You know when you share a meal with someone and it is really good, you constantly connect that food with that person? Well, it always happens to me, and this last time, this salad I had, was out of this world.
Salad is such a funny thing to me. My mom used to always say that she only liked salads when someone else made them. When she made them, they seemed so boring. And this is coming from my mom…who is an amazing cook!! But… It really is true! Did you ever go out to dinner and order a salad before your meal? It could seriously be lettuce a few cucumbers and a cherry tomato, but something always tastes…different. The dressing is creamier, the vegetables more crisp, the presentation prettier. Whatever it is, you always silently swear that if you could make salads that tasted this good, you would always eat salad, and you would probably lose loads of pounds on a daily basis. Right? Oh, sorry..is that just me?
Regardless, a salad is something we all bank on, so why do we have to be boring with it? This salad I am about to share with you is anything but boring.
My friend Christina invited my daughter over for a playdate with her daughter. The two are good friends and they love to play together. As usual, Christina was very nice and invited me and my other two children over as well, and asked us to stay for lunch. I gladly accepted. Well, sadly, that day, my son and middle daughter were not feeling well so my husband, who was on spring break, offered to stay back with them while I took my eldest on the playdate.
What? I get to take the easiest child on a playdate and just sit…and talk….and not run after a toddler…even once? Um….YES! 🙂 This day is looking up after all! I mean, I am really sad the other two aren’t feeling well…but LET’S GO!
When we arrived, Christina asked if I could help prepare a salad with her and of course I said yes. I love cooking with friends and family. It always makes the process even more enjoyable. So, we chatted and chopped fruit and veggies for the salad. It was topped with coconut chicken and this AMAZING, yet simple dressing. I would have never thought to throw all of these things together into one salad, but let me tell you, the result was perfection! She said she was inspired by a salad she ate at a restaurant, but this salad will always be Christina’s Salad to me!
Obviously the company was the best part of this afternoon, but this salad was a sure second! Thanks Christina!
This will feed you and three friends well-you may possibly even have leftovers! Well–maybe!
4 – 4oz boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 tsp salt
canola oil for the pan
4 cups loosely packed mixed greens
1 cup sliced and quartered cucumbers
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 cup raspberries
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup pecan halves
1 cup prepared ranch dressing
2-3 tblsp raspberry preserves
Mix dressing ingredients, whisking preserves until completely blended. Place in fridge. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat 1 tblsp canola oil in an oven safe pan on medium heat.. In one shallow bowl, combine panko, salt and coconut. In another shallow bowl, combine egg, corn starch and lemon juice. Beat well. Dip chicken breast in egg mixture and then press into coconut mixture. Place in hot frying pan and continue with rest of chicken breasts. Cook chicken 4 minutes and then carefully flip over cooking four minutes on other side, being careful that coconut is not burning. Turn off heat and transfer pan to oven. Bake chicken for 10 minutes or until no longer pink and juices run clear. Remove from oven and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large salad bowl, place lettuce, cucumbers, and berries giving it a light toss. Add dried cranberries, pecans and blue cheese. Set aside. Slice chicken into thin strips. Divide salad up into four bowls. Place chicken strips on top of each bowl of salad. Remove dressing from fridge and drizzle on top of salad. Enjoy with friends!