Thursday, July 15, 2010

30 Nights of Salad - Day 21

How do you "Jerk" chicken?

Jerk traditionally refers to the way the meat is cooked with certain spices dry rubbed onto the meat - usually beef or pork. Today this term refers to the spices itself. Jerk seasoning is a spicy and often slightly sweet concoction of fantastic-ness. The spicy comes from the Pimento A.K.A. Allspice and usually the sweet comes from the addition of dark brown sugar which still maintains some molasses which gives it a deep rich flavor. Although I have a good idea of the spices that go into making a good Jerk rub I have never made my own. I prefer the flavor of Blue Mountain's Jerk Season. A little of this stuff goes a long way. Then when my meat is cooked, I cook it even longer with some World Harbor's Jerk Sauce on top and your meat comes out so amazing and delicious - we can't stop eating the stuff until our mouth is burning and then we go drink some milk and get back to it!

For this Salad, I jerked some chicken breast, sliced it and spread it on top of the salad and we ate it all. We even went back and ate the leftover chicken that night. It was goooood!

Jerk Chicken Breast
-1 LB skinless boneless chicken breast
-1 Tablespoon of Jerk seasoning
-1/2 cup Jerk Sauce
***Since Chicken breast dries out easily, it's important to cook it fast and keep it covered. My meat was somewhat thick but I wrapped it in a foil package and cooked it at 350 degrees for about a half hour. Then I open the package up and added the sauce and let it cook for another 15 minutes or so.

Jerk Chicken Salad
-Sliced Jerk Chicken (see recipe above)
-Wonton crisps
***There wasn't much sauce left but we used the little bit as a dressing. The corn added a little bit of sweetness that goes well with the Jerk chicken. You can also add melon or mango to this salad. The fruit lightens the Jerk and keeps the spicy from being too overwhelming. Enjoy!

30 Nights of Salad - Day 20

Sausage salad sounds unlikely I know, but it came out amazing! I used chicken apple sausage and added chopped apples! Easy & yummy!

Chicken Apple Sausage Salad
-Lettuce, chopped
-Grape Tomatoes
-1/2 Golden Delicious Apple, chopped
-1/2 Gala Apple, chopped
-1 Chicken Apple Sausage, sliced
***I sliced the sausage and put it on the grill for a few minutes. Put the salad together and add chopped pecans if you like. I used Raspberry dressing for this salad and it went perfectly.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

30 Nights of Salad - Day 18 & 19

Bulgogi! have you heard of it? It's a Korean dish and usually the meat is beef. But you can whip together the ingredients and use fish - Salmon to be exact. I used a recipe my husband found here as my basis and edited it a little. I have a hard time following recipes to the T. I like to rebel against cookbooks I guess. I used these ingredients here:

and marinated the salmon for 2/3 hours and then baked and then ate! This makes a flavorful salad and I can't wait to try it with beef!

Marinade for the Salmon:
-2 large garlic cloves, peeled, divided
-1/2 cup chopped green onions
-1/2 cup soy sauce
-1 3/4-inch cube peeled fresh ginger
-3 teaspoons sugar (I like to use light brown sugar for marinades)
-2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
-1 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce*
-4 6-ounce center-cut skinless salmon fillets
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-1/4 cup water
***Put the marinade and the salmon (and some thickly sliced onion if you like) in an oven ready dish and put in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours, cover with foil. Place the dish in a 350 degree oven for approx 15 minutes. Take the foil off and flip over and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Once the Salmon is cooked through, take out of oven and let rest while you assemble the salad ingredients:

Salmon Bulgogi Salad
-Salmon Bulgogi
-Lettuce, chopped
-Red Bell Pepper, thinly sliced
***I used the sauce for the dressing - assemble the salad and crumble the salmon on top. Also, this would go fantastic over rice! Enjoy!

30 Nights of Salad - Day 17

We had a blast with this salad! I marinated the chicken breast in Italian dressing - just a little for a few hours and then grilled it and oh yummy! While it cooked, I threw some bacon and sliced onions onto the grill and threw it all into the salad. Amazing!

Grilled Chicken Salad
-2 large chicken breast (you can cut them in half before or after cooking)
-2 strips of bacon per salad
-1 medium onion, thickly sliced into rings
-1 avocado, chopped
-Lettuce, chopped
-Tomatoes, chopped
-Italian dressing
***Let the chicken breast sit in some italian dressing for a few hours, and then place on a hot grill or pan. Grill the onions and bacon as well. Keep your eye on the bacon since it cooks really quickly. Chop up the chicken and bacon and throw the salad together. I used a little italian dressing on the salad and it was great! Yum!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

30 Nights of Salad - Day 16

Scallops!!! Lightly Fried in Olive Oil and added a few accoutrements - Like roasted red pepper, wonton chips and tomato - that's it!

