Friday, May 14, 2010
Time to go Berry Pickin'
Once the weather gets a little warmer, it seems like everyone is looking for an outdoor adventure. Taking after-supper walks, tossing the baseball with the kids, even yard work is good for the soul in the spring. A wonderful activity for your family to try this spring is visiting a berry farm. You and your kids can pick your own fresh, ripe berries and enjoy the sweet fruits all spring and beyond (if you freeze or make jams & jellies.) Make sure you pick only the ripe berries, as they do not ripen after being picked. And, don’t wash berries until you are ready to use them, since they will become soggy and spoil quicker. In Virginia, strawberries will come in first, then blueberries and raspberries, and lastly blackberries. So, berry picking adventures can take place all summer long.
The first of the spring fruits and vegetables to become available are asparagus, strawberries, and spring greens (such as spinach.) This week’s recipe uses strawberries and baby spinach.
I have to give credit to my dear friend, Heather, whose Chicken Strawberry Wraps were the first I’d ever had. She uses breaded chicken tenders and bakes them up golden and crispy in the oven. My version is a little lighter using boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or tenders.) If you are not a big fan of spinach, chopped Romaine lettuce can be substituted. Cooked and crumbled bacon would add a smoky crunch to these wraps, as well. Of course, if you are in the mood for a big salad, forego the tortillas and toss everything in a big bowl.
To save time on a busy weeknight when you and the family are out at practice or a meeting, grill your chicken breasts earlier in the week and pop them in the fridge until you are ready to serve. The chicken can be warm or cold in these wraps; it is your preference. Don’t assemble until you are ready to serve, as the tender greens will wilt and the tortillas will get soggy.
Chicken Strawberry Wraps
4-6 multi-grain or flour tortillas
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
5 oz. baby spinach
1 cup sliced strawberries
1/3 c. fat-free poppy seed dressing
4 T. low-fat bleu cheese crumbles (optional)
Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and grill over medium heat (300-350 degrees) until meat thermometer reads 170 degrees. Let rest 5 minutes; then thinly slice. Toss spinach, strawberries, and sliced chicken with dressing and divide evenly among tortillas. Top evenly with bleu cheese. Fold bottom up and sides over, and roll up. Serve with fruit and additional dressing, if desired.