How about a vibrantly fresh, lovely hued salad to chase away the winter blahs?
We experienced the tail end of winter storm Jonas this past weekend and that brought some fun and excitement to a normally boring month. We hunkered in, ventured out (not in the car but by foot) and enjoyed all the hubbub and excitement it generated. But here in NC, old Jonas is pretty much history. There are a few snow piles left here and there, but the last two days of warm sunshine have relegated the “storm of the century” to a distant memory here in NC.
I don’t know about you, but I feel a little bipolar this time of year, when it comes to food. When blustery wintery winds are blowing or white fluffy snowflakes are blanketing the landscape, I start craving soups, stews, chilis, biscuits and all manner of baked goods. At the same time gray skies and barren branches have me hungering for everything fresh and green, as warm sunny days and fresh herbs on the deck seem like a distant memory. Oh, and the extra pounds from fun holiday indulging? They make me quite certain that the words “fresh” and “green” need to be a priority from here on out to spring!
So today, I’m offering a wonderful salad that won’t make you feel the slightest bit deprived. In fact, if you close your eyes for a minute while enjoying this salad, you might just think you’re smack dab in the middle of summer! The salad features fresh strawberries, sweet mango and super tender sliced chicken breast.
I don’t generally purchase strawberries in the off season, but lately I’ve found some really pretty ones. If I see a carton that has uniform, deep red berries with a bit of a shine, I snatch them up. That’s what to look for in the off season. They’ll be nice and red all the way through and decently sweet as well.
This salad features my Juicy Tender Baked Chicken Breasts. They’re lean, with lots of great protein to keep you satisfied for hours, and they don’t take long to get on the table. And there’s a step-by-step tutorial to make it easy!
The dressing? I’m glad you asked, as that’s my favorite part. It’s just a few simple ingredients: fresh lime juice, honey and a splash of oil. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and you’re done. It’s bright, fresh, sweet and tart all rolled together, and gives all the other ingredients a nice boost of flavor.
Pick up some roasted, salted sunflower seeds while you’re shopping for the other ingredients. I buy a big bag and keep them in the freezer. They make a nice little snack, as well as adding crunch and pizzaz to soups, salads, etc.
Got the winter blahs? Want to forget all about them? You know what to do, right? Bon Appetit!
- For the dressing:
- fresh lime juice
- 1 medium clove garlic
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspon freshly ground black pepper
- For the salad:
- 8 cups baby arugula
- 4 Tender Juicy Baked Chicken Breasts
- 12 medium strawberries, quartered
- 1 medium mango, peeled, cored and cut in thin wedges
- 1 medium avocado, peeled, cored and cut in quarters and sliced
- 1 cup frozen edamamae, thawed
- ½ cup salted, toasted sunflower seeds
- For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake vigorously. Check and make sure all the honey is incorporated (it likes to stick to the bottom).
- For the salad, divide arugula between four dinner size plates or large shallow bowls. Arrange chicken in the center. Scatter with strawberries, mango and avocado. Sprinkle sunflower seeds over the top. Serve with dressing.