Tag Archives: salad

Walnut Basil Pesto Chicken Pasta Salad

Walnut Basil Pesto Chicken Pasta

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Walnut Basil Pesto Chicken Pasta
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This spring I built two raised garden beds and tried my hand at a garden of herbs, fruits, and vegetables. It took off like crazy, especially the squash and cucumbers. I continue to learn about the benefits and purposes of pruning. So I have a few basil plants that are massive but I learned they are too leggy and I failed to prune properly. Nothing has flowered, so I caught before it changed flavors. The good news is that I have a boat load of beautiful green basil.

So I am going to make a pesto and incorporate some chicken and pasta for dinner. Jill loves pesto pasta so this should be right down her alley. My grocery stores pine nuts weren’t too attractive so I am going with walnuts instead.


Ingredients:

Basil Pesto
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 cloves of garlic
2 cups of fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup walnuts
1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 breasts of free range chicken (seasoned, grilled and diced)
1.5 cups of cooked al dente penne pasta
1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes sliced
Grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbs of Butter
1 tbs of AP Flour
1/4 cup of cream
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Directions:
1. Make your pesto by first toasting your walnuts on the stove for a few minutes. Don’t let them burn. et them cool and then add all the Pesto ingredients and blend until smooth. Use Olive Oil and lemon juice to give it the thickness you like.
2. Season your chicken and grill outside of in a pan with olive oil and cook until 160-165k. Remove and when cooled a bit dice it up.
3. Cook pasta per directions but remove about 1 minute before the pasta is al dente. Grain and set aside.
4. Lastly make a basic roux by adding butter and flour, and stir for 2 minutes on medium-low heat until golden brown.
5. Slowly add the cream until smooth. Now add your chicken, pasta and sliced tomatoes.
Slowly add the pesto while stirring. When you get it flavored to your taste add some more parmesan cheese and serve.

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Walnut Basil Pesto Chicken Pasta

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Walnut Basil Pesto Chicken Pasta

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This spring I built two raised garden beds and tried my hand at a garden of herbs, fruits, and vegetables. It took off like crazy, especially the squash and cucumbers. I continue to learn about the benefits and purposes of pruning. So I have a few basil plants that are massive but I learned they are too leggy and I failed to prune properly. Nothing has flowered, so I caught before it changed flavors. The good news is that I have a boat load of beautiful green basil.

So I am going to make a pesto and incorporate some chicken and pasta for dinner. Jill loves pesto pasta so this should be right down her alley. My grocery stores pine nuts weren’t too attractive so I am going with walnuts instead.


Ingredients:

Basil Pesto
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 cloves of garlic
2 cups of fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup walnuts
1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 breasts of free range chicken (seasoned, grilled and diced)
1.5 cups of cooked al dente penne pasta
1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes sliced
Grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbs of Butter
1 tbs of AP Flour
1/4 cup of cream
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Directions:
1. Make your pesto by first toasting your walnuts on the stove for a few minutes. Don’t let them burn. et them cool and then add all the Pesto ingredients and blend until smooth. Use Olive Oil and lemon juice to give it the thickness you like.
2. Season your chicken and grill outside of in a pan with olive oil and cook until 160-165k. Remove and when cooled a bit dice it up.
3. Cook pasta per directions but remove about 1 minute before when the pasta is al dente. Grain and set aside.
4. Lastly, make a basic roux by adding butter and flour and stir for 2 minutes on medium-low heat until golden brown.
5. Slowly add the cream until smooth. Now add your chicken, pasta, and sliced tomatoes.
Slowly add the pesto while stirring. When you get it flavored to your taste add some more parmesan cheese and serve.

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Sombrero Salad with Grilled Chicken

Sombrero Salad with Grilled Chicken

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Sombrero Salad with Grilled Chicken
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I was leafing through one of my Rachael Ray’s magazines and spotted an interesting salad that had roasted corn, grilled chicken and avocado. Before I go any further, I must say regardless of what you think of Rachael Ray she puts out really simple but delicious recipes. I don’t watch her shows or anything but I do have her cookbooks and take her magazine. She cranks out so many recipes it’s insane to comprehend. I rarely disappointed in anything I try from her. She, Ina and Rhee really have a knack for churning out great recipes that turn out well.

So I saw this salad in her magazine but didn’t really want a lettuce intensive salad. Interesting tidbit, some guy released a report about salads and how they aren’t that great for you. He states that they are mostly water and when compared to other vegetables the nutrient ratio is super low. Meaning if you eat a big salad without a lot of other stuff in it you are eating low nutrition water. When you look at how spinach and other greens cook down so much it kind of makes sense. Most fruits and vegetables contain a lot of water, heck proteins. But it’s interesting to consider water to nutritional value ratios.

