Strawberry Almond Chicken Salad + 5 Salad Meal Links!

scs169Never underestimate the power of a good lunch to see you through the day, a fresh meal full of color and crunch that keeps one foot moving in front of the other.  Put down your take out container or child’s leftover sandwich crusts and eat a meal that treats your body kindly.  If we care for our bodies like we care for our families and jobs imagine how we could run.

Loaded with raw slivered almonds, fresh strawberries and thinly sliced green onions, this chicken salad sustains you through your afternoon.  A goat cheese and buttermilk dressing with a bit of honey and chopped tarragon lightly coats the shredded, store-bought rotisserie chicken breasts.  Earthy baby spinach rounds out this slightly sweet and creamy chicken salad.  Serve with a couple of pieces of fresh crusty bread or not, roll it into a wrap or eat directly out of the bowl; whatever suits you.

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Strawberry Almond Chicken Salad with Balsamic Goat Cheese Dressing

Goat Cheese Dressing Slightly Adapted from the Food Network

Serves 4

Ingredients for Balsamic Goat Cheese Dressing:

4 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature

2 tablespoons buttermilk

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Pinch of Kosher salt

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves

Directions:

Grab a medium bowl and whisk together the goat cheese and buttermilk until smooth.  Next, add the honey, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, pepper, salt and chopped tarragon leaves.  Season to taste with additional salt and/or pepper.   Set aside.

Ingredients for Chicken Salad:

1 rotisserie chicken,  breasts shredded

1/4 cup slivered almonds

1 green onion, finely sliced

handful of strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced

sea salt

fresh ground black pepper

balsamic glaze ( I bought a bottle, but you can also make your own.)

Handful of baby spinach, washed and dried

Optional:

Crusty bread, grilled

whole wheat wraps

store-bought croissants

Directions:

Remove the breasts from  your store-bought rotisserie chicken and shred using two forks.  Place shredded chicken in bowl with goat cheese dressing.  Next add almonds and the green onion.  Mix together until combined.  Gently fold in strawberries.  Season to taste with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.  Scoop out a good portion of chicken salad and place on a bed of baby spinach.  Drizzle with balsamic glaze.  Serve with grilled crusty bread, whole wheat wraps, or store- bought croissants.  Enjoy!

5 Salad Meal Links

I love fruit in chicken salad, but watermelon?  Pinch of Yum’s Balsamic Watermelon Chicken Salad is on my must try list.  I’m so curious about this recipe.  I think my kids might even eat it!

Looking for a hearty vegetarian salad? Check out Edible Perspective’s recipe for avocado pesto chickpea salad.

Peach and roasted vegetables sounds like summer in a bowl.  Head to Love and Lemons for the recipe.

Girl Verses Dough created a new spin on tuna salad: Brussels sprouts tuna salad.  Yum!

It’s Thursday and the weekend is almost here.  Treat yourself and make Joy the Baker’s easy spinach and strawberry chopped salad.

 

Cranberry Chutney Roast Turkey Sandwich + 5 Recipes for Thanksgiving Leftovers

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Thanksgiving is just 6 days away and I can’t wait for a total day of gluttony. I love turkey and all the side dishes but my favorite part of the meal is the perfect bite. For me the perfect bite is a bit of turkey, stuffing, sweet potato and cranberry sauce. I love salty and sweet combos. I also love Thanksgiving leftovers. Who doesn’t?

I came up with a sandwich this week that will utilize leftovers and give that perfect salty sweet bite. The sandwich consists of roast turkey, arugula, sharp cheddar and of course cranberry chutney. The star of this sandwich is the cranberry chutney. This chutney is so good I could eat by the spoonful. I found the recipe on Epicurious.com. (Check out this site if you haven’t already. They have tons of recipes, menu ideas and helpful articles.) I altered the chutney only slightly by adding clementine zest. The zest adds a brightness to the sweet chutney. Also, I bought a loaf of cranberry fennel bread from my favorite local bakery but I think fresh sourdough or multi-grain bread will work just as well.

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Shallots, ginger and garlic simmer with the fresh cranberries for about 12 minutes. I love how sweet shallots become after they cook for a while.

ccrts0008I combined the sugar and clementine zest with my fingers before adding it to the cranberries. Combining the sugar and zest this way allows the oils from the zest to become more pronounced.ccrts0014This chutney takes about 20 minutes to put together and yields about 2 cups. It can made a week ahead and refrigerated. I love recipes I can make ahead of time! so instead of cranberry sauce this year make cranberry chutney. You won’t be disappointed and if you are lucky there will be leftovers for sandwiches the next day.

Cranberry Chutney with Clementine Zest

recipe barely adapted from Epicurious.com

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients:

5 shallots coarsely chopped

1 1/2 tbsp. canola or vegetable oil

1 (12 oz) bag of fresh cranberries

2/3 cup of sugar

1/4 cup of cider vinegar

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp peeled, minced ginger

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

zest of 2 clementines

Directions:

Cook chopped shallots over medium heat in 3 quart sauce pan, stirring occasionally, until soft but not brown, about 5-10 minutes. Add sugar, vinegar, garlic, ginger, kosher salt and black pepper. Simmer for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until berries pop. Remove from heat and fold in the clementine zest. Allow to cool before serving or cover and refrigerate for up to a week.

