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Monday, June 4, 2007

Chicken and Canteloupe Salad

Does anyone else out there ever feel like giving up and just giving their kids chicken fingers and hotdogs everynight? It's what they want and it would be so much easier... not to mention cheaper!

Last night we felt like having a light supper, and so I made these pretty chicken salads served in canteloupe bowls. Here's what the kids did....first they whined, and complained, "Do we have to eat ALL the canteloupe?" Then Claire dumped all the chicken salad out onto her plate and scraped some of the canteloupe off the bowl. That was her dinner! A couple of bites of canteloupe, a crusty roll, and a piece of cheddar cheese. Marco copies whatever Claire does, so that's what he ate too. sigh.

I got the idea for this recipe about 15 years ago when I was in the Dominican Republic with a girlfriend. We were staying at a cheap-o all-inclusive resort, and the food was so gross and stinky we barely managed to get enough to eat. The only thing we could find that seemed even remotely edible was a fruit salad served in a canteloupe bowl. We ate it three times a day (which did not do nice things to our digestive systems). At some point a few years later, I got the idea of adding chicken. I've managed to block out the bad memories of resort food, and now this is one of my favorite light lunches.

Chicken and Canteloupe Salad

2 small ripe canteloupes
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
2 large chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
4 tbsp slivered almonds
1/4 cup light miracle whip
1/4 cup fat free sour cream
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper

1. Mix dressing: Stir together the Miracle Whip, sour cream, vinegar, cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper.

2. Cut each canteloupe in half in a zig zag pattern. Scoop out the seeds and with a melon baller, scoop out some more of the flesh to make the bowls bigger (leave about 1/2" of flesh in the canteloupe. Save the little balls of melon.

3. In a medium bowl, mix chopped chicken, celery, green onion, green pepper and the reserved melon. Stir in the dressing and mix to coat.

4. Spoon the chicken salad into the canteloupe bowls, sprinkle each bowl with a tablespoon of slivered almonds. Take pictures, and eat.