Poached Chicken, Green Apple and Goats Feta Salad

Let me start by saying that those aren’t my favorite pictures at all.

Not even close. In fact, I think I should’ve probably passed on posting them…

But the thing is, you see, the salad itself is really worthy of sharing.

And the lousy pictures, well, they fit my mood of the late quite well.

So I thought they were very “appropriate” after all.

Indeed, I’ve  been feeling rather blah lately. Despite the fact that it’s summer, despite the fact that the weather’s been absolutely gorgeous, despite the fact that my life is incredibly busy and that I sometimes barely have time to sleep, or breathe.

No matter how busy and active I keep, there are times when I get extremely lonely. Life without a partner can be really tough, sometimes.

Mind you, the good thing about this is I never get to argue over my food choices.

What about my kids? Oh, they have given up on me a long time ago! Well, as far as my food choices are concerned, that is! ;)

Seriously, I am truly blessed to have them in my life, let me tell you!  I just don’t know what I would do without them…

Oh, and there’s the mutts too, of course! But they NEVER complain about my food choices either… in fact, they’re quite happy to taste just about anything I make.

There’s little Maisha right there, carfefully watching my every moves, anticipating with much hope that something will eventually fall to the ground, or that I’ll find it in my heart to throw something at her. She’s always more than happy to show me just how good she is at playing catch!

Alright, enough talk about my feeling lonely and my throwing food to the dogs… let’s get serious here and talk about that salad, shall we?

Now, you MAY have noticed that I’ve been on a bit of a salad kick lately. Just a little.

It’ll pass, you know. Just like the mood swings…

But I’m hoping that the mood thing will pass quicker than the salad kick! For, well, not that I want to toot my own horn, but I feel I’ve been coming up with some pretty yummy creations and I have a lot more in store, too!

For this last one, I needed poached chicken, so I had to poach some chicken the previous night just so I would have some ready.  Of course, I ended up making a lot more than I actually needed, but hey, it’s not such an inconvenience to have leftover cooked chicken in the fridge, is it?

I thought not.

So I figured that, on top of sharing my salad recipe with you tonight, I’d also throw in the poached chicken…

Phew, all that talking and I still haven’t told you about that salad!

Oh well… I feel like I already said way too much, so I guess you’re gonna have to try it for yourselves.

Oh and please… don’t judge that one by its cover, the pictures really do not do it justice.

Just think tangy, crunchy green apple, pungent goats feta, tender and creamy cooked chicken, sweet, chewy cranberries, slightly wilted mushrooms, fresh spinach leaves, mint and parsley…  add the delicate and nutty flavor of pecans and the intense crunch of celery… I’d say we have a winning combination here!

At least, I liked it. Very much so.

And hey, can you think of anything better than a deliciously healthy salad to pick up your spirits?

Yes, there is. A good salad in good company.

So I suggest you double that recipe and enjoy it with someone you love! ;)

Chicken, Green Apple and Feta Salad

Serves 1

Chicken, Green Apple and Feta Salad

INGREDIENTS

    For the actual salad
  • 125g poached chicken, cooled and pulled
  • 4 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 celery rib, sliced
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peel on, diced (keep a few slices to garnish, if desired)
  • 25g dried cranberries
  • 30g goat feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 25g toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
  • About 2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
  • For the vinaigrette
    Vinaigrette
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup unsweetened all natural apple juice
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp date paste
  • ¼ tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon thyme, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1/8 tsp guar gum
  • What I used for my poached chicken
  • 2 large chicken breasts, deboned and skin removed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 small onion, peel on, quartered
  • 1 celery rib, cut into 3-4 pieces (try and find one that has a lot of leaves on it)
  • 1 carrot, cut into 3-4 pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, peel on, smashed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp dried thyme

INSTRUCTIONS

    First, you need some poached chicken...
  1. Add all the ingredients except chicken to a shallow pan with fitting lid and bring to a boil.
  2. Add chicken breasts, bring back to a boil then reduce heat, cover partly and simmer for 12-15 minutes. Flip breasts around and continue cooking for an extra 10-15 minutes, until chicken is cooked all the way through.
  3. Use immediately or chill for later use. Oh, and please, do not toss the cooking liquid! Take a few seconds to drain it and you'll be rewarded with a yummy, super lean and extra tasty chicken stock.
  4. Then, you can make that salad
  5. Add all the ingredients of the dressing to your small food processor or blender and process until nice and smooth. Set aside.
  6. Add chicken, mushrooms, celery, cranberries, cheese, mint and parsley to a medium mixing bowl. Pour vinaigrette overop and mix until well combined.
  7. Arrange baby spinach leaves at the bottom of a serving plate. Top with reserved salad, sprinkle chopped pecans and garnish with sliced apples if desired.
http://thehealthyfoodie.com/poached-chicken-green-apple-and-goats-feta-salad/

