Saturday, March 10, 2018

Buffalo Chicken Salad

A few weeks ago, I was shopping at Arbor Farms, a local grocery store here in Ann Arbor, and I was impressed with a couple salads in their deli.   I posted my take on one of them last month, Olympic Salad, and then I experimented with another one I saw there inspired by buffalo wings.   I love buffalo wings!    I knew I'd have to try my hand at making this salad. 

First, I needed to make some cooked chicken.   I often make some chicken breasts this way on a Sunday and use them whenever I need chicken in a meal.  I put them individually in bags in the freezer and so I can take out however many I need for whatever I am making.   They are great in sandwiches or with salad or in a casserole.     

Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken Breasts

4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts
1 T dried rosemary
2 T dried parsley
1 T kosher salt
1 c lemon juice
3 T olive oil

Butterfly the chicken breasts by cutting them in half to make 2 pieces.  This helps the chicken cook evenly without drying out.   In a ziplock bag, add remaining ingredients, mix well.   Add chicken and make sure it is coated evenly,  marinate for a few hours or overnight in the fridge.   Turn the bag every once in a while. 

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Lay the chicken breasts on a cookie sheet, and pour remaining marinade over the top of chicken.  Roast for 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Buffalo Chicken Salad
(serves 2)

2 lemon herb roasted chicken breast halves, sliced into strips
1/2 red pepper, seeded cut into 1 inch strips
1/2 red onion, sliced pole to pole
1 stalk celery, cut on the bias
1 peeled carrot, also cut on the bias
1 oz. blue cheese crumbles

Mix ingredients together in a bowl. 

Buffalo Dressing

4 T light mayonnaise (you can use regular as well)
2 T Franks Red Hot sauce (or more if you like it spicy)
2 T Dijon mustard
2 T white vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced

Place all the ingredients in a small jar and shake until blended.

Add dressing to salad and mix well. 

It came out wonderful!  The sturdy vegetables held up well so I could make it ahead for work week lunches.  Added bonus:  even with the cheese,  a serving of it is only 3 WW points, if you are counting points. 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Olympic Salad

Here it is, almost the end of the month of February, and I am just making it across the finish line for my goal of a monthly blog post.   I have been busy with a lot of travel and haven't had the chance to spend as much time as I would like in the kitchen.   I finally had the opportunity to try to recreate a salad I saw in the deli case at Arbor Farms Market,  a local health food store.   I'm not sure if it called "Olympic" because of the colors of the salad or the Greek inspired ingredients, but it came out totally delicious.    And if I make it with fat free feta cheese, it is 0 WW points per serving!   I'm cooking lunch for our upcoming Growing In God day of renewal at church for women, and it is my plan to offer a variety of prepared salads, including this one!   It's a keeper....

Olympic Salad
(serves 2)

1/2 hot house cucumber, peeled, quartered and sliced
1/2 container cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
3 T chopped parsley
1/2 c. Greek olives from olive bar, with garlic halved  (reserve brine)
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
4 oz. feta cheese, diced
juice from one lemon

Mix all salad ingredients together, add brine and lemon juice and toss until coated. 

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Red Lentil Soup

Will a lentil soup change your life?   I think this one will...

I knew it was a winner when I made it late on a Sunday after a pre-Christmas dinner at my sister in law's house where we all ate way too much pizza and fudge and peanut butter kiss cookies and we needed a little something later in the evening.   I whipped up a batch and my "meat and potatoes" twenty something son proclaimed it "really good" and ate the rest of it.   It takes 30 minutes to make!  Next test was the vegetarian friend Patty who said that not only was it the best lentil soup she ever tasted, it was in the top 5 soups she ever had.   Those are some pretty wonderful compliments, especially coming from a soup that doesn't take all that long to make. 

I started with a recipe from America's Test Kitchen, which looked good, but had some pain in the a$$ things about it, like spiced butter.   I didn't have time for that.    Why not just put those spices in the soup?  Here is how I've made it.....3x now and I can see I will keep on making it for a long while.   For the vegetarians, just substitute the chicken broth for vegetable.    So good!

Red Lentil Soup with Cilantro

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped fine
Salt and pepper
¾ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch cayenne
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
10 ½ ounces (1 ½ cups) red lentils, picked over and rinsed
2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus extra for seasoning
1 teaspoon paprika
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add coriander, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in broth, water, and lentils and bring to simmer. Simmer vigorously, stirring occasionally, until lentils are soft and about half are broken down, about 15 minutes.

Whisk soup vigorously until it is coarsely pureed, about 30 seconds. Stir in lemon juice and season with salt and extra lemon juice to taste.

Ladle soup into individual bowls, sprinkle with  paprika and cilantro, and serve.