Monday, September 5, 2011

Sizzling September

Spinach Salad with Lemony-Peppery Chicken
Summer is not going down without a fight around here. After a rather mild and pleasant few dry months we were teased with a very Fall-like few days of chilly evenings. I thought it was about time to pull out my sweaters and stock pots of the long, wet months ahead . . . then BAM! This Labor Day weekend temperatures shot up into the high 90s and although my heart was turning towards concocting hearty soups and casseroles, my sweaty body tells me, "No, it's still salad weather." Very well, this quick spinach salad with grilled chicken breast is perfectly light meal for two to enjoy with your sweetie and a crisp glass of white wine during these remaining warm summer nights!

- 1 chicken breast, sliced in half down the center to create two thin fillets, then cut into four strips
- 5 oz. baby spinach leaves, rinsed and patted dry
- 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
- 1 Fuji apple, cored and sliced
- 2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts
- 1/4 c. crumbled Feta cheese
- 1/4 c. dried cherries
- juice from 1 lemon
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- 1 shallot, minced
- 3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
- salt and pepper to taste
- lemon pepper 

In a small bowl, whisk together minced garlic, lemon juice, and 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Set aside. Lay out filleted chicken breast pieces in a shallow bowl and sprinkle both sides with salt and a generous amount of lemon pepper. Pour lemon mixture over chicken breasts, cover with plastic wrap, and marinate in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
After the chicken has marinated, heat the grill to high and cook chicken pieces for 4-5 minutes per side until grill marks appear. The chicken will cook quickly because it's sliced so thin. While chicken pieces are grilling, prepare the salad dressing and salad.

In a small bowl, whisk together shallots, honey, apple cider vinegar, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper until the honey has dissolved. Whisk in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Assemble two salads with spinach, apple sliced, dried cherries, avocado, apple slices, and walnuts. Divide dressing evenly among each salad. Sprinkle with crumbled Feta cheese then lay two cooked chicken breast pieces across each salad. Eat up! Fast, easy, and delicious! 

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