the University of Southern California, who had paid our school (OSU) a visit back in February. They sent us each a copy of the Lemonade cookbook. I’d briefly glanced at it but didn’t learn to appreciate it until after experiencing the place for myself.
The first recipe I tried was this chicken salad with grapes and butternut squash. I quickly learned that their recipes are the complete opposite of what I typically like; ie: they are long and tedious! I tried hard to cut corners with this recipe but there were still a lot of steps (the recipe below is a modified, shortened version of the actual recipe. You’re welcome). In the end, it was worth it.
- 1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt **
- 2 Tbsp dried oregano
- 1 onion, grated **
- 4 garlic cloves, minced **
- Juice and finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- ½ Cup + 2 Tbsp. olive oil, separated
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
- 5 cups precut butternut squash cubes **
- 2 T red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp. honey **
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup red grapes, halved
- ¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- ¼ cup slivered almonds **
- The day before you want to serve this dish, mix the first 8 ingredients (only 1 Tbsp of the olive oil) with a whisk in a medium bowl. Pour the mixture into a plastic bag and add the chicken. Zip the bag and place in the fridge for at least 24-hours.
- Either the day before or the day of serving this dish, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the squash on a large baking sheet and drizzle with about 1 Tbsp of the olive oil and roast until nice and tender (~15 minutes). Take out the squash and allow to cool before using in the salad.
- Either the day before or the day of serving this dish, make the vinaigrette. Do this by combining the vinegar, ½ cup olive oil, lemon juice, honey and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl and whisking until well combined.
- Once the chicken has marinated for at least 24-hours, take out and cook on a grill or grill pan for ~10 minutes on each side (cook to 160 degrees). Take off grill, allow to cool and then cut into ~1-inch cubes.
- In a nice serving dish, once ready to serve, combine the cooked squash, the chicken, the grapes, the parsley, the almonds and the vinaigrette, mix well and serve!
I made this for a dinner event I attended and didn’t really know how to serve it. I thought about it and there are plenty of ways this could have been served; on top of spinach, romaine, even pasta! Of course you could also eat it without anything, just serve as is. I bought some hearty pita bread and served it wrapped in the pita (it would also work well in whole grain pita pockets).See you next week with a triple chocolate mousse recipe. It’s one of those recipes that tastes like it took hours to make, but was so easy even a kitchen novice could make it! And yes, it was from the Lemonade Cookbook. They do have some simple recipes after all!