Thursday, May 20, 2010

Blueberry Citrus Salad With Spinach & Candied Pecans

This is actually a very healthy little salad despite it's name. It's something I created all on my own (seriously, it wasn't too hard) with things I had on hand. I wanted to give it a more gourmet feel so I added the candied pecans and it was the perfect touch. This recipe is for only one serving so be sure to double or triple for guests.

1/2 cup of grilled chicken (no seasoning added - just plain)
2 handfuls of baby spinach/lettuce mix
1 handful (about 1/8 of a cup) of unsalted pecans
1 handful of steel-cut oats
1 small can of Mandarin oranges
1 Tbsp. of juice from the Mandarin oranges
1 handful of raw blueberries
Poppy Seeds
Wishbone Salad Spritzers - Raspberry Bliss Vinaigrette

(1) In a small skillet over medium heat toast pecans and steel cut oats with 1 Tbsp of juice from the Mandarin oranges. Cook pecans and oats until all of the juice has evaporated and the pecans start to become sticky.
(2) Cool pecans on wax paper until ready to use.
(3) Wash/rinse baby spinach mix. Place in serving bowl.
(4) Add rinsed blueberries and desired amount of Mandarin oranges - no more than a 1/4 of a cup total.
(5) Sprinkle a shake or two of poppy seeds over salad and toss.
(6) Top with candied pecans and a couple sprays of the salad dressing and you're good to go.

Helpful Hints:
(1) I always just use plain Jane chicken breasts. I add no seasoning to them. I just place them on the George Foreman until their browned and the juices run clear. You'll be surprised if you go to the grocery store and go to purchase the already cooked chicken strips. Look on the back - one of the ingredients is sugar!
(2) When buying Mandarin oranges make sure to look for the ones that are not sitting in a bath of high fructose corn syrup. They're out there - it's just a little bit harder to find them. I was able to find some from Del Monte.
(3) Steel Cut Oats are suppose to be better for you and really help to add a nice crunch with the pecans.

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