Oregano Chicken & Greek Lentil Salad

oregano chicken and lentil greek salad 1
I think I have been suffering from cold weather blog writing block. It’s the middle of March. I should be writing about Spring and Sunshine and longer days that end with late night walks around the neighborhood just so we can enjoy the fresh air for a few more minutes. Though we have more daylight than we did a few weeks ago, nature seems to have missed the memo about Spring’s arrival because I am still donning my winter coat for my daily commute. As tragic as this warm weather delay is, I’ve decided that just because it doesn’t feel like Spring, doesn’t mean I can’t cook as if cropped cigarette pants and espadrilles have made it back into my wardrobe rotation.  So, here is my first Spring salad offering, packed with fiber, protein, and the fantastic flowery fragrance of Greek Oregano. You can get this beauty of a salad whipped up in 30 minutes, and it’ll feed you for days.

Oregano Chicken with Greek Lentil Salad
Oregano Chicken Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Juice of 2 lemons
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried Greek Oregano

Greek Lentil Salad Ingredients:
3 stalks celery, diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 cups cooked lentils, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, small dice
1/4 cup feta, crumbled
2 scallion, thinly sliced

Oregano Dressing Ingredients:
Juice of 2 lemons
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried Greek Oregano
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and pepper to taste

sorted dried lentilsSort and rinse dried lentils.  Boil according to your desired firmness (I cook until al dente because I don’t want them to fall apart in the salad).  Drain and rinse with cold water (this will help cool them).  While lentils cook prepare chicken breast.  Slice breast lengthwise to a quarter-inch thickness.  In a separate dish, combine lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and oregano.  Place chicken in lemon olive oil mixture and let marinate while you prepare the salad.
Greek Salad IngerdientsIn the bottom of a large deep bowl, combine Oregano Dressing ingredients. Whisk until combined.
Mixing Greek Lentil SaladOnce lentils are completely cooled add all salad ingredients to the bowl with the Oregano Dressing and fold in until salad ingredients are thoroughly coated.
Cooking Oregano ChickenIn a shallow sauté or grill pan, sear chicken breast on high heat (about 3 minutes on either side) until just done through. Remove from heat & let cool for 10 minutes.
grilled & sliced chickenSlice chicken on a bias.  Serve over salad with some parsley for garnish.
oregano chicken with greek lentil saladVegetarian Option: If you want to ditch the chicken but still want a protein packed dinner, you can add an extra cup of cooked beans (I recommend chickpeas or cannelloni beans to keep the Mediterranean vibe going) or a cup of cooked and cooled quinoa.
Flavor Note: You may need to add more (or less) dried oregano depending on the herbal intensity you desire.  Our Greek Oregano, which came straight from Greece (courtesy of my parents), is extremely intense, so our dinner had the lovely flavor of this heady herb running throughout.


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