Midwest Winter Cobb Salad

I wanted to get up early and make some fancy and fantabulous recipe today, but I stayed up far too late on my laptop last night playing with a cool writer’s editing program I have recently purchased. That big full moon this week has the creative energy on high, as it always does.

I spend quite a bit of time researching how to become a successful writer, and I’ve found there are three suggestions in common from many already successful writers:

1.) Start to own that we are writers.

2.) Get 300 to 10,000 words down most days.

3.) Invest in an editing program and a mentor.

I’ve also figured out on my own that if I want to write authentically, it won’t serve me to think I’ll ever get paid well for it. It could happen, but an artist of any kind should follow the passion, not the cash in.

I’ve been writing this food stuff for 5 years. It started with simple recipes on my social media, then I wrote for the “Eat-clectic” blog a few years, and now this thing I love has evolved (thanks to you, Cookers) into much more than a food thing. You’ve all given me a place to practice showing up as my whole, entire, crazy self and that has carried over into my life off line.

I want you all to know that I appreciate you asking the questions, cooking the food and sharing your pics, messaging on the DL when I miss a step or an ingredient, and just giving me a reason to show up and write. I’ve made some really amazing friends all over the country through this project, and I’m grateful for all of it. I think some of you might even enjoy the silly babble (wrabble) or food for thought you have to endure before I drop the actual recipe.

None of this has much to do with today’s post except that because I’ve had my nose in the program too many hours of the past 36, I was needing to put a fairly simple meal on the table tonight.

We’ve been eating quite a few comfort foods as of late, and my waistline is feeling it, so I thought an entree salad would be on point. I went with this chicken, cherry, pear, walnut, bleu cheese combo because it’s winter in the Midwest, I thought it would be fun to rep my region, and of course, it’s tasty AF. Ya think??

This salad offers a ton of flavor and diverse texture. You get the salty crunchiness from the Minnesota walnuts, tangy chewiness of Michigan cherries, the creamy bite of a Wisconsin bleu cheese and the smooth sweetness of a ripe Illinois pear. Yeah. All the Midwest things.

I baked a couple of potatoes to serve along side the salad so that I’d have an excuse to turn the oven on.

Having tried several store bought cherry vinaigrette varieties, I thought I could do better, so that is the only part of this recipe that is semi-complicated, and it doesn’t need to be. The dressing can serve as an easy marinade for the chicken, so a quick blintz in the Ninja™️, and it’s a done deal for dressing and marinade if you choose.

I chose to do a separate marinade and dressing. I have the day off, so why TF not??

You don’t want to marinate the chicken too long in this because it will break down the meat and soften it. I’d give it 2 hours tops to avoid that.

You’ll probably need to gather some stuff at the grocery store to make this happen, so lemme get moving into the recipe. Time’s a wasting.

What You Need:

Sweet Cherry Marinade:

1 c sweet cherries pitted, or use canned.

1/4 c red wine vinegar

1/4 c apple cider vinegar

1/4 red onion diced

2 cloves garlic halved

3 tbsp honey

2 tsp dijon mustard

1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

1/4 cup olive oil or liquid coconut oil (MCT)

Balsamic & Cherry Vinaigrette:

1/4 c balsamic vinegar

1/8 c raw, local honey

1 clove of garlic minced

1/4 c cherry preserves

1/4 c red wine vinegar

1/2 c extra virgin olive oil, grape seed oil or MCT oil

Pink Himalayan salt

Fresh cracked pepper

Salad:

1 head of romaine lettuce

1 small bag of baby spinach

1.5 lb pkg of chicken breast tenders

2 ripe pears, sliced in thin wedges, or cubed

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 c dried cherries

1/2 c chopped walnuts or candied pecans, depending how much sweet stuff you can tolerate. I used the walnuts.

1/2 c bleu cheese crumbles

1/2 c thinly sliced red onion

What You Do:

Hopefully you have a food processor in your kitchen because the marinade and dressing must be blended.

Simply add all the ingredients for marinade to the blender and spin until it’s liquid.

Add this and the chicken to a ziplock bag or a bowl and make sure all the tenders are coated.

Refrigerate this for up to 2 hours.

Go ahead and rinse all the blender parts, and use the same process with the dressing ingredients.

Refrigerate until it’s time to serve the salad.

Prep the pears by cleaning and cutting in cubes or slices.

Place the pears in a bowl and cover with cold water and lemon juice.

Refrigerate pears.

Slice the onion.

Mix your salad greens in a large bowl.

When ready, remove chicken from bag and shake off excess marinade. Discard the bag and marinade.

Cook in a skillet or on a flat top griddle until done.

Cut chicken into cubes.

Place greens into 2 or 3 bowls and top each with chicken, onion, bleu cheese, walnuts, cherries, pears.

I did mine Cobb style to showcase all the goodies.

Drizzle with the Balsamic & Cherry Vinaigrette you made.

Dig in.

This is a huge dinner in itself. I enjoyed my baked potato, but it wasn’t necessary.

Before I go I want to say I’m not going to aggravate the readers with a recipe every single day, but I am committed to try and knock out at least four each month.

Creative people have peaks and valleys, so we have to jump when inspired or we end up with 257 recipes that haven’t yet been composed, let alone published. That’s my current dilemma, and I’m making new food daily.

Have a great weekend, and if you are one of us Midwesterners, please be safe on the ice, and happy hunting!! Help decrease the deer population so I don’t do it with my vehicle again.

XOXO, Chelle

©️2019 cHELLe ON WHEELS

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission by the owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts or links may be used, provided that full credit is given to M.L. Clement or cHELLe ON WHEELS, LLC. with appropriate and specific direction to original content. In other words; if you steal my shit, I’ll call you out.

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