I digress again. I took some chicken out in the morning and poured in some lime juice, cilantro stems, chili seasoning, oil and a little tequila and I let it marinate for a few hours. The acid from the lime tenderizes it. I picked up some poblanos, corn, avocados, shallots, cherry tomatoes, 1 can of organic pinto beans. That was the base of my salad. As for the dressing I simply took some sour cream and mixed in some adobo sauce and lime juice.

This ate kind of like a cold version of Chipotle bowl minus the rice. The roasted veggies and adobo sauce gave it a smokey element and the corn popped with sweetness and the beans and avocado added a creamy element. For crunch I did crumble 3-4 tortilla chips.

Ingredients:
2 Chicken Breasts (free range / air chilled)
1 avocado
3 ears of corn
2 Poblano Peppers
Handful of cherry tomatoes
1 can of organic pinto or black beans
1 bunch of cilantro
1 small purple onion
2 limes
Shot of tequila
Chili seasoning
1/4 sour cream
1 adobo pepper with 1 tbs of sauce
a few tortilla chips
Goat cheese or Feta or Cojita Cheese

Directions:
1. Marinate your chicken breasts for three hours up to overnight in the juice of one lime, shot of tequila, about 1 tbs of chili seasoning and the stems of your cilantro.

2. Fire up a grill pan or your grill on medium high heat and put your shucked corn and poblano’s on the pan (no oil). Put a char on them and pull them off when nicely blackened. Set aside the corn and put the peppers in a bowl with plastic wrap to steam. After both cooled. Remove the skin of the peppers, seed them and dice them up. Cut the kernels from the cobs.

3. Rinse the beans, dice the tomatoes and red onions. In a bowl combine these with the corn and peppers you blackened. IMG_0546

4. Mix your sour cream, juice of half a lime, and adobo peppers and sauce. Stir it into your veggies to coat them well.

5. Back to the chicken. On that same pan, turn down the heat to medium and cook your chicken until done. When done, let it cool and then cut against the grain at a 45 degree angle

6. Plate it by crushing some chips in the bottom of a bowl. Spoon the veggie mixture into a mound and place your chicken and avocado on top. Sprinkle some cilantro and goat cheese to finish. You could spoon in some salsa but really the salad is kind of a chunky salad.
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Asian Chicken Noodle Kale Salad

Asian Chicken Noodle Kale

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Asian Chicken Noodle Kale Salad
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We were watching Ree, the Pioneer Woman, the other day and her show was about using foods that represented the colors of summer. We hear all the time that foods that are colorful have more health benefits. Of course Kale makes an appearance because it is “such the thing to eat these days”. Truth be told I love collard and mustard greens more than Kale. I find it tough and too chewy so I cut it finely and use it as a supporting character vs the lead of my dishes. Maybe it’s a bit mental too, because the Kale zealots can really be annoying and I tend to have allergies towards people who take a food too far.

I took Ree’s idea and recipe and used it as my foundation. I marinated two chicken breasts overnight in soy and rice wine vinegar. The next day I hammered the to a consistent thickness and grilled them outside until done. I let them rest and sliced thinly and included them on the side of my salad.

Red Cabbage, carrots and Kale have a lot of structure but I found that the “dressing” mellows the stark rawness The flavors were terrific with blends of soy, Sriracha, garlic, ginger, rice wine vinegar, hoisin sauce and hints of fish sauce and sesame oil. Really a nice healthy salad that can easily be converted to Paleo, Clean, Whole30 etc..

Ingredients:
2 free range chicken breasts
3 tbs of GF Soy
3 tbs of Rice Wine Vinegar

Salad
Pre-packaged Kale salad
1 small head of shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup of pre-shredded carrots
1 red pepper sliced thinly
Angel Hair Pasta for two (cooked and cooled)
handful of peanuts rough chopped
4 green onions (minced)
Handful of Cilantro (rough chopped)

Dressing
1/4 cup of Hoisin Sauce
1/3 cup of GF Soy Sauce
1/4 cup of Rice Wine Vinegar
1 tbs of Sriracha Sauce
1 tsp of Fish Sauce
2 tsp of Sesame Oil
1 tsp of Chili oil
1/4 cup – 1/2 cup of Olive Oil
2 tbs of Brown Sugar
3 cloves of garlic minced
2 tbs of ginger minced

Directions
1. Marinate your chicken at least 3 hours and up to overnight in soy and rice wine vinegar.

2. Get your grill fired up to about 350-400 degrees. Put your chicken on the grill and while it is cooking get to chopping your veggies and dressing. IMG_0369

3. Make your dressing by mincing your garlic and ginger and then add the rest. Whisk it violently until it is well combined. Put it in the fridge and chop your veggies.

4. Boil your angel hair pasta (or any noodle you prefer) to package directions. When done, strain them and run cool water over them to cool them off.

