Apple Harvest Salad

The air is getting a bit crisp around here, and our tendency to gravitate toward heartier fare isn’t far behind. This is a great lunch or dinner option when you want to fill up but don’t necessarily want to feel like you’re indulging in some unnecessary calories. 😉 I just love the crunch of the apples alongside the tenderness of the chicken in this salad, plus it’s packed with add ins to keep your tummy happy but not stuffed. I even really enjoy the dressing and I’m not a fan of balsamic vinegar on a normal basis! It’s also just a really beautiful dish full of fall colors and flavors… Can’t beat it. Give this a try next time you need a quick, satisfying meal. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 3 cups salad greens of your choice
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed, drained, and cooked 
  • 1-2 medium apples, cut into chunks 
  • 1 tbsp pepitas or sunflower seed kernels (whichever you have on hand) 
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped 
  • Sprinkle of crumbled goat cheese 
  • Salt 
  • Pepper
  • Herbs de Provence 

For the dressing:

  • 1 tsp shallot, minced
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar 
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of salt and black pepper

Directions:

Season your chicken breast with the salt, pepper, and Herbs de Provence. Inhale those herbs, because mmmmm…  

 

Then dice into cubes. Add a splash of olive oil and a pat of butter to a medium skillet over medium-high heat, then add chicken to the pan. Cook until well-browned, then remove to a plate and set aside to cool slightly. 

While your chicken is cooking, rinse your lettuce and chop your shallot, apples, and walnuts. Now would also be a good time to throw your quinoa in the microwave (according to package directions) if you haven’t cooked it already.  

 

Be on the lookout for small children swiping your produce mid-prep… Cute little stinker.  

 
Combine dressing ingredients in a squirt bottle and shake well. Add greens to salad bowl or individual plates, then top with quinoa, apples, chicken, nuts, and cheese. Top with a spray of dressing and enjoy!  

 
Adapted slightly from Life Made Simple.

Advertisements

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Muffins

My FAVORITE season for baking is upon us! While I’ll have plenty of pumpkin recipes to serve up, I wanted to get this lovely apple treat out there before apple season is officially over. I’ll be honest, the whole cinnamon-apple combo is not one of my favorites, but I know plenty of folks who love it. Figured I’d branch out of my chocolate (or in the spirit of the season, pumpkin) zone and try it! So glad that I did. The original recipe says that these muffins have sort of a doughnut flavor to them, and while I’m not sure I agree with that assessment I do think they make a perfect breakfast food. With oats and whole wheat flour in the mix, you can also almost call them healthy… Almost 😉
Ingredients:
For the apples:
5 medium apples, peeled and sliced
1½ tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
For the muffins:
1 cup oat flour (or 1 cup oatmeal finely ground)
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
¾ cup milk
½ cup low-fat greek yogurt or sour cream
1 large egg
For the topping:
3 tbsp. melted butter
¼ cup sugar
¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg

Directions:
To start, admire your pretty fall bounty before peeling and coarsest chopping. I used Gala apples for these, but I’m sure anything you have on hand would work.
IMG_2455.JPG
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add the apples to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender and browned, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
IMG_2456.JPG

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line tins with paper liners. In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk to blend. Inhale the scent of fall.
IMG_2457.JPG

In a liquid measuring cup, combine the melted butter, milk, yogurt, and egg. Whisk until well blended. Pour the liquid mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and fold together just until incorporated and no dry streaks remain. Fold in the chopped apples.
IMG_2458.JPG

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pans filling each about 2/3 of the way full. Bake, rotating halfway through the baking time, until the muffins are lightly browned and just set, about 20 minutes total. Allow to cool in tins for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
IMG_2459.JPG

Now to top these lovelies with even more tasty goodness! Melt the butter in a small bowl. Combine the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl and whisk until evenly combined. Dip the top of a muffin in the melted butter…
IMG_2460.JPG

then into the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat with a thin layer.
IMG_2461.JPG
Repeat with the remaining muffins until they all look like this glorious little morsel here.
IMG_2462.JPG

Makes about 14 muffins

Recipe slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats