Rush Hour Gourmet

Posted: June 21, 2007

A change of seasonings can mark a change of seasons just as clearly as a move to lighter fruits and salad greens on the plate says "summer."

In this case, spicy jerk seasoning (store-bought or homemade), bagged mixed greens, and sliced mango from a jar help put an island-inspired version of chicken salad on the table in half an hour.

Jamaican Chicken Salad

(Makes 4 entree salads)

1/2 cup bottled fat-free honey-mustard salad dressing

1 teaspoon finely shredded or grated lime zest

4 medium skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (1 to 11/4 pounds total)

2 to 3 teaspoons Jamaican jerk seasoning (see Note)

2 teaspoons cooking oil

12 to 16 ounces packaged torn mixed salad greens (such as the European blend)

16 chilled mango slices, bottled in light syrup, drained

Lime zest, curled strips (optional)

1. Mix the honey-mustard dressing and lime zest. If needed, add a little water to bring dressing to drizzling consistency. Cover and chill.

2. Rinse chicken, pat dry, and coat with jerk seasoning.

3. Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet and cook the chicken on medium-high heat until tender and no longer pink, about 12 minutes total. Turn once midway through cooking. Cut breasts diagonally into 1/4-inch slices; set aside.

4. Divide greens on 4 dinner plates. Arrange chicken and mango over greens. Drizzle dressing over all. If desired, top with lime zest.

- From the Better Homes and Gardens Big Book of 30-Minute Dinners (Meredith, 2000)

Note: For Jerk Seasoning, mix 2 teaspoons onion powder, 1 teaspoon each of sugar, crushed red pepper, and crushed dried thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon each of ground cloves, cinnamon and salt. Store in a tightly covered container. Makes about 2 tablespoons.

Per serving: 318 calories, 22 grams protein, 35 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fat, 45 milligrams cholesterol, 572 milligrams sodium, 8 grams dietary fiber.

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