Vietnamese Shredded Chicken Salad

October 23, 2015

IMG_3432

The weather around here recently has been pretty wonky. Like it has a split personality or something. Seriously…I was pretty sure we were doing the Fall thing around here and the next thing I knew was the mercury shot up to 80°F only to plunge down to 43°F the following evening! What the what! And it wasn’t done there. Nope…it plunged down to scarcely above freezing. Had me scrambling to get the plants inside. But now we’re back up into the mid-70’s. It is a wonder my head hasn’t totally exploded. Not to mention, while all that roller coaster weather nonsense is happening, I’m in the midst of a big house renovation. Nothing like walking through a fog of dry wall dust every day! But the good news is that I will finally have a master bathroom again. Ours burned up about 1 1/2 years ago now. (Time for my own little Public Service Announcement: If your bathroom exhaust fan was made prior to 1990 – it does not have a thermal fuse in it, which means if the bearings seize up, the fan can become so hot that it can catch the surrounding insulation on fire!) Our reaction? The husband and I just nailed up some plywood, boarded that thing up and have been using the guest bath down the hall ever since! Pretty pathetic huh? We just couldn’t decide what we kind of renovation we wanted to do. Oh well – we did finally get it together and in a few weeks I’ll be soaking in my glorious new bath tub! But in the meantime, this place is a complete shambles! So I’m going to share a wonderful recipe with you today which not only comes together quickly and easily with minimal preparation but also tastes fantastic and refreshing. Vietnamese Shredded Chicken Salad.

IMG_3443

This delicious dish comes from one of my favourite blogs Once Upon a Chef. Every recipe of Jenn’s that I’ve ever made has been a winner. And this was no exception! So if you’re having a rather hectic day, this salad, which is just bursting with fresh Asian flavors, is just what you need to help you deliciously reign in some of that chaos.

IMG_3428

Vietnamese Shredded Chicken Salad

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: Once Upon a Chef

Ingredients:

For the Salad:

  • 2 heaping cups cooked shredded chicken, from one store-bought rotisserie chicken
  • 4 cups shredded napa cabbage
  • scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup grated or matchstick carrots
  • red bell pepper, sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 -2 thai red peppers, chopped (optional: add if you like it spicy!)
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts

For the Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, from about 3 limes
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
  • cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce (preferably a brand imported from Thailand or Vietnam)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Directions:

In a large salad bowl, combine all of the salad ingredients except for the peanuts. In a separate bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the dressing; whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Right before serving, toss the dressing with the salad. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the peanuts. Serve cold.

Enjoy!

Vietnamese Shredded Chicken Salad brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)


Spicy Summer Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad

September 30, 2015

IMG_3170

Wow! Last Wednesday was the first day of Fall and apparently for once the weather in the good old State of Virginia agrees with the calendar. Temperatures around here have been just glorious. The humidity has chilled out and the days are warm but the nights are just starting to get a bit of chill to them. I for one could not be happier, though it did seem a bit sudden. Usually summer lingers on around here for quite some time. I won’t say anything more about it though because I don’t want to speak too soon and “word” it. (Yup…I sure did word it. I wrote the last sentence about the great Fall weather over the weekend. On Monday the temperature crept back up to 80°, and was accompanied by remarkable Virginia swamp-like humidity. I knew it was too good to be true!)  I’ll just say, here’s one more great summer recipe which should carry over nicely into Fall…Spicy Summer Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad.

IMG_3168

This salad can be served room temperature or even chilled if the mercury starts to creep up again. And it has a bit of a spicy kick to warm you up a bit if the chillier temperatures persist. If you have any leftover Spicy Grilled Corn from those Zucchini, Spicy Grilled Corn & Cheese Pancakes that I told you about a couple of weeks ago, this is a great way to put it to good use! The husband and I usually enjoy this dish on Meatless Mondays, and I serve it over a bed of lettuce. It gives it a taco salad-y kind of vibe. Another option, if you were feeling a bit more carnivorous, would be to add in some spicy chicken or grilled steak. And although we love it as a main dish, it would also be great as a side next to a big old burrito, taco or enchilada. So there you have it… all the healthful benefits of quinoa and all the fresh spicy tastes of summer. What a winner!

IMG_3183

Spicy Summer Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe adapted from: Once Upon a Chef

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup pre-washed quinoa (if not washed, follow package instructions for rinsing)
  • 1-2/3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved or 1 cup chopped tomatoes, from 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1-1/4 cups Spicy Grilled Corn – recipe to follow (can use canned corn if you don’t have fresh)
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts, finely sliced
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, from 1 large lime
  • 1 avocado, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • Cotija cheese, crumbled
  • shredded iceberg lettuce (to serve Quinoa Salad over – if you desire)

Directions:

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minutes or so. Add the spices to the onion/garlic mixture and stir to combine

Add the quinoa to the onion/spice mixture and continue cooking, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil. Cover the pan tightly with a lid, turn the heat down to low and simmer for 17-20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is cooked. Transfer the cooked quinoa to a mixing bowl and chill in the refrigerator.

