I’ve been on a bit of a salad kick lately. One small part is to try and eat more greens another reason is the onset of warmer weather here in Ontario. The biggest reason is because we are in the process of selling our house so to offset the junk that we eat when we go out, I’ve been making these salads which cut down on the cooking smells in the house and the mess.
I do cook the bacon in the house but the chicken goes on the grill. I must add that I had a revelation about how to cook chicken on the bbq – pound the chicken with a the flat side of a meat mallet so it is a uniform thickness.
I cook the bacon in the oven on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Yes, there is a bacon smell in the house but the clean-up is so easy and the bacon comes out perfectly. If you prefer to fry it then go right ahead. It is faster to fry it and if you have one of those side burners on the grill then you can cook it out there.
To eliminate the bacon smell, I put a few drops of good vanilla extract on the bottom of my oven and turn it on for a couple minutes. The heat evaporates the vanilla and it smells as though you have recently baked something.
When mopping the floors I use a bit of a mild natural all-purpose cleaner, a couple tablespoons of white vinegar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. The cleaner gives me the clean smell that I like, the vinegar gets rid of any unpleasant odours and the vanilla mingles with the cleaning product to give a fresh but comforting smell. I love the smell of vanilla but the fake vanilla in candles and air fresheners gives me a headache.
When were house hunting, if I walked into a house and could smell their plugin air freshener I immediately started to look for signs of a cat. Not all places with heavy air freshener smells had cats (that I could see) but a lot did. There was one house that I couldn’t get out of fast enough because the smell of cat piss was so pervasive. I felt like I could still smell it a half hour after leaving the place because the smell was stuck in my nose. No amount of vanilla in the mop water would have covered up the smell in that house.
We received an offer on our house last night with the usual conditions, so our sweet little house has sold. We are now talking about plans for our new house which is making the idea of leaving our home much easier to bear. Naturally, we are mainly talking about changes to the kitchen that I want. Anyone surprised? I will be sure to do some posts around our kitchen reno when the time comes. We may just put new counter tops in because the cupboards are already white but they are very tired looking. It will be fun to dream in the meantime.
A filling summer salad with bacon, grilled chicken, mixed nuts & seeds, strawberries and a chipotle lime vinaigrette. Perfect of a dinner on a hot summer night.
15 minPrep Time
20 minCook Time
35 minTotal Time
- 5 oz package of mixed salad greens
- 2-4 chicken breasts (depends on how hungry you are)
- 6 pieces of bacon, fully cooked
- 1 cup strawberries, sliced
- 1/2 English cucumber, sliced in half moons
- 1/2 cup mixed nuts and seeds (cashews, sliced almonds, pumpkin seeds & sunflower seeds)
- zest and juice of one lime
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1/8 tsp chipotle chili powder (more if you like it hot)
- 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 tsp honey
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Pound the chicken breasts with a meat mallet so that they are a more uniform thickness. Lightly coat the chicken with a little vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook on the grill until cooked through.
- Whisk the lime juice and zest, vinegar, mustard, chipotle powder, honey, salt and pepper together in a glass bowl or measuring cup.
- Slow add the olive oil while whisking constantly until the dressing is fully emulsified. You could also add everything to a mason jar and shake vigorously until mixed.
- Cut the cooked chicken and bacon into bite sized pieces.
- Toss the salad greens with half the vinaigrette (use more if you like a lot of dressing).
- Serve the dressed salad topped with chicken, sliced strawberries, cucumber, bacon and smattering of nuts & seeds.
- Any extra vinaigrette, chicken and bacon can be put in the fridge for salads another day.