When you get tired of the same old salad…try this spin!
Below is the recipe for the salad in the picture, that I made for dinner tonight, with hardly any cleanup involved. First I headed to the grocery store to pick up some salad fixins,’ and what I couldn’t find there, I gleaned from the local health food store. I use what I can find. Every salad I make is a little bit different than the last based on what is available at the store, and what I’m in the mood for. I can’t wait for the farmer’s market to open for the summer. The fresher the ingredients, the better the taste, and the healthier for my body (and the farmer’s market veggies are way cheaper than the grocery store!). I can usually find 1-3 “organic” farms at the market. They may not be certified, but they don’t spray, and they utilize sustainable organic practices which puts back into the soil the nutrients the plants have taken. Non-GMO and organically-grown produce contains up to 100-fold more vitamins and minerals than conventionally grown produce! The fennel will be more flavorful from the farmer’s market (tastes like licorice – yum!)
Chicken Fennel Salad
1c fresh organic spinach
1c fresh organic romaine hearts, hand-torn in pieces, do not use a knife
8 slices organic cucumber (english cuc if your digestive tract needs less seeds)
10 thin slices fresh organic fennel bulb
6-8 organic yellow & red cherry tomatoes OR grape tomatoes
1 organic clementine, pealed & segments pulled apart
1/4c organic chickpeas, drained & rinsed with water
10 organic raw walnut pieces
1 small handful organic broccoli slaw
2 organic chicken thighs
Organic black pepper, ground
Redmond’s Real Salt
Organic healthy dressing of your choice (look for sugar-free and canola-free, or make your own)
Preheat oven to 400F. In a 9x13 glass pan, place a rectangular sized piece of unbleached parchment sheet with edges folded up to hold in the juices. Open your boneless, skinless organic chicken thighs (usually comes in a package of 5-6) and spread them out on the parchment sheet. Generously shake black pepper and Redmond’s Real Salt on the top of the chicken thighs. While the chicken is baking in the oven for 30 minutes (or until done, no pink), slice the veggies (cucumber, fennel, and tomatoes if you want them halved). Mix the spinach and romaine heart pieces on a large dinner plate. Take a small handful of the broccoli slaw and sprinkle it onto the greens. Arrange the cucumber, tomato, fennel, and orange slices randomly. Sprinkle on the chickpeas and walnut pieces. Drizzle the dressing onto the salad. When the chicken is finished cooking, slice on an angle and arrange on top of the salad. Enjoy!
Salad option ideas:
spring greens, sweet greens, baby greens, spinach, butter lettuce, red lettuce, green lettuce, romaine, massaged kale, arugula, micro greens, sprouts, sea veggies, kelp, crispy seaweed strips
*always massage the kale, as it is difficult to digest
*iceberg lettuce doesn’t have much nutrient content, but it is fiber, and might be a stepping stone into the more nutrient-dense greens
asparagus, artichoke heart, red or green cabbage, carrots (orange or colorful), bell peppers, cucumber, onions (vidalia, red, chives), beets, peas, celery, mushrooms, roasted sweet potato, radishes, olives, fennel, water chestnuts, kimchi, pickled radish
blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, avocado, apple, pomegranate seeds, watermelon, pear, orange, clementine, mandarine oranges, mango, pineapple
*Avoid dried fruit, as they are super high in sugar and will throw off the balance in the gut, as well as spike sugar levels.
soft-boiled, poached, or hard-boiled
steak, chicken, turkey, ham, no-sugar bacon, leftovers
salmon, shrimp, tuna steak, calamari rings, scallops, leftovers
garbanzo beans, black beans, butter beans, northern beans, edamame, tofu
*use soy-based products sparingly as they can influence estrogen levels. They dock at the same port so the estrogen you are making can’t enter the cell, which can reduce estrogen if you are already in normal ranges. If you are not making any estrogen (i.e. post-menopausal), this can be a nice addition, as long as your gut can digest it. Soy is more difficult to break down.
Nuts & Seeds
walnuts, pecans, almonds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
*Soak raw nuts in salt water and dehydrate at lowest setting in oven for easier digestion – they are just delicious when prepared this way! Peanuts are moldy, and cashews are already process twice before they are sold as “raw”, so I do not recommend soaking and roasting your own peanuts or cashews.
Goat cheese, feta, cheddar, gorgonzola, parmesan, mozzarella
Additional dressing ideas
guacamole, salsa, hummus, fruit salsa, pureed fruit
Make your own savory dressing with Bragg’s olive oil, basil, oregano, lemon/lime, raw garlic and shallots.
Olive oil and balsamic vinegar is a naturally sweet dressing. I love the combos they put together at Fustini’s.
Basil, parsley, mint, dill