It is a new year and most of us have indulged in holiday eating more than we care to admit. I ate a lot of cake and cookies and pie and macaroni and cheese. Did I mention that I ate a lot of cake, cookies and pie? I enjoyed every last crumb too. I don't even feel guilty. Okay, maybe a little. Well, the holidays are over and it is time to get serious about eating healthy. I am excited about eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables and you should be too. You and I will feel so much better. This salad is something special.
It's really special
This salad is so good I have eaten it three days in a row.
It's that good.
I love a good salad, especially a colorful salad that is chock full of fruit and fresh vegetables. One of my favorite salads is the strawberry poppy seed chicken salad at Panera Bread. It is one of their signature summer salads and I enjoy it quite often in the summer. After experimenting in my kitchen, I came up with my own delicious salad inspired by Panera, but with a few of my own special touches. This is simple, delicious and healthy. Try this and watch those holiday hips go away. If you are watching your sugar intake, you can swap the poppy seed dressing for a simple mix of Braggs apple cider vinegar, olive oil, Dijon and a hint of agave. Are you ready to taste this colorful masterpiece?
I like to mix my salad greens and I always include baby spinach
A little spring mix and romaine add more color and texture
And then the berries
oh the berries...
Mandarin oranges add additional sweetness
The Panera version of this salad has pecans, but I switched it up with toasted walnuts
Grilled chicken is the final ingredient. The salad is equally delicious if you make it completely vegetarian, but we need our protein. Don't we? I'm ready for some salad. How about you?
2 chicken breast halves seasoned and cooked
For the Lemon Poppy seed Dressing
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons diced onion
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup olive oil or regular vegetable oil
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Add all ingredients except oil and poppyseeds to the blender or a food processor. When everything is well blended, start adding the oil a little at a time in a steady stream. Add the poppyseeds and process for a few minutes.
In a large salad bowl, combine the salad greens, fruit and walnuts. Toss with dressing and put a mound of salad one each plate and add the chicken.
Makes approximately 10 generous servings
Go ahead and tell everyone you spent all day slaving over a cold salad:-)