Summertime Salads

Here’s a little compilation of my favorite summertime salads.

I was talking to the lovely and gorgeous Beth the other day at my cousin McKenna’s open house (yay!  done with high school…on to more schooling!  HA!  Life…).  We talked about the “famous” Wild Rice Salad.  To which my friend Jenny (from Jenny’s Famous Chicken Salad ) said she was very much expecting me to show up with this particular salad for the open house…alas I made Laura’s Mac and Cheese .

Why?  Because I worked all day Thursday, spent Friday at BFF’s Aislinn’s yard sale without Aislinn (because her kids are jinxed and always end up at the emergency room on yard sale day…!) and finally at a Lacrosse Tournament on Saturday from 8am till 4pm for 4 games….so I made a quadruple batch of mac and cheese in 40 minutes (I am not kidding you!) so it could be ready for the open house at 6pm.

And this is why I didn’t show up with the perfectly lovely summer Wild Rice Salad.

And this is why I am sharing with you delicious wonderful ideas for your summertime feeding frenzy!  Also because Beth and Jenny told me to make this little compilation and I aim to please!

Wild Rice Salad

The "famous" Wild Rice Salad. Trust me once you make it you will fall in love!

The “famous” Wild Rice Salad. Trust me once you make and taste it you will fall in love!

Southwest Chicken Salad

Mr. Man's amazing chicken salad....love a man that can cook!

Mr. Man’s amazing chicken salad….love a man that can cook!

Grilled Potato Pesto Salad

a perfect change for the old mayo potato salad! Scrumptious!

a perfect change from the old mayo potato salad! Scrumptious!

Best Caesar Salad EVER!!!!!

I make this waaaaay too much but it is beyond incredible, it's more than perfect!  I think it's magical (yup! magical!)

I make this way too much but it is beyond incredible, it’s more than perfect! I think it’s magical (yup! magical!)

Kale Salad

I have to be honest...I have made this salad about 5 times so far this summer! I adore it!

I have to be honest…I have made this salad about 5 times so far this summer! I adore it!

Angie’s Summer Salad

Healthy, fresh, and so easy to make!

Healthy and Fresh, the addition of crisp apples is perfect!

Chicken Ramen Salad

the infamous potluck Ramen Salad! If it's good why change it, right?

The infamous potluck Ramen Salad! If it’s good why change it, right?

Asparagus and Parmesan Salad

this salad is my old stand-by salad...been making this since the girls were tiny babies!

this salad is my old stand-by salad…been making this since the girls were tiny babies!

Shaved Asparagus Salad

I know 2 asparagus salads...yes...they are equally amazing!  DELISH!

I know…2 asparagus salads…yes…they are equally amazing! DELISH!

Cauliflower Salad

I think the capes might be what makes this so wonderful

I think the capers might be what makes this so wonderful

Nicole’s Fresh Strawberry and Spinach Salad

so in love with this fresh colorful salad

So in love with this fresh colorful salad

Orzo Tuna Salad

Orzo Tuna Salad

Who wants a heavy tuna casserole when you can make this fresh and gorgeous salad! YUM!

Fruit Salad with Orange and Agave Sauce

 

Some days you need something a little fruity!

Some days you need something a little fruity!

Jenny’s Delicious Chicken Salad

I couldn't leave out this mind blowing mouth watering salad!

I couldn’t leave out this mind blowing mouth watering salad!

Hope this gives you a little taste of summer!  Let’s get cooking!

Oh and before I go….

Cheers to you Beth! I know it's one of your favorite!

Cheers to you Beth! I know it’s one of your favorites!

A Lemontini makes everyone happy!

Peace and Let’s Have a Salad,

Isabelle

Nicole’s Fresh Strawberry and Spinach Salad

Fresh Strawberry and Spinach Salad

Fresh Strawberry and Spinach Salad

Nicole is one of our Lacrosse parents.  We had a lovely end of the season Award “pitch-in” dinner.  Nicole showed up with this AMAZING salad.  So in good Isabelle fashion I asked for the recipe….not in a subtle quiet way but a direct reply to all email that I was looking for the recipe….unless it was top-secret (but we all know I wasn’t about to back down that quietly).

I got the recipe and her blessing to share it with you my wonderful amazing fantastic readers!  <3

I am/was a soccer player, therefore Lacrosse is foreign territory to me.  I know NOTHING about Lacrosse.  Mind you, I was a soccer mom before I became a Lacrosse mom.  I may have overstepped my bound being a soccer mom so it’s best I stay a Lacrosse Mom.

Here’s why I need to be a Lacrosse Mom: when Sunshine was playing soccer, she would be the back up goalie.  Once while she was in the goal, I kept telling her (from the side line as a super shark soccer mom…not proud) to do this or do that…etc…she was paying NO attention to me.  NONE.  So finally I said: “Can’t you hear me?”  She screamed (and I mean screamed for everyone to hear): “Yeah MOM I can hear you!  The whole world can hear YOU”.  I kept my trap shut after that and even now at Lacrosse you will find me in the cheering section: “way to go girls!  Keep up the good work girls!  Awesome!  Great! Amazing!  I love this game!! ….”

I have no clue what I am doing!

all I can say it: YUM SO FRESH!

Awesome! Great! Amazing! I love this salad!

But I know a delicious salad when I eat one!  ;)

Ingredients:

For the salad:

1 9-ounce bag Baby spinach leaves (about 6 cups)

1 lb. container strawberries, sliced

1 cup shredded mozzarella

1 cup chopped pecans

Dressing:

1/2 cup sugar (mine was shy of 1/2 cup…trying to lower our sugar intake!)

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon each poppy seeds & sesame seeds
How to:
In a medium size mason jar, combine your sugar, oil, red wine vinegar, worcestershire  sauce, poppy seeds and sesame seeds.  Give this a shake like you mean it.  This can be prepared ahead of time, put in your fridge and shaken (like a dirty Martini….) when ready to use!
there is separation in the ranks!

there is separation in the ranks!

see what a little shaking can do!

Shaken….not stirred  ;)

In a large serving bowl combine your spinach, strawberries, shredded mozzarella and chopped pecans.  Toss with dressing when ready to serve.
stunning colors!

stunning colors!

action shot....just 'cause I can!

action shot….just ’cause I can!

fresh, healthy, pretty, and flavor galor!

fresh, healthy, pretty, and flavor galore!

Note: add the dressing right before you serve, I don’t think this salad sits very well unattended…it tends to get temperamental and looks sad… ;)
one last look, it's worth it! <3

one last look, it’s worth it! <3

Peace and Know your Sports,
Isabelle

Cauliflower Salad

Cauliflower Salad

Cauliflower Salad

I saw a wonderful Romanesco Summer Salad in Delicious Living Magazine, that I pick up at my local health food store.  Problem is that Romanesco Cauliflower is not readily available at my grocery store.  Honestly I think I might have seen it there once since we moved here 8 years ago!  That certainly doesn’t make it an ingredient I think of when I cook!  I tend to be one who likes easily and abundantly available ingredients…some might call that laziness but I call it “make it work with what you have”!

This is my version of this delicious salad.  It is fresh, easy to make and loaded with vitamins!  It is a great side for grilled chicken, fish, grilled steaks, burgers, etc…. I think the addition of capers makes this salad perfect!

Look at those gorgeous colors!

Look at those gorgeous colors!

Ingredients:

1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces

Zest and juice 1 lemon

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 cup red onion, thinly chopped

1/3 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped

3 tablespoons fresh chives, roughly chopped

4 tablespoons rinsed and drained capers, coarsely chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste

How to:

In a large pot, bring water to a boil over high heat.  Add cauliflower, cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 2–3 minutes, until crisp-tender.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer cauliflower to a rimmed baking sheet or clean kitchen towel, spreading it in a single layer, to cool.

In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, lemon zest, lemon juice, and about 1/4 teaspoon each salt & pepper.  Slowly add oil, whisking constantly to emulsify.

simple yet delicious dressing

simple yet delicious dressing

Put cauliflower in a serving bowl.  Add bell pepper, onion, basil, chives, capers, and vinaigrette; toss gently to combine.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.  It will keep well for several hours, you may want to toss again prior to serving.

all in!  Ready for the dressing!

all in! Ready for the dressing!

some sort of action shot for you guys ;)

some sort of action shot for you guys ;)

ready to chill for a little bit

ready to chill for a little bit

Note: if you have a steamer you may use it to cook your cauliflower.

oh my goodness this is simply amazingly scrumptious!

oh my goodness this is simply amazingly scrumptious!

