Category Archives: Salad

Grilled Chicken with Arugula and Lemon Vinaigrette

Grilled Chicken with Arugula and Lemon Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Grilled Chicken with Arugula and Lemon Vinaigrette
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Super easy and healthy chicken salad recipe that is great for a easy night recipe. Katie Lee has a new cook book coming out and made this on Foodnetwork’s “The Kitchen”. Jill commented that she wanted me to put that on the menu this week.

It’s very springy, light, bright and easy. You can whip this up in about 7 minutes. There is a technique called “Paillard” which is basically flattening the chicken to and even thickness so cooking is fast, consistent and juicy because you aren’t drying out 80 percent of the chicken to cook the thickest part perfectly. It’s always worth using this technique on any meat you can for consistent juicy proteins.

Ingredients: 2 people
2 Air Chilled Free Range Chicken breast
1 box of Arugula (8 cups)
Radishes
Red wine vinegar
Sugar
Walnut
Honey
Juice of half a lemon and zest
1/2 teaspoon of grainy mustard
1 tbs of Olive Oil
Dusting of Granulated Garlic, Pepper, Kosher Salt
Shaved Pecorino and Manchego cheese

Directions
1. Clean and slice radishes. Put them into a small bowl and cover them with white wine vinegar and then mix in about a tsp of turbinado sugar. Refrigerate. IMG_9910

2. Wrap your chicken in plastic wrap and with a mallet lightly pound the thick part of the chicken breat until the entire thing is the same thickness. Remove the plastic wrap and salt, pepper and garlic dust both sides of the breast. Bring a grill or grill pan to medium heat. When hot, add the breasts and cook about 4 minutes per side.

3. While your chicken is cooking, I heated up a small pan and toasted some walnuts. I removed them from heat and put them on parchment paper and covered in honey and let them cool. Top with a little Kosher salt.

4. Flip your chicken, and make your vinaigrette by putting your lemon juice, olive oil, grainy mustard in a bowl and whisk until incorporated. IMG_9911

5. Remove chicken and let it rest for a few minutes. Cut on the bias and plate the chicken. In a large bowl mix your greens and vinaigrette. Stir with tongs 20 times. Plate on top of the breast or next to it. Add your radishes and honey walnuts.
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Thai Pesto Shrimp with Rice Noodles

Thai Pesto Shrimp and Rice Noodles

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Thai Pesto Shrimp and Rice Noodles
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As I have mentioned before I read food magazines, cook books, blogs for inspiration and ideas. I gotta say Rachael Ray continues to surprise me with her recipes and ideas. They are often super easy but deliver on flavor as if they are twice as complicated. She can be campy and I don’t really watch her shows but I do subscribe to her magazine.

First off, I am not a huge shrimp fan but I saw this dish in her magazine that caught my eye. It wasn’t the picture or the title but one of ingredients. Peanut butter. I make this peanut thai chicken or turkey dish that I just love and it uses peanut butter paired with vinegars, soy and Sriracha. Jill likes noodle dishes and given it’s rice noodles and GF, I knew she would dig it too.

This dish was pretty darn good. It just works so perfectly together. Sweet from the peanut butter, fresh from the basil and cilantro, spice from Sriracha and then the texture of those noodles and shrimp. Comfort in a bowl. For those cooking for kiddos or boring palate friends/family/mates this could be a good one to use. You could sub chicken for shrimp but try not too unless you just hate shrimp. If you mildly like it, stay with it.

One note, I bought a bag of chopped kale and brussels sprouts to add but forgot it. I think it would be a great addition for more crunch. RR used iceberg lettuce in hers.

Ingredients
1 lbs of fresh shrimp (shelled, cleaned and split into half)
8 oz of Rice Noodles (find them in the asian section of your market)
Finely chopped kale, iceberg for some crunch

Pesto

1/2 cup of cilantro tops
1/2 cup of Thai basil (regular can be used too)
4 Thai chilies (seeded and spined)
3 cloves of garlic
1 inch of minced ginger
1/4 cup of Peanut Butter softened in microwave
1/4 of canola oil
2 tbs of fish sauce (extra splashes for the shrimp)
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbs of Sriracha (more if you want. I topped my bowl with the extra)
1 glug of soy
1 tbs of brown sugar

Reserve some noodle water in case you need to thin it out.

Directions:
1. Three basic steps..noodles, pesto and shrimp. Clean and peel your shrimp. Cut into two pieces vertically. Wash them and then add them to a medium heated skillet with a few splashes of fish sauce. They will turn pink and will curl up. They look ugly I know. Set aside to cool. IMG_9874

2. Cook your noodles according to the package and then wash them in cold water. Don’t forget to reserve some pasta water in case you need to thin out your sauce.

