This is the third installment of my daily dinner dialogue. By suggestion from my niece Suzanne I have created this series in hopes to help amateur chefs everywhere create delicious meals. I dedicate this article to my husband Jerry who asked me to make a salad with spinach that had all the yummy stuff he liked in it and would enjoy. And remember, the great thing about cooking is you can change things up and make it with the stuff that makes you happy!
On-the-Fly Chicken Strawberry and Spinach Salad
There are two ways to make this dish. I am going to propose the simplest way for those of you who like things easy but my side notes will offer ways that use the more hands-on approach. Either way, this refreshing salad will make a great meal.
Ingredients – Use all ingredients in quantities to your liking)
Roasted Chicken (you can find at most grocery stores)
Spinach – cleaned and washed
1 Cucumber – sliced
Grape tomatoes – as many as you like
Strawberries – sliced and as many as you like
Small package of chopped walnuts or pecans
1 Tablespoon Butter or Margarine
1-2 Tablespoon of Brown Sugar
Italian or Balsamic Vinegar Dressing
Shred roasted chicken into bite size pieces. Set aside. Melt butter in small pan. Add nuts and brown sugar. Stir over medium heat until sugar melts and nuts are coated. Pour in bowl and let cool (stir once or twice to make sure coating spreads evening. Mix sliced strawberries with dressing to your taste. Layer spinach on plate. Sprinkle cucumber, tomatoes, nut mixture, and feta cheese on top of spinach. Top with chicken. Pour strawberry dressing mixture as your final layer. Add fresh black pepper and maybe a touch of crushed sea salt if you like. That’s it! A simple refreshing summer salad that is easy to assemble and wonderful to eat!
Want something more hands-on and involves a gas grill:
2-3 Chicken Breasts
Lemon Pepper (season to taste – meaning as much as you like)
¼ Cup Tablespoons Olive Oil
¼ Cup Balsamic Vinegar
2 Teaspoons Sugar
¼ Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
Make the dressing by combining the olive oil, vinegar, sugar, Italian seasoning, a little black pepper and a dash of salt in a bowl. Mix well. Set aside enough of dressing to combine with strawberries later. Add to remaining dressing a couple dashes of lemon pepper. Put chicken breasts in a shallow dish and pour the dressing with lemon pepper over them. Stir a little so chicken is coated. Let sit covered in refrigerator for 15-20 minutes. Preheat gas grill while they marinate. Combine sliced strawberries with remaining dressing (the part without lemon pepper). Set in refrigerator. Place chicken breasts on grill at low setting. Cook between 5-7 minutes on each side, depending how thick chicken is. Check that completely cooked through. Remove from grill, slice it up, and follow the directions above as far as assembling the salad. Tada! Now you have made On-the-Fly “Grilled” Chicken Strawberry and Spinach Salad.
Ideas for sides:
Lightly toasted baguette – sliced
Angel hair pasta tossed in a little olive oil or melted butter and a dash of salt