Monday, June 22, 2015

Chipotle Cranberry Chicken Salad

This chicken salad is one of my favorite things to make!  I make a big batch so we have lunch for a few days.  I wasn't a huge fan of chicken salad until I whipped this up (I avoid celery at all costs), and now I can't get enough!  I could grab a fork and just eat it out of the bowl.  I like it on just about any type of bread.  Just to be safe, you may want to make this when you will have lots of people will be around...just so you don't consume it all by yourself in one sitting!

Chipotle Cranberry Chicken Salad
-1.5 pounds of skinless, boneless chicken breast
-1 cup almonds
-1/2 cup dried cranberries (Craisins)
-1/4 cup mayo
-1/2 cup sour cream
-1/4 cup chipotle mayo (I use Kraft) *see note

1)Boil the chicken.  Be sure to season it while it's boiling.  It will make the salad so much more savory.  I like to season it with coriander, dried herbs like thyme, rosemary, and marjoram, garlic powder, and cajun seasoning.

2)While the chicken cooks, throw your almonds and craisins in a food processor to chop them into smaller pieces.  Set aside.

3) Put the cooked chicken in the food processor and pulse a few times to shred the chicken.  You can shred it by hand if you're not lazy like me.  :)

4) Combine the chicken, almonds, craisins, mayo, sour cream, and chipotle mayo.
**Note: If you are not able to find chipotle mayo, you can just use plain mayo for the entire recipe.  It will still be good!  If you want the chipotle taste (which really sets it apart), you can blend 1/4 cup of mayo with chipotle peppers in a food processor.  You can buy the chipotle peppers in a jar or can.  Another option is to mix the mayo with a tablespoon or two of the juice in the jar/can.

5) Set in the fridge for a few hours to chill and for flavors to combine.

6) Grab a fork and eat it straight from the bowl.  Spread on bread and share with friends.

I strain the water the chicken was cooked in and save it for broth for soup or to use in other recipes.  Winning!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Spaghetti Squash with Buttery Kale

I tried spaghetti squash a few years ago but didn't really know what to do with it.  It has recently become a huge craze, and now, thanks to Pinterest, there are lots of yummy recipes out there!

I'm giving this funny squash a second chance, and we're off to a good start!  I made a stir fry a couple weeks ago and knew I wanted to try a few other variations.

I also have started making zoodles-- zucchini noodles!  I'll share more about that in the future, but I promise they tie in to my spaghetti squash post!

I asked my instagram friends for zoodle recipes, and I got some good ones that I've pinned for later.  Ramona sent me a recipe for butternut squash noodles with kale.  It looked soooo good!  The problem was I didn't have butternut squash on hand…or a few other needed ingredients.  I did have a spaghetti squash in the fridge that needed to be used asap.  I decided to adapt the recipe to fit what I had in the fridge and pantry.  Deliciousness was born.

Spaghetti Squash with Buttery Kale
adapted from Snixy Kitchen

1 spaghetti squash
1 bag of frozen kale
6 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup sunflower kernels
1/8 cup of goat cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • Cut spaghetti squash in half, brush with olive oil, and cook for 45 minutes at 375 degrees.  Let cool.  I let it cool in the fridge overnight.  Once cooled, shred the squash with a fork.  It will look a bit like spaghetti!
  • Toast the sunflower kernels in a dry, hot pan.  Set aside.
  • Melt the butter and add a sprinkle of nutmeg.  Once the butter foams and starts to brown, pour into a large bowl.
  • Pour the frozen kale in the skillet.  Cook through, adding a bit of water if needed.  Salt if desired.  Pour the cooked kale in the bowl with the butter and stir to coat the kale.
  • Put the cooked spaghetti squash "noodles" in the skillet and cook until warmed through.
  • Add the buttered kale, goat cheese, and cheddar cheese.  Stir together and cook until cheese is melted.
  • Stir the sunflower kernels throughout the squash and kale mixture.
  • Serve warm!

How do you like to cook spaghetti squash?  Gimme those recipes!

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