Tag Archives: salad

Currant Chicken Salad

20 Jul

This recipe was a lot of firsts for me. We recently got some red currants in our weekly CSA and I honestly had no idea what to do with them. I don’t even know if I had eaten anything with currants in it up to this point in my life. Is that sad? I hope not.

I popped a currant into my mouth and immediately tasted the tartness with a slight sweet undertone. I decided I would make something savory with these red currants, but what?

Why, the answer was simple! (Sort of) Chicken salad! I love love love chicken salad. There is a lunch spot near my office (Al’s South Street Deli in case you are wondering) that served a MASSIVE chicken salad sandwich. I could down one of those in a heartbeat. And then I would have to check that my heart was actually still beating.

You see, they use A LOT of mayo. I’m actually not a huge fan of mayo unless it’s in a chicken salad sandwich. Even then, I try to put more mustard than mayo in my salad concoction.

This time I decided to forgo mayo entirely and substitute it with it’s healthier cousin, Greek Yogurt. I have to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of Greek Yogurt on its own, but when it’s paired in a dish such as this? Amazing. You will not miss the mayo in this salad people. And you don’t have to be guilty about eating seconds, because this salad is actually HEALTHY for you!

Stick some on a bed of lettuce or even with your favorite bread, and you are golden.

Currant Chicken Salad

  • 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded (I roasted mine beforehand)
  • 1 cup fat free Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup chopped spring onions (use the greens too!)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup whole currants, packed tightly
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • Optional: 1/2 cup chopped roasted walnuts

In a small sauce pan, add the currants and sugar and stir to combine. Cook on medium heat until boiling and then reduce the heat and simmer to your desired thickness. I like to mash up some of the currants as well. Take off the heat and set aside to cool.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the greek yogurt, garlic powder, paprika, dijon mustard and red wine vinegar and mix to combine. Once the currants are cool, add the mixture to the yogurt mix. Add the chicken and spring onions and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add walnuts if you want an extra crunch.

Can be served slightly warmed, or if you want the flavors to meld a little more, cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for an hour. Serve over lettuce or in your favorite sandwich bread!

Advertisements

UFood Grill with Boston Food Bloggers

31 Mar

This past Monday night I had the opportunity to check out UFood Grill with a group of Boston Food Bloggers.

I have been a fan of UFood Grill ever since it was originally called Low Fat, Know Fat. I was curious to see what they were doing with a new menu. Luckily after a few name changes and menu tweaks, I’m still a fan.

We were greeted by a couple of representatives of UFood Grill, and after drinking some complimentary wines and beer, we were told to take our seats. After a rather long spiel about UFood Grill, it was on to the food! And be prepared, there was A LOT!

First off was a nice tossed salad with cherry tomatoes, feta, walnuts, and a blueberry pomegranate dressing. One of my favorite dishes of the night. It had a good crunch and the flavors melded extremely well.

Next up were the baked fries. I absolutely LOVE the baked fries over at B. Good and these tastes almost exactly the same which is a good thing! They still retained a crispy exterior and a soft interior. These were eaten up quite fast!

Next up was some balsamic glazed steak tips served with sweet potato and broccoli. The steak tips took the main stage, and they were bursting with flavor and were VERY tender. The sweet potatoes and broccoli were barely seasoned, but mixed together, they weren’t that bad. This was definitely another favorite dish.

Next up was a sausage pizza. Ever since discovering Naked Pizza (damn, that reminds me I need to do a write up on them too!! SO BEHIND!) I have yet to find a “healthy” pizza that I like more than them. This still stands. The crust was alright, crunchy and still chewy. The cheese was the right amount of stringy, but the sausage and the herbs turned me off. Too much oregano. The sausage was on the dry side and didn’t pack a lot of flavor. Later on in the night we got to sample their pesto pizza:

Thankfully the pesto pizza was a lot better, but I’d skip on the pizza here and go to Naked Pizza instead.

Throughout the night, we also got to sample some of their smoothies. I am a SUCKER for smoothies, and all of the smoothies we tried were refreshing and delicious! Perfect compliments to our meals!

Our next meal was the turkey burger with chitpotle mayo. I was VERY surprised at how juicy the turkey burger was. I was really impressed. I would definitely order this again!

