Garlic Lime Chicken Salad with Bacon, Goat’s Cheese and Arugala

There are alot of things that can make a salad great.  I think a great salad requires some sort of cheese, some bacon {DUH}, grilled or sautéed chicken slices with a wonderful sauce or marinade {no poached, boiled, or seasoning free chicken for this girl}, and an extremely tasty {preferably homemade} dressing.  This salad has all those things, as well as a rainbow coloured assortment of veggies. Yummy!  I’ve developed a love for salads recently. They’re just so darn good, and I like how light I feel after I eat them, but yet full and satisfied.

Now, the first thing I want to say, is that yes, I know, i have been writing that much, and the reason for that is: 1) I suck and I’m lazy; 2) aside from this salad and a delicious BBQ chicken pizza I’ll share next week, I have made nothing new and exciting; and 3) I wish I could say it’s cause I’ve been busy, but I’ve been playing video games and reading books like it’s my freaking job, and I’ve just plain and simply made no time for writing.  So, I apologize for that, but after a trip to the Dominican, countless hours of video games, and six whole books later, I’m back!  My trip was magnificent by the way.  Truly fantastic. I’d go back in a heartbeat. And the food…oh the food. It was so great. And there was alot of it. And I mean alot. And the booze was also plentiful. I came back feeling a little bloated. So I made this salad to make myself feel better, a little lighter.

photo 2So whats in it? Well, as the title suggests, I marinated the chicken in a garlic and lime concoction that included four {minced} garlic cloves, a little salt and pepper, 1/2 cup lime juice and 1/4 cup of olive oil.  I essentially mixed all the ingredients in a large bowl, plopped in 10 oz of raw, slice chicken strips, and let sit for about a half hour covered in the fridge.  Then, i added the chicken to a skillet, along with a few large spoonfuls of the leftover marinade, and cooked covered on medium heat, flipped every few minutes, until the chicken was cooked through.  Then I removed the cover and cooked until the juice of the marinade were gone and the chicken began to brown.

While cooking the chicken, I also cooked four slices of bacon (two for each person, but cook only one for each person if you want to cut some calories).

photo 1

Once all the meets were cooked, I placed both the chicken and bacon atop a bed of fresh spinach, lettuce, arugula and red cabbage.  I added a few hunks of goat’s cheese and then made a homemade honey dijon dressing that included honey dijon mustard, salt, pepper, olive oil, white rice vinegar and celery seed.

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Garlic Lime Chicken Salad with Bacon, Goat’s Cheese and Arugala

makes two dinner sized salads

Ingedients

for the chicken marinade

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

 for the salad

  • 10 oz. chicken breast, sliced
  • 4 slices of bacon, cooked and cut into strips
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup lettuce
  • 1 cup cabbage
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 2 oz goat’s cheese

for the dressing

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. Mix all marinade ingredients together in a large bowl.  Add sliced chicken and allow to sit for about 30 minutes covered in the refrigerator.
  2. Strain chicken from marinade and add to a skillet along with a few large spoonfuls of the marinade.  Cook on medium heat, covered and flipping occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through.
  3. Uncover the skillet and continue to cook until all extra marinade juices are gone and the chicken begins to brown.
  4. Divide the salad ingredients between two plates and top with the cooked chicken.
  5. Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and divide into two, drizzling over the salads.  Top with goat’s cheese (1 oz. per salad).

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I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, salad is an amazing thing to eat during the week, because it takes very little time and effort, and trust me, I am not one who likes slaving away in the kitchen during the work week. So, try this and add a little salad inspiration to your week!

Crunchy Thai Salad with Spicy Sriracha Dressing

photo 4I’m not much of a salad person.  I never have been.  Well perhaps that’s not true, let me rephrase that.  I’m not a meat salad person.  Give me a salad with beans and chickpeas and lentils, mixed with fresh veggies, or a spinach and fruit salad mixed with crisp spinach leaves, juicy strawberries and some kind of nuts, like almonds or walnuts, and then top it with a vinaigrette, and i’m S O L D sold. But for some reason, when you add meat to the mix, weather it be chicken or beef or fish, i just can’t do it.  It almost makes me nauseous. I have been on a quest to find the right Chicken salad.  I HATE fruit and meat combos (most of the time) so that was definitely out.  I made a mango barbecue chicken salad a few months back and I almost threw up trying to digest it.  Meat just freaks me out sometimes. I’m always concerned that i will get salmonella, or mad cow disease, or die from all the hormones and antibiotics hiding in there.  Sometimes meat just isn’t appetizing to me. But I like the taste of meat, and I’ve tried the vegetarian thing – just not my thing.

