Friday, October 25, 2013

Maggiano's Spinach Salad

Here's my dupe of the spinach salad at Maggiano's, except I add fried chicken to it for some protein.  You could saute the chicken instead, without the batter (though it is gluten free) or you could add shrimp or chickpeas as an alternative.  Enjoy!

Baby spinach & kale
Balsamic vinaigrette
Boneless skinless chicken breasts- one will be enough for two people
Red onion
Red and yellow bell pepper
Pine nuts
Bacon-- about a slice per person, more according to taste
Gluten-free batter mix
Garlic powder
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Canola oil
1/2 cup milk or half and half

1. Put the spinach in a bowl with the dressing, stir it up so that the spinach is all covered with dressing before you even start adding stuff.  Chill while you're finishing the rest.

2. Chop up a couple slices of bacon into small pieces and fry them up in a pan until they're crispy; put them on a plate with a paper towel but leave the bacon fat in the pan.

3. Mince red onion about 1/4" pieces and put that in the pan with the bacon grease and sauté until they're soft and translucent.  Drain on a paper towel, leaving the fat in the pan still.

4. Chop up some red/yellow bell pepper into approximately 1/2" pieces and sauté that in the bacon grease just a little bit.  Don't cook all the way to tenderness, you still want some crunch.  Drain on paper towel and clean out the pan.

5. For the chicken you want to use gluten-free batter mix- I get it in the grocery store- and you add to that some garlic powder, paprika, parsley, oregano, maybe a little salt and pepper.  Stir that up and have about 1/2 cup in a shallow bowl or pie plate.  Pour milk or half and half into another shallow bowl/pie plate.

6. Cut up some boneless skinless chicken breasts into tender-sized strips, and dip into milk or half-and-half then pat them into the gluten-free batter mix until well-covered.  Fry the chicken in 1 Tbsp canola oil until both sides are nice and peanut-butter brown.  Drain on paper towel and repeat till you have used up all your chicken.

7.  Clean out the pan and lightly toast your pine nuts over low-medium heat, shaking the pan frequently and keeping a close eye on them because they go from blonde to burnt easily. 

8.  Toss the onion, pepper, bacon and pine nuts with the chilled dressed greens, and strew sliced chicken over the top.  Enjoy :)

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