I am a firm believer that salads can be filling and fun if you use the right ingredients. A nice big salad is one of my favourite kinds of meals, provided it’s kept interesting: if it doesn’t have protein, fruit or nuts of some kind, I’m not interested.

Now that we are back in full school/work mode with less time and energy to worry about cooking, I thought I’d share the recipes for some salads I’ve made or eaten recently that are quick to prepare, satisfying and—most importantly—super tasty.

Grilled Chicken & Peach Salad (recipe adapted from Cooking Light)

Ingredients (makes 4 servings):

  • Box of arugula or spinach
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2-3 ripe peaches (depending on size)
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • Crumbled goat cheese, to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard

(Avocado would be a nice addition too – ours was past its prime when I made this)

This salad may not be ideal now that it is no longer peach season, but you can always substitute another fruit of your choice. The nice thing about peaches is that they’re delicious when grilled.

  1. Grill the chicken and peaches–the peaches should only take about 2 minutes on each side.
  2. Heat pine nuts in a cast-iron skillet until golden brown and fragrant.
  3. Slice the peaches and cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Whisk vinegar, oil and mustard together in a small bowl.
  5. Put salad greens, chicken, peaches, pine nuts and goat cheese in a large bowl and drizzle dressing on top. Toss to coat and season with salt and pepper.

Fig-Pomegranate Salad

Ingredients:

  • Box of romaine lettuce
  • 8 figs, quartered
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • Seeds from 1 pomegranate
  • Crumbled goat cheese, to taste

This salad was made by a family friend, so I am not exactly sure of the ratios or dressing used, but I made my best estimates. I think this salad would go best with a dressing on the sweeter side, like something with honey in it. Salad is really the kind of thing that you can play around with to suit your own tastes. When I recreate this one, I plan to add in some prosciutto. 🙂

Note: To gather the pomegranate seeds in the easiest/least messy way, break the pomegranate into segments first. Place one segment at a time into a bowl of water while you use your fingers to pry the seeds out. The seeds will sink to the bottom while the white membrane floats to the surface. When you’re done, you can just scoop the membrane off the top and strain the water from the seeds. Voilà!

Shrimp, Corn & Avocado Salad (recipe adapted from Cooking Light)

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Ingredients (makes 4 servings):

  • Box of romaine lettuce
  • 3/4 pound frozen peeled and deveined shrimp (the pre-cooked variety is easiest)
  • 2 cobs of corn
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Pinch each of salt and pepper

Probably my favourite of the three: hearty, filling and flavourful. Pre-approved by the two biggest eaters in my family, who usually do not accept a salad as a full meal.

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and then add the cobs of corn. Cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Thaw the shrimp by placing them in a colander under cold running water for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Place lettuce in a large bowl and add shrimp, tomato and avocado. Cut the corn off of the cob into the bowl.
  4. Whisk together lime juice, canola oil, honey, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Pour over salad and toss to combine.

Another bonus about these recipes? It’s also guaranteed easy clean-up!

Stay hungry,

Caj

P.S. ATTENTION READERS: I have switched over here to WordPress for the foreseeable future. I’ll likely be playing around with the appearance for a little while, but overall I think it is easier and more fun to read. So keep checking back on keepingitcaj.wordpress.com!

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