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Easy Fall Salad Recipe

Easy Fall Salad Recipe

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I’m convinced that people who don’t like salads have just never had a good one. A good salad is great. A bad salad is boring and leaves you feeling hungry. These salads I’m going to share with you today are neither.

A month or so ago, I wanted to make a fall-esque salad but didn’t want to spend a ton of time on ingredients and dressing. I find these yummy recipes and then they have a ton of ingredients and take forever. I decided to take one of my go-to dressings and make it a tad bit more autumn-y. People either love or hate fruit in salads, but even my friends who aren’t fruit-salad people enjoy this salad. Most of the ingredients can be prepped, so that keeps your life stress-free and yummy!

Keep reading for the full recipes! They are DF and GF, plus one is Vegan and vegetarian friendly.

The first couple times I made this salad, I did it as a side. The third time I made it, the salad was actually for lunch so I included chicken. I make the 2 a little differently, so I’ll split them up into 2 different recipes. The vegetarian version can also be made vegan by swapping honey for maple syrup or coconut sugar in the salad dressing.

FALL SIDE SALAD (V friendly, GF, DF)

Make this for Thanksgiving, for Friendsgiving, for yourself… you know ;)

DRY INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Head of Romaine Lettuce

  • 1 Bunch of Kale (I like Dinosaur)

  • 2 Cups of Spinach

  • 1/2 Honeycrisp Apple

  • 1/4 cup pecans

  • 1 TBS of grass fed butter or coconut oil

WET INGREDIENTS / DRESSING:

  • 1 small shallot or 1/4 cup onion, diced

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • ΒΌ cup apple cider vinegar

  • 2 teaspooons mustard (I like to use Trader Joe’s Aioli Garlic Mustard or a whole grain mustard)

  • 2 teaspoons raw honey (sub for maple syrup or coconut sugar to make it vegan)

  • Β½ teaspoon salt

  • ΒΌ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • 3 garlic cloves, diced

DIRECTIONS

Learn how to make the apple cider vinegar dressing here. You can make this in advance and just let it sit in the fridge. Take it out at least an hour before you need to use it, so it can become more liquidy. It truly is one of my favorite dressings and is great all year round!

Wash all the greens, then combine them. I like to tear my kale, cut my romaine, and leave the spinach as is. Place in serving bowl.

Heat a pan over medium heat and melt the butter or coconut oil. Add in the pecans and toast for 5-7 minutes. Let cool, then chop and set aside.

Thinly slice an apple into small strips. Leave several thin slices (around 4-6) , so you can top the salad with them.

Pour all of the dressing you made into the bowl with the greens, then drop in the apple strips and chopped pecans. Mix with your hands, especially massaging the kale pieces. You can do this right before you serve or even up to an hour before. Top with apple slices.

There’s usually no salad left, but honestly I think it still tastes good the next day and isn’t too soggy. If I eat the side salad the next day for lunch, I like to add in a boiled egg and some crackers!

As for how many this feeds, it honestly depends how much you enjoy salad. We have salad loving friends, so this fed 4 of us, no leftovers. I have increased it for 6 people by adding a 1/2 bunch of kale, 1/2 bunch of romaine, and 1/2 cup of spinach. Same amount of dressing and apple strips. You can bump it up to 1/3 cup of pecans if you’d like.

FALL CHICKEN APPLE SALAD (GF, DF)

I love keeping this chicken ready-made in the fridge for me to grab a fork-ful or whip up a salad real quick. So easy for lunches!! It’s basically the same as above with a couple tweaks. I thought to add chicken, to 1) β€œbeef” up the greens and 2) because the flavors of the side salad reminded me of a chicken salad by Cafe Max in Dallas. If you want to make this more like Cafe Max’s , include 1/2 a pear cut into strips and 1/2 red + 1/2 green bell pepper cut into strips. Mix those in when you add the apple strips.

GREENS / SALAD:

  • 1 Head of Romaine Lettuce

  • 1 Bunch of Kale (I like Dinosaur)

  • 2 Cups of Spinach

  • 1/2 Honeycrisp Apple

  • 1/4 cup pecans

  • 1 TBS of grass fed butter or coconut oil

CHICKEN

  • 1.5 lbs chicken breast

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp pepper

  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

DRESSING:

  • 1 small shallot or 1/4 cup onion, diced

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • ΒΌ cup apple cider vinegar

  • 2 teaspooons mustard (I like to use Trader Joe’s Aioli Garlic Mustard or a whole grain mustard)

  • 2 teaspoons raw honey (sub for maple syrup or coconut sugar to make it vegan)

  • Β½ teaspoon salt

  • ΒΌ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • 3 garlic cloves, diced

DIRECTIONS

Learn how to make the apple cider vinegar dressing here. You can make this in advance and just let it sit in the fridge. Take it out at least an hour before you need to use it, so it can become more liquidy. It truly is one of my favorite dressings and is great all year round!

Pre-heat the oven to 425 F. Place the chicken breasts on a pan. Drizzle with 2 TBS of olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 pepper, and 1/2 tsp garlic powder. Bake for 20 minutes or until the chicken temperature reaches 165 F. Let rest for 10 minutes, then cut into strips. Set aside.

While the chicken is baking, heat a pan over medium heat and melt the butter or coconut oil. Add in the pecans and toast for 5-7 minutes. Let cool, then chop and set aside.

Thinly slice half of the honeycrisp apple into small strips.

Mix chicken, apple strips, pecans, and dressing together in a bowl or container. Set aside. If not using immediately, refrigerate for up to 1 week after preparing.

Wash all the greens, then combine them. I like to tear my kale, cut my romaine, and leave the spinach as is. Place on 4 individual salad plates and add a small drizzle of olive oil to wet the greens. The dressing from the chicken salad will mix in, but I like to add the olive oil, as the chicken has absorbed some of the dressing. If you are just making for yourself, you don’t really need to prep all the greens at once, unless you just want to. Top with desired amount of chicken - I usually do around 1/2 - 2/3 a cup. I’d say this makes about 4 lunches, but you’ll probably find yourself eating the chicken salad as is ;) I keep the chicken salad in its own container, not mixed in with the greens, whereas with the above side salad, I mixed everything together.

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I hope you enjoy these salads and that they make your life a little easier (and yummier) this holiday season.

 
 

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