Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Panera Summer Berry Poppy Seed Salad

Last summer when we were in St. Louis on our family vacation we ate the most amazing salad at a place called Panera (they don't have locations in Utah). This is a recreation of that salad using the Panera Poppy Seed dressing that you can buy at Target. I know this is a really summery salad, but it's also perfect for anytime that you want to eat something really healthy, tasty and the best part - low fat! I also like how versatile it is, you can serve it with chicken, or just the berries. Add a chunk of French Baguette or Peasant Bread and you have a meal just like they serve at Panera.

Panera Summer Berry Poppy Seed Salad
Panera Poppy Seed Dressing
Lettuce of your choosing - I used a mix of Iceberg and Romaine
Sliced Strawberries
Sliced fresh Pineapple
Nuts - I used slivered almonds, but you can also use pecans
Mandarin Oranges
Chicken - if desired

The first thing that I did was marinate the chicken. I use the Montreal Chicken by McCormick and then I just follow the recipe on the label for Zesty Marinade. I make the marinade in a gallon sized Ziplock bag and then stick it in the fridge for an hour or so. Make sure to turn the bag over to coat all the chicken evenly.

Break lettuce into bite sized pieces and mix in the poppy seed dressing. I love the way doing this sweetens up the lettuce and the fruit on top really doesn't need the extra sweetening.
Cook the chicken. I would have liked to have grilled ours, but this is the current view of our barbecue. I used our George Foreman grill instead. I use chicken tenders and they really only cook for a few minutes. In our George Foreman grill it took only 7 or 8 minutes. Slice the chicken as thin as you can. 

Place the lettuce on your plate. Top with nuts, berries, oranges and chicken. Serve with your favorite bread.

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