Tag Archives: apple

Chicken Salad Melts

Why is lunch such a pain? Breakfast is easy. Dinner is usually easy. But lunch? You need something to keep you going that won’t fill you up so much that you can’t get through the rest of a long afternoon. Do you need a super easy, super quick lunch? Well I do! I’ve been working from home lately but that doesn’t mean I’m left with all kinds of time to sit and have a nice long lunch. Between meetings, conference calls and a lot of work to do, I need something fast.  These Chicken Salad Melts are perfect for a quick little bite that won’t take up a lot of time and won’t leave you needing a nap right away.

Precooked rotisserie chicken (a busy girl’s lifesaver) is mixed with fat-free Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, dill, and scallions. The mixture is covered in cheddar cheese and broiled until melted and gooey. Thin slices of fresh apple and leaves of Bibb lettuce round out this little sandwich which can be easily made ahead of time and wrapped up to-go (just heat up the cheese in a microwave or leave it off completely). I have to admit, I’m not the biggest fan of using Greek yogurt in chicken salad but if there is a nice balance with some light mayonnaise, it can actually provide a nice little tang that you wouldn’t normally get. Give these a try. I mean, it beats yet another boring can of soup or unsatisfying frozen meal!

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Preheat broiler to high. Combine chicken, yogurt, mayonnaise, dill, salt, pepper and scallions in a medium bowl; stir well.

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Place 1/3 cup chicken mixture on bottom half of each muffin. Top evenly with cheese. Broil 1 minute or until cheese melts.

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Top sandwiches evenly with apple, lettuce, and top halves of muffins.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Light mayonnaise

Overall Rating: Like It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

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Apple Salad with Mustard Dressing

I’m not typically someone who craves salad but with all of the traveling I’ve been doing lately, I could stand to eat a salad or two. Even when I’m home, I try to eat healthy but every once in a while I’ll grab a Hershey kiss or ten. Part of the reason I don’t crave salads that much is because my general encounters with salads are the big restaurant kind with a million ingredients that have just as many (or more) calories than a burger. I’ve come to realize the simpler the salad, the more likely I am to eat it. This Apple Salad with Mustard Dressing is only made up of two salad items and has a lively dressing. So simple. So perfect.

Mixed spring greens and slices of apple make up this salad which is dressed with a balanced yet vibrant mixture of olive oil, cider vinegar, shallot, whole-grain Dijon, and honey. The Dijon is tangy while the honey is sweet and the fresh shallot gives the whole salad a mild little bite. Fresh, thin slices of apple add a sweet crunch. Sure you can add more to this salad if you want – chicken, nuts, carrots, peppers. But the simplicity in this apple salad is the best part about it. Now that’s what I call a salad.

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Combine olive oil, vinegar, minced shallot, Dijon mustard, honey, salt, and pepper in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.

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Add apple and greens; toss to coat.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Sweet BBQ Chicken Salad

Happy May Day! Summer will be here before we know it so if you find yourself craving a salad, isn’t it good to embrace it? Craving salad doesn’t happen to me often but when it does, I appreciate salad so much.  I was in Tampa visiting friends last weekend and even though we didn’t go crazy with what we ate, we did manage to eat lots of Bombay chicken salad, crackers and cheese.  Oh and wine.  Lots and lots of wine.  Since I’ve been pretty much depriving my body of the food I’ve been craving lately, why not give in to the craving for a salad? This Sweet BBQ Chicken Salad satisfied my craving for salad without being too salad-y or too bad for me (like most salads are these days).

Bright green leaf lettuce, fruit, red peppers, and rotisserie chicken are tossed together for a bright dish.  A dressing made of bottled barbecue sauce, fresh orange juice, tangy mustard and red wine vinegar is drizzled to taste, making this the lightest and freshest barbecue chicken salad I’ve ever had.  My grocery store isn’t carrying peaches or nectarines just yet so I used a crisp Macintosh apple instead (use any fruit you like).  A little dusting of reduced-fat cheddar cheese tops the whole salad but you could leave it off (or load it on) if you like. The barbecue isn’t too sweet, despite the title of the recipe, and a little goes a long way. The combination of the sauce, chicken and fresh fruit and vegetables provides everything I like in a salad so I was happy this made a lot.  I ate it for days.

