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On my recent visit to Colorado, I met up with one of my college roommates for lunch. First of all, when the heck did 10 years pass by since college?!
Second of all, I’m pretty sure that time gap creates some weird vortex where each of us grew up and everything in our lives changed, but very little had changed at the exact same time. We talked and laughed and caught up on each others’ lives, just like we did in college. When we were leaving lunch, I almost felt like saying, “Okay, see you at home!” But, you know, she lives with her husband and two kids now and I live in a different state, so that would have been weird.
Third of all, I ordered this salad at lunch. Well, obviously not this salad, but a salad very similar. It had ingredients that I normally didn’t order on salads like goat cheese, dates, and cornbread croutons, and I devoured that thing like there was no tomorrow and resolved to recreate it when I got home.
So recreate it, I did! I tweaked a few things, because that’s what I do, but one thing that I am thrilled that remained the same? Cornbread croutons. Holy cow. I had never had them before and they may just be my new favorite salad topping! I love all croutons, because of that extra crunch they bring to salads, but cornbread croutons are a whole different ball game! They still add the crunch, but they also bring just a touch of sweetness and they crumble just a little bit as you bite into them and it is oh-so-heavenly.
I am a person who really appreciates different textures in my food and this is my dream dish. It has crispy lettuce, crunchy croutons and almonds, juicy chicken, the creaminess of goat cheese and avocado, and the chewiness of the dates. *swoon*
And the flavors are just as impressive – the tang of goat cheese, savory chicken, and sweet dates and honey roasted almonds all combine to make the perfect salad.
I’ve eaten it for both lunch and dinner for the past 3 days, which is saying a lot, because I usually don’t make the same dish twice, but I just can’t get enough of it!
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to munch on some cornbread croutons.Print
- 2 cups day-old cornbread cubes
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 6–8 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
- 2 cups chicken, cooked and chopped
- 1 avocado, peeled and diced
- 4oz cup crumbled goat cheese
- 1/2 cup honey roasted almonds
- 1/3 cup dates, seeded and chopped
- raspberry vinaigrette
- chopped red onion, optional
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Carefully spread cornbread cubes onto a baking sheet.
- Drizzle cubes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes, flipping cubes after 7 minutes.
- Combine remaining ingredients, top with cornbread cubes, and drizzle with vinaigrette.
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