Since this famed eatery opened its doors almost 30 years ago, one of its most consistent stars has never appeared on the guest list… but is, instead, found on the menu.
Mixed greens, topped with delicately charred peppers, zucchini, asparagus, corn and mesquite grilled chicken and/or shrimp, The Ivy’s Grilled Vegetable Salad is one of the most well known and well loved dishes in town.
But with its 28 dollar price, it’s not a salad many can order every day.
Now, you can make this skinny version of that signature salad at home….saving money and calories!
Who’s the star now?
The peppers, zucchini squash, eggplant and asparagus in this recipe are so low in calories, high in fiber and rich in nutrition that you don’t have to worry about how much of them you eat… but, you do want to be mindful when you add the other ingredients.
Avocados, while incredibly healthful, have 50 calories in just 2 tablespoons, the half ear of corn has another 50 and the chicken and shrimp contribute another 200 calories a cup.
And–all in–this huge dinner worthy salad, loaded with fiber, flavor and nutrition, only adds up to only 350 calories.
Note: Though you’re only going to use a half cup of shrimp and a half cup of chicken on each plate, I call for cooking more of both proteins—as well as a generous quantity of grilled vegetables— while the grill is hot so that you can easily toss together another salad, wrap, a quick soup or a soft taco the next day. Remember, it’s all about inventory!
GRILLED VEGETABLE SALAD WITH CHICKEN AND SHRIMP
Makes 2 large entree salads
1 t honey
1 T seasoned rice vinegar
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 T good olive oil
1 T fresh minced basil
1/4 t kosher salt
1 clove garlic pressed through a garlic press (or minced then mashed well with the salt to extract as much juice as possible)
Stir the honey with the vinegar and lemon juice to dissolve before adding the oil, basil salt and garlic. Let sit at least an hour before serving.
FOR THE SHRIMP
Zest of 1 lime (do not add the juice or the acid will “cook” the shrimp like a ceviche.)
If you don’t have a grill, just heat a frying pan and spray with cooking oil. Cook on high for about 2 minutes a side.
FOR THE CHICKEN
Just as with the recipe for Amazing Indian Grilled Chicken, buttermilk is key to tenderizing and moisturizing lean cuts of poultry and helps carry the spices to every bit of the bird.
1 lb thin sliced chicken breast fillets
1/4 c buttermilk
Juice of 1 lime
Combine all in a bowl and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Let stand at room temperature 20 minutes before grilling.
FOR THE VEGETABLES
1 small zucchini, sliced in half, lengthwise
1 small Japanese eggplant, sliced in half, lengthwise
1 red bell pepper, seeded and quartered
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and quartered
1 small ear of corn
8 fresh asparagus spears
6 green onions
salt and pepper
1 medium tomato
1/4 medium avocado, cut into 4 slices
Mixed soft salad greens of your choosing
Slice zucchini and eggplant in half and sprinkle the flesh sides with salt. Set aside on a paper towel for 20 minutes so any bitter juices can come to the surface. Wipe the juices and salt off with the paper towel just before grilling.
Sprinkle the zucchini, eggplant, peppers, corn, asparagus and green onions with salt and pepper and grill until tender and charred in places.
Use a sharp knife to strip the corn from the cob and rough chop the rest of the grilled vegetables.
Chop tomato and slice avocado as well.
Place 2 big handfuls of fresh mixed greens onto 2 dinner plates and divide the grilled vegetables between them an way you like.
Or fully chop them all…it’s up to you.
Add 1/2 cup of chopped chicken, 1/2 cup of chopped shrimp, some fresh tomatoes, 2 slices of avocado, and a couple of slices of lemon and lime and drizzle all with the dressing.
Serve alone or with a small cup of Glorious Gazpacho on the side.
RE-USE, RE-PURPOSE, RE-CYCLE
Once you have grilled shrimp, chicken and vegetables in your fridge, you can whip up another meal in minutes.
Try using greens, chicken and roasted veg to fill a high fiber 100 calorie wrap for a lunch on the go. Or add the vegetables, shrimp and dressing to 20 calorie a cup soy noodles for a quick supper. And, as always, grilled veg are a great stuffing for a skinny omelet!