The pulled chicken with brown rice had mixed reviews at our table. I appreciated the kick from the adobe sauce, but the brown rice was overcooked and too hard. The chicken itself was ok, but not something I would get again.

The next “course” was the pesto chicken panini. They explained to us that their pesto is made without pine nuts or any kind of nuts. It was very tasty! The pesto had a strong flavor, and the mozzarella was stringy, just how I like it.

At this point in the meal we couldn’t quite believe there could be more food coming!!! We definitely left quite satiated upon leaving. I’m never one to say no to anything with bacon on it, but I was not impressed with the bacon cheeseburger. After having the turkey burger I was excited to see if this burger would be just as juicy. It wasn’t. Sad face. This was also the part of the night when Kathy, Megan, Nicole and I started sharing plates instead of getting our own!

I did not enjoy their baked falafel wrap at all. Being Middle Eastern, I’m obviously very picky when it comes to items such as falafel, but this failed miserably. I’ve made baked falafel before, and it’s come out juicy and full of flavor. This falafel had no flavor, had the consistency of sand paper, and was just disappointing overall. I appreciate the pickled beets and the tahini sauce was tasty, but please, just skip out on this one.

Last but certainly not least, it was time for dessert. We had the option of choosing frozen yogurt with chocolate/vanilla or vanilla/berry. I went with the chocolate and I don’t regret it. I’ve had a hard time finding a chocolate frozen yogurt I can get behind, but UFood’s version is great! It had a strong chocolate flavor and I was very happy with it.

Overall I really enjoyed UFood Grill. There are definitely some hit and misses on the menu, but it’s nice to be able to find some good and healthy food that’s fast. They explained to us that they try to get all the food out in 3.5 minutes, so any place that can do that and have the food taste good, has my vote. We also learned that they try to source their food locally as much as they can, which I appreciate!

UFood Grill on Urbanspoon

Daring Cook’s: Poached Eggs

14 Dec

One of my favorite ways of eating eggs is poaching. It’s kind of magical. If done correctly, you have a perfect white coccoon, and nestled in the center is a beautiful butterfly that is waiting to burst out into yolky goodness.

River of gold

I’m also a fan of the sunny side up egg. My mom used to make me sunny side up eggs with a side of toast, and I loved to break open the egg yolk and dunk my bread in the yolk. I still do it to this day. My cat also likes sunny side up eggs, because she licks up the leftover yolk on the plate.

 
For this month’s Daring Cook’s we were challenged to make poached eggs. Jenn and Jill have challenged The Daring Cooks to learn to perfect the technique of poaching an egg. They chose Eggs Benedict recipe from Alton Brown, Oeufs en Meurette from Cooking with Wine by Anne Willan, and Homemade Sundried Tomato & Pine Nut Seitan Sausages (poached) courtesy of Trudy of Veggie num num.
 
I decided to forgo the Eggs Benedict (Even though I do love them to pieces!) and went with a poached egg salad. Everything was going absolutely SPLENDID until I got to the poached egg. First, I forgot to add the vinegar and salt. Then my clear beautiful water turned into an eggy mess. I ended up getting one pretty poached egg, one ugly poached egg and one trashed poached egg. All in all it was quite the experience.
 

Poached Egg Salad

Part 1: Croutons

  • 3 slices of day old bread (I used 12 grain from Whole Foods)
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp thyme

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss the bread in with the remaining ingredients in a bowl. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil and spread the bread evenly. Bake for 20 minutes, turning once, until browned. Set aside.

Part 2: Bacon & Roasted Garlic

  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 1 garlic bulb
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Turn the oven up to 400 degrees. Line another baking pan (or use the same one for the croutons! The less dishes the better!) with aluminum foil and lay out the bacon. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and olive oil.

Remove excess from garlic bulb. Cut garlic bulb at the top to expose the garlic. Place in a heat proof ramekin and sprinkle with salt, pepper and olive oil.

Bake bacon and garlic together for 15-18 minutes, turning the bacon once, until your level of crispiness. Take the bacon out and bake the garlic for an additional 15 minutes. Put both aside.

Part 3: Dressing

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and set aside.

