I made dinner for Paula and I this evening. She chose a recipe, Kale, Apple, and Almond Chicken Salad from the September 2015 issue of Cooking Light. It was pretty tasty and also relatively easy to make.

Start by making the marinade / salad dressing. You need to combine 1/4 cup of olive oil, the rind of 1 lemon, the juice of 1 lemon, 2 teaspoons of fresh chopped thyme, 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl and  stir with a whisk until they are thoroughly blended. Place 2 tablespoons of this mixture in a large ziplock plastic bag or other container while being sure to reserve the remaining mixture. Add about 12 ounces of boneless chicken thighs to the mixture. Make sure that the chicken is coated with the mixture and then let it sit in the refrigerator for anywhere from 10 minutes to a few hours, turning bag occasionally.

When you are ready to make the salad, thinly slice 2 medium carrots and 2 celery stalks. Toast 1/4 cup of sliced almonds as well. After all of this is ready, it is time to cook the chicken. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. (Note: You can also grill the chicken if you desire. That is what I did and it came out just fine.) Coat pan with cooking spray. Remove chicken from marinade and discard the marinade. Pat the chicken dry. Sprinkle the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add the chicken to the pan or grill and cook 5 minutes on each side or until done. Place chicken on a cutting board. Let stand 5 minutes and then cut across the grain into thin slices.

Finally it is time to make your salad. Combine 3-4 cups of kale, the carrots and celery along with 1 apple that has been cut into 1/4 inch slices in a large bowl. Add the remaining lemon-olive oil mixture and toss to coat. If you wish to serve it plated, you can divide the kale mixture evenly among 4 plates. top evenly with chicken and sprinkle with the almonds along with a few grinds of black pepper. Otherwise you can just serve everything on the table – salad, chicken, almonds, etc. – and let each person make their own salad.

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