happy fourth! (and a recipe)

Happy Fourth of July! I hope everyone has a great day… and stays cool. I heard on the news that this will be one of the hottest fourths in history. Wow! But not hard to believe. I’ll be back tomorrow with some more original RICE ideas, but in the meantime I thought I’d share a delicious summer recipe from a REAL SIMPLE magazine. It’s our new favorite meal. So easy, so delicious and so cheap!

chicken, squash, and chickpea salad with tahini dressing

one medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds) peeled, seeded and cut into one inches pieces. *squash is kinda tricky to work with- slippery and hard to cut. be careful!*

4 TBS olive oil

kosher salt and black pepper

two 6 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts *trimmed and pounded thin. I use the bottom of a glass cup to pound my chicken*

1/3 c tahini (sesame seed paste) *I buy mine at Martin’s or our natural food store*

2 TBS fresh lemon juice *you can cheat and use lemon juice from a bottle*

1 tsp dried oregano

12 oz romaine hearts, cut into strips *I use a spinach and arugula. You can use any lettuce you like or have!*

one 15.5 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 cup pita chips, broken *I skip these*

2 TBS chopped fresh chives

1. Heat oven to 425. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the butternut squash with 2 TBS olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Roast, tossing once, for 25-30 minutes, or until squash is tender. *If you don’t want to heat up the house with the oven, you could always try grilling the squash in one of those nifty grill baskets*

2. The original recipe says to roast the chicken breasts. I prefer browned chicken in a frying pan. So I used about 1 TBS of olive oil. Put it in a frying pan. Let it get nice and hot. Then add the chicken breasts. The key to browned chicken is (thanks Mom) a hot pan and dry meat. Then leave it alone. I flipped the chicken once to brown the other side and finish cooking. Sprinkle each side with a little salt and pepper while cooking. Let cool slightly and slice thinly. It took maybe 20ish minutes to cook the meat.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, oregano, 1 TBS oil, 1/3 c water, 1/4 each of salt and pepper. Divide the lettuce (of your choice) among the plates. Top with squash, chicken, chickpeas, pita chips (if you want them) and chives. Serve with dressing.

*If the dressing is too thick, add water until it’s the consistency you want. Tahini is rather thick, so it does take a little water to get a good consistency. I also added a splash of tamari (gluten free soy sauce) because tahini and tamari is one of my favorite combos!*

According to REAL SIMPLE, this costs less than $2.25 a serving! It’s so tasty and looks so nice on the plate.

Enjoy!