because what is life without good food?

Posts tagged “Chicken

New Recipes at SumptuousSpoonfuls.com

I know I promised I would post the recipes here every time I post a new recipe on my blog’s new home … but it’s getting away from me … so much to do with the transfer of domains and all the other things going on in my life … I did export and import all of the email subscribers from here over to there … are you getting emails from my new blog? If not, please go add your email address on my new blog: www.SumptuousSpoonfuls.com  … seriously, please, go now! I don’t want to lose you.

Okay, now let’s talk new recipes … here’s what’s new on my blog: click on the pic or the title to see the recipe … I hope you’ll visit me at my new site!

Tropical Kiwi Monster Protein Kale Smoothie

Tropical Kiwi Monster Protein Kale Smoothie

Apple Pie Wontons

Apple Pie Wontons

Curried Chicken Salad in Crispy Wonton Cups

Curried Chicken Salad with Grapes in Crispy Wonton Cups

Havarti Cheddar Kale Omelet with Bacon

Havarti Cheddar Kale Omelet with Bacon


Creamy Cheesy Chicken Wild Rice Soup

Creamy Cheesy Chicken Wild Rice Soup

It is September … the weather is starting to cool down. I was really loving the cooler weather … until my allergies kicked in …

Ah but I am lucky! I “inherited” some wild rice from my sister. She said it was too salty and brought it along up to my parents’ place last weekend for us to “fix” for her. Well we didn’t get around to making anything with it, she left and my other sister left and there was still the wild rice in the fridge, so my mom asked if I would take it. Sure, I said. Then I can make soup!

So yes, I made soup. And what’s better than soup in the fall when there’s a little chill in the air and your allergies are in overdrive? Soup is just the thing to make you feel better … it’s so warm and comforting and wonderful.

Creamy Cheesy Chicken Wild Rice Soup

Creamy Cheesy Chicken Wild Rice Soup

This is a very thick and chunky soup. Feel free to adjust the amounts of vegies, rice and meats to your liking … if you want more of the delicious cheesy broth, put in fewer vegies and rice. Like many soups, it is really better the next day. If you want a vegetarian soup, leave out the meat and use vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth

  • 1/2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery (reserve the leaves!)
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
  • 2 – 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk (I used 1%)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup shredded Edam cheese (I used some Dofino Edam cheese that Dofino sent to me as a “sample”)
  • 1/4 cup Asiago cheese (or other sharp cheese such as parmesan or romano)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice (use the wild Minnesota wild rice if you can find it … it’s SO much better!)
  • 3/4 cup cooked leftover chicken (or more if you want a meatier soup)
  • 1/2 cup corn (frozen, thawed or pre-cooked fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon Red Robin Seasoning or your favorite seasoned salt
  • The leaves from a few sprigs of fresh oregano and parsley
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • For garnish: shredded cheese and oregano or parsley leaves

Directions:

  1. Heat a saucepan or your soup pot over medium heat and add the olive oil and swirl it around.
  2. Pour the celery, onions, carrots, zucchini and garlic into the pot. Over medium-high heat, sautee the vegies until the onions are soft and translucent and the zucchini is tender.
  3. Add the flour to the pan and stir, coating all your little vegetables and garlic bits in flour. Do this quickly before the flour starts to brown.
  4. Add the milk and bay leaf and cook over medium heat, stirring often, for about 5 – 10 minutes or so or until the mixture thickens.
  5. Add the shredded cheeses and cook for a few minutes longer until the cheese melts, then stir in the broth, rice, chicken, corn, and lower the heat to a simmer (on medium low to low) and cook for 15 – 20 minutes to let the flavors meld. Stir in the reserved celery leaves, oregano, parsley and Red Robin Seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve hot, garnished with a bit more shredded edam cheese and a few fresh oregano or parsley leaves. Store leftovers in a covered container in the fridge.

Creamy Cheesy Chicken Wild Rice Soup

This recipe was shared at Share it Saturday, Manic Monday, Totally Tasty Tuesday and Talent Show Tuesday.


Grilled Chicken Stuffed with Eggplant Tarragon Cream

and a Mushroom Cherry Tomato Quinoa Pilaf

Grilled Chicken Stuffed with Eggplant Tarragon Cream

Ever since I made Baba Ghanoush, I’ve been wondering: what else could you do with eggplant puree? And then I picked up these HUGE chicken breasts at the store and was marinading them in buttermilk for my daughter and I for dinner … and it occurred to me that these babies would be really good stuffed with something wonderful and creamy. Eggplant puree, with cream cheese! and fresh tarragon and basil! Ah yes! How wonderful would THAT be?

Um yeah, completely wonderful … especially when you serve it over a pilaf of nutty quinoa with garlicky sauteed mushrooms and fresh garden cherry tomatoes.

Grilled Chicken Stuffed with Eggplant Tarragon Cream

Grilled Chicken Stuffed with Eggplant Tarragon Cream

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Marinade: buttermilk + seasonings

Eggplant Tarragon Cream Filling:

  • 3/4 cup chopped roasted (or grilled) eggplant
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 oz light cream cheese
  • About 1 Tablespoon fresh chopped mixed basil & tarragon leaves

Directions:

  1. Put the chicken breasts in a bowl and add enough buttermilk to cover them completely. Add seasonings as you like: I added a couple teaspoons of Mrs. Dash and a couple teaspoons of a basic rub seasoning I like to use. Let the chicken marinade in the buttermilk for at least an hour … I left mine in there overnight.
  2. To cook the eggplant, I took a couple of the little purple tender eggplant from mom’s garden, sliced them lengthwise, sprayed them with cooking spray and set on a baking sheet that I’d sprayed with cooking spray. (If you’re using a larger eggplant, you probably want to peel it and slice into 1/4 inch slices.) Bake at 400 for about 10 minutes or until the eggplant is soft and tender. Chop the eggplant roughly and toss them into a handi chopper with a couple cloves of garlic, the cream cheese and some fresh tarragon and basil leaves. Pulse to mix it all well and make a good creamy filling.
  3. Now, take the chicken breasts and slice into them horizontally with a small knife, not cutting all the way through so you make a little pocket in each chicken breast. Fill each pocket with half the filling, then close the open end with a toothpick.
  4. Heat up your grill and sear both sides of the chicken breasts on the hot part of the grill, then move them to the cooler part of the grill to cook until they are cooked through.
  5. Serve over a bed of the mushroom cherry tomato quinoa pilaf (recipe below), garnished with a few fresh basil or tarragon leaves.

Grilled Chicken Stuffed with Eggplant Tarragon Cream

Mushroom Cherry Tomato Quinoa Pilaf

  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup of mushrooms sauteed with red wine, garlic, and bruschetta seasoning (see my Chardonnay Mushrooms recipe for instructions)
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
  • Roasted sunflower seeds

Sautee the mushrooms with a couple cloves of garlic and a splash of red wine like I did with my Chardonnay Mushrooms. Add the hot, cooked quinoa, then the cherry tomatoes and stir gently to mix. Cook for just a few minutes to let the cherry tomatoes heat up. Serve the pilaf sprinkled with a couple tablespoons of sunflower seeds for a nice salty crunch.

This recipe was shared at Cast Party Wednesday, Weekend Potluck1 Month of Fun and Talent Show Tuesday.


Peach, Pistachio & Chicken Salad

With Goat Cheese Crumbles and a Honey Lemon Ginger White Wine Vinaigrette

Peach, Pistachio & Chicken Salad with Goat Cheese

It’s one of the last lazy summer Sundays we have left and I’m thinking about peaches. It’s that peachy time of year when you are assaulted with their beauty every time you walk into the store and you can’t help but put some in the shopping cart. And then I get home and wonder what to DO with them all!

