Walnut-Crusted Chicken Salad with Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette – “Anti-Inflammatory”
Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette:
- ½ cup fresh blueberries
- ¼ cup aged balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- ¼ cup avocado oil or light olive oil
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard
- 2 cups walnuts
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 2 eggs, whisked with 1 T water
- 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 TBSP olive, coconut or avocado oil
- 2 cups kale, washed, ribs removed, and roughly chopped
- 4 cups 50/50 Spinach/Spring Mix salad greens
- 8 radishes, thinly sliced
- ½ cucumber, sliced into half moons
- ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
- ½ cup fresh blueberries
- 1 medium carrot, shaved with a vegetable peeler or grated with a cheese grater
- 1 medium avocado, sliced
In a blender, combine all dressing ingredients. Blend on high speed about 20 seconds, or until dressing is smooth and emulsified. Taste dressing and add more honey if it is too tart. The sweetness may vary depending upon the ripeness of your blueberries and the quality of your balsamic vinegar. Set aside at room temperature.
Place walnuts in a food processor and pulse until walnuts are ground, resembling course breadcrumbs. Avoid the temptation to leave the food processor on high, as this can result in a nut butter. Mix ground walnuts, onion and garlic powders, salt and pepper in a medium bowl or pie plate. In a separate medium bowl or pie plate, whisk together eggs and water.
Cut each chicken breast in half by thickness by laying the breast on a cutting board and pressing down on it with the palm of one hand. Using a chef’s knife in your other hand, hold the blade parallel to the cutting board and slice through the thickness of the breast, using a sawing motion. Repeat with the other chicken breast. You should now have four fairly thin chicken cutlets. Pat them dry with a paper towel.
Heat your chosen cooking oil on medium heat in a large, nonstick skillet. If your skillet is not large enough to accommodate all four cutlets, use half the oil at a time and work in two batches. Dip each cutlet in the egg wash, then the walnut mixture, pressing the walnuts onto the chicken. Place chicken in heated pan and cook approximately 3-4 minutes on each side, until walnut coating is deep golden brown and chicken is cooked through. Remove to a CLEAN cutting board to rest. Allow to rest and cool for five minutes, then cut into ½-inch slices.
While chicken is resting, assemble your salad, by combining all the ingredients except avocado in a large bowl. Divide the salad into four bowls and top each bowl with a sliced walnut-crusted chicken cutlet and ¼ of the sliced avocado. Drizzle prepared vinaigrette over chicken and salad and serve immediately. Leftover dressing can be stored in the refrigerator, but will be best if you let it return to room temperature before serving.