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Peace and I like Abundant,

Isabelle

 

 

 

Kale Salad

Kale Salad

Kale Salad

I know….Kale is the new black.  I mean we can’t go anywhere these days without kale being IT.  It’s fabulous, it’s good for you, it’s a super food, it’s healthy, it’s easy to grow…blah, blah, blah….

I don’t want to sound like a broken record here but I have been a super fan of this super food for many years now.  Last year my crop of kale was simply amazing.  We were able to blanch and freeze loads of kale for these winter months.  So why am I making a fresh kale salad?  Because I color outside the lines, I walk to the beat of my own drums, I like to complicate my life as best I can, and on and on!

Fact is: now and then in the middle of winter your body still craves fresh stuff even if your freezer is overflowing with delicious food from your very own garden!

Ingredients:

For the vinaigrette:

1/2 onion minced

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

1/3 cup olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

For the salad:

6 cups fresh kale, thinly sliced/chiffonade

1 whole red pepper thinly sliced (or about 6 small red peppers)

4 green onions, thinly sliced

3/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

1/2 cup fresh mozzarella, cubed (optional)

How to:

For the vinaigrette:

In a large bowl combine your onion, vinegar, lemon juice and dijon mustard.  Whisk well.  Slowly add your olive oil and continue whisking until you get a smooth consistency.  Taste, add your salt and pepper to your liking.  Set aside.

this is a great salad dressing for many different salads you might like

this is a great vinaigrette for many different salads you might like

For the salad:

Prep all your salad ingredients.  *You must thinly slice or chiffonade your kale.

you must first remove the "tough" stem of your kale

you must first remove the “tough” stem of your kale

chiffonade (fancy cooking word for thinly sliced!)

chiffonade (fancy cooking term for thinly sliced!)

Add your kale, red pepper, green onion and parsley to your vinaigrette.  Toss everything well and let this sit/marinate for about 10 minutes.  The kale will absorb all the wonderful flavors of your vinaigrette and take some of the bitterness out.  Add your pine nuts and and mozzarella (if using) toss well and serve.

all in!  Time to "debitter"...I am aware that is not a cooking term ;)

all in! Time to “debitter”…I am aware that is not a cooking term ;)

so gorgeous, so delicious and so good for you! YAY Super Food!

so gorgeous, so delicious and so good for you! YAY Super Food!

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Peace and Be Fresh,

Isabelle

Grilled Potato Pesto Salad

Grilled Potato Pesto Salad....bad picture delicious none the less

Grilled Potato Pesto Salad….bad picture, delicious none the less

Beware….the next few paragraphs have NOTHING to do with this delicious potato salad!

Fact: I am clumsy

Fact: I have said this about a million gazillion times before

Fact: people who live with me KNOW I am very clumsy

Fact: one would think that said people would not make our home an obstacle course….one would be wrong

Proof…..

So the other morning at around 5:35am I decided that I could no longer wait and HAD to get up and use the facility….also known as the toilet (sorry to be so blunt) it’s pitch black (it usually is at 5:35am) and I walk right into this not closed not open door that my sweet husband left for me!

not the best picture but you get the idea

not the best picture but you get the idea

The thud was so loud and the especially awful grunt that left my lungs woke my husband up in a flash.  I hit the ground and started to moan.  Not in a pretty sexy way either.  He said: “where are you?”  (because you know it’s STILL pitch black at this point!!!).  I didn’t have the presence of mind to answer.  I was confused and on the verge of tears (yes I have to be honest, I wanted to cry).  Matt turned on the bathroom light and came to my rescue.  I didn’t cry because he lives with three women and he thinks crying is too much….I kind of see his point.  So I held back the tears.  I am strong like that!??  He then realized what he had done (yes it’s his fault) in the middle of the night when he got up to use the facility he decided it would be a wonderful awesome idea to “kind of close the door” so we didn’t hear the wind flapping our bathroom vent and making noises….mmmmmm this is where I am confused.  Wouldn’t you close the door ALL the way in order to keep the noise out?  I am wondering if he is preparing me for something…maybe he signed us up for the Amazing Race and wants me to be on alert?  Or is this amusing?  Either way I am going to milk this injury for all its worth!

Yes, this story has nothing to do with my delicious potato salad but it happened at the same time…sort of…I don’t make potato salad at 5:35am.  I usually sleep and don’t hit doors with my face!

So here is a fantastic and not so full of mayo potato salad!

wow....my bowl is really messy!  Usually means it was extra good!

wow….my bowl is really messy! Usually means it was extra good!

Ingredients:

For the potatoes:

2lbs potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1-inch thick slices

Salt & Pepper

3-4 tablespoons olive oil

For the Pesto:

4 cups packed basil leaves (or arugula, spinach, kale, beet greens…etc..)

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts (or almonds, pecans, walnuts, pepitas..etc..)

1/2 cup parmesan cheese (or romano, sharp cheddar, swiss, etc…no soft cheeses)

5-6 garlic cloves

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

3/4 cup olive oil

How to:

For the potatoes:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add a heaping tablespoon of salt.  Add your sliced potatoes and cook for about 4 minutes until not quite done.  Drain and let cool for 10 minutes or so.  Add your olive oil, salt and pepper.  Toss to coat your potatoes (be gentle they are tender)  Heat your grill and add your potatoes to a medium heat.  Gently grill on both side until you have lovely grilled marks.  I think 3 minutes or so per side should do it, depending on your grill.  Toss with 1 cup of freshly made pesto.  Serve with more fresh basil and parmesan cheese.

nice grilled marks!

nice grill marks!

all ready!

all ready!

For the Pesto:

Put everything in your food processor and give it your best shot!  You will need 1 cup of pesto for the potatoes, use the rest as a pizza sauce or toss with your favorite noodles or rice, so delicious!

tender, grilled and dressed with lots of pesto! Simply mouth watering.

tender, grilled and dressed with lots of pesto! Simply mouth watering.

Note:  Pesto is just a formula for me.  I use what I have.  This time I had plenty beet greens from my garden, it gave my pesto a purpleish kind of hue, very pretty.  I used almonds and an Italian blend cheese.  It’s simple, go with the formula and try different themes.  Delicious and easy.

Printer Friendly: Grilled Potato Pesto Salad

Peace and Thud!

Isabelle

FYI…in defense of my sweet husband, he did admit he closed the door but evidently didn’t “shut the door” which probably means it moved to a more dangerous position in the middle of the night!

Find my recipe here as well:

The Best Caesar Salad….EVER!

Best Ceasar Salad EVER!

Best Caesar Salad EVER!

Bold Statement.  Maybe.  I don’t make statements like this easily, trust me.  But when my friend Angie came over with her peeps a while ago she brought a salad to go along with the lasagna I was making.  Can I tell you I almost fell off my chair when I took a bite of her salad.  It was perfect.  Simply perfect.  I waited for the appropriate time to ask for the recipe.  I didn’t want her to think I was some crazy foodie blogger that only cares about food….oh wait…I am that.  Regardless, she gave me the recipe and the go-ahead to blog about it.  I think most of my friends know by now that if I ask for a recipe and you actually give it to me then it’s a sure bet it’s going to show up here!  I do that simply because I care so much about you guys I want to have the best of the best….and this recipe is the best of the best Caesar salad….in my humble opinion!

a little grilled chicken to top this amazing salad

a little grilled chicken to top this amazing salad

Ingredients:

1 garlic clove-peeled and minced

1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 egg yolk

1/2 cup olive oil

splash Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 Lemon

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Romaine Lettuce-rinsed and dried (about 1 1/2 to 2 Romaine hearts)

How to:

Using your hands, tear off chunks of lettuce from the Romaine hearts and break apart (do not use a knife to cut).  Place in bowl.  Set aside.

Hearts of Romaine...crisp and fresh

Hearts of Romaine…crisp and fresh

For Dressing:

Place your garlic into a medium bowl and add your red wine vinegar.  Smash and stir.   Add oil, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and egg yoke.  (You have to coddle the egg -which means place it in boiling water for 45 sec., then crack open and just use yolk).  Then add the juice from 1/2 of lemon.  Stir really well and pour onto lettuce.  Toss until coated.  Add Parmesan cheese and croutons to your liking.  Toss to combine.  Serve and wait for the applause.

gorgeous golden salad dressing, the key to success!

gorgeous golden salad dressing, the key to success!

I can't tell you how simply amazing this salad taste...just look how lovely it grabs you attention!

I can’t tell you how simply amazing this salad tastes…just look how lovely it is!

Note:  This salad is perfectly delicious on it’s own, as a side or topped with your favorite protein. I selected grilled chicken breast for our little supper.  Fantastic!

ready to dig in!

ready to dig in!