So of course the first thing I must make is a good salad. Fresh seasonal fruit is so lovely in salad. Peach, Pistachio & Chicken Salad with Goat Cheese Crumbles

Peach, Pistachio & Chicken Salad with Goat Cheese Crumbles

and a Honey Lemon Ginger White Wine Vinaigrette

  • Mixed greens
  • Chicken (1 patty or breast per person)
  • Peaches (1 peach per person)
  • Goat Cheese, crumbled
  • Roasted, salted pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • Honey Lemon Ginger White Wine Vinaigrette (recipe below)

First, make the dressing and set aside. Cook (or reheat) the chicken and chop into pieces.  (This is a good use for leftover chicken!) Make a good bed for your salad on a big salad plate or bowl.  Pit the peaches and cut into chunks. Tuck the chicken pieces and peach bits in and around the greens, sprinkle with goat cheese and pistachios, and drizzle with the dressing.

Peach, Pistachio & Chicken Salad with Goat Cheese Crumbles

Honey Lemon Ginger White Wine Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • Juice of 1/4 of a lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped fine
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Mix everything except the olive oil together in a bowl till well mixed. While whisking, slowly pour the olive oil into the dressing in a small stream. Keep whisking until the olive oil is well mixed into the dressing. Refrigerate any leftover dressing in an airtight container. Before use, take it out of the fridge for a few minutes to let the olive oil “melt” again (it will solidify in the fridge) and shake well.

This is a #peachlove post.

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Click here to see all the other lovely #peachlove recipes …

This recipe was also shared at Everyday Mom’s MealsRecipe of the Week, Fit & Fabulous FridaysSummer Salad Sundays and Scrumptious Sundays.


Chicken & Blueberry Salad

with Goat Cheese, Sweet Onions, Toasted Almonds and a Cherry Malbec Vinaigrette

Blueberry Chicken Salad with Goat Cheese, Almonds & Cherry Malbec Vinaigrette

I went to the kitchen the other day to find myself some lunch … started pulling things out of the fridge and this is what came of it. I made my daughter a pretty salad with just lettuce and strawberries too while I was at it. I cooked her up a piece of salmon too. I thought about putting some salmon on my salad, but decided that chicken would go better with the blueberries.

For the dressing, I decided on my Cherry Malbec Vinaigrette … I think you could probably make the dressing with blueberries in place of the cherries and it would go even better with this particular salad, but the cherry taste was quite nice on there too.

Blueberry Chicken Salad with Goat Cheese, Almonds & Cherry Malbec Vinaigrette

Chicken & Blueberry Salad with Goat Cheese, Sweet Onions & Toasted Almonds

  • 1 hot, cooked chicken patty (or boneless chicken breast if you prefer) for each serving
  • Mixed greens
  • Fresh blueberries
  • Sweet onions, sliced thin
  • Almonds, lightly toasted
  • Goat cheese crumbles
  • Cherry Malbec Vinaigrette Salad Dressing (recipe below)
  • Violets or other edible flowers for garnish (optional)

Cook up your chicken. While that’s cooking, fill a salad bowl most of the way with greens. Top with as many blueberries as you desire, then sprinkle with sweet onions, almonds, and crumbles of goat cheese. Chop up and add the chicken, drizzle with the dressing, and  garnish with flowers just before serving.

Chicken & Blueberry Salad with Goat Cheese, Almonds & Cherry Malbec Vinaigrette

Cherry Malbec Vinaigrette

This is the dressing I used in my Cherry Beef Salad. You can make it with blueberries in place of the cherries if you prefer.

  • 10 sweet cherries, pitted
  • 1/4 cup Malbec (or other red wine)
  • 2 Tablespoons cherry (or berry) syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • a few fresh basil leaves
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • a few sprigs of fresh dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds (optional, but they add nutritional value and help thicken the dressing)

In a handi chopper, blender or food process, blend up all the ingredients well till the cherries and garlic are fully pureed. Store in a covered bottle in the fridge.

This recipe was shared at Scrumptious Sundays, Summer Salad Sundays, Manic Monday and Made it by Monday.


Cheddar Chile Chicken Avocado Sandwich on Focaccia

Cheddar Chile Chicken Avocado Sandwich on Toasted Focaccia

I had PLANNED to eat a salad today for lunch, but then the thunderstorms came … loudly announcing their arrival then drenching the world with a sudden rush of raindrops. It was wild and refreshing, definitely needed … but chilly. So the salad I thought would be just perfect for a hot summer day didn’t quite seem like the thing to eat just now. Soup sounded more fitting, but I didn’t want to cook a pot of soup, knowing more hot summer weather is just around the bend.

Right after the thunderstorms came a burst of sunshine. The plants and trees and grass were just beaming with happiness after the rain. You can water them, and they’re okay with that, but they just revel in a good, drenching rain.

I decided on a sandwich. A nice hot sandwich with a bit of spice. If you are lucky enough to have a whole roasted green chile pepper from New Mexico on hand, that would be the perfect addition …

Cheddar Chile Chicken Avocado Sandwich on Toasted Focaccia

Cheddar Chile Chicken Avocado Sandwich on Toasted Focaccia

  • 2 oz. low-fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup light mayo
  • 1 teaspoon green chile powder or 1 Tablespoon finely chopped roasted green chile
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Focaccia bread, sliced horizontally
  • Cooked chicken breast, sliced (or chicken or turkey sandwich meat)
  • Slices of cheddar cheese
  • Onion, sliced thin
  • Tomato slices
  • Lettuce
  • Ripe Avocado

Mix the cream cheese, mayo, green chile, onion powder and paprika. Spread this mixture lightly on the bottom of the focaccia bread, the arrange the sliced chicken to cover the bread. Cover the chicken evenly with sliced cheddar cheese, then set in the oven (or toaster oven) and bake or broil till the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Meanwhile, mash the avocado with a bit of the chile mayo spread and toast the top half of the focaccia. Spread a good thick layer of the mashed avocado on the toasted top half.

Take the bottom half of the sandwich out of the oven when it’s done and top with sliced onion, tomato, lettuce and the top half.

Enjoy immediately.

Cheddar Chile Chicken Avocado Sandwich on Toasted Focaccia

This recipe was shared at Cast Party WednesdayNewlyweds Recipe LinkyFull Plate ThursdayIt’s a Keeper ThursdayTastetastic Thursday, and Weekend Potluck.


A Forager’s Thai-style Peanut Chicken Stirfry

A Forager's Thai Peanut Chicken Stirfry

I have been fascinated with foraging since I was a little girl. My parents instilled this trait in me … I remember as a child, when we were driving along somewhere, my mother would sometimes suddenly exclaim that we needed to stop.  And my dad would stop the car. We would just stop and pick asparagus out of the ditch … or wherever it was she discovered it. I remember her stopping to pick wildflowers sometimes too. We also went mushroom hunting, which is the ultimate in foraging, and if you have never gone, find yourself a friend who hunts mushrooms and tag along with them sometime. Mushroom hunting is great fun … you just have to know what you are looking for.

Back then I think foraging in general was much safer. The sprays that are used in parks, lawns, and ditches these days (in the US) can be pretty toxic. So you need to be more careful where you forage … but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t forage. You can forage in your own yard, where you have control over what goes on your plants. And I totally think you should … I mean, what is better than free food that you picked fresh from the landscaping? (By the way, if the idea of foraging in your yard scares you, skip over to the recipe … I provided substitutes for the “foraged” parts of the meal.)

