Friday, May 3, 2013

Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad

This is another fantastic entree salad.  I always feel so good having a big salad for dinner, don't you?  This salad is loaded with textures and delicious flavors.  Even better, the chicken is actually served cold, so you can prep everything ahead of time!  You can easily use chicken breasts, but I use Gardein to make it vegetarian, and let me tell you, it's wonderful even for my meat-eating relatives.  This recipe uses a simple yet very flavorful balsamic vinaigrette that is whipped up in your blender in a matter of seconds.  This meal will be in permanent rotation in my house for sure.  I hope it will be for you too!  :)


Pecan Crusted Chicken
4 chicken breasts (pounded to about 1/2" thick) or Gardein Chick'n Scallopini
1/2 C pecans, finely chopped
1/2 C panko
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
3/4 C milk
1/2 C flour
1/2 C coconut oil (for frying)

Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/2 C canola oil
1/2 C olive oil
1/3 C balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
4 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 large head romaine, chopped
1/2 C dried cranberries
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 C pecans, finely chopped
1/3 C celery, thinly sliced
4-5 mandarin oranges (or Cuties), peeled and separated
1/4 C blue cheese


  1. Start with the chicken since that is served cold.  Place the flour in a shallow bowl.  Whisk together the eggs and milk in another shallow bowl.  Combine the chopped pecans, panko, and salt in a third shallow bowl.  Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Dredge the chicken in the flour, then the egg, then coat in the pecan mixture.  Working in batches, if necessary, cook the chicken until golden brown on both sides, about 7 minutes total.  Set aside to cool.
  2. While the chicken is cooling, make the dressing.  Combine everything in a blender, except for the garlic.  Blend on a low speed for only a few seconds.  If you blend too long, the dressing will be very thick.  Pour into a small bowl and mix in the garlic.  Chill until ready to serve.  
  3. To plate the salad, combine the romaine and celery.  Toss with about 1/3 C dressing.  Transfer to individual plates or bowls for serving.  Sprinkle with cranberries, chopped pecan, and a pinch of brown sugar.  Top with orange slices.  Add the sliced chicken on top and finish with some blue cheese.  

Inspired by TGI Friday's Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Perfect Party Potato Salad

Oh, the weather is getting warmer.  That means it's time to get ready for summer BBQs, picnics, and potlucks!  Yippee!  :)  I love being able to enjoy the warm and sunny evenings and eating more meals outside on the patio.  This weather just calls for getting together with family and friends and sharing a big ol' meal.  One of my favorite things to bring to a summer BBQ is my potato salad that I have been perfecting over the years.  This is the best potato salad I have ever had!  It is perfect with burgers, hot dogs, grilled meats and veggies, just about anything you want to eat during the summer.  The relish gives it a sweetness, while the yellow and dijon mustards give it a slight tangy flavor.  The celery salt is my favorite addition.  I hope you try this recipe sometime this summer and let me know how you like it!


5 medium russet potatoes
1/2 large onion, chopped
6 hard-boiled eggs
1/4 C sweet pickle relish + some relish juice
1 1/2 Tbsp yellow mustard
1 1/2 Tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 C mayo
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp celery salt


  1. Boil the potatoes until tender.  Allow to cool.  Peel and dice them to desired size and place them in a large bowl.  Add the onions. 
  2. Separate the egg whites and egg yolks.  Place the yolks in a small bowl and set aside.  Chop the whites and add them with the potatoes and onions.  Add the relish.
  3. To the yolks, add the mustards, mayo, sugar, salt, and celery salt.  Mash everything together.
  4. Add the yolk mixture to the potato mixture and stir to combine.  Cover bowl and chill for a few hours before serving.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Weekly Menu

Happy Monday!  Hope you all had a great weekend.  I got to watch my nephew's T-Ball game!  The whole family was there to cheer him on and it was so much fun!  The weather was perfect for a fun day with the extended family.  We also had a great trip to the farm.  I am still on my smoothie kick and spinach was on special, so I got a TON!  :)  We also picked up some romaine, sweet Maui onions, cilantro, celery, kale, and strawberries.  With that, we will be making the following meals this week:

  • Veggie Burgers with Perfect Party Potato Salad
    • using the romaine and sweet Maui onions

  • Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad
    • using the romaine and celery

  • The spinach will be for my daily smoothie, I will be having Kaleslaw for lunch, and we will be freezing some of the strawberries and enjoying the rest for dessert.