Raw food combinations have always been my thing long before I turned Paleo. I have always relied on a good old green salad and used different forms of dressings originating from either curd or masala spiced lemon juice to provide the required kick to an otherwise mundane main course. And I continued doing so even when after I started the Paleo way of living.
Whats most ironical though is that I have never shared any of my amazing salad recipes out here in spite of consuming that food item for at least 5 times each week. Crazy right? And hence I have decided to have a different salad section on my blog which I am going to build slowly starting with my most favorite Spring Chicken Salad.
I often think as to how cool it is when one can intuitively substitute ingredients and level up the ROI of a particular recipe when you have the right knowledge and wherewithal to do so. That how it gets really awesome when one actually does apply what one has learned to derive at a final product that is truly beneficial to all. That’s exactly what today’s Spring Chicken Salad aims to achieve – a truly benefiting and nourishing experience!
Let’s just go back a bit and understand the nutrients that a human body needs on a regular basis. We all know that we need to eat foods that have a high concentration of multivitamins such as A, B, C, K and D. Moreover we also need to incorporate foods that are rich in iron, folate, magnesium, zinc, and calcium, right? And then again there other elements like the daily protein intake, your blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and anti-inflammation properties that need to be taken into consideration.
And finally when you think you have nailed it all you still have to face one real-life question, Is it even edible? ON A REGULAR BASIS? After all, it’s only when you eat will you reap the benefits, right?
Luckily for you guys, The Paleo Palate Café has it all covered. No, wait not just covered but mastered, if I may say so!
I have literally crafted a salad recipe that takes care of all of the above without losing the element of ‘edibility’. Moreover, I have gone one step ahead and made this rather nourishing bowl even satisfying for the soul. And I am going to share that secret with you guys, pretty darn good eh?
I like to call this salad a Chicken Arugula and Blueberry spring salad or when I make the vegan version of it the Chickpeas Arugula and Blueberry Spring Salad but a girl needs her SEO to work and hence for the purpose of the blog its just a simple Spring Chicken Salad with Vegan option coz yes, I take care of all my vegan buddies too.
The arugula and lettuce take care of your essential multivitamins, the broccoli and spinach provide the required iron and folate and lastly the fruits, chicken or the chickpeas take care of the protein, blood sugar levels, cholesterol along with a kickass vinaigrette that takes this piece of nourishment to another level presenting you with a concoction that is truly made in heaven.
Let’s dive along then:
Spring Chicken Salad with Vegan options
- Baking tray
- Parchment Paper / Aluminium Foil
- Mixing bowl
- Chicken Drumsticks (5 pieces) or Chicken Breasts (2 pieces) or Chicken Thighs (3 pieces) Skip if Vegan
- 8-10 pieces Button Mushrooms
- 1 large Red or Yellow Pepper – 1 large thinly chopped into long slices
- 1 clove Garlic
- 1/4th cup Olive Oil
- 2 tsps Dry tarragon use more if needed to coat individual pieces
- 1-2 tbsps Hungarian Paprika use more if needed to coat individual pieces
- 1-2 tsps Use 1-2 teaspoons of Garam masala if you dont have Paprika
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Hing or Asafoetida
- 1-2 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
- Himalayan Pink Salt – As per taste
- 1/3rd cup Mangoes Fresh or Frozen
- 1 pc Kiwi make sure its not sour
- Clementine juice Squeezed out of 1 full clementine
- 2 tsps Lime juice
- 1 clove Baked Garlic clove
- 1/4th cup Olive Oil or Avocado Oil
- 1/2 tsp Red Chilli Flakes
- Himalayan Pink Salt as per taste
- 1/2 tsp Black pepper
- 2 tsps Maple Syrup
- 1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/2 cup Arugula
- 1/4th – 1/2 cup Lettuce leaves Choose between iceberg, romaine, butter cup or any other and roughly chop them using kitchen scissors or knife
- 6 – 7 florets Broccoli florets Chopped into halves (can use steamed broccoli florets as well)
- 1/4th – 1/2 cup A combination of canned black beans and chickpeas 1/4th cup if making chicken salad & 1/2 cup for the vegan version
- 1/4th cup Grape Tomatoes
- 1/4th cup Blueberries
- 1/4th cup Raspberries
- Hemp Seeds
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
- Line a baking pan with a parchment paper and place the chicken and pepper pieces along with button mushrooms and garlic on them
- Coat olive oil, tarragon, paprika or garam masala, black pepper, hing or asafoetida, salt and balsamic vinegar on each of the pieces
- Use your hands to make sure the spices and oil is nicley coated across all the pieces on the pan
- Bake for 30 mins
- After 30 mins remove the pan and set it aside to cool and prepare the vinaigrette while it is cooling
- To a blender pot add the burnt or baked garlic clove, fruits and condiments as mentioned in the ingredients section
- Blend them up to form a smooth creamy pale yellow liquidy paste
- After the chicken is cooled shred the chicken using 2 forks and start assembling the salad
- To a large clean bowl add in the arugula, chopped broccoli, chopped lettuce, chicken or pepper and mushrooms, grape tomatoes, blueberries and raspberries and the combination of canned black beans and chickpeas
- Drizzle the fruity vinaigrette on the salad – Approx 2 – 3 teaspoons
- Mix using 2 forks until well incorporated
- Garnish with hemp seeds
- If you don’t want to use canned beans & chickpeas soak them in a clean bowl overnight and run them through the pressure cooker until tender the next day
- Discard the water and use them in the salad or store them in the fridge if using later
- You can use your own measurements for all the greens used. Frankly, I have given measurements just for reference. I never use a measuring cup while making my own salad. Trusting your instinct is the best measurement in this case
- If you feel the vinaigrette is too tangy, balance it further by adding in a teaspoon of maple syrup and/or reducing the amount of balsamic vinegar by half (when you make it the next time)