Spicy Chipotle Chicken Salad with Homemade Ranch

Mark and I love salads so I am always trying to think of new salad ideas/recipes.   This Spicy Chipotle Chicken Salad with Homemade Ranch is a new version of a traditional southwest salad.  The chicken is really spicy but the creamy avocado, sweet corn, and tangy ranch mellow out the heat.

Spicy Chipotle Chicken Salad with Homemade Ranch

When I think of a traditional southwest salad ingredients I think of avocado, black beans, corn, tomato, onion, pepper jack cheese and tortilla chips.  You can add or subtract any of these ingredients to make this salad.

Spicy Chipotle Chicken Salad with Homemade Ranch

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One Pan Roasted Chicken with Potatoes, Olives, and Leeks

I have been trying to make more “one pan meals” so there is less clean up.  This One Pan Roasted Chicken with Potatoes, Olives, and Leeks is a perfect week night dinner with minimal cleanup.

 

One Pan Roasted Chicken with Potatoes, Olives, and Leeks

I love cooking but I hate cleaning!  Mark cleans up most of my cooking mess but I do feel bad leaving him so many pots and pans so one pan meals are so much easier for both of us.  The pan I used for this dish is my new Lodge cast iron which I got as a wedding present.  What I love most about a cast iron is that you can start a dish on the stove and finish in the oven which is what I did with the chicken to make sure the skin was crisp.

One Pan Roasted Chicken with Potatoes, Olives, and Leeks

After searing the chicken on both sides I set it aside and added the potatoes to the pan and cooked them for a few minutes.  Next I added the leeks, olives, and lemon slices and topped it all with the seared chicken.

One Pan Roasted Chicken with Potatoes, Olives, and Leeks

The whole pan goes in the oven at 425 degrees for 35 minutes.  Top with chives and parsley then enjoy this simple one pan roasted chicken with potatoes, olives, and leeks!

One Pan Roasted Chicken with Potatoes, Olives, and Leeks

One Pan Roasted Chicken with Potatoes, Olives, and Leeks
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 1 chicken leg per person (drumstick + thigh)
  • ½ cup castelvetrano olives pitted
  • 2 large leeks sliced into large pieces
  • 1 lb fingerling potatoes sliced in half
  • 1 lemon (1/2 sliced and the other half juiced)
  • 3 cubes of frozen crushed garlic or 2 fresh garlic cloves minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives (optional topping)
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley (optional topping)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil (or oil of your choice)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Season chicken with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
  3. Heat your cast iron or pan of your choice to high.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons oil.
  5. Sear the chicken for 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown then set aside on a plate.
  6. Add 2 more tablespoons oil to skillet along with potatoes and garlic.
  7. Cook for 5 minutes stirring frequently.
  8. Next add leeks, olives, and lemon slices to the same pan.
  9. Season vegetables with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
  10. Stir vegetables then set chicken on top.
  11. Squeeze ½ lemon over entire dish.
  12. Bake for 35 minutes.
Notes
If you do not have a cast iron you can sear the chicken and potatoes on the stove then place everything in a baking dish or sheet pan to finish in the oven.

 

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Soba Noodle, Spinach, and Tofu Salad with Miso Nori Vinaigrette

Soba Noodle, Spinach, and Tofu Salad with Miso Nori Vinaigrette is my new favorite salad (I think I say that every week)!!  The Miso Nori Vinaigrette is life changing!!

Soba Noodle, Spinach, and Tofu Salad with Miso Nori Vinaigrette

I had a similar salad at Flour Bakery recently and wanted to try and recreate it.  This was my first time cooking with soba noodles and they are now my favorite pasta alternative.  If you buy 100% buckwheat they are gluten free.  For a variety pack of gluten free soba noodles click here.

soba noodle, spinach, and tofu salad

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Kale and Cashew Salad with Miso Sesame Dressing

Kale and Cashew Salad with Miso Sesame Dressing is a remake of my favorite salad from a restaurant that has closed in Boston (Hillstone).  It has all GREEN ingredients so it is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day and so good that I ate it for lunch all week!

Kale and Cashew Salad with Miso Sesame Dressing

The ingredients for the salad include kale, cabbage, scallions, cilantro, mint, cashews, and sesame seeds.  For the dressing I used white miso, avocado oil, sesame seeds, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, agave, garlic, lemon, salt and pepper.  One tip that I recommend is dressing and tossing the salad about 15 minutes prior to serving so the dressing breaks down the kale and cabbage a little.

Kale and Cashew Salad with Miso Sesame Dressing

This salad is seriously amazing and it is vegan and gluten free!!  I have been trying to cook a lot more plant based meals lately because I truly believe it will help me live a longer healthier life and prevent future medical issues like colon cancer and heart disease.  My husband Mark has a very strong family history of heart disease so it is very important to me that he does everything preventative that he can like eating healthy, working out, and making sure his cholesterol and blood pressure are controlled.  Mark has now gotten to the point where he actually craves some of our favorite vegan restaurants like Whole Heart Provisions.  Yay!

