grilled chicken, sweet fennel, spicy rocket & fresh spinach salad

You can’t pick your family… Luckily though you can pick your ingredients, & that seems to make up for it all.

Comfort food, I could go for some of that. Something that makes me feel good on the inside & good about myself. It’s not about eating the most unhealthy thing you can find when you’re upset, it’s about eating something that makes your taste buds dance & scream with joy.

Hot, grilled chicken & wilting spinach leaves with a citrus dressing do that for me. That does it for me every time. Bread-pudding does that for me too. A giant bowl of whole-wheat pasta & tuna with a mustard & lemon dressing does it too.
I love food. If food was a person I’d have a love affair with it, a deeply sensual one. Enough about my out-in-the open for it though. I am actually sharing that chicken salad I mentioned before. The grilled chicken & beet-root salad with a citrus dressing. It’s even got fennel. I didn’t used to like fennel, I hated the idea if a vegetable that tasted like black licorice. I grew to love it though, I think it’s how amazingly crunchy it is that does it for me. The same goes for foods I don’t like though. I can love the flavor, but never eat it because the texture is weird. Same goes here except in reverse, I would more than happily eat it even though the flavor doesn’t thrill me simply because the texture is so amazing. When you get right down to it though, that licorice flavor that I hate so much in candy form compliments the grilled chicken, sweet beet-root & spicy rocket so well. What can I say, not everything I do makes sense. I don’t even make sense to myself half the time. C’est la vie.

WARNING: this recipe was made for a dinner party of 10 & there were leftovers!

Ingredients, dressing:
– 6 tbs sesame oil
– 2 tbs apple cider vinegar
– 1/2 tbs balsamic vinegar
– 1 orange, juiced
– 1 tsp dijon mustard
– 2 tbs chives
– 1 tbs soya sauce

Directions, dressing:
1. combine all ingredients & use a hand blender to emulsify the oil.

Ingredients, salad base:
– 6 small beet-roots
– 500g baby spinach
– 100g rocket
– 200g mixed greens
– 200g fennel

Directions, salad base:
1. wrap the beets in foil & bake in the oven until soft, around 30-40 minutes.
2. once the beet-roots have cooked & cooled, peel them, slice them thinly.
3. thoroughly wash all leaves, mix & place in a large serving bowl layering them with the beet-root slices as you go. Set aside a couple beets to decorate the top of the salad.
4. slice the fennel & decoratively adorn the top of the salad.
5. set the salad & dressing aside until the chicken has cooked.

Ingredients, chicken:
– 5 chicken breasts
– salt & pepper
– cajun spices
– 2 tbs olive oil

Directions, chicken:
1. generously season the chicken & place it in an oven safe dish. put your oven on the grill setting & cook the chicken until it’s done all the way through. Make sure to flip the breasts once they start turning golden.
2. whilst the chicken is still hot, slice it & put it on top of the salad.
3. pour on the dressing & serve.

…for more recipes from mel & I, check out our archives.

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