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Blog

Finding Time to Sew

Michelle Burke

I love summer, it means time with my girls, trips to the mountains, and long evenings spent on the patio enjoying the slow end to the day.  For all these reasons, I find summer frustrating as well - frustrating because I want to enjoy all summer has to offer, but I still want time to sew!  As a result, I am always on the hunt for simple, quick-to-put-together recipes for dinner.  I thought I would share one of my family's favorite summer dinners today.  Hopefully it will give you time to do what you love doing while still having time to enjoy all that summer has to offer!

Here is a picture before I added the chicken to the salad, looking good!

Here is a picture before I added the chicken to the salad, looking good!

I call this recipe, "Romaine, Grape, and Sunflower Seed Salad."  It is my take on a recipe called, "Arugula, Grape and Sunflower Seed Salad," first published in the May 2008 Cooking Light Magazine.  My family loves romaine lettuce, so I use romaine lettuce instead of arugula. Originally, this salad was meant to be a side salad, so I added chicken to make it work as a main dish salad. I like to use leftover chicken from a previous night's meal, but if I don't have that, I saute some chicken tenders or chicken breasts that I have seasoned with my favorite seasoning salt.  I kept everything else the same in the recipe, except the first time I made it, I didn't have grapeseed oil so I substituted canola oil.  Now that I have made it with both canola and grapeseed oils, I will say that either oil works well in this recipe.

Yummy red grapes add a touch of sweetness to the salad.

Yummy red grapes add a touch of sweetness to the salad.

Here is the recipe:

Romaine, Grape, and Sunflower Seed Salad

  • 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon stone-ground mustard
  • 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 pound seasoned, cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 7 cups loosely packed romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups red grapes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sunflower seed kernels
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine vinegar, honey, syrup, and mustard in a small bowl. Gradually add oil, stirring with a whisk.

Combine chicken, romaine, grapes, sunflower seeds, and thyme in a large bowl. Drizzle vinegar mixture over romaine; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss gently to coat.

Super simple dressing!

Super simple dressing!

I like to serve this salad with a side of sliced fresh nectarine or mango, bread, and a glass of wine (for my husband and I) - Yum!

The salad with mango and sesame bread from Panera Bread.

The salad with mango and sesame bread from Panera Bread.

I hope you enjoy your summer and find time to sew!


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