Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My Favorite Salad

Hello everyone! I'm sure you're dying to read my first culinary post, and I'm sure Emma keeps hoping I'll post SOMETHING. Well, here it is!

We like to go out to eat every once in a while--beats cooking, even if it is cumbersome and more expensive these days with two little ones. Our favorite spot is Red Robin--it's kid-friendly, has yummy food, and is one of the few places that the kids will actually eat. I first discovered this salad there, and have been looking to duplicate it at home. I think I've come close--this is really tasty and can seriously fill you up! I've tweaked it a bit to include more greens--the restaurant uses iceberg, which is low in calories but also low in nutritive greens.

Chicken Apple Walnut Salad (Serves 4 Dinner Portions)

1/2 bag romaine or iceberg salad mix
1/2 bag spinach greens
Two to three medium apples of your choice, cubed (I mix Honeycrisp and Granny Smith)
1 pound grilled chicken breasts (about 4) cut into cubes or strips
1/2 cup mild white cheese, crumbled ( I like low-fat feta or mild bleu cheese)
1 cup candied walnut pieces
Dijon Honey Mustard dressing to taste--I like Brianna's the best (there's an avocado on the bottle)

Mix the greens together, adding the candied walnuts and the apples as you mix. Once it is evenly tossed, add dijon mustard dressing to taste; about 1 cup for the salad. Mix until evenly distributed. Crumble cheese on top and add chicken, Serves 4 as a dinner salad, six as a side salad. To store for up to two days in an airtight container, leave dressing in the side.

Serving suggestions:

  • Add your own touches--boiled egg slices, avocado slices, or grape tomatoes are tasty, as well as broccoli florets
  • Serve chicken warm off the grill (I use my Foreman); it makes the cheese softer and brings out the flavor better
  • Season chicken with lemon before grilling for a citrus note

  • Tuesday, February 19, 2008

    Rockin' Recipe Cheat Sheet

    This isn't actually a recipe, but I thought I would share with you guys this recipe cheat sheet I found at angrychicken.com. It's the most genius thing I've ever seen, and the recipes are killer, especially the chocolate cake (yum!). I taped one up on my fridge, and we actually use it quite a bit. She also has (on the front page at the moment) a really easy recipe for homemade caramel corn. So head on over and check it out!

    Sunday, February 17, 2008

    Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken

    5 to 6 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, thighs or mixture of both

    (if you have a small family or a small crock pot you can cut this recipe in half, or even 1/3 easily)

    For the sauce mix the following in a bowl
    1 1/2 C brown sugar
    1 1/2 C soy sauce
    1 1/2 tsp ground ginger (fresh grated ginger works great if you have it as well) or to taste
    3 to 4 cloves fresh garlic (chopped) or to taste (you can use garlic powder, dried garlic or another equivalent, but fresh is best)
    4 1/2 T white vinegar (rice vinegar if you have it works also)
    1/4 C sesame oil (you can substitute olive oil if you don't have sesame oil)

    Stir the sauce well and pour over the chicken in the crock pot. I just put the chicken in still frozen unless I am in a hurry. Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours or until done. Use a fork to shred the chicken and stir it into the sauce. Serve over the rice of your choice. Enjoy!

    We buy our soy sauce and sesame oil by the gallon here, so this recipe is easy for me to make. It will still turn out well if you use one or more of the substitutes so don't be afraid to try it if you don't have everything you need. You can cut the sauce recipe in half and still use a large amount of chicken, but we prefer to have enough sauce with it to soak into the rice. This recipe freezes well also. Even with seven of us we always have leftovers, and I just throw the chicken and some sauce in the freezer and it makes a great quick meal when I don't feel like cooking at all. I hope you try it and like it!

    Sunday, February 10, 2008

    Hot Chicken Salad

    This is a favorite from a local tea house. It is very yummy (except for the celery!haha)

    3 c. cooked chicken cubed
    3 c. chopped celery (i make it big enough so I can pick it out easily!)
    3 c. chopped croutons
    2 1/2 c. mayo (I never said it was diet friendly!)
    1 1/4 c. toasted sliced almonds
    1/3 c. lemon juice
    1 T dried minced onion
    1 1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 c. cheddar cheese cubed

    Mix together. Pour into a 13/9 pan and bake at 350* until cheese melts.

    Sunday, February 3, 2008

    Busy woman's stroganoff

    First of all, I decided that I would capitalize for your viewing pleasure. Those here who know me well know I don't just do that as a regular occurrence, but I'm a guest, and I will behave properly. For now.

    Anyway, I'm a girl who has about 10 minutes to cook of an evening, or else we all get McDonald's, or Subway (it ain't all *that* fresh, baby). But that is incompatible with my weight loss goals, so I have this lovely book that has recipes that are :
    1) quick; and
    2) easy
    ie, me-proof.

    I'm not going to pass this off as my own. It comes from a Weight Watcher's book (here's me pretending I'm not violating copyright by giving credit...). But it is great if you like beef stroganoff, and it is particularly quick. I just really wanted to share this because it ROCKS as a quick and easy meal. It just serves 1, so multiply all the stuff by how much you need. Although I haven't actually done that for more than 2 people, so I don't know how that works on a grand scale. Two was fine. I *will* say that the beef is important on this dish. When I have gotten substandard beef, it was chewy. Learn from me!

    What you need apologies for the brit measurements:
    110 g (4 oz) lean beef stir fry or lean steak cut into thin strips
    75 g (2 3/4 oz) chestnut mushrooms sliced
    4 spring onions sliced
    pinch ground paprika
    75 ml (3 fl oz) beef stock made with 1/4 stock cube
    2 T VERY low fat plain fromage frais
    salt and pepper it says freshly ground. meh

    What you do :

    Spray frying pan with low-cal cooking spray. Add beef, mushrooms, onions. Stir fry 3 minutes. Sprinkle in paprika, add beef stock.

    Bubble rapidly 30-60 seconds until liquid is reduced and syrupy.

    Remove from heat, after one minute stir in the fromage frais and season to taste.

    The suggested vegetarian option is to replace the beef with a total of 9 oz of mushrooms, and replace beef stock with veg stock (well you could probably have figured that one out.)

    POINTS (for those interested) = 3, and it is a CORE recipe. SCHWING!

    Okay for my next trick I'll reach into the family heirloom recipe book. I live too far away from them for them to hunt me down. HEEEEEE HEEEEE HEEEEE

    ENJOY!