July 14, 2011

Simple Summer Salad

When I first decided to start a food blog I couldn't wait for the summer months so that I could show case summer produce in all its glory through fabulous recipes and photos (what can I say? I was young and foolish. Ah, to be 24 again!).

However, I haven't really been doing that. There was one burger, and quite a bit of sugar, but not too many fresh veggies. I will blame it on how crazy busy this summer has been already, making the ratio of Costco trips to Farmer's Market trips about twenty to one. That's not good odds. (I really should do CSA, then I would have a huge box of seasonal, local produce waiting for me to pick up every week.)
As a result of our hectic schedule, we have been eating a lot of easy and simple meals: teriyaki chicken with rice and steamed veggies, beans and rice thrown together with cilantro, red onion, and roasted corn- that sort of thing.
Oh, and a lot of grilled chicken salads.

Grilled chicken salads are our staple go-to meal during the hot summer months when no indoor heating appliance should be turned on. They are great because you can throw any veggies or cheese (or fruit) into them, and they taste deliciously fresh and healthy. We often grill up a couple extra chicken breasts that can be used later in the week, making the next meal easier also, because even a crazy busy summer should include leisurely suppers. 

Our last simple summer salad combo that I loved:
serves 2
2 large handfuls of spinach leaves
2 small to medium grilled chicken breasts, cut into slices and pre-seasoned with salt, pepper, and lemon if desired
1 large or 3 mini bell peppers, sliced
1/2 cup sliced red onion
3 or 4 radishes, sliced
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
a few slices of left over crostini bread, crumbled into bite-size pieces
juice of 1 lemon
juice of 1 grapefruit* 
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp honey
3 tbsp olive oil
Split veggies, chicken, cheese, and crostini croutons evenly onto two plates. 
Whisk juices, vinegar, honey, and oil well until honey dissolves into the liquid. Pour about 2 tbsp of the vinaigrette over each salad. Enjoy.

*I know, they are totally out of season, which is why I had to use it up, it had been sitting around for way too long. You could substitute a couple more lemons or maybe some limes instead. However, the grapefruit-honey-tart-sweet thing totally worked.

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