Part 4: Poached Eggs

Bring a pot of water to a simmer, just before the boiling point (Between 160-180 degrees) Add 2 tbsp vinegar and salt liberally (This I forgot to do, D’oh!) Crack first egg into a small cup and then gently (Gently I say!) place into the water. Using a slotted spoon gather the egg whites towards the yolk. Shut off the heat and cover, cooking for 3-4 minutes, depending on how runny you like your yolk. Repeat as necessary.

Part 5: Assemble your salad

  • 1 bunch red leaf lettuce
  • 4 grape tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/4 raw onion, chopped

Combine your salad greens with the tomatoes and onions. Crumble up the bacon, add the croutons, coat lightly with dressing and add your poached egg to the top.

That’s the not so pretty egg, in case you’re wondering

This was definitely no easy task! I now have a greater appreciation for a good poached egg at a restaurant. The people that can make poached eggs like nothing, well, I bow down to you. Hopefully, with a little practice, I’ll be able to whip them up in no time.

Curry Flank Steak Salad

23 Sep

Since we’re having a bit of an Indian Summer right now in Boston, I thought that I would bring back a recipe that reminds me of summer. I have to admit, I’m pretty boring when it comes to salads, so this was the most colorful and delicious salad I’ve made. The curry flavor of the meat and the sweet mangoes work great together. I was very happy to crack open my bag of curry powder that I got while visiting the Atlantic Spice Company in Truro. This salad is very versatile, and couldn’t be easier to make!

Curry Flank Steak Salad

  • bunch of arugula and green lettuce
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 ripe avocados, chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 mango, chopped
  • 1.5lbs of flank steak

For the marinade:

  • 4tbsps curry powder
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • juice of one lime
  • 1tbsp grated ginger (fresh or powdered is fine)
  • 4tbsp white vinegar

Combine marinade ingredients with flank steak. Cover and let marinade for at least 1/2, or overnight. Combine lime juice, avocados, mango, and tomatoes and set aside.

Heat saute pan over medium high heat. Pour in some extra virgin olive oil and cook steak for about 7 minutes each side, or more if you like your meat to be less red in the center. Transfer to plate and chop into bite sized pieces.

Combine lettuce and arugula with the avocado mixture and place steak on top. No dressing it necessary, since the juices from the steak and the lime are more than enough. Margarita optional.

Dill & Mustard Potato Salad

24 Aug

The weather out here in Boston is making me wish it was 90 degrees out and sweating. Well, almost. If this were November, we might be buried in snow right now, since it hasn’t stopped raining since sometime yesterday morning and won’t be stopping until at least tomorrow. In Boston, we’re never happy with the weather. It’s either too hot, too cold, too rainy, or too sunny, too much snow. We’re always complaining about the weather, just don’t mention that to us.

So what’s one thing that takes me back to the dog days of summer? Honest to goodness good ol’ American potato salad. If potato salad doesn’t scream summer, then I’m not wearing flannel pants and a sweatshirt and complaining of being cold in the middle of August (I am, just to make sure you’re keeping up). I recently made this potato salad for a BBQ that seems like it was AGES ago (It really was only 3 weeks ago, someone PLEASE tell me where summer went? K thanks), and everyone raved about it. What is great about this potato salad and any potato salad really, is that it’s so versatile. You can pretty much add and subtract any ingredient willy-nilly. Like extra creamy potato salad? Add more mayo. Like it to be a bit more tart? Add a smidge of extra mustard. Hate eggs? Get rid of ’em. Sweet potatoes? Why not?

And if you think this salad should only be made in summer, well, you are most certainly wrong.

Dill & Mustard Potato Salad

  • 2-3lbs red bliss potatoes
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 cup light mayo
  • 1/2 cup mustard (I used Nathan’s)
  • 2 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill (ok to use dried)
  • 2 chives, chopped
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place potatoes, skin still on, in a big pan and cover with water. Sprinkle liberally with salt and bring potatoes to a boil. Cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, depending on how soft you like your potatoes. I personally like mine on the slightly harder side. Drain and place aside to cool.

Combine all remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Combine with cooled potatoes and stick in the fridge until ready to serve. Ready. Set. Consume.

%d bloggers like this: