You know how much I love to cook. I do. I really, really do. Except when I don’t. Which is usually a weeknight when I’m getting home from work at 5:30 and want to enjoy a little time with my guy without slaving away in the kitchen cooking and cleaning. There are so many options these days when you don’t want to cook, making dinner easier via prepared meal delivery, ingredient delivery, etc.
I tried Blue Apron a few weeks back, my friend Nelle gave me a coupon for a free week. Blue Apron is a really cool concept: fresh ingredients and recipes for 3 meals, delivered right to your door. Read More
Last night I had my friends Arlene and Melissa over for our first MIHS 20 Year Reunion planning meeting. Stepping up to plan the reunion has been the best decision, I am loving these strolls down memory lane. We have been laughing so hard telling old stories, thinking about people we haven’t thought about in 20 years, it has been awesome. And we haven’t even gotten had the actual reunion yet!
The Seattle weather has been ridiculously gorgeous this past week, very atypical for May. I had wanted to make a dinner salad for the ladies and how appropriate that I brought out this blast from the past. I haven’t made this BBQ chicken salad in about 10 years, I tweaked it a little and boom, I have my new summer salad obsession (besides Jamie Oliver’s, which is more of a side salad, so I feel like I can equally obsessed with both).
Kale & BBQ Chicken Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette (courtesy of me)
- 2 bunches lacinato kale, thinly sliced (I use the ribs, when it’s sliced thin like this, I don’t mind them at all)
- 2 ears corn, cooked and kernels cut off (you could also use a can of corn, but it’s summer and corn is so fresh!)
- 1 largo avocado, diced
- 1/2 cucumber, sliced and quartered
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 green onions (white and green parts), sliced
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/4 C soy sauce
- 1T garlic, minced
- 2T olive oil
- BBQ sauce
For the dressing
- 2T shallots, finely minced
- 1/4 C champagne vinegar
- 3t Dijon mustard
- 1/3 C olive oil
- salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 350°. Combine soy sauce, minced garlic and olive oil and a bowl and marinate chicken for at least 20 minutes. Cook chicken breasts for 20 – 30 minutes (until cooked through) in marinade and allow them to cool down. Dice it and toss in your favorite bbq sauce.
- While the chicken is marinating/cooking, cook your corn (boiling water for 7 minutes, allow to cool down), chop up all of the veggies (save the avocados til the end so they don’t brown) and make your dressing.
- Toss the salad with the dressing, add the chicken, toss again, then serve.
It’s healthy, it’s delish, perfect summer entrée salad. They loved it. Actually, it was Melissa’s first time eating kale. Whaaaaa??? No comprende. Now I’ve converted her over to kale, yay me!
I had my cousin Hillary and her fiancé John over for dinner on Sunday and spent Saturday night watching Game of Thrones and flipping through cookbooks to menu plan. I love reading cookbooks. I had honestly forgotten how much. I get so programmed to look at blogs or the Food Network or Epicurious that I forget about my good ole cookbooks. I was perusing Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. I ended up selecting recipes from both, but the clear winner at dinner was the Everyday Green Chopped Salad. I think I am going to need to eat this salad at least once weekly for the forseeable future. So. fricking. good. It’s the perfect combination of crunch and vinegar and avocado.
Everyday Green Chopped Salad – courtesy of Jamie Oliver
- 1 head butter lettuce
- 2 avocados, diced
- 4 green onions (both white and green parts)
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled and sliced
- handful basil, sliced
- freshly shaved parmesan
- 3T olive oil
- 1T red wine vinegar
- 1t Dijon mustard
- salt & pepper
- Wash and roughly chop lettuce and put in a large bowl
- After you’ve cut up the green onions, cucumber, basil, put them together and roughly chop up some more
- Toss with the lettuce and coat well with dressing
- Finish with fresh shaved parmesan
Total Cook Time – 20 minutes
This salad is perfect to serve with a lighter dinner, like halibut or salmon. Definitely worthy of guests. I served with Jamie Oliver’s Crunchy Garlic Chicken, Sauteed Asparagus, and Smitten Kitchen’s Roasted Potato and Carrot Coins.
OK, so I have been feeling a little self conscious after last night’s dinner post. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen someone else blog about making a shitty meal, so I guess I’m a pioneer in that arena. I needed to make something delicious and pretty tonight in order to redeem my ego and my food cred.
The weather was calling for something fresh & light, it was 75° and gorgeous today. I went back to one of my old faves, Grilled Halibut with Pesto and Arugula from Epicurious. The problem was Oliver. He doesn’t eat fish, wouldn’t like arugula and I was pretty sure he wasn’t going to dig the pesto. I am not the mom who makes multiple dinners, we have a rule that he has to try something, even if he doesn’t like it and spits it out. I made a slight dinner modification and got him chicken breast tenders, but prepared both the halibut and chicken the same way. Olive oil, salt, pepper – baked at 400°. 12 min for the halibut, 15 for the chicken. I served with quinoa and steamed green beans. Healthy , delish and on the table in 30 minutes, a winning combo. Also makes a lovely summer dinner to serve for guests.
He tried a little bit of the pesto on his chicken, hated it and spit it out. He ate the rest of the dinner, good compromise. And the best part is I got to eat exactly what I wanted for dinner.
- 4 8-ounce halibut fillets
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/2 cup Classic Pesto (recipe to follow)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 3 cups arugula leaves
- Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Brush each halibut fillet with 1 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until just opaque in center, about 4 minutes per side. Spread each fillet with thin layer of pesto, dividing equally. (NOTE – as I said, I prepared mine in the oven. I had 1lb halibut cut into 2 fillets, cooked at 400° for 12 minutes)
- Whisk lemon juice and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in medium bowl to blend. Add arugula; toss to coat. Divide arugula among 4 plates; top with grilled halibut
Making pesto literally could not be easier. And it tastes so good. If you haven’t made your own pesto, you will kick yourself for not doing it sooner. Mini Cuisinart, 7 ingredients, boom, done. If I was smart(er), I would have made like 6 times the recipe and stuck it in the freezer, it freezes beautifully. Another day…
- 4 cups fresh basil leaves (from about 3 large bunches)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup freshly grated pecorino Sardo or Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- Combine first 4 ingredients in blender or food processor. Blend until paste forms, stopping often to push down basil. Add both cheeses and salt; blend until smooth. Transfer to small bowl. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Top with 1/2 inch olive oil and chill.)
Makes 1 cup