Tag Archives: arugula

Grilled Chicken Salad with Strawberries and Feta

I was traveling for work last week and had a lot going on which meant hardly any exercise and lots of bad eating. I actually don’t mind traveling for work but at the same time, I love being in a normal routine at home of making good food and hitting the gym. The one morning I actually made it to the gym? It was packed with every machine taken. I did some exercises in my room instead but that didn’t really do me much good for the rest of the week. So this week, I’m back on track. (I feel like I’m always saying that.) Salad…and more salad. Luckily, I came home to the latest Cooking Light magazine in my mailbox which had this Grilled Chicken Salad with Strawberries and Feta. It seemed meant to be.

Chicken breasts are marinated briefly in simple olive oil and balsamic vinegar before being grilled. Strawberries, arugula, and red onion are mixed with a little more oil and vinegar before being topped with the chicken and tangy feta cheese. This salad is simple and a little bit perfect. Strawberries and balsamic already pair so well together but added with the marinated chicken and spicy arugula, it just makes this salad so hearty and flavorful. I’ve been craving strawberries lately so this was a great way to enjoy them before they are perfectly in season. Salads can be good like that.

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Combine 2 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons vinegar in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken to bag; seal. Let stand 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; grill 5 minutes on each side or until done. Cut into slices.

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Combine remaining 1 tablespoon oil, remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and sugar in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add strawberries; toss to coat.

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Add arugula and onion to strawberry mixture; toss gently to combine.

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Sprinkle feta over salad. Divide salad among 4 plates; top evenly with sliced chicken.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Regular balsamic vinegar

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Egg Salad Sandwiches with Bacon and Sriracha

Got some hard-boiled eggs leftover from Easter and are kind of sick of deviled eggs? Is that even possible? To be sick of deviled eggs? Not in my world. Deviled eggs, egg salad, or hard-boiled eggs simply sliced over some avocado toast – I don’t care. I’ll take them hard-boiled any which way. I eat deviled eggs so often throughout the year but I rarely think to make egg salad anymore. Probably because I can eat an entire bowl of egg salad with a spoon. Portion control? Ha! But I couldn’t resist trying these Egg Salad Sandwiches with Bacon and Sriracha.

Hard-boiled eggs are mixed with a combination of a little mayonnaise, plain non-fat Greek yogurt, bacon (I used turkey bacon), scallions, and Sriracha. The mixture is plopped on top of some arugula which adds yet another layer of vibrant flavor. (Don’t like arugula? Use spinach). I’m not typically a big fan of using yogurt in place of mayonnaise in most cases but here, it works. With the Sriracha and light oniony bite of the scallions, you can’t even tell the yogurt is in there. And bacon? Who doesn’t love bacon? This egg salad is insane. Sriracha and eggs work so well together that it doesn’t even seem right to not put them together. I ate my egg salad on seeded Jewish rye bread which packs yet another punch so I was in heaven. Thank goodness for Easter. It’s just another reason to make hard-boiled eggs. As if we need a reason.

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 Cook bacon in a medium pan over medium-high heat 3 minutes, until crisp or microwave per package directions. Remove bacon from pan or microwave; crumble. Place bacon in a large bowl. Stir in onions, mayonnaise, yogurt, Sriracha, salt and pepper.

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Gently stir in eggs.

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Arrange 1/2 cup arugula on each of 4 bread slices. Top each serving with 1/3 cup egg mixture and 1 bread slice.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Turkey bacon

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Pesto Tartlets

I told myself that as of this last birthday, I was going to start eating better and really focusing on healthier eating.  The reality is, when I eat healthier, I actually feel better (duh…who knew?!).  But I know this healthier lifestyle will take some time and let’s face it, when you have a food blog, it’s not really that easy sometimes. Well, I made these Pesto Tartlets last weekend and because they are made with puff pastry, they may not be the healthiest things in the world but they are not really the worst for you either.

