Monthly Archives: March 2014

Waldorf Chicken Salad

cwsI have to admit, I am not a fan of the traditional salad with lettuce, tomato, cukes, etc. I find it to be a dull way to get your vegetables. And I think most salad dressing is kind of gross.

When my friend Faye came to visit last weekend, we were discussing our plans for the day and that included what we would have for dinner. We settled on smoking some brisket and fish and Faye suggested we make Rachael Ray’s Waldorf Salad. That was something I could do. Apples, celery, grapes, toasted walnuts and onion on a bed of lettuce with a very aromatic homemade vinaigrette sounded like a perfect accompaniment to our smoky meat. She was spot on. It was fantastic!

Of course, we ended up with a pretty decent amount left over. I thought it would be pretty tasty with some chicken in it. So I sautéed some chicken thighs in olive oil with salt and pepper and, after they were cool, added them to the leftover Waldorf Salad. Voila! Chicken Waldorf Salad.

Here’s another link to Rachael Ray’s Waldorf Salad in case you missed the first one, or just weren’t ready to click. We made the dressing as listed. It was fantastic. If you’re freaked out about the heavy cream, feel free to use yogurt, or just leave it out. Also, watch the cardamom. I only had cardamom pods and so we crushed some. The flavor was very strong. The next time I make it, I will cut the cardamom in half.

I took this for lunch a couple days this week. I had it with some lovely baby spinach. It was fantastic. I am really looking forward to making it again.


How Green is my Juicy?

HGMJI am really enjoying combining lots of fruits and veggies to make some very healthy smoothies. And the greener the better! Today, I decided to leave out the yogurt (or almond milk) and make some juice instead of a smoothie.

How Green is my Juicy?  (2 – 10 oz servings)
1/2 green apple
1/2 cup crushed pineapple
1 stalk of celery
Big handful of spinach
1/2 cup water

1. Combine the ingredients in your blender in the order listed.
2. Start blending on low and increase speed until you have some juice.

Making juice in a blender isn’t going to give you the same texture juice you get in a juicer. It’s going to be thicker, but it will be very tasty.

Feel free to add some ginger or lemon grass to jazz this up a bit.


Taco Soup

TSWow! It’s been a month since I’ve posted a new soup recipe? That’s terrible! I’m sorry to keep you waiting so long. And the weather’s been so terrible too! I hope you took advantage of some of my older soup recipes while you were waiting for something new to come.

I love this soup. This soup is incredibly easy to make, because you probably have the ingredients on hand all the time. And just like the popular dish it’s inspired by, there are many ways to make this soup. Start with the meat (or not) broth, and seasonings, and adjust it to your family’s taste.

Taco Soup
1 quart broth
1 lb ground beef (or ground turkey)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp or more cayenne pepper
1/2 onion, chopped
Two or more cloves garlic, crushed
Olive oil
2 cans Black or Red Beans
1 can corn
1/2 cup salsa or 1 can Rotello tomatoes or 1 cup diced tomatoes

Optional ingredients
2 cups shrimp (instead of ground meat)
1/2 sour cream

1. Saute onion and garlic in a little olive oil until onion is translucent.
2. Add meat and cook until browned through.
3. Add to broth with spices.
4. Stir in beans, salsa and corn.
5. Heat through.

I served this topped with crushed tortilla chips and shredded cheddar. My Faithful Assistant and I love many kinds of soup. The others do not. They responded very well to this soup, which shouldn’t have surprised me since they also like my Tortilla Soup which is very similar to this.

I’ve listed a couple optional ingredients. I think this soup would be great with shrimp and would be even better if you stirred in some sour cream about five minutes before serving.

Are you in the line of the next storm? It sounds like those of us in Central Maryland may miss the storm this time. It’s still going to be cold this week. Brrr… Good thing this soup is so easy to make. You’ll have your family warmed up in no time!


Chicken Chicken Chicken Chicken!

rcI learned how to roast a chicken when I was about twelve. I don’t remember why I was given the task of putting the chicken in the oven. Most likely someone had to be driven somewhere. Or many someones had to be driven many places. I remember the directions though, which were pretty specific since I was young.
1. Take it out of the fridge.
2. Remove the bag of stuff inside.
3. Put it in the pan. I’m sure I was told exactly which pan to use but I don’t remember.
4. Season it with poultry seasoning.
5. Smear some butter on it and bake it at 350 for 2 hours.

