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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Thai chicken salad

We've been back from vacation for a whole week now and I guess we're back into the swing of things.  I could always use an extra day of vacation after returning from vacation, but sadly I had to get back to work.

Thankfully, I had a slow week to return to.  My calendar was unusually sparce as the directors were heading out of town for a big meeting.  This left me with little to do but work in the lab and made me a happy chemist.

Years ago, during my first organic chemistry lab, my lab partner and I would count down the weeks of labs remaining.  From check-in the first week, we would trudge to lab like we were heading to break rocks for six hours.  As the weeks went on, we would break glassware, spill precious product and try to understand why we were doing what we were doing.  At the end of the semester we happily checked out of lab and were so happy the semester was behind us.

As a sophomore in college, I had no idea what I would be doing in ten years.  If you told me that I would gladly spend my hours working away in a lab, I would have told you that you were off your noggin. 

The difference now?  I actually know what I am doing.  When you start organic chemistry labs, you don't understand what is going on in your flask.  As a PhD chemist in the lab these days, I have a much better view of the atoms and molecules at work.  And I love it.

Lesson?  You never know what you'll be doing in ten years.  I wonder what I'll be up to in 2022?

One Year Ago: Key Lime Pie on a Stick

Thai Chicken Salad
A Wilde Original

This salad is spicy, sweet and crisp.  It's perfect for lunch, you can throw it together in a few minutes in the morning.  Or you can have it for dinner, when you are too lazy to turn on the oven.  To make your life even easier, grill a few chicken breasts on Sunday and have them ready for the weeks meals.

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Serrano chile, minced
Juice from 1 lime
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
1 cup bean sprouts
1 carrot, peeled and cut into thin strips
1/4 cup basil leaves, torn
1/4 cup fresh mint, minced
1 pound chicken breast

Whisk together garlic together garlic, chile, lime juice, water soy sauce, 2 tbsp vegetable oil and brown sugar in a small bowl.

In a large bowl, toss together lettuce, bean sprouts,carrot, basil and mint. Portion out lettuce onto four plates.

Grill chicken until completely cooked through and remove from the grill. Allow chicken to cool for five minutes before cutting into pieces.

Add chicken to the salad plates and drizzle with salad dressing.
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