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Chicken Spelt Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette

Serves 4.


    Chicken Spelt Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette

    This colourful riff on the classic spinach strawberry salad delivers big time from bottom to top. A creamy goat cheese base plays well with the tender chicken and bright strawberry dressing. Millet or sorghum would be good gluten-free stand-ins for spelt.


    Chicken Spelt Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette


    • 2 tsp (10 mL) grapeseed or sunflower oil
    • 3/4 cup (180 mL) spelt
    • 1 lb (450 g) skinless, boneless organic chicken breast
    • 4 oz (112 g) soft goat cheese, room temperature
    • 3/4 cup (180 mL) plain Greek yogurt
    • 2 tsp (10 mL) fresh thyme
    • Zest of 1 lemon
    • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
    • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper
    • 8 cups (2 L) spinach or other salad greens
    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) sliced basil or mint
    • 4 red radishes, thinly sliced
    • 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) unsalted roasted sunflower seeds
    • 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) strawberries, hulled
    • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) balsamic vinegar
    • 2 tsp (10 mL) honey or maple syrup
    • 2 tsp (10 mL) Dijon mustard
    • 1 garlic clove, grated or minced
    • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
    • 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) crushed red pepper flakes
    • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil


    Per serving:

    • calories543
    • protein44g
    • fat22g
      • saturated fat6g
      • trans fat0g
    • carbohydrates44g
      • sugars12g
      • fibre8g
    • sodium620mg



    In saucepan, heat grapeseed oil over medium-high. Add spelt; stir to coat grains in oil and heat, stirring occasionally, until grains smell toasted, 3 to 5 minutes. Add pinch of salt and enough water to cover spelt by at least 2 in (5 cm). Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until spelt is al dente, about 35 minutes. Drain spelt and spread out on baking sheet to dry.


    In large pot, place chicken and a couple pinches of salt, then add enough water to completely cover the meat by at least 1 in (2.5 cm). Bring water to a temperature that produces steaming with just the rare bubble breaking the surface. Reduce heat, partially cover pan, and poach for 20 minutes, or until meat is cooked through to an internal temperature of 160 F (70 C). Ideally, you want to keep the poaching water temperature at around 160 F (70 C). Skim off any foam that forms during cooking. Remove chicken from water, and when cool enough to handle, thinly slice.


    In bowl, stir together goat cheese, yogurt, thyme, lemon zest, salt, and black pepper until creamy.


    To make dressing, in blender container, place strawberries and 2 Tbsp (30 mL) water and blend until smooth. In fine-mesh sieve set over bowl, place pureu0301ed strawberries; let drain, pressing down with spatula and scraping underside of sieve. Discard seeds remaining in sieve. Into bowl with strawberry pureu0301e, stir balsamic vinegar, honey or maple syrup, mustard, garlic, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking constantly.


    To assemble salad, spread goat cheese mixture on serving plates and top with salad greens, basil or mint, spelt, chicken, radish, and bell pepper. Drizzle strawberry dressing overtop and sprinkle with sunflower seeds.


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    This recipe is part of the Raising the [Salad] Bar collection.



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