This salad is a great reminder that you can eat great and not miss those empty carbs from pasta ONE BIT!! I paired curried grilled chicken with zucchini noodles tossed in a lemongrass basil coconut milk marinade for a flavorful salad that would be great for lunch, dinner, or even an appetizer. This dish is fragrant and bursting with flavor in every bite and leaves you stepping away from the dinner table saying “damn, I can’t believe how amazing that was and everything in it was good for me!” For those who are looking to go meat free, this would be equally amazing with grilled tofu or tempeh or the zucchini noodles would be great on their own as a side.
The aromatics are literally bursting from this salad as I substituted lemongrass essential oil for chopped lemongrass. This makes it easier to add this flavor whenever you want as we all know that fresh lemongrass is a) not easy to find and b) not easy to use.
I am growing lemongrass in my backyard and while it is fun to cook with, it does require a lot of work and muddling to coax the flavor out of the stalk so the essential oil was a really nice switch out. I recommend using a very high quality therapeutic grade essential oil. I use the Vitality line (meant for ingestion) of Young Living Essential Oils. If you want more info on this, feel free to ping me about their products (firstname.lastname@example.org).
A note on cooking with essential oils: A little goes a long way. Essential oils are highly concentrated oils from plants so just a drop is all you need for the flavor profile you are looking for. I’m enjoying cooking with essential oils as they add a ton of flavor with just a drop, and are great to have on hand when you don’t have fresh herbs around to cook with. They are much more aromatic than using dried herbs in my opinion.
Skim the coconut cream off the top of the can of the coconut milk and place in a medium size bowl. This will be about ¼ of the can. Add the salt, pepper and lemongrass essential oil to it and mix.
Now, go ahead and preheat your grill to 350 degrees, prepping for direct heat.
Add chicken to another bowl and pour in the remaining coconut milk. Add the rub or curry/salt/pepper to the mix and let marinate for a few minutes. Then, grill the chicken for 5-7 minutes or until the chicken has reached an internal temp of 170 degrees. Pull the chicken off the grill and let rest while you finish up inside.
While the chicken is grilling, use a vegetable peeler to create zucchini noodles. You will first need to get some of the skin off and if you “square off” the zucchini- ie, create 4 sides to it, it will be easier to get more usable “noodles” from it. Add the coconut cream with the salt/pepper and lemongrass oil and toss until all the noodles are covered in the coconut milk mixture.
Chop the basil and add to the noodles. Chop the chicken and add to the noodles. Toss everything together one more time. Enjoy the fragrance of the coconut milk, curry, basil and lemon grass coming together in this flavorful “pasta”. This pairs beautifully with a nice Sauvignon Blanc.
#Paleo and #GF
Do you ever cook with essential oils? What is your favorite way to use them?
On an unrelated note, Hunter turned 9 months this week! Wow, time is flying. I love this little guy so much!