3. For the pesto add the herbs and fresh ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add the peanut butter and then while the food processor is on slowly add your wet ingredients until smooth.

4. To assemble put it all in a low heated pot and stir until coated well. Right before serving if you want to add your lettuce or kale stir it in and serve immediately. It will wilt but you want it fresh as possible.
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Asian Steak Salad with Siracha Honey Lime Dressing and Blue Cheese

Asian Steak Salad with Sriracha Honey Lime Dressing and Blue Cheese

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Asian Steak Salad with Sriracha Honey Lime Dressing and Blue Cheese
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I first found the base of the recipe from the cookbook “Guy Gourmet”. It’s a really great cookbook for the fellas. It’s based upon the Men’s Health magazine coverage of one of kind foods, cooking and nutrition. Adoma Steinmen and Paul Kita are the two that put it together with the editors of Men’s Health. The 150 healthy recipes are from various star chefs like Rick Bayless, Thomas Keller, Tyler Florence and Morimoto to name a few. Valentines day gift for your dude chefs perhaps?

This Asian steak salad recipe has a wonderful flavorful from the simple dressing. The freshness of the lime paired with the saltiness of the soy and the pop of heat and sweet from the Sriracha and honey is a harmonious flavor bomb. It’s just great. You can use what ever veggies wet your whistle. I omitted cucumber and avocado simply because I didn’t have them on hand.

The steak is a great choice over the typical chicken used in most salads. Cooking the steak medium rare gives you a buttery and tender bite that just works splendidly with the salad dressing. I added blue cheese because I think it works so well with steak despite the Asian flavors of soy and Sriracha. Goat cheese would also be nice.

At the end of the day, the dressing is the star of this show so you can alter the supporting cast to your tastes and preferences.

Ingredients:
Dressing
1 lime juiced
1 tbs of Soy Sauce
1 tbs of Sriracha
1 tbs of Local Honey
Black Pepper

Grass Fed Beef (flank, or any cut works)
Blue Cheese
Walnuts (toasted and tossed in honey)
Arugula
Green leaf lettuce
Cilantro
Cut spinach
Cherry tomatoes
Red onion (diced)
Carrots
Purple cabbage
Cucumber

Directions:
1. Mix your dressing by juicing a lime and adding Sriracha, Honey and Soy and whisk until combined. Set aside.
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2. Marinate your steak with a a few glugs of soy and some oil. About 30 mins to 4 hours.

3. Cut all your veggies and combine in a big bowl with the lettuce.

4. In medium heated cast iron skillet add your walnuts and toast them up. Once toasted pour those hot nuts in a bowl with honey. Mix it around to coat. The heat will loosen up the honey and coat it nicely. Set aside.
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5. Return the cast iron skillet back to the heat and let it sit for a few minutes. Add some grapeseed oil and then sear your steak. Cook on each side for about 4-5 minutes until a nice crust develops. I like this meat medium rare to medium. Set your steak on a cutting board and let it rest for 7-10 minutes. Slice thinly on the bias.
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6. Lower the heat to medium low. Dice your red onions and put them in a bowl with some rice vinegar and a glug of soy. In the same pan add the diced red onions and soften them just a bit. This will take some of the bite out of the onion. Remove from the heat and pour in a bowl to cool.
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Spicy Tuna Salad Avocado Romaine Boats

Spicy Tuna Salad Avocado Romaine Boats
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Today for lunch I was wanting something simple, flavorful and low carb. I had an avocado and some romaine on hand but they were on the back end of their freshness. Whipped up these little tuna boats and topped with a tiny bit of Sriracha chips for some crunch.
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Ingredients:
2 Cans of Tuna (low sodium in water without nets)
Dukes Mayo
Shredded Carrots
Shredded Red Cabbage
Handful of diced jalapenos
1 avocado
2 dashes of Tabasco per boat
Sriracha chips crumbs
1 head of Romaine
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper
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Directions:
1. Pretty simple… Press the water from your cans of tuna. Put in a bowl and mix it in with Duke Mayo (use the amount you like in your tuna salad).

2. Mix in the shredded / diced carrots, jalapenos, purple cabbage. Kosher Salt and Pepper… taste and adjust accordingly.IMG_9214

3. Slice your avocado and cut the bottom of your Romaine lettuce. Put some avocado in the base of your lettuce leafs. Top with your Tuna Salad. I hit each boat with 2-3 glugs of Tabasco sauce and then topped with some crumbled Sriracha Chips for color and crunch.
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Warm Fig, Blue Cheese & Arugula Salad

Warm Fig, Blue Cheese & Arugula Salad

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Warm Fig, Blue Cheese & Arugula Salad
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Tonight we had Ham & Leek Empanadas that were so amazing. Ina Garten has a new cookbook that I used for the recipe. I spotted a salad recipe a few pages earlier that I thought we be a great compliment to the Empanadas. The vinegar and sherry wine cut through the cheesy and salty puff pastry. The figs were also I nice touch of sweet.
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Figs… I don’t eat them very much. I like them but we just don’t see a lot them around here and certainly not in the winter. So I had to resort to dried ones and heat them up in the pan with my walnuts. I think blue cheese works so well with fruits like figs, grapes, pears and apples.

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Ingredients:
3 tbs of cooking sherry wine
3 tbs of white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp of local honey
6 tbs of good olive oil (equal parts oil and vinegar/wine)
Handful of dried figs (my store didn’t have fresh)
1 cup of walnuts
Blue cheese
Arugula
Cut spinach
2 green onions diced

Directions:
1. Mix your dressing together and whisk until combined. Taste and salt and pepper accordingly.

2. Warm your walnuts on medium low heated small pan. About three minutes for four minutes. I removed from heat and added the figs and poured some honey over both the walnuts and figs. Shaken the pan so that it was well combined and coated and until the figs softened.

3. In a large bowl take your arugula and spinach and dress and toss well. Add the walnuts, figs and blue cheese and serve.

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Roasted Salmon Garlic Broccoli Asparagus Pasta

Roasted Salmon Garlic Broccoli Asparagus Pasta

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Roasted Salmon Garlic Broccoli Asparagus Pasta
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Lame name but delivers on taste. I typically make a couple of runs to the grocery per week. My first run is typically Sunday afternoon. So prior to that run I have a lot of items left that need to be used and consumed.

On hand I had a bunch of asparagus, a little broccoli and half a head of garlic. I pulled out a salmon filet from the freezer and decided I would whip up a pasta dish. To be frank, nothing about any of the above ingredients excites Jill. So she took a bath following her treadmill time and I went to work.

This little comfort dish really turned out fantastic. The roasted veggies imparted a nuttiness, the Parmesan and salami give a salty savory flavor. The peas would pop with sweetness and finally the goat cheese gave it a tangy creaminess.
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Ingredients:
Salmon Filet
Bunch of Asparagus
About three small crowns of broccoli
6 cloves of roasted garlic
1 cup of peas
3 tbs of diced salami
2 cups of Pasta (Bow tie)
3 tbs of Goat Cheese
2-3 tbs of grated Parmesan
1 cup of pasta water
2 tsp Red Pepper chili flakes
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive oil
1 tbs of Black Pepper
3 tbs of Butter

Directions:
1. Dice up your asparagus and slice your broccoli. In a 400 degree oven cover the veggies with oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. Also cut the top of the your garlic bulb off, drizzle olive oil and wrap in foil. Put that pan in the oven for about 20mins-30mins. IMG_9166

2. While the veggies are roasting, remove your peas from the freezer, prep your salmon filet with oil and a little salt. Dice up your salami finely.

3. When the veggies are done. Lower the oven to 300 degrees. Remove the veggies from the pan and add your salmon and roast it for about 15 minutes. Remove it at medium rare. You will be putting it in with the pasta in a pan and it will cook a little more. IMG_9170

4. Cook your pasta in salty boiling pot of water. Cook it al dente so hat it retains a little chew to it. Scoop about 1 cup of the pasta water to use to thin out the pasta.

5. So now everything is cooked and chopped. Let’s put it all together. In a large skillet on medium low heat, melt the butter. Add the peas, diced roasted garlic and diced salami. IMG_9172

Stir in the goat cheese and red pepper flakes and pepper. Let the goat cheese melt down so that is can coat everything nicely. Now add your pasta and stir and coat well. At this point you will likely need to add a half cup of pasta water while stirring.

Now fold in the roasted asparagus and broccoli. IMG_9173

Finally gently fold in your flaked salmon followed by grated Parmesan cheese. You make need to add a little more pasta water to keep it shiny and moist. Serve and enjoy…

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Chicken Avocado Kale Salad with Spicy Lemon Vinaigrette

Chicken Avocado Kale Salad with Spicy Lemon Vinaigrette
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Salads are always a decent lunch option. Given my detox I have been making chicken for dinner and throwing in a few extra breasts for lunch and protein snacks. I can’t have dairy, nuts, sugars so trying to inject flavor so lemons are a decent option.