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In large bowl, whisk together barbecue sauce, orange juice, mustard, vinegar, salt, and black pepper.

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To same bowl, add lettuce, chicken, nectarines, and red pepper, tossing to coat and divide among 4 serving plates. Or, layer ingredients onto plates and drizzle with barbecue sauce mixture.

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Sprinkle with cheddar.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Apple for nectarine

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Good Housekeeping magazine

Turkey Burgers with Cranberry-Apple Relish

Here we are…2013 is almost over and the holidays will all soon be behind us.  There are certain foods that I only like to eat around the holidays and cranberries are one of them.  I know they are mostly used at Thanksgiving but some people make a whole Thanksgiving dinner for Christmas too so I tend to think of them as a holiday food, not just a Thanksgiving food.  These Turkey Burgers with Cranberry-Apple Relish are slightly festive and a good meal for these days between holidays when we are waiting for the New Year to come.

Fresh cranberries, orange, and apple are whirled together to come up with a unique relish that tops a homemade juicy turkey burger flavored with onion, parsley and sage.  Maybe you wouldn’t normally think to top a burger with a fruity relish but this adds a tangy yet slightly sweet contrast to the herby burger and really works.  I used provolone cheese and baby spinach to complement this burger but any cheese (especially a spicy cheese like cheddar jack) will do.  If you want some holiday flavors at some point but don’t really feel like making a whole big meal, why not try this burger?  It’ll take you back to the holidays any day of the year.

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The ingredients:

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Place cranberries, orange zest, orange, sugar and apple in a mini food processor. Pulse 10 times or until coarsely chopped. Stir in 1/8 teaspoon salt; set aside.

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Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add onion to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Cool slightly.

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Combine onion, breadcrumbs, parsley, sage, pepper, turkey, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl, stirring just until combined.  Divide mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a 4-inch patty.  Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat; coat with cooking spray. Add patties to pan; grill 5 minutes. Turn patties; grill 3 minutes. Top each with 1 cheese slice; grill 2 minutes or until cheese melts and turkey is done.

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Divide arugula evenly among bottom halves of buns. Top each serving with 1 patty. Divide relish evenly among servings; top with top halves of buns.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Baby spinach
  • Provolone cheese

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light magazine

Savory Baked Apples

I remember when I first saw the recipe for these Savory Baked Apples, my jaw dropped and my mouth watered so there may or may not have been some drooling involved.  And since every time I come across it I remind myself how much I want to make them, I’m shocked that it’s taken me so long to actually get around to doing it.  Let’s be honest, the thought of scooping out apple pulp to make hollowed out apples sounds awful but it really wasn’t that bad. I’d scooped out tomatoes for a similar dish once and it was much, much worse than this (my kitchen counter looked like I’d slaughtered something). The key is patience, which I don’t have.  But the reality is, even if you mess it up and it looks awful, it’ll still taste the same so who cares?  This is one quintessential autumn dish that is worth it.

Apples are baked in the oven until soft and filled with a cooked mixture of sweet sausage, brown rice, carrots, onion, walnuts, apple cider, dried cranberries, and scallions.  Shredded Swiss cheese is added to the top and broiled adding the perfect cheesy bite as a finale.  Cinnamon, sage and cayenne pepper, combined with the sweet smell of the baked apples, give this dish an overall aroma of Fall that makes your whole house smell like a big warm hug.  The end result is a comforting dish that’s both savory and a little bit sweet.  Want something a little bit different for Thanksgiving?  Look here.

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The ingredients:

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Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring broth to a boil in a saucepan. Stir in rice. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 50 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes.

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Combine cranberries and cider in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH 1 minute. Let stand for 10 minutes. Add mixture to rice.

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Using a small spoon, carefully scoop out centers of apples, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick shell, and chop apple flesh. Brush the inside of apples with 1 tablespoon butter. Place apples on a baking sheet, and bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until just tender.

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Preheat broiler to high. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage, and sauté 5 minutes, stirring to crumble. Remove from pan; drain.

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Wipe skillet, and melt remaining butter in pan. Add chopped apple, yellow onion, and next 3 ingredients (through pepper); sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic; sauté for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

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Add sausage, onion mixture, walnuts, and next 3 ingredients (through sage) to rice; toss.

