All Posts tagged spinach

Strawberry Salad

Ok folks for all of you out there who don’t like to cook, here is a super simple, super yummy idea for lunch or dinner! Each person can kinda build their own depending on what their favorite add-ons are! So, confession time……my family has been in the process of selling a house and moving over the pat 3 months and this girl hasn’t been doing near as much cooking, yikes! I love to cook and I miss it so much, but trying to work out of a kitchen with a bunch of boxes has been CRAZY to say the least. So, here is one of my family’s favorite go-to’s that takes very little prep and can be whipped up in no time!

Ingredients:

chicken (either chicken pulled off rotisserie or boneless-skinless chicken breasts (4-6)

strawberries (splenda, stevia, or truvia if desired- small amount; see below)

blue cheese and or feta cheese crumbles

slivered almonds and/or walnuts/ pecans

spinach leaves and romaine (or spinach only is great too)

other possible add ons: sunflower seeds, blueberries, chia seeds, (flaxseed for those needing extra fiber)

Dressings: Maple Grove Farms of Vermont (MGFOV) Sugar Free Raspberry(1 carb)  OR MGFOV Fat Free balsamic (I don’t get it bc its fat free but bc its only 2 carbs!) OR Annie’s Honey Mustard (4 carbs) OR you could use a bleu cheese dressing if you prefer, approx. 2 tbsp

Instructions:

For a night when you don’t feel like cooking at all; I use the Simple Truth rotisserie chicken at Kroger! NO HORMONES and there is plenty for a family of 4! IF you are on a budget you can get a rotisserie for $4.99 at Costco. If cooking your own chicken breasts, I typically cook chicken at 375 for desired time depending on how thick and how many breasts (for 4-6 breasts cut up; roughly 25-30 minutes depending on how thick they are; cutting them up makes them cook faster, be sure to check chicken as each oven is different and you never want to have undercooked chicken!) . I would recommend cooking extra breasts to have left overs for the week.

Pile spinach leaves (and romaine if desired- avoid iceberg lettuce it is devout of most nutrients)

layer chicken, bleu cheese or feta (or both) sliced strawberries, (and blueberries if desired), and slivered walnuts, almonds, or pecans (pecans have a few more carbs but are ok in portion control). Be sure to avoid the candied almonds, pecans, or walnuts as those will have additional carbohydrates (sugar). may add additional toppings mentioned above if desired.

2 tbsp. of desired low carb dressing.

If preparing in advance, best not to toss dressing in until the end. If each family member has specific likes/ dislikes let everyone build their own. If making for a crowd can toss the lettuce, cheese, berries, nuts and chicken and leave the dressing until right before serving. If you toss the dressing it typically helps you to use less, versus pouring it over it at the end. Or you can use the fork method and get a little on your fork before preparing each bite!

WATCHOUT for restaurant strawberry salads. They are marketed as healthy but will often be covered in candied almonds/ pecans with craisins/ raisins and a sugary vinaigrette dressing. I LOVE Aubrey’s strawberry salad but I order it withOUT the candied pecans and craisins. I have them add extra spinach and I typically bring my own low carb vinegarette dressing :) or I do take out and use it from home! and I always add chicken for additional protein!

For a little additional sweetness, prepare strawberries in advance and sprinkle a small amount of truvia, stevia, or splenda over your berries. Place in refrigerator until time to serve. This will create some extra juice over the berries and also give moisture to your salad without additional dressing.

It is a family favorite!!!! IF you are extra hungry add a little more chicken and feta and pile up those spinach leaves. It is VERY filling. This can be done with steak as well!

ENJOY!!

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Recipe Review- Chicken Carbonara

Chicken Carbonara
 
Chicken Carbonara over Wilted Spinach and Spaghetti Squash
Author:
Ingredients
  • You Need per person/serving. FN= Family Number
  • 1 chicken breast or 2 thighs (xFN)
  • 2 pieces of bacon (xFN)
  • ½ of a small/medium spaghetti squash (xFN)
  • 3 ounces of spinach (xFN)
  • 3-4 stalks of asparagus (1 bunch per family)
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan (xFN- ½ cup per family of 4- optional)
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream (xFN- ½ cup per family of 4)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ¼ of an onion (xFN)
  • spices: sea salt, pepper, italian seasoning, garlic powder.
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Scrape out the seeds and stringy parts of the spaghetti squash with a spoon and place, face down on a baking sheet or in a large baking dish with ¼ inch of water.
  3. Place in oven and cook 30 minutes or until soft when poked with a fork.
  4. While that is cooking, cut the chicken in half lengthwise to make it thinner and pound with a meat hammer or the bottom of a cast iron pan.
  5. In a large skillet, place the asparagus and about ¼ inch of water and cook over high heat until asparagus is bright green and starting to soften. The water should evaporate completely off and when it has, add 1 tablespoon butter (total, not per person) and sprinkle with some sea salt.
  6. Remove asparagus from the pan and set aside.
  7. Cook the bacon in the same pan until crispy and remove bacon.
  8. Cook chicken in the bacon grease in the same pan, and sprinkle each side with sea salt, pepper, garlic powder and italian seasoning.
  9. When chicken has cooked through, remove and set aside.
  10. Dice onion and cook in remaining bacon grease until starting to soften.
  11. Add spinach and extra butter if needed and cook until barely wilted.
  12. Add cream (if using-totally optional) and about ¼ teaspoon of the above spices.
  13. At this point, the spaghetti squash should be soft so remove from oven and scrape out insides with a fork.
  14. To serve, put spaghetti squash on a plate, top with some wilted spinach, then a piece of chicken, some crumbled bacon and the asparagus (chop into small pieces). Top with parmesan if using.

 

 Review: This was my husband’s favorite new dish thus far! I went a little too heavy on the salt (maybe because I had little hands helping) but less is more with the sea salt! Since, I am just starting to learn how to cook; I am slower at cutting, dicing, etc so my spaghetti squash was cold by the time I finished everything else and needed to be reheated. If you are slower like me, you may want to finish cutting and dicing before putting spaghetti squash in oven. I did not use cream this time simply because I forgot :) Let me know your thoughts if you make this! Spaghetti Squash is an awesome alternative to traditional pasta (lots of carbs and sugar, even whole grain pasta!)

-kristin

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