It’s been really warm down here in Loma Linda, and the problem isn’t so much the warm weather but rather the fact that it never goes away. It’s been hot all summer, I don’t even remember the last time I wore jeans (actually I do, but it was only for an hour or two because then it got too hot again).
My point being, it’s too hot to cook.
My mom suggested salads for dinner and creating a salad that is yummy and also hearty enough to fill us up. I immediately thought about a grilled chicken salad with strawberries. I’ve seen recipe ideas like this before in magazines and on Pinterest and have kept the idea in the back of my mind.
I whipped up a vinaigrette and chopped the salad while the chicken cooked, so it was a fairly quick meal to put together.
Start by heating up some oil on a grill pan. You can also use a regular skillet or cast iron skillet, or even your BBQ if you don’t have a grill pan. Salt and pepper the chicken. Cook on one side for about seven minutes and then flip. Cook until no pink shows. Usually with a grill pan I’ll cover the meat with foil which helps keep the meat super moist inside.
In a medium bowl, mix together the vinaigrette. It’s just balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, oil, brown sugar and garlic. Whisk together and taste; I almost always have to adjust a vinaigrette recipe. I used a recipe from FoodNetwork.com for my vinaigrette but even then I adjusted because I like to use more equal parts vinegar and oil, do whatever makes you happy!
Reserve half of the dressing aside, you’ll be using this on the chicken later.
Add the mix of lettuce, or whatever greens you’ve chosen, into the bowl where the dressing is and toss to coat. Add in the crumbled goat cheese, chopped walnuts and sliced strawberries.
When the chicken is almost done, drizzle the remaining dressing over it and let it cook just a few more seconds. (I ended up cutting the chicken in half so they weren’t so thick, this way they cooked a little quicker and more evenly.)
Slice up the chicken or dice it up and let it cool down just a minute. I prefer warm chicken over a cold salad rather than hot chicken, I don’t want the lettuce to wilt before I can even get to it.
Once the chicken has cooled just slightly, toss it in with the salad.
Serve it up and enjoy! I loved this salad, it was the perfect balance of all the flavors. You get a crunch with the walnuts, sweetness with the strawberries, and a mild flavor with the chicken to help balance out the strong flavors of goat cheese and vinaigrette. Better yet, Jesse really liked it too!
- 1 Chicken Breast, sliced in half to create 2 thin pieces
- 2 cups lettuce, romaine, spinach, arugula, whatever mix you like.
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 4-6 medium strawberries, sliced
- crumbled Goat Cheese
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 teas. brown sugar
- 1 T chopped garlic
- 1/2 teas. salt
- 1/2 teas. black pepper
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- Heat up oil on a grill pan and put chicken on. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper. Cover with foil. Cook for about 5 minutes then flip the chicken and cook another 5 minutes or until no pink shows.
- Meanwhile, chop up salad ingredients.
- Mix together the vinaigrette and reserve half. Mix the greens in with the vinaigrette then toss in remaining ingredients, except chicken.
- When chicken is almost done, drizzle in the reserved vinaigrette. Cook another 30 seconds.
- remove to a cutting board and chop into slices or dices. Let slightly cool and then add to salad.
- This serves 2.
- balsamic vinaigrette is adapted from FoodNetwork.com