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Archive for the ‘Salad’ Category

Veggie salad

I make this salad every week and it’s probably the only thing I eat for 2 or 3 days. I guess it’s sort of my go-to-detox-meal. It’s completely vegan-friendly!

  • Slivered shallots
  • Minced garlic
  • A can of any beans (I prefer black beans)
  • Diced bell peppers (I like red or yellow)
  • Halved grape/cherry tomatoes
  • Chunks of cucumber (I peeled it)
  • Cooked pasta noodles (I like fusilli)

I mix this with the following to make a dressing:

  • Dijon mustard
  • evoo
  • Balsamic vinegar (or apple cider)
  • Salt
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Cumin
  • Brown sugar

Let it cool in the refrigerator for a bit & give it a good mix before eating.

$ breakdown: CHEAP. The ingredients should run you about $5-8, guaranteed.

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The main inspiration for this recipe is my friend’s mom’s recipe for chicken salad sandwiches. Apparently she roasts the chicken all day and man.. the way it’s seasoned (there’s a little bit of curry powder or SOMETHING) is SO good. The meat is so finely minced that it’s basically a spread. OH MAN it’s so good. Plus I don’t know why but I’ve never thought about making chicken salad sandwiches NOT from a can.

I wanted to do something similar but not exclusively for chicken salad sandwiches (although that is ultimately what I made). I had a bag of frozen chicken breasts from Trader Joe’s that I needed to get rid of, and since I’m impatient, I stuck them into the oven @ 350 degrees instead of thawing them out. After about 10 minutes, the chicken breasts were thawed and ready to season.

  • Garlic salt
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Curry powder (not too much because curry is very strong)
  • Oregano

I covered the sheet with foil & popped these into the oven for another 20 to 25 minutes until fully cooked. In retrospect, I think I should have lowered the temperature and cooked it longer so it’d be more tender. Oh well.

While the chicken finishes cooking, prepare the rest of the dish for the chicken salad.

  • Diced shallots
  • Minced garlic
  • Chopped fresh thyme

Pour evoo and let the flavors mingle.

After the chicken is done cooking, take 2 forks and shred them. This was a PAINSTAKING process for me (the entire time, I kept thinking about Dave Chappelle’s Samuel L. Jackson beer skit — “Made painstakingly by ME, Samuel L. Jackson!!!”). Mix the shredded chicken with the shallots-garlic-thyme mixture and let it cool down.

Like I mentioned earlier, I wanted to keep the chicken versatile so I didn’t add anything else to the whole batch. When I made myself a chicken salad sandwich, however, I took maybe 1/3 cup of the shredded chicken and mixed it with some mayo and put it on a bed of lettuce (on which I trickled some of my Gwyneth-vinaigrette) on some toasted bread.

I tried it with some mustard and mayo but I don’t think the mustard went too well with the curry powder. Because there’s so much flavor packed into the chicken, it might be best to keep the mayo as is.

I also had some of the chicken on a bed of leafy greens with sliced cucumbers, mushrooms, grape tomatoes, onions and the Gwyneth-vinaigrette. SO good.

$ breakdown:

  • $9 – entire bag of frozen chicken breasts (or maybe it was $12, I don’t really remember) and I used about 7 pieces out of 20 or something

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Salad

I’m on this HUGE salad kick right now and came across Gwyneth Paltrow’s recipe for a summer salad (via goop.com).

I know, Gwyneth Paltrow, who would’ve thought, right? DUDE, SHE KNOWS WHAT SHE’S TALKING ABOUT!

I followed her recipe for the dressing but the salad ingredients are my own blend:

(btw, everything was fresh–none of that bagged stuff!)

  • Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • Carrot shavings
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Slivered red onions
  • Cucumber wedges
  • Sliced peppericini
  • Sliced sundried tomatoes

Dressing  Recipe (I modified Gwyneth’s recipe a bit):

  • Minced garlic
  • Thinly sliced shallots
  • Dijon mustard
  • Maple syrup
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • EVOO

SO DELICIOUS. I’ve made this dressing 2x already. I should make a huge batch and bottle it. It’s so good! And cheap! You should already have all the dressing ingredients in your kitchen.

