Happy Wednesday! (aka Hump Day, aka that day in the middle of the week, aka the most frequently misspelled day).
I had a meeting after work today which = a loonngg day. It seemed extra long considering the meeting was supposed to be a “quick 10 minutes” right after school. However, an hour and a half later I was ready to get the heck outta Dodge (I think that is an expression people use for when they want to leave an undesirable place or situation).
By the time I got home, I was ready to release some energy in the form of a HIIT treadmill run (30 minutes, a little over 3 miles) before making dinner. Before we get to dinner, I must share something that is somewhat embarrassing. I have heard it is better to talk about stuff instead of bottling it in, so here it goes.
I sometimes chew gum from the bottom of my purse as a last resort. And no, it usually does not have a wrapper (I know it’s frown-worthy, but I promise I rinse it off before consuming).
Before you stop reading this and write me off as a weirdo, I promise there is a good reason for this–>I can’t run without gum.
I think it’s because my mouth gets really dry when I run, and gum keeps everything salivafied and conducive to a happy run instead of an angry, sad run (I really dislike dry-mouth). Hopefully I’m not the only one who would resort to such measures to avoid this aforementioned unpleasant condition.
Anyways, I do feel much better now after admitting this to the general public. Thanks for listening:)
After my run, I was on the verge of hanger (hunger/anger) so dinner needed to be fast and easy, while somehow still managing to be healthy and satisfying…luckily, I had all the ingredients for my favorite chopped salad!
This salad is based on a chopped salad I get at one of my favorite lunch spots in St. Louis, Crushed Red. I know it doesn’t sound that exciting, but I assure you it is delicious and indeed satisfying.
Chopped Salad with Chicken, Apple, Cranberries, and Walnuts
For the salad:
- 1 large bunch romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 Fuji apple, chopped
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries (my favorite are the apple juice-sweetened from the Whole Foods bulk bin) or cherries
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted
- 1/4 cup goat cheese crumbles
- 2 baked chicken breasts, chopped
For the dressing:
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup Dijon mustard (I like Grey Poupon country Dijon b/c it’s on the spicy side)
- 2 tbps plain greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp water
- squeeze of lemon
- pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Brush both sides of the chicken breast with some of the honey mustard dressing. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until center of chicken is no longer pink, then set aside to cool.
3. Toast walnuts for 5-6 minutes, keeping an eye out so they don’t burn, then set aside to cool.
4. Chop the lettuce and apple to desired consistency (I like my pieces pretty small) and place into a large bowl along with the dried cranberries or cherries (I use a large mixing bowl to make it easier to toss everything together).
5. Chop up the cooled chicken and walnuts (again to desired fineness) and toss into the salad.
6. Last, add in the goat cheese crumbles and give it one last good toss.
7. You may choose to mix in the dressing or drizzle it on top of each serving (which is my preference).