Orchard Salad

 

This salad is one of my favorite salads!  I love the combination of fruits with the balsamic dressing and the dried cranberries and almonds.  I first learned the recipe two years ago when I worked for “Salads by Design” on the campus of BGSU.  Since then, I have tweaked it a bit and intend to experiment with it a bit more too!  I’ll keep you updated. 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of romaine lettuce
  • 2 apples (I personally love Gala apples.)
  • 1 small can of Mandarin oranges
  • 1 cup of red grapes
  • 1 cup of green grapes
  • ~ 1 lb. of chicken breasts (or chicken tenders) – this is entirely optional, the salad is delicious with or without chicken!
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese (I like mozzarella.)
  • 1 cup of sliced almonds
  • 1 cup of dried cranberries (Dried cherries are also good!)
  • Balsamic dressing to taste (I found that I like Target’s Market Pantry Light Balsamic Vinaigrette.)

Instructions:

If adding chicken, preheat the oven to 400 degrees then bake chicken until done (about 15 minutes).  While the chicken is baking, chop the lettuce and apples and put in a large bowl.  Add the grapes and mandarin oranges to the bowl.  Once the chicken is done, cut into bite sized pieces and add to the bowl as well.  Toss thoroughly with tongs or by hand.  In a separate bowl, combine the sliced almonds and dried cranberries.

When serving, you can either top the salad with the almond/cranberry mixture and cheese or serve the toppings separately.  Same applies with the dressing – you can either toss in it or serve it on the side.

Enjoy!

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