Monthly Archives: October 2012

Garlicky Kale

I was in Illinois this past weekend for a family event and got to spend every single minute with my sister and niece who I just don’t see enough of.  I love a weekend get away as much as the next person but it can take a lot out of you.  After flying home yesterday afternoon, I was ready to put on my jammies and climb under the covers before the sun had even set.  I was exhausted and hungry and since I’ve been on a routine of doing all of my cooking on the weekends, I had nothing to eat.  I turned to my good ol’ stand by, a fried egg sandwich.  Looking for a quick side, I whipped up some Garlicky Kale (adapted from Garlicky Swiss Chard).

Fresh kale is cooked and steamed with nothing more than olive oil, garlic, red pepper flake and salt.  What a better way to eat your green leafy vegetables, especially when you can probably benefit from some of it’s vitamins?  Light, garlicky and slightly spicy, this is a simple and healthy side dish that comes together fast.  Whether you eat this with eggs or something more substantial like meat or pasta, this is a good, quick go-to that can easily be switched up with any leafy green like spinach, swiss chard or collard greens.

The ingredients:

Wash kale pieces and place in a bowl (or use prewashed bagged kale to save some time).  In a large lidded pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and red pepper flakes to pan. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, being careful not to burn garlic.

Stir in greens and increase heat to medium-high; place lid on pot and cook 2 minutes.  Remove lid and stir with tongs.  Replace lid for 2 more minutes.  Remove lid, stir and cook for 2 more minutes, uncovered.  Greens should be bright green.

Stir in salt.

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Kale
  • Jarred minced garlic

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Family Circle Magazine

Buffalo Chicken Soup with Orzo

What is it about buffalo sauce?  Why is it that it took me years to find out the I loved it and now I can’t seem to live without it?  The first several times I tried it, I didn’t like it.  But back then, I was happy having mild, bland, and boring tasting food.  Now, I put spice in everything.  Granted, sometimes I’ll come across a buffalo dish that is so spicy that I can barely get through it.  But Frank’s is spot-on perfect.  So the fact that the bottle of Frank’s in my fridge is almost empty is nearly sending me in a panic.  I put in on chicken, I put it in pasta, I toss it on veggies.  It’s my go-to.  And this time, I even put it in my soup – Buffalo Chicken Soup with Orzo.

Chicken, carrot, onion and cooked orzo are mixed together with chicken broth, buffalo sauce, and cheddar and parmesan cheeses.  With some added flavor from green onions, ranch seasoning, and cilantro, this soup is not short on flavor.  You really need to be a buffalo sauce lover like me to appreciate this soup.  But you could also use as much or as little as you want if you just want a slight buffalo taste.  I’d wait to add any cilantro until the end rather than at the beginning because heated cilantro, once it turns almost black, is pretty unappealing and almost tasteless.  Throwing some at the end will add a huge punch of freshness which tastes so good with warm soup.  This is a good soup which I think would be good with a dollop of sour cream on top or with a splash of light cream mixed in.  If you like buffalo chicken, you’ll like this soup.

The ingredients:

Cook orzo according to package directions, cooking halfway (I cooked mine about 5 minutes) to allow for more cooking later.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet and sauté onion, garlic and green onions until opaque and fragrant.

Add carrots and ranch seasoning.

Add broth, buffalo sauce, cheeses and precooked chicken and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Return soup to a boil and add the orzo and cook until al dente.

Top with green onions, cilantro and blue cheese crumbles (if desired).

Additions:  None

Omissions:

  • Blue cheese

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Bake Your Day

Curried Chicken Salad

I don’t know about you but I feel like I post a lot about egg salad or chicken salad but the fact of the matter is that I grew up in central Illinois where mayonnaise was always in my house and a mayonnaise sandwich wasn’t necessarily out of the question when no one was looking.  But since mayo is bad, bad, bad, I’m not willing to give up on egg salad and chicken salad, two of my favorite loves.  I keep trying to make it healthy and whether I’m satisfied enough or not, I’m always willing to try it a different way.  So there you go.  I was curious about a Curried Chicken Salad recipe from Martha Stewart but it required a lot of chicken prep which I wasn’t into.  So this is my version of Martha’s version and it turned out pretty darn good.

Precooked chicken is mixed with a combination of Greek yogurt, light mayonnaise, curry powder and scallions before being tossed with toasted almonds and Granny Smith apple.  Using precooked chicken makes this dish come together fast and the combination of yogurt and light mayonnaise keeps it creamy.  The curry adds a bold flavor punch (but not too much) and the almonds and apple provide a fun crunch.  Since I typically like a bit of sweetness in my chicken salad, either from grapes or dried fruit, I love the addition of the Granny Smith apple which not only adds a little sweetness but also a tart edge.

Curried Chicken Salad (makes 4 servings) – adapted from Martha Stewart

  •  9 oz precooked chicken, chopped (such as PERDUE® SHORT CUTS® Carved Chicken Breast, Original Roasted)
  • 6 tablespoons non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1 small Granny Smith apple, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • lettuce or baby spinach

In a large bowl, combine yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, curry powder, scallions, almonds, and apple.  Season with salt and pepper.  Stir in chicken until combined.  Serve over lettuce, baby spinach or on your favorite bread.

The ingredients:

In a large bowl, combine yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, curry powder, scallions, almonds, and apple.  Season with salt and pepper.

Stir in chicken until combined.

Serve over lettuce, baby spinach or on your favorite bread.

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