I hate lame salads. You know the ones…. the obligatory, flavorless salads coated in thick, high-calorie dressing. The ones you force yourself to get through before you enjoy the rest of your meal. The ones you encourage yourself to swallow for at least the first couple of weeks in January because you’re trying to eat healthier.
One of my wellness goals for 2014 is to eat a salad a day 5 times a week, not because I enjoy torturing myself, but because salads really are an incredible way to get a few vegetable & protein portions into my body. And because I also want to enjoy my life, I’m dedicated to only eating KILLER salads! There will be no ice burg lettuce here, my friends, nor will there be wiltly, flavorless veggies or nasty dressings. Only pure, worthy salads will go into my body (or at least that is my intention). I recently started a new Pinterest board appropriately called “A Salad A Day” because I need some serious motivation (um, I only have a handful of salad recipes on the blog, but hopefully that will change this year). I get bored easily & I know that if I don’t mix things up every now & again, this will be the cruelest goal ever. My hope is that I will eat my salad for lunch every day & if I don’t manage to do that, then I will sneak it into our dinners.
One thing that is rocking my world as far as salad consumption goes, is walnut oil. I’ve been substituting any kind of dressing for a splash of the nutty oil & it’s delicious! When I’m not using walnut oil, I prefer to use Drew’s All-Natural Salad Dressings. I’ve tried making my own several times, but besides balsamic vinaigrette, I haven’t been much of a fan (looks like I’m creating more goals for myself). I also enjoy packing my salads with walnuts, sunflower seeds, hard-boiled eggs, deli turkey & all kinds of veggies (namely a hearty spring mix, carrots, cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, avocados, broccoli, roasted beets, & bell peppers). Different varieties of cheeses are also lovely (especially Feta) & I also enjoy craisins from time to time (esp in combo with the Feta!) I don’t always put all of those ingredients into every salad, but those are my killer salad making staples.
This particular recipe has been in our salad repertoire for some time now (it’s one of the only main dish salads we eat actually). I completely give credit to the garlic on this one for making the cut. Have you ever tried roasted garlic on anything? It adds such a creamy, buttery, savory dimension that pairs so well with the chicken, parm & Caesar dressing, you’ll literally be licking your plate. If you’re into eating crusty breads, go ahead & smash those garlics all over those carbs. Oh baby, oh baby, thank you roasted garlic.
When I think about eating healthy, I want the meals we prepare to be ones that I can look forward to, so I don’t feel deprived or depressed or end up driving to the closest Gyro hut & stuffing myself with tzatziki-drenched lamb.
What are your favorite salads to nosh on? Please comment below or send me a pin! Make sure that you also check out these blogs today to see what makes them happy & healthy:
- 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 2 chicken breasts, sliced
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 4-6 cups of spring mix
- Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated
- 1 bulb garlic, separated (only remove the most outer skins)
- Caesar dressing
Turn your pan on to medium heat with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Sprinkle the chicken with salt & pepper & cook until it is no longer pink in the middle. Remove the chicken from the pan to cool.
Heat the remaining 2 tbsp of oil to medium in the same pan. Place the separated cloves of garlic into the pan (make sure that you've only removed the most outer skin- not the entire thing). Keep a close eye on the garlic because once it browns, it quickly burns! The garlic is done when it's lightly golden & caramel-colored. Set the garlic aside to cool.
On 2 plates, divide the spring mix. Top with the chicken, then the cheese. Once the garlic is cool enough to handle, remove the skins by either slicing them open or squeezing out the contents (especially if you're spreading on toast).
Coat the salad in dressing.
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