Mondays…. I made this salad last night. You know the movie “Office Space”?
I seriously LOVE that movie. I really do. I’ve seen it quite a few times, and it’s still funny every time!
I was thinking about that quote yesterday. The day seemed endless. In South Carolina, there is a yellow haze of pollen floating through the air, and coating my throat and lungs causing swelling and coughing and overall miserable feelings in our house. What is the need for this much pollen? I mean, you look outside and you can SEE THE BREEZE. I’m not joking. We have enough pine trees. The pollen needs to dial it back a bit.
I know this rant will do nothing. But I felt the need to whine. And then I had a glass of wine. HA!
Anyways… back to my salad. My husband said that he was craving his chinese food leftovers last night and wanted to eat that, and was going to be coming home late. I, however, was NOT craving that. So… I looked at my meal plan and decided on a yummy and filling salad!
This one is seriously soo good! I did have popcorn later that evening as a nighttime snack, but this one was filling, sweet yet tangy, and really fresh. You have your crunch, chewy, sweet, tart… everything!
4-6 chicken tenderloins cooked (or leftover grilled chicken on a Cast Iron Pan) thru and sliced. (I cooked mine in the skillet with a bit of olive oil, oregano and salt and pepper. The more basic the chicken, the better. You’re gonna have the flavor in the salad and the dressing)
5 oz baby spinach
5 oz. Artisan salad mix (or spring greens)
1 avocado, cored and diced
1/2 cup shaved or grated parmesan cheese
1 sliced and halved cucumber (I prefer English or “hothouse” cucumbers)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Optional: You can add some almonds or pecans as well if you’d like!!!
Place a medium-size saucepot over high heat and add 1 1/2 cups of the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil then add the peas and the couscous. Place a lid on the pot and turn off the heat. Let sit for 5 minutes. (Israeli Couscous has different prep instructions. If you use this kind of coucous please follow the proper directions on the box!)
While the stock is coming up to a boil for the couscous, place a large skillet over high heat with 3 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 3-4 tablespoons. While the skillet is heating up, place the flour on a plate. Toss the chicken in the flour to coat, shaking off any excess. Add the chicken pieces to the hot skillet. Season the chicken liberally with salt, pepper and the lemon zest, and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring every now and then to get them brown all over.
Once the chicken has browned, add the remaining cup chicken stock to the skillet. Once the stock is hot, add the butter and poppy seeds. Stir until the butter has melted and the sauce has thickened up a bit, about a minute. Turn off the heat and squeeze the juice of 1 lemon into the pan.
With a microplane or the smallest grade of a handheld box grater, grate in the garlic the last 2 minutes of cooking.