Healthy, Refreshing Summer Berry Salad
Ok, yes. I’m naming everything “summer berry” now. Don’t judge – it’s mid-summer in Alabama and the PERFECT time of year to dig into some berry-good goodness. (No, the cheesiness doesn’t stop, in case you were wondering). From the summer berry baked oatmeal we enjoyed last week to blueberry lemonade and smoothie bites, it’s been a fruit-filled summer for us so far! And, when eaten in moderation, we love enjoying the added antioxidants and vitamins cloaked in delicate sweetness.
I hope your summer is going well and that you are finding creative ways to catch a little R + R or traveling safely! We’ve needed all the energy we can get this week, since Stanley decided to wake us up every few hours for food (he’s a cat, not a baby for those of you who are new 😉), we had a false fire alarm go off in our building and had to evacuate one night (side note: I was really proud of my ability to gather the important items and get them to the car in less than a few minutes – had no idea that was in me!), and have been busy with work projects. I’m grateful that Cliff and I can still work from home right now, as COVID-19 numbers are still on the rise here in Alabama and we are working to stay extra cautious. I’m hopeful that your week has been a little more restful than ours, but I will say that if there was ever time for some “power meals,” or immune boosters, now is probably perfect.
What makes this summer berry salad special?
Quick to construct, with few ingredients
Salad dressing that adds just the right amount of zest + can double as a dip
Protein, for added nutrition
Easily serve as a side (sans chicken) or a full meal
Quick + Easy Grilled Chicken
I prefer my protein in this salad to come from chicken, but you can easily customize this to make it your own. Add a few other veggies in place of the chicken if you are on a meatless diet, or swap for a different type of meat. We are living in an apartment right now, since our move to Birmingham and can’t have our grill with us, so we use a grill pan on the stove. It’s easy and fast, plus acts as a huge space-saver!
Simple Grilled Chicken
- Stovetop grill pan or non-stick skillet
- 1 ½ tbsp EVOO
- 1 ½ tsp kosher salt divide evenly between both sides
- 1 tsp garlic powder divide evenly between both sides
- pinch freshly-ground black pepper each side
- Add olive oil to grill pan or skillet. Grill on medium heat until cooked through, approximately 20 - 25 minutes.
Grab a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and cut into bite-size pieces or shred, like you would do for a traditional chicken salad recipe. Save time!
Avocado Cilantro Lime Salad Dressing
Avocado Cilantro Lime Salad Dressing
- Food processor
- 1 ripe avocado, pit and skin removed
- ⅓ cup EVOO
- ⅓ cup cilantro stems and leaves
- ⅛ cup full-fat Greek yogurt
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 limes, juiced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Add ingredients to food processor.
- Pulse until smooth. Add more olive oil, if necessary, to reach desired consistency - this will be determined by the juiciness of the limes and consistency you desire.
- Chill for several hours. Use as a dip or salad dressing.
- Makes 1 1/2 cups.
If you’re more of a vinegar-based dressing fan, this salad would be delicious with practically any type of vinaigrette. For those who aren’t big cilantro fans, note that the avocado and Greek yogurt balance the bite of the cilantro, so it isn’t quite as intense as it would be fresh in a pico de gallo or edible garnish. You can also adjust the proportions to better suite your taste. As with anything in the culinary world, the control is in your hands…and, if you live in the South, the hands of the humidity. 😉
Summer Berry Salad Recipe, Fully Assembled
Summer Berry Salad with Grilled Chicken and Avocado Cilantro Lime Dressing
- 1 chicken breast
- 6 cups spring mix greens approximate
- 1 ½ cup sliced strawberries
- ¾ cup blueberries
- ⅓ cup cilantro avocado lime dressing more, if desired
- 3 tablespoons chopped scallions
- pinch kosher salt to taste
- pinch freshly ground black pepper to taste
- If chicken was pre-cooked, warm it through before assembling with the remainder of the salad.
- Assemble the grilled chicken, blueberries, strawberries, scallions, spring mix greens, dressing, salt, and black pepper and toss until dressing coats all ingredients. If you prefer, add dressing in stages until you reach the desired result.
- Serve as a side salad without chicken, or as a larger meal with the chicken.
If you love salad as much as we do, what is your favorite dressing? Do you prefer something yogurt-based or vinegar-based? (Honestly, I love them all!)
This would also be delicious with croutons, sunflower seeds, or other favorite toppings of yours! I hope you give this a try and until next time, cheers to your #hearthhealthhappiness!