Monthly Archives: June 2012

Chicken and Green Bean Salad

I’m a sucker for creamy, rich, mayonaisse-laden chicken salad.  I love my own homemade chicken salad the best (which I will share with you one day) but I’ve been known to order fattening chicken salad in a restaurant from time to time.  No matter how much I might want to eat it, I really try to watch my mayonaisse intake.  Having grown up in Central Illinois where everything is made with mayonaisse, this used to be more of a task than it is now.  (My dad used to make his own salad dressing with mayonaisse and sugar – ugh!).

After falling in love with and devouring Cooking Light‘s Avocado Chicken Salad, I couldn’t resist trying the mayo-free Chicken and Green Bean Salad.  Steamed green beans are mixed with chicken and grape tomatoes and then tossed in a light mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, whole-grain Dijon mustard, and fresh thyme.  If you don’t have whole-grain Dijon, regular Dijon will work (it just won’t look as pretty).  The recipe calls for cherry tomatoes but I used grape tomatoes (they are smaller and fit onto the baguette slices better).  I also quickly grilled up chicken tenders which I shredded with a fork but using rotisserie or precooked chicken will speed up the preparation.  Seasoned with salt and pepper, this chicken salad is a great option to take to a picnic or outdoor event.  Serve with toasted baguette slices, whole-grain crackers or over a bed of baby spinach and you’ve got yourself a dish good enough for lunch, dinner or as an easy appetizer.  And I bet you won’t even miss the mayonaisse!

The ingredients:

Arrange baguette slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and broil in the over for 1 minute or until toasted.

Steam green beans 3 minutes or until crisp-tender.  Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon, thyme, salt and pepper with a whisk.

Add chicken, beans, and tomatoes to dressing mixture and toss to combine. 

Serve with toast.

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None


  • Grape tomatoes

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

Cooking Light Bloggers’ Connection

I’m excited to tell you that Cooking Light Magazine has asked me to become a member of their Cooking Light Bloggers’ Connection!  This is a community area on Cooking Light’s website where their online editors recognize food bloggers who contribute to healthy eating and want to help given them (me!) social media exposure. 

Considering I’ve been a long-time subscriber to their magazine and have become obsessed with their recipes, I’m truly honored that they have approached me to become a member of this community.  If you get a minute, please take a look at other food bloggers like me who embrace healthy eating and you just might like what you see!

Find A Fork In Each Hand on Cooking Light‘s Bloggers’ Connection here:

Cooking Light‘s Bloggers’ Connection

Thanks, Cooking Light!

Heirloom Tomato Gratin

When I was a kid, I wouldn’t eat (or entertain the idea of eating) fresh tomatoes. I was okay with tomato sauce but would gag when I would see my dad eat a sliced tomato with salt, pepper, and nothing but a fork. I didn’t even want a tomato to touch my food. I remember when I started liking tomatoes – I was at lunch eating a veggie burger, forgot to ask for no tomato and didn’t even think to look under the bun before chowing down. My first instinct was Eww, tomato! But as I rushed to swallow it down, I realized it actually added a juicy, brightness to my burger. And from that day on, I have been eating fresh tomatoes. I’m not at a point where I will bite into a tomato like an apple or shove an entire cherry tomato in my mouth but I’m happy that I’ve come a very long way from that childhood gag reflex.

Heirloom Tomato Gratin is a dish that, when I was younger, I could have never envisioned myself making, let alone eating. I’ve seen a basket of heirloom tomatoes in my store the past few times I’ve been in there and decided now was the time to make this summery dish. Heirloom tomatoes are sliced and layered with softly cooked sweet onions and topped with a textured mixture of bread crumbs, salty parmesan cheese, and fresh thyme. I used whole-wheat panko crumbs but try regular panko or simple bread crumbs. I cut the recipe in half and followed the measurements per the recipe but found I need only about half of the bread crumb/cheese mixture. So use your judgment and stop when you think you have enough. Once baked, the tomatoes are sweet and accented nicely by the orange-scented onions, salt and pepper. A perfect light summer meal.

The ingredients:

Preheat oven to 425°F. Rub the inside of a baking dish with garlic, then coat with oil (I used chopped garlic so I left it in the dish).

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, approximately 12 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in the orange zest, orange juice and honey.

Spoon half of the onion mixture in the bottom of the prepared dish and spread to cover the bottom. Arrange the tomatoes over the onions, layering slightly. Season with salt and pepper and repeat another layer.

Combine the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, thyme and remaining olive oil in a bowl and sprinkle over the tomatoes.

Bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.

Additions: None

Omissions: None


  • Whole-wheat panko crumbs

Overall Rating: Like It

Source: Woman’s Day Magazine

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