That’s it. And it’s pretty much what I’ve been doing ever since.

My family growing up was much larger than my family now. When I was 12, there were five children and one adult in our home. A roast chicken would make it through exactly one meal. With my current immediate family, I can get a chicken to last a little longer. In addition to the my technique for roasting a chicken, I’m giving you one new recipe and a couple older ones.

Chicken and Black Bean Tostados (six servings)cbbt
2 cups roasted chicken cut in small pieces
1 can black beans
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves crushed garlic
Cumin and Cayenne to taste
1 cup corn
1/2 cup or more salsa
Shredded cheddar
1 can Pillsbury Corn Biscuits or small corn tortillas

1. Mix all first six ingredients well. Use your own discretion for the seasoning according to the taste of those you are feeding.
2. Lay out the biscuits or tortillas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
3. Top each with the chicken mixture until it’s evenly distributed.
4. Top each with however much cheese you like.
5. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes. If you’re using the biscuits, it may take a little longer.

These would be great topped with some additional salsa or avocado slices. Everyone in my house loves these. And with the chicken already cooked, they are incredibly fast!

Here are a couple more chicken recipes.


ccwrDo you like Chicken and Wild Rice Soup? I do! If you don’t like wild rice, feel free to use regular rice. The soup will be just as good!

cccsHere’s another soup! This is Creamy Curried Chicken Soup. This soup uses pureed cashews to give it a creamier flavor and texture. It’s got potatoes and cauliflower but you could leave out the potatoes to make it a real low carb treat!

And now you are left with almost nothing but your carcass. Please don’t throw it away. It still has one more job for you. CHICKEN BROTH!

hscbRaid your veggie drawer and throw the chicken carcass and the veggies in your slow cooker for some Homemade, from Scratch, Shocking Chicken Broth. Let me tell you a little secret about this recipe. You can make it overnight! Yep! Throw everything into your slow cooker and cook them on low until morning. You will wake up to the glorious smell of warm broth. It’s so lovely.

It’s been a while since I’ve provided recipes from my blogging friends. Here are a couple that have caught my eye recently. I hope you’ll try them and visit the pages too.

From Nettie of the Moore or Less Cooking Blog, have some really delicious looking Buffalo Chicken Dip. Perfect if you are planning a Final Four party!

From Jen of The Whole Bag of Chips, here’s a tasty lower fat Chicken, Broccoli and Cheese Quiche. Jen’s blog is an excellent source of really good healthy, family friendly recipes. I hope you’ll check it out.

And finally, Frank from Tales From a Middle Class Kitchen has this great recipe for Lemon Pepper Chicken with Squash. Frank always has some interesting recipes and he’s a very entertaining writer. Check out his videos on YouTube, too!

Do you have enough ideas for your next roast chicken? I hope so! Long post. I hope it was worth it! Enjoy!





Good Morning Sunshine Smoothie

gmssThere was an upset tummy in house this morning so, even though this morning I was planning on making some pancakes or some other hearty family breakfast, I decided that a tummy soothing smoothie would be a better choice.

Now I know that some of you are going to say that yogurt isn’t good for tummy problems. I am aware that, in some sour tummy situations, dairy is not recommended. I also know that in this case, yogurt would be just the thing.

The light yellow color of this smoothie reminded me of the early morning glow of the sun, so I called my smoothie…

Good Morning Sunshine Smoothie
(4 – 8 oz smoothies)
1 cup nonfat yogurt – I used vanilla
2 bananas
1 mango, cut in chunks
1/2 cup water
1 scoop whey protein powder
1 cup of ice

1. Place the ingredients in your blender in the order listed.
2. Begin blending on low and slowly increase speed to high.
3. Blend until smooth.

My faithful assistant stated right off, “If I don’t like this, I’m not drinking it!” Thanks, buddy! The brave soul took a sip and declared that he liked it and would finish it. This child will eat just about anything but for some reason, he doesn’t love smoothies. Could be the vegetable sneaking. Maybe. Okay. It is. If you want to add some veggies to this, I would go with some grated zucchini.

It’s supposed to snow tonight. Ugh. I may have to grab a couple more mangos today so I can have a little sunshine in a glass tomorrow morning, until the storm passes.