Lighten up dinner — and get out of the kitchen faster — with one of these easy, quick-fix salads.
Chef Ron Dillavou from the University Avenue Hy-Vee provided these four delicious recipes from his own collection.
Chicken and Strawberry Spinach Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette
This beautiful salad brings in the flavors of fresh strawberries, greens and chicken, dressed in a flavorful vinaigrette and sugared pecans.
- 2 bags of spinach
- 12 ounces chicken, cooked, sliced
- 2 mandarin oranges, peeled and segmented or 1 small can of mandarin oranges
- 6 ounces of sugared or candied pecans
- Raspberry vinaigrette (recipe follows)
- 6-8 strawberries sliced
In a separate bowl, add:
- 1 tablespoon raspberry preserves
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup olive or canola oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Mix together preserves, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper using a whisk.
In another bowl, mix together salad ingredients, except pecans, then place on plates. Drizzle on Raspberry Vinaigrette and sprinkle each salad with pecans.
Antipesto Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette
Go Mediterranean with this simple salad filled with crunchy greens, beans, salami and provolone cheese, a perfect combination.
- 2 bags Taylor Mediterranean crunch salad mix or romaine lettuce
- 1 can kidney beans, rinsed
- 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed
- 8 ounces salami, cubed
- 8 ounces provolone cheese, cubed
- 2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- Red wine vinaigrette:
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup olive oil
Mix red wine vinaigrette ingredients, except oil, into a blender. With the machine running, gradually blend in the oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Combine the first 8 ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with enough vinaigrette to coat. Season salad with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
Chicken and Baked Chevre with Arugula and Spinach
Company for supper? Wow them with this impressive but amazingly simple chicken and baked chevre salad with arugula and spinach.
- 2 5-ounce logs of goat cheese, cut into thirds crosswise
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup dried fine bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 bag spinach
- 1 bag of arugula
- 6 sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 1 pound chicken breast, cooked and sliced
Coat goat cheese with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Dust with bread crumbs and refrigerate for 1 hour. Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Combine sherry vinegar, garlic and mustard in a large bowl. Whisk in remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Place breaded goat-cheese pieces on baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and soft, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Add greens to vinaigrette. Toss and divide among 4 salad plates. Place chicken and warm goat cheese in the middle of each plate and garnish with sun-dried tomatoes.
Smoked Salmon with Baby Greens Salad
Drizzled with a honey-based dressing, smoked salmon and baby greens take on new, flavorful dimensions.
- 3 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ tablespoon honey
- ½ tablespoon course ground mustard
- 2 bags baby greens
- 12 ounces smoked salmon, sliced thin or flaked
- ½ red onion, sliced thin
- Grape or tear drop tomatoes, mixed variety, if available.
- 1 ½ tablespoons capers
Whisk vinegar, olive oil, honey and olive oil in a bowl with a little salt and pepper. Set aside.
Place cleaned lettuce, tomatoes and salmon in large bowl and drizzle dressing just to coat.
Top with onion slices and capers to garnish.