Lemon Thyme Dinner Salad

Lemon Thyme Dinner Salad

It’s still summer. And when I say that I don’t mean it in the way that folks say it’s time for cocktails at Noon because it’s “5 o’clock somewhere.” I mean, right now, is actually still summer. However, lots of folks have already sent their babies back to school including most of my family and friends in the States. I don’t remember doing that when I was a kid. We always went back after Labor Day. Maybe that’s a Northeast thing or a ritual of the past but the new thing, in some places, is to go back in August. The thing thatwould throw me about going back now (other than having to leave the beach) is you still have your summer cooking game face on. Local berries, tomatoes and corn haven’t been retired. The BBQ is still hot. But, in my mind, if it’s back to school time, you should be thinking about cozy soups and  hearty chills. It’s not the case but somehow I think my menu should change with the season or, at the very least, with the season I consider the new school year.

If it’s summer then obviously you’re still on the hunt for light dinners. I created this hearty, easy and delicious salad in the spring. I then proceeded to eat it on a weekly basis for the last few months. The marinade for the chicken is so flavourful and light due to the fresh thyme and lemon while the salad is jammed packed with delicious bits. It’s honestly an entire meal in a bowl since it includes chicken, potatoes and an abundance of vegetables all sitting on a full hearty salad. It also feeds an army. When I make this salad I have dinner for at least two nights as well as an easy lunch for Scarlett. Are you reading between the lines here? You have all the components for a packed school lunch too. In fact, below, I’ve also given you a recipe for Apple and Chicken Salad Boats that use the leftover chicken. It’s a fun packed lunch they can eat with their hands since it’s similar to a lettuce wrap.

This salad has a lot of little delicious elements. You need to boil eggs and potatoes, cut carrot, cucumber and cherry tomatoes as well as grill the chicken but I like to tackle those things over the course of my day. I may chip away at the meal by boiling the eggs and potatoes in the morning when I make the marinade, handle my chopping either throughout the day or the night before and then grill the chicken and assemble when I get home. These are some of the scenarios that work for me and make this salad easy. However, you should try it first, get hooked on it (I know you will) and then plan out what works best for you. It’s that simple.

Lemon Thyme Chicken Salad
Photo by Maya Visnyei

Lemon Thyme Dinner Salad

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ -2 cups (500 ml) leftover diced chicken breast
  • 4 cups (1,000 ml) sliced romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups (500 ml) mini kale
  • 2 cups (500 ml) small halved multi-coloured potatoes, boiled and tossed with oil and salt
  • 4 soft boiled eggs, cut in half
  • 1 cup (250 ml) sliced carrot (I use a mandolin)
  • 1 cup (250 ml) halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup (250 ml) diced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) shaved asiago or parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) diced green onion
  • 1/2 tsp (2ml) fresh chopped thyme
  • Dressing
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) Vegenaise or Mayonaise
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) honey
  • 1/4 tsp (1 ml) Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper

Method

In a very large bowl, mix romaine lettuce and mini kale.

Place cooked potatoes, eggs, carrot, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and cheese in groups on top of the salad.

Add leftover chicken to top of salad.

In a bowl, whisk the olive oil, zest, Vegenaise, vinegar, honey, mustard and salt and pepper.

Set aside.

Sprinkle the entire salad with the green onions and fresh thyme.

Allow each person to dress their own salad.

Method for Apple and Chicken Salad Boats

In a medium bowl, mix the first five ingredients together until Vegenaise is incorporated throughout.

Remove small centre leaves from romaine hearts to create a little pocket. Spoon chicken salad in to the boat halves.

Watch this lunch come to life on our latest Lunch Ninja video!

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