Our Boys

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summer Eats

In case there are any of you that are living under a rock, it's summer!!!!! And that means I am done with school and have stepped right back into my favorite role - being a mommy and a wife at home all day long! We are just now getting into a routine as we spend the first week in PA visiting with my family, seeing the Cubs get whooped by the Pirates, and saying goodbye to my brother Scotty. Scott is spending the next several week in Basic Training for the army just as Ben did last summer. I'm so proud of both of them.

Well, here's my domestic diva contribution to you...a summer salad recipe. On the way back from PA, we stopped at an Ohio Oasis for our one big stop - diaper change, walks for the pups and for O, potty breaks for us, and lunch. I really hate eating on the road because there never seems to be much variety. Well, this stop I was in luck because they happened to have a Panera (along with several other greasy joints). I hate spending $10 on lunch, but I decided that since it was a necessity and I would be eating it while crammed in the back seat with no leg room, I was getting something that I would at least enjoy. I settled on the Strawberry Poppy Seed Chicken Salad. Oh. My. It completely tasted of summer. I quickly opened the Notes on my phone and jotted down all the ingredients so I wouldn't forget all of that heavenly goodness packed into this salad and the very next week I set out to create my own. Brett and I had it for dinner and even he was in agreement that it was pretty tasty (and pretty healthy too).

My Own Version of Panera's Strawberry 

Poppy Seed Chicken Salad

The nuts - toasting is probably optional but I love toasted nuts on a salad and love to do them with a little sugar. Simply place in skillet on low-medium heat, sprinkle sugar and stir constantly. You must watch them because they will burn. continue sirring until the sugar seems to have disappeared (it's actually caramelized on the nuts).

The chicken - slice your boneless skinless breast into chunks or thin strips, however you like i for a salad. Place in Ziploc bag and cover with orange juice, a quirt or two of lemon and lime juice and a generous dump of pepper. Marinate for as long as you've got time. Cook until done.

The dressing - feel free to buy a store bought dressing, but this recipe is super simple.
1/4 cup olive oil
2 T. vinegar
2 T. sugar
1 T. poppy seeds
dash of salt and pepper
-Mix all ingredients together.

Start with a bed of washed and torn Romaine lettuce. Top with a handful of blueberries, a handful of thinly sliced strawberries and fresh pineapple, some mandarin oranges, a sprinkling of the nuts, chicken and dressing. Obviously, I'm not giving you amounts. This salad has a lot of fruit, so you could adjust accordingly. I do advise to thinly slice your strawberries and pineapple. The mixture of flavors is perfect and you wouldn't want one of those overpowering even just one bite.

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