I used the word “landscaping” very intentionally there, because the foods I foraged for this dish are commonly used in landscaping in many yards in the city:  hostas and day lilies. I long suspected that hostas are edible … because my deer love them … and whatever my deer love to eat, I start wondering about … so I went searching about the internet and I discovered that I was right! Ha! In fact, hostas are a common food in Japan, called Urui or Yuki-urui. Thanks to Miss Modish, I know this now. The day lily discovery I made the other day and I will point you to my Stella de Oro salad post to learn more about them. Do NOT try to eat just any old lily from your yard. Some lilies are poisonous. Make sure you are eating a DAY lily. Google “eating day lilies” if you aren’t sure of the difference and do some reading before you start picking. Also if you have food allergies, I would suggest eating a small bit first to make sure you are not allergic.

Hostas and Day Lilies are Edible!

Notes on picking: for day lilies, pick the fresh buds, unopened pods and fresh (unwilted) flowers. It’s best to pick them fresh, right before you plan to eat them, but if you can’t eat them right away, put them in a plastic bag in your vegetable crisper. Day lilies only last a day, so if the flower looks “spent”, don’t bother trying to eat it. DO pick them off the plant, though, because the plant will produce more flowers that way. When picking hostas, choose the smaller, tender leaves in the center of the plant. The larger ones tend to be a little tough.

I had tried the day lilies raw and tasted the hosta leaves (yeah, they taste like a leaf), now it was time to discover how well they cook up … and it turns out they do cook up quite beautifully. Both of them. Together. With a little garlic and olive oil. Oh, and I threw in some carrots from my dad’s garden too. And just a splash of white wine.

What do they taste like? The day lily pods when cooked taste a bit like green beans. The flowers are slightly sweeter and more tender/wilty. The hostas taste sort of like spinach. (I tasted them after they were cooked and before I put the sauce on to get the “true” taste of the day lilies and hostas.)

Stir Frying Day Lilies & Hostas

A Forager’s Thai Peanut Chicken Stirfry

This was enough for little old me for a big, hearty lunch. Pick more for multiple people!

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Half of a very large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced and cut in half-moon shapes (or 1-2 regular sized carrots)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • A small mixing bowlful of small, tender hosta leaves, chopped (they cook down like spinach does, so you’ll want quite a lot) … if you don’t have hostas, substitute some spinach
  • Several handfuls of day lily pods and blossoms (see picture for amount … I’m not quite sure how many there were) … if you don’t have day lilies, substitute green beans
  • A splash of white wine
  • 1 cooked chicken breast, sliced or chopped
  • 2 -3 Tablespoons of Super Simple Thai Peanut Sauce (recipe here)
  • Hot cooked Basmati rice (to serve the lovely stirfry upon)
  • Chopped peanuts and cilantro for garnish, if desired (I had no cilantro and totally forgot about the peanuts … not that it NEEDS garnish because the dish is so beautiful already!)

Heat a frying pan to medium heat and add the olive oil, swirling around to coat the pan. Add the carrots, garlic, hosta leaves (or spinach), and day lilies (or green beans) and sautee for a few minutes. Throw in a splash of white wine and the chicken and cook until the carrots are crisp tender, the hosta leaves are wilted and the chicken is hot. Stir in the peanut sauce and served over the hot rice. Garnish with chopped peanuts and cilantro leaves, if desired, or a fresh (uncooked) day lily flower would be a beautiful garnish.

Forager's Thai Peanut Chicken Stirfry

This recipe was shared at Weekend Potluck.


Flippin’ Amazing Barbecue Chicken Salad

with Jalapeno Cilantro Ranch Dressing

Flippin' Amazing BBQ Chicken Salad

There was this barbecue restaurant in California we used to go to for lunch … I can’t remember the name of it, but I could drive right to it if I were there … I know right where it is. They made the most amazing barbecue chicken salad. I think I ordered that salad every time we went there because I can’t recall eating anything else there.

I haven’t had that salad in years … and I”m not really quite sure why not. I’ve been back to that area several times. I’ve certainly had many, many opportunities to MAKE a barbecue chicken salad. I mean, barbecued chicken is one of my daughter’s all-time favorite meals!

But today, I am trying to use up things in my fridge. We barbecued chicken last night and this salad just popped into my mind. I actually went to the store and bought an avocado and tomato to make it (and I’m supposed to using up things? hello? what are you thinking?)

Anyway, I took one taste of this salad and I started asking myself why the HELL did I wait so long to make it?

Barbecue Chicken Salad with Jalapeno Cilantro Ranch dressing

So this is really a two-meal kinda deal: the first night you grill up some mighty fine barbecue chicken. And maybe some asparagus (or corn on the cob!) and grilled cornbread to go with it. Make extra chicken for the next day’s meal. Your first meal might look something like this:

Chicken, Asparagus & Cornbread on the Grill

The Moistest Barbecue Chicken Ever

  • Plain yogurt (I used about a cup for 3 chicken breasts)
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon or so of your favorite seasoning mix (I tried some of the Mystic Blue Tandoori Masala Spice mix … ooh that stuff is NICE!)
  • Uncooked pieces of chicken (last night it was chicken breasts)
  • Your favorite barbecue sauce (we used Famous Dave’s Rich & Sassy BBQ sauce because that’s my kids’ favorite)

At least an hour or up to a day before you want to cook the chicken, mix enough of the plain yogurt with some garlic and seasonings to completely cover the chicken. Put the chicken in a bowl, pour the spiced yogurt mixture over it and let it marinade in the fridge for an hour or overnight, turning once or twice to make sure you evenly coat all the chicken.

Fire up the grill and put the chicken on. I like to start my chicken over the hot, hot coals and sear it on both sides, “Paint” it with barbecue sauce on both sides, then move it to the side and let it cook till it’s done while I cook other things (like the asparagus and the cornbread). The chicken is done if when you cut into it with a knife, the juices run clear and there’s no pink flesh left inside. I usually paint the chicken with sauce a couple more times during this process.

Refrigerate your leftover chicken and then on the second day, you can make this amazing salad …

Flippin’ Amazing Barbecue Chicken Salad

  • Mixed greens (or Romaine is nice)
  • Leftover barbecued chicken, sliced or shredded and heated
  • Sweet corn, cooked
  • Beans, cooked (I would usually use black beans, but I had white beans to use up)
  • Red onion, sliced thin or chopped
  • Tomato, cut into chunks or wedges
  • Avocado slices
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Shredded Mexican cheese (cheddar, monterey jack, or other … I used a Fiesta blend)
  • Jalapeno Cilantro Ranch Dressing (recipe below)
  • A bit of barbecue sauce for drizzling

Directions:

Make the salad dressing and set it aside. Fill your salad bowl or your plate with lots of greens. Heat the beans and sweet corn. Arrange the chicken, red onion, tomato, and avocado over the greens, then add the beans and corn (or make a mound of beans and corn in the center). Sprinkle with cilantro and a bit of shredded cheese. Drizzle with the jalapeno cilantro dressing and a bit of barbecue sauce.

The above pictures were the “civilized version” before I added the shredded cheese and the dressing drizzles. Things get a little messy once you do that … then you dig into the salad and it gets even messier … that’s part of the joy of it. Just like any good barbecue, right?

Barbecue Chicken Salad with Beans, Avocado, Tomato, Onion & Jalapeno Cilantro Ranch Dressing

Jalapeno Cilantro Ranch Salad Dressing

Makes about 1 cup of dressing (8 servings/2 Tablespoons per serving)

  • 1/3 c. light mayonnaise
  • 1/3 c. 1% milk
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • About 1/2 a handful of fresh basil leaves
  • Several fresh parsley leaves or ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • A few fresh dill twigs or ½ teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Several chives
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • A sprig of fresh rosemary leaves
  • 3 green onions (tops only)
  • A handful of cilantro leaves
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons of finely chopped jalapeno
  • 1/4 of a ripe avocado (you could probably even add more avocado if you want …)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (Leave out the salt altogether if you want less sodium … I made sure to taste it before I added salt, and it was delicious.)
  • 1/3 c. nonfat greek yogurt

Whir all the ingredients except the yogurt in a handy chopper or food processor until smooth. Stir in the yogurt. Adjust seasonings to taste. Store any leftovers in a covered container in the fridge.

