This whole mother thing/raising children is a beautiful mess indeed.
The sleepless nights, dirty diapers, teething pains, and temper tantrums are overwhelming to say the least. But these difficulties are nothing compared to the joy and beauty of child-rearing. My heart is so full of love for my soon-to-be 18 month old daughter it hurts sometimes. Knowing there is no one else she is more attached to than her mommy and dadda changes my whole world. Her kisses, her hugs with the gentle pats, her raising her arms as high as she can while saying “me, me, me” to pick her up – nothing else fills my heart in the same way.
Becoming a mother is one of the greatest joys I’ve ever experienced in my life and I will certainly cherish this journey every day for the rest of my life. With Mother’s Day soon approaching, this easy spring salad with honey balsamic dressing is what I will be making as an effortless yet elegant Mother’s Day lunch. Thankfully, my parents are coming to visit for Mother’s Day and I will be spoiling my mom with this salad.
Although I love salads in any way, shape or form, I especially love salads with fruit, pungent cheese, nuts, and a sweet dressing. The flavors are incredible and that is exactly what this salad is.
This salad is a combination of spring mix greens, shredded rotisserie chicken, blackberries, sliced apples, red quinoa, crumbled feta cheese, and walnuts. If you love herbs in salad, you can even add some mint for a refreshing taste. And that honey balsamic dressing. Forget about modesty when it comes to the dressing. Drown this salad in that honey balsamic dressing. You will thank yourself.
Oh, and let’s not forget how easy this salad is to make. A blender does all the work for you when making the honey balsamic dressing and I love the ninja blender nutri cups when making salad dressings. They are the perfect size. Besides cooking the red quinoa for 20 minutes and toasting the walnuts, the rest of the salad ingredients are pre-made and ready to be thrown onto a plate, leaving more time for you to relax and enjoy the company of others.
- 6-8 cups spring mix salad greens
- 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
- 2 cups cooked red quinoa
- 1 cup fresh blackberries
- 1 apple, sliced
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese, for garnish
- 1 cup toasted walnuts, for garnish
- mint sprigs, for garnish
- For the honey balsamic dressing:
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 shallot or ¼ onion
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Cook quinoa by measuring ⅔ cup dry and rinsing thoroughly with water. Transfer rinsed quinoa to a small saucepan and add 1 and ⅓ cup salted water, bring to a boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
- While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the honey balsamic dressing by adding all dressing ingredients to a blender and blend on high until smooth. Transfer dressing to a small serving bowl.
- Toast the walnuts by adding them to a dry pan over the stove on medium heat. Stir until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes, then take off heat.
- Prepare the rest of the salad ingredients: wash the blackberries, slice the apples, crumble the feta cheese, and wash the mint sprigs.
- Prepare the salads by adding 1 and ½ to 2 cups spring mix salad greens to each of four salad bowls. Top each bowl with ½ cup shredded chicken, ¼ blackberries, ½ cup cooked quinoa, apple slices, ¼ cup feta cheese, ¼ cup toasted walnuts, and a mint sprig.
- Serve immediately alongside the honey balsamic dressing.