January 15, 2015

Grilled Chicken and Cranberry Feta Salad with Orange Poppy Seed Dressing

A couple of years ago I finally figured out what my favorite salads consist of. A dark green lettuce of some sort, cheese, fruit of some kind, a protein (usually chicken or bacon) and a light dressing. Now I love a good old house salad with ranch dressing as well, but when I have my favorite kind of salad I can't be stopped. And I don't think that's a bad thing.
While this Strawberry Spinach Salad and Poppy Seed Dressing is still one of my favorites, I think I have found it's runner-up. I couldn't believe how tasty yet healthy this salad was. And making your own salad dressing is SO much easier than you would think without all of the preservatives.
The combination of the grilled chicken, salty feta cheese, tart but sweet cranberries and light orange dressing is phenomenal. This would be perfect to take to your next get together and the possibility of toppings is endless. Three cheers for another successful salad recipe!

Grilled Chicken and Cranberry Feta Salad with Orange Poppy Seed Dressing
Adapted from Cooking Classy
Grilled Chicken
1 large chicken breast
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder

Dressing
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tsp. orange zest
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. honey
2 tsp. dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. poppy seeds

Salad
1 lb. fresh spinach or romaine lettuce
1 cup crumbled feta
3/4 cup dried cranberries

1. Combine paprika, pepper, salt, garlic and onion powder in a small bowl. Set aside. Brush chicken breast with 1 tsp. olive oil. Rub spices evenly on chicken breast. Grill over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes a side or until chicken is cooked through. Shred or slice chicken into strips and let cool.
2. Add olive oil, canola oil, orange zest, orange juice, lemon juice, honey, dijon mustard and salt into a blender to make the dressing. Pulse until well emulsified. Pour into a jar and stir in poppy seeds. Refrigerate until ready to use.
3. Combine chicken, spinach, feta and cranberries in a large bowl. Pour dressing over top and toss to evenly coat. Serve immediately.

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