Hello, Fall! It is feeling quite brisk in NJ this morning and I love it. I live for this kind of weather. My inner New Englander just wants to wear plaid and sweaters and L.L. Bean duck boots by a fire in a log cabin. This kind of weather also makes me crave comfort foods, which makes working in a cheese shop where I’m surrounded by mac & cheese and grilled cheese all day quite dangerous. So, in an effort to savor some of my favorite fall flavors in a lighter way, I recreated this Autumn Chopped Salad from the blog Iowa Girl Eats. It’s quick and easy to make for a weekday lunch, but still tasty and filling to power you through these chilly days. Now dig in (hopefully by a fire in duck boots)!
Autumn Chopped Salad adapted from Iowa Girl Eats
1 lb chicken breasts
1 tbsp olive oil
dried parsley flakes
8 strips bacon
3 heads romaine & red leaf lettuces, chopped
1 honey crisp apple, cored and small diced
1 pear, cored and small diced
1/4 cup dry roasted almonds, roughly chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup crumbled feta
1/2 cup Briana’s Poppy Seed Dressing
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the chicken breasts in a glass baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and season with dried thyme, parsley flakes, salt, and pepper. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place the bacon strips on the baking sheet. Put the chicken and bacon in the oven. Cook the bacon for about 15 minutes, remove from the oven, and place on paper towels to drain. At this time, flip the chicken and cook for about 10 minutes more (25-30 minutes total cooking time). Once the bacon and chicken is cool enough to handle, chop into smallish pieces.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the poppy seed dressing and balsamic vinegar.
3. In a large bowl, toss together the lettuce, apples, pear, chicken, bacon, cranberries, nuts, and feta with the dressing. If making for lunch throughout the week, mix together all of the ingredients without the dressing and bring the dressing with your lunch in a separate container.