Thursday, November 24, 2016

Panera Bread

Panera Bread Salad Dressings to enjoy at home!

Here's something to look for at your grocery store in the refrigerated section in the produce area.

You can buy salad dressings from "Panera Bread" restaurant to use at home.  I stumbled across these three (on sale!) a few weeks back and have been enjoying trying them out. Each bottle has a suggested recipe to enjoy the dressing... what type of lettuce or greens to use, what toppings to add, etc.  The Fuji Apple dressing is slightly sweet and the Balsamic Viniagrette dressing is very flavorful.  I have not yet warmed up to the Asian Sesame dressing.  I think I am finding that I am not a fan of sesame oil; I think it feels funny in my mouth.  Whatever the case may be, I am enjoying these dressings.  Hopefully you can find them at your grocery store if you are interested.

This was a super salad. Spinach, hard boiled egg, turkey breast, celery, carrots, and honey crisp apple.  Delicious with the Balsamic Vinaigrette or Fuji Apple dressing.

After trying these dressings at home, we actually ended up going to Panera Bread for dinner two times this past week. I had to get my car serviced about an hour from our home so we dropped off the car one night and picked it up the next night.  At Panera, I had an amazing salad called "Ancient Grain, Arugula, and Chicken Salad".  It was served with a Sweet White Balsamic Dressing. The salad was so good that I had it both times I was at Panera this week.  I also tried to replicate the salad at home (with some modifications of course).

BELOW:  The Panera Bread "Ancient Grain, Arugula, and Chicken Salad".  The salad has arugula and grilled chicken of course. I am not sure what grains these are.  The salad has apples and red grapes, as well as toasted pumpkin seeds, and the dressing is a Sweet White Balsamic dressing. You can get a half order of the salad with a half sandwich or cup of soup.  I got a full order of the salad.

BELOW:  This is my version of the salad at home. My salad is made with arugula and turkey, as well as hard boiled egg and toasted pumpkin seeds.  I used honey crisp apples and dried cranberries (Craisins).  My grain is an ancient grain called "Freekeh" and the dressing is the Panera brand Fuji Apple dressing.  This salad was so good I had it for lunch and for dinner yesterday. 

I love finding healthy options when eating out at restaurants, but I also enjoy coming up with my own version at home.

This is the first time I heard of Freekeh.  I got this sample at a Health Fair.  It's similar to brown rice in texture and also has a nice nutty flavor. I really like it!  Here is a close up of the cooked Freekeh. I am enjoying having a chewy whole grain on my salad.

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