Gluten-free dinner salad makes for pleasant meal

Akron Beacon JournalJanuary 1, 2014 

These days it is not hard to find a friend or family member who is following a gluten-free diet.

With so many folks being diagnosed with celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity in recent years, there has been a corresponding increase in the number of cookbooks to help manage a gluten-free diet.

One of the newest is “Easy Everyday Gluten-Free Cooking” by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt ($24.95, paperback, Robert Rose). The book includes more than 250 recipes, from breakfast through dinner and even desserts, which can be a challenge when cooking gluten-free.

GRILLED CHICKEN MANDARIN SALAD WITH SWEET AND SOUR DRESSING

Yield: Serves 4

For the dressing:

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 tablespoons white vinegar

2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley

1/4 teaspoon salt

Pinch freshly ground pepper

2 to 3 drops hot pepper sauce

For the salad:

6 oz. baby spinach

1 cup sliced celery

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

1 can (10-ounces) mandarin orange segments, drained

4 chicken breasts, grilled and cut into 1/4-inch strips

1 recipe caramelized almonds (recipe follows)

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, vinegar, parsley, salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce. Set aside for at least 1 hour. Refrigerate for up to three weeks.

In a salad bowl, toss together the spinach, celery, green onions and mandarin orange segments.

Pour dressing over the salad and toss lightly. Top with grilled chicken strips and sprinkle with caramelized almonds.

CARAMELIZED ALMONDS

Yield: 1/2 cup

1/2 cup slivered almonds

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

In a small frying pan, cook almonds and sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is melted and almonds are coated and lightly browned.

Set aside to cool, then separate. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

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