If you’re looking for a last minute, light appetizer for a grill-out, I’ve got you covered! Crunchy leaves of romaine lettuce are stuffed with BBQ-grilled chicken, then topped with a perfectly dressed salad of charred corn, juicy nectarine, and rich avocado.
When the kind folks at In The Raw asked if I’d be interested in featuring their stevia-based, zero-calorie sweetener in a blog post, they included links to some recipes I could share with you all. They’ve got a remade, whole-fruit take on rocket pops, as well as a beautiful 4th of July Celebration Cake. While I have not made it yet, I’ve included the cake recipe at the end of this poist in case you’d like to try it out!
The recipe on their site that interested me the most wasn’t a dessert, though, but the Sweet ‘N Tangy BBQ Sauce. After all, store-bought sauces are usually full of sugar, and I was intrigued by the option of a homemade, less sugary-sweet version to use for all of my summer grilling! I substituted smoked paprika for the regular kind, and toned down the cayenne pepper a bit since I know that the one in our pantry packs a serious punch. The sauce came out thick and tomato-y, with just enough sweetness to stand in for the bottled stuff.
I’ve been wanting to make a corn and avocado salad ever since trying the one from our favorite rotisserie chicken truck, Roli Roti. My favorite thing about their salad is the generous helping of avocado, so I diced up a whole large fruit to go into my version. I also included a diced nectarine for some sweetness, and I dressed the salad simply with lime juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and a big handful of chopped cilantro.
As for the BBQ sauce, I brushed that on some boneless, skinless chicken thighs, then grilled them on a hot grill until they had a nice char and were done in the middle (about 5 minutes a side). You can use the chicken thighs for sandwiches (a little coleslaw in there would be good, too!), slice them and put them on top of a green salad for a light lunch, or make an appetizer like I did, dicing and spooning the meat onto lettuce leaves with the corn salad on top.
Grilled Chicken Lettuce Boats with Corn and Avocado Salad
- 2 ears white or yellow corn
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/4 pounds)
- 1/4 cup Sweet 'N Tangy BBQ Sauce or store-bought BBQ sauce
- 1 avocado diced
- 1 nectarine diced
- 3 green onions sliced
- 5 sprigs cilantro chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons juice of 1/2 large lime
- 12 leaves of romaine lettuce from 1 head
- Prepare a grill or grill pan at medium-high heat.
- Drizzle the ears of corn with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and season them all over with the salt and pepper. Get in there with your hands or a pastry brush to really get the seasonings and oil onto all of the kernels.
- Grill the corn for about 15 minutes, rotating it every few minutes to ensure that all sides get a good char. Remove it from the grill and let it cool.
- Coat the chicken thighs evenly with the BBQ sauce. Grill them for about 5 minutes per side, until they are cooked through and nicely charred. Set them aside to cool.
- Slice the corn off of the cobs, then toss it with the avocado, nectarine, green onions, cilantro, lime juice, and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper as needed.
- Set out the romaine leaves on a serving platter. Dice the chicken, then spoon it onto the lettuce leaves. Top each leaf with a generous spoonful of the corn salad, and serve right away.
For the Sponge Cake:
- 6 eggs separated
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar divided
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup Stevia In The Raw® Bakers Bag
- 1 cup finely ground slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup sifted cake flour
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
For the Filling and Topping:
- 2 15 ounce containers partially skimmed Ricotta cheese
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract divided
- 2/3 cup 1% lowfat milk
- 1/3 cup Stevia In The Raw® Bakers Bag divided
- 2 ½ pints blueberries divided
- 1/2 pint whipping cream
- Blackberries for garnish
- Strawberries for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Line bottom of 10-inch tube pan with parchment paper. In small metal bowl, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, salt, with electric mixer at high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add ⅓ cup sugar beating until stiff and shiny. Set aside.
- In large bowl beat egg yolks and remaining sugar with electric mixer at medium speed 3-4 minutes or until thick and lemon colored. Add vanilla, Stevia In The Raw®, beat 1 minute until blended. Combine ground almonds, cake flour and cornstarch in a bowl and blend well. Gently stir in cake flour and cornstarch mixture to egg yolk mixture. Add egg white mixture, stir gently until well blended. Pour batter into the ungreased 10-inch tube pan.
- Bake 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Invert cake pan onto wire rack for about 30 minutes or until cake is cool. Loosen cake from pan. When cooled wrap in foil while preparing filling and whipping cream for topping.
Filling and Topping:
- In medium bowl combine Ricotta cheese, milk, ¼ cup Stevia In The Raw® and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Fold 2 pints of blueberries. Divide the cake into 3 equal layers. Divide the blueberry Ricotta filling evenly between two of the layers. In separate bowl combine whipping cream, remaining Stevia In
- The Raw® and vanilla. Using electric mixer at high speed whip cream mixture until stiff peaks form. Spread a thin layer of whip cream on top layer of cake. Pipe whip cream around edge using a pastry bag. Trim cake with blueberries, blackberries and strawberries. Serve immediately.
This product, information, and a gift card to cover the ingredients in this recipe have been provided by In The Raw® sweeteners so that I could try the product and share my thoughts and information about Stevia In The Raw® Bakers Bag. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and do not reflect the opinions of the In The Raw® brand.”