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Divide rice mixture evenly among apples; top with cheese. Broil for 5 minutes or until golden.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Sweet turkey sausage

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light magazine

Beer-Glazed Sausage and Apples

Sometimes I come across a recipe that has me lingering a few seconds longer than the others but yet for whatever reason, I pass it by.  This recipe for Beer-Glazed Sausage and Apples is a perfect example of that.  Each and every time I come across it, I pause and think Wow, that looks good.  Finally, I caved.  It won me over and I couldn’t go another day, another minute, without making it.

Smoked sausage (I used turkey) is mixed with apples and green beans and simmered in a flavorful broth of wheat beer, brown sugar, cider vinegar and orange peel before being topped with bits of fresh sage.  The alcohol in the beer cooks off and the remaining flavor adds a layer of depth which blends so well with the sausage.  The apples and green beans are perfectly crisp while the orange peel provides a fresh, subtle citrus flavor which pleasantly permeates the whole dish.  I had high expectations for this dish and the result was as good, no, better than I expected.  My only complaint: don’t boil the sausage with the green beans as the recipe states in step one (I think this is an error).  Only boil the green beans in step one and brown the sausage in step three.  And when you eat it, try to get a little bit of everything in one forkful.  It’s worth a full mouth.

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The ingredients:

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In a large saucepan combine 1/2 of the beer and the crushed red pepper; bring to boiling.  Add green beans (not the sausage). Return to a simmer, cover and cook 5 to 8 minutes or until beans are tender. Drain and set aside.

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Meanwhile, in a large skillet melt 1 tablespoon butter; add apples. Cook, turning occasionally, until apples are just tender.  Transfer to a platter.

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Add sausage to skillet. Cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides. Add to platter; cover. Drain fat from skillet.

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Carefully add remaining beer to skillet (mixture may foam); stir to scrape up browned bits. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter, brown sugar, cider vinegar, and orange peel. Bring to boiling; reduce heat and boil gently, uncovered, 5 to 6 minutes or until slightly thickened.

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Return sausage and green beans to skillet to coat in glaze. Fold in apples. Return to serving platter.

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Sprinkle with sage.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Turkey kielbasa

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Better Homes & Gardens magazine

Turkey, Apple, and Swiss Melt

I’m staying local for Thanksgiving this week and by local, I mean home.  I’m not planning on leaving my house or making a ton of food, but just enough for me to think I made too much.  I couldn’t scale down my menu because things like stuffing and scalloped corn are foods I only eat once a year so they have to be made.  I also have to make something called Rice-Nut Loaf which probably sounds gross to you but it was my main protein source for 13 Thanksgivings while I was a vegetarian and I still want it each year (I might even share it with you soon!).  This year, I decided to forgo the turkey and just stick to the loaf.  Weird, probably, but it’s nothing I’m not used to.  So, since I’m not planning on having any turkey, therefore no leftover turkey for sandwiches, I picked up some sliced turkey last weekend to make myself this Turkey, Apple, and Swiss Melt.  Hardly a leftover turkey day sandwich but it fit my bill.

Sliced deli turkey is layered with thin slices of Granny Smith apple, lowfat Swiss cheese and homemade honey-Dijon before being toasted in a pan until crispy and golden brown.  The apple provides a crunchy tartness while the cheese melts just enough to make each bite gooey.  You might find yourself left with some turkey, a random apple you didn’t use for the stuffing and a little extra cheese from your cheesy mashed potatoes and realize you’ve got what it takes to make this sandwich.  Even if it’s on a leftover dinner roll and all you have is yellow mustard, give it a try.  By Friday, I’ll be making a rice-nut loaf-smashed potato-scalloped corn sandwich which won’t even come close to this one.  But I bet you I’ll love it anyway.  Have a great Thanksgiving!

The ingredients:

Combine mustard and honey in a small bowl.  Spread one side of each of 4 bread slices with 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard mixture.

Place one cheese slice on dressed side of bread slices; top each with 5 apple slices and 2 ounces turkey.

Top sandwiches with remaining 4 bread slices.  Coat both sides of sandwiches with cooking spray.  Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add sandwiches to pan. Cook 2 minutes on each side or until bread is browned and cheese melts.

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

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