5. So now you have your chicken chopped, your veggies chopped and in a large bowl, your dressing ready, your noodles ready and your rough chopped peanuts. Pour half the dressing into the veggies and toss them until well coated. Slowly stir in your cooked noodles. Taste it and dress accordingly (you can always add more dressing but you can’t undress and overdressed salad) I put a little dressing on my grilled chopped chicken and served it on the side of my salad so that I could control my protein/veggie bites.
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Pineapple Broccoli Salad

Pineapple Broccoli Salad

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Pineapple Broccoli Salad
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I planned to make Huli Huli chicken and while it had some sweet it also was spicy and tangy looking. Since the sauce had pineapple juice and was Hawaiian I decided to somehow marry up pineapple and broccoli.
I also wanted to stay cold and use raw broccoli. I remember a salad side that is served at local place called “Short Stop”. Jill and I would always get the broccoli salad as a side. So that shaped and steered me into coming up with this recipe.

It’s fresh, crunchy, cold with a touch of sweetness.

Ingredients:
Couple of Crowns of Broccoli (diced up)
1/4 cup of diced pineapple (tiny pieces)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup walnuts
4 green onions diced
2 strips of crispy bacon
1/2 cup of Duke’s Mayo
3 tbs of sugar
2 tbs of white vinegar

Directions:
1. Super easy. Dice it all up and then make mix your wet ingredients. The broccoli is raw and crisp so the longer it is in the sauce the less crunchy it will be. I say 30minutes is a good time in the sauce.

2. Make your crispy bacon by baking for 50 minutes on 300 or microwave for about 3-4 minutes(stopping about every 40 seconds to check on it) Crumble on top of the served salad.
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Asian Chicken Salad (Houston’s Copycat)

Asian Chicken Salad (Houston's Copycat)

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Asian Chicken Salad
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Houston’s copy cat attempt have been in several of my previous posts. This one is a mash up of an Asian Chicken Salad and Houston’s Grilled Chicken Salad. What I like about their dressing is you pick up a peanut butter note in their dressing. I just love peanut butter complimented Asian flavors like Soy, Fish Sauce, Vinegar and Sriracha. Sweet and the heat just work.

I found a recipe posted by Miss V on Food. com for a copycat dressing recipe and another one for a Chinese Chicken Salad. I adjusted some things and added my own them. The key with any salad is the lettuce to dressing ratio. So make this and add a little at a time. Taste it along the way.

Directions
2 Air chilled free range chicken breasts (pounded evenly)
glug of Soy and Rice Wine Vinegar and lime dressing (below)

1 large carrot julienne cut into match stick size
Mixed Greens and Romaine (chopped in ribbons)
3 green onions
Cilantro
Toasted Asian Rice Noodles

Lime Dressing
1/2 cup of Lime juice (fresh)
6 tbs of local honey
2 tsp of honey mustard
2 tsp of dijon mustard
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
Pinch of Kosher salt and pepper

Peanut Sauce:
4 tbs of Soy Sauce (GF)
4 tbs of Organic Peanut butter
2 tbs of hot water
2 tsp of sesame oil
2 tsp of Sriracha
2 tsp of minced ginger

Directions:
1. Go ahead and mix both dressings and put the lime dressing in the Fridge. Cut your cilantro, onions, romaine, and carrots.

2. In a grill pan on medium heat, remove your chicken from the marinade and grill on both sides for about 4-5 minutes. The soy sauce will char the chicken so oil your pan and watch your heat. We like it grilled with black marks. Remove cooked chicken to rest.

3. Just before serving cut your chicken into bite sized pieces or strips. Add the lime dressing to the lettuce and veggies a little at a time until salad is coated but not too wet. Add the chicken and a little bit of the peanut sauce. Mix around about 15 times with tongs until it is all coated. Top with toasted rice noodles and enjoy.
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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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Tuna Noodle Salad

Tuna Noodle Salad
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When I am not on the road I work out of my house whilst multitasking between growing a beard and shushing our pugs.
For whatever reason squirrels and any human dropping off a package are apparently akin to Freddy Kruger in the pug world. So when I don’t have any leftovers I am always poking around the fridge trying to whip up something fast and decent.

I keep a couple of cans of tuna on hand and decided to whip up one of those tuna salads with a little pasta thrown in. Of course I have my Wickles Pickles, Dukes Mayo and Tabasco on hand. So I drained the cans and emptied the into a bowl. Started boiling a small pot of noodles and cooked them al dente. I wanted a little chew to them.

Mix in some Dukes Mayo and Wickles Pickles and a few dashes of Tabasco. Chop up any veggies you have on hand like celery, green onion, carrots, radishes etc… Mix in and add Kosher salt to taste.

I like to also throw a curve ball spice into the mix like a pinch of curry or cumin or Soy. I simply lay it on top of a bed of lettuce and top with a few oyster crackers.

It’s a great way to get your mercury in a hurry. 🙂

Please consider always using natural caught and processed Tuna. No Nets
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