Balsamic Chicken and Spinach Salad Recipe

Balsamic chicken and spinach salad (Photo courtesy of Cook Smarts)

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring or tasteless. Cook Smarts meal plan service has some delicious options that prove just that. The company’s recipe developers use healthy ingredients and cooking methods to make absolutely tasty, restaurant-quality meals.
This entree salad is just the sort of thing that makes us look forward to spring. Fresh strawberries and balsamic vinegar give the salad a nice balance of sweet and tart. Savory, salty blue cheese adds nice contrast to the salad, but feel free to use any cheese you’d like, for example, goat cheese or feta would be great alternatives.

Add this salad to your recipe Rolodex:

Balsamic Chicken and Spinach Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Active Time: 25 minutes, Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Balsamic Vinaigrette (for marinade and dressing):

1 clove of shallots, diced
3 Tbsp vinegar, balsamic
1 Tbsp mustard, Dijon
2 Tbsp honey
½ cooking oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Balsamic Chicken and Spinach Salad:

1 lb chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1 pint strawberries, quartered
8oz baby spinach – 8 oz
4oz blue cheese (sub feta or goat cheese)
⅓ cup almonds, sliced

Prep

1. Balsamic vinaigrette: Dice shallots. Combine shallots with vinegar, mustard, honey, oil, and lemon juice. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

2. Marinate chicken: Combine chicken with half the vinaigrette (reserve the other half for dressing) and tenderize with a fork. Marinate for at least 20 minutes or up to a day. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)

Directions

1. Remove chicken from marinade (discard marinade). Season chicken on both sides with some salt and pepper.

2. If using a grill: Preheat grill to 400 degrees, keeping one section on higher heat and another section on lower heat. Clean and brush grates with some oil. Sear chicken for 2 to 3 minutes on each side and transfer to lower heat. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, an additional 2 to 3 minutes.

3. If using the stove top: Place a grill pan or skillet over medium heat. Brush pan with some oil and sear chicken on both sides for 2 to 3 minutes. Lower heat to low-medium, cover with foil, and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

4. When chicken is finished cooking, cover and let it rest for 5 minutes.

5. Slice chicken. Assemble salads by topping spinach with sliced chicken, strawberries, crumbled cheese, and almonds. Finish with reserved half of the vinaigrette at the table.

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Cyndi Zaweski
Cyndi Zaweski is the editor of Anton Media Group's special sections.

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