Broccoli chicken salad

One of my “resolutions” this year is to step outside my comfort zone.

Anyone that knows me knows that I am not shy, nor do I have difficulty taking risks. But I do still have a comfort zone. Last week Tuesday, I took a step forward, by replacing my own car battery (with Jake)! The beginning of the week was sort of a mess, Sunday I went down to retrieve something from my car, and Monday morning, I discovered I left the dome light on all night. Yep. It was me. The worst part? I specifically reminded myself to make sure I turned the light off before I left the garage. Literally my life. My poor little Honda was so sick, she wouldn’t charge, no amount of prodding with the jumper cables would get her to light up. Therefore, we had to head to Auto Zone and do something we dreaded.

Jake and I are not what you would call “car” people.

I can guarantee you neither one of us would own a car if we had to. So, when we discovered we had to replace the battery, it was a tiny bit of a panic mode. I tend to be flippant about things like this, but I did want to learn how to do it, so Jake and I promised to do it together. We worked together really well, and I am happy to announce we completed the replacement in under an hour (stupid bolts were rusted)! We came out of the experience without one fight/or bickerfest (all you long term couples know what I am talking about)!

A spider did fall on my hand though, which was the literally the worst part of the entire hour for me.

I almost punched Jake in the face with a socket wrench trying to get it off my hand. Extremely unpleasant. But, we did it! And we killed it. Sans spider hand, I am very proud of myself. My next “out of comfort zone” activity? Kickboxing classes! Although I am pretty sure that I bought the classes in the wrong location (total Allie move), it will not stop me from taking the classes! Even though working out in public isn’t new to me, taking a public work out class is a new experience. For my own personal irrational fears, it has taken me forever to take this leap! More about that later. What does everyone else want to work on this year? Maybe shoving vegetables into more meals?

These chicken salad pitas are packed full of roasted broccoli, which is surprisingly addicting. 

Broccoli chicken salad | shutupeatthis.com

This salad is so easy to put together, doesn’t require a lot of ingredients, but provides a whopping 30-31 grams of protein per serving. To make this addicting lunch is really simple. Start by pre-heating the oven to 375 degrees. Prep the chicken first by mixing the spices (salt, basil, thyme, garlic, paprika and black pepper to taste) together for a quick rub. Make sure you massage all of the spices into the chicken.

Broccoli chicken salad | shutupeatthis.com

Pop the pan in the oven, and start baking the seasoned chicken. In the meantime, sprinkle the 1/2 tablespoon of oil on the broccoli, toss together. After about 20 minutes, take the chicken out, and spread broccoli on either side of the meat, like so.

After about 5 minutes of roasting in the oven, take the pan out, flip the broccoli, mix it up to ensure it cooks evenly.

Bake for additional 8-10 additional minutes until chicken is cooked through and broccoli is nice and roasted. It took me about 33-34 minutes if I remember correctly, it could take you a little longer/or be done quicker, so make sure to check it! Let the chicken cool, and then shred. Mix yogurt, salt, pepper, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, broccoli, and shredded chicken together. Combine thoroughly, make sure everything is nice and mixed up!

Broccoli chicken salad | shutupeatthis.com

Stuff a warmed pita with a little over 1/3 of a cup, add your desired toppings, my favorite are tomatoes, arugula, and MORE red pepper flakes. 

Seal the rest of the chicken salad in a container, and this will keep for 3-4 days.

This is one of the recipes that reminds me of home. It is very hearty, easy to make, and makes heavy use of a rockstar vegetable like broccoli. This salad is insanely customizable, depending on what you want to add in, or stuff into your pita. Maybe you don't want a pita, I ate it over salad mainly, because I rarely eat gluten/bread. Jake and I were obsessed with it. 

Simple, nutritious, and tasty. Lunch done. 

Broccoli chicken salad | shutupeatthis.com

Broccoli Chicken Salad

Recipe by Allie Brendel

This protein-packed broccoli chicken salad is insanely easy, delicious, and so easy to customize. Serve this in a whole wheat pita, or over a bed of lettuce for a filling, nutritious lunch.

Prep time: 10-15 minutes

Cook time: 30-35 minutes

Total time: 45-50 minutes

Yield: 6ish servings

Calories per serving: 195-250 calories (depending on yogurt)

Ingredients

  • 4 cups broccoli (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1.5 pounds (24 oz) boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

Cooking Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix salt, basil, thyme, garlic powder, a couple cranks of pepper and paprika together, pat chicken with a paper towel, rub chicken breasts with seasoning and salt mixture. Put chicken in the middle of a lightly oiled baking sheet, and pop in the oven.
  3. Toss finely chopped broccoli with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Set aside.
  4. Bake chicken for about 20 minutes.
  5. Take chicken out, put broccoli on either side of chicken (picture in blog post).
  6. Bake for about 5 minutes, remove pan, mix/turn broccoli to ensure even roasting.
  7. Bake for additional 8-10 minutes until chicken is fully cooked and broccoli roasted.
  8. Let chicken and broccoli slightly cool.
  9. Shred the chicken.
  10. In a large bowl mix together yogurt, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and adjust any additional salt & pepper to taste.
  11. Fold in broccoli, and shredded chicken into yogurt mixture.
  12. Serve inside of a warmed pita, or on top of greens! My favorite toppings: tomato, arugula, green onion, avocado, red onion, and additional red pepper flakes!
  13. Commence face stuffing.