Herbed Chicken Salad

20130314_183818

This is a great twist on a basic chicken salad. The herbs give the chicken more flavor and it goes well with a light Italian or vinegar and oil dressing. This salad works well as a lunch or complete dinner meal.

Yield: 6 Servings 

Ingredients:

3-4 chicken breasts, boneless-skinless

1 TBSP finely chopped fresh rosemary

1 TBSP chopped fresh thyme

3/4 tsp salt

3/4 tsp ground black pepper

1 TBSP olive oil

2 packages salad mix – hearts of romaine or Italian salad blend

1 pint of grape tomatoes, cut in half

1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced

thinly sliced red onion, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. In a small prep bowl mix chopped herbs, salt and pepper.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  3. Apply herb seasoning evenly to chicken breasts. Cook for 5 minutes on each side.
  4. Transfer chicken to a rimmed baking sheet and bake until done (internal temp reaches 165°).
  5. While chicken cooking in oven assemble salads in individual large plates or bowls.
  6. Removed cooked chicken from the oven, chop and top salads.
  7. Serve with Italian dressing or simple side of oil and red wine vinegar.
Herbed Chicken Salad

Searing in the pan gives the chicken great color and flavor.

Herbed Chicken for salad

Finishing in the oven ensures thick chicken breasts such as these are thoroughly cooked.

Advertisements

Mexican Cabbage Salad

mexican cabbage salad

I’m calling this dish Mexican cabbage Salad because I don’t know what the real name is (if there is one). When Paul and I lived in the San Joaquin Valley of California (in the center of the state, away from the coast) the Mexican restaurants there would serve this type of dish. It’s normally served in a little bowl in addition to the salsa for dipping with chips. We never see it here on the Central Coast. We did a little experimenting and came up with a mixture that comes pretty close.

This cabbage mix is great as a dip for chips, a topping on carne asada tacos, or filling in burritos. It’s best to allow the mixture to chill at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the full flavor to develop.

Ingredients

1 small cabbage, finely chopped or grated

1-2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced

1-2 jalapenos, finely chopped

1/4 cup lime juice

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Chop or grate cabbage (I like to use the food processor with the grater blade) into fine pieces.
  2. Add chopped tomato, jalapeno, lime juice, salt and pepper.
  3. Mix well to combine and allow to chill 30 minutes before serving. Leftovers will keep a short time (1-2 days) in the refrigerator.

Ham & Spinach Quiche Cups

ham and spinach individual quiches

These low-carb, low-calorie muffin-size quiches make a great grab-and-go breakfast. They are a nice alternative to basic scrambled eggs in the morning and can be made ahead and frozen. Simply take a few out of the freezer the night before and pop them in the microwave for a fast hot breakfast! I also like them cold as a snack.

Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus 25-30 baking (45-50 total)
Yield: 15-18 quiches

Ingredients:

1 package frozen chopped spinach

1 package (6 oz) Canadian Bacon

1 tsp olive oil

1/4 small onion, chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

12 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 cups shredded low-fat cheese

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper (or less)

Directions:

  1. Line muffin tins with foil baking cups or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Defrost and drain spinach according to package directions.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook until tender.
  4. Chop Canadian bacon into small pieces.
  5. In a large bowl crack eggs and beat well with a wire whisk.
  6. Add drained spinach, Canadian bacon, onions, peppers, cheese, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  7. Bake at 350°F for 35-30 minutes or until knife inserted in center of quiche comes out clean.
  8. Refrigerate or freeze after cooking.

Broiled Tomatoes With Basil & Mozzarella (No-Bread Bruschetta)

broiled tomatoes with basil & mozzarella

I love the flavor combination of tomato, basil and mozzarella. It’s a classic for a reason! When I needed a quick no-carb lunch last week I turned this classic combo into a five-minute treat. It really satisfied that craving for bruschetta without any bread!

Ingredients:

1 large ripe tomato, stem and core removed, sliced  1/4 ” thick

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1-2 TBSP fresh basil herb paste (found in the produce section of the market)

Directions:

  1. Wash, stem, core and slice tomato. Place on non-reactive cookie sheet
    or dish.
  2. In a small bowl combine cheese with basil paste.
  3. Spread evenly over tomatoes.
  4. Place under broiler for 2-3 minutes, until cheese is lightly browned.
  5. Serve immediately.

This makes a great quick lunch or a nice side dish on a hot summer night since the broiler won’t heat up the house. For extra pizzaz try adding a little salt and pepper to the tomatoes or drizzle with olive oil before broiling.

Spicy Picked Carrots & Peppers

spicy pickled carrots

This is a recipe for my husband. He was craving spicy carrots so we found a recipe and made them together. Personally, I am a wimp when it comes to spicy foods, so I never would have made this without his suggestion.

Ingredients:

2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced

2 TBSP vegetable oil

5 cloves garlic, diced

2 cups white vinegar

2 cups water

6 bay leaves

1 tsp. salt

12 whole peppercorns

8-12 oz jarred sliced jalapeño peppers (the more, the hotter your end result)

Directions:

  1. Peel carrots and slice into stick or cut on bias into 1/4 inch pieces.
  2. Heat oil in a large (10-12″) skillet on medium heat.
  3. Add garlic and carrots. Saute for 2 minutes.
  4. Add vinegar, peppercorns, salt, bay leaves. Bring to a simmer for 2 minutes.
  5. Add water and jalapeños (with liquid from jar). Return to a simmer and cook 5 minutes.
  6. Remove bay leaves.
  7. Place in air-tight container including liquid and refrigerate overnight.
  8. To serve remove carrot and jalapeño pieces with a slotted spoon.

Makes 2 quarts of carrots and liquid.

This recipe is adapted from About.com’s Mexican Food Section

Yummy chicken salad – salad!

This is one of my favorite salads that is packed with protein and leaves me satisfied.  I like to use the canned chicken breast from Costco for the chicken salad.  It’s SO tender and moist!  I also like to add a lot of veggies and just enough mayo to get it to come together.

chicken salad ingredients

2 cans all white meat chicken breast
1 large carrot, diced
1/4 white onion, diced (or subst. 2 green onions, sliced)
1 to 2 ribs of celery, diced
Mayonnaise to taste
Ground black pepper
Coarse ground garlic OR yellow curry powder, to taste

chicken salad on a bed of greens

Mix up your chicken salad and then place it on top of a bed of greens!  I like to use spring mix for this, but any greens you like would work.  Sometimes I also add sprouts.  It’s a tasty, fresh lunch that is high in protein and veggies!

The best pasta sauce! (And it happens to be low-carb)

This sauce is from Costco and it is so yummy!  It’s called Victoria White Linen Collection Marinara. It comes in large jars (40 oz.) and amazingly only has 1 gram of sugar.  If you haven’t checked your pasta sauce for sugar content, you might want to do that.  What is average?  In my checking of various brands at the grocery store I’d say 8 gram is common.  The best I’ve found in the store is about 5 grams of sugar, and the worst – over 12 grams!  They had a sale on a particular brand, a very good price, but it was just too high in sugar so I didn’t buy it.

For whatever reason, the two Costco stores near me don’t carry this sauce.  I had my mom bring me a few jars on her last visit so I could stock up!  Look for it the next time you’re in Costco, and I did find it on Amazon.com if you shop there.