Honey Mustard Chicken, Bacon + Avocado Salad

hcba-salad-copy

I can’t believe I’ve reached the last few weeks of summer and posted only posted TWO recipes to this blog. Bad food blogger, bad!

Perhaps I should give myself a bit of lee-way; it’s been a busy and at times difficult summer. Between a stressful job, a house full of much-loved guests, and a spouse with multiple broken bones from a sports injury, there hasn’t been much time to sit down and breathe, let alone focus on blogging (or much of anything else). Only after quitting my job, bidding fond farewell to our wonderful guests, and putting my hubs on the road to recovery has life finally slowed down to an easier pace. Halle-freaking-lujah!

Of course, I’m one of those people that – despite wanting a break for months – has to fill their first waking moment of free time with activity. In this case, I was only 10 minutes into relaxing on the couch with some Investigation Discovery (it’saddictiveAF) before deciding to have a casual peek at my recipe collection. Casual peek quickly transformed into detailed research, which then morphed into a cooking and baking agenda for the next four months (and a shopping list as long as a novel). And so went my rest time; I was on my way to the market before the murder had even been solved. It was nice knowing you, R & R!

All credit for this beautiful salad recipe goes to Cafe Delites, one of my favorite blogs of all time. The garlicky honey mustard dressing is the BOMB.COM – I’m not a mustard fan by any means, yet I devoured this salad in under 5 minutes! It also makes an unbelievably delicious marinade for the chicken – my husband already requested that I make this again soon. It’s a definite keeper – enjoy!

 

HONEY MUSTARD CHICKEN, BACON + AVOCADO SALAD

Yields: 4 servings

For the marinade/dressing:

  • ⅓ cup clear honey
  • 3 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 2 tbsp smooth + mild Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp finely minced garlic
  • Salt, to season
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

For the salad:

  • ¼ cup diced bacon, trimmed of rind and fat
  • 4 cups Romaine lettuce leaves, washed
  • 1 cup sliced grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large avocado, pitted and sliced
  • ¼ cup corn kernels

 

  1. Whisk marinade / dressing ingredients (through salt) together to combine. Pour half into a shallow dish, submerge chicken and marinade for  1 1/2 to 2 hours. Refrigerate the reserved marinade to use as a dressing.
  2. Heat one teaspoon of olive oil in a nonstick pan (or grill pan or skillet) over medium high heat. Once very hot, add chicken and cook, undisturbed, for 3-5 minutes, or until nicely browned on one side. Turn chicken over, cover, and reduce heat to medium. Cook for approximately 5 more minutes (depending on thickness of chicken), or until chicken is cooked through. Remove to a cutting board and let rest at least 5 minutes before slicing.  (Grill in batches to prevent excess water being released. Dispose of used marinade.)
  3. Wipe pan over with paper towel; drizzle with another teaspoon of oil and fry the bacon until crispy.
  4. Slice chicken into strips and prepare salad with leaves, tomatoes, avocado slices, corn and chicken.
  5. Whisk 2 tablespoons of water into the remaining dressing and drizzle over the salad. Sprinkle the bacon over the top and season with salt and freshly cracked pepper, if desired.

Gorgonzola Spinach Salad with Walnuts, Bosc Pears + Pomegranate-Thyme Vinaigrette

Gorgonzola Spinach Salad

It’s not baking – but my god, do I need a break from baked goods!!

GORGONZOLA SPINACH SALAD WITH WALNUTS, BOSC PEARS + POMEGRANATE-THYME VINAIGRETTE

Yields:  2-4 servings

  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed pomegranate juice
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1 fresh Bosc pear, cored + thinly sliced length-wise
  • 1/2 cup quartered walnuts
  • 3/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola or other soft blue cheese
  • 3 tbsp fresh pomegranate seeds
  1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk olive oil, vinegar, pomegranate and lemon juices, mustard, honey and thyme. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
  2. In a large serving bowl, combine spinach, sliced pear, walnuts and Gorgonzola. To serve, drizzle with prepared vinaigrette and sprinkle with fresh pomegranate seeds.

*Re-posted from my old blog, Cucina Fresca.