Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Recipe #117: Wendy's Pecan Chicken Salad Imposter

I was always kind of skeptical about mixing chicken and fruit together... especially after combining it with bleu cheese...  but awhile back, I had to try Wendy's pecan chicken salad and got totally HOOKED.  The combination of flavors is so awesome, salty, sweet, and even a little sour from the cranberries.  Today I was craving one of those salads, but Wendy's was a bit far from my house for my liking.  Instead, I went to Rego's up the road from me and grabbed as many of the ingredients as I could remember to make my own.  It was very close to the original, although I used strawberry vinaigrette instead of the pomegranate one they use.  Here's a link to Wendy's version for comparison.

Here's the ingredients- simply adjust according do your tastes!
Leafy greens (baby spinach, baby mixed, whatever you like)
Apple, sliced into chunks
Bleu cheese crumbles
A few croutons
White meat chicken, about one breast size per person, cooked and cut into chunks
A fruit vinaigrette dressing, such as pomegranate, strawberry, raspberry, etc.

Recipe #116: Quick Shrimp Chowder

It took me forever to get around posting this... we've been so busy!  This one's great- quick, simple, hearty, and healthy.  I added corn and didn't cook the broth first.  This is from Cooking Light magazine.

  • 2 cups organic vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup prechopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup prechopped onion
  • 1/4 cup prechopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound medium peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1. Pour broth into a 2-cup glass measure. Microwave at MEDIUM-HIGH 1 minute.
  • 2. Combine broth, thyme, and black pepper in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, and simmer.
  • 3. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add carrot, onion, and celery; sauté for 3 minutes or until tender. Add flour, stirring with a whisk. Stir carrot mixture and shrimp into broth mixture; cover and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in cream; cover and simmer 4 minutes.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Recipe #115: Brazillian-Style Chicken Over Quinoa

This isn't a very photogenic recipe, but it's DELICIOUS!  My first time using coconut milk, and also my first time using quinoa... Definitely a different set of flavors.  Don't skip the peanuts- they add a lot to the dish.


1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 chicken breast halves, bone in, wings and skin removed
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 cup sliced onion
1 clove garlic, crushed (I used minced garlic)
1/2 cup fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 pound okra, trimmed and sliced (I used 10oz frozen okra)
1/2 cup light coconut milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Dry roasted peanuts
1/2 cup quinoa


Mix ginger, cumin, and cayenne pepper together and rub over chicken (I just sprinkled the chicken with each individual shaker).  Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and brown chicken on all sides, about 5 minutes.  Add onion and garlic, and continue to cook 1 minute.  Add chicken broth and okra.  Bring to a simmer.  Lower heat to medium, cover, and simmer 15 minnutes, until chicken is no longer pink.  While the chicken cooks, prepare the quinoa according to package directions.  When the chicken is done, add coconut milk and stir into the sauce.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Scatter peanuts on top.  Serve over quinoa.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Recipe #111-114: Kebobs!

Nick wasn't overly thrilled when he was tasked with grilling 51 kebobs, of 4 different kinds, for dinner yesterday... but I think he forgot about being stuck outside in hot weather over a 600-700 degree grill once he was able to sit down and eat these.  Between four adults and one kid, we polished off 46 of these with no problem.  SUMMER IS HERE!!  These recipes all came from a book called Simple 1-2-3 Entertaining.

It looks like a lot of food, but we ate nearly all of it...

Recipe #111:  Skewered Beef Strips with Spicy Honey Glaze


1 beef top sirloin steak (about 1lb)... I used very thin sliced "beef for braising"
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/3 cup honey


Slice beef across the grain into 1/4 inch thick strips.  Thread strips onto wooden skewers and place into large glass baking dish.

Prepare grill for direct cooking.  Combine soy sauce, vinegar, ginger and red pepper; pour over skewers and marinate 10 minutes, turning once.  (I prepped these hours earlier instead).  Drain marinade into a small sauce pan; stir in honey and bring to a boil.  Boil 2 minutes to reduce and use as baste while grilling the beef, 3-4 minutes.

Recipe #112:  Sizzling Shrimp


1.5 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup mushrooms, cut into halves
1 red bell pepper cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2-1 onion cut into 1 inch pieces
1 jar lemon pepper marinade


Arrange shrimp, bell pepper, mushrooms, and onion on skewers.  Place into a glass dish and pour marinade over, reserving a little for basting later.  Let marinate for an hour or more.  Grill shrimp for about 3-4 minutes or as needed on each side, basting with reserved sauce.

Recipe #113:  Herbed Beef Kabobs


0.5-1 bottle Garlic and Herb marinade
1-1.5 pounds boneless beef top sirloin, cut into chunks (I used a london broil)
2 bell peppers, cut into squares
1-2 onions, cut into chunks


Marinate beef chunks in the marinade for at least an hour.  Arrange beef chunks with peppers, mushrooms and onion on skewers.  Grill to desired degree of doneness, about 10-14 minutes.

Recipe #114:  BBQ Corn Wheels


3-4 ears corn on the cob, husked, cleaned, and cut into 1 inch slices
3 bell peppers
3/4 cup bbq sauce
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
Vegetable cooking spray


Arrange corn and peppers on skewers.  Combine bbq sauce, honey, and Worcestershire sauce.  Coat kabobs with vegetable cooking spray.  Grill on greased rack over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Baste with bbq mixture.  Turn and cook 5 more minutes, baste again, until corn is tender.