Balsamic Chicken with Baby Arugula and Tomato Salad

In light of the fact that last week was filled with treats and we all may have overindulged a bit, I am hereby proclaiming this as HEALTHY WEEK!!! But not to worry, I promise it'll be still be delicious and fun while we undo some of the damage!! This balsamic chicken with baby arugula and tomato salad will quickly become one of your favorites and you won't feel deprived at all--it tastes like something you'd get in your favorite bistro!

I firmly believe that life is all about balance--if you generally eat a healthy diet, then going a little bit overboard during the holidays or while you're on vacation is not going to do much harm as long as you get right back to that healthy lifestyle within a reasonable amount of time.  So pump up your workouts this week (after all, no matter what the weather is like around you now, summer is only a couple of months away and for most of us that means wearing shorts and bathing suits!!) and treat yourself to tasty, easy-to-make, natural food!

What I love about this salad is how quickly it comes together--it's totally doable in under an hour--a real boon for busy weeknights! You start by making a very simple mixture of oil, balsamic vinegar, and minced garlic which doubles as both the marinade for the chicken and as the dressing for the salad! Plus you roast boneless chicken breasts at a pretty high temperature, so that (depending on their thickness) they cook in about 25-35 minutes. Meanwhile you put together the rest of the salad and it too is as easy as pie (sorry, I'll try not to use that word!!)


Balsamic Chicken with Baby Arugula and Tomato Salad

Makes 4 servings
Prep Time:  15 minutes; Cook Time: (for chicken) 25-35 minutes; Total Time:  About 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • Large bag of baby arugula (or any kind of lettuce your prefer)
  • 1 box cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2-3/4 cup toasted pine nuts (or any other kind of nut you like)
  • Hunk of fresh Parmesan cheese to shave over the top (or use any other kind of cheese you prefer)

The Recipe

1.  Preheat oven to 450ºF.  Spray a rimmed baking sheet or pan lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

2.  In a small bowl combine the oil, vinegar and garlic with a whisk. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place chicken into a resealable plastic bag or medium sized bowl, pour about 1/4 cup of the dressing over it, turn chicken to coat and either reseal the bag or cover the bowl. Let sit for about 10 minutes. Remove chicken, place it on prepared pan and roast for 25-35 minutes until cooked through. It's not necessary to turn the chicken, but you can if you like.

3.  Meanwhile, place arugula, tomatoes and pine nuts into a large bowl. Toss with all but 2 tablespoons of the dressing. Divide salad among four large plates and top with the shaved parmesan.

4.  When chicken is done, transfer to a cutting board and cut thin slices on the diagonal. Place slices on top of salads and drizzle each one with a bit of the remaining dressing. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Note:  Recipe very loosely based on an old issue of Bon Appetit. I changed it to baby arugula, increased the amount of dressing, subbed boneless chicken breasts for the bone-in kind and added the pine nuts.

 

 

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