This recipe was shared at Cast Party Wednesdays, Thursday’s TreasuresTastetastic Thursdays, Fit & Fabulous Fridays, and Summer Salad Sundays.


Jump Up Chicken Orange Salad with Feta & Pecans

Jump Up Chicken Orange Salad with Feta & Toasted Pecans

I was scrounging for lunch again yesterday … my body was so hungry for something good, delicious, healthy. My organic salad greens in the fridge were almost gone. There wasn’t much to be had in the fridge except some cut fruit and a bit of cheese.

But I ALWAYS have plenty of food in the freezer. AND I have a yard full of edibles! I went out and collected some wild violet and dandelion leaves, a bit of fresh basil, some Johnny Jump Ups (as my mom calls them … they are also known as Violas), cooked up a frozen chicken patty, toasted some pecans from the freezer and voila! I had a beautiful salad definitely worth jumping up for.

Jump Up Chicken Orange Salad with Feta & Toasted Pecans

Jump Up Chicken Orange Salad with Feta and Pecans

  • Greens (I used wild violet and dandelion greens)
  • Cooked chicken, cut into chunks (I used a breaded chicken patty, but grilled chicken or even rotisserie chicken would work too)
  • Orange, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • Toasted pecans
  • Crumbled feta cheese
  • Viola flowers (Johnny Jump Ups … preferably from a source that isn’t sprayed with herbicides or pesticides)
  • Fresh basil leaves

Fill your bowl most of the way with greens. Tuck in the chicken, orange pieces, sprinkle with pecans and feta. Add the flowers and the basil and drizzle with a pleasing vinaigrette. I used my Honey Lemon Ginger White Wine Vinaigrette, but I think the Tequila Lime Vinaigrette would be lovely on this salad too … I need to make some more of that beautiful dressing.

Jump Up Chicken Orange Salad with Feta & Toasted Pecans

This recipe was shared at Cast Party WednesdaysFit & Fabulous FridaysFabulous FridayWeekend Potluck, Mom’s Everyday Meals and Mealtime Monday and Delicious Dish Tuesday.


Apricot Chicken Salad on Wild Greens

with Blue Cheese, Cinnamon Pecans, and a Honey Lemon Ginger White Wine Vinaigrette

Apricot Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese & Cinnamon Pecans

It was a “make do with what you’ve got” kinda lunch day. I thought I would have a salad, but I didn’t have enough greens left to fill my bowl.

So I went scrounging in my yard for greens. My spinach is still too tiny to pick, so I came in with a bunch of dandelion greens and a couple flowers as well. I know, these common yellow flowers are not generally well loved. Most people don’t want them in their yard. But they do have a lot of health benefits, they cost nothing and they’re really quite tasty and beautiful. The only problem is the greens do tend to get bitter.

However, bitter greens in a salad are really lovely if you pair them with something sweet. So I went looking for something sweet. No berries left, but I did have some dried apricots and cinnamon pecans. I threw in some chopped chicken and tangy blue cheese and I had quite a nice, well rounded, tasty salad.

If you are averse to using dandelions in your salad, skip the dandelions and use different greens. Arugula mixed with some fresh spinach would be nice.

Apricot Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese & Cinnamon Pecans

Apricot Chicken Salad on Wild Greens with Blue Cheese & Cinnamon Pecans

  • Mixed greens (I used spinach and dandelion greens)
  • Cooked chicken (leftover chicken or natural chicken nuggets), chopped … I think this salad would be incredible with some apricot-glazed chicken … as you can see, I used the chicken nuggets.
  • Blue cheese crumbles (just a few)
  • Fresh or Dried apricots, chopped
  • Cinnamon pecans (recipe here)
  • Snipped green onion
  • Dandelion flower petals (optional … only use these if you have a safe, chemical-free source of dandelions)

Fill your salad bowl most of the way with greens. Sprinkle the salad with chopped chicken, blue cheese crumbles, apricots, pecans, green onion and flower petals. Drizzle with Honey Lemon Ginger White Wine Vinaigrette.

Honey Lemon Ginger White Wine Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • Juice of 1/4 of a lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped fine
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Mix everything except the olive oil together in a bowl till well mixed. While whisking, slowly pour the olive oil into the dressing in a small stream. Keep whisking until the olive oil is well mixed into the dressing. Refrigerate any leftover dressing in an airtight container.

Wild Apricot Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese & Cinnamon Pecans

This recipe was shared at Tastetastic Thursdays and Fit & Fabulous Fridays.


Delicious Thai Peanut Noodles in Minutes

Thai Peanut Noodles with Shrimp, Carrots & Broccoli

Yes, you DO have time to cook! This is faster than fast food and WAY healthier. You can have it on the table in under 15 minutes.

The “magic” in this recipe is the Super Simple Thai Peanut Sauce. If you make some of this up and keep it in your fridge, you can have delicious meals in minutes … if you haven’t made it yet, go do it! Click the sauce picture for the recipe … the sauce itself will take you maybe five minutes to make. It’s super simple.

I don’t claim that it is truly “authentic” Thai food, but it tastes amazing … and if you are a busy working mom who’s starved for Thai food like I am, with no Thai restaurants anywhere within hundreds of miles, well, then I think it’s okay to take some shortcuts.

Super Simple Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce

Okay, now that you’ve got the sauce done, all you have to do is …

1. Cook up some noodles. I used Angel hair pasta. Angel hair is beautiful and fast, and I love the delicate-ness of the noodles! You can use whatever noodles you like, though. (For SUPER expedient gourmet meals, have some noodles pre-cooked in your fridge, then just warm them up when you need a quick delicious meal.)

2. While the noodles are cooking, steam some veggies. You can use whatever vegies you think would go well with Thai peanut noodles. I used broccoli and carrots. Here’s my quickie tricky method for doing that in the microwave. Put your fresh or frozen veggies in a bowl. Add a bit of water to the bowl. Just a splash; you don’t need a lot. Sprinkle the vegies with a little salt and pepper if you want. Cover it with a plate. Stick it in the microwave. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Take the veggies out and check them. Are they crisp tender? If not, stir, cover, and microwave a bit longer until they are crisp tender. Strain the vegies, or use a fork to remove them from the bowl.

Faster than fast food!  Thai Peanut Noodles with Broccoli, Shrimp and Carrots

3. Optional! Heat up (or cook up) some shrimp or leftover meat. I’ve tried this with leftover grilled chicken and also with tiny frozen (thawed) shrimp, but I also think it is just wonderful without meat at all.

4. Toss the noodles and vegies (and meat or shrimp, if you’re using them) with the noodles and about 2 tablespoons of the sauce per serving. Top with chopped roasted peanuts and fresh cilantro leaves and serve.

Faster than fast food! Simple Thai Peanut Noodles in minutes

This recipe was shared at Weekend Potluck,  South Asian BlogHop and Everyday Mom’s Meals.


