Friday, June 18, 2010

Panera's Strawberry Poppy Seed Salad

Keeping with the summer theme, I decided to try and remake one of my favorite summer salads from my pre-Celiac days. Never before had I enjoyed the fruit/salad combination, but there is something amazing about this salad and the combination of flavors. Whenever this was in season, I would run out to Panera for lunch as often as possible to grab one before it was gone again. Panera's website has the ingredients for the salad and I found a copy cat recipe online for the poppy seed dressing, although I changed it quite a bit to fit my tastes. The one thing I disliked about the real Panera salad was the artificial sweeter taste to the dressing. I used more of the real stuff in mine. The occasional Splenda in my green tea is ok, but for the most part I try to stick with the real thing.

For the dressing, I just used what I had in my house. I ended up using Miracle Whip instead of regular mayo, but I definitely recommend the mayo. You could really taste the difference. And lucky me...I even had poppy seeds leftover from when I made lemon poppy seed muffins a few weeks ago!

1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup skim milk
1/2 cup sugar (it was really a little more than that)
1/8 cup white vinegar
1 TBS poppy seeds

chopped Romain lettuce
grilled chicken breast
mandarin oranges
pineapple bits

Just mix up the dressing, plate the salad and drizzle the dressing over it.

This really hit the spot. I love a nice clean, crisp salad for hot days. I can't wait to have it again! I just saved my dressing in a capped bottle and put all my fruit in baggies so I can easily make this again for lunch in the next week or so.


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