Thursday, July 22, 2021

Strawberry chicken salad with mixed greens and toasted almonds #summerfood #maindishsalads


Long ago and far away, in a place called Sioux Lookout, Ontario, a summer salad drew some attention.  A popular radio show host (Stuart MacLean on Vinyl Café) came across it and mentioned it on air and everyone in Canada seemed to want the recipe! 

I first came across a version of it in Chatelaine Magazine, a source of many great recipes.  Like all recipes in my house, it’s undergone a few changes over the years.  As our discussion was on main dish salads this past Sunday here on Mystery Lovers Kitchen  (thank you, Tina!),  I decided to make a variation and toss in some chicken and make a few more tweaks.  I admit I was slow to approve of adding fruit or berries to savory dishes, but I’ll add chicken to anything.  Chicken Ripple Ice Cream, anyone?  

Our delicious local strawberries still available and Ontario blueberries coming in and the time was right.

All to say here is the result.  I tried the updated recipe twice, changing to toasted sliced almonds and adding blueberries, because I could. The second time I discovered a bit late that we were out of baby spinach.  We were not out of mixed greens though and I actually liked that better. 

In the original slivered almonds are caramelized in sugar. That didn’t work on my low-carbish diet, so I just toasted the sliced almonds.  There is a lot of scope with this salad and I think you could have great results playing with different ingredients. 

The official Salad King in our house said this version was the best yet, so I’m very happy.

Strawberry chicken salad with mixed greens and toasted almonds


4 cups mixed greens (or baby spinach)

2 ½ tbsp EVOO

2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar (we used white wine vinegar the first time but prefer this)

2 tsp fresh thyme leaves (or your favorite herb)

1 ½ tsp maple syrup

½ tsp fresh ground pepper

1 tsp sea salt

½ tsp paprika (we use Penzey’s Half Sharp)

1 ½ cup strawberries, hulled and chopped

1 cup fresh blueberries

2 chicken breasts, cooked, cooled and sliced diagonally

1 tablespoon butter or oil (optional to cook chicken)

1/3 cup (give or take) sliced green onions

1/3 cup Feta cheese

½ cup sliced or slivered almonds, toasted


 Toast the almonds for 5 minutes or so at 350 degrees. 

Cook the chicken breasts however you like them.  

I seasoned them with salt, pepper and paprika and sauteed them in a bit of butter.  

We made enough for leftovers today., so more than you need for the salad. You could grill them or poach them or even use a rotisserie chicken.  Why didn’t I think of that earlier?  Cool chicken and slice diagonally.

 Mix olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, maple syrup and thyme leaves.  Take 1/3 of dressing for mixed greens  or spinach. 

Add the strawberries to the remaining dressing, mix and let sit until ready to combine in salad.  BTW, these are in a clear glass bowl and not sitting in their dressing on the counter (in case you were worried).

To serve, add reserved dressing to greens.  Mix in green onions.  Place on serving dish. Mix in blueberries and feta cheese. Add sliced chicken and strawberries.  Top with toasted almonds. 

And here's my earlier version with spinach, less dressing and toasted pecans instead,

We loved the combination of flavors: sweet strawberries, tart blueberries, salty feta and the savory chicken and almonds.   So what would you add or take away?  I always enjoy your comments.


 Mary Jane Maffini is the award-winning author of three and a half mystery series: the Camilla Maffini mysteries, the Fiona Silk capers and the Charlotte Adams organizer mysteries – number six coming soon! With her daughter Victoria Maffini, MJ collaborated on The Book Collector Mysteries as Victoria Abbott. Victoria Abbott spent several happy years on Mystery Lovers Kitchen. MJ  is very glad to be back and Victoria is waving at you all!

The first five Charlotte Adams are being reissued by Beyond the Page Publishing. Recipes have been added and of course, the organizing tips continue! The Charlotte Adams books have recently been optioned for television films.

Organize Your Corpses was re-released as an e-book and a trade paper on May 18. There's a great deal for the e-book.   You can order it HERE!

The Cluttered Corpse was reissued on June 15th and Death Loves a Messy Desk arrived on July 13th. 

Watch for Closet Confidential next.


Jordan Bingham has a tough time: she's the first person in her large family to go straight. She has learned some useful skills from her crooked relatives but she's trying to hang on to a legit job working for a curmudgeonly book collector. But of course, the bodies keep piling up.  There's lots of fun in the book collector series from Victoria Abbott.

Don't forget to check out MJ's Canadian books:  Camilla MacPhee features a fortyish widowed lawyer who runs an advocacy agency for victims of violent crime, in Ottawa, Canada's capital city. Life would be easier if she didn't have the world's worst office assistant, the world's bossiest sisters and, arguably, the world's greatest stubborn streak. If you like your mysteries a bit edgy with a side order of humor, these could be for you.  

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  1. Thanks, Molly! It was fun to make too. Hugs. MJ

  2. MJ, I must try your dressing the next time I make this! I love fruit and nuts mixed with savory dishes. BTW, I have well over 50 recipes I've tried from Chatelaine (besides some from Canadian Living and LCBO) that have been shared by some great internet pals I've met since back in early 2000s days of recipe swaps and food chatrooms, most all were successful!

    1. Lynn, Chatelaine, Canadian Living and LCBO recipes are revered here! So glad you have tried them too. We are a well-kept secret up here, but apparently have touched Texas too. Hugs. MJ

  3. The combination is a visual feast.
    I imagine the feta is a great foil for the fruit and nuts.
    Nice job!

    1. Thank you, Libby! We should it was pretty enough for a party, but we ate it all ourselves, LOL. Hugs. MJ

  4. This looks so fresh and tasty! My previous workplace used to get catering from this one place that had a baby spinach and strawberry salad with slivered almonds, feta, and a poppyseed dressing. I wish I could remember the name of the restaurant because I loved it so much (and I am NOT a salad person).

    1. The original Sioux Lookout one had poppyseed dressing too. It's enough to convert a person to salads, Mia!