When the quinoa is cool, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, tomatoes, Spicy Grilled Corn, black beans, scallions, jalapeno, cilantro, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and lime juice. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Right before serving, scatter the avocado chunks and Cotija Cheese over top.

Spicy Grilled Corn

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 ears of fresh corn in husk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp light brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp chili powder

Directions:

Combine olive oil, lime juice, garlic, salt, brown sugar and chili powder in small bowl and whisk together.
Preheat grill.
Peel back the corn husks, discarding all but a couple inner layers. Remove corn silk, then baste with dressing, and recover corn with remaining husk.
Grill on med-high for 20-25 minutes, turning 3-4 times during cooking time.
Remove the corn from grill and allow to cool a few minutes. Once it has cooled enough to handle, cut off stem end, place the flat cut end on bottom of large bowl, and use a corn zipper to strip the kernels from the cob. Or if you don’t have a zipper, run a small sharp knife down the length of the cob, slicing off kernels.

Enjoy!

Spicy Summer Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

 

 


Zesty Black Bean & Grilled Corn Salad

July 22, 2014

IMG_8562

I’ve got a great Summer Salad recipe for you today. Zesty Black Bean & Grilled Corn Salad is just the perfect dish to enjoy on those hot and steamy days. Served cold it is wonderfully refreshing, and just bursting with fresh summer flavours. Not to mention, this baby has got a bit of a kick to it! With all of those jalapenos, cayenne peppers and red pepper flakes, your taste buds will sit up a take notice! Now I prefer to grill up some corn to use in this recipe. I know it is a bit of extra work, but it is so worth it. Corn is in season right now and there is an abundance of it at all of the local markets. Lovely fresh corn, spiced up with a marinade and fired over a grill just puts that frozen or canned corn to shame!

IMG_3808

This dish is very versatile and works great as a side salad, is very tasty over some greens as a Meatless Monday entrée or makes a delicious salsa served with tortilla chips. I most recently served it along with some Carne Asada Tacos (recipe soon to follow – stand by) and folks went wild! Definitely add this little gem to your summer recipe book of tricks!

IMG_8567

Zesty Black Bean & Grilled Corn Salad

recipe slightly adapted from: Bowl of Delicious

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • juice of 3 limes
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups of fresh grilled corn (scroll down for recipe)
  • 1 -2 jalapenos, diced fine
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced fine
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 avocados, diced

Directions:

Prepare Spicy Grilled Corn as per the recipe below.

Whisk together olive oil, honey, lime juice, salt, pepper, cumin, red pepper flakes  and cayenne pepper in a large bowl.

Add black beans, grilled corn, jalapenos, red pepper cilantro and avocados to bowl. Toss gently to coat with dressing.

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes prior to serving.

For the Spicy Grilled Corn:

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 ears of fresh corn in husk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp light brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp chili powder

Directions:

Combine olive oil, lime juice, garlic, salt, brown sugar and chili powder in small bowl and whisk together.
Preheat grill.
Peel back the corn husks, discarding all but a couple inner layers. Remove corn silk, then baste with dressing, and recover corn with remaining husk.
Grill on med-high for 20-25 minutes, turning 3-4 times during cooking time.
Remove the corn from grill and allow to cool a few minutes. Once it has cooled enough to handle, cut off stem end, place the flat cut end on bottom of large bowl, and use a corn zipper to strip the kernels from the cob. Or if you don’t have a zipper, run a small sharp knife down the length of the cob, slicing off kernels.

Enjoy!

Zesty Black Bean & Grilled Corn Salad brought to you by: Runcible Eats (http://www.leaandjay.com )

 

 

 

 


Israeli Couscous & Orzo Salad with Fresh Mozzarella, Corn & Cherry Tomatoes

October 15, 2013

IMG_4081

This lovely pasta salad, chock full of fresh vegetables and herbs, practically screams summer. And although I am ready for some Fall weather, it is still fairly warm around here, so this salad would still be very welcome at any picnic or potluck to which you may find yourself invited. The combination of the zesty grilled corn, tangy tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and herbs is nothing short of addictive.

