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Eating well

October 13, 2015

Healthy recipe: Jerk chicken salad

Enjoy your own midsummer Caribbean festival with this tasty, meal-sized salad. The allspice is the essential ingredient for that true jerk flavour.

Pump up the cayenne for more kick, and get the benefits of all that fibre and iron (and lots of B vitamins).

Makes 4 servings



  • ¾ cup (175 mL) lightly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup (125 mL) raspberry vinegar
  • ½ cup (125 mL) water
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) ground allspice
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 lb/500 g), cut into strips
  • ½ cup (125 mL) frozen corn kernels, thawed (or use fresh)
  • ½ cup (125 mL) canned black beans or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 head romaine lettuce (small to medium), washed and torn (or 8 cups/2 L lettuce mix of your choice)
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • ½ cup (125 mL) sliced cucumber
  • ½ cup (125 mL) sliced bell pepper (any colour)
  • Nonfat, plain yogurt (optional)


  1. Prepare the marinade/dressing: In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, vinegar, water, allspice, cayenne and salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Place chicken in a shallow dish and pour in half of the marinade/dressing. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour, or overnight.
  3. Add corn and beans to the remaining marinade/dressing. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.
  4. Remove chicken from marinade and discard marinade. Working in small batches, stir-fry chicken for 5 to 6 minutes or until no longer pink inside. Don't crowd the pan, or the chicken will steam instead of browning. (Alternatively, you can grill the chicken.)
  5. To the corn-bean mixture, add romaine, carrot, cucumber and bell pepper; toss to coat vegetables with dressing.
  6. Make a bed of salad on each of 4 plates and top with chicken and a dollop of plain, nonfat yogurt, if desired.

Nutrition per serving

Diabetes food choice values per serving: 2½ carbohydrates, 3 meat and alternatives.

Follow up with a cooling tropical dessert like Creamy Dreamy Fruit Salad, from the Canadian Diabetes Association.

Jerk chicken salad recipe courtesy of Dietitians of Canada, Simply Great Food by Patricia Chuey, Eileen Campbell and Mary Sue Waisman and Dietitians of Canada © Reprinted with publisher permission.

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