mrs.b and her boys

embrace the chaos

Month: March 2017

STRAWBERRY SALAD with GRILLED CHICKEN

Spring has sprung, and it’s time we all crawl out of our winter hibernation. We have been eating heartier, heavy meals, wearing layers of clothing and staying in out of the chilled arctic air. Let’s shed those layers, open the windows and fire up the grill! It’s like a newfound freedom every spring.

 

We have been grilling every chance we get the last few weeks as the warmer weather decides if it’s going to stay or go. We have grilled fish {shockingly, the kids love it!}, burgers and chicken. The problem comes though that we eventually will get bored with what to grill. It gets to be “same ‘ol, same ‘ol” by the time summer rolls around. I decided instead of just grilling chicken with my Strawberry Salad as a side, why not TOP the salad with the grilled chicken? It was delectable! {that is my seven year olds word} It felt like we were eating lighter and healthier, but still walked away from the table with full bellies.

To my vegetarian friends out there, you can still make this delicious salad without the chicken. You could grill tofu or a nice grilled salmon would be tasty on top of it too.

 

The Strawberry Salad recipe originally came from a friend of mine years ago. I have tweaked it here and there, without changing its original flavor, just to make it easier to get on the table.

 

This is also the first salad I introduced to my kids when I felt they were old enough to step out of their comfort zone of carrots, cucumbers and avocado as their veggie choices. It was an immediate favorite. My nieces get giddy when they know I’m bringing it to family dinners and the non-salad eaters enjoy it too.

 

I make mine with spinach, but chopped romaine is nice for this salad too. Also, the original recipe called for sliced red onion. I tend to leave it out because the kids and I do not like it. If we have a gathering, I will slice some up and put it in a small bowl as an option for those that enjoy it.

 

STRAWBERRY SALAD with GRILLED CHICKEN

 

5 oz. pkg. fresh baby spinach

1 pint strawberries, stemmed & sliced

3 chicken breasts

2 Tb. olive oil

All-seasoning of your choice, we love SPIKE

¾ cup mayo

¼ cup milk

1 Tb. poppy seeds

2 Tb. raspberry vinegar

1/3 cup sugar

½ cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted

 

In a large bowl, combine lettuce and berries. Set aside.

 

Drizzle chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle with all-seasoning to your liking. Grill until cooked through. Slice cooked chicken.

 

As the chicken grills, in a small bowl, combine mayo, milk, poppy seeds, vinegar and sugar; whisk until combined with smooth consistency.

 

Add small amounts of dressing to lettuce and berries mix at a time; tossing each time until you get desired coverage. (You may not use all of the dressing) Either top with the sliced chicken or toss it in before serving. Sprinkle with toasted almonds.

 

Serve immediately.

 

TACO NIGHT to NACHO BAR

Here is another dinner idea that does not require a recipe, but is actually a meal idea that gets you through to the weekend. By cooking a big batch once, you can eat twice that week.

 

Taco Night is very common in households. Taco Tuesdays have become popular in America. {Am I right?!!} But, have you ever made a double batch of taco meat and used half for your weekend Nacho Bar? {Awesome, huh?!!}

Do tacos during the week. They are the perfect dinner for those busy nights. Make the taco meat ahead of time and throw it in your slow cooker. Have all your toppings chopped and shredded. You can eat dinner as soon as you walk in the door or people can eat at their convenience as they come and go from activities and work.

Then, the weekend comes and you are having Family Movie Night, or a house full of teenagers, or friends over for the game and you need something fun to whip together with no fuss. You already have your taco meat in the fridge, add other fun nacho toppings and just like that you have a Nacho Bar for all to enjoy!

You can let each person make their own plate or like I did this last time, I made a big pan of chips, meat, black beans, queso and Monterey Jack cheese. Baked it at 400˚ until cheese was melted. Then, just scooped a pile on to each person’s plate and they topped them as they wished. It worked out so slick. And psst…my boys said they couldn’t even tell the black beans were on there! {I win!}

Listed below are the lists of what we like on our Taco Night and Nacho Bar, but feel free to use any additional ingredients you enjoy.

 

TACO NIGHT:                                                                                    NACHO BAR:

taco meat                                                                                              taco meat

tortillas or hard shells                                                                   tortilla chips

sharp cheddar cheese                                                                   chili cheese corn chips

lettuce or spinach                                                                           queso sauce

black olives                                                                                         monterey jack cheese

tomatoes                                                                                              black beans

avocado                                                                                                pickled jalapeno slices

plain greek yogurt                                                                          black olives

salsa                                                                                                        tomatoes

taco sauce                                                                                           plain greek yogurt & salsa

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