I haven’t posted in awhile. In part because I’ve turned into a crazy person trying to squeeze every last drop out of summer that I can.
Don’t get me wrong, I love fall. It’s my favorite season and I will dive headfirst into pumpkin everything once that chill hits the air and crisp leaves begin to fall.
But not yet. Right now, I’ve started going through my mental “SUMMER MUSTS” list and cutting out the things that are not likely to happen in the next two weeks.
We’ve had a family reunion, hit the beach, splashed in pools and sprinklers, explored the critters in the stream, trekked through the woods and gone on bike rides. Looking back, our list isn’t so far off from what I wanted to do with my family this year, but still I feel like I want to squeeze in one more s’more, a drive-in movie, one (or five) more ice cream shop runs, go camping and gaze up at the stars.
I also feel like I haven’t cooked – or grilled – as much as I meant to. It’s a shame that I slack off with cooking right about the time everything is fresh and in season.
As I frantically try to do ALL the THINGS I want my family to do before summer’s out, I’m at least consoling myself with a new recipe that feels about as summery as you can get.
It’s a riff on Panera’s Strawberry Chicken Salad, using their own lemon poppyseed dressing – but a more simplified ingredients list than you’d find in their bowl.
It’s fresh, tangy and sweet. It’s so chock full of berries that you can trick yourself into eating the salad and thinking it’s dessert. And if nothing else, it will make you stay for just a moment in that summer mindset – toes in the sand, warm sun on your face, frosty drink in hand and not a cloud in the sky. It’ll keep you feeling summery, if only for a little while longer.
Summery Strawberry Poppyseed Chicken Salad
- 1 pound of your favorite salad mix (I go with a peppery blend of kale, mizuna, arugula and radicchio to balance the sweet dressing)
- 8 large strawberries, washed, greens removed and sliced
- 1 heaping handful of blueberries, washed
- 1/4 cup red cabbage, washed and sliced
- 3/4 cup fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into small slivers
- 3/4 pound chicken tenderloins, cooked and sliced (optional)
- Panera Poppyseed Dressing to taste
Thoroughly wash all produce. Tear lettuce into pieces. Top with strawberries, blueberries and pineapple – and a little red cabbage for crunch.
Saute chicken until golden brown and cooked through. Slice and add to the salad. Add a healthy pour of the dressing you bought at the grocery store. Toss and serve, swearing up and down that it’s a homemade dressing. (Hide said bottle of dressing in the back of the fridge.)
Enjoy! Oh, and go do those summery things you’ve been meaning to do. I know I will be 😉
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