A simple balsamic dressing does double duty as a marinade for the chicken in this light and healthy, fresh spinach, avocado and strawberry salad.
The best recipes are made from muscle memory.
These are the recipes you’ve made time and time again, with so much repetition you really don’t even think about what you’re doing when you make it, you just do.
These recipes aren’t really even recipes at all. They’re just the wonderful result of what happens when you take the basics and then add a twist here and a switcheroo there, all depending on what’s fresh and seasonal and hanging out in the fridge.
This spinach salad is exactly one of those recipes and finds itself as my lucky lunch at least once a week. And if I love it that much I’m betting you will too.
Isn’t that the perfect reason to share?
About the Recipe
I always have fresh spinach in the fridge, where it finds its way into everything from my breakfast fritattas, to my lightened up sweet green smoothies and spinach lasagna. So it’s a natural base for this hearty salad, that works for lunch or dinner even. But if you have kale, arugula, romaine, butter or even spring mix mingling in the crisper, by all means, use it up!
As part of my never ending quest to be more prepped for the week when it comes to meal planning, I usually cook up a few chicken breasts on Sunday or Monday to eat during the week in salads like this. I’ve shared how to cook them on the stove top below, but if you’re ready to grill, this technique is always a grilled chicken success.
The ying and yang of sweet strawberries with red onion and avocado is one of my favorite combos ever. You can always swap out raspberries or blueberries for the strawberries and instead of feta, give goat cheese a try. I have and likely will again.
This balsamic tarragon dressing is my standard, go-to-all-the-time salad dressings. I use white balsamic dressing because it’s a bit mellower and doesn’t dominate the flavor of the salad, instead letting all of the other flavors shine through.
Here the dressing does double duty as a chicken marinade too. Remember that after marinading chicken to discard the marinade. You do NOT want to use it for the dressing after soaking in raw chicken. Ew.
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon golden balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh tarragon
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 6 cups loosely packed fresh spinach
- 6-8 large strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
- 3-4 thinly sliced rings of red onion
- ¼ cup feta cheese
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
- Whisk the extra virgin olive oil with the balsamic vinegar, sugar, tarragon, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper in a small bowl until blended.
- Place the chicken breasts in a shallow bowl and cover with half of the dressing, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
- Spray a grill pan or 12-inch non-stick pan with cooking spray and heat to medium high. Place the chicken breasts on the hot grill pan. Cook for 3 minutes then flip the chicken breasts. Cook for another 3 minutes, and turn. Reduce the cooking temperature to medium low and cook the chicken for 20-25 minutes more, turning every 5 minutes or so. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the chicken, but it will be done when it hits 165 degrees internal temperature. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes then slice into ¼ inch slices.
- Arrange the spinach, strawberries and red onion in a bowl. Lightly toss with the remaining dressing. Add the avocado, sliced chicken and top with feta and almond slices. Serve immediately.
As we have for the past few seasons, Becky of The Vintage Mixer has posted her list of what’s in season to eat now and from that list, has amassed a group of us who are posting #eatseasonal recipes today. Some are some are sweet, some are savory and they’re all in season now. They’re all good and they’re all seasonal and are listed below.
Please hop over to their sites, say hi and enjoy their seasonal inspiration.
We’d love to see what you’re eating seasonal now, too. Share your eats and follow the #eatseasonal hashtag on Instagram and Twitter to discover more seasonal eats.
Roasted Broccoli and Bacon Crustless Quiche from Completely Delicious
Rhubarb Eton Mess with Coconut Whipped Cream from Vintage Mixer
Lemon Roasted Artichokes from Letty’s Kitchen
Kale, Mushroom & Goat Cheese Quesadillas from Cookin’ Canuck
Rhubarb-Almond Cake from Floating Kitchen
Skinny Pineapple Mint Margaritas from Mountain Mama Cooks
Rhubarb-Wine BBQ Sauce from Kitchen Confidante
Rice Bowls with Quick Pickled Ginger Red Cabbage from Food for My Family
Shaved Asparagus Ricotta Flatbread from Flavor the Moments
And with that, you have no reason to get into the kitchen and cook something seasonal!
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