Salads in the last year have quickly become one of my favorite dishes and it’s not because I’m trying to be healthier or follow a diet. While many people associate salads with being bland or unhealthy (due to the amount of dressing, croutons, or cheese that might be added), I find that homemade salads are more flavorful, healthy, and can satisfy different food cravings for some other unhealthy alternatives. It’s all about what you put in a salad because what goes into it can make the difference between making it amazing or sub par.
The salads that I have been making are far from bland, they are filled with flavor and nutritious. Some of my examples are shown below.
However, my all-time favorite salad (so far) is herb chicken with roasted garlic on top of a salad. I always use a salad bed of romaine and spinach for it, but other salad greens would work too! The salad tends to satisfy my craving for McDonald’s chicken nuggets dipped in Honey Mustard sauce, but I couldn’t tell you why (perhaps it’s the Dijon mustard and the juicy chicken?). Side note: My family doesn’t really know where this comes from, so it might just be me! Either way, this is a delicious dish that an entire family can enjoy. Plus, if you have leftovers, don’t worry! The whole dish is still great when chilled.
If you try the recipe, let us know your thoughts below!
Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Time to Make: 40 Minutes
Total Time (Conservatively): 60 Minutes | Makes 4 servings
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 heads of garlic (minced)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4-6 ounces each)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt (fine sea salt also works)
1/2 cup cashews (crushed – can use food processor or crush in bag)
1 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 bunch of thin asparagus (optional)
2 cups of salad greens (we used 1 cup romaine and 1 cup spinach)
How to Make the Chicken Breasts
- Place some olive oil in the pan – enough to coat the bottom. Roast all of the minced garlic over low-medium heat. Cook until lightly-medium brown. Take off the heat and place into another bowl. Set aside.
- Take chicken breasts and place into a plastic bag. Pound with meat clever to flatten the chicken breast.
- Mix the chopped parsley, salt, pepper, and crushed cashew nuts in a small bowl. Pour mixture out onto a flatter plate. Alternatively if you use a larger bowl, you can keep the mixture in the larger bowl if the meat can fit inside to coat the chicken later.
- Split the Dijon mustard between the four chicken breasts and coat all sides of the chicken.
- Take the chicken and coat each side with the mixture from #3.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in pan over medium heat. Saute the chicken for 4-5 minutes. Flip chicken over, turn the heat on low, and book for 4 more minutes or until cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Optional – if you’re adding asparagus. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a new pan over medium heat. Saute the asparagus for 4 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat.
How to Make the Salad Greens
As chicken is cooking, you can prepare the salad greens.
- Wash the salad greens thoroughly in cool water. If you are using romaine and spinach, cut these into strips to eat easier if they are not already prepared.
- Place 1 cup of salad greens on each plate (4 plates).
Putting it Together
- Split the amount of asparagus evenly among the 4 plates. Arrange cooked asparagus on top of the salad greens.
- Slice the chicken in strips. This can be done straight on or at an angle. Place sliced chicken on top of the asparagus.
- Divide the roasted minced garlic so that each plate has about the same amount and then sprinkle the garlic over the chicken.