Food for Thought
The Season Is About to Change
As spring nudges its way forward, some of us are left with an unpleasant souvenir of winter—an extra “layer.” Though that winter coat might have kept us warm through the long, not so cold in Las Vegas, winter season, by spring it’s time to shed the padding. The good news is many springtime foods promote weight loss naturally, and not just because they’re lighter than those hearty winter dishes.
Some fruits and vegetables are less expensive when they are “in season” — meaning they are just ripe from the fields, although the fields might be a distance from Las Vegas. When the supply for a food like sweet corn in the summer, or apples and squash in the fall is plentiful, the cost goes down. Remember fresh is always best.
A trip to the local farmers market will give you clues about what is in season. Produce in our grocery stores is a less reliable indicator of food in season because most fresh fruits and vegetables are available year-round. Keep a close eye on the items available in your grocery. If they aren’t fresh or in good shape tell the produce manager you aren’t happy with this selection. If he she tells you “that’s what corporate sent me,” then you might just want to try another grocery. Likewise if the meat and seafood is a bit questionable, talk to that manager. Seems almost normal to give us here in the desert whatever they want, assuming we’ll take whatever we can get.
Chicken is the most popular meat today so here is my take on a tasty chicken breast recipe.
4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 extra-large eggs
1 tablespoon water
1 1/4 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
extra-virgin olive oil
salad greens for 6, washed and spun dry
1 recipe Lemon Vinaigrette, recipe follows
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 2 lemons
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pound the chicken breasts until they are 1/4-inch thick. You can use either a meat mallet or a rolling pin.
Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a dinner plate. On a second plate, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water. On a third plate, combine the bread crumbs and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan. Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and dredge both sides in the bread-crumb mixture, pressing lightly. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large sauté pan and cook 2 or 3 chicken breasts on medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the chicken breasts. Toss the salad greens with lemon vinaigrette. Place a mound of salad on each hot chicken breast. Serve with extra grated Parmesan.
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Yield: 6 servings