I have three kids. The oldest is four years old. A lot of my culinary experience the last few years is related to hot dogs, apple wedges (peeled with no speck of brown), and mac and cheese.
Usually, my lunch consists of the dregs of the mac and cheese pot. Pathetic but true.
Today I wasn't feeling it. I wanted something grown-up for lunch. Like a nice salad. Interesting flavor combinations. Different textures. At least a little bit sophisticated. Something usingingredients currently in my kitchen.
Here's what I came up with.
Chop and toast the walnuts
Grab yourself some walnuts.
Give them a rough chop - don't go crazy or anything.
Toast the nuts in a pan on the stove. You're just giving that nutty flavor a boost by doing this.
Slice and roast the oranges
Orange. Get two.
Slice up the oranges. Pick out any seeds. Put them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Stick them in the oven to roast until they start to brown.
Cook the chicken
You can cook up a little chicken - sprinkled with salt and pepper. Or just grab some leftover cooked chicken if you've got any on hand. I obviously didn't.
Make the dressing
Grab a jar with a screw-top lid and put the honey in it. Zap in microwave.
Add the other dressing ingredients to the jar.
Screw the lid on and shake all up good.
Toss everything together
Toss the feta, toasted nuts, orange pieces and chicken pieces together with the lettuce. Pour on the dressing. And.... delicious grown up lunch, no mac and cheese in sight.
CHICKEN ROASTED ORANGE SALAD
MAKES 3-4 SERVINGS
2/3 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 head lettuce
4 teaspoons honey
4 teaspoons cider vinegar
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400F (200C)
Toast the chopped walnuts in an ungreased frying pan. Keep them on the heat for about 5 or 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the nuts have a definite toasted taste to them.
Slice the oranges thinly, and place slices onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Roast the oranges in the oven for about 15 minutes until they begin to get browned in spots. Then remove and cool.
Tear up the lettuce, and toss with the rest of the salad ingredients.
To make the dressing, put the honey in a small jar with a screw-top lid and microwave 15 seconds (without lid) so that it gets thin and runny. Add the other dressing ingredients, screw on the lid, and shake vigorously. Pour onto the salad immediately and serve.