Ah, don’t you just love summer? I am a summer baby, and definitely prefer it to any other season. Not that we really have real seasons in Texas, but the summer months are still my favorite 🙂 But, I have realized something about summer lately…it reminds me that I am no longer a 20-something girl who can eat whatever she wants and never gain a pound. I see all these cute, young girls running around in their barely-there outfits and I secretly hate them, if only for a moment, because those days are long-gone for this girl! Granted, I don’t want to run around dressed like a hoochie, but it’s true for most of us that once you hit your thirties, you’ll never find that 20-something body again. Damn it.
So, I make an extra effort to increase and maintain my gym time, and I indulge in summer dishes that are light and refreshing. There is nothing like a great summer salad! This particular salad has been my favorite since I made it for the first time a couple of years back. I’ve seen similar versions, usually using strawberries, but when I tried it with dried cranberries, mandarin oranges and oh-so-delicious raspberry vinaigrette I knew I had found my perfect salad mate. Adding grilled chicken is also a great way to make it an entree salad as well.
If you are looking for a great summer salad, you should definitely try this one!
Grilled Chicken Salad with Mandarin Oranges & Cranberries
- 3 cups spring salad mix or baby spinach
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 avocado
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup mandarin orange segments
- Raspberry vinaigrette (recipe follows, or use store-bought)
- Grill chicken, allow to cool and slice into bite-sized pieces. Slice avocado into bite-sized pieces.
- In a large bowl, place spinach leaves, and layer with chicken, oranges, and cranberries.
- Prepare raspberry vinaigrette, and drizzle on top of salad. Toss the salad to coat with dressing, and serve!
- 1 c. raspberry vinegar
- 1 c. olive oil
- 1 c. vegetable oil
- 1 c. pure maple syrup
- 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon
- 1 tsp. salt