Garlic Cilantro Buttermilk Chicken

Grilled Garlic Cilantro Buttermilk Chicken

My daughter really, really loves chicken. And she loves grilling. Usually I grill chicken with barbecue sauce for her, but I wanted to try something a little different this time. She loves cilantro and garlic. And that yogurt/buttermilk marinade worked SO well last time, well, we just had to do that again. I thought the yogurt/buttermilk mixture should be more than just a marinade though, it ought to be a sauce …

Garlic Cilantro Buttermilk Chicken on the Grill

We both loved the chicken. Really really loved it. It turned out so moist and flavorful. There is something about yogurt and buttermilk that soaks into the chicken. Your chicken will never be dry if you use a yogurt or buttermilk marinade. It’s the most amazing chicken trick ever …

Garlic Cilantro Buttermilk Chicken

  • A big handful of cilantro leaves
  • 5 – 7 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of Red Robin Seasoning (recipe here)
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2/3 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 – 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or other chicken parts, skinned)

Directions:

  1. Reserve a few cilantro leaves for garnish, then in a handi chopper or food processor, blend up most of the cilantro with the garlic, the seasonings and 1/3 cup of the yogurt. Place in a medium bowl and stir in the rest of the yogurt and buttermilk.
  2. Before you add the chicken, take out about 2/3 cup of the buttermilk sauce and set it in the fridge in a separate container. This reserved sauce will be the sauce to pour over the chicken after it’s done.
  3. Add the chicken to the remaining sauce in the bowl, tossing to make sure all sides are covered. Cover the bowl and let it marinade for at least an hour or overnight. Turn the chicken pieces over a few times to make sure all sides of the chicken get a chance to soak up that lovely sauce.
  4. Heat up the grill and remove the chicken from the marinade, discarding the marinade. (Unless you cook the marinade long enough to kill the germs from the raw chicken, it would not be safe to eat.)
  5. Grill the chicken, flipping it when it’s slightly browned on one side, then cooking on the other side until it’s done completely through. When you slice a knife into it, the juices should run clear.
  6. Serve alongside your favorite vegetable over basmati rice, drizzled with the reserved garlicky buttermilk sauce, and garnished with a few cilantro leaves. We had some raw sliced mushrooms and cucumber with ours, but I think it also would go great with asparagus, broccoli, spinach or green beans. I would have put some other veggies in the pictures if my daughter wasn’t in such a rush to eat it! She was very impatient for me to get done with the pictures …

Garlic Cilantro Buttermilk Chicken on the Grill

This recipe was shared with Totally Tasty TuesdaysCast Party Wednesday, Tastetastic Thursday and Fit & Fabulous Friday.


Thai-Style Barbecued Chicken Salad

Thai Style Barbecue Chicken Salad

Even as I was eating my Thai Chicken Pizza the other night, I began dreaming of this salad. The flavors on that pizza were just screaming to be thrown over some pretty greens and doused in that amazing Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce. Add some pineapple, a bit of celery, and some chopped peanuts and ooh what a beautiful summer salad. I forgot I was actually going to throw in some carrots, but didn’t miss them until after I inhaled the salad, but if I did this again I would …

Thai Style Barbecued Chicken Salad

Thai-Style Barbecued Chicken Salad

For the chicken:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 per person)
  • Plain nonfat yogurt and/or buttermilk for marinading the chicken
  • Red Robin Seasoning (or your favorite seasoned salt)
  • Granulated garlic (or chopped garlic cloves)

For the salad:

  • Mixed organic greens
  • Chopped fresh pineapple
  • Chopped fresh celery
  • Red onion, thinly sliced
  • Carrot, thinly sliced (if desired) or carrot “ribbons” would be lovely too
  • Peanuts, toasted and roughly chopped
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Thai Peanut Sauce (super simple recipe here!)

Marinade the chicken in yogurt or buttermilk. I used about half yogurt, half buttermilk. (No, I didn’t measure it, just poured it into a bowl till it looked like about the right amount to cover my chicken.) Then I added some granulated garlic and Red Robin seasoning until it tasted good. Then I added the chicken and let it marinade for an hour. Or two. I don’t know exactly how long …

Heat up your grill and put the chicken on there and cook it up till the juices run clear when you pierce the chicken with a knife.

Slice up that lovely hot chicken.

Barbecued Chicken Marinaded in Yogurt and Buttermilk

Pile the greens on your salad plate(s), then top with pineapple, celery, onion, carrots and cilantro leaves. Arrange the chicken on the greens and drizzle with the Thai Peanut Sauce, then sprinkle with nuts and a few more cilantro leaves.

Enjoy!

Thai Style Barbecued Chicken Salad

This recipe was shared at Fit & Fabulous FridaysWeekend PotluckStrut your Stuff Saturday, Recipe Lion Spring Blog Hop, and Real Housewives Recipe Roundup.


Grilled Thai Chicken Pizza

Grilled Thai Chicken Pizza

This recipe was inspired by ChinDeep’s grilled Thai Chicken Pizza, except I used the Super Simple Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce (recipe here) and a Beer Pizza Crust (recipe below).

For the chicken: I marinaded chicken breasts in a mixture of half yogurt/half buttermilk seasoned with a little garlic powder and Red Robin seasoning. I rinsed the marinade off of one of them and brushed it with barbecue sauce for my daughter. Then I grilled them. The yogurt/buttermilk marinade was awesome! It made the chicken so nice and tender and moist.

While the chicken breasts were cooking, I assembled all my pizza ingredients and rolled out the dough, covering it with a towel. Melissa tells me the trick to grilled pizza is to have all the toppings ready to go, so I assembled them all and arranged them right next to the grill.

Have your pizza toppings ready to go ...

Once the chicken was partly done, I removed them so I could rearrange the coals and make a hot spot for the pizza crusts to cook. I piled the coals up on one side of the grill, leaving the other side empty to make a cooler spot for the toppings to melt.

Piling the coals up on one side of the grill to make a hotspot

Then I put the grate back on, along with the chicken, leaving a spot right over the hot hot coals to make the pizza. I placed a crust on the grill over the hot coals, covered and let it cook for 5-10 minutes, checking it periodically.

Grilling Pizza: set the crust on the "hot" side of the grill to cook

It started to bubble up a little and get brown on the bottom, then I flipped it over onto the cool side of the grill, added the toppings and covered the grill again till the cheese was melted.

The first one was my daughter’s pizza: simple cheese pizza, with barbecue chicken.

My Daughter's Dinner: Barbecue Chicken and Grilled Cheese Pizza

The second pizza was my Thai pizza. For this one, once I flipped the crust over onto the cool side of the grill, I slathered it with the spicy thai peanut sauce, then topped with thin slices of the grilled chicken, green onions, carrots, red onions, sunflower seeds and cheese. Then I covered the grill and let the pizza cook till the cheese was melted.

Grilled Thai Chicken Pizza

I pulled it off the grill and sprinkled with cilantro and sat down with my sweet daughter and had dinner on the patio.

Heaven!

Grilled Thai Chicken Pizza

Beer Pizza Crust

  • 1 cup beer (I used Leinenkugel Fireside Nut Brown Ale)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup unbleached white whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
  • 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Put all ingredients into the bread machine and put it on the dough setting. When the dough is done, divide it into four balls. Shape each ball into a disc shape, cover with a towel and let rest about 5 – 10 minutes. On a clean, flat surface sprinkled with cornmeal, roll out the dough for your crust with a rolling pin. Wrap any extra balls of dough you aren’t going to use with plastic wrap (or put them in a ziploc) and stick them in the freezer. When you’re ready to use them, let the balls of dough thaw out on the counter for about an hour. I’m told they will keep for up to a month.

This recipe was shared at Strut your Stuff Saturday, South Asian BlogHop and Gooseberry Patch Trip Around the World.


Chinese Chicken Tangerine Salad

Chinese Tangerine Chicken Salad

An Oriental-inspired salad-scape.

Because I was suddenly hungry and my son was making chicken nuggets and there were tangerines sitting in front of me and greens and a beautiful red bell pepper in the fridge. Not to mention a bottle of Oriental vinaigrette already made.

