Dinner

Asian Sesame Chicken and Slaw

Wow, I dug deep into the archives for this recipe. It comes from Working Mother Magazine of July 1999. This was a part of my cooking extravaganza this past weekend and it was a great step back through the cookbook.

This is served hot over rice, but it makes a great cold salad if there are any leftovers!

  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 6 Tbsp Canola oil
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Aisan sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp peeled minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken tenders, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 bag (16 oz) shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix
  • 3 scallions thinly sliced
  • 8 oz snow peas, trimmed
  • 1 medium red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup salted roasted peanuts

In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine rice, 1/2 tsp of the salt and 2 cups water; Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer about 19 minutes, or until water is absorbed.

In a medium bowl, whisk together canola oil, vinegar, sesame oil, ginger and soy sauce. In another medium bowl, toss chicken with 2 Tbsp of the dressing and remaining 1 tsp. of salt. In a large serving bowl combine cabbage and scallions.

In a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat cook chicken 6 minutes, stirring. Add snow peas, red pepper and 2 Tbsp of the dressing. Saute 2 minutes. Remove from heat and toss with cabbage mixture along with remaining dressing. Garnish with peanuts. Serve with rice. Serves 4.

Salads

Creamy Corn Salad

Need a new salad recipe this summer? Try this easy and tasty summer corn salad that packs a kick.   Get away from the  the boring old potato or macaroni salad. Put down the  cole slaw you have made for years and years  and give this corn salad a try.

  • 2 lbs. Frozen corn, thawed under cool running water
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup diced purple onion
  • 1 serrano pepper, seeded and diced
  • ½ cup plain greek yogurt
  • ½ cup light mayo
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro

Combine the corn, red bell pepper, onion and Serrano pepper in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl whisk together the yogurt, mayo, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Gently stir into the corn mixture. Add in the chopped cilantro and stir. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Add a little extra cilantro to dress the salad a enjoy!

This recipe was modified from a post by I Wash you Dry

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Garlic Herb Potato Salad

I am sure that it is no surprise to people who know me that I have always been a picky eater.  No, I don’t like sandwiches, condiments, etc.  Lunch to me is a hot lunch or now a good yogurt and granola bar to hold me over.  It took me a while to warm up to summer salads because I really am not a mayo fan.  So when I saw this recipe that has no mayo I gave it a try and loved it.  It is very easy to make and taste great warm and cold too.  Give this a try!

Ingredients

3 lbs small red potatoes , scrubbed and rinsed and diced into small even size chunks (about 1-inch)
1 1/2 Tbsp salt , divided
1/2 cup olive oil (I prefer 1/4 cup extra-virgin 1/4 cup regular)
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
3 cloves garlic , minced (1 Tbsp)
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley (from about 1/2 cup cup packed leaves with some stem)
2 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives*
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme

Instructions

Place potatoes in a large pot. Cover potatoes with water (water level should come about an inch or two above potatoes), season with 1 Tbsp salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once it reaches a boil reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until potatoes are just tender all the way through, about 10 – 15 minutes (they should pierce easily with a knife, but you also don’t want them really tender/mushy). Drain potatoes and let cool slightly, about 10 minutes (cooling is recommend so they don’t fall apart while tossing. If you want to serve them hot then plate individual servings of potatoes and spoon dressing over each serving rather then tossing everything together).

While potatoes are cooking prepare the dressing – in a mixing bowl whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, pepper, parsley, chives and thyme. Season with remaining 1 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste. Let mixture rest while potatoes continue to cook and cool slightly, then once potatoes are ready, pour drained potatoes into a large mixing bowl. Pour dressing over top and gently toss just a few times to coat. Serve warm or chilled.

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Chickpea Salad

Looking for a different kind of salad?  Not macaroni or potato?  Try this one my hubby whipped up that was super easy to make.  It is a crisp and cool treat.  Not your traditional summer salad by any means.  Hey, what are you waiting for?  The weekend is coming and you know you are going to cook out again?

Chickpea Salad

Ingredients

2 (19-ounce) cans chick peas, drained and rinsed
1 carrot, grated
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley leaves

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine.

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Fingerling Potato Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

I just started to get Cooking Light again and found this great recipe. Very easy to make but best at room temperature, even with the heat wave we have now. 

Ingredients

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 pounds multicolored fingerling potatoes, halved
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

Directions

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Place potatoes in a medium saucepan. Cover with water by 3 inches; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain well. Add hot potatoes to dressing; toss gently to coat. Add onion and chives; toss.

From Cooking Light

Salads

Mediterranean Pasta Salad – not just for Summer

Now that we have hit Labor Day, it is inevitable that summer is slowly coming to an end. The cookouts, summer parties, shorts and t-shirts as the daily apparel and the extremely hot dry summer we have will soon be a memory. But it doesn’t mean an end to cooking like it is still summer. I found this recipe when I was looking for a pasta salad, but not your typical pasta salad with the italian dressing as part of the mixture. After having this I think we can make this again and again, even as the snow starts to fly!

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Ingredients

12 ounces farfalle pasta
1-12 ounce can marinated artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained (reserve 2 tablespoons of oil)
½ cup kalamata olives, chopped
3 tablespoons capers, rinsed
¼ cup sliced scallions
1 cup packed fresh arugula
⅓ cup parmesan cheese
3 tablespoon pine nuts

DRESSING:

3 tablespoons basil pesto ( jarred pesto is fine)
⅓ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons of reserved sun-dried tomato oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Rinse and drain the pasta and allow for it to cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl combine the prepared pasta, chopped artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, capers and scallions. Toss to combine.
At this point, you can store the pasta salad in the refrigerator until ready to serve if you want to serve it cold.
To make the dressing: In a small bowl, mix together the pesto, olive oil, sun-dried tomato oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. The dressing can be refrigerated until you’re ready to serve the salad.
When you’re ready to serve, add the arugula, parmesan cheese, and pine nuts into the salad and toss to combine. Add the prepared dressing and taste test for seasonings.
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Chick Pea Summer Salad

 
What is more easier then just throwing together a quick summer salad that does not involve cooking ingredients like pasta or potatoes.  This is a super easy salad that we found a few years ago in Cooking Light.  The best part about this is that all of herbs are fresh from my little herb garden. 
 
