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watercress-chicken-detail

Watercress and Baby Arugula with Chicken, Goat Cheese, and Pecans

Start the New Year off right with this low-calorie and healthy salad with chicken, goat cheese and pecans. With arugula as the base, this dish offers a high dose of Vitamin K for a healthy heart and strong bones. The goat cheese and pecans toppings are rich in minerals and vitamins, making this salad a great option for a balanced and tasty meal.

Ingredients:­

(Serves 8)

  • 1 cup of pecans
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • A pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cooked rotisserie chicken, warm or at room temperature
  • 9 cups loosely packed watercress, cut into 2- to 3-inch pieces
  • 6 cups fresh baby arugula
  • 3 cups torn fresh dandelion greens
  • ½ red onion, sliced lengthwise into very thin strips
  • 1 cup brined olives, such as niçoise or Kalamata
  • 1/3 cup brined capers, drained
  • 8 ounces fresh goat cheese (may substitute feta cheese)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the pecans with the 2 tablespoons olive oil and a good pinch of salt. Spread the pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast for 10 to 14 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool slightly.
  3. While the nuts are cooling, prepare the dressing: Pour the remaining ½ cup olive oil into a medium bowl. Whisk in the sherry vinegar, then the mustard. Whisk in the thyme, oregano, ½ teaspoon salt, and several grinds of pepper. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as desired.
  4. Remove the legs and breasts from the chicken. Remove the skin, and chop the meat into coarse cubes. Set aside.
  5. Combine the watercress, arugula, and dandelion greens in a large bowl. Toss in the red onion, olives, and capers, and then dress with ½ cup of dressing. Toss the salad, adding more dressing as desired. Toss in the cubed chicken.
  6. Divide the salad among 8 plates. Crumble the goat cheese in large chunks over the salads, and then sprinkle with the pecans. Serve immediately.

As originally published in Dr. Perricone’s Forever Young Metabolic Diet book