Goat cheese makes everything better.
Not only is it delicious, but it’s naturally lower in fat and calories – yet higher in calcium – than cheese produced from cow’s milk. It also averages about 5 grams of protein per 1 ounce serving – which you know I’m a fan of! (And if not, you can read about my obsession with protein here.) Another fun fact of the day is that it’s easier to digest – many who are lactose-intolerant are able to happily eat cheese produced from goat’s milk.
Now that we’re all schooled up on the benefits of goat cheese, let’s get back to the salad. Goat cheese is one of my favorite things to add to a salad because it just deposits that rich, tangy flavor all throughout the dish. It goes great with so many different types of fruits and veggies, but here I added red seedless grapes – which was a perfect complement. I also paired it with a dill vinaigrette which was delicious, healthy, and most importantly – easy.
Chicken Salad with Goat Cheese and Grapes
Adapted from BHG
- 1 package salad greens
- 2 chicken breast halves (either grilled or Rotisserie)
- 1 cup red seedless grapes, halved
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 1/3 cup goat cheese, crumbled
For the dill vinaigrette:
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons good balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced (or you can use 1 tablespoon dried)
- Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste
First, make your dressing. This is a very simple vinaigrette – so I forgo my Magic Bullet and just whisk my vinegar and seasonings together, and then add the olive oil in a slow stream. You could also easily shake it all together in a small jar. And as for the chicken, I went with a pre-purchased Rotisserie from the deli. It makes life that much easier. You can also grill your chicken on a grill pan, Foreman, or – if you’re lucky enough to have one – an outdoor grill.
Toast your pine nuts by tossing them in a pan (dry pan – not nonstick) over medium heat for a few minutes, or throwing them on a sheet pan into the oven (set to 350 degrees) for 5-10 minutes. Be careful they don’t burn! You just want to lightly brown them to bring out their flavor – but it’s definitely not a necessity if you’re feeling lazy – you can always throw them in raw.
Now just grab your salad bowl and add your greens. You can use whatever you like – I think I used a Romaine mix here, but spring greens would be especially good. Slice up your chicken and add it to the bowl, along with the grapes, pine nuts, and goat cheese. Pour some of your freshly-made dill vinaigrette over the salad and enjoy.