A couple of weeks ago, I spent 48 glorious hours in Las Vegas for my best friend’s bachelorette.
It feels impossible that I’ve failed to mention this before, but just in case…
I’m a Vegas person.
For whatever reason, I was lucky enough to go to Vegas with my family several times as a child. And thanks to fond memories of Seigfried and Roy (RIP Montecore), waterslides, excessive sugar consumption, and the time there was a jacuzzi next to the bed in my mom’s hotel room, I’ve always had a soft spot for the city.
Long story short, I love the energy in Las Vegas. And I deeply appreciate that it’s one of the few places in the world where I’m able to comfortably enjoy a yard-long frozen cocktail while wearing a gold lamé bikini. I just feel like I connect with my truest self in Vegas—and that self may or may not be 2001 Paris Hilton.
You know what else is amazing in Vegas? The food. Some of the most delicious restaurants in the world have outposts on the strip, and there is many an epic meal to be had in Sin City. I literally dream of eating Carbone’s spicy rigatoni in a risqué outfit with my roommate. Again…truest self.
For better or worse, my recent Vegas visit was slightly more focused on fancy drinking than eating, and given our group’s size and “enthusiasm,” fine dining wasn’t really on the agenda. With that said, we did go to Sadelle’s (of NYC fame) for lunch on Friday, where I had an extremely delightful Waldorf-inspired salad. It was crunchy and nutty with little pops of sweetness, and the unexpectedly light lemony dressing was to die for. I made a mental note to recreate it for myself—and all of you—upon my return.
I’m shocked said mental note survived the weekend, but I see it as a testament to the wonders of the Waldorf(ish) Salad, which I whipped up as a recovery meal last Monday night and have made twice more since. It’s fabulously fresh and flavorful, and while this salad has #sassydesklunch written alllll over it, I stand by it being 100% satisfying enough to be eaten for dinner. Even for a dude. (Yes, I asked Logan.)
In other thrilling news, this recipe comes together in about 30 minutes from start to finish if you’re cooking chicken from scratch, but if you have cooked chicken (Idiotproof breasts, a rotisserie bird, etc.), it’s doable in 15. And as per usual, there are endless ways to make this salad your own. Sub pear, stone fruit, or citrus for the apple, and play with nuts, dried fruit, and greens (although I’m partial to hearts of romaine for crunch). The Greek yogurt-based dressing is on the tart side, which I love, but feel free to add a little extra maple syrup if you prefer a sweeter option, or swap in 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil for the yogurt if you’re looking to keep things dairy-free. It makes me happy when you do you.
Please make this salad ASAP and report back. I’m wondering if it does, in fact, have restorative powers…
- 4 cups finely chopped romaine hearts
- 2 cups baby arugula
- 12 ounces diced or shredded chicken breasts
- 1 small apple diced (I like Honeycrisp, Gala, or good old Granny Smith for this.)
- 1 celery rib thinly sliced
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- For the dressing:
- ½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- Juice of 1 small lemon
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1-2 teaspoons pure maple syrup depending on your sweet tooth
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Kosher salt if needed
In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the dressing. It should be thick, but still pourable. (If it seems too thick, add a tiny splash of water until you reach the desired consistency.) Taste and add a little salt, black pepper, or extra maple syrup if needed.
Add all the ingredients for the salad to a medium mixing bowl. Drizzle with the dressing (you may not need all of it—I like to start with half and add more to taste), and toss to combine. Serve immediately.
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