Balsamic Chicken Salad with Apples and White Cheddar

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This post is sponsored by DeLallo. 

No matter how many years into maintenance I get (eleven now), January is always hard. On the one hand, I’m fired up with inspiration to make all of these healthy changes. But on the other, I’m coming off of a few weeks of really indulgent eating. It’s just plain tough to transition from Christmas cookies to salads come January first—no matter how healthily we may eat on a regular basis. For me, getting back into the swing of healthy living in the New Year is a two-step process.

Balsamic Chicken Salad with Apples and White Cheddar

First (and hardest), I simply have to break the habit of indulgence. I find that three days is all it takes to get into a groove—three days of truly wholesome eating, with no added sugar (fruit is fine), plenty of vegetables, and lots of water. After that, I always have a clearer, more optimistic head, my taste for sweets has faded significantly, and I have more confidence in my ability to keep going.

Step two is finding ways to make healthy eating enjoyable, but still relatively easy. That, for me, means making salads that are more exciting than plain ol’ greens and grilled chicken. I need more texture, some interesting mix-ins, and better dressings. I want my salads to magically taste restaurant-quality—with far less effort.

Balsamic Chicken Salad with Apples and White Cheddar

This balsamic chicken salad with apples and white cheddar fits the bill. It’s enjoyable and relatively easy—all because of DeLallo SaladSavors. The convenient toppings in these cute little packages allow me to transform a bag of pre-washed greens, like arugula—along with crunchy favorites, like radish and red cabbage—into a restaurant-style salad in no time. The crisp white cheddar flavor SaladSavors that I used for this balsamic chicken salad has a flavor-bomb trio of toasted almonds, shreds of sharp white cheddar, and dried apple chips. In a pinch, I’ve been known to snack on these SaladSavors, and I’ve also added them to a pot of cooked quinoa and the results were delicious, my friends.

Balsamic Chicken Salad with Apples and White Cheddar

Now, for a little more protein on top of this salad, I marinated chicken breasts in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a clove of garlic, then grilled them to caramelized, sticky-sweet perfection on my favorite indoor grill pan. You can make a big batch of balsamic chicken ahead of time and serve it cold on salads for lunch throughout the week. The same goes for the arugula salad! Feel free to assemble the base (arugula, radish, red cabbage, avocado, almonds, cheddar, apples) in small containers and top with chicken and dressing the day of!

Here’s how it’s made:

What makes it easier for you to eat healthy in January? 

Balsamic Chicken Salad with Apples and White Cheddar

Balsamic Chicken Salad with Apples and White Cheddar

Ingredients

    Balsamic Chicken:

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • Salad:

  • 2 5-ounce bags arugula
  • ¼ small head red cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 DeLallo SaladSavors – Crisp White Cheddar
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
  • 4-6 radishes, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk the balsamic, olive oil, and garlic. Pour into a large, resealable plastic bag and add the chicken. Press the air from the bag, seal, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the apple cider vinegar, garlic, Dijon, honey, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Let stand while you assemble the rest of the salad.
  3. Heat your gas grill or indoor grill pan over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade, discard the remaining liquid, and grill the chicken until browned and cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes, turning halfway. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and slice.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the arugula with the radish slices and red cabbage. Add the cheddar, almonds, dried apples, and the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Divide the salad among your serving plates or bowls and top with avocado slices and chicken. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information & Notes:

Nutrition Information for 1 Serving (1/4th of the Recipe): Calories 446, Total Fat 27g, Sat Fat 5g, Carb 19g, Fiber 6g, Sugars 9g, Protein 33g

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http://www.andiemitchell.com/balsamic-chicken-salad-with-apples-and-white-cheddar-recipe/

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