Antipasti Garden Salad with Italian Vinaigrette

Sunday, February 24, 2013

From our skinny table to yours ...

Does anyone else go to the Olive Garden just to order their house salad? ... Oh good, not just us :) Well tonight we are making our take on a classic antipasti garden salad with Italian vinaigrette. Our version adds lean chicken breast for protein, swaps out the iceberg lettuce for nutrient dense greens & spinach and gets topped with our homemade light Italian vinaigrette.

This salad is super simple to make too. To top our salad, we mix in roasted red peppers, ripe tomato chunks, crisp cucumbers, spicy pepperoncinis and a touch of part skim mozzarella cheese. Our homemade Italian vinaigrette is the perfect pairing! We just blend up red wine vinegar, fresh lemon juice, honey Dijon mustard, extra virgin olive oil and spice it up with oregano, garlic, onion and a hint of brown sugar & nutty Parmesan cheese.

Our versions skips the croutons because to us, they are just not worth the calories. We would rather indulge in the calories of a glass of Chardonnay along side ;) But our key to leading a skinny lifestyle is to pick where you want to add your splurge calories so if topping your salad with one serving of croutons (6 croutons only have 30 calories) will make you eat an extra salad once a week then by all means go for it!

Hope you enjoy this one and join us by having a hearty salad for dinner a couple times a week!

Nutrition Facts Per Serving - Including Dressing
Serves: 4
Calories: 372
Fat: 18.9 grams
Carbs: 10.7 grams
Dietary Fiber: 3.1 grams
Protein: 41.4 grams

1 pound thinly sliced chicken breast
1 family size package of half spring mix/half spinach (12 oz)
1 cucumber
2 roasted red peppers (we used jarred today!)
1 cup of halved grape tomatoes
1/2 cup pepperoncini peppers
1/4 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

Italian Vinaigrette (will make 8 servings)
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp honey Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp brown sugar

Let's get cooking!
1. To make dressing, combine vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice and Dijon mustard in blender. Spice it up by mixing in Parmesan cheese, oregano, garlic, onion, sugar and a pinch of salt & pepper. Blend an additional 60 seconds to create a thick, creamy texture.
2. Heat grill pan over medium high heat. Brush chicken with dressing and cook 5 minutes on each side until cooked through.
3. Remove from pan and thinly slice chicken on an angle.
4. Thinly slice peppers, half & chop cucumber & slice grape tomatoes.
5. Place a bed on lettuce on plate, top with 1/4 of all your veggies, 1 tbsp of mozzarella cheese and 1/4 of your grilled chicken. Spoon out 2 tablespoons of dressing and serve along side. Enjoy!

Makes 4 healthy portions :)

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