It appears most of the country is either covered in snow or has crazy cold temperatures. We did get a little on Saturday, but not nearly as bad as other parts of the country. We had enough for a snowball fight in the backyard (I won), but not enough to use the snow blower. I am hoping that it melts soon. I have grown accustomed to the mild winters of Colorado. It was in the 50’s pretty much all last week.
I am all for being healthy, but it has to taste good. I almost never make salads at home, because they don’t turn out like their restaurant counterparts. I am not one to add cheese and all the creamy dressings, so I don’t think it is the toppings. After some trial and error, I figured out that it all has to do with the lettuce. Dry lettuce is the key to a good salad. In the past, I have just rinsed the lettuce, chopped, and put immediately in a salad. The dressing doesn’t stick, and it is never good. So whether it is a salad spinner or drying with paper towel; making sure there is no moisture is an important step.
The other thing that leads to a good salad? The dressing. I am talking about a quick and easy homemade vinaigrette. I haven’t found any creamy dressings that I like, so I like creating different vinaigrettes depending on what I am putting in my salad. For this spinach salad I used balsamic vinegar and a garlic olive oil, a little Dijon mustard for tang and it was perfect. You can really top your salad with whatever you want, but I went for avocado, chicken, pepitas, shredded carrots, and caramelized onions. This salad is hearty enough to have for dinner or lunch. I doubled the recipe for the dressing, so I have some sitting in my fridge for my lunch tomorrow too.
- 6 cups spinach
- 1/3 cup shredded carrots
- 1 avocado, , diced
- 1/2 cup caramelized onions
- 2 Tbls roasted pepitas
- 1 small chicken breast
- 1 tsp STAR Grilling, (Garlic) Cuisine Cooking Oil
- Salt and Pepper
Garlic Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 2 Tbls STAR Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/4 tsp ground oregano
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 3 1/2 Tbls STAR Grilling, (Garlic) Cuisine Cooking Oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- In a bowl combine all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette. Whisk thoroughly. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan heat oil over medium high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Saute chicken for 6 minutes a side, or until cooked through. Remove from pan, and slice into strips.
- Divide spinach onto 2 plates or bowls. Top with carrots, avocado, onions, sliced chicken and pepitas.
- Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad to serve.
**I have an on going relationship with STAR Fine Foods for recipe development. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.