Scallop Salad
-12 average sized Scallops
-Olive Oil
-Lettuce, chopped
-Tomato, sliced
-Roasted Red Pepper, sliced
-Wonton Chips
***We used Lemon juice and a little olive oil for the dressing - wonderful!

Salad does not have to be boring or the same everyday. You can try new things and ingredients like Scallops, or maybe even Hamburger! Hmmm....we'll see. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

30 Nights of Salad - Days 14 & 15

No I am not taking shortcuts by posting two days at a time! I am condensing posts - If I make the same exact Salad two days in a row, no need to post it each day, right? But this salad deserves several posts because it is THAT good. You know when you eat something and you can't stop stuffing your face because it's so good and you don't even care who's watching you stuff your face like you're starving because its so yummy and you have to lick the plate and so what if people are looking at you cause it's that good? Yes, well, I licked the plate when we ate this salad. Absolutely amazing. Panko breaded chicken breast with mandarin oranges and dried cranberries - oh my word. The healthiest salad we've had? NO - the breading & frying pretty much takes this out of the running for healthiest, but we get all the nutritional value of eating our healthy greens and tomatoes as well as the yummy crispy chicken breast! The chicken breast is quick and easy to make. The recipe is below. The picture speaks for itself! Enjoy!

Panko Breaded Chicken Breast
-4 Chicken breast
-2 eggs, beaten
-Panko Flakes
-Salt & pepper
-Canola oil (amount depends on the thickness of your chicken breast)
***Put the flour (add some salt & pepper to it if you like), eggs and Panko Flakes in 3 separate bowls. Take the chicken breast, coat it with flour on both sides, then into the bowl with the eggs, and finally coat it with the Panko flakes. Add the coated chicken breast into the pan with the oil and fry on medium heat on each side about 6 to 10 minutes depending on the size of your chicken breast.

Panko Breaded Chicken Breast Salad
-Panko Chicken, sliced
-Lettuce, chopped
-Tomatoes, sliced
-Dried Cranberries
-Mandarin Orange slices
-Pecan Pieces
***I did not use any salad dressing, this was flavorful enough! It was so good, we did it again the next day!

Monday, July 5, 2010

A feast for the belly and the body!

I've mentioned before how important it is to me that every meal have some type of nutritional value. That doesn't mean that it's always super healthy or low fat, but I try to make every bite count. So if we're having brownies, it's nice to use dark chocolate and receive all the great benefits of antioxidants and stress relieving serotonin - while enjoying my treat. The other day I made my daughter a meal that she loves and so do I - because I sneak good for you ingredients in. I made Collard Greens, Chicken & carrot meatballs, and whole grain Rotini pasta in sauce. It's so easy, very delicious and quite nutritious. And she enjoyed it for lunch and dinner! Here's what I did. Feel free to substitute in ingredients or switch things around and let me know how it comes out!

Collard Greens
-1lb Collard Greens, washed & chopped
-1 14oz can of beef broth or chicken broth
-1 slice of Bacon
-Salt & Pepper to taste
***In the absence of broth, use a piece of flavorful meat. In my case I use 1 strip of Bacon. I fried it a little first to render off the fat and then added my washed greens to the pot. Then I added Water to cover the greens and added my seasoning. Usually I use Salt & pepper, but this time I used a half packet of Wiley's Greens Seasoning - wonderful stuff! (1 pack for 2lbs of Greens). Cook on medium heat until tender and check frequently to add more water as needed. I cooked mine for about 4 hours.

Chicken & Carrot Meatballs
-1 1lb pack of ground chicken
-1 cup of carrots
-2 garlic cloves, peeled
-1 large OR 2 medium Shallots diced
-2 Tablespoons Badia Complete Seasoning
-1 tablespoon Bell's Seasoning
- A little salt
-2 Tablespoons olive oil
-Approx 1 to 2 cups water
***Add the above ingredients into the ground chicken and mix well. Reserve 1 tablespoon of oil for cooking. Form into meatballs (I use a spoon to scoop meatball-like shapes and drop them into the pan) and fry in the remaining Tablespoon of olive oil. Let brown on one side and flip to brown the other side. Add water to about halfway of the meatballs. You want them to cook, but not drown. Cook until water has cooked out and turn off heat.

Rotini Noodles in Sauce
-1 1lb box Whole Grain Rotini Noodles (or whatever noodles you prefer)
-1 Jar of spaghetti sauce
-Italian seasoning
-2 Teaspoons of sugar* (Optional)
***Cook Noodles according to package directions and and drain and take off of heat. Add the sauce and some seasoning if you like and enjoy! The sugar is for the little ones, but it's not necessary.

This meal takes some prep work but the end result is amazing and hearty.