Kale and Cashew Salad with Miso Sesame Dressing

Kale and Cashew Salad with Miso Sesame Dressing
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of kale with stems removed and finely chopped
  • 1 small head of green cabbage shredded with mandolin
  • 1 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup minced fresh mint
  • 6 scallions finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1.5 cups of raw unsalted cashews
Dressing:
  • 1 teaspoon white miso (found at Whole Foods)
  • 2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • ⅓ cup of avocado oil (or oil of your choice)
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon agave syrup
  • 1 cube of frozen garlic (found at Trader Joe's)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • The juice from 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. Chop all vegetables and herbs and toss with sesame seeds and cashews.
  2. For the dressing add all ingredients into a blender and blend.
  3. Taste and make any changes you like.
  4. Toss salad with dressing at least 15 minutes prior to serving to break down the kale and cabbage a little.
  5. If you are making this for meal prep separate the salad into glass containers and small containers for the dressing. When you are ready for lunch dress the salad 15 minutes prior to eating.

 

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Southwest Turkey Burgers with Baked Spiralized Sweet Potato Fries

This recipe for Southwest Turkey Burgers with Baked Spiralized Sweet Potato Fries is one of my favorite meal prep ideas.  The burgers have great flavor and are filled with zucchini, peppers, onions, and green chilies.  Every time I make turkey burgers I change the recipe a little and these were the best yet.  Some other additions I have made in the past are adding corn and black beans (about 1/2 cup each) which I also recommend trying.

Southwest Turkey Burgers with Baked Spiralized Sweet Potato Fries

I contemplated making a double batch and wish I would have because these were so good leftover.  This recipe makes about 9 burgers which is a lot, but we ate 2 for most meals because they were delicious and light.  To make this dish gluten free I used lettuce as the “bun” and added baked sweet potato fries to make the meal heartier.

Southwest Turkey Burgers

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Asian Carrot and Cucumber Rice Noodle Salad

Yep, another versions of my favorite Asian Pasta Salad!  This version is an Asian Carrot and Cucumber Rice Noodle Salad with a Lime, Ginger, and Sriracha Dressing.

Asian Carrot and Cucumber Noodle Salad

The Carrot ribbons are make using a vegetable peeler, cucumbers are sliced very thin using a mandolin, then just add bean sprouts, rice noodles or noodles of your choice cooked per package instructions, and sliced scallions and cilantro.

If you do not have a mandolin I really recommend buying one.  I use mine all the time to slice vegetables very thin quickly but I have almost cut off my finger on multiple occasions so you have to be super careful!!  The mandolin that I bought is this one, it is affordable but also works great.  I am thinking about buying a mandolin glove to prevent me from losing a finger.  Most mandolins do come with a handle to prevent finger loss but it is hard to use when you are slicing smaller vegetables like brussels or radishes which is why I am thinking about buying a glove.

Asian Carrot and Cucumber Rice Noodle Salad

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Turmeric Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad with Homemade Caesar Dressing

Caesar salad is one of my easy go to week night dinners.  Turmeric grilled chicken caesar salad with homemade caesar dressing is a little twist on that.

Turmeric Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

I love Caesar Salad but store bough caesar dressing is sooo bad for you!  For a few months now I have been working on my own caesar dressing and I have finally perfected it.  The dressing is super tangy and it is vegan so just substitute the chicken for some turmeric grilled tofu, leave off the cheese, and you have a quick easy vegan dinner.

Homemade Caesar Dressing

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Simple Asparagus, Pepper, and Shiitake Stir Fry with Spicy Ginger Garlic Sauce

This simple asparagus, pepper, and shiitake stir fry with spicy ginger garlic sauce is served over brown rice.  The best part about this recipe is that it took less than 15 minutes to make so it is the perfect after work dinner.

Simple Asparagus, Pepper, and Shiitake Stir Fry

To start this dish chop the shiitake mushrooms, asparagus, small multi colored peppers, and scallions.  Set the scallions aside to use as a garnish.  Sauté the vegetables on medium/high in a large pan with a little oil, salt, and pepper for 5 minutes.

Simple Asparagus, Pepper, and Shiitake Stir Fry

While you are sautéing the vegetables add the frozen rice to the microwave for 3 minutes.  I love this organic frozen brown rice from Trader Joe’s because it tastes amazing and it is so much easier than cooking rice on the stove.  Trader Joe’s also sells frozen organic jasmine rice if you do not like brown rice.

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Raw Chop Salad with Olives and Feta

This raw chop salad with olives and feta is just what we needed after our vacation in Hawaii.  We didn’t eat “bad” in Hawaii but we did not have many vegetables and we ate a lot of carbs!  We also had so much ahi poke that I can not eat fish for the rest of the year!  My mercury level must be so high eeek!

raw chop salad with olives and feta

The raw vegetables in this salad include lettuce, celery, multicolored small peppers, carrots, cauliflower, tomatoes, and scallions.  Olives and feta make this salad a little more exciting so you are not just eating a bowl of raw vegetables.

raw chop salad with olives and feta

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