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Comments

  1. says

    I really don’t understand what’s all this complaining about the pics – they look wonderful! If you say they represent your mood, then you are probably not really sad ;-). I also think that for a serious foodie the freedom to make one’s own food choices often outweighs company. I just had a wonderful dinner of fresh rye bread, salmon and farmers’ cheese, all by myself and had a great time. The thing that makes me sad is that I need to work now :(. But at least I got to see your salad before I do! I love green apples, and I have half a bag of them (guess what happened to the other half ;) ), this salad certainly goes to my to try very soon list. I hope your salad obsession does not go anywhere any time soon :).
    p.s. I find that dark chocolate can help with mood swings, reduce stress levels, and deepen dimples on the cheeks ;) – experimentally proven on one subject

    • says

      Thank you so much Elana, I really appreciate your taking the time to leaving such great feedback! You know what? When I finally get to share my life with someone, they will have to have the same tastes in food than I do, which might prove to be difficult! I guess one could say that I am a bit hum… out of the ordinary when it comes to filling up the pantry! But hey, I’m guessing that there are men out there who also like to make healthy choices when they feed their body, and surely there is one who would be more than happy to taste all of my healthy creations. And if he doesn’t care for them, well, then let him cook his own meal. So long as he doesn’t get in my way, that is! ;)

      Don’t worry, my salad obsession isn’t going anywhere soon! I still have so many in store, it’s not even funny. This weekend, I want to try a mango, celery, goat cheese, basil, mint and Brazil nuts, with some kind of greens… chickory, maybe? Or arugula… I’ll see… it’s not quite clear yet, all I know is I can’t wait to have it!

      Oh, and trust me, I do eat my fare share of chocolate. Well, mostly cocoa. As in powder, or nibs. But I do enjoy them on a regular basis. They do make me feel somewhat better… especially when part of a decadent breakfast. Like that chocolate raspberry instant breakfast half bake that I made recently… yummers!

  2. Dawn says

    Pls. disregard my previous question. I see your link now! Is there anything else you can use instead? What is guar gum and where do you get it?

    Thanks again!

  3. Eha says

    Am just on a ‘TV break’ between ‘Masterchef’ and ‘Tour de France’, which we watch till 3 am. Today’s mentor on MC was the ‘Father of Modern Cuisine’ [probably the most imposing chef with whom to spend an hour] Marco Pierre White, whose last words were: – ‘Perfection is the sum of a lot of small things put in one’. Pretty much sums up your beautiful salad methinks! And there is nothing wrong with the photos :) ! As far as being alone: view the glass half full not half empty. I have spent most of my life with others and gone thru’ all the rites of passage – I live alone now, but have never been lonely, and this passage is the most thrilling of all, please believe me . . . to do what I want, when I want, how I want, with whom I want, all without hurting and upsetting anyone else! Give this a thought :D !

    • says

      Awwww, thank you so much, Eha. I totally hear you re: doing what I want when I want and if I want… but I’m a hopeless romantic though and despite being extremely independent and strong minded, I do feel the need to share my life with someone. Well, whatever little bit of that I have! I just need to find someone who will see it pretty much just like I do, so that way I won’t have to compromise too much… ESPECIALLY when it comes to food! ;)

  4. says

    I love any type of salad. I just love veggies and this salad looks really awesome with all of the greens and shinny dressing on top!! Never put apples in my salad but now I will. It adds quite a bit of crunch, color and nutrition :-) Great pictures so don’t complaint :-)

    • says

      Thanks much Miryam. Glad I did post the pictures after all. I’m not saying they’re bad… they’re just not my favorites! ;) As for apples in a salad, they’re just the best. And green apples add a lot of crunch without bringing too much sweetness to the deal. I simply love ‘em!

  5. Amy H says

    Just curious — I’m not familiar with poached chicken. What is the difference between poached chicken and boiled chicken? Thanks!

    • says

      Hey Amy, not too sure what the answer to that one is… the only thing I can think of is that one uses less water than the other. With poaching, you don’t quite cover the entire piece of meat in liquid, you use a lid to create a steamy environment, so I guess that way you can get more flavor in the meat, as well as keep it more on the tender side. I think I would tend to use the boiling method for a whole bird and stick to poaching for skinless breasts… Hope this helps!

  6. Élise says

    I think this is going to be tomorrow’s luch! And what are you talking about?The pictures are gorgeous.
    As for loneliness, I think it’s a pretty normal feeling to have from time to time, “personne n’est une île” and all that. However, tell yourself that no partner is better than a bad partner. I’ve seen lots of relationship go sour, but in a few cases the people involved stick togheter because of a question of habit, their kids, or because they love each other even if they’re definitely not the right person for the other (instead of bringing joy, they bring unitentionally misery and pain upon their other half but they can’t let go). So try to celebrate the fact that you’re not in one of those unhappy situations now.
    But as usual, I guess it’s easier said than done :)
    I hope you will feel better soon!

    • says

      Wow, Élise, you are SOOOOO right! I will definitely keep that in mind and think about that next time the loneliness hits. I’m already feeling much better. Thanks a bunch for that! :D

      Oh, and thank you for saying that my pictures are gorgeous too. You are too kind! :)

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