Another note: I had never coddled an egg until I made this salad.  Don’t be afraid to try it, it is quite easy and you will have peace of mind that you are not eating a “raw” egg.  I would also advise you to use organic farm eggs whenever possible.  Store bought “white” eggs are old…in some cases months old…that is just not good for you.

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Peace and Coddle,

Isabelle

Orzo Tuna Salad

Orzo Tuna Salad

Orzo Tuna Salad

For some weird reason kids in our family love Orzo pasta.  My daughters and both my nephews can’t seem to get enough of it.  I mean it’s just another type of pasta really.  But for some strange reason, they all dig in like crazy wild animals if we put a bowl of hot orzo drenched in butter and fresh parmesan cheese.

Bottom line, I always have plenty of orzo pasta on hand.  Trying to get away from butter and cheese, I thought it would be lovely to make a nice and healthy tuna salad with our orzo.  It is a summery, fresh and healthy lunch for Mr Man and I working from home on a lovely June day.

Ingredients:

For the salad:

1 pound Orzo pasta cooked according to package’s directions, cooled

1 15-ounce can artichoke hearts roughly chopped (I like large chunks I can see and taste)

2 5-ounce cans tuna in water, drained and flaked

1 12-ounce can tuna in oil, drained and flaked

1 bell pepper, diced (or 6 mini sweet peppers, diced see pics below)

2 tablespoons capers

5 green onions, chopped

For the dressing:

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Spinach, for serving

Arugula, for serving

Olive Oil, for serving

How to:

In a large (and I mean pretty large) bowl combine all salad ingredients.  Toss to combine.  Set aside.

no dressing...feeling kind of naked...(yikes!)

no dressing…feeling kind of naked…(yikes!)

In a small bowl combine your lemon zest, juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.  Using a whisk mix everything well.  Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.  Pour dressing over your salad.  Gently toss to combine.

adding dressing....feeling better already

adding dressing….feeling better already

action shot...OK not a great one but I was combining it all!

action shot…OK not a great one but I was combining it all!

Serve over a bed of spinach (for Mr Man) or arugula (for moi), add some fresh ground pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

Mr Man's lovely plate

Mr Man’s lovely plate

Inspired by Ina Garten: Couscous Tuna Salad

On a funny (to me) note:  Have you ever watched Ina Garten on the Food Network?  Or read any of her recipes?  If so you may have noticed that she always says: “use a good/quality olive oil or pasta or whatever…”  I always want to scream at the T.V. and says: “well, actually Ina I was going to use sub-par ingredients for this recipe, or just poor quality stuff all around”…. what the heck?  I mean I love Ina, she is a great cook/chef but the whole thing about telling us to use quality ingredients is (and you might have guessed this) another pet peeve of mine!

my little serving of deliciousness!

my little serving of deliciousness!

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Peace and Sub-par?  NEVER!

Isabelle

FYI:

Mini Sweet Peppers, girls love to snack on these little gems

Mini Sweet Peppers, girls love to snack on these little gems

Pork Milanese

Pork Milanese

Pork Milanese

Remember how much I love Ann Burrell?  Yes, I said love!  I could totally see being friends with her.  She’s got spunk!  I have to say that most of my friends, especially my girlfriends are women with lots of spunk.  I like people that can put up with me and keep me on my toes.  I am an acquired taste as far as a friend.  I know it.  I’ve lived with it for a while now.  So I guess I look for the same traits in my friends.  My point is; Ann is that kind of personality…well I imagine she is!

Her cookbook: Cook Like A Rock Star is still a favorite of mine.  I have shared a couple recipes from this book, so today I thought I should give you one more delicious treat from Ann.  It is super simple to make.  The technique is key and you can simply change the protein to your liking, or what’s on sale at the store.

Let’s get to it.

Note: I did change a few things, because I can’t follow directions to save my life!  I put in parenthesis what I changed, feel free to follow Anne, or me or you…I’d go with you.  Be the master of your kitchen!

simple perhaps but amazingly scrumptious!

simple perhaps but amazingly scrumptious!

