This summer I needed to pack a dinner for a beach picnic. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to bring for my mom and I but knew the kitchen was full of nutritious food to pull something together. Some of my favorite recipes come out of not an organized set plan, but looking into the fridge, pulling out what is in there, and thinking which ingredients will complement one another in one dish.
Making nutritional improvements can be simple, little changes. For example. Eat fruit that is in season. Fill your plate with lots of different colors. I keep these small nutritional insights in the back of my mind when meal planning or creating a recipe, like I did with this picnic salad.
My salad has several different types of vegetables, each bringing different nutrients and a colorful hue. The almonds and avocado adds the good fat we need daily, while the blueberries are fresh, in season, and bring a slight sweetness to the dish.
I love making my own salad dressing. It only takes an extra few minutes and is usually much healthier than anything you will find on a shelf. You only need a touch of honey added-the blueberries will make the salad sweet enough. The chia seeds in the dressing not only give the salad a touch more fiber, but a satisfying extra crunch.
The red onion needs to be finely diced and will add a needed bitterness. I topped my salad with grilled chicken but any meat or fish of your preference will work too.
My favorite part? The creamy goat cheese. If dairy upsets your stomach, I recommend using goat cheese. I find it is much easier on our digestive systems
I felt satisfied from the salad and so did my mom. I think a recipe must be a success when it is “mom approved.”
Our beach picnic was full of catching up and laughing with friends, and ended with a gorgeous sunset.
3 cups of arugula
1 cup of purple cabbage (cut into small strips)
1/2 cup of cucumber, (cut into small slices then quartered)
1/4 cup of red onion (diced)
1/2 cup of fresh blueberries
1/4 cup of almonds (cut into bits)
1/2 an avocado (cubed)
1/4 cup of goat cheese
2 chicken breasts
For the dressing:
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 tbsp. of chia seeds
1/2 tbsp. of honey
Dash of salt and pepper
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
*Marinate chicken breasts in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cook on grill for 10-15 minutes or cook in the oven at 375. Once chicken is no longer pink, set aside and let it cool
*Rinse off arugula, cabbage, cucumber, and blueberries
*Cut cabbage into small strips
*Slice cucumber into thin slices, then quarter the slices
*Dice red onion and cut almonds into small bits if needed
*For the dressing: Add olive oil into a small bowl. Juice 1/2 a lemon. Add chia seeds, honey, and a dash of salt and pepper. Mix well with a fork
*Cut the chicken into small cubes
*Place the arugula into a large mixing bowl. Add chicken, cabbage, onion, cucumber, and almonds
*Top with blueberries and goat cheese
*Dress the salad and mix well
*Makes two large salads