Napa Valley Chicken Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
I recently returned from a trip to California for my oldest son's wedding. Before December, I had never been there. We went with my son in December to celebrate his proposal to Ashley and then back in May for the wedding! It was such a beautiful wedding and we are so happy to finally have a girl in the family! Ashley and Clayton are so happy together, and as a Mom..that makes me happy! California is a beautiful state, full of diverse landscape. While we were there in December, we visited Napa and the surrounding areas full of vineyards. This trip, we went to Yosemite with his mountains and waterfalls. We spent a day exploring Calaveras Big Trees State Park with his giant Sequoias and Redwoods. We visited San Francisco and Sacramento! Everywhere I go, I obviously am thinking about their locally grown crops and their cuisine! We saw almond and orange trees, not to mention all the grapes! Inspired by the beautiful state of California, I whipped up a quick and delicious salad highlighting some of the yummy things California has to offer! This salad offers grapes, almonds, oranges, and avocados! I made a homemade creamy avocado dressing with plain Greek yogurt to go with it, however you can serve this with your favorite dressing instead, if you want. I think a sweet dressing, like poppyseed would be delicious as well! Included below is the recipe for the light, creamy avocado dressing. I hope you try this salad soon!
Here's what you need: ( 4 salads)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Smoked paprika ( about 1/2 tsp)
Salt and pepper to taste
About 4 cups leaf lettuce
About 2 cups baby spinach
About 2 cups of red grapes, halved
1 can of mandarin orange slices, drained, (or 2 Clementines, peeled and divided into segments)
1 cup sliced almonds (toasted if you want)
For the dressing:
Place all of the following in a blender or food processor:
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 medium avocado, peeled and cored
Juice of one lime
1 clove garlic
2 Tbsp fresh parsley
1-2 tsp chopped fresh dill
2 tsp chopped fresh chives
1/2 tsp onion powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Pulse until smooth and then add in 1 Tbsp milk and 1 Tbsp olive oil, then repeat with another Tbsp of milk and another Tbsp of olive oil while the machine is running. If it is too thick , add 1 Tbsp of additional milk at a time only until it is the right consistency, being careful not to let it get too thin.
Preheat the grill. Season the chicken breasts with the paprika and salt and pepper on each side. Grill the chicken until no longer pink and it has in internal temperature of 165. Remove the chicken and keep it warm. Assemble the salad by starting with a bed of the greens, adding the grapes and oranges evenly on each salad. Slice the chicken breasts and top each salad with a sliced breast. Top with the sliced almonds evenly distributed among the salads.
Drizzle with the avocado dressing, or your favorite salad dressing. Enjoy!