By Judith Rasmussen
Trying new recipes, either for myself or to serve to family and friends, is something I love to do. Growing tomatoes and herbs in pots on my porch is a relaxing and enjoyable pastime during the summer. Smelling their wonderful scents and enjoying their flavors in my recipes is doubly rewarding.
Losing all my vision has made me think of new ways to do what I want when cooking and baking. One of the most useful kitchen tools I’ve found is a good, heavy-duty pair of kitchen scissors. I use them to cut up everything from chicken breasts, stringy items like celery and rhubarb, to veggies and herbs. They don’t totally replace knives, but do the job for many recipes and come apart for easy washing. A German brand, Wusthof, costing $14.99, is what I have, but I’ve also heard that Oxo Good Grips is another good brand.
Making the recipe below I used my scissors to cut the chicken, bell pepper, green onions, celery, and the basil leaves from their stalks. Flattening the chicken breast by pulling on both sides of it, makes it easier to cut uniformly sized cubes or strips. I use one finger to measure where I want to cut, place the bottom blade next to my finger under what I’m cutting, slide my measuring finger away from the scissors and cut the piece off.
If you want to make this fast, use a little of your favorite bottled salad dressing instead of making it from scratch as listed below. This will serve four people. If you’re making it for one, refrigerate the greens separately from the vegetables and assemble as needed.
Chopped Chicken Salad and Optional Homemade Dressing
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil for sautéing the chicken
1 red or yellow bell pepper, cut into small pieces
2 green onions, cut thinly
12 cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in quarters
2 carrots, thinly sliced, must use a knife
1 stalk celery, thinly cut
4 cups of your favorite salad greens
4 sprigs of basil, stalks removed and discarded
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Sauté it in 2 tablespoons olive oil until tender.
Toss bottled or homemade dressing with the vegetables.
Divide the salad greens among four plates; top with vegetables and chicken.
Optional Homemade Dressing
2 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Toss with the vegetables.