Spring feels like it is here. It is light out until almost 8pm, which means that we have time to actually enjoy hanging and playing in the backyard after work. Here O is balancing along the retaining wall that lines the entire span of the yard, or "UP-high" as he likes to yell over and over again as he walks around up there. It was just over 65 F today and the fresh air and sun was just what we all needed. We also all needed a good dinner, I was happy to help out with that.
For our first meal in the backyard, I made a big salad with parm/garlic toast on the side. I found the salad recipe in an old Cooking Light magazine in the "Quick Fix" section. I have been pulling out my old magazines and trying to get into the habit of picking a few recipes to make for the week- I guess you could call it meal planning, but I just don't feel like I am quite that organized at this point-it's a start though!
We grilled up a bunch of chicken last night so we already had the meat ready to go for tonight. This morning I had a little extra time before work so I chopped the potatoes and green beans. Placing them in individual bowls of water and storing them in the fridge for the day kept them fresh. Doing this meant that after work I would only have to boil water, make the salad dressing and prep the toast.
Although I made the salad exactly as the recipe stated, except for the onions,(and it was super yummy), I think I would add a few things next time. Maybe some roasted almond slivers for crunch and sliced strawberries for a little extra sweet, juicy kick. Sliced watermelon also might be good too once it is in season (this little mama is SO looking forward to watermelon season, I lived off of it when pregnant with O and have a filling not much will change this summer while pregnant with Deuce-baby). One of the local breweries in town makes a very similar salad- adding seared ahi instead of chicken. One of my favorites when hanging on the roof top deck and enjoying a good beer with friends.
I think this would make a great salad for a brunch or wedding/baby shower. It is surely going to be on my list for summer time this year.
~~ Recipe originally found on Cooking Light, May 2004
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pound small red potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound diagonally cut green beans
2 cups cubed cooked chicken (about 8 ounces)
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
1 (10-ounce) package gourmet salad greens (about 6 cups)
To prepare dressing, combine first 8 ingredients, stirring well with a whisk.
To prepare salad, place potatoes in a saucepan; cover with water. Add 1 teaspoon salt to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until almost tender. Add beans, and cook an additional 4 minutes or until beans are crisp-tender. Drain. Rinse with cold water; drain well.
Quarter potatoes. Place the potatoes, beans, chicken, onion, and greens in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing; toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.