Ingredients:

For the onions:

3/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

2 0r 3 shots of Tabasco or other hot sauce

1 red onion, very thinly sliced rings

For the pork:

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 large eggs (I ended up needing 3), beaten with 1 tablespoon water

1 1/2 cups panko (I did 3/4 panko and 3/4 Italian breadcrumbs)

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano

4 thick-cut boneless pork chops, butterflied and lightly pounded (I did 5 chops, I sliced them in half lengthwise and then pounded them)

kosher salt

Extra virgin olive oil

For the salad:

1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino (I only had Parmigiano)

1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted

2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley chopped

1 head of escarole, cut into bite-size pieces (I did do the escarole but honestly romaine or even arugula would have worked)

Pickled Onions (recipe below)

Extra virgin olive oil

How to:

For the onions:

In a medium bowl, combine the vinegar with 1/2 cup cold water.  Add the salt, sugar and Tabasco and stir.  Add the sliced onions and let sit for a least 1 hour.

lovely pickled onions

lovely pickled onions

For the pork:

Set up your standard breading procedure: one bowl with the flour, one with the egg-water mixture, and one with the panko/breadcrumbs and grated Parmigiano combined.  Have a baking sheet handy to hold the pork after breading.

Season the pork with salt.  Using one hand for dry ingredients and one hand for wet, take each piece of pork through the breading procedure: dredge it lightly in the flour, shake off the excess, dip it in the egg wash, then pack on the panko/breadcrumbs.  Lay the breaded pork on the baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

all set or all breaded I should say!

all set or all breaded I should say!

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.

Pour 1/2 inch of olive oil into a large saute pan and bring to medium-high heat.  Set up your drying situation next to the stove by lining a baking sheet with a couple layers of paper towels.  Once the oil is hot, add the pork, working in batches so you don’t crowd the pan.  Cool the first side of the pork until golden brown and crispy, 3 to 4 minutes; turn and brown the other side.  When the pork is done, lay it on the paper towels to drain off the excess oil and sprinkle with salt.  The keep the pork in the oven while you cook the second batch.

the magical golden crust

the magical golden crust

everything is now nice and crispy

everything is now nice and crispy

For the salad:

Put the Pecorino (or parmesan), hazelnuts, and parsley in the food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.

In a large bowl, combine the escarole, hazelnut mix and some of the pickled red onions; dress this mixture with olive oil and some of the pickling liquid and toss to combine.

this salad is so delicious it could be serve all by itself!

this salad is so delicious it could be serve all by itself!

To serve, place a pork chop on a serving plate and top with the lovely salad.  Simply perfectly delicious!

what a great meal, simply perfect!

what a great meal, simply perfect!

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Peace and I like people with Spunk!

Isabelle

Southwest Chicken Salad

Southwest Chicken Salad

Southwest Chicken Salad

It seems I get all my chicken salad recipes from other people.  What’s up with that?  Can’t I come up with my own delicious recipes?  Am I chicken salad deficient?  Possibly…I guess I will just have to live with it.  I can definitely throw down with my numerous cookie recipes!

Is it me or this conversation is a bit weird?  It’s not like I go around the gym or school asking people if they have delicious chicken salad recipes (getting weirder).  But first it was Jenny’s Salad whom I basically had to get into a physical fight to get her darn chicken salad recipe, which she had given to Jennifer first….NOT FORGOTTEN THAT ONE!  ;)  And now my husband has his own that he claims is the best chicken salad ever (you know he didn’t say that because as we all know he is Captain of the Nice People Club…a club I certainly don’t belong to!).  Sooooo anyway…..weirdly enough I have pretty much refused to make his version at home just “cause….yep just cause I am me and that’s how I roll people”…making friends around the world!

I finally decided it was time I step out of my “negative nancy” mode, give in and make his salad.  Turns out (as expected…blah blah blah) it’s delicious!  ;)

I should have made this sooner! Look at the size of my leftover lunch the next day!

I should have made this sooner! Look at the size of my leftover lunch the next day!

Ingredients:

4 chicken breasts cooked and shredded (about 5 cups shredded) (see cooking instruction below)

Juice of 2 limes

1 red pepper diced (green, yellow, orange all works, of course)

1/2 medium red onion diced

1/2 bunch chopped fresh cilantro (about 2 cups)

2 garlic cloves finely chopped

2 7-ounce cans Herdez Cesara Salsa drained (see note below)

1 tablespoon each salt and pepper

2 avocados diced

How to:

For the chicken:  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  Put your chicken breast in a large baking dish, sprinkle with salt, pepper and any poultry seasoning you like.  Bake for 40-45 minutes until no longer pink.  Let cool for about 15 minutes and shred.  Put in a large bowl.  Set aside and let cool completely.

