“It's always the simple that produces the marvelous” ~ Amelia Barr
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There are some recipes that seem almost too simple to share
Some that, for one reason or another, I've yet to take their photo and find them a spot within the pages of this humble space on the web. It's mostly because of their ease though, if truth be told, I sometimes wonder if they seem too
I've begun to think about this as I make our staple meals again, and again, and yet again
Then it occurred to me; these are the recipes that should be included because they're the very things that feed
They aren't set aside for celebrations to mark the passing of another year, the birth of a baby, or twinkling lights on a pine-scented tree. They aren't those for which we've spent hours, in search of the perfect dish, to bring to dinner parties big, or small.
Instead, these are the meals that are consumed as the pets, and I send my husband out the door for work in the morning. These are the snacks that silence the 2 am (I can't sleep!) munchies, or the 4 pm mental debate. “Am I really hungry, or probably just bored?”
These are the meals that are made again and again, simply because they're good, not because they boast lots of ingredients are covered in chocolate, or tout the latest in seasonal feasting.
The very sorts of recipes I want to share, so you too will have something to fuel the spaces in your everyday. There's plenty of room for those
Amid a busy day this week, I stopped for a reprieve and lunch at one of my favorite spots, Panera Bread. As I sat by the window enjoying the sunshine, some soup, and a good book, I couldn't help but notice all of the incredible looking food as it passed by
Especially the salad topped with lots of fruit and chicken (!)
At any given time in our fridge, one can always find grilled chicken waiting to be used, as well as fruit in all shapes, sizes, and colors. With CSA deliveries beginning again, salads have been on the menu
This has quickly turned into a favorite.
With mixed greens, a poppyseed dressing, tender chicken, strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, oranges, and a handful of crunchy pecans, it's a salad that definitely stands out.
The recipe for the Poppyseed Dressing originates from Panera's website, along with many different ideas for how it can be used. A few that caught my eye?
Brush it on veggies (think zucchini, onion, eggplant, and tomato), just before grilling
Use it as a dip for bites of fruit like sliced apples or cubed pineapple and melon
Fill a pita with fresh greens, sliced cucumbers, chopped tomatoes, and thin slices of sweet Vidalia onions. Drizzle with poppy seed dressing and enjoy.
(Also, if time is short, you can always pick up a pre-made bottle of this very dressing at Target. It's all good)
ps: To make the recipe Vegan or Vegetarian, simply skip adding the chicken
— — —
~ Adapted from Panera Bread
Strawberry, Chicken and Poppyseed Salad
- 1 ½ lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts about 1 ½ lb total skinless, boneless
- fine-grain sea salt + freshly ground black pepper (or a Mrs. Dash seasoning blend)
- olive oil, for the pan
- 1 large head romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
- 6 - 8 oz spinach or spring mix (the greens should equal ~ 15 cups total)
- 2 - 3 clementine oranges (alternately, mandarin oranges, drained)
- ½ lb strawberries, washed and sliced
- 1 pint blueberries, washed and patted dry
- 1 cup pineapple, sliced into chunks, then thinly sliced (~ ½ of a medium-size pineapple)
- 1 cup pecans, toasted and cut in half
- Poppyseed Dressing
- ¼ cup natural sugar (Sugar in the Raw or Turbinado)
- ½ cup white wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
- 2 Tbsp orange juice (freshly squeezed is best)
- 1 tsp fine-grain sea salt
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp minced onion
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
- Heat a heavy pan over medium to medium-high heat.
- Pour the olive oil in the pan while it's heating up and place the chicken, seasoned side down in the pan and cook over medium to medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
- While the chicken is cooking, season the side facing upward. (If needed, add a little more oil to the pan when turning chicken)
- After the chicken has cooked for a total of ten minutes (5 minutes on each side), remove the pan from heat and cover loosely with foil.
- Let sit for an additional 5-7 minutes in pan. Remove the chicken from the pan and let cool completely on a cutting board.
- Slice thin and refrigerate until ready to use
- In a large salad bowl or platter, arrange about half the greens. Sprinkle with a few pieces of fruit.
- Layer the additional greens. Place the remaining fruits and chopped pecans on top.
- Top with sliced chicken. Drizzle about half of the dressing on the salad.
- Toss before serving.
- (** Alternatively, plate the salad individually. In this case, toss the greens with the dressing and place on plates)
- Top each plate with fruit, nuts, and chicken.
- In a blender or food processor, combine the coconut sugar, vinegar, orange juice, sea salt, mustard, and onion
- Process until well combined (~ 30 seconds)
- With the blender on high, gradually add the oil in a slow, steady stream.
- Remove from the blender and stir in the poppy seeds