The Ultimate Winter Salad is created with baby spinach, tender grilled chicken, sweet orange slices, roasted beets (don’t run away, I used to be a beet hater myself!), slivers of red onion, crunchy walnuts, creamy goat cheese, and sweet raisins tossed with a sweet and tangy white balsamic vinaigrette.
I can not get enough of this salad. I’ve made it so many times lately. Never a huge fan of beets, I’m admittedly a bit surprised that I’m enjoying this salad so much. My friend Rachel introduced me to the awesomeness that is a roasted beet salad when we were in Charleston last year.
I’m almost always willing to try new foods. So, I agreed to split a salad with her that first dinner night. And then there was another, and another, and another. I think we managed to find a salad with beets on almost every menu during that trip. It still makes me laugh.
If you count yourself among the many individuals who dislike beets, I encourage you to try this Winter Salad. I’ll even share a shortcut with you. Did you know that you can buy roasted beets in most grocery stores now? Without the hassle of prepping or roasting beets, you can simply slice the pre-roasted beets and add them directly to your recipe.
Are you, like me, in search of more ways to enjoy eating healthier this year? The How To Eat A Salad Everyday and LIKE It eBook is just what you need. The feedback from everyone who has bought it so far has been fantastic. I’m thrilled that it has been so helpful!
If you’re looking for more great salads this year, you’ll want to check out this Israeli Couscous Salad. It is one of my favorite lunches and I make it as often as possible. The Autumn Crunch Pasta Salad and the Fall Harvest Salad are both on my January list to try as well.
- 2 (6) ounce chicken cutlets, or thin boneless chicken breasts
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon smoked or plain paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons light flavored olive oil
- 6-8 ounces spring mix
- 2-4 small mandarin oranges, peeled and sectioned
- 2/3 cup roasted beet, chopped bite-size
- 1/4 cup red onion, very thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup walnuts, plain or candied
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- 2 tablespoons sultana or plain raisins
- 1/4 cup White Balsamic Vinaigrette
Season the chicken generously on both sides with salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic. Warm a grill pan or stainless skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat.
Add the chicken to the hot pan and let cook for 2-3 minutes without touching. When the chicken has browned, flip and cook an additional 2 minutes until just cooked through. Be careful not to overcook. Remove to a plate.
Place the spinach, oranges, beets, onion, walnuts, goat cheese, and raisins on a platter or in a large bowl. Thinly slice the cooked chicken and add to salad. Drizzle with vinaigrette and toss to combine. Enjoy!
My preference for this salad is an abundance of orange slices. The contrast of the sweet oranges with the more earthy beets is a terrific one. If you would like to keep it a little more evenly distributed, start with just 2 oranges and add more if desired.
If chicken cutlets are not available, boneless skinless chicken breasts will work as well. Slice the chicken breasts in half horizontally or pound them to an even thickness prior to cooking.