Barbecue Chicken Salad With Spinach, Asparagus, Tomatoes, Carrots & Cucumbers

Expectations:

This salad is a quick regular thing for me – taking some protein like roast chicken, shrimp — could easily be veg with tofu or a grain and making it into a fast salad with a balsamic vinaigrette.   The kids will eat the ‘components’ of the salad (minus the spinach) put onto their plates in nice little separated sections.

Seriously, this is a “15 minutes to done” stand-by for me on weeknights.  Usually I use left overs but if I have to make the protein from scratch, lots of fast options (i.e. hard boil eggs, spinach/scallops from the freezer, ground turkey or beef).

Ingredients:

  • About 1 cup of baby spinach per grown up.   If your kids eat salads, use 1/2 a cup per child or serve (as I did) leftover grains for the kids — i.e. pasta, barley, cous cous or toast wheat bread or wheat tortillas.
  • BBQ slow cooker chicken leftovers from the recipe or a great use of store-bought rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 cup of sliced asparagus (about 5 or 6 spears) cut into one inch pieces
  • 1 large tomato sliced thin (or into 1/2 inch chunks)
  • 1 or 2 large carrots – sliced into thin rounds (or matchsticks)
  • Balsamic vinaigrette or your favorite salad dressing
  • Cucumbers, sliced thin into rounds (or cut into small cubes)

Prep for BBQ chicken salad
Prep for BBQ chicken salad not too much chopping for a weeknight!
Steps to put this on your table:

  • Warm the roasted chicken, I braise mine in a mix of equal parts olive brine and orange juice (about 1/4 cup of each), over low heat for 6 –  8 minutes while chopping the vegetables and setting the table.  You can add the asparagus to a steamer insert and cover the pan to steam them while the chicken heats or saute the asparagus in the same pan, before or after starting the chicken – with extra virgin olive oil or 1/4 cup of water on medium/medium high heat for 4 – 5 minutes.

Sautéing the asparagus....
Sautéing the asparagus….

Warming roast chicken in an olive brine & orange juice braise.
Warming roast chicken in an olive brine & orange juice braise.

  • Add the spinach, cooked asparagus, tomatoes, carrots and cucumber to bowls for each salad eater.

For kids that don’t consistently eat salad yet (mine) put the grains, vegetables and chicken onto kids plates — not touching of course! 

  • Dress with balsamic vinaigrette or another salad dressing of your choice.
  • Top with roast chicken.

 

Serve & enjoy!

 

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