This is kind of a melange of all the oriental salads I’ve tried … tangerines or mandarin oranges are divine in an oriental salad … I was kind of wishing I had some chow mein noodles on hand, or some rice noodles I could fry up, but all I had for oriental-style noodles were Ramen noodles so yes, they went into the salad. Raw, crunchy, right out of the package.

Chinese Tangerine Chicken Salad

Chinese Chicken Tangerine Salad

  • Mixed greens
  • 4 chicken nuggets or leftover cooked chicken, warmed and chopped
  • Chopped onion
  • 2 tangerines
  • Chopped bell pepper
  • Chow mein noodles, crumbled uncooked Ramen noodles, or rice noodles, deep fried till they are crunchy and puffy
  • Toasted almonds (I know, there aren’t any in the picture … I remembered them after the photo shoot!)
  • Oriental vinaigrette salad dressing

Fill the bowl 3/4 of the way with mixed greens. Arrange the other salad ingredients on top and drizzle with the oriental vinaigrette.

Oriental vinaigrette salad dressing

Ingredients:

  • 2 T. soy sauce
  • 1/2 c. rice vinegar (or white vinegar)
  • 2 T. honey
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, chopped fine OR 1/4 t. granulated garlic
  • 1/2 t. ground ginger OR  1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger
  • About 10 drops of sesame oil
  • 1 T. canola oil
  • 1 T. fish sauce
  • 1 T. chinese mustard

Pour all ingredients into a bottle and shake well to blend the flavors. Refrigerate.

Chinese Chicken Tangerine Salad

By the way, I’m horrible with chopsticks … can you tell from the picture?

This recipe was shared at Old Fashioned Recipe ExchangeNewlyweds Recipe Linky, Cast Party Wednesday,  Midweek FiestaFull Plate Thursday, and Fit & Fabulous Fridays.


Rainbow Teriyaki Chicken Pizza

Teriyaki Chicken Pizza with Broccoli, Cucumber, Carrot, & Red Onion

Leftover Teriyaki chicken is fantabulous on pizza … especially when you add a medley of colorful vegetables and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.

All these colorful veggies kinda reminds me of a rainbow … and something a good friend said to me not so long ago when I was feeling down:

“To find your rainbow, you have to have rain. After the rain there is Beauty and a promise of riches … in every aspect. You had a shower … and when that rainbow begins to grow … you will know.”

~ Debi from Recipes for my Boys

I have such wise, wonderful friends.

Rainbow Teriyaki Chicken Pizza with Broccoli, Cucumber, Red Onion, Carrot and fresh Cilantro

Rainbow Teriyaki Chicken Pizza

Of course you can adjust the vegies to whatever you prefer. This is just what I happened to have on hand …

  • 1 pizza crust (I make my own with part whole wheat flour/part white, pre-bake them till light brown, then freeze for later …)
  • Teriyaki chicken, heated, sliced and diced into small hunks (here’s my recipe for Teriyaki chicken)
  • Teriyaki sauce
  • Carrot, cut into thin slivers
  • Broccoli, steamed till crisp-tender
  • Red onion slices
  • Cucumber, sliced
  • Shredded mozzarella and a bit of cheddar cheese (for color!)
  • Fresh cilantro leaves

Directions:

Take your pizza crust and spread it with a light coat of teriyaki sauce, then cover it with hunks of teriyaki chicken. Arrange the carrot slivers randomly over the chicken.

making Rainbow Teriyaki Chicken Pizza

Now arrange the pieces of cucumber, red onions, and broccoli about on the pizza, then cover with mozzarella, adding a few sprinkles of cheddar on top.

Bake at 425 for about 10 – 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly and everything is nice and hot. Sprinkle the top of the pizza with cilantro leaves just before serving.

Rainbow Teriyaki Chicken Pizza with Broccoli, Cucumber, Carrot, & Red Onion

This recipe was shared at Everyday Mom’s Church Supper, Weekend Potluck, Cast Party Wednesday, Old Fashioned Recipe ExchangeThese Chicks Cooked Recipe Swap, Foodie Friday, and Fit and Fabulous Fridays.


Teriyaki Chicken with Basmati Rice, Broccoli & Carrots

Teriyaki Chicken with Bismati Rice, Broccoli and Carrots

In Albuquerque, there is this fast food chain called Teriyaki Chicken Bowl. We called it TCB. It’s not a New Mexican thing, really, but they are all over Albuquerque. We went there a lot for lunch. It wasn’t anything fancy: just some chicken, broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower in a delicious sauce over rice. There was no ambiance or decor. Just a bit of chicken, vegetables and rice in a bowl. TCBs were always packed at lunchtime. You usually had to wait in line to get your bowl.

I haven’t been to Albuquerque in years, but I still remember the taste of that chicken.

When my son and I went to California last month, my friend served us this Teriyaki Chicken. My son loved it, and when we got home, he asked me to make Teriyaki Chicken. I was so excited that he was asking for something besides pizzas and burgers.

I found lots of recipes for Teriyaki Chicken and there were so many variations on the recipe … some were really complicated, some were overly simple. I settled on one I found at Itsy Bitsy Foodies. It seemed about right to me. And when I added the steamed broccoli and carrots, to me, it transported me right back to TCB.

Teriyaki Chicken with Bismati Rice, Broccoli and Carrots

Teriyaki Chicken with Basmati Rice, Broccoli and Carrots

Adapted from Itsy Bitsy Foodies

For the marinade:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 2 tsp ginger, shredded (You can substitute 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger but fresh ginger is SO much better.)
  • 1-2 Tbsp oil
  • About 5 drops of sesame oil
  • 7 chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat, and cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 Tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1 Tablespoon water
  • Steamed broccoli and carrots
  • Cooked basmati (or white) rice

Directions:

  1. Mix the marinade ingredients together. Put the chicken in a bowl and pour the marinade over. I then dug my hands in there and squeezed the chicken to infuse the marinade into the chicken. Besides that I just like to feel my food. I know, that’s weird, but I love to get messy in the kitchen. (Yes, I always wash my hands after touching meat.)
  2. Allow the chicken to marinade at least 2 hours or overnight.
  3. Start the rice cooking and the vegies steaming.
  4. Spray a frying pan and heat over medium-high heat.
  5. Turn the heat down to medium, dump the chicken and sauce into the pan and cook the chicken for 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  6. Remove the chicken pieces from the heat.
  7. To the remaining sauce in the pan, stir in a drizzle of cornstarch/water mixture a little at a time, stirring constantly, until it boils and thickens.
  8. When the sauce is thickened to your liking, slide the chicken back into the pan and stir to mix.
  9. Serve the chicken on a bed of hot cooked rice, topped with steamed broccoli and carrots (and cauliflower if you like!). It’s also nice sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Teriyaki Chicken with Bismati Rice, Broccoli and Carrots

This recipe was shared at Everyday Mom’s MealsFat TuesdaysTotally Tasty Tuesdays, Wonka Wednesdays, Gooseberry Patch Inexpensive RecipesWednesday Eats,  Thursday’s TreasuresMidweek FiestaGooseberry Patch Trip Around the World and Fit and Fabulous Fridays.


Chicken & Tangerine Salad with Honey Ginger Yogurt Dressing

Chicken & Tangerine Salad with Honey Ginger Yogurt Salad Dressing

Sometimes it’s good not to have anything in the fridge to eat. It means I have to get creative if I want to have something good for lunch. I went into the kitchen at lunchtime, starving, completely ravenous, because all I had for breakfast was one of my little cranberry apricot energy balls, which seriously wasn’t enough …

So here I am digging through the fridge. The soup is gone. The ham is mostly gone … but there are two mostly-empty containers of salad greens that need to be used up … okay, then, a salad, but what to put on it? I pulled some chicken nuggets out of the freezer and looked for something to dress this up. In the fruit bowl are some forgotten tangerines … my daughter has me buy these big bags of “cuties” for her … she can eat a whole bag in one or two days, and then she wants more … but eventually she gets tired of them. At that point, there are usually a couple neglected tangerines left. This is one of those times. She has moved on to gala apples, and forgotten the tangerines.

