Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Making something healthful unhealthful

California Avocado Commission

Why do restaurant chefs just pile on the calories, after they've created something that sounds right and healthful? Case in point:

Recipe Provided By Chef Kevin Gin, Bridges in Danville, CA
Serves: 4
12 ounces grilled chicken breast, diced medium
6 ounces crisp cooked smoked bacon, chopped small
8 ounces fresh avocados, diced medium*
4 petite hearts of romaine, chopped (about 2 cups lightly packed)
8 small tomatoes (2" diameter), cut in quarters
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon mixed herbs
Creamy Basil Dressing (recipe follows)
Marinate the cut tomatoes in the olive oil and mixed herbs for about 10 minutes.
Toss the chopped romaine with the Creamy Basil Dressing. Divide the mixture between 4 serving bowls.
Top each bowl with chicken, avocado, bacon, and tomato. Serve.
*A large Fresh California Avocado weighs about 8 oz.

Creamy Basil Dressing
(Yield: 1 1/4 cup)
8 ounces sour cream
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ ounce fresh basil, chopped
Whisk all ingredients together.

Now tell me, how does the dressing make this salad any better than if you added a couple of basil leaves and a squeeze of lemon? Why add cream and sour cream to a basically healthy dish?

A side note: Bridges is a fine restaurant, and if you're ever in Danville, you should check it out. If you don't plan a trip to this East Bay burb anytime soon, you can see the restaurant in the movie "Mrs. Doubtfire."

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