DASH Menu: Jerk Chicken, Roasted Sweet Potato & Arugula Salad with Creamy Jerk Dressing

Jerk Chicken Sweet Potato Salad IngredientsWhen I made jerk chicken in the oven the other day, I lined the baking pan with rounds of sweet potato and carrots before placing the jerk-marinated chicken on top. I added some extra jerk marinade dollops on the vegetables, then roasted the whole assembly for 40 minutes at 375 degrees. This gave me a good amount of ready-to-go veggies for the next few days.

This salad uses some of that sweet potato. A quick, creamy and tangy dressing made with remaining jerk marinade and some coconut flakes on top complete the picture. If you don’t have jerk chicken or jerk-roasted sweet potato, I think plain grilled chicken and roasted sweet potato would work just fine in this salad.  Sprinkling a bit of jerk spice mix might be a good idea if you are using plain ingredients. The jerk dressing and coconut flakes really livens up the otherwise workaday autumn/winter salad (not that there’s anything wrong with that, either)!

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Jerk Chicken, Roasted Sweet Potato & Arugula Salad with Creamy Jerk Dressing
DASH benefits: It’s a salad. Well. Okay. It’s full of lean protein from the leftover jerk chicken breast and the egg, and loaded with vegetables. (And it used up what I needed to use up!)

DASH servings:
3.25 vegetables & fruits
2 meats & fish
1 fat & oil
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
For the creamy jerk dressing
For the salad
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
For the creamy jerk dressing
For the salad
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl that can accommodate the entire salad, place the jerk marinade, sour cream and lime juice. Stir to combine thoroughly.
  2. Add the jerk chicken, egg, arugula, sweet potato and cucumber in the bowl. Toss to mix.
  3. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed. Top with the coconut flakes.

Since I was bringing the salad to work for lunch, I didn’t dress it. I just made the dressing, packed the salad, and brought them separately so that the arugula wouldn’t get soggy. For the dressing, I used one of those tiny jam jars you see at hotel breakfasts–it works great. 😀

DASH Menu: Skirt Steak Wrap with Cumin Hummus & Roasted Carrot Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

For a quick weeknight dinner, I coupled a skirt steak wrap with a hearty and nutrient-packed roasted carrot and arugula salad, and made an earthy yet refreshingly bright lemon tahini dressing to complete the vaguely Middle Eastern feel of the menu. The hummus works so well as a sandwich or wrap spread–this wrap is otherwise pretty bland, but the cumin kick and creamy body of the hummus really make it into a satisfying meal.

Two regrets: I would have added toasted cumin to the lemon tahini dressing, if cumin wasn’t in the hummus-skirt steak wrap. Sprinkling the skirt steak with za’atar or sumac might have made the wrap even more interesting, with their floral zing. Next time!

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Skirt Steak Wrap with Cumin Hummus & Roasted Carrot Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing
DASH considerations: This skirt steak wrap and roasted carrot salad combo violates a few DASH meal guidelines. First, I used skirt steak, because that’s what I had on hand, but it’s not one of the leaner meat options. You could easily substitute it with grilled chicken breast to make the protein part leaner. Second, it has a higher fat/oil content than many DASH recipes on this site, about half the daily limit for that category. You can probably skip the extra virgin olive oil in the lemon tahini dressing and rely entirely on the sesame oil contained in the tahini paste. This would cut down the fat & oil amount a bit (by about 0.25 serving). Or, you could opt for lower-fat meals for the other meals of the day.

DASH servings:
2 grains
1.75 vegetables & fruits
1 meats & fish
1.5 fat & oil
0.25 beans & nuts
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
For skirt steak wrap with cumin hummus
For roasted carrot salad with lemon tahini dressing
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
For skirt steak wrap with cumin hummus
For roasted carrot salad with lemon tahini dressing
Instructions
  1. In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the pepper strips.
  2. When the pepper pieces start to brown, place the skirt steak pieces on top to reheat.
  3. While the pepper and beef cook, make the dressing by mixing the lemon juice, tahini, EVOO, scallions and red chili flakes in a bowl large enough to toss the salad in.
  4. Add the roasted carrots and arugula to the bowl and toss it well so the dressing evenly coats the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. When the peppers are cooked through, turn the heat off.
  6. If using pita, separate the two sides to make a pocket. Spread the hummus, stuff the pepper and steak, and top with cilantro.
  7. If using tortilla, spread the hummus and place the pepper and steak all the way down the middle. Top with cilantro and roll up the whole tortilla.