By Laurenda Marie Bennett

Spring has finally sprung!

Laurenda Marie Bennett loves to cook. and entertain (Photo: Brent Taylor Photography/

While everyone is spring cleaning and de-cluttering their homes, I think it’s just as important to cleanse our bodies.

They sure deserve it, don’t they? Especially after such a long winter of hibernation and comfort foods. Fresh salads, like this Apple, White Cheddar & Chicken Salad with homemade Honey Mustard Dressing, are the perfect way to lighten up a meal without compromising flavor.

White cheddar and crisp apple make the perfect marriage, too. Add some tender chicken breast for protein and toasted walnuts for a bit of crunch and healthy fat, and you have yourself a complete meal.

This apple cheddar salad serves two. (Photo: Laurenda Marie Bennett\

Oh, but wait. Then there’s the dressing.

Honey. Mustard. Vinaigrette. It really completes the package, and I bet you already have the ingredients on hand!

Making dressings at home is a breeze, and you’re avoiding a laundry list of processed ingredients!

This salad left my taste buds happy, my belly satisfied and my body energized.

So, my friends, start your Spring off on the right foot, and eat your greens!

Recipe type: Salad
Prep time: 15 minutes
Serves: Two people

For the salad

  • 4 cups spinach or mixed greens
  • 8 ouncescooked chicken breast, diced (prepped ahead of time)
  • 1 Fuji apple, sliced or diced
  • ½ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • ¾ cup white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • This apple cheddar salad is topped off with a delicious honey mustard vinaigrette. (Photo: Laurenda Marie Bennett/

    For the dressing

  • 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon stone ground or grainy mustard
  • 1 tablespoon pure honey
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • Instructions

  • Whisk together dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside
  • Assemble salad, drizzle with dressing and toss to evenly coat
  • Dig in!
  • Laurenda Marie Bennett authors the cooking blog Laurenda Marie and is a contributor on food and cooking for 100.5 The River the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. You can follow Laurenda on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+.