I love Easter food. The ham, the green beans braised in bacon, the yeast rolls and most of all the cheesy, greasy scalloped potatoes. But after a week of leftovers, I needed to lighten it up.
Enter the roasted veggie salad with chicken. It’s fresh, savory, tangy and the dressing and avocados make it a little creamy without feeling too gluttonous.
It’s got plenty going for it health-wise too. It has the varied protein, good (unsaturated) fats and complex carbs you need to keep you energized and full for a good while. Plenty of vitamins and antioxidants are a nice bonus.
Variations of this salad are a standby in my meal planning.
This recipe makes a lot of hearty salad, but it’s actually pretty great if you’re only cooking for one or two. The veggies are already roasted and the greens fairly sturdy, so it keeps well in the fridge. You could even dress it individually to make it last longer.
I promised this recipe last night on SnapChat (follow me at lcavalier33), so order up!
Eating fresh food like this makes you feel better, and making it yourself makes sure extra sodium and sugar isn’t sneaking its way in. It gives awareness and control of what you put in your body. It also tastes pretty incredible!
But remember, you always have options. Avoid the shame spiral.
Do the best you can with what you have available and what you have time for. In a pinch you can use any vinaigrette you have in the fridge, and using pre-cooked chicken will speed it up.
Fresh is best and pre-packaged foods can be filled with sodium and sugar, but we’re all busy! Don’t give yourself too hard a time if you have to pick up some shredded chicken from the deli on the way home to get it done today.
If you make this recipe, let me know what you think over on SnapChat!
For the salad
- 5 oz mixed greens of choice (I used baby arugula, kale and chard)
- 5 oz cherry tomatoes
- 1 zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
- 1 portobello mushroom, scooped and sliced
- 1 red onion
- 2–3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
- 1 ½ teaspoons coarse kosher salt
- ½ teaspoons freshly ground pepper
- 1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced
- 1 cup quinoa cooked in chicken broth (or veggie broth)
- 1 avocado, scooped out in bite-sized chunks
- 1 lb baked simple chicken tenderloins, sliced (see below)
- ½–¾ cup apple cider vinaigrette (see below) or vinaigrette of choice
- Optional: Softened goat cheese
For the chicken
- 1 lb chicken tenderloins
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried cumin
- 2 teaspoon ground thyme
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
For the apple cider vinaigrette (makes about 2 cups)
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon Italian spices
- ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1–2 Tablespoons honey
To make the salad
- Preheat oven to 400°F and line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Place tomatoes, zucchini slices and mushroom slices on the sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Halve red onion, then slice. Place on a sheet of aluminum foil and drizzle with 1-2 TBSPS olive oil, then wrap the onion tightly in the foil.
- Bake both veggies and onion for 12 minutes, checking halfway through. If they’re dry, stir them around a bit with tongs and add more oil if necessary. If onion is fork-tender after 12 minutes, leave in for an additional five minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine roasted veggies, cucumber, quinoa, avocado, chicken and vinaigrette. Toss lightly to combine.
- Serve over a scoop of softened goat cheese.
To make the chicken
- Preheat oven to 400°F, and line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil
- Combine salt, pepper, dried basil, cumin and thyme in a small bowl and stir with a fork to combine.
- Place tenderloins on the foil about one inch apart.
- Spread seasoning mix evenly on top of chicken, then drizzle with olive oil.
- Bake for 12 minutes or until cooked throughout, flipping tenderloins over halfway through.
- Allow to rest on a cutting board for five minutes before cutting or serving.
To make the apple cider vinaigrette (makes about 2 cups)
- Combine ingredients in a bowl and whisk.
- Allow to sit at least 10 minutes for flavors to marry (optional).
- Use to dress your favorite salad.