Chicken and Carrot Salad… Adapted from a Brazilian Recipe.

Coming from Rio, where the winter is almost non-existent, people are on a constant diet (after all we have to show our figures at the beach every now and then) and there’s plenty of fresh and tasty fruit and vegetables growing all year round: we eat salads all the time! It’s not like in Europe that it’s a summer meal, no, it’s always present at our tables. It can be a simple lettuce and tomato salad to accompany something more substantial but it can also be like this one, the main meal as it’s quite filling.

That’s an adaptation from a very traditional brazilian salad – Salpicão de Frango. Everyone knows how to prepare it and usually has its own recipe and unrevealed ingredients. I can say that I also have my very own version, but it’s far from being secretive as I’m about to share it with you!

Summer asks for a refreshing meal but let’s not forget that it’s when we show a bit more of our body, and we need to be in good shape to fit in that new bikini! Therefore I’ve tried to make a lighter version as this is not exactly a low in calories dish.

Ingredients for 2:

  • 1 carrot, medium size
  • 1 chicken breast, skin off
  • 1 cube of vegetable stock (optional)
  • 2 tbsp Greek or Natural Yogurt or Quark or Mayo
  • 150g frozen peas
  • 170g canned sweetcorn (a small can)
  •  50g dried cranberry (sultanas are also good)
  • 1 stick leek
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper

1. Cook the chicken in salted water. I also add a cube of organic vegetable stock.

Once it’s cooked, shred and reserve it.

2. Peel and grate the carrot. Reserve it.

3. Thaw the peas under hot water.

4. Thinly slice the white part of the leek stick.

In a frying pan, heat the olive oil and fry the leek until golden and crispy.

5. Mix all the vegetables (except the leek) and chicken in a bowl and add the yogurt (I used 1tbsp of light quark and 1tbsp of light mayo).  Combine well all the ingredients.

6. Correct the salt and add some freshly ground pepper.

7. Serve the salad in two small bowls and top it with the fried leek.

-> All the quantities can be adjusted to your taste. There’s no exact balance among the ingredients.

The original Brazilian version uses a sort of shoestring potato sticks or chip sticks on top of the salad to give it a bit of crunch. But as I’m a good sample of a “carioca” , I’m always on a diet, so I replaced the potatoes (which I can’t find here in Switzerland anyway) for fried leek.

I have to tell you that I still love the fattening version with the potatoes, but the leek gave the salad a sweeter and subtle taste that made it very special.

Also the original recipe uses sultanas, as it’s not easy to find cranberries in Brazil, since we don’t produce it. It’s a lovely combination as well!

That’s all you could ask for summer: an easy, fresh and light salad! This way you don’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen and have more time to enjoy the sun outside!