Despite the “fat” post last week that generated more comments than all of the previous month’s comments combined [okay not really but it was a lot], I actually have an obsession with really disgusting food.
Olive Garden’s Never-Ending Pasta Bowl, Domino’s Pasta Bread Bowl, Reb Robin’s Wise Guy Burger [yes, those are mozzarella sticks on top of a beef patty]…it seems like the grand old U. S. of A. has no shortage of revolting food. Even with an “obesity epidemic” well underway, there’s apparently a mad rush to stuff as much fat, sugar, and lard down our throats as fast as we can. And as a dietary sado-maschoist, I can’t help but look, feel horrified, then email the offending item’s picture to friends. Mostly because I like the feeling of collectively puking a little in our mouths in disgust. And because I’m such a good friend.
Of course, just when I thought that fast food chains were done pumping out the culinary equivalent of condensed vomit, KFC proved me wrong with the Double Down Chicken Sandwich. Yes, that’s two slices of bacon between slices of pepperjack and swiss cheese…all smooshed between two deep-fried chicken fillets. It’s disgusting. It’s absolutely, unbelievably, mind-blowingly dis-GUST-ing. I dry-heaved a little, then got to emailing.
“Dude. No. Stop,” was the first response I got.
“Yo, let’s go to KFC,” was my reply.
Because even with my slightly vegetarian past, I do love my chicken. But because of that same slightly vegetarian past, I’m not the kind of person who believes meat is a necessity to complete a meal. Still, I’m only human; the mere thought of chicken dipped in hot oil had my stomach demanding bird meat.
I acquiesced by carnivorizing a formerly vegan chickpea salad recipe courtesy of Whole Foods. Chicken breasts were roasted in the oven while I did intervals on the rollers, then got chopped and tossed with a mix of olive oil, vinegar, curry powder, and ground cumin. Raisins, chickpeas, bell peppers, and cilantro add a yummy sweetness that borders on the addictive. And served over kale salad [a current staple in the pedalstrike household...and by "staple" I mean I've been eating it for lunch and dinner every day for the past week], it won’t be the kind of addiction you’ll have to hide.
It’s no Double Down Chicken Sandwich, but when you need something less lethal to hit the spot, this might be a pretty good contender.
Curried Chickenpea Salad
Adapted from this recipe.
For the chicken:
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
[This will make a lot more than needed; I slice the rest to throw into a salad.]
For the rest of the salad:
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice [or juice of 1/2 a lemon]
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins
1 [15 ounce] can chickpeas
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped [see above]
1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped [I only had 1/2 on hand and it was fine]
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1. Prepare the chicken:
(a) Preheat the oven to 350F. [About 15 minutes, or a quick warm up on the rollers.]
(b) Poke holes through the thickest part of the chicken with a fork. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil.
(c) Place in a casserole dish lined with aluminum foil. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. [Do intervals.]
(d) Uncover, and continue baking for 10-15 more minutes; 30-40min total or until juices run clear. [Cool down or continue intervals.]
2. Cool the chicken, then chop into chickpea-size pieces. You’ll only need about 2 cups.
3. In a large bowl, mix the vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, curry powder, ground cumin, maple syrup, and salt.
4. Add the raisins, chickpeas, bell pepper, chicken, and cilantro. Toss to combine.
5. Serve over salad greens or kale salad. Devour.