Saturday, July 31, 2010

Fiesta Chicken Salad

My love for the Whole Foods salad bar has made a serious dent in my bank account. One of my favorite salads the store offers is the inspiration for this serious salad that is not only totally easy to throw together, but much more economical than its $7.99/lb counterpart.

As far as how many chicken breasts you should use for this recipe, 3 easily make 4 servings, so if you're serving 2, you'll have plenty for your lunches the next day. How you cook the chicken depends on how much work you want to put into this recipe. My method of choice is to cook the breasts in a crockpot for 6 hours on low in enough chicken broth to cover them entirely. Often times I'll add a hearty shake of garlic powder for some extra "umf". I've also been known to purchase a roasted chicken and use half of the meat to make this salad. When we're talking about how much Greek yogurt to use, this again is up to you. Add a bit at a time until you reach your desired level of creaminess, as this is often a matter of strong opinion.

Now, you may be looking at these pictures, thinking to yourself, "Hey, where are these bell peppers Britt speaks of in her list of edibles?" Or you may already be at the stage of creation, looking at the fiesta in your bowl, thinking, "Hey, my salad looks way darker than Britt's... what gives?" Before you start writing me off, I'm a-gonna tell ya that the recipe below is THE way to make this salad. On the day I chose to fiesta-it-up with my camera in hand I happened to be sans peppers and taco seasoning, so I had to make do without the bells and whistles. (Get it? Bells... as in bell peppers... like this salad there's some corn in that joke... sorry...) In lieu of an easy taco seasoning packet I hastily threw in some powdered garlic, onion, chili powder, coriander, cumin, and oregano. Of course, you could do that too if you're feeling adventurous!
The Edibles:
  • boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/2 vidalia onion, diced
  • 1/2 green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • Greek yogurt
  • 1 packet low-sodium taco seasoning
The Making:
  1. Mix together all the above ingredients. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Serve in tortilla shells, on a salad, or use as a dip for some chips. Add your favorite fiesta toppings for a real party!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Britt's Slaw

Jaybird loves himself some coleslaw. In fact, he's been talking about buying himself one of those ginormous vats of slaw that would in most instances feed a party of 50 people. Persuading him not to invest $10.00 in the slaw bucket has been challenging, so in order to appease his ravenous taste for this cabbage salad, I decided to try my hand as a homemade, healthy version. Coleslaw is typically not unhealthy, considering it's primarily cabbage, but everything is always that much fresher when I make it myself.

Naturally sweetened by crushed pineapple and its juice, this coleslaw is my variation on the backyard barbecue staple. Unlike my mom, whose suggestion for improvement of this recipe was, "More mayo," I prefer less of the condiment in my salads. Much of the creaminess in the coleslaw sauce is provided by the addition of a random supporting actor: plain yogurt. Who woulda thunk that you'd be able to get some of your daily dose of calcium and protein in a coleslaw salad?!

Play around with the spices. Add just a bit of sweetener. Letter sit. Dig in.
The Edibles:
  • 16 oz. package pre-shredded coleslaw mix of cabbage and carrots
  • 1/4 c. white vinegar
  • 1/2 c. plain yogurt
  • 1/4 c. light mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
  • 1/4 c. spicy brown mustard
  • 20 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained with 1/4 c. of the juice reserved
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • sugar or sweetener to taste (a couple teaspoons or so)
The Making:
  1. Mix all of the ingredients together and stir well. Add sugar in small increments to cut the acidity of the vinegar. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Spinach Hummus Dip

Feeling like hummus? Feeling like spinach dip? Not sure which way to turn? A marrying of two of my favorites, this dip can satiate your taste buds if you happen to be like me, trying to appease conflicting desires. What would be a typical spinach dip is kicked up a notch with the addition of garbanzo beans. Providing some of that hummus-like graininess, this dip is substantial but light-tasting, and the side to a tray of fresh vegetables and hearty crackers or bread.

This dip is super easy to throw together if you use a pre-made spinach dip powder. I found mine to be rather bland, so I ended up adding about 1/2 tablespoon dried dill and a sprinkle of both garlic and onion powder. I recommend allowing the flavors in your dip to meld a bit in the refrigerator before you make any significant spice additions.
The Stuff:
  • food processor or blender
The Edibles:
  • 1/2 c. frozen spinach, defrosted
  • 1 c. plain yogurt
  • 1/2 c. (4 oz.) light cream cheese
  • 1 c. garbanzo beans
  • 1 package spinach dip mix
The Making:
  1. Whir together all the ingredients in a food processor or blender.