Puff pastry is topped with bright grape tomatoes and baked before being topped with fresh burrata (or mozzarella) and an arugula pesto.  The pesto is made with arugula, parmesan, garlic, olive oil and vinegar and has different kick than regular basil pesto.  I used about half of the olive oil called for and my pesto was plenty flavorful with a perfect consistency so use your judgement with how much oil you use. The crust is buttery, the grapes are juicy, the pesto is vibrant and the cheese is creamy which makes this tartlet a little slice of heaven.  This pesto also tastes great with pasta or chicken so save any leftovers. Looks like I’m eating fruit the rest of this week.

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In food processor, puree arugula, Parmesan, olive oil, vinegar and garlic; season.

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Put puff pastry on parchment- lined baking sheet; pierce with fork. Top with tomatoes; season. Bake at 425 degrees until crisp, 15 minutes.

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Top with burrata and pesto.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Fresh mozzarella cheese

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine

Pear, Blue Cheese, and Bacon Pizza

Pizza, pizza, pizza. We get pizza every Friday in our office and most Fridays, I skip it and grab take out from the vendor on the corner. For someone who loves pizza, sometimes I can’t bring myself to eat plain old cheese pizza. It’s my favorite but some days, I just can’t do it. I loved the idea of this different no-tomato style pizza, Pear, Blue Cheese, and Bacon Focaccia-Style Pizza. Okay, I admit my pizza dough isn’t “focaccia-style” because I take short cuts when it comes to pizza dough. Yes, I know I can make it myself and yes, I know it will probably taste better. But let’s face it, when I want pizza, I’m not waiting hours for dough to rise. Get in my belly!

Cooked bacon (in typical fashion, I used turkey bacon), red onions and blue cheese are layers over creamy ricotta mixed with a little nutmeg for extra flavor. After baking in the oven, the pizza is topped with thin Bosc pear slices and vibrant arugula. There are so many layers of flavor in the pie. For someone who never used to eat blue cheese, I found myself enjoying the bites with blue cheese the best (I used Gorgonzola) and wished I had used more. Not feeling pears during the summer? Juicy peaches would be a great substitute. If you are having a lazy weekend day and want to make your own dough, go for it. Please let me know what I’m missing out on.

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Cook bacon in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon. Return pan to medium heat. Add onion to drippings; cook 4 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.

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Combine ricotta and nutmeg in a small bowl. Spread ricotta mixture over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border; top evenly with bacon, onion mixture, and blue cheese. Brush edges of dough with remaining 1 teaspoon oil.

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Bake at 450° for 12 minutes or until edges are golden. Top pizza evenly with arugula and pear; sprinkle with pepper.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

Overall Rating: Like It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Stone Fruit Chicken-Rice Salad

I don’t know why it doesn’t occur to me to always have precooked rice, lots of fruits and/veggies, and chicken on hand to make a hodge podge rice bowl. These kinds of meals are always exactly what tastes so good to me and what leaves me feeling satisfied. I do have a ridiculous love for rice so I try not to eat too much of it (hence why it’s never in the house). If I could figure out how to control myself, maybe I could actual have certain foods on standby. But rice with chicken and fruits or veggies along with an Asian flavored sauce or a light vinaigrette is usually my perfect little meal. Which explains why I was so drawn to this Stone Fruit Chicken-Rice Salad.

Grilled chicken, nectarines, brown rice, cherries, scallions, almonds, and mint are mixed together before being tossed with a simple vinaigrette of olive oil, lemon and Dijon. Served with whatever kind of green you like (I used arugula), this salad is a perfect lunch or even a light which takes advantage of summer’s fruits. I look forward to nectarines, peaches, berries and especially cherries each year so as soon as I saw cherries in the store, I grabbed a huge bag no matter the cost. Substitute this salad with rotisserie chicken, turkey, blueberries, corn, spinach, zucchini, basil, tomatoes or whatever your heart desires. No matter what you throw in, you won’t go wrong.

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Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Sprinkle both sides of chicken evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place chicken on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 5 minutes on each side or until done. Let stand 5 minutes. Chop chicken.

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Combine oil, rind, juice, and mustard in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk.

