Spinach Salad with Chicken and Pineapple

I’m already tired of having to watch my sodium intake and stuff myself with “healthy” nonsense instead of junky things I love. I’ve always been someone who’s rebelled against any sense of obligation. If you tell me I have to do something because it’s my duty or because it’s expected, I will tell you where to go and what you can do to yourself on your way there. Now, though…Unless I want to be dead by age 50, I have to force myself to work on managing my stress, cleaning up my diet, actually getting off my butt and working out. And to be perfectly honest, I hate it. I don’t want to do any of it. But I’m not ready to shuffle off this mortal coil, so I am slowly working on changing things, although I’m being a brat about it.

For some reason, when I went to Sioux Falls for my endocrinologist appointment, I pulled out Live from the Middle East by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones to listen to on the way down and back. Say what you will about the Bosstones, but I frakking LOVE them. Aside from the Afghan Whigs or the Ass Ponys (Cincinnati bands from back in the day–My mom was friends with people in both bands), I’ve probably seen the Bosstones live the most. My sister bought me tickets to see them and Hepcat for my 21st birthday–where I suffered a panic attack after getting crushed against the security wall once the Bosstones hit the stage. In spite of that, I’ve seen them 4 or 5 times since (although I’d have to go dig out all my ancient concert ticket stubs to know for sure how many times). Especially when I lived in Columbus, it seemed like they’d come through once a year, so I would make it a point to go and see them. Since getting myself a new computer, I’ve slowly been rebuilding my iTunes library and importing a lot of stuff I’d forgotten about. The Bosstones are one such band I rediscovered in the past couple weeks, and I’ve found myself reflecting a lot lately.

The Bosstones’ music reminds me of a somewhat halcyon but bittersweet time in my life. Younger, although not necessarily healthier/better off. Those were the days when I worked fast food, could eat a super-sized meal and still burn it off just because I was on my feet and running around a kitchen for 8 hours or more a day. I also smoked and drank more than I do now. I gave up smoking before I got pregnant with the bambino, and I have a drink maybe once every couple months. I seriously think these days, if I have more than one adult beverage in an evening, it’s due to Hairball. I was poor, but I felt freer. I could eat what I want without much in the way of repercussions. I could come and go as I pleased.

But I was also lonelier than I am now. I didn’t have Jay or the bambino, and I was floundering work-wise. I tried desperately to put my paralegal certificate to use and get on with a law firm, but to no avail. I remained stuck in fast food although I was in management, and eventually gave that up and moved to South Dakota to start anew.

And here I am. Starting to fall apart, but I’m not going down without a fight.

Spinach Salad with Chicken and Pineapple - TramplingroseWhich is why I made us all eat this Spinach Salad with Chicken and Pineapple.

Spinach Salad with Chicken and Pineapple - TramplingroseJay likes spinach and will eat it without complaint. I don’t mind it in a salad or a sandwich or a wrap, but I don’t like it cooked. To my shock and surprise, the bambino ate three helpings of it–In exchange for not having to eat any of the pineapple.

Spinach Salad with Chicken and Pineapple - TramplingroseAlso to my shock and surprise, I liked this enough, I cleaned my plate! Green vegetables and I have an uneasy truce going on. I think it was the dressing that did it for me. A slightly spicy balsamic vinaigrette that, due to the fact it contains cinnamon, I wasn’t sure I would like. I loved it.

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Ingredients

    For the Salad:
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 8-oz. can pineapple chunks in juice
  • 4 C baby spinach leaves
  • For the Dressing:
  • 1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar (I used a traditional 18-Year from Coteau Des Prairies )
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Heat the 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium. Add the chicken and the onion powder. Cook until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  2. Drain the pineapple chunks, reserving 2 Tbsp. of juice for the dressing.
  3. In a large serving bowl, combine the spinach, pineapple chunks, and the cooked chicken.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the 1/4 C olive oil, pineapple juice, balsamic vinegar, sugar and cinnamon. Pour over the salad, and toss to combine.
  5. Serve immediately.
Recipe Type: Salad, Main Dish
7.6.4
269
http://tramplingrose.com/2014/07/06/spinach-salad-with-chicken-and-pineapple/

I’ll get out of my snit soon enough. Thanks to that misfortune with the BP medication, I lost about 5 lbs. in water weight (part of that whole drop in pressure/dehydration mess), and I’ve continued to lose a little more here and there–I think that’s mainly due to the fact that I’ve cut out a LOT of processed stuff, and am watching my sodium intake. I’m not starving, but gee, it is amazing how “good” foods will fill you up without having to stuff yourself. *Insert massive eye roll here*

I went and checked their website for summer tour dates, and unless I want to give up my one chance to see The Replacements, the closest the Bosstones are coming to me this year is Chicago. Guess I’ll have to wait awhile longer before I see them again!

5 thoughts on “Spinach Salad with Chicken and Pineapple

  1. OK, so this is totally not somethinI'm going to trust you on this one and buy a bag of spinach, Rachel.
  2. Ahem - trying to comment while using my stupid phone does not work well. What I was TRYING to say is that I don't normally eat stuff like this but I'm going to trust you and buy a bag of spinach. I suspect the dressing is what makes it palatable! I'm right here with you on trying to eat healthier so we can both suffer through and whine about it the whole way. :-)
    • I agree--I think it's the dressing that makes it edible. And I'd definitely use baby spinach. I really was so surprised that A) I actually liked it, and B) Lex of all people ate THREE helpings of just the spinach leaves (and granted, they were 6-year-old sized helpings, but still! For a picky little kid, that's huge!)! We can complain about it at work. :)

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