When shopping with my daughter the other day, she spotted a beautiful bunch of kale and asked if we could get it. What kid asks for kale? Normally, we eat more kale in the winter in soup, but I love a good kale salad. I think many people don’t like it is because of the texture. Kale can be a bit unruly and bitter, but if you massage it in a Zip lock bag before using it, it softens the texture and sweetens it a bit.
I came up with this recipe like I do many others- I looked around my kitchen to see what was available. In this case, it was kale, apples, dates, limes and nuts. What came out was really simple, but totally delicious. I think it tastes better on day 2 when the ingredients have a little more time to mingle.
1 large bunch of kale, cleaned and torn
1 Pink Lady or Honey Crisp apple, cleaned, sliced and cut into 1″ pieces
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (or juice from 1 lime)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped cashews
1/4 cup chopped dates
Place the cleaned kale in a Zip lock bag (gallon sized) and add 1 tsp. olive oil. Massage the kale for 2-3 minutes to soften the texture.
Place the kale in a large bowl. Add the chopped apple, dates and cashews.
Whisk lime juice and olive oil together, then drizzle over the kale mixture.
Makes 8-10 servings of salad. Nutrition facts per serving: 142 calories, 9 grams fat, 4 grams protein, 14 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 0 mg cholesterol, 39 mg sodium
I’m afraid to admit it, but I screwed up bigly the other day. Being an optimist, I thought, “I’ve got plenty of time to get from A to Z”, and took a phone call before getting packed up to do a food demo for Fox news. What modern, multi-tasking woman can’t handle having her phone on speaker while she puts on makeup? ME.
I got to the station Fri morning “all set” to make chicken salad. I had my canned chicken, mayo, cole slaw dressing, clear glass bowls, spoons, platter, grapes, pita bread and frisbee for National Picnic Day. What’d I forget? Chopped celery and onions. KINDA IMPORTANT. DOH!
Thankfully, there was a “previously featured” cucumber salad nearby. I rinsed it and quickly minced it into “celery”. Thankfully, I had white hearts of Romaine from the lettuce I’d brought, which got chopped into “onions”. I quickly placed them in glass prep bowls as if they were the real deal.
The anchor of the show usually tastes the food during segments, but this time, he was in on the secret. In reality, the chicken salad was pretty good despite the lack of two vital ingredients! The tiny cuts of cucumber gave it color and crunch and I didn’t miss the onions. Still- let it be a lesson to me that I should not be multi-tasking so often. The irony is that the friend I spoke with before my demo is food stylist Mary Seguin. http://www.maryseguinfoodstylist.com/
How’s that for karma?
Here’s the real recipe:
Simple Chicken Salad:
28 oz. canned chicken or 2 lbs cooked, cubed chicken
1/4 cup cole slaw dressing
1/4 cup light mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/4 cup chopped white onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
Place the chicken in a large bowl. Add the cole slaw dressing and mayo and mix well. Add chopped onions and celery and blend.
Makes ~8 servings of salad.
Nothing beats a church pot luck! We joined a new church about 3 years ago and are clearly in our element. My husband is on the bread guild, which bakes bread for Sunday services. I am part of “Main Dish” and the “goodie guild” to provide meals and treats to the church community and for those less fortunate.
Every Holy week, we look forward to “Maundy Thursday”, or the Thursday prior to Easter. Maundy means Holy and is derived from the word “command”. A theme of the service is the commandment, “love one another as I have loved you”. It is always a great reminder that no matter our differences and insults we may have endured by each other, love prevails.
My church clearly loves me. The Maundy dinner is more like a happy hour on steroids, minus the alcohol. Plates of olives, cheese, delightful salads, fruit, hummus, bread and other savories are served. We gather for faith, fellowship and food prior to a powerful service with deep rituals and thoughtful reflection. It may be my favorite holy day in church.
No calorie counting allowed. And that’s just fine by me.
In an effort to eat more salmon, I decided to take it to the grill. Salmon is a great source of omega-3-fatty acids, which are not only good for your heart, but also your noggin. Eating just 2 servings of fish per week may ward off dementia. Below is a great recipe to try this spring:
1 ½ lb salmon fillets (about 4 pieces), skin still on
juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup olive oil
2 tsp. dill or tarragon
- Whisk lemon juice and olive oil together. Add dill or tarragon.
- Marinate fish in lemon juice mixture for ~15 minutes.
- Line your grill with foil before pre-heating.
- Spray foil with cooking spray
- Place salmon on grill, skin side down
- Grill for 5-7 minutes per side until fish flakes easily with a fork.
Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 228 calories, 17 grams fat, 17 grams protein, 38 mg cholesterol, 0 grams fiber, 330 mg sodium.
Now that spring has sprung, it’s time to fire up the grill. I like to cook a little extra chicken or fish to “recycle” into another recipe to save time during the week. Below is a recipe I came up with using leftover chicken.
2 cups cooked chicken cut into chunks
4 (6 inch) whole wheat pitas, cut in half
2 cups fresh spinach leaves or Romaine lettuce
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
½ cup kalamata olives pitted/sliced
Ingredients for tzatziki sauce:
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 chopped cucumber
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. salt (optional)
Directions for sauce:
Place yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, salt and oregano in a small bowl and mix well. Add chopped cucumbers and blend together.
Directions for pita:
Place cooked chicken in a pita half. Add ¼ cup spinach, 1 tsp. feta cheese and 1 tsp. chopped olives. Add 1-2 Tbsp. tzatziki sauce to the pita and serve.
Makes 4 pita sandwiches (2 halves each). Nutrition Facts per serving: 375 calories, 9 grams fat, 41.4 grams carbohydrate, 34 grams protein, 6 grams fiber, 65 mg cholesterol, 800 mg sodium