Confession: I have not been eating well lately. I have fallen off the health wagon hard. But, there’s no use crying over delicious cookies! And perhaps it’s my bodies way of trying to remind me to behave, but all I’ve wanted is a salad. And not just salad, but the kind with delicious fruit in it, bringing the sweet and savory combination I love together. There’s something just so tasty about greens with fruit and the cheese (okay, call me crazy, it’s fine).
So I decided to throw together this End of Summer Berry Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette. Can you make this salad all year-round? Sure, we live in a world where out of season fruit is always at a grocery store! And well, technically strawberries are a spring fruit, not a summer one. But damn it, it tastes delicious in this salad and this is what I decided I shall call it!!
I also added some roasted beets to the mix as an ode to the coming of fall. I recently visited Dallas and had a few dishes that featured roasted beets, which reminded me that I do love the flavor of that root vegetable. Obviously that translated into me buying them in BULK at Costco so I will be eating a lot of beets over the next few weeks (a company called Love Beets sells them roasted and delicious, with the cutest branding).
Chicken was the obvious and easiest choice of protein in this dish. I prefer mine grilled, but rotisserie chicken would be a great sub-in to speed things up a bit. We made this recipe for meal prep by grilling all the chicken at the beginning of the week, along with the dressing and the nuts, but put together the ingredients for the salad each night. It was a quick process and we were able to eat fresh and quickly each night for dinner. The champagne vinaigrette paired with some delicious maple-glazed walnuts and feta brings a salty yet tangy flavor to the generally sweeter salad. All together it makes for an explosion of flavor, which is saying a lot for the generally boring concept of a salad (I don’t know if you can tell that salads aren’t exactly my favorite unless it has delicious mix-ins).
Though this recipe is higher in fat and carbs, it’s with all the right foods… the healthy fat and carbs! And it’s loaded with protein so it will leave you feeling fuller longer. Enjoy!