Monday, June 18, 2012

Lunch Time!

Grilled Chicken and Spinach Salad
My bout of spring cleaning left me a bit famished! I realized that I had gone the whole day with nothing more than a little 80's music on Pandora and an entire pot of coffee.

Time to eat!

With a little pondering in front of the refrigerator, I came up with this little joy and came out with a happy tummy and a pretty dang healthy meal. I am a big proponent of stocking a pantry with the essentials and making a meal out of what I have. It takes a bit of practice, but it gets easier with time.

I have always loved poppy seed dressing ever since my Mom took me to a little tea house in Sikeston, Missouri where they served a warm chicken and cashew salad drizzled with the delicious tangy house made poppy seed dressing. That salad was on my mind today as I set to it.

I'm sure this salad would be complete even without a tasty grilled hunk-o-chicken on top. Have you noticed how humongous the chicken breasts are in the market these days? They are very nearly the size of a Turkey! There's no way I can eat a whole one. Well, perhaps I could, but then there's that whole diet thing. Weight is getting a little harder to take off and a little too easy to put on these days. 

These are my five essential ingredients: salt, pepper, garlic, mustard powder and thyme. I like to dip my thyme stalks in olive oil and "baste" my chicken breast with it before I throw it on. Of course, I leave the thyme sitting neatly on top. Once I seared it on both sides on the grill, I sliced the to breast speed up the cooking and get even more of that wonderful grilled taste.

On to the salad, I piled my plate high with fresh spinach from Kruger's Farm Market in St. Johns topped it with slivered almonds, diced dried apricots, and a drizzle of my own poppyseed dressing.


Poppy Seed Dressing
1tb poppy seeds
1tb dijon mustard
1tsp mustard powder
1tsp salt
1/4 c honey
1/4 onion grated
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 to 3/4 olive oil (depending upon your taste for the tangy)

Dissolve salt in vinegar. Add all ingredients aside from oil together and whisk furiously. Slowly drizzle in your olive oil. Taste occasionally until you meet just the level of tangy you like.

But of course, eating on a small plate like that is just too difficult for me. This is what it looked like in my giant bowl after I cut up the chicken pieces and with plenty of room for tossing.

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