There’s no doubt about it, we should all be eating more salads! The ideal salad is fresh, healthy and filling, without weighing you down. I always look to a good bowl of greens when I’m trying to watch what I eat. And since there are endless ways to dress up a salad, the leafy greens are the perfect healthy option to turn to without getting bored and feeling like you’re starving yourself.
One of my favorite unique salad combos is this Apple Pecan Chicken salad. I love it because it’s full of tart Granny Smith apple slices, chopped pecans and juicy, marinated grilled chicken. The addition of pungent Gorgonzola cheese gives this salad a little funk! But don’t fret…if you’re among the many folks that think blue cheese just smells too much like smelly feet, you can make an easy swap for the less offensive feta cheese.
Start by making a quick marinade for your chicken. In a non-porous (glass or stainless) bowl or disposable bag, toss chicken (6-8 tenderloins or 2-3 breasts) with some garlic powder, paprika, a pinch of salt & pepper, red wine vinegar and olive oil. Marinating for at least 20 minutes will make your chicken extra juicy and flavorful. So worth it! Grill for about 5 minutes per side (or until chicken reaches an internal temp of 160°). Let it rest for a few minutes before cutting into bite sized pieces.
While the chicken is resting, make a quick vinaigrette by adding 2 tbsp. of red wine vinegar, 1 tsp. dijon mustard and a couple pinches of salt and pepper to a large mixing bowl. Whisk, slowly drizzling in 3 tbsp. olive oil until you have a consistently mixed dressing.
Make sure your lettuce is thoroughly washed and dried (you don’t want watered down dressing)! You can use whatever your favorite variety of greens may be. I love the crunchy bite of romaine lettuce with some more tender mixed greens or butter lettuce tossed in. Add the lettuce to the mixing bowl, right over the dressing.
Add in your thinly sliced apples and red onions, chopped pecans, and blue (or feta) cheese. Gently toss together until the dressing has coated everything. Top with your grilled chicken and dig in right away!
Thanks for Chewsing!