When we lived in LA I was introduced to an amazing little chicken place on PCH called Chicken Maison that served an unforgettable salad...really. The salad was called the Maison Special and all the "fillers" were what made it so memorable - it had pita chips, chicken, lemon dressing and rice. It was a hearty meal and I'm not joking, every time I was in the South Bay bubble it was a must have - that and Eat At Joe's. The salad left such a mark on my palette so much that when we moved to Chicago I tried hard to replicate it. But let's be honest, when you love something SO much, sometimes replacing the original is difficult. However, my salad with modifications is pretty amazing.
There are two foods that I could never live without and salad is definitely one of them (sushi is the other). There are so many varieties and options - to me it truly is the perfect meal. I call it the lazy salad because on weeknights when cooking a full meal isn't an option, this is what I resort to. It requires minimal cooking and is so easy to make.
So here's what you'll need for my perfect lazy salad.
- 1 cup of spinach or arugula (I prefer arugula, but for visual purposes you'll see spinach - it's all the store had)
- 1 pre-cooked chicken breast - chopped (I buy a rotisserie chicken from the store which gives me enough for 2 meals PLUS extra meat for my pups)
- 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes (halved)
- Shaved fennel (I only use a couple of slivers from the bulb)
- 1/4 cup of rice pilaf (this is a lazy salad so I use the Uncle Ben's instant brown rice you heat up for 90 seconds, but you can add whatever type of rice you want)
- Optional: 1/4 cup of pita chips (I don't use this in my salad since I eat gluten free, but Chicken Maison's salad has it and it's good stuff)
- Optional: 1 tbsp of Parmesan cheese (I don't typically use cheese, but I have and it's really good)
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp of EVOO
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp of Greek seasoning (I use McCormicks)
- Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until all are mixed together. (This lemon juice dressing is my staple)
- Heat up rice for 90 seconds. While rice is heating up, combine all remaining salad ingredients into a large bowl.
- Place warm rice into large bowl and add salad dressing.
- Toss until salad is coated with dressing.
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