One thing I love about the summer weather is all the fresh produce! I love salad's and I eat a lot of salad year round. I'm really all for salad! It is a great way to get in a healthy and varied mixed of nutrition. You can opt for a leafy salad, a grain salad, fruit, potato, pulses and bean salads etc etc. So much nutrition and vitamins the natural way. When you are trying to eat and maintain a healthy diet salads are very resourceful.
Currently we have started picking season and I had picked my second batch of a 4 liter basket of strawberries. We are unfortunately at the end of the short strawberry season here in Ontario but while they are here and I have an abundant, they are a great addition to a leaf salad. What better leaf then arugula! My favourite hands down. Such a unique peppery taste! I can just munch arugula straight from the garden with nothing on it.
Strawberries aren't the only highlight in this salad, summer brings all sorts of local farm fresh food. I love going to the farmers market. Our local market isn't quite cutting it though and it's not always very local. I love to make a trip once a week or every other at least to St Jacob's where there is a large market 2-3 times a week and you get any local fruits and vegetables as well as other great things like honey, maple syrup, breads etc at great prices. Although if you are shopping the markets, be sure to know that the product is indeed coming from their farm and not imported which isn't always as obvious.
I picked up the bell peppers and onions at the market too. The other great thing about this salad is that for protein I used leftover grilled chicken. Great way to use leftovers. Another source of protein would be cheese, and feta always goes nicely with strawberries and arugula but if you opt for no dairy or have an allergy it is certainly not needed. Balsamic dressing adds zing and pairs well with all the ingredients mentioned. Olive oil is always a first choice of oil in any dressing I like to make.
4 cups arugula
1 cup hulled and sliced strawberries
1 cup of cooked chicken grilled or otherwise
Half a bell pepper
1/2 cup green onions
1/4 cup pepitas (shelled sunflower seeds would work too)
oregano and dash of garlic powder (optional)
2 tbsp of balsamic
1/4 cup olive oil
Toss ingredients in a bowl. Mix dressing in bowl then toss on salad when ready to serve.