Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Chicken and Strawberry Spinach Salad

Spring planting is my second favorite season of the farming year.  Second favorite, yep, it's the second favorite.  I absolutely adore harvest season!  However, spring planting brings a whole new level of newness.  And of urgency!

Spring is such a touch and go time of year on the farm.  We either have too much rain or not enough. And it's usually too cold for far too long into the official start of spring to feel confident about planting any brand new seeds into what is mostly likely damp soil.  As farmers, we are much more ready to get the tractors and planters rolling before Mother Nature actually ever gives up the "two thumbs" up.

As most experience, Spring is also a time of renewal.  My family, is no different in recognizing this time of renewal.  The farmer, my husband, even takes on some pursuit for better health - it used to be that he was a "Mountain Dew and Snickers bar for breakfast" sort of guy, but every new spring brings forth an opportunity to make some advancements in his nutritional plan.

When he gives me a chance to feed him healthy stuff that also tastes good, I go for it...especially when he gives the OK to bring a healthy chuck wagon to the field for lunch break!

We are only Day 3 into our pre-planting preparation.  Pre-planting prep includes applying a pre-determined amount of fertilizer to the soil (The Farmer has gather soil tests over the winter to determine what is needed at each farm location so that we are accurate with our applications), some tillage work to break down weeds that have over wintered, picking up rocks and tree limbs that have heaved up or fallen down over the course of the winter, amongst many other tasks.

Today, we are wrapping up some of our fertilizer applications and waiting on other field locations to dry out before we can perform any pre-planting tasks.  So, as a full-time CEO of the house and home base, I generally am on-call for a variety of duties that need to be taken care of.  One of them being chuck wagon!

Chuck wagon today was just for my Farmer, so it was a bit easier than it often is other days.  And, you guessed it, I supplied a fresh and healthy meal to him that he ate on the go while I transported him back to retrieve his tractor for more work this afternoon.  I wasn't sure if he would be very crazy about having a Strawberry and Chicken Spinach Salad in the field, but he agreed to it and complimented my "work" while snarfing it down!

Right now things are going pretty slow and steady - which is a good thing.  It won't be long before our spring planting world is tipped upside down with lots of busy, busy, busy activity.  The barn lot will be filled again with customers coming in for more seed to plant, the tractors will be moving in and out of the barn lot preparing for the day's work ahead!  It's an exciting time and a time when memories are created every day!

Here is a quick version of the Strawberry and Chicken Spinach Salad that I made for The Farmer (Keep in mind that he is still taking baby steps to all the healthy stuff I am eating, but he does a good job eating better than he used to!  As I tell my health and fitness challengers, getting better is a goal every day - it's not about perfection!):

2 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
3 fresh, large strawberries, sliced
1 Tablespoon of slivered almonds
2 Grilled or pan sauteed chicken tenders (I use just a little bit of grape seed oil in the bottom of the cast iron skillet)
1-2 Tablespoons of Poppyseed dressing (he likes his bottled dressing, that is one thing I don't think will ever change)

I pack a few extra snacks along for later in the day - raw nuts, fresh fruit or veggies bagged up for him, and maybe even a fun size candy bar or two ;)

(I had to throw this one's one of my very first "successful backing off the road and parking" experiences with a trailer attached!  Ah, it's the little things that bring a smile to my face!) 

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