Honey Mustard Glazed Chicken Salad

Happy 2015!!  I can’t believe we’re already into a new year.  I’m sure many of you are vowing to be healthier this year, whether that involves more exercise, healthier meals, or a combination of the two.  I hope that some of my healthy recipes like this one will help encourage you to keep going with the health kick, inspiring you to realize that healthy food is actually quite delicious and you don’t need to feel like you’re sacrificing flavor or constantly hearing your stomach grumble for more food!  My husband and I jump-started our resolution this year and made a commitment to end December weighing less and being more toned than we started it.  It’s the first December in our lives that we LOST weight instead of GAINED and it feels fantastic!  I feel like we’re already starting 2015 off on the right foot and salads like this have helped us get here.  This truly is one awesome salad!  It’s healthy and light but will fill you up and leave you feeling satisfied thanks to the barley and lentils, making it perfect for either lunch or dinner.

Honey Mustard Glazed Chicken Salad
Time:  20 minutes total
Yield:  4 dinner-sized servings

For the chicken:
4 fully cooked chicken breasts*
6 tbsp. Dijon mustard
6 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. agave nectar

For the salad:
8 cups mixed greens
about 30 cherry tomatoes
2 carrots, diced
2 red bell peppers, diced
1 cucumber, diced
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
1½ cup cooked green lentils
¾ cup cooked barley

For the dressing:
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
¼ cup canola oil
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. lemon juice
6 tbsp. orange juice
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. honey
salt and pepper

1.  In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the 6 tbsp Dijon mustard, 6 tbsp honey and 2 tbsp agave nectar.  Dice up the cooked chicken breast and toss in the honey mustard sauce.  Transfer to a saucepan and warm over medium-low heat as you prepare the salads, stirring occasionally.

2.  Toss all salad ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.

3.  Whisk together all ingredients for the dressing.

4.  Plate the salad onto four serving plates.  Top with honey mustard glazed chicken and drizzle with dressing.  Enjoy!

*My preferred method of cooking chicken breasts for recipes such as this one is to: Bring a saucepan of water to a boil.  Drop in the raw chicken breasts, and allow to boil for 15 minutes.  Remove cooked chicken from the hot water using tongs and allow to cool before storing in your refrigerator for up to five days.

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