Blackberry Basil Chicken Salad

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Oh, hi! Anyone here? It’s definitely been a minute!

This salad is one of those things that I have been meaning to share for a LONG time. We make this on repeat in our house from about the time that blackberries first start re-appearing in the stores in the spring through fall grilling season. Why? It’s easy. Healthy. Delicious. Simple. And it makes just enough for a lunch salad serving for each of us the next day. It’s even better once I can start using my basil from my little vegetable garden.

The recipe originally came from emeals, and I’ve made a few changes but have mostly stayed true to the original simple ingredient list. I don’t love arugula in large amounts, so I usually buy a small pack and mix it with spinach or other salad mixes to spread it out a bit. My only other change, as above, is increasing the ingredients to make 4 salads. Enjoy!

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(Printable Recipe)

Blackberry Basil Chicken Salad
Adapted from emeals

Ingredients:
1 pack of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 to 1-1/2 pounds)
1 (5oz) pack of arugula
1 (5oz) pack of spring mix
2 pints of blackberries, washed
1/2 cup chopped basil
6 oz can honey roasted almonds (I don’t use the whole can)
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Panera refrigerated Balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Preheat your grill (or heat a pan over medium-high heat). Salt and pepper both sides of your chicken breasts and grill until cooked through. Allow them to cool, then slice.

Divide the salad greens between plates (or containers if you are saving some for lunches). Chop the basil. Divide the ingredients between each salad. Top with dressing and serve.

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Crazy Feta Dip

crazy feta dip

Olympic fever. I’ve been seeing it all over the blogs. I certainly seem to have caught a case of it myself. Unfortunately, I am not able to stream the events live while I’m at work, but you’ll know where to find me in the evenings for the next couple weeks. Go USA!

Last Summer Olympics (2008) the hubbs and I were so inspired by the swimming events that we thought we’d do a few laps in the pool at the gym for a workout the next day. Despite the fact I’d like to think we are both in pretty good cardiovascular shape, we were done in about 2.5 laps. I can’t imagine swimming as much as many of those athletes!

While this dip may not have much of a relation with the Olympics, it certainly would make a great appetizer for any Olympic parties that may unfold. The dip comes from Jessica’s blog, How Sweet It Is. If you have never visited her blog, please do. Her recipes always look amazing, and her posts are completely entertaining. Jessica indicates this recipe comes from her cousin who invented it after having something similar at a restaurant. All that I can say is thank you! 

I made this recipe to take to a work potluck a couple weeks ago. It was pretty unassuming sitting next to many of the other dishes, but as soon as a couple people stared eating it, it disappeared quickly. I halved the recipe using only 1 large jalapeno, and used crumbled feta due to ingredient limitations. All that I can say is the lemon, a bit of heat from the peppers, and the salt from the feta combine to make something amazing. I served it with crackers, but I think it would be equally as good with pita chips or slices of baguette (maybe sourdough?). Try it out. You just may go crazy for feta!

(Printable Recipe)

Crazy Feta Dip
From How Sweet It Is

Ingredients: 
16 oz. feta (bricks or crumbled)
3 jalapenos, seeded and quartered
1/4 cup olive oil + olive oil drizzle
1 bulb garlic
juice 1/2 lemon
zest 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut off the top of the garlic. Drizzle with a little olive oil and wrap the bulb in foil. Brush the pepper pieces with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the peppers and garlic in the preheated oven. Roast the garlic for 25-30 minutes, or until it is golden in color. Roast the peppers until the skin is blistered and blackened, about 15-20 minutes. Once the jalapenos have cooled, remove the skins and chop into small pieces.

If using feta bricks, crumble the feta into a large bowl. Add the chopped jalapenos, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Squeeze the garlic bulb, and the roasted cloves will fall out into the bowl. Add 1/4 cup olive oil. Mash the dip together with a fork. The dip will look “wet.” Season with salt and pepper as needed. Store in the refrigerator, although the consensus seems to be that it tastes best at room temperature.