IMG_4087

Now I should mention, this recipe makes a whole bunch of this salad. If you’re only making it for a couple of folks, you might want to cut it in half. Either that or content yourself with the knowledge that you’ll be nibbling on it all week, which isn’t a bad thing at all! The original recipe recommends that you use raw corn, straight from the cob. No cooking necessary. However, as I’ve mentioned, I’ve been a bit obsessed with grilled corn and think that is the best way to go. However if you find yourself pressed for time, you could go with the raw option or just use some canned or frozen corn and you will still find this salad to be quite a delightful, healthy and refreshing summer time treat!

IMG_4094

Israeli Couscous & Orzo Salad with Fresh Mozzarella, Corn & Cherry Tomatoes

recipe from: The Cafe Sucre Farine

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces Israeli Couscous
  • 8 ounces Orzo
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling over pasta
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
  • ½ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pint yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 pint red cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bunch green (spring) onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 ears fresh corn, shucked, grilled (see Tex-Mex Grilled Corn instructions here) and kernels cut from cobs or use 2-3 cups canned corn
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, drained (if in brine) and cut in bite sized pieces
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • small fresh herb leaves, if desired, for garnish
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil on the stove top. Add a generous measure of salt (about a tablespoon) and return to a boil. Add couscous and orzo, allow water to return to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes or until al dente. Stir frequently while pasta is cooking. Drain well and drizzle with olive oil, just a teaspoon or two to keep the pasta from sticking together.Stir to coat well to coat and allow to cool.

Combine the ⅓ cup olive oil, garlic, fresh herbs, lemon zest, Italian seasoning, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper in a large bowl.

Add halved tomatoes, green onions, corn and pastas. Stir to combine. Taste and add more sea salt and freshly ground black pepper as needed.
Add fresh mozzarella cubes and stir gently. Transfer to a serving bowl or platter. Add fresh herb leaves for garnish, if desired. Drizzle with a bit more extra virgin olive oil and serve.
Enjoy!

Tex-Mex Grilled Corn & Tomato Salad

October 5, 2013

IMG_3873

Hmmm….I was afraid I might have waited a little too late in the season to talk about all of the delicious late summer veggies. I really did think Fall was here. Boy was I wrong, not only has the mercury hit 85° F (29°C) around here but sounds like it is slated to shoot up to 88° F (31 °C) on Saturday. Really?!! Completely out of line Mother Nature! So, I guess it isn’t too late to talk about those summer veggies after all. I talked up tomatoes last time and today I will be talking about corn. I’m always happy to see corn on the cob at summer picnics and BBQs. Grilled up with this spicy marinade, you’ll think of it more as a treat than a vegetable!

IMG_3779

We certainly ate a lot of this Grilled Corn & Tomato Salad this summer. (It was another vehicle for my plethora of cherry tomatoes!) Sometimes we served it as a side dish, but a few times we made a big salad, added a few strips of grilled chicken and then spooned this spicy corn and tomato mixture over the top as a zesty dressing.

IMG_3882

If you have never grilled corn before, you simply must get started! Grilling it gives it a wonderful smoky flavour which goes along wonderfully with the natural sweetness of the corn.

IMG_3808

Simply peel those husks back, remove the corn silk, brush the salad dressing over the kernels and then gently fold the husks back over the corn. Grill for 20-25 minutes. Believe me, you will have a hard time not gobbling all that corn up right off the cob before you can get it anywhere near the salad bowl. Delicious! Absolutely one of summer’s best!

IMG_3905

Tex-Mex Grilled Corn & Tomato Salad

recipe from: Mom Foodie

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 ears of fresh corn in husk
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes (sliced in half)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno, (de-seeded & diced)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • ¾ tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp light brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp chili powder

Directions:

Combine olive oil, lime juice, garlic, salt, brown sugar and chili powder in small bowl and whisk together. Separate dressing in half. Use half to baste the corn and the other half to dress the salad.
Preheat grill.
Peel back the corn husks, discarding all but a couple inner layers. Remove corn silk, then baste with dressing, and recover corn with remaining husk.
Grill on med-high for 20-25 minutes, turning 3-4 times during cooking time.
Remove the corn from grill and allow to cool a few minutes, then cut off stem end, place the flat cut end on bottom of large bowl, and use a corn zipper to strip the kernels from the cob. Or if you don’t have a zipper, run a small sharp knife down the length of the cob, slicing off kernels.
Add the tomato, cilantro, jalapeno and ½ the dressing. Mix well.
Serve at room temp or chilled.

Enjoy!


Broccoli Salad

May 17, 2013

IMG_3397

As I was saying in my last post, cookout season has arrived. And thus far the humidity around here hasn’t reached its usual god-awful Virginia levels, so it is actually pleasant to be outside. But I know that heat and humidity is lurking just right around the corner. Soon I won’t want to be outside and definitely won’t want to be hovering over a hot stove. So I thought I’d share a really easy, summer time salad recipe today. You don’t need to go anywhere near a stove or oven to whip this dish together. Served cold and always refreshing, Broccoli Salad is in heavy rotation in this household all summer!

