Friday, April 6, 2012

Spring Salad

I recently had a lunch date with two of my favorite lunch buddies! We were in the area for other appointments and decided to meet at Cafe R+D in Preston Center for a quick bite to eat. Nita had continuously raved about the Newporter Salad, so that's what I decided on. It was huge leafy lettuce with roasted chicken, chunks of avocado, walnut, red onion, cucumber, goat cheese and a sweet yet mild house vinaigrette. I have not been able to stop thinking about that salad since then.

The weekend came, meal planning and grocery shopping time, I decided to use this salad for inspiration for a Sunday dinner. We used big leafy Hearts of Romaine and an avocado chopped up, bought fresh Gala Apples, added seedless cucumber slices, threw in some dried cranberries, and we grilled chicken breasts but I have to say, I prefer the tenderness of the roasted chicken in comparison! Finally, we created a creamy vinaigrette dressing using 4 simple ingredients found in America's Test Kitchen magazine's Light and Healthy 2012: oil, cider vinegar, tarragon and goat cheese.

Click here for nutritional facts calculated at Weight Watchers points are equal to 7 points per serving, with 4 servings per salad mix (5 points for the salad, 2 points for the dressing).

Grocery List:
  • 6 stalks Hearts of Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 Gala Apple, chopped into small 1 inch cubes
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup roasted, baked or grilled chicken breast, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, chopped into halves or coins
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. tarragon
  • 2 oz. goat cheese crumbles
Toss and soak the apples in the lemon juice to prevent them from browning after cutting. Add lettuce, apples, avocado, cranberries, chicken chunks and cucumber into a bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cider vinegar, olive oil and tarragon.

Add the goat cheese crumbles and whisk until smooth and creamy.

Add about 2-3 tbsp. of the dressing and toss to coat the contents of your salad.

Dish it out and enjoy! With beautiful weather and sunlight left in the evening, we were able to have a nice little patio dinner while enjoying the weather and some smoothies for an additional dose of greens.

Tastefully yours,

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