Sunday, April 5, 2009

Iceberg Lettuce Salad with Roasted Szechuan Peppercorn Chicken & Wasabi Soy Sauce Dressing

After binge eating too much home made sourdough bread with herbed garlic butter and testing out the new candy thermometer and gobbling up David Lebovitz's Caramel Corn until we felt like we were going to OD on sugar, I stepped on the scale...and it was decided that it was time to go on a more restricted diet until my weight was back to normal.

We are going to be on a low calorie diet for awhile, so you won't be seeing much baking going on here. It's going to be mostly light Asianesque and Italianesque food until my weight is back to normal.

Today we just made a simple salad by tearing up iceberg lettuce leaves into bite sized pieces and tossing in some cubes of nice ripe tomato, thinly sliced white spring onion and slivers of red peppers. We then made a dressing with extra virgin olive oil, soy sauce and wasabi and tossed the salad in this, after which we put hand torn pieces of leftover Roasted Szechuan Peppercorn Chicken on top and sprinkled a nice dose of freshly toasted white sesame seeds all over the salad.
Some of you might think - but there's OIL in there! Well, if you really are on a strict diet - this dressing makes iceberg lettuce palatable even without any oil, so you're in luck.

I also confess I sprinkled some Szechuan peppercorn salt on the chicken for extra flavor, but this isn't necessary and doesn't improve the taste dramatically. If you are concerned about your sodium intake, I'd skip this totally.

This is our Wasabi Soysauce Dressing in its simplest form, but you can also jazz it up a bit more by adding grated ginger, chili peppers and/or the zest of some citrus fruit like Yuzu, Kabosu, Sudachi, lime, lemon and so on. And if you don't have a fear of vinegar like me - I'd throw in some balsamic vinegar or vintage Chinese black vinegar.

Does the vinegar have to be dark? No.

Rice vinegar will probably work fine but I have to confess that I am less afraid of 'black' vinegar than the other varieties - so I'm giving you my totally biased opinions.


Elra said...

What a delicious salad Murasaki.

Katie said...

Mmmm sounds good! I love my veggies.

Murasaki Shikibu said...

Elra: It's my favorite way of using-up leftover roast chicken!

Katie: hehe the salad works with fish or without any horrifying protein addtions if you are some kind of a vegetarian or vegan. ;)

Siri said...

Now, let's get the facts straight: are we talking 54 kilos OVER weight or are we talking 54 kilos flat? I don't think I've weighed 54 kilos since the 6th grade, so it doesn't sound so bad too me!

My firm belief is that everything in moderation is just fine. Go ahead and make that pie, just have a thin slice and share some with the neighbors or friends!

Now I'll shut up.

Murasaki Shikibu said...

Siri: I'm sure you're not as petite as I am. ;)

Murasaki Shikibu said...

Siri: I'm sure you're not as petite as I am. ;)

Natashya said...

Such great flavours! Just wonderful. You won't feel deprived with meals like this.

Lori said...

Man I so understand what you are saying about too much sugar. I need to be sugar free for a couple weeks. Why is so easy to eat sugar and so hard to eat iceburg lettuce. Sometimes I really enjoy it but after the millionth salad, it loses its charm. Yours however makes me want to eat salad again, which I really should.

Anonymous said...

Hey there.. I really love the salad but have found that I am not too found of Iceberg.. not sure why... But lovely... left over chicken for salads and sandwiches... yummers

Murasaki Shikibu said...

Girl Japan: You're not the only person who doesn't like iceberg lettuce. I avoid it if I can and the only way to make me eat it is either with the wasabi soy sauce dressing, blue cheese dressing or dressed up in a caesar's salad dressing (even though this is supposed to be done with romaine lettuce). Guess which one has the least calories? ;)

Natashya: We're doing our best so that we don't feel deprived. After all we're foodies so restricting food is a PRETTY BIG RESTRICTION!

Lori: Yeah - why is it so easy to eat caramel corn and coconut macarons and all that sweet stuff and why does it take innovation to eat veggies endlessly? hehe

Yohana Wu said...

Hey... nice photo you got there ! Love it !

Murasaki Shikibu said...

Yohana: Thank you. :)