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Pasta Salad

I LUH me some pastas.  And I LUH me some salads.  And I LUH me some pepperonis (only beef I eat!).  So what do you get?  Kristen’s yummy eye-talian pasta salad.  I made it all up, so I am smart.

1 bag of pasta, or tortellini (preferred)
½ pound shredded or cubed mozzarella (regular pasta, not tortellini)
Parmesan cheese to taste, fresh shredded preferred over kraft type powder….it really makes a difference.
1 cucumber, sliced/ cut in half
¼ to ½ cup chopped parsley
½ to ¾ of a regular bag of pepperoni, cut circles in half, or quarters
2 to 3 tablespoons of garlic/ onions/ shallots (I buy the pre-chopped mix at Trader Joe’s, its only like 1.29 and it’s a huge time saver)
1 can olives (I totally forgot to add them this time and didn’t realize until now, so there aren’t any in the picture)
About 3 ounces eye-talian dressing (red wine vinaigrette = the best)
1-2 tablespoons EVOO

Make the pasta, let it cool for awhile, then stash in the fridge for speedier results.  While pasta is cooking, I do the prep work, cut up the veggies, etc.
Saute the garlic/ onions/ shallots in the olive oil over medium heat until a little brown.
I mix all the non pastas together (without dressing) to let the flavors sit together for awhile, while the pasta is cooling.  Once the pasta is chilled (gotta be cold or else you have soggy, wilted veggies), add in the pasta.  Stir and mix.  Then add the dressing.  You can add more dressing, but I find that less is more with this.  Plus, I make it for lunches for a week, so it gets soggy if you overload it with dressing.

This is a great, easy, cheap do-it-all-on-Sunday work week lunch.  And its great for summer because it’s nice and cool.

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Ok so I can’t take credit for this one…I stole the recipe from Real Simple magazine (which I fucking LOVE), but I changed it a bit and I made it so yeah, go me.

Original Recipe:
1 cup walnuts
4 cups fresh cooked corn kernels (4 ears)
2 jalapenos seeded and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons evoo
salt & pepper
½ cup crumbled feta
Heat oven to 400, toast walnuts for 8 minutes.  Let cool and roughly chopped.
In a large bowl combine the all ingredients except feta.  Sprinkle with feta before serving

What I changed:

Bought already roasted (unsalted) peanuts.  Walnuts aren’t really my bag.

Skipped the jalapenos altogether.

I used sweet, white corn on the cob.

It’s easy peasy and tastes really yummy and refreshing.  I paired mine with a (boca) burger and it was a perfect compliment.  I added the ingredients (save the feta) while the corn was still warm, but then threw it in the freezer for about 20 mins, and then it was nice and cool and crisp. Next time I think I will add more lime juice for a little more kick.  I was also pretty liberal with the sea salt, which is rare for me, as I am not partial to salting my food.

TIP:  to boil the corn, just put the corn in room temp salted water in a big pot and then put the pot on the flame.  It takes a bit longer, 15 mins or so, versus like 7, if the water is already boiling.  But, I really feel it makes the corn a lot more crispy tasting.

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Chicken and Coleslaw

I used one of those bagged coleslaws.. very convenient.

Coleslaw recipe:

  • As much coleslaw that you need (I used about 1.5 cups for myself)
  • Sliced graped tomatoes
  • Cilantro
  • Slivered red onions
  • Almonds
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lemon juice
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil (for the record, I ALWAYS use extra virgin; it just takes too long to type!)
  • Rice vinegar
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Mayonnaise (about 1 tablespoon)

Mix everything together but the mayo; make sure everything is well mixed before you add the mayo!

Chicken recipe (use the same one from the chicken sandwich recipe):

Cooking instructions for chicken – I pan grilled it about 3 minutes on each side and then popped it into the oven to finish off. While it was cooling down, I squeezed on some fresh lemon juice.

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$ breakdown:

  • $2 for the bag of coleslaw
  • $1 for a bunch of cilantro
  • <$1 for a lemon
  • $2 for a package of grape tomatoes

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