Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Jalapeno & Strawberry Chicken Salad with a Balsamic Lime Vinaigrette

So it's down to the last few days of the month and unfortunately I have almost ran out of my budgeted lunch money! My husband and I are both in the Finance/ Accounting world and we monitor our finances and budgets pretty closely. We set up realistic budgets where we can live comfortably, but monitor them so that we don't accidentally spend $7,000 on lunches for the month. I bet most people would agree that a majority of your disposable income  (excluding any fixed payments) goes to food and alcohol (well maybe the latter is just us), and monitoring our spending in this category helps us save up for the wonderful vacations we go on!

So since we didn't have much left in our lunch budgets, I grilled up a few chicken breasts on Monday to make a healthy chicken salad for a few lunches this week.

Although I cooked the chicken on Monday, I was torn about how I wanted to make the salad. Different combinations went through my head. Black bean and grilled corn was on the list, but also required a little more prep. Then this morning I was scrolling through my Bloglovin newsfeed and saw a post about Strawberry Jalapeno Margaritas, and I was sold. I could easily throw together this chicken salad in less than 15 minutes and be out the door for work with a healthy and filling lunch!

I'll give you the run-down on the ingredients- no measurements here, just add the ingredients to your liking! Looking back on my recipe, I believe I gained inspiration from those delicious salads with strawberries and a balsamic vinaigrette.

Grill chicken with salt and pepper and tear chicken into bit sized pieces. Add minced jalapeno, red onion, cilantro and sliced strawberries. Prepare a simple balsamic vinaigrette by combining, 1 part vinegar, 1/2 part olive oil and 1 part lime juice. Pour over salad and combine well. Adjust seasonings to your liking.

Serve with romaine lettuce wraps or crackers.

And there you go- pretty simple, healthy and satisfying! I ate my lunch on the steps of the Chicago Art Museum today and it was heavenly! Wish this beautiful weather would have shown itself last weekend! Instead it was cold and in the 60's.  Why do I live here again? I guess that could very well be a doctoral dissertation.

What did you guys eat over Memorial Day? Did you do any unique alternatives to the classic Memorial Day dishes?