Survival Salad

We’ve had a long spring this year. A long wet spring.
Great for the grass and my water bill, not so great for morale.

So I’m overjoyed about 80+ degree weather. It’s seriously my favorite time of year. I may have mentioned it once or twice. (Or everyday of my life.)
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But even though I’m seriously a happy camper, turning on the oven when it’s 85F in my kitchen is just asking for trouble. And melted popsicles.

So what’s a Jo to do? Make a giant salad! With chicken! And vegetables! And no oven!

Summer Survival Salad
Serves 4-6

4 unfrozen chicken breasts (I like boneless and skinless, but use what you’ve got)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cucumber, sliced
1 medium tomato, chopped
1-2 cups sugar snap peas (you can leave them whole, but I cut them in half for easier eating)
your favorite mix of lettuce

Marinate the chicken for at least 15 minutes, up to a day, in your favorite Italian salad dressing or vinaigrette (I’ll give you my favorite recipe at the bottom).
Grill the chicken (outside! not in your kitchen!) until fully cooked, adding more marinade each time you turn the chicken. Allow the chicken to rest covered in tin foil before you slice it into strips.

In the meantime, assemble your salad. I like to do it in layers, ’cause it’s more fun that way. Then plate and serve.

Grilled Chicken Salad
See? No melted popsicles.

Grilled Chicken Salad
Start with lettuce.

Grilled Chicken Salad
Add bell peppers.

Grilled Chicken Salad
Another layer of lettuce and then cucumbers.

Grilled Chicken Salad
Another layer of lettuce and then tomatoes and sugar snap peas.

Grilled Chicken Salad
All plated and ready to eat!

My favorite salad dressing/chicken marinade
from Emeril Lagasse

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp dark brown sugar
1 clove pressed garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 cup olive oil

Add all ingredients into a lidded container. Shake or whisk until everything is combined. Will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

What are your favorite summer survival foods?

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