Chicken and… Watermelon?

Alison Caldwell

image1_compressedWhat could be more convenient than a meal in a jar? That’s exactly what Stephanie Barlow from the National Watermelon Promotion Board is showing in this video, with pride of place given to… naturally!… the watermelon! Her recipe today is for a stacked curry chicken with watermelon and jicama salad.

If you haven’t tried a stacked salad before, it’s a great way to get just the perfect mixture of ingredients, and it’s super if you’re on the go. In addition, this particular salad is low-fat and low-calorie, filled with the most amazing nutrients. Watermelon alone is extremely healthy:

image2_compressedIt provides powerful health benefits: it only has 46 calories per cup, yet it gives you 20% of your daily intake of vitamin C and 17% of your daily intake of vitamin A, according to the USDA. As Barlow points out, this salad is extremely filling as well, and the sweetness of the watermelon won’t have you reaching for chocolate later!

Creating the salad

Start with chicken. You can use just about any kind of chicken. If it’s hot and you don’t feel like cooking, then many grocery stores sell fully cooked rotisserie chickens; one of those is fine. Or if you prefer you can cook your own; you’ll want to boil it so that image3_compressedyou’re keeping the fat low and reserving the flavoring for the recipe itself. Once the chicken is cooked (and cooled, if necessary), shred it: you’ll want about one pound of shredded chicken for this recipe.

Take a medium-sized bowl and combine 1/3 c. mayonnaise (you can use a low-fat variety if you prefer), ¼ c. chutney, and 2 t. curry powder. Stir until they’re well blended. These are great spices to use together: they’re piquant but not overwhelming to most people’s palates.

Once that’s well mixed, add your cooked shredded chicken, along with 2 T. diced red onion, ¼ c. dried cranberries, and 1/3 c. diced celery. Fold all of image4_compressedthese ingredients together, cover your bowl, and put it in the refrigerator.

This is how you stack

So now it’s time to stack your salad. You should have four clean mason jars handy; that’s where you’ll be assembling the salad. Earlier you cooked some brown rice; now you’ll want to use two cups of it.

Simage5_compressedtart with the rice. Layer about ¼ c. at the bottom of each jar. On top of the rice you’ll be putting 1/3 c. watermelon cut into thin strips. On top of the watermelon, add ¼ c. of jicama, also cut into thin strips. After that, take your chicken mixture out of the refrigerator and add 1/3 c. of it to each of the jars. When you’re done, put 1 T. chopped cashews and shredded romaine lettuce on the top of each jar.

You can serve this salad right away or pop the tops onto the jars and put it in the refrigerator. You can pack it in a lunch box, or use it as a snack in those late afternoons when your energy ebbs. Watermelon, curry powder, and jicama are all extremely good for you: they calm your stress response, says Barlow, making them the perfect lunch or snack for anyone whose life is high-stress.

 

Which is probably all of us!