Grilled chicken mandarin salad


These days it is not hard to find a friend or family member who is following a gluten-free diet.

With so many folks being diagnosed with celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity in recent years, there has been a corresponding increase in the number of cookbooks to help manage a gluten-free diet.

One of the newest is “Easy Everyday Gluten-Free Cooking” by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt ($24.95, softcover, Robert Rose). The book includes more than 250 recipes, from breakfast through dinner and even desserts, which can be a challenge when cooking gluten-free.

Here’s a recipe for Grilled Chicken Mandarin Salad, a nice and light alternative to the season’s heavy holiday fare.

Grilled chicken mandarin salad with sweet and sour dressing

For the dressing:

¼ cup vegetable oil

2 tbsp. granulated sugar

2 tbsp. white vinegar

2 tbsp. snipped fresh parsley

¼ tsp. salt

Pinch freshly ground pepper 2 to 3 drops hot pepper sauce

For the salad:

6 oz. baby spinach

1 cup sliced celery

¼ cup thinly sliced green onions

One (10-ounce can mandarin orange segments, drained

4 chicken breasts, grilled and cut into ¼-inch strips

1 recipe caramelized almonds (recipe follows)

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, vinegar, parsley, salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce. Set aside for at least 1 hour. Refrigerate for up to three weeks.

In a salad bowl, toss together the spinach, celery, green onions and mandarin orange segments.

Pour dressing over the salad and toss lightly. Top with grilled chicken strips and sprinkle with caramelized almonds.

Makes four servings.

CARAMELIZED ALMONDS

½ cup slivered almonds

2 tbsp. granulated sugar

In a small frying pan, cook almonds and sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is melted and almonds are coated and lightly browned.

Set aside to cool, then separate. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Makes ½ cup.