Chicken, Apple, and Goat Cheese Salad

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THIS is fall in a bowl!

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For the past several weeks the apples at the Farmer’s Market and grocery stores have been outstanding! Every color lined up meticulously on big, long tables just begging to be eaten. It’s no surprise those tables usually have the longest lines…and people are not afraid to throw an elbow or two to get to the front of the line, I’m telling ya! For the record, I have never shoved/elbowed/nudged someone out of the way for produce…I promise! There was a lady last month who wanted to fight for the last bunch of sunflowers, but that’s a different story for a different day. Usually I buy gala apples because they are my favorite, but it sure is hard to resist the size-of-my-head-honeycrisp that are on display this time of year. Feel free to substitute those in the salad if your heart desires.

During a time of year that can be so full of heavy dishes and comfort foods, it’s nice to have a lighter recipe up your sleeve when you are craving something fresh. Mixed baby greens, spring mix, spinach, or baby kale make a great bed for delicious fall-flavored toppings. Like apples! And goat cheese! And toasted pumpkin seeds! Apples and goat cheese are simply made for each other; crunchy, sweet, creamy, salty perfection. I tried this salad combination with romaine lettuce, but found myself unsatisfied with its watery quality…I wanted something with more flavor and oomph!  I added grilled chicken to the top of the salad for protein, but it is totally optional. 

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Three more of my favorite things about fall: Lola, pumpkins, and beautiful fall colored mums!

Ingredients (makes 2 servings)

  • 1 lb. thin sliced chicken breast
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • salt/pepper, to taste
  • 6 c. mixed baby greens (or spinach, baby kale, spring mix)
  • 1 large Gala apple, chopped
  • 1/4 c. crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/4 c. pumpkin seeds (peptitas), toasted
  • Poppyseed dressing, for serving 

Preheat grill over medium heat for 5-10 minutes. While grill heats, drizzle olive oil over chicken breast and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Grill chicken for 3 minutes on each side, or until fully cooked. Set aside while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

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Toast pumpkin seeds in a dry skillet for ~5 minutes until lightly golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Chop apples into bite size pieces; about 1 inch cubes.

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Divide mixed greens among plates; I like to use deep plates or bowl-plates for dinner size salads. Divide chopped apple among the salad plates.

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Sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese.

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Slice chicken into strips and place on top of the salads. Last, sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish and drizzle with salad dressing. To make weeknight dinners easier I use store-bought salad dressing, but feel free to make your own if you’d like! Poppyseed dressing is my favorite choice for the salad, but balsamic would also be wonderful!

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Try this recipe for a quick, weeknight dinner that is both healthy and filling. It would also be the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving table. Yes, I am really starting to think about Thanksgiving already because it’s my most favorite holiday! Enjoy! :)

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