These days, when I make baked or grilled chicken, I always try to make one or two extra servings so I can use it for a few future meals. What a time saver! And, I'm not sure what it is, but there's just something about the taste of leftover chicken. Maybe it tastes so good - either warmed or cold - because the spices have had extra time to sit and be absorbed by the meat a bit. Or, maybe it tastes great because you know you won't have to cook anything for the meal you are about to use it with! Sometimes the easy way out just tastes so good, doesn't it?
On this particular day, I needed not only to use up my extra grilled chicken, but the baby spinach leaves in my refrigerator didn't have much longer before they would wilt their way into the garbage. AND, for some amazingly good reason, the strawberries at the store have looked great lately and the sales have made them even better. I don't know about you, but I love a sweet fruit in my salad, and strawberries seem to marry beautifully with the sometimes sharp bite of the spinach leaves. Lunch today? A strawberry spinach salad, topped with grilled chicken pieces, almonds and a little balsamic vinegar.
|Doesn't this salad look like summer in a bowl?!|
2-3 cups baby spinach
1 pre-cooked, portion-sized chicken breast (baked, grilled, parboiled, etc.)
5 large strawberries, cut into fourths (about 1/2 cup)
9 almonds, coarsely chopped
balsamic vinegar to taste (I used 1 tbsp)
ONE: Even baby spinach leaves can be pretty big for one bite, so I usually take several leaves and tear them in half. Do this for all leaves and place in a large bowl (I like a shallow bowl so all ingredients can be spread out and eaten together).
TWO: Slice cooked chicken breast into slices or pieces, whichever suites your fancy. The smaller the pieces, the more you can enjoy with each bite.
THREE: Cut each strawberry into fourths, or smaller if desired. Coarsely chop the almonds and sprinkle over the top of the salad.
FOUR: Add balsamic vinegar. I added mine 'straight up', but you could certainly use a mixture of olive oil and vinegar or a low-cal balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
Even though it's winter, we can still enjoy the tastes of summer with this salad that is packed with flavor (and nutrition). I hope you find this a great way to use up your leftover cooked chicken!