Our temperatures have been in the high 90’s these past couple of weeks, and it does not look like it will be getting much cooler in the days to come. When it gets this hot, I make simple meals of salads, using a lot of fruits and vegetables. Also, when it is this hot I try to stay out of the kitchen as much as possible and I want to make meals that are quick and simple. Today, the high was 98* F. That is pretty darn hot, so I made a spinach, strawberry and chicken salad with a cilantro lime vinaigrette to help cool us off and beat the heat. This salad is about as cool as it gets. It was full of color and textures, not to mention packed with flavors that were just bursting off the plate. We had some left over smoked chicken and strawberries that needed to be used, so I decided to make this beautiful and colorful salad. You can easily substitute shrimp for the chicken or tofu if you would prefer to make it vegetarian. Either way, it is still a culinary piece of art meant to be enjoyed to the fullest. I served it with toasted chibatta bread and a fruity chardonnay with hints of pineapple, green apple and vanilla, that paired perfectly with the salad.
Spinach Strawberry Salad
baby spinach leaves, with the stems removed
red onion, sliced very thin
cooked chicken breast, sliced
sliced strawberries, with stems removed
green onions, sliced thin
I served it with a cilantro-lime dressing, but you can use whatever dressing you like. I can easily make make this dressing, but this one I have to say, was store bought. It was still very tasty and went very well with the salad.
I would be a lot thinner and probably a bit healthier if the weather was this hot all the time because I would be eating a lot more salads, fruits and vegetables. Although truth be told, we do eat a lot of vegetables all throughout the year as it is. We are also very healthy over all. Besides, I like a good mix, both in the weather and with the foods I like to cook and eat. Variety after all, is the spice of life, and I love variety; and spices too, now that I think about it. Hope you enjoy the salad and stay cool in these dog days of summer.