Take some lettuce, place it in a bowl.
Top with your favorite protein, veggies, nuts, fruits, & cheese.
Drizzle with homemade dressing.
Congratulations. You just made dinner.
Seriously! Dinner doesn’t have to be a long drawn out affair every night.
Sometimes the simplest dinners are the most enjoyable ones.
Like this Rosemary Blue Cheese Chicken Salad.
It comes together in twenty minutes. Less time than it would take to grab dinner or order takeout!
Plus, who doesn’t want bites of creamy blue cheese dressing, crispy chicken pieces, sweet & salty nuts & cranberries, and tender fresh lettuce?
It’s a party in a bowl, people.
If you feel intimidated by dinner, this salad is a great place to start.
Easy recipe, big flavor.
Rosemary Blue Cheese Chicken Salad
- 1 ¼ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Drizzle of olive oil or other cooking oil
- ¾ lb mixture of red & green leaf lettuces, washed, dried, & torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup walnut pieces
- ½ cup dried cranberries optional
For the dressing:
- 1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ½ cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
Place the cubed chicken in a medium bowl & add the salt, ground black pepper, rosemary, and garlic powder. Toss with your hands until evenly coated.
Wash your hands well with warm soapy water & get out a skillet for cooking the chicken. Drizzle olive oil (or other cooking oiinto the pan, & warm over medium-high heat. Add the chicken & cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken pieces are crispy & golden all over, roughly ten minutes. Remove to a plate & set aside.
Add the lettuce to a large serving bowl, & prepare the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, sour cream, salt, pepper, olive oil, and honey. When combined well, stir in the gorgonzola.
Pour half of the dressing over the lettuce & toss to combine.
Divide the lettuce onto 4 serving plates, top with chicken, walnut pieces, cranberries (if using) and drizzle with extra dressing. Enjoy!
Every week, I visit a local farmers market.
Whether it’s Culver City, Palms, Santa Monica, Mar Vista, or even Hollywood, I love love love the bounty of fresh produce & locally produced goods.
Walking through the stalls, browsing the best that nature has to offer, gives me chills… and mega inspiration.
This week was all about PEACHES.
Warm, sun-ripened peaches with enticingly sweet flesh & delicate fuzzy skin.
Fresh picked peaches taste nothing like the ones sold at chain grocery stores.
Fresh peaches are actually allowed to ripen on the vine, so they develop maximal sugar and sweetness. They are soft, juicy, and bursting with flavor.
In contrast, many grocery store peaches are picked while still rock-hard and unripe.
That green-tinge you see on so many supermarket peaches? Yeah, that’s not supposed to be there.
Green means the peach was picked while under-ripe to help it hold up better during transport. Unripe fruit has firmer flesh, so it can be stacked & stored without squishing & bruising.
Yes, that unripe peach will eventually ripen on store shelves, but it will never reach the same level of deliciousness as a fresh picked peach.
Since this salad features peaches, try to seek out locally grown organic peaches before making it. It will seriously make a world of difference.
The sweet, tender slices of fresh peaches are easy to pierce with a fork, and melt in your mouth with the creamy, tangy goat cheese & fresh basil.
Extra-firm peaches will change the texture & experience of this salad, so splurge for the best peaches you can find!
Peach Frisee Salad with Goat Cheese & Basil
- 2 small heads frisee, torn
- several handfuls of baby greens
- extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
- 2 small yellow peaches, halved, pitted, & thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup torn basil
- 1/3 cup chopped macadamia nuts or walnuts
- ½ cup crumbled goat cheese
- fresh cracked salt & pepper
Thoroughly wash and dry your baby greens, using a salad spinner or paper towels.
Place in a large serving bowl, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar & toss to mix well. Remember to drizzle lightly at first. You can always add more oil or vinegar, but you can never take away! Aim for a ratio of roughly 2 parts oil to 1 part vinegar.
Sprinkle the sliced peaches, torn basil, nuts, and goat cheese over the salad.
Season with fresh cracked salt & pepper & serve family style!
I try to make it a habit to eat veggies at least 3x per day.
That could mean breakfast-lunch-dinner, or it could just be lunch & dinner with a snack or two sprinkled in.
This is important, since the typical American diet is sorely lacking in fresh produce- especially green leafy veg! Did you know that nearly 1/4th of the general American public (22.6%) doesn’t even consume veggies once per day?? At the very minimum, you should aim for 2-3 cups of vegetables each and every day.
Vegetables are truly nature’s medicine.
They provide us with powerful phytochemicals that slash our risk of developing many chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, and even dementia. We co-evolved alongside plants, and our body literally requires them for good health!
One of the easiest ways to include some veg at dinner is to serve a simple side salad.
Now I’m not talking anything crazy. No need to dice a zillion vegetables or labor over a complicated dressing.
In fact, my favorite simple side salad is just that.
It features fresh delicate baby greens tossed with a classic red wine vinaigrette.
And that’s it. No heavy vegetables or add-ins. Just lightly dressed baby greens.
And don’t be deceived. Although this salad is super simple, it’s also crazy delicious.
The homemade vinaigrette is the perfect complement to the slight bite of tender greens. The tang from the vinegar, creaminess from the Dijon, and delectable hint of garlic on the back end make this salad seriously addictive.
Try serving this Simple Side Salad alongside pasta dishes, grilled meats, or even at family gatherings. But watch out, it disappears quickly!
Simple Side Salad
- 8 oz mixed baby greens
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt & pepper, to taste
In a small bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard, garlic, red wine vinegar, and olive oil. Season with fresh cracked salt & pepper to taste and whisk again until well combined.
Place the baby greens in a large serving bowl. Drizzle with just enough dressing to coat. (Be careful not to over-dress or you’ll end up with a limp salad!)