Sweet ‘n Savory Spinach Salad

Often, when I eat at a restaurant, I’m drawn to a hearty salad. They always taste SO GOOD! But then, at home, I’m all “salad … meh” and find myself skipping the veggies I know my body needs. It’s a bad habit and one I’m trying to correct. This year, I’m aiming to make more, better salads at home – salads like this sweet ‘n savory spinach salad inspired by one of the restaurant ones I so enjoyed recently!

Do you find yourself skipping your greens at home too? If so, I promise this salad won’t disappoint! Prep all your ingredients and enjoy it for a dinner and then prep yourself a portion for tomorrow’s lunch too. Nothing better than a double dose of veggies with one round of work!

SPINACH SALAD INGREDIENTS

  • 16 ounces of spinach
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese
  • 1/2 cup canned roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Balsamic vinaigrette … or your preferred dressing
  • Optional: Lemon

DIRECTIONS

Begin with the most time intensive salad topping – the chicken. Now, if you want to make this step easier you can totally use pieces from a rotisserie chicken. But, if you’re prepping from raw chicken breasts, I opt to pan fry the chicken in a bit of olive oil with salt and pepper. Heat the oil and then cook the seasoned chicken 3-4 minutes on each side. Transfer to an oven safe dish and finish at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until the center is no longer pink and each breast registers 165 degrees. Cool, chop, and set aside.

While your chicken is in the oven, move on to the candied walnuts. In a stovetop pan add walnuts, white sugar, and butter. Continuously stir over medium heat for 5 minutes until the butter and sugar melt and bind to the walnuts. Remove from the pan and allow them to cool in an even layer on parchment paper.

Chop the roasted red peppers and measure out the gorgonzola cheese.

Finally, time to assemble! Start with a bed of spinach and top with chicken, red peppers, gorgonzola, and candied walnuts. Toss in a balsamic vinaigrette – I like Marie’s or Panera’s bottled options. And, if you fancy lemon, add a squeeze as the finishing touch to your sweet ‘n savory spinach salad.