Happy St. Patrick's Day Gals! Today I'm sharing one of my very favorite salad recipes that I make at least once a week, along with the homemade dressing that has replaced every single bottled version in my fridge! I love how easy this is to throw together, and it's easily adapted based on whatever veggies and greens we have in the fridge. The one constant that never changes is the dressing I use. After playing around with the ingredients a couple years back, I finally mastered the most perfect balsamic vinaigrette recipe and I now refuse to even entertain any bottled version - especially since this one is so easy to whip up!
Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette:
1 tbsp of olive oil
1.5 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Juice from half a lemon
Hefty squeeze of balsamic glaze
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all of the above ingredients and whisk together until everything is combined. The above makes enough for 2-3 salads, so feel free to half or store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
As for the salad, as I mentioned above, I tend to vary the ingredients based on whatever we have on hand, but below is my favorite combination - feel free to adapt based on your tastes. I almost feel silly posting, since it is just a hodge podge from my fridge, but I figured it's always good to get a little inspiration from what others put together (after all, that's what keeps Pinterest in business!).
Easy Weeknight Salad (Serves 2):
1 bag of baby spinach
Handful of cherry tomatoes
1 bell pepper, diced
Crumbled goat cheese
Handful of dried cranberries
Handful of crushed peanuts
2 grilled chicken breasts, sliced
Drizzle of homemade balsamic vinaigrette, to taste
Combine all ingredients and toss to incorporate the dressing. A couple of notes to take this baby to the next level:
For the goat cheese, I use a log, and then run my fork across it over the salad. It's the easiest way to get a very fine crumble and avoid any huge chunks of goat cheese! Plus this way you don't overdue it with the cheese.
Next, to crush up the peanuts, very unglamourously add the peanuts to a ziplock bag, seal, and proceed to crush with whatever is handy - in this case, the back of a screwdriver.
Lastly, I'll also share my secret for delicious and juicy grilled chicken - brown in a VERY hot pan on both sides (about 2-3 minutes), then cook in an over at 400 degrees, for 10 minutes. It seriously cooks the chicken perfectly and completely through, without losing any flavor, plus it's pretty healthy since the only oil I use is a quick spritz of non-stick cooking spray.
And that's really it - a delicious and balanced meal that comes together in about 20 minutes!
Linking up today with Emily, Jennifer Juniper, Karyn, Kristen, Emily, Mandy, Mary, Jessica, Mandy, Susan, Lisa, Natasha, Meg, and Molly!