IMG_3376

My Mom originally gave me this recipe. But it wasn’t something we had for dinner when I was a kid. I don’t think she came across this one herself until I was off to college. When I was growing up the only raw vegetable dish I remember seeing was coleslaw. I guess I occasionally saw someone who was dieting eating raw carrots and celery sticks, but generally when vegetables were served for dinner, they were boiled until they were mushy. Now I know there are plenty of folks who love mushy vegetables and more power to them. I prefer a little texture to my vegetables. Perhaps it is a generational thing as most of the friends I have around my age prefer steamed veggies but say they remember mostly having mushy veggies served to them as kids. I have a great story about my Granddad and this Broccoli Salad along those lines. Many years ago I made a big bowl of this salad and took it to some gathering at my Mom’s house. My Granddad was chatting with my brother and said ‘ I don’t know who made this Broccoli dish, but I think they didn’t cook it quite long enough.” My brother just smiled and said, “Yes, it is a bit crunchy alright.”

IMG_3365

This salad is very easy to prepare. There is a bit of chopping involved, but since I got a food processor that really has not been an issue. I will say though that you have to be careful not to process the broccoli too much. You don’t want a broccoli paste, so just give it a few quick pulses. Now I know I said that you don’t have to turn on your stove to make this, but you may be thinking “hey…there’s bacon in here.” That’s true. I usually buy a bag of those real bacon bits and throw those in. Of course, you are welcome to fry up some bacon if you like. I just wanted you to know that there is a bit of a time-saving cheaters option that can be done here. And even though this salad doesn’t take long to prepare, folks will go wild for it! That broccoli is so fresh and crispy and the dressing is a lovely sweet and tangy combination. And, come on… it has bacon and cheese in it! You know it will be nothing short of addictive. A great salad to take to parties, pot lucks, picnics or for just a regular week night dinner. Give it a try!

IMG_3373

Broccoli Salad

recipe from: My Mom

yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 crowns broccoli, chopped
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 10-12 slices bacon, crumbled (about 3/4 cup of crumbled bacon)

For the dressing:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Directions:

Chop Broccoli (either in food processor, or old-fashioned way).  Place in large bowl. Add cheese, onion and crumbled bacon. Set aside.

In small bowl whisk together mayo, sugar and vinegar until smooth.

Pour dressing over the broccoli mixture and stir until thoroughly coated. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Enjoy!


Peanut Chicken Soba Salad

May 30, 2012

Wow! Summer is here! It hovered around 90°F (32°C) for the whole of our long Memorial Day weekend. We had tickets for an outside concert on Saturday in the sweltering heat and humidity. Luckily we brought along plenty of iced down adult beverages both to keep us cool and to help improve our attitudes. One good thing I can say about the summer temperatures (and it may be the only good thing about summer that you ever hear me mutter…did I mention I despise summers in Virginia?) is that a rise in the mercury signals me to roll out one of our favourite summer chilled salads, Peanut Chicken Soba Salad.

This flavourful Asian inspired salad is a great dish to have around for those hot and steamy summer days. And it comes together very quickly cause the Lord knows I don’t want to spend any more time in a hot kitchen in the hot summer than I have to! With this recipe, you really only need to have one burner on for the amount of time it takes to cook up the soba noodles. ( 4 minutes in boiling water and they’re done!) I use the breast from one rotisserie chicken and I even purchase preshredded carrots. (now that is lazy…) Whatever. It is summer in Virginia and I’m moving both slowly and as little as possible, so if shredding can be eliminated, believe me, it will! This salad makes a deliciously light and satisfying meal and goes fabulously well with a chilled glass of white wine. (or two…or so….).

Peanut Chicken Soba Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 (6 ounce) Chicken breast halves, cooked and shredded
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons roasted peanut oil
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha (rooster sauce) or any chili garlic sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Cups cooked soba noodles (about 4 ounces uncooked)
  • 1 Cup grated carrot
  • 1/2 Cup green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 Cup red onion, minced
  • 1/4 Cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 4-5 teaspoons dry-roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • Lime wedges to garnish

Directions:

Cook and shred chicken breasts. Place shredded chicken in large bowl and set aside.

Combine vinegar and next 5 ingredients. Whisk together.

Pour vinegar mixture over chicken. Let stand for 5-10 minutes.

Add soba noodles and the next 4 ingredients to chicken mixture. Toss well.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Just prior to serving, sprinkle chopped peanuts over the top of the salad and garnish with a lime wedge or two.

Enjoy!


%d bloggers like this: