Spinach Salad with Chicken, Feta, Almonds, and Fresh Strawberry Dressing

spinach salad with strawberry dressing

News: I bought a Magic Bullet. I know; seven years late to the party, always. But look. In my defense, it was the center display at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. So.

spinach salad with strawberry dressing

But now my life is complete. Hooray. Balloons. Confetti. The end.

 

strawberriesI swear I’ve used it six times since Sunday when I pridefully hauled it out of the store—one arm balancing it precariously between my left arm and my love handle while my right arm held my phone to my ear as I hollered to notify my Mom of my purchase. “Just THINK of all the ways I can use it,” I told her, practically beaming. “Smoothies, sauces, pesto, dressings (!!), cool coffee drinks. More sauces.” She stopped me just before I committed to reciting the full infomercial.

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Now, I’m a blending fool. Admittedly, you could achieve the exact same results in a full-sized blender, but what I love about the Bullet is the convenience due to its small size and easy clean up. It’s lightweight, portable, and it makes whipping up a quick sauce to drizzle over all of the simple meats I’ve been grilling lately a breeze. But the real reason I was so excited about the Magic Bullet? Dressings. Emulsified, thick, creamy homemade dressings.

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Longtime readers know intimately how my deep salad love runs. They’re a mainstay around here. I eat one nearly every day for lunch and I’ve often thought of my consistency in that one veg-heavy meal as a very integral piece in my weight maintenance and feeling healthy physically. Tons of raw vegetables (perhaps some cooked, too); protein; a hearty dose of stick-to-your-ribs fat; a handful of something fun for added flavor; and dressing. These salads are just a part of my life now, and not the least bit regrettably, because I make it my business to make them delicious. Always.

spinach salad with strawberry dressing

Last year, when I lived in the Costa Rican jungle with Camille for two months, fresh lettuce was scarce. And when it wasn’t scarce, it was wilted and bug ravaged. We took to making finely shredded green cabbage salads and topping them with avocado, mango, fresh cilantro, and a piping hot scoop of black beans that we sautéed with garlic, onion, cumin, and chile in adobo. In the winter, I roast most things and top my salads with all of the crispy, caramelized vegetables and meats that emerge from my oven. Now, in grilling season, I’m skewering and charring everything in sight. The key to keeping salads fresh is changing your ingredients and your method of preparation for the toppings. For a refresher on how I toss together these lunches, here’s a post I wrote a year ago about mixing and matching toppings for maximum nutrition and flavor: How to Make a Delicious 400-Calorie Salad

This particular salad—the springy one pictured—is my current favorite. Grilled chicken, feta cheese, sliced almonds, baby spinach, and a refreshing berry dressing.

Enjoy!

 

Spinach Salad with Chicken, Feta, Almonds, and Fresh Strawberry Dressing

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups strawberries (about 6), hulled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 7 ounces baby spinach
  • 1 pound grilled chicken breast (four 4-ounce grilled breasts)
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ cup sliced almonds

Instructions

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine the strawberries, lemon juice, olive oil, and honey. Pulse until smooth.
  2. Assemble the salads by dividing the spinach among four large serving plates or bowls. Divide the chicken among the spinach, followed by the feta and almonds. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of dressing on top of each salad and serve immediately. Any extra dressing will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator stored in an airtight container.

Notes

Nutrition Information for 1 Serving (1/4th of Entire Recipe): Calories 385, Total Fat 23.3 g, Total Carbohydrate 14.4 g, Dietary Fiber 2.0 g, Sugars 10.3 g, Protein 30.5 g

http://www.canyoustayfordinner.com/2013/05/01/spinach-salad-with-chicken-feta-almonds-and-fresh-strawberry-dressing/

Comments

  1. says

    I find a good blender is the most used kitchen appliance. It’s so versatile! I swear by my Vitamix, and I use it at least once a day.

    Also, I remember reading about your trip to Costa Rica! Has it really been a year? D:

    • says

      Ahh, a Vitamix is an AWESOME appliance to have. That thing is powerful from what I hear! Someday I think I’ll upgrade to that when my wee little bullet dies :)

      And yes, it’s been a year. Crazy, right?

