Monday, April 25, 2011

Grilled Chicken and Spinach Salad with Sweet and Sour Dressing

I've been in the mood for dinner salads lately... maybe from too much cake from my cake decorating class or too many whopper eggs from Easter?? I don't know. I ran across this Sweet and Sour Dressing Recipe and it went with a spinach salad. I got it from a co-worker a few years ago. She brought it to a pot luck we had at the office, I just had forgotten about it until now. It was good, but  I added a few things like grilled chicken  for protein. The recipe also said to put hard boiled eggs in it, but since I don't like them I left them out, but feel free to add whatever you want to this salad.  You could also add fresh sliced mushrooms, but I didn't have any.This dressing was Yummo!!

Grilled Chicken and Spinach Salad with Sweet and Sour Dressing

For the Dressing:
1/2 cup minced sweet onion (if you use a strong onion, use a little less or it will overpower the dressing) I think I will cut back to 1/4 cup minced onion next time I make this.... We had onion breath long into the night! :o)
1/2 cup sugar (I used a little less than 1/2 cup, dressing was still sweet)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup vinegar
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 Tablespoon honey (or more to taste)
1 cup salad oil (I used canola)

For the salad:

4 small chicken breasts
1 small bag fresh baby spinach
1/2 head napa cabbage, diced into bite size pieces
1/2 small bag romaine salad mix
1 cup snow peas, sliced in bite size pieces
1 carrot, sliced thin
1/2 cup grated cheese, your choice (I used cheddar, and you can add more if you like)
4 slices bacon, cooked crispy and diced
1/2 cup chinese noodles for garnish on top

First, make the dressing by mincing the onion in a food processor or blender. Next add the rest of the dressing ingredients except for the oil, and pulse to combine. Then with the processor or blender going, slowly pour in the oil and puree until it's emulsified (or creamy looking and combined) You can add more honey to your taste, I only used about a Tablespoon.
*This makes enough dressing for two salads. Or you can marinade your chicken in about a 1/4 cup of the dressing sprinkled with a dash or two of hot sauce in a ziploc bag. I let my chicken marinade for about 1/2 an hour.
Heat your grill, and cook chicken at medium heat for about 6 or 7 minutes per side, depending on how thick the chicken is. Let rest for 5 minutes, then slice into this strips.

To assemble the salad, place spinach, napa cabbage, lettuce, snow peas, and carrots in a large salad bowl, toss a bit to combine. Then sprinkle the cheese and bacon over the top. Drizzle with dressing. (I used about half of what was left of the dressing after taking out 1/4 cup to marinade my chicken.)
Then place sliced chicken on the top and sprinkle with the chinese noodles.
Serve and enjoy!! YUMMO!
My salad served 3 adults, and 2 of them were men.
Also this dressing could be warmed up if you like, just drizzle warm dressing on salad right before serving, it's great either warm or cold.

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