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Sweet Sunshine Chicken Salad with Fried Cheese Medallions – Diced! Challenge

13 Jun

photo 4

Hi folks! Do you like the looks of this salad? You can find the recipe on The Ranting Chef blog. While you’re there, please vote for me & this gorgeous dish so I can move on to the next level of the Diced! cooking competition! Thanks in advance and enjoy ūüôā

Jeweled Kale and Cabbage Salad with Maple Mustard Dressing

4 Jun


We all know how good leafy greens are for us, but did you know how downright tasty they can be to boot? I learned the technique of cooking off the rawness of the kale and cabbage from Chef Lulu Powers who I worked for when I was out in LA a few months back. These simple ingredients come together for a wonderful balance of flavors and textures. Enjoy! 

Time: 15 minutes                         Serves: 6


  • Salad

  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries (or cherries)
  • orange juice or lemonade – enough to cover dried fruit
  • 3 cups shredded kale
  • 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan Reggiano Asiago cheeses
  • Dressing

  • 1 tbsp Creole or other grainy mustard
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper, freshly grated – to taste

How to make it

  • Salad

  • The day before you plan to make this salad, combine dried cranberries and juice in a small container. Seal and let sit overnight to reconstitute the fruit.
  • Preheat oven to 425F. Spread shredded kale and cabbage out on lined baking sheets giving room so as not to crowd.
  • Bake kale and cabbage for 6 minutes. Transfer from baking sheets to a large mixing bowl.
  • Add reconstituted cranberries, pine nuts, and cheese. Toss with dressing and serve.
  • Dressing

  • Combine mustard, lemon juice, maple syrup in a small non-reactive bowl. Whisk to incorporate. Add olive oil and whisk to emulsify. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Sesame Cucumber Salad

20 Apr


Light, refreshing and healthy. This salad is great addition to any meal.

Time: 10 minutes              Serves: 2


  • 2-3 small Persian or Japanese cucumbers
  • 2¬†tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

How to make it

  • Slice the cucumbers lengthwise using a vegetable peeler, or widthwise into very thin coins.
  • Combine vinegar, sugar, and oil in a non-reactive mixing bowl. Mix well to incorporate.
  • Add cucumbers and sesame seeds and toss well.

Mediterranean Chicken and Village Salad

19 Mar

mediterranean chicken

I’ve been craving Mediterranean food and decided to whip this up. A light, refreshing plate that I served with carrots simply pan roasted in olive oil, S&P, along with a scoop of rice topped with raw garlic spread.

Time: 30 min + marinating Serves: 4


  • Chicken

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast fillets
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano leaves, roughly chopped
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • Village Salad

  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced (I de-seed)
  • 1 medium seedless cucumber, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 4 oz. feta cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • S&P – to taste

How to make it

  • Chicken

  • Combine all ingredients except for chicken in a non-reactive bowl. Whisk together to incorporate. Add chicken and marinate for 30 minutes.
  • Heat skillet over medium-high. Add a drizzle of olive oil and place chicken into skillet. Cook for 4 minutes on each side, or until cooked through and juices run clear. The chicken may also be done on a grill, under the broiler, or baked in the oven.
  • Village Salad

  • Combine all ingredients and toss well to incorporate.

Roasted Beet Salad With Mint

6 Nov

A recipe found on The Shiksa in the Kitchen website with slight variations. I served it to my family and friends over the Rosh Hashanah holiday and they all raved about it. I was also able to use the dish as part of a ritual and to make a special blessing over it, which was nice.

Time: 10 minutes + roasting          Serves: 8


  • 2 pounds (about 6 medium)¬†beets, trimmed slightly on top & bottom so they sit up in the pan
  • 4 tbsp¬†olive oil, divided
  • 3 tbsp¬†balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp¬†honey
  • 1 tsp¬†cumin
  • 1/4 tsp¬†salt¬†(or more to taste)
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped¬†mint

How to make it

  • Preheat oven to 425F. Place trimmed beets in a roasting pan. Drizzle 2 tbsp olive oil over all beets, be generous. Place in oven and roast for 35 minutes, or until fork tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool, then peel. You may want to wear gloves for this part. Once peeled, cut into bite sized pieces.
  • Place cut beets in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients. Toss well to combine. Serve at room temp or chilled.

Chicken Salad

23 Aug

Here’s another chicken salad recipe. It’s still summer, so you can’t have too many salad recipes, right?! This is more of a Southern preparation I think. What I know is that it tastes good!!

