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This spinach salad, studded with roasted chicken breast, fresh strawberries and apples, tastes like the summertime! Topped with a sweet and simple Honey Vinaigrette and toasted Ramen Noodles, this salad is perfect for a crowd or a quick lunch.
When I was impatiently awaiting the arrival of my daughter in March, my sweet tooth was out of control.
I’m talkin’ devouring a box of Oreo’s in two days out of control.
I was a bit stressed, you see. And while I’m normally good on deadline, the wait for my baby and body to get the show on the road was driving me bonkers. And I really did NOT want to be induced.
Spoiler alert: I was induced, and it all worked out. But I was really freaking out about it when I hit my due date, and I had no baby to show for it even though I was assured by my doc that most first time mama’s generally need 41 weeks instead of the traditional 40.
One fateful day, I decided that instead of eating all of the cookies, I’d make myself a naturally sweet salad for lunch instead. It was simple — calling for strawberries, an apple, chicken and spinach — and it fit the bill, staving off my sweet tooth and probably preventing an additional 5+ pounds of pregnancy weight.
In fact, I enjoyed this salad so much that it’s carried into motherhood.
My days revolve around my daughter and her schedule now. Which means I don’t have a lot of time for myself, especially since she’s awake for longer periods during the daytime hours. Lady Baby likes to be held, and I want to hold her and snuggle her as often as possible before she gets too big and too cool to want to snuggle with her mama.
Since I’m running on a lack of time for myself and a lack of time to cook, I try to get things together on the weekends, and I prep the ingredients for this salad, which I eat for lunch most every day because it’s so simple and delicious.
I slice up several pounds of strawberries. (Umm, I’m still eating strawberries like they are going out of style.) I bake up a few chicken breasts, seasoned simply with salt and pepper, then shred them once they’ve cooled. I crush the Ramen noodles, browning them in unsalted butter. I wash the apples so they’re ready to be chopped the day of (because nobody wants a browned apple in their salad.) And I mix up a ton of the salad dressing, too.
It’s easy. It’s delicious. And it’s waaaaaaaaaaaay better for me than my other option: something from a drive thru. Because if I don’t have all the ingredients basically ready to go? I’m picking something up. And more than likely, it’s going to be fried.
So. If you’re like me and are looking for a good summer salad that has some natural sweetness to it, let me recommend my Chicken, Strawberry and Apple Summer Salad. It’s pretty stellar, and here’s how you can make it:
Chicken, Strawberry and Apple Summer Salad
- 3 large handfuls fresh spinach
- 1 chicken breast , roasted and shredded
- 1 cup fresh strawberries , sliced
- 1 medium-sized Honeycrisp apple (or the apple of your choosing), diced
- 1/2 package Ramen Noodles , crushed and toasted in 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (without the flavor packet)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Salt and pepper , to taste
- In a mason jar, combine the ingredients for the honey vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper, then stir until combined. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss the spinach, chicken, strawberries and apple with tongs. Drizzle in the vinaigrette, tossing until all ingredients are coated in the dressing.
- Serve on individual plates and top with the crisped Ramen noodles.
Do you enjoy sweet salads, too?
What is your favorite summer salad?