Welcome the change.
Seasons come and go, and there is more wisdom in those words than merely talking about the time of year. We all see so many things come into and out of our lives, so there’s little doubt that Mother Nature intended to make the entire world, including those of us living in it, prepare for constant and continual change.
Our bodies benefit from change as well, and a smart way to use to our advantage is to fuel it with especially healthy (and still delicious) foods around the time a new season starts.
Fall brings bounty.
If you live in a part of the world that is about to see the start of what is traditionally Harvest Season, you will see a beautiful selection of fruit, vegetables and herbs at your local farmers’ markets. I love this. Even though I’m definitely a meat-eater and always will be, I grew up looking forward to the fantastic Jersey corn and Jersey tomatoes that would be plentiful at this time.
In addition to corn and tomatoes, I also loved to see fresh, local apples appear at the markets. My mom made the best apple pie you could imagine, and she also used apples all winter long in salads and cooked with them to use as a side dish alongside roast pork. Yum. Hungry anyone?
If you are, the recipe below is one you should try. It’s excellent tasting, and opting for meal salads for dinner four to five times per week for the next two weeks will give your immune system a boost that could help you avoid cold and flu season altogether. Fantastic.
Chicken Salad With Harvest Apples And Feta Cheese Recipe
Makes 6 Servings
3 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 cup Italian style salad dressing
2 large, fresh, preferably locally grown apples, cored and diced. Make one a Granny Smith.
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 head romaine lettuce, chopped
1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
1 cup fresh arugula, chopped
6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup walnuts – pre-roasted in 350F oven for 5 minutes
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing
Freshly ground pepper and sea salt to taste
Place the chicken breasts and Italian dressing into a resealable plastic bag. Mix together to coat the chicken with the dressing, squeeze out excess air, and seal the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat, and lightly oil grate.
Remove the chicken from the marinade, and shake off excess. Discard the remaining marinade. Grill the chicken breasts until no longer pink in the center, or to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F (74 degrees C), about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Set aside to cool while preparing the ingredients for salad, then dice. (You can do this step a day ahead of time.)
Toss the diced apple with the lemon juice in a large mixing bowl until well coated; drain and discard any excess lemon juice. Place the greens into the mixing bowl, then sprinkle with the diced chicken, feta cheese, and cranberries. Gently toss the salad with the balsamic vinaigrette, add salt and pepper, if desired, and serve immediately.