A green salad with spinach, chicken and fruit. The sweet & sour dressing and the nuts add extra crunch and flavor. Simple but delicious!
A healthy green salad is always the first thing that comes into my mind when I’m troubled about what I’m gonna take to work as a lunch! After all, it’s very versatile, easy to make, doesn’t require a lot of preparation, it’s easy to transfer and you can’t go wrong no matter the ingredient combination you’re going to choose.
The basic components I try to always use are:
1. A protein source (eggs, chicken or tuna are the most common ones)
2. Some leafy greens (spinach, lettuce or butter lettuce are my favorites)
3. Color and aromatics (peppers, vegetables, corn, fresh or dried fruits with different colors are ideal, while herbs provide valuable phytonutrients and fresh aromas)
4. Some kind of nut or whole grains (for healthy fats and complex carbs)
5. A dressing or just a couple tablespoons of olive oil
Sometimes, I also use cheese, like in this arugula, goat cheese and green apple salad!
Some people may find the combination of chicken and fresh tangerine a bit weird. But, chicken actually goes really well with any kind of citrus, and there are numerous chicken recipes which use citrus juice as a basic ingredient. So go for it, don’t be skeptical!
The dressing is made with equal parts of pomegranate molasses and olive oil, and it’s full of antioxidants! Pomegranate molasses is basically pomegranate juice which has been boiled down to a thick syrup. You can probably find it at the aisle of your super market with the middle eastern goodies, or just make it yourself and use it to marinate meats and add it to sauces and many more salad dressings! This is a typical recipe.
Oh, this salad has a couple of tablespoons of nice, golden sultanas.
What? You can’t see them in any of the photos?
Well… Are you going to make me say it?
Yes, I made this salad, forgot to add the raisins, took all the photos, ate it and some days later when I sat down to write this post, I realized my omission! 🙁
This green salad, as I’ve said, is perfect as a lunch for work, since it can easily be stored and transferred in a container, without any problems.
The chicken can be boiled, baked, pan roasted or even be a rotisserie one, though I have a special place in my heart for the pan roasted due to the extra flavor of its brown, caramelized surface! (You can see how I pan roast chicken breats in this chicken sandwich with balsamic and olive oil dressing).
Keep in mind to store the dressing in separate little jar and drizzle it over the salad just before eating it, to prevent the spinach from wilting.
If you want to maximize the absorption of iron you should combine spinach with foods rich in vitamin C (citrus, peppers, strawberries, etc) or apples, pears and ciders.
If you can’t find pomegranate molasses use grape or maple syrup with a bit of lemon juice.
Instead of pine nuts, use sunflower seeds or other nuts of your preference!
If you don’t want to put the dressing into a separate jar, you can put it at the bottom of your container with the chicken and the tangerine segments and top with the spinach. That way chicken will have the chance to “marinate” in the dressing while spinach won’t come in contact with it 🙂
For lots more healthy salads and recipes, check my extra healthy category!
Green salad with chicken, spinach and fruit
For the salad:
- 6 cups (200 grams) baby spinach (or chopped fresh spinach)
- 10 oz (283 grams) chicken breast, ((boneless and skinless) cooked and sliced)
- 3 tangerines ( in segments)
- 4 tablespoons (35 grams) pine nuts (pan roasted (see notes for substitutions))
- 4 tablespoons (40 grams) golden raisins or Sultanas ((see notes for substitutions))
For the dressing:
- 4 tablespoons (50 grams) extra virgin olive oil
- 6 tablespoons (90 grams) pomegranate molasses ((see notes for substitutions))
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place the dressing ingredients in a jar or a shaker and shake well to combine.
- Transfer all of the salad ingredients to a large bowl.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.Serve
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