Several years back, I never thought I’d enjoy fresh dates. In fact, up until about 10 years ago, I had never tried a fresh date. A good friend of mine always has them at her house and had me try one and I fell in love with dates. I love them so much, that every day at 2:00 p.m., I have a snack of three fresh dates. Followed up at 3:30 by a serving of extra dark chocolate and an apple around 4:30. Now that you know my afternoon snack schedule, let me tell you what I decided to do with fresh dates for dinner last night.
Since it is a little warmer right now, Dennis and I are enjoying dinners that are on the lighter side. I chose to make a balsamic chicken, date, feta and grain salad for the two of us last night. I started off by marinating two boneless, skinless chicken breasts in olive oil, fresh lemon juice and balsamic vinegar, kosher salt, pepper, dried basil and fresh minced garlic.
I let the chicken marinate in the fridge for about an hour and a half before baking. Once I was ready to bake the chicken, I placed it into a preheated 425 degree oven for 30 minutes.
During that time, I pitted my dates and cut them in half and then each half into thirds so they’d be in bite size pieces.
I also took this time to cook the quinoa to add to my salad. I wanted it to come to room temperature before adding it to the dish so cooked it and set it aside until I was ready to add it to the salad. I added a half cup of cooked quinoa to this dish.
I also took this time to make a lime, garlic and honey vinaigrette to use as a dressing for this salad. For the dressing, I started with 1/4 cup of olive oil and the zest of two limes and the juice of 4 limes. To that, I added 3 tablespoons of honey, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 2 tablespoons of minced shallot, kosher salt and pepper to taste and 1 teaspoon sugar.
After the chicken was done baking, I let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting it to add to my salad. I drizzled a couple tablespoons of the vinaigrette onto my platter before placing some spring mix onto the platter, topping it with a sprinkling of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper and the rest of the dressing. I then added sliced red onion, quinoa, pitted dates, dried cherries, the sliced, cooked chicken and fat free feta.
Dennis and I both really enjoyed all the flavors in this wonderful salad and thought the dressing added the perfect sweetness to this sweet and savory dish.
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon, juice of
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil
Lime, Garlic, Honey Vinaigrette
1/4 cup olive oil
4 limes, zest of 2 and juice of 4
3 tablespoons honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons shallot, minced
kosher salt and pepper
Bag of Spring Mix
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup pitted and chopped dates
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/2 red onion, sliced into 1/4 rounds
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
fat free feta cheese
Until next time, Kris