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Cranberry Chutney, Roast Turkey, Cheddar and Arugula Sandwich 

Ingredients:

Left over turkey or store-bought roast turkey

cranberry chutney

good quality sharp cheddar cheese

arugula

fresh crusty bread (I used cranberry fennel bread but sourdough or multigrain will work as well.)

Directions:

Add a heaping spoonful of cranberry chutney to already sliced bread. Top with as much turkey, cheddar and arugula as you want. Enjoy with a cold beer!

5 Recipes for Thanksgiving Leftovers:

After all the hard work preparing an awesome Thanksgiving meal, the next day should be easy. If you have leftovers, use them! If not order a pizza and relax. You deserve it!

I love Banh Mi sandwiches. Instead of pork, use left over turkey. Find the recipe here.

Turkey BLT anyone? Head here.

Ya, I am on a sandwich kick. If you like bacon and blue cheese, try this sandwich.

If you need a little comfort before tackling Christmas shopping, make this soup.

I love a good Waldorf salad. Check out the food network’s recipe.

Sweet Corn Soup

_KH10026I love soup in the summertime, especially corn soup. The corn from our farm share is extra sweet now so I decided to make Alice Water’s Sweet Corn Soup. Bubba requested the soup after the excessive heat finally let up. 80 degrees with no humidity felt cool compared to what we just dealt with the past few weeks. I served the soup at room temperature with a salad and crusty bread from our local bakery. The perfect summer meal. Our almost 3-year-old gave it a shot and liked it, but our daughter refused. I wasn’t shocked. I hope her picky stage will end soon!

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The only tweak I made to her recipe is saving the shucked corn cobs and adding them to the broth when the soup is simmering. The cobs added additional corn flavor.

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After the soup simmers for a bit, remove the cobs and puree the soup in small batches in a blender.  You can serve it warm or at room temperature but I bet it tastes good cold as well. As long as you have sweet corn, this soup won’t disappoint you.

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Sweet Corn Soup

barely adapted from Alice Water’s The Art of Simple Food

Ingredients

4 Tbsp butter

1 onion, diced

Kosher Salt

5 ears of sweet corn

1 quart of water (4 cups)

Toppings

Crème fraiche (optional) seasoned with savory herbs, salt and pepper

Chives or Scallions (optional)

Directions

Shuck the corn and cut the kernels from the cobs. Set the kernels and cobs aside.

Melt 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of butter in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion, season with salt + pepper and cook until soft about 15 minutes. Do not let the onion brown. Add the kernels to the onions and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Cover with 1 quart of water (4 cups). Add the cobs and bring to a boil. After it reaches a boil, lower the heat to a simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and puree the soup in small batches. (Be careful when blending hot soup in a blender. Be sure there is an air vent to allow the steam to escape.) Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add suggested toppings if desired and enjoy!

A Riff On A BLT

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“Perhaps home is not a place but some irrevocable condition.” – James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room

We spent the weekend unpacking boxes. We took out the essentials for sleeping and eating and set up the kitchen. We reassembled the kids rooms so they felt like the rooms they slept in for the last 6 years. We spent the weekend desperately trying to feel at ease in a place that does not feel like home.

As I write this post I struggle to understand why leaving our house of 6 years is so hard. I passed it on purpose during my run the other day and almost burst into tears. What is a home really? If a home is really just the people I will be ok, right?

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I think I started a home when I married Bubba almost 7 years ago. Our home grew when we had Charlotte and 3 years later Graham. I think home is a group of people seeking comfort in each other. The house, the walls shelter us. The stuff that we think we need to make a house a home add to our daily comfort or drive us insane.

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After an exhausting weekend of unpacking and adjusting to our new surroundings, I had to make an easy and comforting dinner. A BLT screams comfort to us so I made one with a few twists.

I picked up a loaf of fresh sour dough bread from our local bread shop, Mamadou’s Artisan Bakery. (www.mamadousartisanbakery.com) I like their sourdough because the flavor is not overwhelming. I am not a fan of strong sourdough flavor. I grabbed a locally grown tomato, some bacon, blue cheese, avocado, Romain lettuce, roast turkey and Stonewall Kitchen’s Fig and Ginger Jam. I splurged on the jam but I figure I can use it for marinades as well. The jam adds a nice sweetness which works great the saltiness of the bacon. The turkey is not necessary here but it does work well with the rest of the ingredients. The avocado gives a nice creamy texture. and the blue cheese highlights the sweetness of the jam and saltiness of the bacon. I threw the meal together in no time. We enjoyed the blts with a icy cold beers. Yum! The kids had milk of course.

BLT with Blue Cheese, Avocado and  Fig+ Ginger Jam

Inspired by Two Peas and Their Pod

Ingredients

1 loaf of fresh sourdough bread

1 tomato, thinly sliced

Romaine lettuce, washed and dried

1 avocado, pitted and sliced

crumbled blue cheese

1 lb bacon

1/4-1/2 lb of roast turkey depending on how much you want to use on the sandwiches (optional)

1 jar of Stonewall Kitchen’s Fig+ Ginger Jam

Directions:

Cook bacon on medium heat until it reaches desired crispness and drain on a plate covered with a paper towel. To assemble the sandwiches spread a tablespoon of jam on each piece of sliced sourdough bread. Add bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado and a couple of slices of roast turkey if using. Sprinkle with a good amount of crumbled blue cheese. Slice in half and enjoy!