After a recent weekend full of drinking and eating I wanted to have a lunch ready this week that was full of fresh and healthy ingredients that was also easy to put together. This salad was great because it packed a ton of flavor, protein, and seasonal fruits and vegetables into one bowl-- an ideal lunch!
I have had a huge bag of cherries in my refrigerator for some time now and even though I take some to snack on every day, it seems like I haven't even made a dent. With that in mind, I thought that they would be a nice sweet addition to a mostly savory salad. The salad includes a few of my favorite flavors and they all play really well together-- the sweetness of the cherries, the saltiness of roasted sunflower seeds, and the tangy bite of goat cheese and red onions. I added chicken and avocado for some extra protein, served it on a bed of spinach, and dressed it with a simple homemade balsamic vinaigrette. It's a perfect lunchtime salad.
- 2 cups spinach leaves
- 1/4 cup cherries, pitted and sliced
- 1/2 chicken breast, cooked and shredded or sliced
- 1/2 avocado, sliced
- 1 Tbs. roasted sunflower seeds
- 1 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
- 1-2 thin slices of red onion
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbs. honey
- 3 Tbs. white wine vinegar
- 4 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp dry parsley
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Arrange spinach and next 6 ingredients through red onion in a bowl. If you're packing this for lunch ahead of time, I recommend packing the sliced cherries in a separate container and sprinkling the avocado with a little lemon juice to delay browning.
In a separate container, whisk together oil and next 5 ingredients through salt and pepper. Dress the salad with desired amount of dressing (there will be extra) and enjoy.
This recipe makes 1 serving of salad and multiple servings of dressing. The extra dressing can be sealed and refrigerated for a few days.