So I settled on chicken and tangerines, and then started wondering what shall I dress this baby with? Scrounged some more and found a partly-emptied container of greek yogurt … yes! that’s it! yogurt and some freshly grated ginger … perfect.

Oh yes. Perfect.

Chicken & Tangerine Salad with Honey Ginger Yogurt Salad Dressing

Chicken and Tangerine Salad with Honey Ginger Yogurt Dressing

  • Mixed Salad Greens
  • Sliced Red Onions
  • Tangerines, peeled, separated, and chopped into chunks
  • Chicken nuggets or other cooked chicken, heated and chopped into chunks
  • Toasted almonds (yes, toast them … they are SO much better toasted!)
  • A bit of fresh dill for garnish

First make the dressing and let it set to mix the flavors while you prepare the salad.

Fill the salad bowl 3/4 full with the organic greens, and sprinkle with remaining ingredients as you please. Drizzle with the Honey Ginger Yogurt Dressing … or go ahead and DOUSE it with it if you so desire because this salad dressing is SO good for you.

Honey Ginger Yogurt Salad Dressing

There is no fat in this dressing (unless there is fat in your greek yogurt) and it has all kinds of goodness for your body. This is like the healthiest dressing EVAH, and I can’t believe it only has 5 ingredients. I never make things with only 5 ingredients!

I need to warn you: I really love ginger. I love the spicy heat of it. So I used a LOT of it in the dressing and I loved the intensity of it with the sweet tangerines and the crunchy chicken and the toasted almonds. If you are not a ginger fanatic, or if you are not sure if you are, I would recommend seriously toning down the amount of ginger in the dressing.

  • 1/8 cup plain greek yogurt (nonfat or lowfat)
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger root (if you’re not a ginger fanatic like me, cut it down to 1/2 – 1 teaspoon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of honey

Mix all ingredients until well blended. The dressing will not be smooth because of all that yummy ginger root in there. It’s okay. Chunky dressing is a good thing sometimes.

Chicken & Tangerine Salad with Honey Ginger Yogurt Dressing

This salad was featured by Bon Appetit Magazine.

This recipe was shared on Foodie FridaysKatherine Martinelli’s DIY blog hopTotally Tasty TuesdaysKM’s Honey Bloghop and Gooseberry Patch Inexpensive Recipes.


Kiwi & Chicken Salad with Feta, Basil, & Mixed Greens

with Tequila Lime Vinaigrette

Kiwi Chicken Salad with Feta, Basil, and Mixed Greens

Do you see the kiwi in there? It’s a master at hide-and-seek …

Yesterday I walked into my kitchen looking for some lunch … I am trying to eat up that big tub of herb organic salad mix my mom and dad got for me, so I thought I’d make a salad. And I’m trying to clean out some of the things in the freezer, so I added some chicken nuggets. And then I found some feta cheese and a red onion from Dad’s garden. But it sounded boring … what else could I add to my salad? Aha! a bunch of kiwis my daughter hasn’t eaten yet … and some basil …

That’s how this salad came to be. I just kept finding things to put in it. Some of my best recipes are born that way.

I told my daughter that I put Kiwi in my salad today and she said yes, of course, it goes great in fruit salad. I said no, I used it in a green salad with chicken and cheese and red onions. She said that’s just weird.

Well, yes, maybe it is a little weird. But it is also really good. The taste of the crispy chicken, the sweet juicy kiwi, the salty cheese, the greens, and the herbs — it is just a really good flavor combination. You will just have to try it and find out for yourself.

Kiwi & Chicken Salad with Feta, Mixed Greens and Basil

Kiwi & Chicken Salad with Feta, Basil, and Mixed Greens with Tequila Lime Vinaigrette

  • Mixed Organic Herb Mix or Mixed Greens (including fresh dill … if it’s not in the greens I do recommend adding it!)
  • Chicken nuggets or grilled chicken or other chicken (this is a great use for leftover chicken!)
  • Red onion, cut in small chunks
  • Kiwi fruit, peeled and cut into pieces
  • Feta cheese crumbles
  • Fresh basil leaves (and flowers if you have them!)

First make the dressing and let it set to mix the flavors while you prepare the salad.

Fill the salad bowl 3/4 full with the organic herb mix, and sprinkle with remaining ingredients as you please. Drizzle with the Tequila Lime Vinaigrette.

Tequila Lime Vinaigrette (from Cooking Light Magazine)

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons tequila
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • Dash of salt

Directions:

  1. Toss all ingredients into a food processor and whir till blended. Or you can just whisk them all together in a bowl, but the food processor will chop up the cilantro really nicely. I used watermelon-infused tequila (made by soaking watermelon cubes in tequila for several  days). Cover and chill until ready to use.

Kiwi & Chicken Salad with Feta, Mixed Greens, & Tequila Lime Vinaigrette

This recipe was shared at Tastetastic Thursdays.


Basil Watermelon Salad with Chicken, Blue Cheese & Toasted Pecans

and a Tequila Lime vinaigrette

Basil Watermelon Salad with Chicken, Blue Cheese, and Toasted Pecans

I know it’s getting close to Christmas and everyone is baking cookies and such, but if you can find some watermelon (or if you miraculously happen to have a bit sitting about still from the bounty of the summer garden, like me), make this sublime salad and, just for a moment, transport yourself back to warmth, sunshine, swimsuits and flip-flops. Your winter wonderland will be waiting for you when you return.

This salad to me screams California cuisine. When I eat it, I picture myself sitting in a beautiful restaurant with white tablecloths, fresh flowers, real cloth napkins and lots of windows … even a balcony where you can sit outside and feel, hear, smell, gaze at the beauty of the ocean. It deserves to be served at one of those posh, funky California restaurants that serves the most unusual combinations of flavors. Perhaps the view would be something like this …

California Beach

When I first thought of putting these things together in a salad, I was a little scared to try it. Honestly, how can you be scared of a salad? I need not have worried … it was divine. The sweetness of the watermelon, the earthy flavor of the basil, the creamy bite of the blue cheese, the gentle crunch of the pecans, and the crisp greens with the lime and tequila … oh it is heaven.

If you have no watermelon, then just order some yellow watermelon seeds for your garden and stash this recipe away for next summer.

Basil Watermelon Salad with Chicken, Blue Cheese, Toasted Pecans and a Tequila Lime Vinaigrette

Basil Watermelon Salad with Chicken, Blue Cheese, Toasted Pecans and a Tequila Lime Vinaigrette

I made a single-serving salad, but you could easily make a bigger version for a hungry crowd. To me, this is a complete meal all in one bowl.

  • Mixed organic greens
  • A small slice of watermelon, seeded and chopped into small chunks (I used yellow watermelon)
  • Blue cheese crumbles
  • Fresh basil leaves, chopped (and flowers, if you have them!)
  • 1 chicken patty, cooked and cut into pieces (or leftover chicken of any kind!)
  • Pecans, chopped roughly and toasted

Directions:

  1. Fill the salad bowl 3/4 full with mixed greens.
  2. Top with watermelon, blue cheese, chicken, basil leaves and pecans.
  3. Sprinkle with tequila lime vinaigrette and serve.

Tequila Lime Vinaigrette (from Cooking Light Magazine)

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons tequila
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • Dash of salt

Directions:

  1. Toss all ingredients into a food processor and whir till blended. Or you can just whisk them all together in a bowl, but the food processor will chop up the cilantro really nicely. I used watermelon-infused tequila (made by soaking watermelon cubes in tequila for several  days). Cover and chill until ready to use.

