No cooking required for easy nicoise salad

Make this quick Nicoise Salad for a special family meal at home. Typical ingredients are tuna, green beans, olives and tomatoes. The salad is made with bought roasted chicken breast instead of tuna — no cooking needed. Canned potatoes also simplify the preparation. The green beans cook in the microwave. The microwave bowls can go right in the dishwasher. No pans to clean. So, cleanup is a breeze.

You can add any other greens or leftover vegetables to the salad. I chose these ingredients to give a variety of textures, colors and flavors. Use the recipe as a base and create your own salad.

I use a bought fresh roasted or rotisserie chicken breast for the salad. It is cooked on the bone and generally is moist and flavorful. There also are many packaged brands of roasted chicken breast that are boned, skinned and cut ready to use. These work fine in the recipe and will shorten the preparation time.

Nicoise Salad

1/2 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)

3/4 roasted chicken breast, bones and skin removed

1/4 cup reduced-fat oil and vinegar dressing

1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon

2 tablespoons diced red onion

3/4 pound or 2 cups drained small whole canned potatoes, cut in quarters

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 cups French-style washed, ready-to-eat salad

2 medium tomatoes cut into wedges

1/4 whole wheat baguette

Place green beans in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high 2 minutes.

Remove skin and bones from chicken and cut into 2-inch pieces.

Add dressing to a bowl and add the tarragon, onion, potatoes and green beans. Toss well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place greens on a serving platter. Spoon potato and beans onto lettuce. Arrange tomato wedges on the platter. Arrange the chicken on platter. Pour remaining dressing over top of the chicken and tomatoes. Serve with baguette. Serves: 2

Per serving: 541 calories (15 percent from fat), 9 grams fat (1.6 grams saturated, 2.4 grams monounsaturated), 149 milligrams cholesterol, 55.5 grams protein, 61.9 grams carbohydrates, 11.3 grams fiber, 289 milligrams sodium.

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