No cook (or just a little cooking) meals are my favorite in the summer. Creating fast, simple, flavorful, and satisfying meals without heating up my kitchen is a major win. Sometimes it’s hard to keep them from getting boring (cereal for dinner, anyone?). This chicken and goat cheese salad is perfect for lunch with a girlfriend, as dinner for one, or even as a light dinner party entree.
Start with a rotisserie chicken (our local grocery store has them fresh several times a day for about $6) or roast a chicken OR use Sarah’s crock pot method. The chicken will stretch for days into tacos, quesadillas, pita wraps or traditional chicken salad (among 100 other uses for yummy chicken). On a bed of mixed greens (This particular bag-o-salad is baby greens with herbs. If you don’t have that option, toss some fresh flat leaf parsley with your greens for a really yummy and fresh kick!), add the (shredded/cubed/picked right off the bone) chicken, a handful of toasted walnuts, some big chunks of goat cheese and sprinkle with dried cherries or cranberries.
We have three opinions on salad dressing/vinaigrettes in my house (Francois says “eh”, Vivi says “no”, and I’ve never met one I didn’t like…) so when I serve this I offer a wedge of lemon and a drizzle of olive oil to top it off – and with the combo of ingredients it really doesn’t NEED to be fully dressed. If you prefer your greens fully dressed, combine the lemon and olive oil together and dress the greens before building the salad. By leaving the greens undressed, though, this will store well for a day and be perfect as a pre-made lunch!
Top with a little cracked pepper and voila! The tangy goat cheese, tart dried fruit, pop of lemon, earthy walnuts and savory chicken are a symphony of flavors playing perfectly in tune with summer. And I didn’t even break a sweat or make the kitchen hot. The VERY best part about eating a light dinner like this? I absolutely feel zero guilt when I head to the freezer a few hours later for a frozen treat. (Can I getta high five for frozen treats post kids’ bedtimes?)