Once your chicken has cooled add all your ingredients except your avocado.  Mix well.  Top your bowl with plastic wrap, put in your refrigerator and let this marinate and get to know each other well for about 1 hour.  Add your diced avocado and serve in pita pockets, tortilla wraps, on top of lettuce, with toasted country bread….etc…endless possibilities.

marinating

marinating

with avocados...I know hard telling the difference but take my word for it.

with avocados…I know hard telling the difference but take my word for it.

Amazing flavors, fresh, healthy and a nice change from classic mayo chicken salad.

perfect lunch!

perfect lunch!

Note about the salsa:  The Herdez Cesara is the one Matt says works best, a very authentic sauce, obviously if you have something you prefer then by all means use it but make sure you drain it first.  Otherwise the salad will be very wet and not what we are shooting for!

FYI this is the salsa Matt prefers for this dish

FYI this is the salsa Matt prefers for this dish

Another note: if you have about 5 cups leftover chicken by all means use it!  I won’t tell Matt  ;)

Printer Friendly: Southwest Chicken Salad

Peace and Don’t Be Deficient,

Isabelle

Shaved Asparagus Salad

Shaved Asparagus Salad

Shaved Asparagus Salad

I have a new obsession and by obsession I mean: all out crazy dreams and daily “going back for more” kind of obsession.

It’s a new cookbook….what did you think it was?…geez….

So this AMAZING and I mean AMAAAAAAAZING cookbook  Carnivore is from the beautiful brain of Michael Simon.

simply delicious!

simply delicious!

You may ask why am I sharing a Shaved Asparagus Salad when I am raving about a carnivore’s cookbook?  Who knows?  I never do anything the way it’s intended…I roll to the beat of my own drum…I color outside the lines…and on and on….

I showed this cookbook to Janine, she also fell in love.  She had me text the info to Dan: “this would make a wonderful Christmas gift for your wife”.  (yes, we are little tricksters like that!)  Matt bought me the book for Christmas as well.  I finally had to return the library’s copy (after I got mine of course).

So far I have made 4 recipes from this book.  ALL were amazing.  That’s pretty good if you think about it.  Usually somehow, somewhere you get disappointed but not here!

I have made: The Fat Doug Burger: a burger with 3 kinds of ground beef: sirloin, brisket and boneless short ribs.  Probably the best burger I have ever had!  Also, Braised Chicken Thighs with Spicy Kale: delicious…perfect…perfectly delicious.  Pork Pie: brought me back to my childhood’s Meat Pies…simply scrumptious!  And finally this gorgeous Shaved Asparagus Salad.  Honestly, this is one amazing cookbook and I cannot wait to try more and more recipes!

amazing flavor combination, fresh, a little crunch, just enough tartness...oh my....

amazing flavor combination, fresh, a little crunch, just enough tartness…oh my….

Ingredients:

1 large bunch thick green  asparagus (about 2 lbs) trimmed

1 (1.5-ounces) block Pecorino Romano Cheese (I only had Parmesan)

Kosher Salt

Grated zest and juice of 1 orange, plus 2 oranges, segmented (here is a great how to: how to segment citrus )

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

2 teaspoon white wine vinegar

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped hazelnuts, toasted

How to:

Shave the asparagus with a vegetable peeler to create long ribbons.  Do the same with the Pecorino Romano cheese (or parmesan in my case) to create shavings.  In a large non-reactive bowl, toss together the asparagus, cheese and a large pinch of salt.

In a small bowl, whisk together the orange zest and juice, the chives and vinegar.  Whisk in the olive oil.  Pour the dressing over the asparagus and let sit until the asparagus is slightly wilted, about 5 minutes.

Toss in the hazelnuts and orange segments and serve.

this is a very photogenic salad... ;)

this is a very photogenic salad… ;)

Note: shaving 2 lbs of asparagus is not for the faint of heart but trust me it is so worth it.  Also you may need to adjust the seasonings after you add your hazelnuts and oranges.  I added a touch of fresh ground pepper and a pinch more kosher salt.

it's a tough job but someone had to do it!

it’s a tough job but someone had to do it!

Another note: I actually cut this recipe in half since I was home alone and I only had 1 lb of asparagus.  It was super easy to do….it was so delicious, I ate it all….yes…all of it…by myself…and I have no regrets!

yes...I ate all that!  I might have even licked the plate!

yes…I ate all that! I might have even licked the plate!

Printer friendly:  Shaved Asparagus Salad

Peace and Obsession,

Isabelle

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