Do you know anyone allergic to strawberries? At one point when my sister was little, we all thought she was. For years she was left out of the strawberry shortcake, strawberries and whipped cream, chocolate-dipped strawberries, strawberry smoothies, and, in my book, the entire essence of summer.
Finally my parents came to their senses and let her try a strawberry again, and the fear disappeared. Maybe she grew out of it; maybe we were all crazy. Either way, she missed out.
Summer will soon be over, so now is the time to load up on all of your berry favorite fruits. (Witty, yes I know.) So I’ll help out by sharing this bright, beautiful, wholesome, filling, and flavorful combination of strawberries, grilled chicken, vegetables, basil, walnuts, blue cheese, and a perfectly sweet and tangy balsamic dressing. You’re welcome 😉
One reason I love this salad is that it is so customizable! Gorgonzola too strong? Sub feta. Have leftover green beans, asparagus, or chicken? Throw it in. No lettuce? Use spinach, kale, Swiss chard, or anything else green and from the ground. You can even replace the strawberries with sliced fresh peach–amazing both ways!
- 4 oz skinless chicken breast, raw*
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 cups Romaine, chopped
- 4 oz fresh strawberries, sliced
- 1 oz avocado, thinly sliced
- 10 g walnuts
- 2 Tbsp thinly sliced red onion
- 2 Tbsp fresh basil, thinly sliced
- 1 oz reduced fat crumbled feta**
- 1/2 tsp Dijon
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp EVOO
- 1/2 tsp honey
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Lightly grease a nonstick skillet (I rub with avocado oil) and heat over medium. Season chicken with a pinch salt and black pepper. Add to skillet and cook about 4 minutes per side, or until cooked through.* Set aside to rest at least 5 minutes before pulling/chopping.
- Meanwhile, lightly toast walnuts (at 375º in a toaster oven or in a skillet over medium heat) just until glistening and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
- Chop/slice remaining salad ingredients and divide between two bowls. Use 2 forks to shred chicken (or chop), and chop walnuts; add to salad.
- Mix (or shake in a jar) dressing ingredients until smooth.*** Pour over salads, gently toss, and enjoy!
- *I use 2 tenderloin strips, which can be cooked ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for several days. Leftover rotisserie chicken also works well.
- **Crumbled gorgonzola or goat cheese are also delicious here!
- ***The dressing makes just enough for 2 servings. Multiply the ingredients to make enough for later, if desired. With small amounts, the dressing can easily be mixed in a small bowl with a measuring spoon; for larger amounts, I recommend adding ingredients to a jar and shaking to combine.