I’ve made a variation of this simple, comforting dish for some time now. When I got spinach in my produce box I knew right away that this is what I would do with it. I don’t have an arsenal of recipes for heartier greens, I typically make this warm salad or “creamed spinach” type dishes or dips. I’ve tried sneaking kale or spinach into my kids in a lot of dishes but this one is usually the easiest to pass along on “clean eating” nights.
Sure we “eat clean” as a general rule, but some nights I’ll make things like pasta and a sourdough bundt cake. Nights like these, I eat something different. (Very typically chicken and eggs in some form or another. Surprise! I love chicken and eggs) On “clean” nights we are all eating a primal based meal, usually with potatoes or rice on the side. This dish is my variation of a warm German style spinach salad recipe I’ve made for sometime. Almost all of my life I’ve eaten a hot salad of some sort with bacon dressing. In the south my maternal relatives made a recipe for hot dressing that was copious amounts of sugar and miracle whip, around these parts the Pennsylvania Dutch make a similar dressing that I admittedly still buy from time to time. Its a childhood flavor that I can never quite replicate precisely, or maybe it’s just seemingly different, and I just long for nostalgia. Although I do LOVE the creamier dressing, for a quick weeknight meal, this traditional spinach salad is more my pace. Its wicked easy to put together and its packed with nutrition.
Warm Spinach and Chicken Salad
This salad is a simple variation of a traditional American classic. I added chicken to the dish and skipped “creaming” the egg into the dressing. (You can chop egg and add it directly to the dish if you like.) If you don’t have cooked bacon already on hand, you can cook 4-6 slices of chopped up bacon, reserve the crisped bits, and use the bacon grease in place of ghee or butter. I like the flavor of buttery spinach, but bacony spinach is nice too!
- 1 pound of spinach (I had roughly a gallon sized bag)
- 1 Tablespoon Ghee or Butter (or another traditional fat)
- 4 Boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into pieces
- 1 Tablespoon Frozen Apple Juice Concentrate or 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider (Optional, See Note)
- 2-3 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1-2 Cloves, Grated Garlic
- Sea Salt and Lots of Fresh Cracked Pepper
-Serve with Hard Boiled Eggs and Crisped Bacon Pieces
- In a large (9″ or 10″) skillet, over medium-high heat melt ghee or butter.
- Cook Chicken thighs until they are cooked through most of the way. (5 to 6 minutes depending on how large your pieces are)
- Add spinach and garlic to the skillet and cook until the spinach is wilted and tender.
- Add lots of salt and pepper, and frozen juice concentrate or cider. (if you are using cider you will want to simmer it a bit longer to reduce the liquid)
- Remove skillet from the heat. Add apple cider vinegar and more salt and pepper to taste.
Top with bacon pieces and halved, or chopped hard boiled eggs.
Note: Organic apple juice concentrate can be purchased in most grocery stores freezer sections. It can be pricey, but I don’t serve juice to drink, I use it as a subtle sweetener in dishes. (Apple cider is a good option if available) You can use another sweetener of your liking such as maple syrup, honey, date paste or coconut sugar. Quantities will definitely vary though! Juice or Juice concentrate you will need about a tablespoon, other sweeteners you would need roughly half. Sweetener is entirely optional though. I prefer to stay lower in all carbohydrates so I reserve a portion for me without any sweetener added and then add sweetener for the family meal.