ok, i give in … here’s the ‘best salad ever’

i’ve made this a couple of times now, and NO ONE has been anything less than absolutely enthralled with it. i’m normally not a salad person, unless it has so much stuff in it that it is no longer of any nutritional value. and while this salad does have a ton of stuff in it, most of it won’t hurt you! hallelujah.

cast of characters: butternut squash, fresh spinach, feta cheese, dried cranberries, slivered almonds, mandarin oranges, chicken breast, and raspberry vinaigrette dressing.

preparation:

  • peel and dice a good chunk of a fresh butternut squash. the squash takes the longest, so do it first. dice it into small bite sized pieces, then put into a heavy skillet on medium low. drizzle with honey, then sprinkle on a smidge of brown sugar and some cinnamon. cover and let bubble until the squash is tender. the honey/brown sugar/cinnamon will make a little sauce.
  • cook your chicken breast … however you like. grilled would be great! i actually cheated and used the packaged pre-grilled strips this time and they were fine. there’s so much flavor in the salad that you don’t want much of anything on the chicken. after the chicken is cooked and diced, i stash it in the pan with the squash to get/keep warm and help soak up the sweet sauce.

 

construction:

  • snag a couple of decent sixed bowls. put a hefty layer of spinach down, then layer half the chicken/squash. sprinkle feta over this layer. put another good layer of spinach, then sprinkle the almonds and dried cranberries.  a little more feta if you’re so inclined, then a couple of mandarin orange sections. splash on the raspberry vinaigrette and dig in!
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