Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hearty BBQ Chicken Salad

I am always on the lookout for main-dish salads.  We like to try and have one meal a week that is a dinner salad.  It can be challenging to find a salad that not only pleases my meat-eating husband, but also my 3 year old.  This one is a long-time favorite of the whole family!  It is packed with chicken (we use Gardein), black beans, potatoes (you heard me!), tomatoes, and corn.  The BBQ sauce on the chicken combined with the avocado and blue cheese vinaigrettes (that's right, 2 dressings) give this salad so much flavor.  There is truly something in this salad for everyone!

Ingredients (makes 2 large entree salads)

for the avocado vinaigrette
1/3 C olive oil
1/4 C rice vinegar
1 small shallot, chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp peach jam
1/2 ripe avocado
salt and pepper to taste

for the blue cheese vinaigrette
1/3 C olive oil
1/4 C rice vinegar
1 small shallot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbsp peach jam
1/2 C sour cream
1/2 C blue cheese
salt and pepper to taste

for the potatoes
3/4 pound red potatoes, washed
3 Tbsp butter
1 medium shallot, minced
1 small bunch of parsley, finely chopped

for the chicken
1 package Gardein Chick'n Scallopini
your favorite BBQ sauce

for the salad
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
1 head red leaf lettuce, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
6 oz black beans
1/2 C fresh or frozen corn

(Don't believe that a 3 year old eats this?  Here is how I serve it to her.  I just cut everything a little smaller and mix the dressings for her.  She LOVES it!)

  1. To make the dressings - place the ingredients into a blender and mix until smooth.  
  2. To make the potatoes - boil the potatoes in lightly salted water until fork tender.  Remove the potatoes and cut into large bite-sized pieces.  Drain the water from the pot.  Return the pot to the stove and melt the butter.  Add the shallot, parsley and potatoes.  Stir to coat evenly.  Keep warm until ready to serve.
  3. To make the chicken - cook Gardein according to package directions.  Slice into bite-sized pieces.  Place in a bowl and combine with BBQ sauce.
  4. To plate the salad - lay out the greens on a plate.  Top with corn, beans, tomatoes, chicken, and potatoes.  Drizzle both dressings on top.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

I am loving that the weather is changing and getting cooler, which means...SOUP!  Seriously, is there anything better on a cold night than a hot bowl of soup?  I don't think so!  This soup is comfort in a bread bowl.  The combination of broccoli, carrots, garlic, onion, and cheese is to die for!  The whole family loved it and can't wait to make it again.  If you are looking for a delicious soup for a cold evening, look no further! 


5 Tbsp, butter
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 C flour
1 1/2 C half and half
1 1/2 C milk
1 qt Imagine No-Chicken Broth
3 carrots, grated
1 pound broccoli
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cardamom
8 oz sharp cheddar, grated
8 oz Colby jack cheese, grated
4 oz pepper jack cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste


  1. Melt the butter in a large stock pot over medium heat.  Add the garlic and onions and saute until tender.
  2. Add the flour and whisk until evenly combined.  Add in milk, half and half, and broth.  Bring to a light boil.  Add broccoli and carrots.  Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Season with nutmeg, cardamom, salt and pepper.  Stir in cheeses.  Cook an additional 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Adapted from Sugarcrafter

Monday, November 12, 2012

Weekly Menu

Happy Monday everyone!  I hope you had a great weekend!  I was lucky enough to have my mother-in-law visit us all last week.  It was wonderful!  There is nothing better than seeing my girls play, laugh, and cuddle with their grandma.  She read to my oldest every night, enjoyed costume balls, movies, rolled around on the floor with the baby, and loved on them every minute of every day.  It was a great week for all of us.  With her help, I was able to go to the farm all by myself!  It was a novelty since I have my girls with me everywhere I go.  The entire trip took about half the regular time.  I picked up some red-leaf lettuce, kale, romaine, tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, cucumber, persimmons, broccoli, and red potatoes.  YUM!  With this selection, we will be making the following:

  • Broccoli Cheddar Soup (in a bread bowl!) and Apple Cranberry Salad with Candied Pecans
    • using the broccoli and romaine

  • Hearty BBQ Chicken Salad
    • using the red leaf lettuce, romaine, potatoes, and tomatoes

  • I will have Kaleslaw for lunch
    • using the kale

We will enjoy the cucumber and persimmons as snacks!