  2. Gypsy says

    Love! thank-you so much I worked in a cafe 15 years ago and we made an awesome chicken, strawberry and avocado salad with strawberry dressing. It was divine and I have tried to replicate it many times… I’m hoping yours will fit the bill. Now I just have to wait six months for strawberries to come back into season here in Australia.

  3. tiffany says

    omg YES. the possibilities are ENDLESS! you can make your own almond meal and coconut butter for way cheaper, and also delicious banana soft serves (just frozen banana blended up!)!!
    best. investment. ever!
    i only have a ninja from CVS for $40 but it works just fine. and i’m totally with you on using a food processor as opposed to blender for everything!

  4. Fiona Jesse Giffords says

    How do you manage this? You have come up with so many delicious dishes with low calorie based and good for healthy living. The food is simply great.

  5. Amy says

    Now you’ve encouraged me to bite the bullet! I have an immersion blender and a regular blender, but I’ve been thinking about getting the easy-to-handle bullet….thank you!

  6. says

    Haha, nice! I used to have one before I got really into cooking and I gave it away to a friend. Then my cooking/baking addiction set in and was so sad. Now I have a Ninja and I was just about as excited as you when I was walking out of the store. Seriously life changing. Congrats on your purchase. So exciting.

    This fresh strawberry dressing sounds fantastic!

  7. says

    I’m so excited you got a Magic Bullet, because now you’ll post recipes for one! My husband and I use ours all the time for smoothies, but honestly I’ve never used it for anything else! This dressing looks amazing! One question: does the honey really mix up in there, or does it stay together? When I’ve tried to put honey in smoothies it didn’t work…but that might have just been because of the cold. :)

    • says

      The honey mixed right in for me! None of my ingredients were too cold so that might have been the key for proper emulsification with something super thick/gunky like honey?

  8. Leslie says

    This looks amazing! And now I am excited to have a delicious dressing where I can control what goes into it. Thank you :)
    By the way, I got a Magic Bullet for Christmas, as a “Now you have your own place, you need something practical!” I love it! And to be honest, who isn’t amazed by the infomercial? :)

  9. Hootie says

    After a long day at work and not getting a lunch break until work was over at 2:30 I found this glorious recipe…I had packed my lunch of mixed romaine, walnuts, craisins, and tuna and my (now abandoned) raspberry viniagrette…in a moment of spontaneity I made your dressing to throw on top! I would just as soon drink this dressing as use it for its intended purpose!!! Awesome! And living in south ga where fresh strawberries are found in over abundance when in season it’s good to have another idea for using the ones that aren’t perfect.
    Made it in my ninja single serve attachment and started singing this in my head which is my new jam :) http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=7fDuNuFNG38&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D7fDuNuFNG38
    Thanks :)

  10. Ashley says

    I made the dressing today – It is soooo good! My hubby liked it too, and he’s not a fan of salads. :)

  11. says

    Bunny I too had a magic bullet years ago, never used it and now would KILL to have it with me in the jungle. Plus you are driving me crazy with these salads. I’m on an island that has almost no vegetables. I get denied when I ask for a plate of cabbage and was laughed at today when I asked for watermelon and pineapple to be added to the two salad ingredients they had: tomato and cucumber. This is my life. Desperately seeking vegetables on an island.

  12. margie says

    Nothing against a bullet, but did you know a pint sized mason jar screws perfectly onto a blender base to make single serve smoothies, sauces, etc.?

  13. RBee says

    I just wanted to say THANKS for this recipe. I keep ready made salad in my fridge as a staple, too, and so a new variation is always great. This one was a winner, I wanted to be a pig with the feta/strawberry dressing. Thanks again.

  14. says

    You know I have never heard of the magic bullet. I havent been living on a desert island but I must be out of touch.. The recipe looks fantastic however. Off to look for more about that bullet now!

  15. Sony says

    This is going to be dinner! I’m adding fresh mint from my new mint plant (I have to do something with it LOL) to the dressing and I don’t have any almonds… But i’m sure it’s going to be delicious anyway!

  16. says

    Hi Andie,
    I cannot wait to make this!

    One question though – how do you grill your chicken. (aside from the obvious…on a grill….) Any tips? I’m always afraid of overcooking and not getting that awesome chargrill :)

    • says

      Hey Chris,

      I think that could be a nice twist. I like lemon for its cleaner, more pure flavor, but I do think that the subtle difference lime would offer would still be fresh and delicious.

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