Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Strawberry Salad with Chicken and Homemade Strawberry Vinaigrette - Gluten Free

When summer comes around we are constantly looking for fresh and easy meal ideas that won't heat up the kitchen.  Summertime lends itself well to tons of salads.  The garden is exploding with greens and strawberries are producing big, bright, red beautiful berries with their enticing smell.  All you need for this dish is your favorite salad greens, chicken, and strawberries to make this simple summer salad.  The added bonus here is that you make your own dressing with some extra strawberries, some good oil (not that highly processed seed oil, that is just gross) and some delicious balsamic vinegar.  Salad dressing doesn't have to be full of empty crappy calories and with this one being so easy splurge and get the avocado oil for some high quality fat. Everything here is Gluten Free and Primal/Paleo so let's get to it. 

Strawberry Vinaigrette Dressing

1 cup of strawberries, fresh
3 T Strawberry Jelly of choice
2T + 1 t of Balsamic vinegar
3 T Avocado Oil
1/2 t pepper
Pinch of Salt

Yields approximately 1 1/4 cups of dressing 

Combine all of the above ingredients into your blender of choice, I use my Nurtri-Bullet, and blend until completely smooth.  This usually takes me 30 seconds in my nutri-bullet.  Of course stop and check your mixture to be sure it is at a desirable consistency for your liking.  Taste the dressing mixture and be sure it is to your liking, you can adjust your flavors as needed.  
I'm sure you could use honey for the sweetener and up the berries to skip the jelly but I've had such amazing success with the current recipe I just haven't wanted to try anything else. 

For the chicken you can either cook up 4 chicken breasts, 4 chicken thighs or even use some leftover shredded chicken.

Simply add a little salt and pepper to your chicken if you are cooking it fresh and cook, bake, or grill until done. Cut into strips or cubes once the cooked chicken is cool enough to handle.

Plate up your favorite salad greens, we use romaine and spinach, add your sliced strawberries, then the chicken and lastly the pecans.  Feel free to add some red onion and feta to this salad, it's just as tasty with these added ingredients but i didn't have any on hand when I made this recipe for the photos.

Hope you enjoy this delicious dish and are having a fabulous summer!

***Note - this salad does not taste as good when you replace the chicken with a leftover homemade hamburger. LOL!  Hey, we eat what we have on hand and we ate all the chicken the night before.  Just keeping it real. ***

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