The weather is hot and humid and my students have checked out completely.
High School teachers - you know what I am referring to - the brain drain that occurs with warmer weather. With only one full week of school left before testing, I've embraced their summer brain and have started up my weekly summer routine - visiting my Farmer's Market.
Nothing beats being able to hand pick your fresh produce and support local grower's.
PLUS the size of the fruits and veggies are behemoth compared to what you get at the grocery store AND for a cheaper price!
With the humidity at almost 85% or more the last two weeks - I cannot bear to turn the oven on so the inspiration for this salad came from my latest Farmer's Market Haul and the desire for something cool and refreshing to eat.
It's quick but still healthy AND customizable to whatever ingredients you have on hand!
As usual - all of my recipes can be changed to cater to YOUR needs and preferences
4 Chicken Breasts - fat cut off and cut into strips/bite size pieces
Ken's LITE Balsamic Vinegarette - gluten and dairy free
Lettuce/Leafy Greens of Your Choice (I used Butter Lettuce and Red Leaf Lettuce)
Red, Orange and Yellow Bell Peppers
Tomatoes (I use BeefSteak but Cherry or Grape would be great!)
Berries: Strawberries, Blackberries, Blueberries, and Raspberries
(I used Wegmans Just Picked and Freshly Frozen Blend I thawed out while "grilling)
1. Cut up chicken and marinate overnight (IF you remember) or for a few hours in your dressing
2. Wash lettuce and allow to dry, cut into bite sized pieces if not already done for you
3. IF USING FROZEN BERRIES - take out to defrost while you prep for the salads
3. Cut, Chop or Dice ALL vegetables you intend on adding to your salad
4. Spray grill pan and heat - you want the chicken to "sizzle" when you add it
5. Cook chicken for at least seven minutes on each side
6. While chicken is grilling, put down a bed of lettuce with all of your "fixings"
7. Top grilled chicken to the side if your anal like me or right on top of your plate
(I did not use dressing because the marinade from the chicken and defrosted berries was enough!)
Optional Add Ins:
- Sunflower Seeds
- Sesame Seeds
- Slivered Almonds
- Scoop of quinoa or grain of your choice
- You don't NEED to marinate the chicken - you could simply season it with garlic powder and grill,
I don't have an actual grill so marinating it enhances the flavor and elimated the need for me to use a dressing
- I used FROZEN berries that I defrosted, it created a natural dressing, you can easily use fresh but remember Frozen fruit in bulk is cheaper than fresh fruit
- You could easily make a BULK batch of this prepped for the week if you CHOP and SEPARATE everything, and throw it together in the morning for lunch or prior to dinner time
- What's your go to recipe to beat the heat in the kitchen?
- What salad "fixing" is your favorite?
- What would you add to this salad that I didn't?
- Do you have summer brain yet?