Potato and pasta salad are staples of summer barbecues, but the tasty dishes can make your swimsuit feel a lot more snug. Here is a guilt-free seasonal salad you can make in minutes.

Vanderbilt University Health Educator Stacey Kendrick has a healthier alternative.

"Today we're making an Asian chicken salad; it's not a mayonnaise based chicken salad" she said.

First, brush your bone in chicken breast with olive oil and add a little pepper and salt.

"If you're on a salt restricted diet you could certainly leave the salt off if you needed to," Kendrick explained.

Leave the skin on to keep the chicken juicy; cut up red and yellow pepper and two scallions. Then toast some hearty healthy almonds and sesame seeds.

Next make the dressing with vegetable oil, cider vinegar, low fat creamy peanut butter, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, and minced garlic.

When the chicken's cooked, throw the skin away and pull the chicken apart, then mix it with your other ingredients.

Serve the Asian Chicken Salad cold and you have, “a great summer dish,” Kendrick said.

The Asian Chicken Salad is about 500-calories per serving.

ASIAN STYLE CHICKEN SALAD
(Printable Recipe Here)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 split chicken breasts with the bone-in
  • Approx. 1/8 cup olive oil
  • Cooking spray
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 red pepper and 1 yellow pepper
  • 4 scallions
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • ¼ cup black and ¼ cup regular sesame seeds


DRESSING:

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar (or you can use cider vinegar)
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • Salt and pepper

 
RECIPE:

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees or if the weather permits you can use the grill.
  2. Place the chicken breasts on a cookie sheet and brush olive oil on the skin.
  3. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until chicken is cooked (Juice runs clear).
  4. Once the chicken has cooled enough to handle, take it off the bone; shred it; and place in a large mixing bowl.
  5. Slice the peppers in thin strips and add to the large bowl.
  6. Chop the scallions and add to the large bowl.
  7. Toast the sesame seeds and almonds separately in a non-stick pan – on the stove – with a bit of cooking spray. Be careful, as they can burn easily.
  8. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the ingredients for the dressing.
  9. Whisk the dressing together.
  10. Pour over the chicken mixture and toss lightly to coat everything well.


SERVE COLD:

Try it on a bed of crunchy cabbage or romaine lettuce for a one dish summer meal, or in a lettuce wrap for a deliciously light party appetizer.

Variations: This recipe also works great with snow peas and /or water chestnuts added for more crunch. Try hot pepper flakes for some heat.