Dawn Viola is a research and development chef and food writer. She serves on the board of directors for Slow Food Orlando, and works with local and national companies as a healthy recipe consultant with a focus on organic, local and sus...
It seems these days anything piled on a bed of lettuce is called a salad. And we're OK with that. In fact, we love it because it gives us free reign over salad expression, allowing us to toss everything into one yummy pile of goodness, without being judged for unconventional combinations of ingredients – especially when it comes to main-meal salads.
Main meal salads are like a one-pot meal without the bake time – they're quick, satisfying, easy to prepare and packed with all the nutrients you'll need to get you through the rest of your day. The major difference between a light or side salad versus a main meal salad comes down to the amount of protein.
When gathering ingredients for a main meal salad recipe, build it as you would a regular lunch or dinner. Select your favorite dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale or escarole; four to six ounces of lean protein like salmon, chicken breast, tuna or quinoa; lots of colorful fresh vegetables and healthy fats found in nuts and seeds. Whole grains such as barley or brown rice can also be added, as well as dried or fresh fruits.
Farm stand chicken salad recipe
2 boneless skinless chicken thighs, poached and shredded
2 tablespoons homemade mayonnaise
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of cracked black pepper
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 cup shredded mustard greens or escarole
1/2 cup shredded cabbage
1/2 cup julienned carrots
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon organic sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
Lemon wedges (optional)
In a large bowl, combine chicken, mayonnaise, oregano, salt, pepper and garlic; refrigerate 10 minutes. In a medium bowl, combine greens, cabbage, carrots, oil, vinegar, sugar and salt; set aside.
Meanwhile, place two salad plates into the refrigerator until well chilled, about 10 minutes. To serve, place half of the slaw in a small mound in the center of the salad plate. Spoon half of the chicken mixture over the slaw. Repeat for the second dish. Serve cold, and if desired with lemon wedges.