I remember the days when weeknights meant sitting down to dinner altogether, playing a game, and then trundling the boys off to bed. Now that they are getting older, our two boys are involved in more activities. Juggling evening soccer and basketball practices with increased homework loads means that evenings are far less relaxed than they used to be. With less time on our hands, it becomes more important to have a repertoire of quick and easy or make-ahead entrees to fall back on. A few of our favorites are Chicken BLT Pasta Salad, Pork Skewers with Molasses and Dijon Mustard Glaze, and Teriyaki Flank Steak Sandwich. Now we can add this satisfying spinach salad to the list.
The salad is filled with shredded chicken, juicy oranges, and avocado. (Be sure to see How to: Segment an Orange.) I poached two boneless, skinless chicken breasts in boiling water for 10 to 12 minutes, then shredded the cooled chicken with my fingers. However, rotisserie, baked, or sauteed chicken breasts would work just as well. The dressing has a kick of garlic and onion, mixed with Asian flavors such as ginger, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. The chicken, oranges, and dressing can be prepared ahead of time. When dinnertime rolls around, all that is left to do is slice the avocado and toss all of the ingredients together. Serve the salad with whole-wheat dinner rolls or Focaccia with Caramelized Onion, Tomato and Rosemary for a full meal.
In a large bowl, toss together the spinach, chicken, orange, avocado, and jalapenos.
For the dressing, combine green onions, canola oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger in a blender and puree until the mixture is smooth, about 30 seconds.
Toss the salad with the dressing. Serve. It just doesn’t get any easier than that!
Other spinach salads:
Cookin’ Canuck’s Mushroom, Caramelized Onion & Cannellini Bean Spinach Salad
Cookin’ Canuck’s Spinach Salad with Fuyu Persimmons, Jicama & Avocado with Miso Dressing
Family Fresh Cooking’s Sweet Potato, Bacon & Pomegranate Salad
The Perfect Pantry’s Spinach Salad with Glazed Beets & Blue Cheese
Dianasaur Dishes’ Spinach Salad with Feta & Walnuts
From the kitchen of Cookin Canuck. www.cookincanuck.com
- 6 cups (packed) spinach leaves
- 2 cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts, torn into strips
- 2 large navel oranges, cut into segments
- 1 small avocado, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 red jalapeno pepper, minced
- 4 green onions (green & white parts), roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
- In a large bowl, toss together the spinach, chicken, orange, avocado, and jalapenos.
- For the dressing, combine all of the ingredients in a blender and puree until the mixture is smooth, about 30 seconds.
- Toss the salad with the dressing. Serve.
Dressing adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine.