Friday, August 01, 2008

Easy Trader Joe's Meals - Hearty Spinach Salad

... a continuation of my posts on easy meals made from ingredients found at Trader Joe's

Hearty Spinach Salad

1/2 bag pre-washed baby spinach
1/2 can marinated bean salad
handful of Kalamata olives, chopped
1 package grilled balsamic chicken breast
1 avocado (optional)
1 green onion, chopped

Heat chicken breast in microwave (1-2 min). Chop into bite-sized pieces. Chop onion, avocado, and olives. Toss all ingredients in a large salad bowl. (The marinade in the bean salad and the avocado act as a yummy salad dressing. If you like your salad more “drenched”, you can add a splash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.) You can also add any chopped veggies that you have in the fridge. Tomato, cucumber, and green peppers make great additions.

We came upon the idea of eating a big hearty salad as dinner from Café Intermezzo in Berkeley, CA. They sell a *huge* chef salad with meat, cheese, avocado, beans, and a hard-boiled egg for around $5. Back in our grad school days, this salad and a thick slice of their whole grain bread would feed my husband and me for dinner and still leave leftovers. Fast forward 10 years to us lamenting that we aren’t getting enough fresh veggies in our diet. We remembered our trips to Café Intermezzo, and decided to recreate their salad at home. We have “salad night” once per week to make up for other nights when we may not eat as healthy.

HB likes the components of this meal, but she likes to have all the ingredients separated on her plate. So, I make separate piles of chicken, beans, spinach, olives and avocado for her to eat.

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