Chinese Chicken Slaw

June 21, 2010

Chef’s Notes: I was prowling the produce section of the grocery on Saturday in search of a new veggie. I found broccoli cole slaw, which I’d never heard of, and I love broccoli. There was a recipe on the back of the bag which I modified slightly to come up with this version. It is so yummy!

Chinese Chicken Slaw
4 servings

One 12-ounce bag Broccoli Cole Slaw
1# boneless chicken breasts, diced, cooked, cooled
One 8-ounce can water chestnuts, drained and sliced into thin strips
1/2 C. mandarin oranges, drained
1/3 C. Marzetti Sweet & Sour Salad dressing

Toss everything together and chill.

Calories 212.5
Carbs 17.5
Fat 4.6
Protein 25.3


Crunchy Tuna Salad (with no mayo)

May 23, 2010

Chef’s Notes: I was never a fan of tuna salad – I didn’t like the taste of the tuna, I hate biting into bits of raw onion, and all that fatty mayo made me want to gag. (I dare you to look up the nutrition info for mayo. Seriously.)

So, I tried albacore tuna, and it’s so much better. Then I played around with different mayo substitutes and veggie additions. Those experiments resulted in this recipe.

Crunchy Tuna Salad (No Mayo)
(Serves 3)

In a mixing bowl, toss together:
1 12-ounce can solid white albacore tuna in water (I use Chicken of the Sea)
1/4 C. diced carrots
1/4 C. diced celery
1/4 C. diced radish
1/4 C. fresh parsley, snipped
1/4 C. fresh dill, snipped


Place in food processor and pulse until smooth:
4 oz. firm tofu, squeeze to remove moisture and crumble
1/2 C. cottage cheese
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1 T. minced shallot
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. crushed brown mustard seed
Pinch of fresh ground black pepper

Spoon tofu/cottage cheese mixture over tuna mixture and stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the flavors to blend.

Nutrition info – Calories: 166. Fat: 4. Carbs: 4. Protein: 32.
Calculated at Spark Recipes.

Serving idea: Place a mound of tuna salad on a lettuce leaf, sprinkle with pumpkin seeds, top with diced tomatoes or avocado, and roll it up burrito-style.

Chicken Salad with Walnuts and Tarragon

May 17, 2010

Chef’s Notes: This recipe is from a coffee shop I once worked at, and is my absolute favorite chicken salad. The only changes I made to the recipe was to add some celery for more crunch, and to toast the walnuts to intensify their flavor.

The flavor of this chicken salad is incredible…I love tarragon! Using Greek yogurt instead of all mayonnaise cuts back on the fat, adds some extra protein, and gives a little tangy zip to the flavor.

Chicken Salad with Walnuts and Tarragon
(4-6 servings)

3 bone-in chicken breasts
1 onion
Parsley and black pepper
1 C. chicken broth

1/2 C. walnut pieces
1/2 C. celery, diced
1/2 C. plain Greek yogurt
1/4 C. mayonnaise
2 T. tarragon

Place chicken breasts in roasting pan. Cut onion in half and add to pan. Pour in chicken broth. Sprinkle chicken with some parsley and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool completely, then remove chicken from bone. Cut into bite-sized cubes. (Or you can use 3 cups chicken that you have on hand.)

Toast the walnuts by placing in small cast iron skillet and heat over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Shake the pan frequently to prevent the walnuts from burning. Cool completely.

In a mixing bowl, combine cooked cubed chicken, toasted walnuts, celery, yogurt, mayonnaise, and tarragon. Stir to mix thoroughly. Chill for at least an hour before serving.

Nutrition info:
(when divided by 4 servings) Calories: 400. Fat: 22. Carbs: 4. Protein: 46.
(when divided by 6 servings) Calories: 267. Fat: 15. Carbs: 2.5. Protein: 30.5.
Calculated at Spark Recipes.

Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Feta, and Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

May 9, 2010

Chef’s Notes: Wanting to create a salad, I contemplated what I had in the fridge, and wondered if strawberries and feta were compatible flavors. I googled and found umpteen recipes, so I decided the answer was yes. I used the principles of several different recipes to come up with this one.

Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Feta, and Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette
Serves 4

4 C. fresh spinach leaves
1 C. sliced strawberries
1/4 C. feta cheese
1/4 C. walnut pieces, toasted

3 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. honey
Pinch of black pepper
1/4 C. olive oil

To make vinaigrette, combine vinegar, honey, and pepper in food processor. Process while slowly drizzling in olive oil. Continue to process until mixture is completely combined and frothy.

In a medium size mixed bowl, toss together spinach and strawberries. Pour in dressing and mix. Top with feta cheese and walnuts.

Spinach Pear Salad with Sweet & Spicy Nuts and Blue-Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs

October 5, 2009

Chef’s Notes: A very complicated name for a very uncomplicated dish! 🙂 I love a salad made with spinach, pears, blue cheese, and nuts. (Google it and you’ll find a billion results.) I’ve toyed with the idea of making this combination into an entrée salad by adding some sort of meat. On Saturday, I picked up some pears at the farmer’s market, wanted to make the spinach-pear salad, and had some ground beef lurking in the fridge. Hrm. Maybe…meatballs in the salad? Maybe…stuff the blue cheese into the meatballs instead of tossing it in the salad? Too weird?

Well, it is a bit odd, I’ll admit. But it’s also a delicious and delightful blend of flavors. It’s satisfying and filling without being heavy.

Spinach Pear Salad with Sweet & Spicy Nuts and Blue-Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs

Spinach Pear Salad with Sweet & Spicy Nuts and Blue-Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs

Spinach Pear Salad with Sweet & Spicy Nuts and Blue-Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs

(Serves 2)

The Meatballs
1/2 T. olive oil
8 oz. ground beef
1/2 C. panko
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. fresh parsely, finely minced
1 tsp. fresh thyme, finely minced
1/2 T. lime (or lemon) zest
1/2 T. lime (or lemon) juice
Dash each of salt and pepper
1/4 C. crumbled blue cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the olive oil on a baking sheet. In a mixing bowl, combine ground beef, panko, egg yolk, garlic, rosemary, thyme, lime zest and juice, and salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly with your hands. Divide the meat mixture into 8 equal pieces.

Take one of these pieces and form into a flat circle. Sprinkle a small amount (about 1 teaspoon) of blue cheese on the circle of meat, and then form meat around the blue cheese to form a meatball. Place the meatball on the baking sheet. Repeat this whole process with remaining meat mixture until you have formed eight meatballs.

Bake meatballs for 30 minutes. After the meatballs are in the oven, immediately begin to make the nuts.

The Nuts
2 T. unsalted butter
1 T. brown sugar
1/2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy Seasoning Blend (or a mix of cayenne pepper, cumin, and coriander, which is basically what the blend is)
1/2 C. unsalted nuts (I used a blend of almonds, pecans, and walnuts)

Grease a small baking dish with one tablespoon of the butter. In a skillet, melt the other tablespoon of butter. Add sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and Mrs. Dash. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add nuts and cook until liquid thickens and coats nuts. (This only takes a minute or two.) Spread nuts on baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake, stirring once or twice, about 15 minutes.

While the meatballs and nuts are cooking, prepare the salad.

The Salad
4-6 C. baby spinach leaves
2 ripe Bartlett pears
Juice from half a lime (or lemon)

Wash the spinach leaves, remove the stems, and tear into bite size pieces. Peel and core the pears and cut into bite-size pieces.

The Assembly
Divide the spinach between two plates and arrange the pears around the edges; drizzle with lime juice. (The lime juice is all the dressing this needs (in my opinion). There’s a lot of bold intense flavors going on in this salad.) Place hot meatballs on the spinach and garnish with the nuts.