All salads are a good option when it comes to healthy eating, but a loaded chopped salad makes the perfect hearty meal. By chopping the ingredients together, the salad shrinks so more greens, protein, and veggies can be packed in. Plus, it means there’s a little taste of everything in each bite.
- 1/2 loaf whole-grain bakery bread (not pre-sliced)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
- 2 lemons – juiced
- 2 Tbsp low-fat mayonnaise
- 4 oz fat-free feta cheese
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- 12 cups spinach
- 2 rotisserie-cooked chicken breasts – cubed (skin and bones discarded)
- 2 Granny Smith apples – cubed
- 1 large cucumber – seeded and cubed
- 1 small red onion – sliced
- Optional: 4–6 slices bacon – cooked and crumbled
Heat oven to 400F. Cut bread into ½-inch cubes. On a sheet pan, toss them with olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Spread out evenly and bake for about 10–15 minutes until golden. Store in a container until ready to use.
In a mason jar or container, add the honey, mustard, lemon juice, mayo, and a dash of salt and pepper. Shake until smooth and combined.
Keep the feta cheese in the container you bought it and add the liquid smoke. Shake together until well combined. Store the dressing and cheese in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Build the Salad
In four separate salad bowls, add an even amount of spinach, chicken, apple, cucumber, onion, (optional) bacon, croutons, and feta. One at a time, dump each salad onto a cutting board and add 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons of dressing. Chop together using a large chef’s knife. Scoop salad back into the bowl and serve.
By Andrea LeTard
Andrea LeTard is the creator and author of Andrea’s Cooktales, an heirloom cookbook being released Spring 2018. She is also a personal chef, small party caterer, and cooking instructor. Andrea has been featured on Cooking Channel, Today Show, and Local Memphis Live. She was chosen as a Top 100 Contestant on MasterChef Season 6. Her recipes are “next-generation southern”—fun and fundamentally southern with a modern twist. Follow Andrea on Facebook, Instagram (@andreas_cooktales), and her video blog series at Andreascooktales.com.