So what is a girl to do? Do I force down yet another boring unappetizing salad? Do I settle for a less than tasty dinner just because I’m trying to eat healthy and lose a few pounds? NO. I REFUSE to continue to eat less than tasty things just because they’re “healthy”.  NO. I will NOT sacrifice taste for fewer calories. NO. I WILL find a chicken salad that I love and can digest without wanting to eat an entire pizza to wash down the awful taste and cleanse my palette from the bland taste that is chicken salad.  I have challenged that bland chicken salad to become something more.  Something more than unseasoned chicken on a bed of greens. I REFUSE to settle for something less than extraordinary.  I want to be inspired by my salad. I want some SERIOUS salad Swag and some UNBELIEVABLE dressing. I want my salad to blow my mind.  To blow my tastebuds’ mind. I daresay, I have started a salad revolution.  Welcome to the uprising of the not-so-boring, unbelievable tasty, salad of awesomeness.

photo 5

I decided to go for a Thai themed salad.  I love Thai sauce.  It’s so damn good.  I used the President’s Choice Memories of Thailand Fiery Chili Pepper Sauce as the coating for my chicken.  I diced up 10 oz. of Chicken into strips, placed it in a skillet with about 1 – 2 tbsp. of the Chili Pepper Sauce, and cooked on medium, covered, until the chicken was no longer pink inside.  Flip the chicken every few minutes.  The sauce is thick and will begin to caramelize.  Once the chicken is cooked to your liking, remove the cover and allow any remaining juiced to evaporate.  This will also give your chicken time to brown slightly, and gives it a nice “from the grill” taste.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the rest of your salad.  I used sliced cabbage, julienned carrots, romaine lettuce and thawed frozen corn.  I also prepared my own spicy Sriracha dressing using olive oil, soy sauce, Sriracha Sauce and the juice of one lime.  To top off the salad, I added some crunch and sliced up one of my homemade flour tortilla wraps  into skinny strips and toasted them in the oven.

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Crunchy Thai Salad with Spicy Sriracha Dressing

makes two dinner sized salads

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 10 oz. of Chicken, cut into strips
  • 2 tbsp. of your favourite cooking sauce
  • 1 6-inch tortilla, cut into strips
  • 1 romain heart, slices
  • 1/2 head of cabbage, sliced
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 large carrot, julienned

For the dressing

  • 1-2 tbsp. Sriracha Sauce (depending on your desired level of spice)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp.  reduced sodium soy sauce
  • the juice of one lime

Cooking Directions

  1. Place chicken strips in a skillet on medium heat.  Add 1 – 2 tbsp of your favourite cooking sauce, like President’s Choice Memories of Thailand Fiery Chili Pepper Sauce.  Cover and cook until chicken is no longer pink inside.  Once chicken is cooked through, cook for an additional 1 – 3 minutes to brown the chicken and allow the sauce to caramelize.
  2. Prepare the rest of the salad while the chicken is cooking.  In a large bowl, add sliced cabbage, romain lettuce, julienned carrot and the thawed corn.
  3. Make the dressing by whisking all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.  Pour about 1/2 the dressing over the vegetable mixture and toss until evenly coated.
  4. Place the sliced tortilla wrap on a baking sheet and broil until crisp, about 2 minutes.
  5. Divide the cabbage mixture between two places and top each with one half of the cooked chicken and half the toasted tortilla wrap slices. Pour the remaining dressing over each plate and enjoy!

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My boyfriend found the sauce to be a little too spicy for his liking – I used 2 tbsp of Sriracha in the dressing I made.  So i agreed to tone it down the next time I make this.  This salad was so good, that I actually made more and took some for lunch the next day.  I’m very happy about how well this turned out.  It was not gross, or bland, or boring.  It was full of flavour and the crunchy tortilla added a great texture to the salad.

So.  People. I urge you to get some salad inspiration.  Join the revolution against plain, unsavory salads! Happy Cooking!