Monday, June 27, 2011

Jumpstart My Monday

You know what I love? I love those recipes that literally let you throw any ingredients you might have into a big bowl, stir and waaa-la. Dinner.  I love them even more when they are healthy and in my mind cancel out the goodies I ate from Two Tarts Bakery, the left over sample cupcakes I made, the remaining Oreo's, and of course the endless amounts of fries I seem to be consuming lately.  I have found that Monday is the perfect day to treat myself and my honey to something tasty and body fortifying.  The weekends usually involve date nights, dessert, late-night popcorn (ok, lets be honest, my popcorn obsession happens most nights), bakeries, hearty breakfast....and you get the picture.  We like to indulge on the weekends so I make it my duty to provide healthy, substantial and energizing meals the rest of the week.  And this salad is a perfect way to kick start the week, and even better it can be consumed either hot or cold.  Which makes it perfect for packing up and sending it off with my husband for lunch the following day.

Such a lucky bum he is.

Or perhaps I should say what a lucky bum I am.  We finally buckled and purchased a beautiful Canon T3I, so hopefully my pics won't look like such a sloppy mess any longer. 

Now just to learn how to work the husband said maybe I should start with the informative direction pamphlet. I hate reading directions.....which is why this salad is right up my alley.  You can easily follow the directions OR you can do as I do and throw in a little capers, a few mushrooms, handful of olives, a dab of sun dried get the picture?  You can literally make the salad into a main course if you like, and that's exactly what I did.  Here is the base recipe I used (and as a side note it is wonderful as written, so I suggest starting there and then throw in additional ingredients to your liking). Enjoy!

Greek Chicken and Barley Salad:
Source: Greek Yogurt and Apple Slices


  • 2  (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

  • 3  cups  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

  • 1  cup  uncooked pearl barley

  • 2  cups  cubed seeded cucumber

  • 1  cup  grape tomatoes, halved

  • 1/2  cup  cubed green bell pepper 

  • 2 handfuls spinach, I like to add a lot of spinach to mine

  • light dressing, of your choice ( I use Ken's Northern Italian)

    1. To prepare chicken, bring a pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add chicken breasts & cook until done- approximately 10- 15 minutes. (just keep checking it) Once done, shred with fork/ cut into pieces.
    2. Bring 3 cups broth to a boil in a large saucepan; add barley. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork. Cool.
    3. Combine chicken, barley, cucumber, grape tomatos, green pepper & feta in a large bowl.
    4. Stir fry spinach in a pan sprayed with Pam cookin spray for about 3-5 minutes until wilted.
    5. Add spinach to bowl with the chicken & vegetables; toss  with dressing of choice.

    Here is a close up of what it looks like in original form.

    Photo From: Greek Yogurt and Apple Slices
    Here's to a happy and healthy Monday!

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