I LOVE Panera Bread Salads! I was quite distraught when the Orchard Harvest Salad (photo) disappeared from the menu. I’m hoping it will be back next winter.
These days I’m ordering the Fuji Apple Salad or the Fandango with chicken, neither one being my favorite. My FAVORITE summer salad is the Strawberry Poppyseed & Chicken Salad. (Ingredients and Nutritional Info)
Problem. These salads are too expensive to buy every day. And I kinda want one EVERY day. So . . .
I’m experimenting and making my own Panera Wannabe Salads! Here’s the latest version:
(Realize the “5 minute” part only works because I clean and prep veggies before I put them away. If I put shrink wrapped and unprepared veggies in the fridge right when I get home from the grocery store, I sacrifice them all to the mold gods a week later and give them an honorable burial in a big, black bag. I’ll write about it in more detail some other day (UPDATE: CLICK HERE for that post complete with photos), but what you see in the photo is a good representation of how I store veggies in the fridge. Notice all the containers filled with food are NOT round. I have an aversion to round containers for storage. They waste space! The round container is what I use as a salad shaker to completely coat my salad with a minimal amount of dressing.)
I just layer the salad ingredients in the round bowl. For this salad, I used:
Fresh Spinach Leaves
Pecans (small hand full)
Dried Cranberries (small hand full)
Cooked Chicken, torn from the bone (this was a Publix Deli Chicken – Apple Blossom Flavor)
Newman’s Own Light Raspberry and Walnut Vinaigrette
I put the lid on the round container and give it some serious shaking, take off the lid, put a pretty plate on top of the container and FLIP! (That’s why I use a round shaker.) Here’s what I got this time:
If you’re a guy, feel free to eat it directly out of the plastic bowl while leaning over the sink. 🙂
This week, the “Spring Mix” lettuce in a bag was on sale, buy one get one free, so I’ll definitely be inventing even more Wannabe Salads! And saving more money!