Summer Fare: Chicken Arugula Salad with Pine Nuts and Shredded Parmesan

After an almost 5 year hiatus, Ms. Foodie is giving it another go. This series will be called… Summer Fare.

Ms. Foodie is not a salad person, mostly because they are unsatisfying and a pretender to health. Iceberg is just water, and once you throw cheese and those fattening salad dressings on them, what part of health is there? Mr. Foodie, on the other hand, loves salads because he feels like it is his one concession to health. His salads are always accompanied with a generous helping of Ranch, of course. So Ms. Foodie has been perfecting her own salad recipes that meet the criteria of satisfaction while allowing Mr. Foodie to feel as though he is doing something good. They also provide quick meals in Summer when the last thing Ms. Foodie feels like doing is turning on a stove.

The first key is the base, which can’t just pretend to health, but actually needs to contain some nutrients; so Hasta la Vista iceberg and Romaine. Ms. Foodie’s salad bases tend toward Kale, Spinach, or her newest favorite, Arugula. Arugula has that wonderful peppery quality, allaying boredom, and delighting the taste buds. (smacks lips)

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Ms. Foodie has been perfecting this Chicken Arugula w
ith Pine Nuts Salad for about a year now. Ms. Foodie needs the heft of protein in her salads, so in addition to the Pine Nuts, I added Chicken. I have made this salad with Smoked Deli Chicken Breast, Boiled Chicken Breast, and for this round I used a Fried Chicken Breast, the breading adding extra crunch and extra flavor. Along with Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes, which add to the flavor profile and provide a nice burst in your mouth, I added a few Roma Tomatoes for some gravity. This time around Ms. Foodie decided to add chopped boiled Eggs for more gravity and protein heft. Tossed with Shredded Parmesan Cheese, and a Sesame Umami Dressing, it hits all the points for both of us: Health coupled with satisfying Flavor and Substance.

This 2018 Clarksburg Batik Chenin Blanc is also doing this recipe justice! Shout out to Bright Cellars for a great pick.

20190615_190321Happy Saturday!

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Sweet Curry Chicken and Yellow Jasmine Rice with Mixed Vegetables

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Ms. Foodie loves Pinterest! It literally has replaced any recipe books I might have (very few), and is so easy to access and categorize. Tonight’s dinner was selected from one of Ms. Foodie’s various food boards, and while Ms. Foodie enjoyed it, we will definitely be adjusting some of the ingredients for future preparations. If you want to follow Ms. Foodie’s boards on Pinterest, click here.

The recipe for Yellow Jasmine Rice was just an internet search away. Of course, Ms. Foodie added her own flourishes to the dish, as is my wont. Don’t hate, emulate.

Quickie Meals: Honey Sriracha Chicken with Jasmine Rice, Sweet Corn and Spinach

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Honey-Sriracha Chicken with Jasmine Rice, Sweet Corn and Spinach

While Ms. Foodie loves to mount elaborate meals from time-to-time, for the most part, I depend a great deal on Kitchen Cabinet Cooking: what’s in the Store (my cabinet/fridge), and what can be made quickly.

This meal has several quick and dirty components:

  • Chicken Thighs: The easiest part of the Chicken to grill and bake, because thighs they require so little maintenance, while still retaining their moisture and flavor. You can cook eight chicken thighs in a 400 degree oven in as little as 45 minutes.
  • Frozen Vegetables: Look, I grew up in the Midwest, and fresh vegetables were only possible in the late Spring and the Summer—or you paid a lot of money for shipped produce which didn’t retain half the nutrients. Frozen vegetables, especially the flash frozen variety we find today, retain much of the nutrients of their fresh counterpart, and they make for an easy meal accompaniment.
  • Pre-cooked sides: Ms. Foodie adores her Rice Cooker, and when I cook rice, I always make an extra cup or two. Cooked rice refrigerates for up to five days; so that means you can focus on the meat or veggie part of your meal, and simply heat up or nuke the rice to go along with it.

Thanks to this extremely easy recipe from Healthy. Delicious., frozen Spinach and Sweet Corn, and pre-cooked Jasmine Rice, Ms. Foodie was able to crank out dinner in less than an hour.

When you have so many things to do, wherever you can save time makes a huge difference.

Honey + Sriracha Chicken.

 

What’s for Dinner: Salmon Stir Fry in Sweet Chili Sauce

In a quest to find different things to do with Salmon fillet, Ms. Foodie decided to try a stir fry. After combing a few recipes, and coming up empty, Ms. Foodie decided to play around with what was in the Store.

