Sometimes, a girl just needs a weekend Holiday. Not because the house is a disaster, the spouse has gone missing, or the dog has gone batty. Just because.
So this past weekend, a girlfriend and I holed up at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, CA. It was everything we wanted it to be: wine, music, trail mix, poolside lounging, cocktails, Baked Cheetos, home improvement books, more cocktails, landscaping magazines, Peppermint Yorks and an 8:00 AM in-room showing of Valentine’s Day to go with an in-bed breakfast. And more Peppermint Yorks.
At exactly 3:00 PM on Sunday, when I returned home, my system fought back.
So I opened the fridge, grabbed the blueberries, and shoved them down my throat. They were delicious. So delicious, I ate an entire 4.4 oz. box.
Then, to thank Mr. RGBistro for slaving away in my absence by doing laundry, yard work and vacuuming, I went out to the garden and picked a fresh bouquet of flowers. While there, the flowering thyme caught my eye and became inspiration for dinner: a thyme-brined-and-grilled chicken breast over market spinach.
When your diet goes on Holiday, does your system revolt? Does it tell you to go back to the good stuff? I was actually surprised that mine did; but I’m absolutely thankful. Dinner ended up being one of the healthiest meals I had had in over three days. Not hard, when you compare it to a steak chop, chorizo scrambled eggs or Peppermint Yorks.
Does your body crave the good stuff after a weekend of pure debauchery?
Grilled Chicken, Spinach and Blueberry Salad with Blueberry Blue Cheese Vinaigrette
~ Serves 2 ~
~ Ingredients ~
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbsp. kosher salt
- 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
- Handful fresh thyme (ok with flowers)
- 1½ cup ice cubes
- 8 oz. boneless skinless chicken breast
- 2 garlic cloves
- ¾ cup crumbled bleu cheese (yield 2.5 oz.)
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
- ½ tsp. Tobasco
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- ¼ tsp. ground pepper
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 12 oz. blueberries
- 1 oz. crumbled bleu cheese
- 8 oz. raw spinach
- Grind of salt and pepper, to taste
~ Preparation ~
Total Preparation Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Make brine: In small pan, heat 1 cup water with kosher salt and granulated sugar until heated and dissolved. Add ice cubes to yield 2 cups of liquid. Add fresh thyme, pour into 1 qt. glass bowl and add chicken breast. Cover and refrigerate for one hour. Meanwhile:
Make salad dressing: Peel and chop garlic cloves. In a small food processor, blender or chopper, add garlic, bleu cheese, white wine vinegar, granulated sugar, Tobasco, kosher salt and ground pepper, and process until well combined. Slowly add in extra virgin olive oil and process until well combined. Then add in all but a handful of blueberries (approx. 10 of the 12 oz.) and blend until well combined. Set aside and refrigerate until ready to use.
To cook chicken: Remove from brine, pat dry with paper towel, rub with a little olive oil and heat on grill over medium heat for about 15 minutes, until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
To prepare salad: While chicken is on the grill, toss spinach in ½ cup of blueberry blue cheese vinaigrette dressing, then separate into two large bowls. Top with remaining blueberries and bleu cheese.
Once chicken is cooked, cut into strips, lay on top of spinach and serve immediately.
Nutrition content per serving: 454 calories, 25.5g carbs, 34 protein, 25.5g fat, 9.5g fiber
Cost per serving: $3.03 – $4.34
Source: Rustic Garden Bistro