Warm Chicken Salad with Strawberries, Pecans and Bacon

Servings: 4 Prep: 15 mins Cook: 10 min Total: 25 min

During a chat I was having with a reader, she was proclaiming her love of fruit and … sadly commented how much she’d been missing it. I responded, “You don’t need to give up fruit! Berries are awesome!” She was also commenting how much she felt like she was starving herself. My first reaction was, “You’re doing it wrong!”

Many people seem focused on the diet mentality, which tends to mean they somehow feel they should starve themselves. There seems to be a deeply instilled sense of tiny taunting portions and a continued restriction of fats. NO no no no no …

I really don’t look at this as a “diet” … by any stretch of the imagination. This way of eating, short of some fine tuning for various different body types, personalities, metabolisms, etc., is (in my humble opinion) simply the best possible way to eat! You don’t need to restrict yourself with 3 leaves of spinach and a scant portion of skinless chicken breast. In my own personal life, I have a set of big stainless steel bowls. It’s not uncommon for me to fill one of the bigger bowls with lettuce, tomatoes, chicken, olive oil, bacon, bacon fat, cooked zucchini, mushrooms, capers, basil, etc. A BIG bowl of warm salad … just brimming with “awesome”.

I reached into my mind and pulled this out for her to wrap her head around. I suggested she take a large salad bowl and make a massive filling salad for 2 … and eat the whole thing herself! I suggested berries, chicken, pecans, and a touch of balsamic vinegar. I really wanted her to feel a sense of relief, that this way of eating no longer requires miniscule portions and a starving mindset. This is a wonderful, full, healthy and endlessly interesting way to eat.

TRY IT! It’s a good ‘un!

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Warm Chicken Salad with Strawberries, Pecans and Bacon
Ingredient
Calories
Fat
Protein
Carbs
SA’s
Fiber
Net Carbs
4 cups (120g) baby spinach, washed, dried and stems removed
27.5
0.4
3.5
4.2
0
2.5
1.8
16 leaves (6.4g) fresh basil, hand torn
1.5
0.1
0.2
0.2
0
0.1
0.1
1 each (70g) sweet red onion, very thinly sliced
28
0
1
7
0
1
6
1 pint (357g) strawberries, washed, stems removed and quartered
114
1
2
27
0
7
20
1/2 cup (49.5g) pecan halves, toasted and very coursely chopped
342
35.5
4.5
7
0
5
2
1/2 cup (56.8g) real bacon bits
200
12
24
0
0
0
0
1/2 cup (50g) parmesan (reggiano) cheese, grated
215.5
14.5
19
2
0
0
2
4 each (605g) boneless chicken breasts, sliced into strips (or equivalent thigh meat – skin preferred, but optional)
1040.6
54.5
127.1
0
0
0
0
6 tbsp (84g) extra virgin olive oil
720
72
0
0
0
0
0
2 tbsp (31.88g) balsamic vinegar
28
0
0.1
5.4
0
0
5.4
salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Grand Totals (of 4 servings):
2717.1
189.9
181.4
52.8
0
15.6
37.2
Totals Per Serving:
679.3
47.5
45.4
13.2
0
3.9
9.3 g
64.6%
Fat
27.4%
Protein
8%
Carbs

Warm Chicken Salad with Strawberries, Pecans and Bacon

Warm Chicken Salad with Strawberries, Pecans and Bacon

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Print Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Author: DJ Foodie

Ingredients

  • 4 cups baby spinach washed, dried and stems removed
  • 16 leaves fresh basil hand torn
  • 1 each sweet red onion very thinly sliced
  • 1 pint strawberries washed, stems removed and quartered
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves toasted and very coursely chopped
  • 1/2 cup real bacon bits
  • 1/2 cup parmesan (reggiano) cheese grated
  • 4 each boneless chicken breasts sliced into strips (or equivalent thigh meat - skin preferred, but optional)
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Instructions

  • In the following order, add the following ingredients to a large salad bowl: Spinach, basil, red onions and strawberries. (Note: I love good fresh onions, sliced thin. If you don't like them, leave them out, or add the onions to the chicken in a few steps, which will cook out that "raw" flavor.)
  • Season the strawberries with a bit of salt and pepper. The salt will cause them to start "bleeding" strawberry juice, which will drip down the ingredients in the salad.
  • Add your pecans, bacon bits and parmesan cheese to the top of the strawberries and set the bowl aside.
  • Pre-heat a large sauté pan over high heat.
  • Season your chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Add 2 tbsp of oil to the hot pan. When it begins to ripple, add your sliced chicken. Spread the chicken around the base of the pan, so it's a thin even layer covering the bottom. Let it just "sit there" in the pan, so that the surface touching the bottom of the pan will caramelize and get a nice golden crust.
  • Once a nice crust develops, toss the chicken in the pan. Continue sautéing it, until it is cooked through.
  • Add the rest of the oil and balsamic vinegar to the hot pan with the chicken. This act, called "deglazing" is done to pick up any little browned chicken flavor bits that may be stuck to the bottom of the pan. It's just a quick 10 seconds. With a wooden spoon, scrape anything off the bottom of the pan into the hot liquid.
  • Pour the entire contents of the pan into one edge of the salad bowl (not directly on the cheese, as it might melt it).
  • With two wooden spoons, toss the salad in the bowl. The salad will wilt a little bit and very very slightly cook, because of the heat and the salt added earlier on.
  • Divide between 4 large plates and enjoy your large, sweet, fruity salad!

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* Learn More: More about this recipe and nutrition …

6 thoughts on “Warm Chicken Salad with Strawberries, Pecans and Bacon”

  1. If these ingredients are already in your refrigerator, I have a sneaking suspicion that you eat really well, all the time. EXCELLENT! 🙂

  2. I love spinach salads with strawberries! My favorite thing to add is blue cheese. I love it with the strawberries. I’ve never done a warm one though…it sounds delicious. I’ll will definitely be trying it this way next time.

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