After foraging in the refrigerator, I discovered Mushrooms, Baby Carrots, Snow Peas, and Kale. Ms. Foodie chopped those up, along with Onions and Garlic, then sauteed the lot in a base of Sesame Oil and dried Basil. Ms. Foodie then chopped up the Salmon fillet, and added it to the veggie mix. Then I added a tablespoon or so of Soy Sauce, and a cup of Sweet Chili Sauce to complete the transformation.

Served over a bed of Jasmine Rice, this quickie meal was just the ticket!

Simple Fare: Pan-fried Salmon with Onions, Garlic, and Kale accompanied by Cilantro-Jasmine Rice

Ms. Foodie is finding that it is often the simple things that turn out to be the best. This would be especially true of tonight’s dinner.

Ms. Foodie took less than 45 minutes (thank you, Rice Cooker!) to make this meal, and if I put my foot in it, if I must say so myself!

Ms. Foodie rubbed down a large Salmon Fillet with Sea Salt and Red Pepper Flakes then let it sit for about 20 minutes.

While the Salmon was marinating, Ms. Foodie added chicken boullion and Cilantro to the Jasmine Rice to create a flavorful and refreshing rice dish in the Rice Cooker. I added equal parts water to the cups of rice (I did two), hit the “Cook” button, and forget about it.

Ms. Foodie then chopped a bit of White Onion (about 1/4 cup), 2 cloves of Garlic (sliced), and some Kale leaves (about a 1/2 cup) and sauteed the mix in a tablespoon butter until the onion was clear and the Kale was vibrant and a bit tender. I removed this mix from the skillet, added another tablespoon of butter, and threw on the Salmon Fillet, skin side down. Ms. Foodie cooked it for about 5 minutes, or until the skin was crisp, then flipped the Fillet and cooked it for another 5 minutes until it was cooked through.

Mr. Foodie gave it the thumbs up and said “It was delicious!” I’m inclined to agree with him. 😉

Soup is Good Food: Green Soup, with a few variations…

Mr. Foodie had a bit of a relapse with this cold/flu creeping crud that’s floating around, So, Ms. Foodie needed to go back to the antioxidant-rich fare that helped to get him back on his feet a few weeks ago.

I asked my fellow Yogi mini-Milena Sarian what she does when she has a cold, and she told me about a Green Soup she makes with LOTS of garlic. She had Ms. Foodie at “hello”…

The Mr. and I are carnivores, so even though we love the veggies, protein is what gives us the best energy. Along with antioxidant and vitamin C-rich Cabbage, Kale, and Zucchini, I boiled a chicken breast with some red Chile flakes, Sea Salt, and a bit of Black Pepper. Once it was fully cooked, I chopped it up, and added it to the mix.

Using a base of two cups chicken broth (including the broth from the boiled chicken breast), and a cup of water, I added an entire Garlic bulb (she did say LOTS), chopped fresh Ginger root, added two Bay leaves, and a medley of wild dried Porcini, Shitake, Black, and Oyster Mushrooms.

Sprinkled generously with Sea Salt, Black Pepper, and Basil, and polished with two eggs stirred into the hot broth, this soup is definitely the hit!

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Sunday Dinner: Prosciutto and Artichoke Heart Pizza

Ms. Foodie decided to experiment with a more dignified version of the Hawaiian pizza.

Trader Joe’s pizza dough makes for a wonderful crust, and Ms. Foodie used their Garlic and Herb flavor.

Instead of tomato sauce as a base, I used Olive Oil, Red Onion, and Parmesan. Then covered it with roughly chopped Artichoke Hearts, and dotted the crust with rolled slices of thin Prosciutto.

Once that was done, Ms. Foodie blanketed the base with Mozzarella, and a sprinkling of Basil and Parmesan.

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The results: Very light, extremely delicious.

Sunday Dinner: Herb-crusted roasted Pork Loin with Simmered Cabbage

Say what you will about Paula Deen’s recent troubles, the woman can throw down. Ms. Foodie pulled her recipe off of the Food Network’s website and coupled it with a Food.com recipe for Simmered Cabbage.

Ms. Foodie served it all over Jasmine Rice, and was quite please about the way this turned out!

Chicken and Rice Soup

Ms. Foodie combined chicken soup for the soul with powerful, cold-busting, antioxidant lemon and garlic. With the additions of celery, carrots, Jasmine rice and spices, this made a hearty and warm meal for a Fall evening.