 Our garden along the side of our house is back in business this year.  Last year we had some landscaping updated and some work done on the French drains and gas line so we could not  have a garden. I still maintained my herb garden because some of them are perennial, however, it took a beating.  It was out of the way of the work we were doing, but nonetheless we lost some plants.  This year the little vegetable garden is in  with tomatoes, peppers, jalapeños and radishes and the herbs are multiplying!  The thyme and the oregano have a mind of their own and sometimes overtake the other herbs in the garden.  For the rosemary, I put that in a clay pot outside my kitchen door.  I love the smell of thyme and rosemary and fresh herbs do make a difference when cooking.
 
 

Chickpea Salad with Provençal Herbs and Olives

 
 
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
3/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme  
 
Combine the first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Combine chickpeas and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Pour vinegar mixture over salad, tossing gently.
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Summer Orzo Salad

Looking through my big binder of recipes I stumbled upon one we found a couple of years ago.  It is a nice change in  the continually parade of summer salads.  Definitely not a potato or a traditional macaroni salad.  I am not really a fan of mayonnaise based salads, so this s a great change. The dried cherries and pine nuts are a great surprise.  This makes a very large quantity and is also great eaten alone as a small meal.  A cool and refreshing change!

Summer Orzo Salad

Ingredients

1 pound orzo pasta
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
2 cups fresh arugula (about 3 ounces)
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup dried cherries
12 fresh basil leaves, torn
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta and put the pasta on a large cookie sheet. Drizzle the pasta with 3 tablespoons olive oil, toss, spread out, and set aside to cool.
Once the orzo is cool, transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss gently to combine. Serve.
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2 New Salads to Try

This past weekend we had “Our” pool party at “Giada from across the street and her hubby Michael” house. We invited all of the usual suspects and a few additions and planned on warm weather and swimming the afternoon away. Well Mother Nature didn’t want to cooperate with the warm weather, but the kids didn’t mind. So the afternoon and evening was spent eating and watching the guys play Corn Hole.

Our host said they would provide the main entrée and we would all bring dishes to pass. I promised the famous Paula Deen Ooey Gooey’s, Asian Cole Slaw, Beer, our Daughters Brownie Creation and Hubby’s contribution of 2 new salads. He had seen Ina Garten make her Celery Salad and new that our foodie friends would love that one and then night before the party we found the cucumber salad on Facebook that looked pretty easy and would be a refreshing change from typical Picnic Salads.

It seems that summer is rapidly coming to a close, but these salads will stay around through the fall and into the winter as a reminder of the 2015 Pool Party!

Sour Cream Cucumber Salad

Ingredients

4 medium cucumbers, peeled if desired and thinly sliced
1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings

In a large bowl, whisk sour cream, vinegar, sugar and pepper until blended. Add cucumbers and onion; toss to coat. Refrigerate, covered, at least 4 hours. Serve with a slotted spoon. Yield: 8 servings.

Celery Parmesan Salad

Ingredients

½ cup good olive oil
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 teaspoon celery seed
½ teaspoon celery salt
½ teaspoon anchovy paste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 cups thinly sliced celery hearts, tender leaves included, sliced on an angle (about 12 stalks)
4-ounce chunk aged Parmesan cheese
²/³ cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
Whole flat-leaf parsley leaves

At least 1 hour before you plan to serve the salad, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, ¼ cup of lemon juice, the shallots, celery seed, celery salt, anchovy paste, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Place the celery in a mixing bowl and toss it with the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and ½ teaspoon of salt. (Even though these ingredients are in the dressing, believe me—this step makes a difference.) Add enough dressing to moisten well. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the celery to crisp and the flavors to develop.

When ready to serve, arrange the celery on a platter, shave the Parmesan onto the celery with a vegetable peeler, then sprinkle with walnuts, parsley leaves, salt, and pepper and serve immediately.

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Store Bought? Not! Greek Pasta Salad

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wegmans Markets has a great Greek salad in the family size tub that we will pick up in the summer time when we are looking for a quick accompaniment to our main course.  It is shell pasta and Kalamata olives with feta and cucumber.  While scouring Pinterest we found a recipe that makes the exact salad that we buy.  A little group effort in the kitchen, some tweaks to the recipe for extra flavoring and Bam – Greek Pasta Salad. This went great with our home made Polish sausage made at the meat department of our locally owned grocery store.  So if you are looking for a new summer salad, give this a try.
 

Greek Pasta Salad

Ingredients

12 oz. of uncooked shell pasta
2 cups medium diced seedless cucumber, lightly sprinkled with salt
½ cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped coarse or kept whole
1 cup crumbled feta cheese, Mediterranean blend
 
Dressing:
2 teaspoons dried oregano
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1½ teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and ground black pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook it until al dente (use the time on the pasta box as a guide). Strain the pasta and transfer it to a large bowl to cool while you make the dressing.
 
In a small bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients, except for the olive oil. While whisking, stream in the olive oil. Season the dressing with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the cucumbers, olives, and feta cheese to the bowl with the pasta.
 
Mix the dressing ingredients, except for the salt and pepper, in a separate bowl.Pour the dressing over the pasta, tossing to combine, add salt and pepper to taste, then cover the salad with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours or overnight for the flavors to fully come together. When ready to serve, toss the pasta salad again.