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Curried Chicken Salad

chicken salad

Ok. So I didn’t make blackened chicken salad last night, I just wasn’t feeling it. I did; however, make Curried Chicken Salad. I got the idea from Foodiecall’s Blog,who made Curry Egg Salad that looked so good I had to try it. I was a little worried that my husband might not dig my “chick food” chicken salad, so I opted to get him one of those rotisserie chickens from the grocery store, you know…just in case.

I had about 2 pounds of chicken breast thawed. I put the chicken in a baking dish and added a 1/2 cup of water, then cooked in a 375° oven for about 45 minutes. While I was cooking the chicken I hard boiled 4 eggs for my chicken salad. I just recently discovered the correct way to hard boiling an egg.

*Put the eggs in a pot, make sure they don’t crack, fill the pot with cold water so the water covers the eggs about 1 inch. If you add salt to the water it makes it easier to peel the eggs later, I was completely missing this steps. Add the lid to the pot, bring the water to a boil, once the water boils remove the pot from the heat, but don’t take off the lid, you don’t want the water to cool too quickly. Leave the eggs in the hot water for 10-15 minutes then chill the eggs by running them under cool water.

Ingredients

2 lbs cooked chicken breast, cut into small bite-sized pieces
4 hard boiled eggs, chopped. I only used the egg whites, but it’s your preference
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 stalk celery, chopped
1/2 cup crushed walnuts
1/2 cup mayonnaise, or more if you like (I used a little more)
1 teaspoon curry
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 fresh ground pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix.

My husband ate two sandwiches last night and one this morning, I don’t even know why I worry anymore. I guess it’s rotisserie chicken tonight.

Curried Chicken Salad

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Healthy Ideas

My mom started a fitness website, she’s a crazy workout lady. Here is my crazy workout mom, Fitness By Pat. If you go to the recipes tab you will see she added my blog to her site. So, for anyone that does happen to be directed here from my crazy workout mother I will add a Healthy Foods category, and I will do my best to find and post healthy foods, cause Lord I need it too.

*If you are going to start cooking healthy, you gotta start cooking from scratch, if you don’t already. It saves money and you know what you are eating.

*Eat out less, obvious one, and BRING YOUR LUNCH AND SNACKS TO WORK. Vending machines, fast food, convenience stores…Really?

*Cut back on snack foods like soda, candy, cookies, chip, you know. I love them too, but they just aren’t good for us.

*Be aware of what you are eating.

Here is one of my favorite salads. Sorry, no pictures, but maybe I will make it for dinner tomorrow and post some for you.

Blackened Chicken Salad

Mustard Dressing Ingredients

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup cider vinegar

Salad Fixins

2 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
1/8 cup canola oil
1/3 cup Cajun seasoning**
1 large carrot
1/2 red onion, minced
3 scallions, sliced thinly and diagonally

Mustard Dressing:
Combine the mayo, mustard, and vinegar in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

Salad:
Brush one side of the chicken breasts with half the canola oil, sprinkle with half the Cajun seasoning, and press the seasoning onto the chicken breasts, using your hand or the back of a spoon. Turn the chicken breasts over and repeat the seasoning process.

Heat a cast-iron skillet until it is very hot. Carefully place the chicken breasts into the pan. Cook the breasts without moving them for 5 minutes on each side. Transfer the iron pan into the oven or transfer the breasts to a baking sheet and finish cooking at 375°F oven for 10 minutes, until cooked through and well browned. Chill the chicken breasts completely, then cut into bite-size pieces.

Transfer the chicken to a larger bowl and add the carrot, onion, and scallions. Add the dressing and mix well.

Makes 6 Servings
Per Serving: Calories 500; Calories from fat 220; Calories from saturated fat 40; Protein 56g; Carbohydrates 9g; Total fat 25g; Saturated fat 4.5g; Cholesterol 145mg; Sodium 1,980mg; 44% Calories from fat

**If you would like to make your own Cajun seasoning, the following recipe will last for 4-6 months, then lose some of its kick.

Cajun Spice (Makes about 1 1/4 cups)

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon paprika
1/8 cup dried thyme
1/8 cup dried oregano
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/8 cup dried sweet basil
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon freshly ground white pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1/8 cup salt

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly with a spoon or wire whisk or in a food processor and pulse until well blended. Keep stored in a covered jar in a cool dark place for up to 6 months.

Recipe and nutritional information from Whole Foods Market Cookbook.

Panzanella

I made this completely on a whim. Some friends of ours, Tasha and Rich, came over for dinner the other night and I had no idea what to make for them. It had to be great because Marcus, being the wonderful husband he is, brags so much about my cooking. It puts a girl on the spot when she has to live up to those fine, loving words. I have been eying this recipe for quite sometime, but my concerns were that Marc is never going to accept this as a side dish and seriously? another salad I might die from starvation. Alas, this is another to chalk up to my serious lack of saladary expertise. Yes, saladary is a word, it’s my word. Panzanella, which comes to me from Barefoot Contessa is absolutely divine. I am awful at describing flavors, but the combination of the onions, basil, pepper, oil and vinaigrette sent my taste buds a flarin. Panzanella is so easy to make and a great side dish for the spring or summer. The idea is to add whatever it is you like, olives would be really good in this too.

Panzanella

3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 small French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 hothouse cucumber, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 red onion, cut in 1/2 and thinly sliced
20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons capers, drained (optional)

Vinaigrette:
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.

For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together.

In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.

Santa Fe Chicken Salad

See I have been cooking, even though I have not been posting. So in the time that I was not posting, but still cooking, I found this Santa Fe Chicken Salad recipe that calls for Tequila Lime Chicken, which I need tequila for. I don’t drink tequila, unless of course my drink comes with a tiny umbrella. I don’t have tiny umbrellas at my house, so no tequila. However, i found out you can replace orange juice for tequila, I do have plenty of orange juice. You know to go with my vodka…kidding. Okay back to the salad. I am not usually a fan of salad because I am always hungry an hour later, but this is really fantastic.

Tequila Lime Chicken
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 lime, zested and juiced
2 Tbsp Tequila – substitute orange juice here
2 Tbsp orange juice
2 tsp canola oil
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp oregano
¼ tsp chili powder
2 cloves garlic, smashed
Salt and pepper

Combine the lime juice and zest, tequila, orange juice, canola oil, spices and garlic and whisk together. Pour into a dish or resealable bag along with the chicken and refrigerate for 30 minutes – 2 hours (any longer and the acid in the citrus could start to “cook” the chicken).

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and then grill or sauté the chicken, blasting with the marinade, until cooked through (about 4-5 minutes per side).

Dressing
¼ cup salsa
2 Tbsp sour cream (big tablespoons!)
2 Tbsp ranch dressing
Hot sauce (optional)

Combine all ingredients (and a few dashes of hot sauce, or more) and refrigerate as you make the rest of the salad.

Salad
3-4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
1 large tomato, diced
½ avocado, diced
1/3 cup black beans, drained/rinsed
1/3 cup corn
1/3 cup cheddar jack cheese
2 corn tortillas
Cooking spray

Cut the corn tortillas into square and spray with oil. Bake at 350 in your oven until crispy.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with the dressing and then stir in the crisp corn tortillas. Top with chicken.