Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Pear & goat cheese salad

For those salad-for-dinner nights

Confession: I don't know if I've actually cooked chicken in our apartment all summer. Well, maybe once or twice. Why? Because it's so much easier to run to the Sendik's deli and buy either their grilled or lemon pepper grilled chicken breasts as I need them. They're consistently tasty and never, ever have what I call "funny pieces" in them. You know what I mean — gristle and such. No thank you. 

I've turned to Sendik's grilled chicken for a lot of summer weeknight suppers. It's not only easy, but having salad for dinner keeps our apartment cool (no stove/oven needed), and adding chicken turns a side salad into a meal. That said, you can make this salad sans chicken for a yummy side dish too — your call. It's delicious either way.

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** These amounts make dinner for two**
Baby spinach (a few handfuls), roughly chopped
1 pear (any kind), sliced or chopped
1 chicken breast, chopped
diced red onion, to taste
2–3 TBS chopped walnuts
2–3 TBS sunflower seeds
2 TBS dried cranberries
1 TBS chia seeds 
goat cheese, crumbled (I like Montchèvre's garlic & herb)
Vinaigrette dressing (I like Marie's lemon herb vinaigrette)

Chop up the choppables and toss all ingredients together with dressing in a large bowl. Plate it for two and enjoy!

**Note: Certain ingredients can sub in or out with other things (trade walnuts for pecans) or can be omitted completely (chia seeds). Things I wouldn't omit: The obvious pear and goat cheese, as well as the cranberries and nuts. They add a lot of taste and texture.

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Okay, so I took these pics in an attempt to showcase all the goodies in this salad, but in reality I make this like a chop salad instead. I really dig chop salads — they're so easy to eat and you're more likely to get yummy stuff in every bite. Also, to keep this an easy weeknight meal, I used jarred dressing. However I have found my new favorite dressing recipe, which I'll share another time. Such suspense!

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