Time: 10 minutes             Serves: 2


  • 1 cup cooked shredded¬†chicken
  • 1/4 cup finely diced¬†celery
  • 1/4 cup finely diced¬†carrots
  • 2 tbsp chopped¬†parsley
  • mayonnaise
  • sweet pickle relish
  • celery¬†seed
  • seasoning salt¬†(I used Lawry’s)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • paprika
  • 2¬†croissants¬†for serving, if desired

How to make it

  • Combine chicken, celery, carrots and parsley in a bowl. Add remaining ingredients according to your taste. I’d start with just a bit of each at a time, taste & make adjustments. Enjoy!

Heirloom Tomato and Feta Salad

17 Aug

Simple and elegant. Another summer great!

Time: 5 minutes             Serves 2


  • 2 large¬†heirloom tomatoes, sliced about 1/4-inch thick (about 6 big stackable slices, reserve other parts for another use)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled¬†feta cheese
  • 2 tsp¬†basil¬†oil¬†(I used Kenzoil. If you don’t have it, whisk together¬†olive¬†oil¬†with¬†basil¬†chiffonade and minced¬†garlic.)
  • black pepper, to taste

How to make it

  • Place one slice of tomato on a plate. Top with some feta. Repeat and overlap slightly as you go. Drizzle with basil oil and season with freshly ground black pepper.

Michigan Chicken Salad

3 Aug

A lovely summer salad for a Michigander, or anyone ūüôā I also love to prepare it in the fall during apple picking season.

Time: 5 minutes             Serves: 4


  • 4 cups cooked cubed¬†chicken¬†(I grilled mine withsalt¬†&¬†pepper¬†and¬†olive oil)
  • 1/3 cup chopped¬†pecans,¬†toasted¬†if desired (may sub¬†walnuts)
  • 1/3 cup¬†dried cherries¬†(Michigan if possible)
  • 1/2 cup diced¬†celery
  • 1/2 cup diced¬†gala apple
  • 1/4 cup¬†green onions, chopped *optional
  • 1/4 cup¬†parsley, chopped *optional
  • sea salt¬†&¬†black pepper, freshly ground – to taste
  • 1/4 tsp¬†celery¬†seed
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup plain¬†Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp¬†lemon juice

How to make it

  • Combine first 9 ingredients in a large mixing bowl. In a separate smaller bowl combine mayo, yogurt and lemon juice. Slowly add to larger bowl, mixing as you go so you don’t overdress. If you like your chicken salad with more dressing/sauce, feel free to add to your liking. Chill or serve at room temperature. Serve on a fresh croissant, bed of greens, or wrapped up in a large leaf of romaine or butter lettuce.

Warm Potato And Green Bean Salad

13 Jul

A colorful dish with delightful contrasting textures and an out-of-this-world dressing.

Time: 30 minutes            Serves: 4


  • Salad

  • 1 pound baby¬†yukon gold potatoes, cubed
  • 1 tbsp¬†olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp¬†salt
  • 1/4 tsp¬†pepper
  • 1¬†garlic¬†clove, minced
  • 4 cups¬†green beans, trimmed & halved
  • Dressing

  • 1/4 cup¬†olive oil
  • 3 tbsp¬†red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Dijon¬†vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp¬†black pepper
  • pinch of¬†salt

How to make it

  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Place potatoes in a mixing bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. Spread onto a baking sheet in a single layer.
  • Roast for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Steam or blanch green beans, plunging in cold water after about 5 minutes of cooking.
  • Combine dressing ingredients in a non-reactive bowl. Whisk to incorporate.
  • Toss potatoes and green beans with dressing.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature. This is perfect to bring along on a picnic or for a cookout as it doesn’t have any mayo in it and won’t spoil if it sits out.

Grilled Pasta Salad

19 Jun

Yesterday, my beau told me I’m addicted to pasta salad. Maybe I am… Anyway, I had leftover grilled chicken & veggies from the night before so whipped this up to remix them and came up with this tasty treat.¬†Perfect for a light meal or side dish. Feel free to add or subtract veggies or meats according to your taste & what you have on hand.

Time: 15 minutes + chill               Serves: 4


  • 1 cup (uncooked) short cut¬†pasta, cooked according to instructions.
  • 1 cup grilled¬†chicken, cubed
  • 1 cup grilled¬†asparagus, diced
  • 1 cup grilled¬†zucchini, diced
  • 1 cup Persian¬†cucumber, diced
  • 1 tbsp mayo
  • 1 tbsp Kenzoil:¬†olive oil¬†seasoned¬†with¬†fresh basil¬†&¬†garlic. (If you can’t find this product, just combine 1 tbsp¬†olive oil¬†with about 1 tbsp chopped¬†fresh basil¬†and two minced¬†garlic¬†cloves.)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar & jack¬†cheese
  • handful of¬†chives, snipped
  • sea salt¬†&¬†black pepper, freshly ground – to taste

How to make it

  • Combine ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well. Eat at room temperature or chill to your liking.