Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cranberry Pecan Chopped Autumn Salad

So last night, it was just the babies and me at home.  No hubby.  No big kids.  A quiet night to play, with no practices to shuttle to, no big production of a meal.  So I grabbed a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket (one of my favorite "go to" pick up items).  Its much healthier than picking up fast food, feeds more people, and cost less.  For them, of course they wanted something "toddler'ish" to go with the chicken, like buttered noodles with grated Parm and basil.  For me, I turned some of that rotisserie chicken into a lovely and satisfying autumn salad - (and then I ate their left over pasta.  Shame shame shame.  Pasta will probably be my downfall.) Anyway, I digress...  

This salad is a very nutritionally balanced dish.  We have the fruits and veggies category covered, proteins in the nuts and meat, and dairy from the feta.  As a flavor and mouth-feel description, that translates to crunchy bright lettuce, sweet caramel flavor of the glazed nuts, creamy and tangy feta, crisp sweet brightness of the pears, smoky bacon and savory chicken, and little pops of sweetness from the cranberries.  - can I get an "Amen?!"
Ingredients:
I made only one portion, but here are the ingredients to feed about 4 people, using this as a main course.
  • 6 - 8 cups chopped romaine lettuce blend (with carrots and purple cabbage)
  • 2 medium pears, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (craisons)
  • 1 cup chopped glazed pecans
  • 8 slices of good smokey bacon, crisp-cooked and chopped
  • 4 - 6 oz tomato basil crumbled feta cheese
  • poppy seed salad dressing
  • balsamic vinaigrette
  • rotisserie chicken, torn into bite sized pieces
Method:
So basically, you throw all the stuff together and enjoy!  In a large salad bowl (or individual plates), combine the lettuce, pears, cranberries, pecans, bacon, and feta cheese.  Tear the rotisserie chicken and add on top.  I actually mixed the poppy seed dressing WITH the balsamic vinaigrette first, then drizzled them generously on top. I probably used a 2:1 ration of poppy seed to balsamic dressing.  Toss and enjoy!

You have just had a generous serving of dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals, oleic acids (an essential monounsaturated fatty acid), antioxidants, protein and goodness!  Now you can go eat some pasta! :-)

2 comments:

  1. ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS USED RASBERRY VINGERETTE DRESSING AND USED APPLES TOO... SO GOOD REMINDED ME OF WENDY'S RESTURANT APPLE,PECAN CHICKEN SALAD.

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