Carb-free chicken, mushroom and asparagus salad

Chicken, mushroom and asparagus salad

This delicious salad isn’t quite the healthiest you’ll ever eat as the recipe uses quite a lot of oil but the chunky, meaty mushrooms along with the chicken really help fill you up. I tend to use butter to sauté my mushrooms but obviously you can substitute this for healthier cooking oils (extra virgin olive, rapeseed, avocado etc) or oil sprays if you’re being really good.

The salad dressing and marinade can be made in advance so this can be a relatively quick meal to prepare. It’s one of my favourites and I think it’s so delicious that I’ve used it at a carb-free dinner party in the past. This version makes enough for 2 people, using 1 chicken breast each. Increase the quantities if needed for more people.

Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 2 chicken breasts, scored along the top
  • 3-4 large (portobello etc) mushrooms, cut into 1 cm thick slices
  • Asparagus spears or whole, with woody stalks removed and cut in half
  • 2 large handfuls of rocket (and other salad leaves if wanted)
  • 1 avocado, peeled and sliced into chunks
  • Handful of Pine nuts
  • Knob of butter or glug of oil

Chicken marinade

  • 1 table spoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed or finely sliced
  • 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • Small handful of rosemary, chopped
  • Salt and pepper

Salad dressing

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce (gluten free)
  • ½ teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon of grainy mustard


  1. Prepare the chicken marinade by adding 1 tablespoon of olive oil, juice and zest of half an unwaxed lemon, 1 clove of garlic, crushed or finely sliced, a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, a handful of chopped, fresh rosemary and a good grind of pepper to a bowl, and mix these together.
  2. Score the top of the chicken breasts and dip them in the marinade, making sure the whole breast gets a good covering. Cover and leave in the fridge for around half an hour (or longer if you have time).
  3. Preheat the oven to 200/180 (fan oven)/ Gas mark 6. Make a foil parcel for the chicken breasts, pouring over all the marinade and cook for around 30 mins, or until the meat is thoroughly cooked.
  4. Sauté the mushrooms in a frying pan with a generous knob of butter (or alternative oil/oil spray) and season generously with lots of black pepper. I prefer mushrooms to be soft and cooked through so I tend to sauté these for at least 15-20 mins, depending on their size and the thickness of the slices.
  5. While the mushrooms are cooking, prepare the salad dressing by adding 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, half a teaspoon of Dijon mustard and half a teaspoon of grainy mustard to a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and mix these together until the mustard is combined into the oil, vinegar and soy sauce.
  6. Steam the asparagus for 5-6 minutes and lightly toast the pine nuts.
  7. Add the rocket to the salad bowl, along with the avocado. Toss them lightly in the dressing.
  8. When the chicken is cooked remove it from the oven, cut into slices and add to the salad bowl, along with the asparagus and mushrooms.
  9. Toss everything in the salad dressing then, finally, scatter the toasted pine nuts on the top before serving.

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