Nestlé does not sponsor, authorize or endorse my blog or these recipes. They told me so. And said I better make that very clear on each and every blog about them.
The kitchen is not where I belong.
So when I find something convenient and palatable that takes a minimum of prep time, I stick with it. I embrace it. I engulf it. It becomes my staple.
So it was with Lean Cuisine Salad Additions.
I searched the local market for a year. Gone. No more.
Finally, I contacted Lean Cuisine themselves and asked what had happened. They replied that the sales didn’t justify the shelf space. In other words, people would rather buy gummy entrees like macaroni and cheese, or ones that imitate their unhealthy cousins, like beef steeped in sour cream, than make a salad.
I’m not surprised. My outrage for the eating habits which the advertising and food industries encourage continues to grow.
But I loved Lean Cuisine’s Salad Additions. So I determined to enter the foreign territory of the kitchen and see if I could duplicate them. I contacted the Lean Cuisine folks again and asked them if they’d mind my blogging the simple, tasty recipes for those who miss Salad Additions. They replied that my request had been sent to the appropriate department. That’s where it ended.
I haven’t heard back and I can’t blame them. If the product wasn’t profitable, why would they waste time responding to inquiries about it? That’s not good business when the bottom line isn’t health, but profitability.
So I’m posting the first of my favorite recipes for anyone who wants to fill the gap Lean Cuisine left wide open.
You’ll need a small, kitchen scale you can get at most grocery stores, and a microwaveable bowl you can cover (I use a microwaveable plate as a cover).
This is my replication of Lean Cuisine Salad Additions Greek Style.
2 oz. broiled chicken breast meat
3 pitted black olives, sliced
33 grams (approximately 1/8 cup) of canned garbanzo beans, drained
1 oz. carrot, sliced or julienned
1 oz. broccoli florets
1 oz. sliced red bell pepper
2 tablespoons of a cucumber/dill salad dressing (I use Safeway brand Tzatziki Cucumber Dressing)
Lettuce to taste
Place the olives, garbanzo beans, carrot, broccoli and bell pepper in the microwaveable bowl. Cover. Microwave on high for 2 minutes, 15 seconds for an 1100 watt microwave oven. Adjust the time up or down a few seconds for different wattage. While it’s cooking, put your lettuce in a bowl or on a plate. Slice the chicken meat. Toss the lettuce with the chicken and the microwaved veggies. Top with the cucumber dressing. The salad toppings and dressing weigh in at 240 calories.
It’ll taste delicious. You won’t miss Lean Cuisine at all.
After doing this twice, I was comfortable enough to make several servings at once. Put the veggies and chicken in freezer bags; one serving per bag. Whenever you want a healthy salad, empty the chicken and veggies into that microwaveable bowl, cover, and heat for 2 minutes, 30 seconds. Add your lettuce and dressing and thumb you nose at the food industry.
If you do go the freezer route, it’s best if the chicken isn’t overcooked when you broil or grill or bake it. If you do overcook it’ll just be a little tougher texture than otherwise when you microwave the frozen meat. It’ll still taste great, though, in my opinion.
So, from a non-cook who’s outraged that the salad was discontinued and an ad just popped up on TV for a burger layered with a hotdog and potato chips…and the reason given for this revolting concoction is “Because…AMERICA!” ….bon appetit!
Unless Lean Cuisine makes me stop… Next up: The Asian Style Salad Addition (yum…that one has pineapple in it!)