I've always enjoyed a good salad, but ever since I became gluten-free about 4 months ago, I've taken my salad game to a whole new level.
Which is probably for the best, since we signed the Mini up for a "parent & me" swim class and I've had to squeeze my doughy, ghost-white body into a bathing suit two months earlier that I usually would.
It doesn't help that my partner in crime looks adorable in her bathing suit.
Ah the things we do for our children.
In any event, I am a creature of habit and when I find something I like, I stick to it. For example, I have spent countless lunches at Panera Bread with my coworkers over the years, and have only sampled probably 4 different menu items.
Even before I went GF, one of my main go-to meals has been their Fuji Apple Chicken Salad. A-mazing. I don't know who decided apple chips would be a good topping for salad, but I would like to thank this person for changing my life.
However, I am not much into Gorgonzola cheese, so I always ask to substitute with Feta cheese. I also prefer almonds to pecans when I make it at home. So it's totally up you what you put this on, but my recommendation for a salad base is as follows:
-mixed greens/baby lettuce
-grilled chicken strips
-slivered almonds (or pecans)
-crumbled feta cheese (or Gorgonzola)
-crispy apple chips (you can find my recipe here, or use store-bought)
Either way, you can't go wrong.
White Balsamic Apple Vinaigrette
- 2 T. canola oil
- 1 T. olive oil
- 1/2 C. apple juice (I recommend using a "natural" apple juice)
- 3 T. white balsamic vinegar
- 2 T. apple cider vinegar
- 1 t. lemon juice
- 1 t. sugar
- 2 t. honey
- 1/4 t. salt
- 1/8 t. pepper
- 1/4 t. garlic powder
- 1/4 t. xanthan gum (optional - it just makes the dressing a little thicker)
Whisk all ingredients together, or process in a blender to emulsify. Makes about one cup of dressing. Any leftovers can be refrigerated for up to a week.