Basil Watermelon Salad with Chicken, Blue Cheese, and Toasted Pecans

This recipe was shared at Recipe of the Week: Healthy/Low Cal Recipes.


Herb Salad with Chicken, Feta, Pinons & Oriental Vinaigrette

Herb Salad with Breaded Chicken, Feta Cheese, Pinon Nuts and Oriental Vinaigrette

I don’t know if you noticed but I was away from my kitchen last week, travelling in California. The company I work for lives out in California … everyone else who works for this company lives in California. Most of them come into the office every day. I am the lone midwestern employee, working remotely. They give me a lot of crap about the weather. My boss loves to call and tell me when he’s wearing shorts in sunny 70 degree weather and we are up to our armpits in snow. It’s all in good fun. My son and I called them all wimps when we were visiting last week and they were shivering in their jackets while we were reveling in what (to us) was lovely weather.

We got home late Sunday night, so there was no time for grocery shopping, and work began early Monday morning, so I wondered what on earth I was going to eat. But I was in luck. My parents were here to stay with my daughter for the weekend and they left me a big, beautiful tub of organic herb salad mix.

So all I needed to do was find something to go with it. I scrounged up some frozen (natural) chicken nuggets, feta, pinons, tomatoes, onion and pulled out one of my homemade dressings and haha! I had a lovely lunch.

Herb Salad with Chicken, Feta, Pinons and Oriental Vinaigrette

  • Organic herb salad mix
  • Chicken nuggets, cooked and cut into small pieces (I used 4 for my salad)
  • Pinon nuts, toasted
  • Feta cheese crumbles
  • Chopped tomato
  • Sliced onion

Directions:

  1. Fill the salad bowl most of the way with herb salad mix.
  2. Top with remaining ingredients.
  3. Drizzle with dressing.

Herb Salad with Chicken, Feta, Pinons & Oriental Vinaigrette

Oriental vinaigrette salad dressing

Ingredients:

  • 2 T. soy sauce
  • 1/2 c. rice vinegar (or white vinegar)
  • 2 T. honey
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, chopped fine OR 1/4 t. granulated garlic
  • 1/2 t. ground ginger
  • About 10 drops of sesame oil
  • 1 T. canola oil
  • 1 T. fish sauce
  • 1 T. chinese mustard

Pour all ingredients into a bottle and shake well to blend the flavors. Refrigerate.

This recipe was shared at Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Tastetastic Thursdays and  Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways.


Pesto Chicken Bacon Pizza with Asiago & Goat Cheese

Pesto-Chicken-Bacon-Pizza-with Asiago & Goat Cheese

Do you ever have leftover chicken that you just don’t feel like eating? I like to take things like that and transform them.

And one of my favorite food transformations is to make pizza. I make mini-pizza crusts ahead of time and freeze them just for times like this. Good thing I have plenty of pesto on hand too! And fun cheeses.

This one is really a good flavor combination.

Pesto-Chicken-Bacon-Pizza

Pesto Chicken Bacon Pizza with Asiago and Goat Cheese

Ingredients:

  • Pizza Crust (homemade or store bought)
  • Pesto (I used Basil-Lime Pesto)
  • Leftover cooked chicken, shredded
  • Crumbled bacon (you don’t need much — I used about 1/2 a slice of bacon on my individual pizza)
  • Chopped onion
  • Freshly shredded Asiago Cheese
  • Goat cheese
  • Chopped tomato

Directions:

Spread a thin layer of pesto on the crust. Top with chicken and bacon.

Making Pesto Chicken Bacon Pizza

Top with onions, then the shredded Asiago. Crumble some goat cheese over that. And then top it all with the chopped tomatoes (or halved cherry tomatoes).
Making Pesto Chicken Bacon Pizza

Bake at 400 for about 10 minutes or until the cheeses are melty and the top is just lightly browned in a couple spots.

You can be chowing down on delicious gourmet pizza before the Domino’s Pizza guy would even be getting in his car!

Pesto Chicken Bacon Pizza with Asiago & Goat Cheese


Baked Herbed Lemon Garlic Chicken with Mushrooms

Baked Herbed Lemon Garlic Chicken

I made this chicken along with some Garlic Knots for the $5 meal challenge yesterday … the goal was to make a meal for $5 per person or less. I think this whole meal cost about $5 for the two of us and we had leftovers! You can adjust this to make more servings. I was cooking for two last night, so I just made 6 chicken legs, which actually turned out to be way too much for us!

Baked Herbed Chicken with Lemon, Garlic, and Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  • 6 chicken legs (or other parts … I used rather small legs, so if you have larger pieces, you will need to add more of the other ingredients)
  • 7 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • Zest and Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tomato, chopped
  • About 1/2 of a small carton of mushrooms, cut in quarters
  • Several sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 t. dried thyme
  • Several sprigs of fresh oregano or 1 t. dried oregano
  • A small sprig of fresh rosemary, snipped or 1/4 t. dried rosemary, ground
  • Red Robin Seasoning (or your favorite seasoning blend) and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 c. plain yogurt

Directions:

Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray and arrange the chicken parts in the bottom.

Top with garlic, lemon zest, tomato, mushrooms, and herbs. Squeeze the lemon juice all over the chicken.

Herbed Chicken with Lemon Garlic and Mushrooms

Here they are, with the rolls, all ready for baking:

Herbed Lemon Garlic Chicken with Mushrooms

Bake covered at 400 degrees F. for about 1 hour or until the chicken juices run clear when you make a small cut into one of the chicken pieces.

Now after moving the chicken to a serving dish, take out about 1/4 c. of the vegies and herbs with a little bit of the juice from the bottom of the pan and put in a handi chopper or food processor with 1/3 c. of plain yogurt. Whir until well blended.

Serve the sauce on the side with the chicken and some fresh homemade rolls or bread. I should have made a salad to go with, but it was a long day and I was too exhausted to make anything more … so dinner was served just like this. We had been munching on the mushrooms and some watermelon from dad’s garden earlier, so I am counting that as our “salad”.

Herbed Lemon Garlic Chicken with Mushrooms


A Peach & Chicken Salad with Oriental Vinaigrette

Peach & Chicken Salad

The other day I needed a quick meal so I tossed together some things I found in the fridge to make a quick salad and it turned out SO delicious that I have to share it. In case you haven’t noticed, goat cheese and pinons (pine nuts) have become essential ingredients in my house. They add a touch of elegance and a funky taste to so many different kinds of dishes!

Peach & Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

  • Mixed greens
  • 1 peach, pit removed, sliced and cut into chunks
  • 1 chicken patty chopped into chunks. I used a breaded chicken patty left over, but you could use a grilled chicken breast or any cooked chicken meat. This is a great way to use leftover chicken!
  • Vidalia or red onion slices
  • Goat cheese crumbles
  • Pine nuts, toasted
  • Oriental vinaigrette (recipe below)

Directions:

  1. Fill your salad bowl about 2/3 – 3/4 full with mixed greens.
  2. Toss on the other ingredients.
  3. Drizzle with oriental dressing

Oriental vinaigrette salad dressing

Ingredients:

  • 2 T. soy sauce
  • 1/2 c. rice vinegar (or white vinegar)
  • 2 T. honey
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, chopped fine OR 1/4 t. granulated garlic
  • 1/2 t. ground ginger
  • About 10 drops of sesame oil
  • 1 T. canola oil
  • 1 T. fish sauce
  • 1 T. chinese mustard

Directions:

  1. Pour all ingredients into a bottle and shake well to blend the flavors. Refrigerate.
Peach & Chicken Salad with Oriental Dressing

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