Last Thursday was the first day of four of my favorite days of the year – the opening rounds of March Madness. It was a nice relief to wake up on Thursday morning knowing I had four days of good basketball ahead of me after watching my Hawkeyes get defeated in one of the play-in games against Tennessee the night before.
Over the course of those four days lots of good food is consumed in our house. Knowing we had a weekend of basketball ahead of us, I wanted to try to keep our meals a little lighter, yet filling, on Thursday and Friday. For our opening meal of the tournament on Thursday afternoon, I decided I would start with a salad that would include lots of flavors. I love salads because you can use as many greens as you’d like to make a filling meal with minimal calories.
Iceberg lettuce is one of my favorite greens because of the crunch it gives the dish its included in. I decided I would base this salad entirely on this classic head of lettuce. This is what lead to the Oven-Roasted Iceberg Salad. It was a hit and kept us full until suppertime.
Here is what you’ll need on your grocery list:
**This recipe makes enough to make one salad**
1 (4 oz) Boneless, Skinless Chicken Tenderloin or Breast
1/4 Head Iceberg Lettuce
2 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp Olive Oil
1/8 tsp Garlic Salt
1/8 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 Avocado, sliced or diced
1 Hard Boiled Egg, sliced (I forgot to make these before our lunch so couldn’t include it in our salad, but I think this adds a nice flavor.)
Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
2 tbsp Walnuts
2 tbsp Crumbled Feta Cheese
**You don’t need to add dressing to this salad because the lettuce is already flavored, but you may choose to add a dressing of your choice**
Prepare chicken and slice into strips. I baked ours for 20 minutes at 425 degrees.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut head of lettuce in half and then cut one of the halves in half so you have a quarter of the head of lettuce. In the picture below I was making two salads so I had a half of the head of lettuce.
Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place lettuce on baking sheet and pour balsamic vinegar and olive oil over top. Season with garlic salt and onion powder.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Remove lettuce from oven. Using a large, serrated knife, chop lettuce on a cutting board.
Pour into serving bowl. Top with chicken, avocado, egg, tomatoes, walnuts, feta cheese, and black pepper to taste.
Serve and Enjoy!
I had a successful day with the brackets on Thursday going 10-3, but Friday was a different story. There were lots of upsets throughout the weekend which made for a great start to the tournament. Even better, the Iowa State Cyclones beat North Carolina Central Friday night and then took down North Carolina in a thrilling game on Sunday evening to make it to the Sweet 16. We can’t wait for their next game on Friday night against UConn. I have 10 of the 16 teams correct on my bracket and all of my Final Four teams are still alive, so you never know…I could still be in the money in a few of the pools I entered.
Here’s to enjoying the last few weeks of college basketball for the season and trying to do it in as healthy a way as possible…with a few splurges here and there 😉
Until next time…