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Add chopped, cooked chicken, nectarines, and remaining ingredients; toss well.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Arugula
  • Sliced almonds

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Roasted Potatoes with Arugula-Pistachio Pesto

I can’t help it but I love the Olympics. As much as it reminds me of how amazingly physically inferior I am to other people, I still love to root for my country and feel one with other Americans.  That being said, part of me is sad to see it end but happy to see it go. Two weeks is just long enough before some of us are ready to get back to regular programming of Chicago Fire and Grimm. Unless you are like me and have already jumped on the Netflix bandwagon and have devoured the entire second season of House of Cards only a day after the episodes were released. I have no self control. But that’s what happens when Netflix releases the whole season at once…it’s like letting a kid run wild in the Hershey chocolate factory.  Um…when will the third season be coming out? Anyone? I’ve officially tortured myself.  Anywho…at some point between watching the Olympics and my gazillionth episode of House of Cards, I have made these Roasted Potatoes with Arugula-Pistachio Pesto. Luckily, they were easy and not very time consuming.

Roasted fingerling potatoes are tossed in a quick, simple and tasty pesto made of peppery arugula and salty pistachios. Parmesan cheese, lemon juice and garlic help round out the flavors in this pesto which was so good, I used leftovers to top a turkey burger. This pesto would be good on nearly anything – any sandwich, any salad, any French fry, or any random vegetable.  I don’t eat potatoes much but when I eat them like these, I wonder why. These potatoes were amazing. I actually couldn’t wait until my next meal to eat them again. Sad but true. Please, try these.

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Place a jellyroll pan in oven. Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine potatoes and 1 tablespoon oil in a medium bowl; toss well.

Arrange potatoes in a single layer on preheated pan. Sprinkle potatoes with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes; toss potatoes. Bake an additional 25 minutes or until tender, stirring every 10 minutes.

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Combine remaining 3 tablespoons oil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, arugula leaves, Parmesan cheese, pistachios, 2 teaspoons water, lemon juice, and garlic in a food processor; process until smooth.

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Combine arugula mixture and hot potatoes in a medium bowl; toss well.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light magazine

Poached Egg and Arugula Salad Bruschetta

This might be a little embarrassing for me to admit but I’ve never poached an egg before. The primary reason for this, as I’ve mentioned before, is I didn’t start eating runny yolks until recently. Now that I’m really starting to understand the runny yolk goodness (or dippy egg as my friend calls it), there was no longer a reason to not attempt the poached egg. I really love Eggs Benedict but it’s the hollandaise sauce, not the poached egg, that makes me weary about making it at home. This Poached Egg and Arugula Salad Bruschetta is a perfectly simple recipe for a first-time egg poacher to try at home.

Fresh arugula is tossed with a simple shallot/Dijon mustard/white wine vinaigrette, draped over browned baguette slices and topped with crispy, crumbled bacon and a perfectly poached egg. The vinaigrette is light and the arugula’s peppery flavors pair so perfectly with the creaminess of the runny yolk and poached egg white. The bacon (I used turkey bacon) adds just another layer of flavor but vegetarians will be just as impressed with this even without the bacon. I’m a big brunch person and a big egg person but I honestly didn’t expect to love this dish as much as I do. I could easily eat this for brunch every weekend, hands down.

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Combine shallots, oil, 1 tablespoon vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper, stirring with a whisk.

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Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat (or pre-heat broiler). Lightly coat both sides of each bread slice with cooking spray. If using grill, add bread to grill pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until toasted. If using broiler, place bread on sheet pan and broil both sides until desired brownness (about 3 minutes each side).

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Add water to a large skillet, filling two-thirds full; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; add remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar to pan. Break eggs into custard cups. When water cools to a simmer, gently pour eggs into pan; cook 3 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Carefully remove eggs from pan using a slotted spoon.

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Place 2 toast slices on each of 4 plates. Add arugula to oil mixture; toss. Arrange about 1 cup arugula mixture on each serving; sprinkle evenly with bacon.

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Top each serving with 1 egg. Serve immediately.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Turkey bacon

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

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