Spicy Lemon Vinaigrette
2 Lemons juiced
4 tbs of Olive Oil
Organic Spicy Mustard
Paprika
Garlic Salt
Turmeric

Salad
Kale Mix, green onion, roasted herb chicken, cherry tomatoes, 1/2 avocado…..dressed and mixed.

Spaghetti Squash Turkey Marinara

Spaghetti Squash Turkey Marinara
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This recipe is a great Paleo, Whole30, WW, GF, DF, 21 Day Body Makeover (good gosh) Italian dish that mimics a rich marinara meat sauce with angel hair pasta. Does it? No parm or goat cheese or more salt would be much more appetizing but it’s pretty good.

Ingredients:
spaghetti squash
lean organic ground turkey
7 cloves of minced garlic
1 yellow onion
28 0z of Natural Crushed Tomatoes (no preservatives, sugars etc..)
Fresh Basil
2 tbs of Coconut Oil (unrefined) or Ghee
Crushed Red Pepper
Smidge of Kosher Salt

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Directions:
1. Split and scoop out the seeds of the squash. Flesh side down put into a 400 degree oven and roast it for 40-50 minutes. Remove and let it cool.

2. Mince your onions and put into a medium heated pot with 1 tbs of oil/ghee until onions are softened. Add your ground turkey and cook out the pink. Now add your minced garlic and crushed red pepper (optional) and stir for a minute until finally adding your tomatoes with all the juice. Turn down to a simmer and let the flavors concentrate into a thick sauce. Add fresh torn basil before serving.

3. Take your cooled squash and work it with a fork to create spaghetti like noodles. Mix with your sauce to your liking and serve.
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Kale Chicken Balsamic Salad

Kale Chicken Balsamic Salad

Day 1 of my 21 day body makeover / detox http://www.21daybodymakeover.com
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Quick Salad that meets the program’s requirements of veggies and lean organic protein with no sugar, fruit, dairy, nuts or gluten. Do I wish I had blue cheese or goat cheese in it with some nuts and fruits? Yes of course but gotta detox before the holidays.

Ingredients:
Chicken
Organic Free Range Chicken Breast
Organic unrefined Coconut Oil
Penzey’s Buttermilk Seasoning
Penzey’s Ruth Ann’s Muskego Ave Chicken and Fish Seasoning (lemon peel, K Salt, Pepper, garlic, onion)
Smidge of Kosher salt

Dressing:
2/3 Olive Oil
2/3 GF Balsamic Vinegar
Penzey’s Sunny Day in Paris Seasoning
Minced garlic clove

Salad:
Kale mix with red cabbage
Sliced Carrots
Cucumber

1. Mix your dressing and shake well. I use a garlic crusher to get it as fine as possible.

2. Chicken – non stick grill pan. I butterflied my chicken breast and then I tenderized with mallet to get it even. I then added some heated up coconut oil and seasoned with Penzey’s seasonings (see above). Grilled until done and set aside. I went ahead and made three breasts for the week.

3. Combine dress and eat. You could keep all three components separate to keep from getting mushy if you happen to be taking it to work.

Check out Penzey’s spices and order on line if you don’t have a store near you. http://www.penzeys.com
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Creamy Jalapeno Ranch Dip (Chuy’s copycat)

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Chuy’s is a Mexican restaurant chain in Texas. If you make it down here, find one and go try their Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Chicken Enchiladas. They used to be only served on Wednesday but have since found a permanent home on the menu. Stupid name but the queso on top is perfectly spicy. When your server brings you chips and salsa (which is also awesome) ask him/her to bring you their “jalapeno ranch”. Good stuff.

Tried to replicate it a few times until I arrived at the following recipe.

Ingredients:
1 cup of Dukes Mayo
1/4 cup of buttermilk
1/4 cup of sour cream
Juice of half a lime
2 green onions
3 jalapenos seeded
3 roasted hatch chilies (seeded)
handful of Cilantro
pinch of cayenne
4 tbs of Ranch Dressing packet (up or down based upon taste)

Directions: Roast your chilies to char the skin and put into a paper bag to steam them so that you can easily remove the skin. Then seed the chilies and jalapenos and put everything in the blender except for lime juice and Ranch dressing Mix. Then add Ranch a tbs at a time and squeeze lime into the dressing. Continue to pulse and taste until you get it right.
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