Chicken & strawberry salad. Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve either eaten it or you’ve seen it on a menu somewhere. This is my version &, all modesty aside, it’s delicious. I put lots of fragrant, sweet strawberries in this recipe because I love fruit in salads & strawberries are not only in season, they’re high in nutrients & low in calories. Which is probably a good thing because I also love nuts in salads, cashews of course but feel free to add whatever takes your fancy. All of this is drizzled with an amazing balsamic honey dressing. The food we consume needs to not only taste fabulous, it also needs to be interesting & nutritional. If you can’t tick those three boxes, then chances are you probably shouldn’t be consuming it.
I’ve made no secret of the fact I’ve started into menopause. I’ve read lots about what is best for pre & menopausal women to eat. What I read didn’t surprise me & was mostly old school thinking. Milk. Cow’s milk. What? Because we need calcium for our bones which are apparently going to grow brittle we need cow’s milk to slow this process or amazingly…prevent it. What a load of shit. Cow’s milk isn’t good for humans at any age so spare me the brain-washing. There was one site I read that wrote – 3 to 4 servings of dairy a day, fish oil supplements and antacids are recommended for women in or approaching menopause. WTF! That is the best someone could come up with?
I’ve found through trial & error, I’m the best judge of what my body needs as I approach 50. Not only do I have the pieces of paper to prove it, but I listen to my body, I see how it reacts with different foods & I will tell you this, women in or out of menopause do not need bloody cow’s milk, or any dairy for that matter. I love cheese so I do still partake but it’s cheese from sheep or goats milk & it’s a smattering. I do not need (cow) dairy, wheat, sugar or processed food. And I’ve lost weight from eliminating it & feel infinitely better for it. The journey continues, stay tuned…
This is my prescription for what women need – menopausal or otherwise: Lots fresh fruits & veggies. Lots of water. Regular exercise – as in daily. Wine. Loving from our man…or woman. Some sunshine. Fresh air – get outside when you can. To immerse ourselves in water occasionally – pool, ocean, bath. A good hair cut. Make-up – yes, make-up, wear it, it does wonders. An exfoliant for face & body. Showers – daily. Music – always, it lifts your spirits. Girlfriends, good ones. Boyfriends – as in male friends. A few nice outfits that make us feel fabulous. And to be kind to ourselves. Really this goes for women of all ages. You might not be able to attempt all of it at once so start with a big, fresh salad…maybe a glass of wine & see where it takes you.
- BALSAMIC MUSTARD DRESSING
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon seeded mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 large garlic clove, mined
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- pinch of salt & freshly ground pepper
- 8 cups baby mixed lettuce leaves
- 2 cups sliced strawberries
- 1 apple, thinly sliced
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup cashews
- 8 oz (226g) soft goat cheese, broken up
- To make the dressing: Place all the ingredients in a jar with a screw-top lid. Shake until well combined & creamy.
- To make the salad: Place chicken breasts in re-sealable bag. Add balsamic vinegar, oil, garlic, salt & pepper; seal bag. Turn bag to completely coat chicken in mixture. Place on a plate in the fridge for 30 minutes to 2 hours. Drain chicken; discard marinade.
- Heat grill to medium. Grease grill grate. Cook chicken 7 to 8 minutes per side or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Set aside for 5 minutes before slicing.
- Arrange lettuce leaves on individual serving plates. Top with sliced strawberries, apple, onion & cranberries.
- Drizzle with dressing, sprinkle with cashews & cheese.