Pesto vegetable salad with chicken

Chicken (Worst) -- Chicken or any type of protein is going to be counterproductive if consumed at night. Proteins take longer to digest, and digestion supposedly slows by about 50 percent when you're sleeping, which means your body isn't…

This colorful vegetable and chicken combination makes an elegant light entrée -- equally as good served either warm or chilled.

 

Vegetables and chicken

4 cups asparagus in 2-inch pieces

2 teaspoons olive oil

12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch squares

 

Creamy Pesto Dressing

2 tablespoons basil pesto

2 tablespoons plain yogurt

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

¼ teaspoon coarsely ground pepper, or to taste

 

To complete the recipe

8 leaves leaf lettuce

½ red bell pepper, chopped

Freshly ground pepper and freshly grated parmesan cheese for garnish

 

Put the asparagus in a large microwave-proof dish; add about ¼ cup water. Cover and microwave on high for about 5 minutes, or until the asparagus is crisp-tender. Drain well; cover to keep warm. (If you prefer, cook the asparagus pieces in a stovetop steamer.)

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken; cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until it is lightly browned and cooked through. Remove from the heat and set aside; cover to keep warm.

Stir together the dressing ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Place a bed of lettuce on four salad plates.

Toss together the asparagus, chicken, and red pepper in a large bowl. Add the dressing; toss again. Mound the warm salad on the lettuce.

Advance Preparation

This dressing will keep for 2 days in a tightly closed container in the refrigerator. If it thickens after standing, thin with milk or water. The prepared salad can be covered, refrigerated for up to 1 day. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

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