Chicken Mushroom Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette (Low Carb, Egg-Free)

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When I decided to make this salad I was a little confused about the dressing, I knew it was something creamy but not heavy, and it really gave this chicken salad a unique flavor, but obviously, I have no idea what was in that dressing. So I asked my Italian friend, Patrizia, what would an Italian use in a salad like this. And, in true Italian fashion, she said extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. That was a good reminder to keep it simple.

Two items that were featured in the original salad, and didn’t make this version, are tomatoes and focaccia. If you have successfully reintroduced tomatoes in your diet, you can add some, peeled and deseeded, preferably organic and heirloom. If not, just do what I did, this salad doesn’t need them (the balsamic adds both acidity and sweetness). And if you have non-grain, compliant focaccia around, go ahead and serve it with the salad. Obviously, this chicken salad is lectin-free.

For the dressing, I made a balsamic vinaigrette. I am asking the Italian olive oil gods to forgive me, but the olive oil and balsamic I used were Greek because that’s what I use at the moment. I started with one tsp Dijon mustard and one tbsp balsamic vinegar, whisk them and added 4 tbsps of extra virgin olive oil, one by one, whisking to emulsify the oil (another tip from my friend Patrizia). It came out incredibly creamy and with an amazing but subtle flavor.

The rest is pretty simple, you need two pasture raise chicken breasts, cooked. You can cook them any way you like, but I’ll tell you how I did it in case you need help with that. You need some raw mushrooms, one romaine and one Boston lettuce, some black Italian olives. What you usually find in the olive bar probably has some vegetable oils in the brine. And although I used Greek olive oil and vinegar, I would advise against Kalamata olives, because they have a strong specific flavor and will take over your salad. But, if you want it to call it a Greek Chicken salad, go ahead and do it, it will still taste amazing.

The cheese I added is Italian Fontina, it’s a creamy cheese, but not too soft, I feel it fits well with this salad, but you can also use Buffalo mozzarella if you can’t tolerate cow’s milk or even skip the cheese altogether. I only used dry oregano, salt, and pepper to taste (also to cook the chicken breasts).

Further Food Nutritionist Commentary:

This salad is loaded with vitamins. Olives are high in Vitamin E which improves heart health and boosts the immune system and crimini mushrooms are high in Vitamin B which keep the body's blood cells and nerves healthy. Also, with 26 grams of protein from the chicken, this salad will keep you feeling satisfied!

By Camryn Goldstein
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Chicken Mushroom Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette (Low Carb, Egg-Free)

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Servings: 2

Ingredients

1 romaine lettuce, washed and dried
1 Boston lettuce, washed and dried
2 pasture raised chicken breasts (4oz each)
one generous handful of pitted, black olives, preferably Italian
about 4 medium button or crimini mushrooms, sliced with a mandolin
a small handful of Italian Fontina cheese
4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil for the dressing plus more for cooking the chicken
1 tablespoon balsamic vinaigrette
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste (for both chicken and dressing)
dry oregano (for both chicken and dressing)

Instructions

  1. Generously salt your chicken breasts and start cooking them in a frying pan, in a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil, on medium heat. Sprinkle some freshly ground pepper and oregano on top, cover and let it cook on one side for about 10 minutes. Flip them, cover and continue to cook for another 10 minutes or so until the chicken is thoroughly cooked (not pink in the middle). You still want moist chicken though, don’t overcook. Alternatively, if you already have cooked chicken, use what you have.
  2. While the chicken is cooking chop your dried lettuce and add it to a mixing bowl. Make the vinaigrette in a small bowl, by whisking the Dijon mustard with the balsamic. Start adding the olive oil bit by bit and continue to whisk until creamy. Add some salt, pepper, and oregano (you can later add more when everything is mixed if you feel it needs more seasoning).
  3. When chicken is ready, cut it in cubes, and let it cool before you add it to the salad. Add the olives, the sliced mushrooms and the Fontina cheese, cut in cubes. Add the dressing, mix well, split in between two bowls and serve.
Generously salt your chicken breasts and start cooking them in a frying pan, in a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil, on medium heat. Sprinkle some freshly ground pepper and oregano on top, cover and let it cook on one side for about 10 minutes. Flip them, cover and continue to cook for another 10 minutes or so until the chicken is thoroughly cooked (not pink in the middle). You still want moist chicken though, don’t overcook. Alternatively, if you already have cooked chicken, use what you have. While the chicken is cooking chop your dried lettuce and add it to a mixing bowl. Make the vinaigrette in a small bowl, by whisking the Dijon mustard with the balsamic. Start adding the olive oil bit by bit and continue to whisk until creamy. Add some salt, pepper, and oregano (you can later add more when everything is mixed if you feel it needs more seasoning). When chicken is ready, cut it in cubes, and let it cool before you add it to the salad. Add the olives, the sliced mushrooms and the Fontina cheese, cut in cubes. Add the dressing, mix well, split in between two bowls and serve.

Nutrition Information

Per Serving: Calories: 473; Total Fat: 35 g; Saturated Fat: 7 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 22 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 4 g; Cholesterol: 58 mg; Sodium: 334 mg; Potassium: 782 mg; Carbohydrate: 16 g; Fiber: 8 g; Sugar: 6 g; Protein: 26 g

Nutrition Bonus:

Vitamin C: 18%; Vitamin A: 1421%; Iron: 10%; Calcium: 114%

Try seasoning the chicken with our anti-inflammatory Turmeric Tonic!

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