Chef Salad Skewers

How cute are these??

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And here’s a whole platter of them!

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I took these to our to our church last night for an after service celebration and needless to say I didn’t bring any home!  I wanted to do something a bit different, and, well, both good and a bit healthy!  This could be put in your container for your lunch! It would also make a great snack for a healthy alternative and you could leave the croutons (homemade, by the way)  off and add an olive or a half boiled egg.  Your imagination can run rampant with these!

I used ham, turkey and summer sausage on my chef salad skewers!  You can use whatever combo you like on these or make them totally vegetarian. I would have put olives but some people don’t care for them so I just left them off on this batch.

I bought the package of little mozzarella balls of cheese and marinated them myself- just separate them – there’s a ton in one of those packages- and pour olive oil over to moisten them. I happen to have had some Tuscan flavored Olive oil and used this, sprinkled on a bit of kosher salt, pepper,  and Italian seasoning, and let marinate or a couple of hours. The leftovers will be great on our salads!

For the croutons, I cut Italian bread into large cubes, drizzled with olive oil, salt, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and placed in a 350 degree oven and let bake until almost crispy. Let cool on pan.  The slightly larger cubes makes it easy to put on skewer without breaking.  Worked like a charm!

Make some and have fun – a great side and a fun side to any meal!

Pear salad – not canned

When searching the aisles for canned “no sugar added” pear halves for pear salad it is impossible to find.  Oh, they have “no sugar added” but I have only found “sliced pears”. – try making pear salad with those!

i had been told how to make my own with fresh pears- now to find someone with a pear tree!!  I did purchase some from the store- the green kind that looked like they had been picked off the tree. Here’s how I made them:

1. Wash and peel the pears; core the center with a spoon or melon baller; make sure to cut stems out of ends!

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2.  Place in simmering water – that has either sugar or Splenda or Stevia added, quantity will be to your taste- just barely enough water to cover pears – single layer- and let simmer anywhere from 5-15 minutes- less if you want yours a bit crispy and more if you want yours soft.

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3.  Let cool and put in freezer (not covered) for about an hour to flash freeze. Then just put in freezer bag.  When wanting a pear salad just take out the number you need earlier in day and let thaw and whalah!

I did add a bit extra to my water-

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i just had had to use it and it tell you when you open a bottle of Mexican vanilla whether for the first time or 10th time you can’t beat the fragrance. Man!

I’ll let you know how the vanilla worked in them. It sure smelled good!

i hope you have a great week!

A great summer salad

Hubby cooked on the grill for us yesterday and I wanted a fresh veggie salad to go with it.  This is what I made:

salad

Since it is just the two of us, I made a smaller quantity – amounts are in parenthesis.

What a refreshing, tasteful salad this was with our grilled chicken and grilled sausage!  Give it a try soon with your backyard BBQ!

Veggie Salad with Pepper Jack Cheese

4 medium Roma tomatoes (I used 3 very small Roma tomatoes)

4 skinny zucchini (I used 3/4 of a zucchini as this was a good size zucchini!)

3/4 lb pepper jack cheese, cubed (I used the whole 8-oz block of the cheese – what can I say??!)

2 Tbsp veg. oil (I used 1 Tbsp of olive oil)

3 Tbsp Sugar (I used 2 Tbsp of Splenda sugar)

3 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar (I used 2 Tbsp)

1 1/2 Tbsp fresh basil, minced (I used about 1 scant tbsp minced)

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp coarse black pepper

Wash and chop tomatoes into small chunks.  Wash and slice zucchini in slices.  I sliced my zucchini in half then sliced in slices.  Slice block cheese in half.  Slice each half into long slices and cube.  Place all into a bowl.  Whisk together the oil, sugar, vinegar, basil, salt and pepper. Drizzle over salad and toss to coat.   Refrigerate 30 minutes to an hour before serving.

We will be making this again…real soon!  But first, we will be enjoying the leftovers today!   Happy Wednesday.

Jalapeno Lime Chicken Salad

Heaven help me!  I can eat the whole bowl…..in one sitting!   And then some!  It is that good.   Do you remember the jalapeno Lime Slaw I posted?  No?  Well just get on over to the “salad” section and get that recipe – cause it is good by itself served with your burgers, bbq, fresh veggies, on top of your burgers, dogs, etc (I’ll stop now).  This was derived from that recipe without the slaw stuff.

Some people (and I won’t mention your name, Jeff) just don’t like mayonnaise – I can’t even imagine – and some are watching their calories/what they eat, so I thought that the “dressing” from the slaw recipe would make a great “chicken salad” dressing -and boys howdy did it.

To shorten the process, I purchased a roasted chicken, de-boned it, and chopped it up pretty fine.   Threw it in a bowl with everything else needed, and mixed.   This is all about your own taste as to how much of stuff.   You can purchase just the skinless boneless chicken breasts, roast/boil/grill (wouldn’t a seasoned grilled breast be good in this??), whichever you want.  Very versatile recipe.  Just make it if you want a different take on your chicken salad!

Jalapeno Lime Chicken Salad

You will need:

salad

one whole roasted chicken, de-boned or 4-6 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped fine

1/2 purple onion, chopped (more or less depending on your taste of purple onion)

3-4 jalapeno peppers, chopped (seed or don’t, that’s your call as to how much heat you want – you know me – I’m leaving seeds in)

1/2 of a bunch (or more – that’s your call, too) of cilantro, rough chopped

zest of 2-3 limes (depends on how much salad you are making)

juice of 2-3 limes (again-depends on how much salad you make – I used juice of 3 limes for 1 whole chicken shredded and it probably could have used the juice of a 4th lime for my taste)

salt to taste

pepper to taste

Olive Oil – (I drizzle and mix as I go – you want enough to moisten but you don’t want it swimming in oil so this is depending on how moist your chicken is as to how much olive oil you will need)

Mix all together and enjoy!   We serve ours on a bed of shredded lettuce or you could stuff a tomato with it – slice you up some avocado and serve with it -if you are an avocado fan –  man, oh man – you could even add some cumin to the recipe if you want a more Mexican flavor to it but I like mine just like it is!   That lime flavor is a fresh flavor to this recipe along with the cilantro.Hope you like this version!

Football Friday is almost here –  and a new give-a-way is coming soon so get ready.  Its Fall, y’all, and soup time is just around the corner!

Almond Chicken Salad –

We all have favorite places to eat/purchase our chicken salad.  And we all have our favorite recipes and variations in making our homemade chicken salad.   I love Chicken Salad Chic Jalapeno Holley Chicken Salad with those chopped up jalapenos (those sliced kind from a jar usually used on nachos, i do believe).  

The recipe below has been made numerous times and served numerous times for showers, luncheons at work, and well, just plain eating.  Now, while it isn’t my husband’s favorite (not enough of the fluff in it like the old fashioned recipes) and when my mother was alive, i can tell you hands down, she did not like it. If it didn’t have her boiled eggs and a little chopped onion, and a smidgen of pickles in it, well, it just wasn’t chicken salad!  I really think she just wanted to give me a hard time! (teeheehee)

Try it and see how you like it.  If you like a clean, fresh take on Chicken Salad to have on hand to eat for a lunch with some fresh fruit and maybe some of those good sliced tomatoes on the side, serve a scoop of this on a bed of mixed greens or on a beautiful butter lettuce leaf and some side crackers of your choice.  

And remember, this recipe can certainly be adapted to your taste, a little more of this, a little less of that.

 

Almond Chicken Salad

2 half chicken breasts, cooked or 4 split breasts

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

1 Tsp. fresh lemon juice, or more for taste (doesn’t hurt to zest a little of the lemon before squeezing either!)

1/4 cup almonds, chopped

Mayonnaise just to moisten

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook chicken breasts.  Chop, tear or pulse chicken in food processor (depends on what texture you like yours – i pulse mine in food processor). Add to bowl for mixing.  Chop celery stalks fine and add to chicken in bowl (you can pulse in food processor also to desired consistency).  Finely chop parsley (or you can again throw it in the food processor toward the end of chopping the celery and pulse it to desired consistency-you don’t want to puree the parsley – you want it in a fine chop consistency) and add to bowl.  If you purchase the almonds already chopped you can just add to the bowl or if you want a smaller chop, throw them in the food processor and pulse a few times and throw them in the bowl.   Add lemon juice and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.   Mix in a small amount of mayonnaise and toss to mix.   Use your judgment as to how much mayonnaise to add.  You only want just enough to moisten.   

 

The lemon and parsley in the recipe is what gives it such a fresh taste, and with the crunch from the celery and almonds, well, its just plain delicious and separates it from the others.  Hope you choose to make it and enjoy some!

Salad night

Do you ever have those nights where you have salad?  And nothing else?  We do and we love it.  This recipe is one that was a favorite at church Wednesday night suppers – only I like to add ground beef to mine (or in my case, ground turkey).

It is wonderful as is and a great recipe and side dish to take to a pot luck dinner – add the seasoned ground beef or turkey and you have a complete meal – vegetarian?  Leave the meat out and complete for you as is.  This makes a big bowl full so if you are wanting to make only one serving, you will have to adjust to your plate.   

Mexican Salad

1 head lettuce, chopped medium fine

1/2 head cabbage, chopped medium fine

1 onion, chopped

2 ribs celery, chopped

2 carrots, grated

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 cup grated cheese

1/2 cup mayonnaise

5 tablespoons sugar

salt and pepper

1 small pkg nacho chips, crushed

Catalina dressing

And if you are adding meat, 1 lb. ground beef or turkey, browned with a package of taco seasoning mix.

Mix first 10 ingredients. (along with the browned ground meat, if using).  Add crushed nacho chips and serve in individual salad bowls or large salad bowl.  Sprinkle with Catalina dressing.  Serves 6-8.   

When we served this at church, we would drizzle the Catalina dressing on the salad just before putting on the table for serving and stir it all in together .  We have also used crushed fritos in it.   Just as good!  Kick it up a notch by adding some chopped jalapeno pepper.

 

Great salad – give it a try!  

 

Jalapeno-Lime Slaw

My new best friend…. My new favorite slaw….. sorry honey!  Your slaw is a favorite of the family, and others, but when I made this for the work eats yesterday, it has now become my favorite and has maybe converted a few of them.   

Oh me…. make this….eat it by itself….serve it on a slider whether it is the Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork, or a Smoked Butt, or a Beef Brisket sandwich, or a burger or a hot dog or a panini.  The possibilities are endless!  Just make it and eat it.   Yes, it’s that good. By the way – I also like to add a little cumin in mine – it makes it oh so good – but you decide for yourself whether you do.

 

Jalapeno-Lime Slaw

2 Tbsp lime zest (zest before juicing)

1 tsp sugar

1/3 cup fresh lime juice

3/4 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

3 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion (or you can chop if you like smaller bits)

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro 

1 (16-ounce) package cabbage-and carrot coleslaw

4 jalapeno peppers, (de-seed three and chop, and keep seeds in one and chop – this keeps some heat but not too much- if you like more heat, do 2 and 2)

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.   Gradually add olive oil, stirring constantly with a whisk.   Add onion, cilantro, and coleslaw.   Add Jalapenos and toss well to coat.  Cover and chill at least one hour before serving.  

Cinco de Mayo and Graduation Party….Oh My!

                With another grandchild graduating, its time to gather all the peeps and party!  We will be gathering the kiddos and grandkiddos this weekend for a quick family get-together – with schedules as they are, it seems harder and harder to gather us all together.

                We, rather, a couple of us, decided that it would be fun to throw a Mexican fare since (1) we all like Mexican food, and (2), its Cinco De Mayo this weekend!  We will be serving the previous posted Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork, and the same seasoning on a Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Chicken for a “taco and burrito bar” with all the trimmings, including homemade salsa and guacamole, a Crock Pot Refried Bean recipe (I’ll have to get that recipe from the graduating senior’s mom and post it), along with the best Mexican Rice  recipe, and a Corn and Bean Salad, a “chip bar” and drink station.  We like to do our parties right!  We won’t leave out decorations, either. 

                Below is the Corn and Bean Salad recipe and I can’t wait to try this one.  It sounds yummy and I plan on making sure it has a little heat from the jalapenos.  The great thing about this recipe is it can be made “your way”, meaning, take the recipe and run with it.  Change it up, add or change what’s in it to your taste.  You can’t go wrong with this one!  I hope you will give it a try and serve it along side that Mexican Pulled Pork.  Watch for a give a way Monday!   Mother’s Day is just around the corner!

Corn and Bean Salad – serves 4 

1 can Black beans, rinsed and drained

2 cups corn, frozen or 4 ears of corn, grilled and cut off cobb (or do what I did – buy a variety of the Mexicorn in a can and use that, drained)

1 small red bell pepper, chopped

½ of red onion, chopped (or use amount to taste)

2 tsp hot sauce (your favorite brand)

1 lime, juiced, plus zest from the lime (zest first, then juice the lime)

2 Tbsp. vegetable or canola oil

Pinch sugar

1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (if you like a little heat, you can leave seeds or some of the seeds in)

½ tsp chili powder

½ tsp cumin (a little more if you want)

Salt and pepper to taste

Cilantro, about 4 Tbsp, roughly chopped

Combine all the above ingredients and mix.  Refrigerate a couple of hours before serving to let flavors mix.   Toss again prior to serving.  If you want, chop a bit more cilantro and sprinkle on top just before serving.