Belgian endive is like the Ritz cracker of the produce word: endlessly versatile and you can top it with pretty much anything. The difference? It has 100 percent fewer calories.
This peanut sauce is on the blog already as a dip for sweet potato fries. It has lots of flavor for a manageable amount of calories, so when it’s tossed with light, healthy vegetables and then placed on another light healthy vegetable, you’re in for a visually appealing, high protein, low calorie snack that you can reach for again and again. Though this works beautifully for a healthy summer appetizer, I’d be remiss to not suggest a few other uses.
First of all, the peanut sauce makes an awesome dip for veggies (especially crispy sweet potato fries!) or a sauce for chicken or pork. I find that when I have a container of it in the fridge, dinner comes together PDQ (pretty darn quick). Next, the filling for the endive is basically just a Thai peanut chicken salad that you could scoop on top of greens or into a wrap for a make-ahead lunch or dinner. I remember sneaking bits of this as I assembled the appetizer and then I realized the salad was so healthy there was no need to “sneak”; I scooped out a big bowl and enjoyed every bite with the clearest of conscience.
Thai Peanut Chicken Salad in Belgian Endive
½ c. light coconut milk
½ c. peanut butter
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. fresh grated ginger
1 tbsp. minced garlic
½ tsp. crushed red pepper
2 tbsp. minced cilantro
4 c. shredded cooked rotisserie chicken
1 ½ c. match stick carrots
1/3 c. minced red onion
½ c. chopped cilantro, plus leaves for garnish
4 Belgian endive, leaves removed
1. Combine all ingredients for sauce and whisk until smooth. Cover and refrigerate. May be made up to 48 hours in advance.
2. Mix sauce with chicken, carrots, onion and cilantro.
3. Spoon into endive leaves and top with cilantro leaves. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 6 hours.
Per serving (two pieces): 162 calories, 7.7 fat grams (including 3 grams saturated fat), 29 milligrams cholesterol, 122 milligrams sodium, 9.6 grams carbs, 5.4 grams dietary fiber, 3.2 grams sugar, 15 grams protein.