A lot of people consider chicken and salad to be a “diet” meal. Not me, and here’s why. First of all, chicken can be prepared at least one hundred different ways and I could certainly say the same for salad. If your idea of chicken and salad is steamed or heaven forbid…boiled chicken, and a plate full of iceberg lettuce, then you need to venture out into the world of flavor and variety.
My husband recently returned from a skiing trip in Utah and brought me the most wonderful olive oil and balsamic vinegars. Wonderful doesn’t even come close to explaining the intense flavors. Unbelievable would maybe be a more appropriate description. A pleasantly shocking experience. I’ve tasted quite a few vinegars and oils over the years and these by far rank in at #1. My husband tried several different varieties and settled on 3 different bottles to bring home (wrapped inside his ski boots to keep them safe). California Garlic Olive Oil, Blackberry Ginger Balsamic Vinegar, and 18-Year Traditional Balsamic. Such an incredibly thoughtful gift for a foodie like me. The creative minds at Mountain Town Olive Oil Co. certainly know their stuff. I can’t wait until we have the opportunity to head their way together so I can taste every single thing they make.
Yesterday I stood in the kitchen the entire day making a “Thanksgiving” feast, pie included, for our Valentine’s Day dinner. I was looking forward to something simple tonight but wanted to prepare something that would support my new gifts from my husband nicely. Something simple, but full of flavor. Every single bite I took I had to tell my husband how good it was! I’m sure he was thankful that I was enjoying his gifts, but honestly, I couldn’t stop talking about it. Right now, I have the bottles sitting next to me as I type this and things keep running through my mind like, “What else can I eat with those right now?” It’s a good thing I’m out of GF bread. But tomorrow…well, tomorrow is another day where I’m already envisioning bread, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar for lunch….
Grilled Chicken Breasts & Vegetable Salad
(This makes a large salad & 4 chicken breasts. I try to make a large salad every 4 days with different ingredients to keep in the fridge to munch on, making it easier to get our daily veggie requirements. There are 3 of us, but this meal would easily feed a family of 4 or 5 for dinner.)
4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, rinsed and dried
Olive Oil, extra virgin
Sea Salt & Pepper
1 tsp. Oregano
1 tsp. Thyme
4 Cups Romaine Lettuce, chopped or torn
4 Cups Spinach Leaves, stems removed
1 Cup Carrots, shredded
1 Cup Mushrooms, sliced
1/2 Cup Fresh Green Beans, diced
1 Cup Broccoli, sliced small
2 Green Onions, sliced
4 Compari Tomatoes, quartered
About 1/4 Of A Goat Cheese Block, crumbled
Your Favorite Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar
Dry chicken breasts, place on plate and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt & pepper, and smoked paprika. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the oregano and thyme. Turn breasts over and repeat process. Set aside.
Prepare the romaine lettuce and spinach.
Prepare the carrots, mushrooms, green beans, broccoli, green onions, and tomatoes. Pre-heat grill on medium to medium high (this will depend on how hot your grill gets).
Crumble the goat cheese.
Assemble the salad, refrigerate, and place chicken on hot grill. I like to grill mine for 7-8 minutes on each side. This ensures that they are tender and juicy.
Remove chicken from grill. And allow to rest for about 5-8 minutes.
Slice, plate the salad, add the chicken, and drizzle with your favorite olive oil and balsamic vinegar.