Tonight, we dined on our back screened-in porch, with the breeze and our ceiling fan blowing, our kids playing nicely in the play room… eating this awesome and fresh dish. PERFECT! It’s like the quintessential summer picture in my mind!
It was a bit busy today too, catching up on things that I didn’t get done over the weekend… our freezer decided to “re-set” and go back to factory settings and essentially “turn off”. And, of course, I didn’t notice it right away until half of my things had thawed overnight. So, a LOT of my leftovers and some of my fish and shrimp and chicken had to be tossed 😦 . I was so sad! It’s so tough to have to empty out your freezer… over half into a trash bag! *SOB* ! Luckily a lot stayed frozen in the back and towards the bottom. LUCKILY we have a deep freeze in our garage where I had some of my other purchases and was able to transfer my saved food until the freezer re-started and got back down to proper temperature. At least my fridge didn’t freak out as well! I would have had a melt down!
So, tonight, I had to find chicken that hadn’t thawed and be thrown out, so chicken thighs it was!
This is for 3-4 servings, depending on serving size.
2 large chicken thighs
– cooked with 2 TB butter, 1 TB olive oil, 1/4 cup water, 1/2 tsp thyme, salt and pepper. Simmered at medium high until cooked through and then diced.
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
2 scallions (green onions) chopped fine
1/2 cup red grapes cut in half
2 heaping TB PLAIN Greek Yogurt
Juice of 1/2 of a lemon plus the zest
Salt and pepper to taste
6 romaine leaves
1/4 tsp coriander
dash of hot sauce
1/8 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 cucumber (English Hothouse Cucumber) halved and quartered
1/2 avocado thinly sliced to line the romaine leaves
In a large bowl, combine the chicken with the parsley, cucumber, scallions, lemon zest, hot sauce and seasonings, and grapes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and give it all a good toss.
Add the lemon juice and the greek yogurt and stir to combine. Add the chopped parsley, and toss!
Serve scoops of the salad in the wide end of romaine leaves that are lined with slices of avocado. Serve immediately.
Sunday night I went to a marriage mentor group and it was requested that I bring a salad! I do love a fancy salad! Getting creative and figuring out how to make a new dressing, using fun ingredients and pumping up the taste and flavors… the BEST!
This one I found the original recipe on a website about the Mediterranean Diet and altered the salad adding a bit more flavor to it and hit the JACKPOT! It was delicious! The only thing I’d change is that I would have made it a bit more dry than I did. I added WAY more olive oil and lemon juice than they did originally… and I’d go half-way between the two… So the recipe below is exactly halfway between what I made, and the original recipe (on the amount of olive oil and lemon juice)
This one can be filling as a main dish for lunch, or an awesome side dish for a grilled hamburger night, or brats or pizza!
1/2 cup shredded fresh spinach – chopped or torn into large pieces
1/3 cup diced FRESH basil
1/3 cup finely chopped yellow sweet (1 small)
1/4 cup fresh squeeze lemon juice (and the zest of 1 lemon)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/8 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 ripe avocado sliced and diced (pit removed of course!)
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 of a English Hothouse cucumber sliced and quartered
*Rinse quinoa thoroughly before cooking to remove a bitter substance called saponin that coats the seeds.
In a 1-1/2-quart saucepan combine quinoa and water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. (OR, as I did, use your Rice Cooker… EASY!)
Transfer quinoa to a medium Mixing Bowl. Add tomato, spinach, basil, cucumber, and onion; stir to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, garlic powder, oil, and salt. Add to quinoa mixture; toss to coat. Add the diced avocado and gently toss.
Sprinkle with some of the feta. Makes 4 main-dish servings.
Mondays…. I made this salad last night. You know the movie “Office Space”?
I seriously LOVE that movie. I really do. I’ve seen it quite a few times, and it’s still funny every time!
I was thinking about that quote yesterday. The day seemed endless. In South Carolina, there is a yellow haze of pollen floating through the air, and coating my throat and lungs causing swelling and coughing and overall miserable feelings in our house. What is the need for this much pollen? I mean, you look outside and you can SEE THE BREEZE. I’m not joking. We have enough pine trees. The pollen needs to dial it back a bit.
I know this rant will do nothing. But I felt the need to whine. And then I had a glass of wine. HA!
Anyways… back to my salad. My husband said that he was craving his chinese food leftovers last night and wanted to eat that, and was going to be coming home late. I, however, was NOT craving that. So… I looked at my meal plan and decided on a yummy and filling salad!
This one is seriously soo good! I did have popcorn later that evening as a nighttime snack, but this one was filling, sweet yet tangy, and really fresh. You have your crunch, chewy, sweet, tart… everything!
4-6 chicken tenderloins cooked (or leftover grilled chicken on a Cast Iron Pan) thru and sliced. (I cooked mine in the skillet with a bit of olive oil, oregano and salt and pepper. The more basic the chicken, the better. You’re gonna have the flavor in the salad and the dressing)
5 oz baby spinach
5 oz. Artisan salad mix (or spring greens)
1 avocado, cored and diced
1/2 cup shaved or grated parmesan cheese
1 sliced and halved cucumber (I prefer English or “hothouse” cucumbers)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Optional: You can add some almonds or pecans as well if you’d like!!!
What’s for lunch??? Can’t figure it out? Have a bunch of left over hodge podge foods in your fridge and freezer??? I did! So, I made Taco Salad!!!
First, I made the dressing:
3 TB FF Greek Yogurt PLAIN
3 TB restaurant style salsa
1 tsp chopped dill
1 TB chopped cilantro
1/8 tsp fresh minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
Stir up all of the above ingredients for the dressing in a 2 cup glass liquid measuring cup, and set aside.
1/2 cucumber cut up
1/2 an avocado
1 TB cheese
Leftover taco meat (that had corn and black beans in it)
Cut up all of the salad ingredients. Place into bowl, and top with taco meat. Then, drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with cheese. For a little extra, add some crushed tortilla chips (like me, I used all those chip crumbs from the bottom of a chip bag that was still for some reason in our pantry still…).