Cleansing Fennel and Walnut Salad with Torn Chicken

We have just de-decorated, chopped up the Christmas tree and cleaned our home back to normal.  The twinkling lights, bright decorations and rich smelling fir tree all seemed to ignite and satisfy our senses in early December, and immerse us in festive feeling.  In the light of a new year and it’s aspirations and plans however, it felt like a cinnamon scented hangover.   Sweeping and mopping, tidying and clearing left us feeling fresher.

The same goes for what we consume.  Excess is often the order if the day, in volume and in variety.  Smoked salmon, cheeses, cured meats, wines and liqueurs, those which we might normally enjoy sporadically, and on their own, share table space at each gathering.  It’s an awful lot for a body to process, especially when it’s repeated, and not balanced with the yin to this yang- fresh and raw fruits and vegetables, good quality water and rest.

But, balance we must, and as such we should look to natures mop and buckets-antioxidants.  Substances who not only clean up free radicals and prevent our cells from damage, but those which also taste fantastic.

There are many to choose from, but at a time when our digestive systems may need a little love, there are few better than the pseudo spice, fennel.  Bursting full of anti oxidants, it also contains lots of fibre, which absorbs toxins lower down in the digestive system.  Potassium works to help rebalance water levels, and vitamin C helps protect our immunity at a very snotty time of year.

This light and crunchy salad is substantial enough for a meal, but fresh enough to leave you feeling virtuous and shiny.

Clean up

Clean up

Ingredients – serves 2-3

Small cooked chicken, poached or roasted

Bulb of fennel, very finely sliced

1 vibrantly flavoured apple (Granny Smith or Pink Lady), very finely sliced

50g walnuts

Two handfuls of salad leaves

40ml avocado (or extra virgin olive) oil

40ml white wine vinegar

2 tblspn agave nectar (honey could work too)

1 generous tspn Dijon mustard


Start by toasting the walnuts in a dry pan, over a medium heat.  Keep them moving over a medium heat for 5-6. Minutes, talking care not to let them burn.  Once they are smelling toasty, set them to one side to cool on some kitchen paper.

Tear the chicken meat into bite sized pieces.

Mix all the liquid ingredients to make the dressing, them into a large mixing bowl, toss the dressing through the sliced fennel apple, torn chicken and cooled walnuts.  Leave to sit for 5 to ten minutes.  Then toss through the salad leaves.

Serve feeling virtuous and all cleaned up.

Chicken fennel walnut salad

Tags: , , , , ,

Categories: Dairy Free Family Recipes, Impressive Starters, Summer Family Recipes

One Comment on “Cleansing Fennel and Walnut Salad with Torn Chicken”

  1. April 7, 2015 at 9:40 am #

    Reblogged this on Family Fork and commented:

    After indulging this weekend, I’ll be cleaning up with this fresh little dish


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