Paleo Taco Salad

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Quick Post: This taco meat was okay the first day, but even better as the week went on ūüôā I made a few modifications to the recipe, but I added the link to the original as always ūüôā Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Paleo Taco Salad – adapted from Stupid Easy Paleo

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 pound ground beef (*I used bison)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1.5 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • tomato paste (*optional, I used a whole 6 ounce can*)
  • 1/2 cup of bone broth, or water

Directions –

In a small bowl mix together the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Melt the coconut oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once the coconut oil has melted, add the onion and sauté until soft. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the meat and cook until no longer pink. Add the taco seasoning to the meat and mix well. (*I used all but about a tablespoon of the mixture*) Add the tomato paste and bone broth to the pan and continue cooking until it reaches your desired consistency. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed. Serve immediately over chopped Romaine lettuce, and top with lots of veggies.

 

 

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Honey Chipotle Chicken Salad with Lime Quinoa

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Quick Post: This salad was everything I wanted it to be – sweet, spicy, smokey, tangy – perfect! The chicken soaked up all the flavors of the marinade and once grilled, it caramelized and became it’s own finger-licking-good sauce. The surprise hit for me was the lime quinoa – I cooked it in homemade chicken stock with a little salt and pepper. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Honey Chipotle Chicken Bowls with Lime Quinoa – adapted from How Sweet Eats

honey chipotle chicken

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons adobo sauce, from a can of chipotles in adobo
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey mustard (*I used this recipe*)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

salad

  • 6 cups spring greens
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (*I had Roma tomatoes)
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh cilantro (*the store didn’t have any*)
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 lime, juiced

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Lime Quinoa 

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed well (at least 3 times, or until the water is clear)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 lime, juiced and zest freshly grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions –

Add the chicken breasts to a baking dish or Ziploc bag and season with salt and pepper. In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, adobo, honey, mustards, cilantro and garlic. Pour the marinade over the chicken, covering it evenly. Place it in the fridge and marinate for at least 2 hours, or even overnight.

When you’re ready to make the meal, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tiny bit of olive oil and add the chicken, then cover the skillet and cook until the chicken is deeply browned on both sides and cooked in the center, about 6 minutes per side.

To make the salads, add the greens in a large bowl and toss them with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Add the chicken on top along with the quinoa, the tomatoes, cilantro, green onions and avocado. Drizzle the bowl with the lime juice, olive oil and honey. Serve!

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Add the quinoa and stock (or water) to a saucepan over high heat and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the coconut oil (you can swap butter), lime juice, zest, salt and pepper.

Salad with Maple-Dijon Dressing

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It’s a new year and I tend to get inspired to eat a little healthier. This is a really simple, light but flavorful salad with lots of textures and flavors.¬†Use whatever you have to make it interesting, because salads can be so bland and boring. I listed goat cheese in the ingredients even though I didn’t have any, but it would have been a nice tangy, creamy addition. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Maple-Dijon Dressing – adapted from The Six o’clock Scramble

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. herbes de Provence

Salad –

  • grilled chicken, chopped
  • apple, sliced
  • tomatoes
  • almonds, chopped
  • crumbled goat cheese

Directions –

Place all dressing ingredients into a lidded jar and shake well to combine.  Spoon over your salad greens and toss.

Caesar Dressing

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Whenever we go out to restaurants, he always orders a Caesar salad…always! I have only tasted a bite or two during my lifetime and I never understood the hype. I knew that one day I would have to make my own dressing, and I was sure that it would make all the difference. Homemade beats bottled any day, right? Well, I was pleasantly surprised with the savory, bold and tangy flavor of this dressing. I’m used to the oil/vinegar based dressings and I rarely make creamy ones.

First I made the homemade mayonnaise which is so easy to make and you don’t even need a stick blender. I whisked it by hand – not the quickest way of course, but easy. I mixed most of the Caesar ingredients in a small bowl before pouring into the mayo bowl to make sure that it wouldn’t separate. My husband liked the flavor and he told me it’s right up there with his favorite Caesar dressing – not too bad for a first time! Also, make your own croutons! ūüėČ They only take about 40 minutes in the oven and store bought can’t beat the flavor of homemade. Thanks for reading, enjoy! ūüôā

Homemade Mayonnaise Рadapted from Epicurious 

  • 1 large egg yolk*
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
  • 3/4 cup canola oil, divided (*I used 1/2 cup grapeseed oil and 1/4 cup olive oil*)

Directions –

Combine egg yolk, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Whisk until blended and bright yellow, about 30 seconds.

Using 1/4 teaspoon measure and whisking constantly, add 1/4 cup oil to yolk mixture, a few drops at a time, about 4 minutes. Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup oil in very slow thin stream, whisking constantly, until mayonnaise is thick, about 8 minutes (mayonnaise will be lighter in color). Cover and chill. do ahead Can be made up to 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.

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Homemade Caesar Dressing – adapted from Once Upon a Chef

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon¬†anchovy paste (found near the tuna fish in the supermarket)
  • 2 tablespoons¬†lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon¬†Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon¬†Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 cup homemade mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup¬†freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon¬†salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon¬†freshly ground black pepper
¬†Directions –
In a medium bowl, whisk together the garlic, anchovy paste, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Add the mayonnaise, cheese, salt and pepper and whisk until well combined. Taste and adjust to your liking.

Italian Antipasto Salad

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I made this salad for a group of ladies and judging by how little of this was left, it was a hit ūüėČ The salami and provolone combo is what makes this crave-worthy and I like the different textures of the lettuces. The vinaigrette compliments this salad perfectly, and thanks to the Dijon it stays well mixed for long periods of time. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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Italian Antipasto Salad – adapted from The Food Network

  • 1/2 head romaine lettuce, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 head butter lettuce, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 head iceberg lettuce, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup rinsed canned red kidney beans, patted dry
  • 1 cup rinsed canned garbanzo beans, patted dry
  • 8 ounces salami, cubed
  • 6 ounces Provolone, cubed
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Red Wine Vinaigrette, recipe follows
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions –

Combine the first 8 ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with enough vinaigrette to coat. Season the salad with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.

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Red Wine Vinaigrette – adapted from Epicurious

  • 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions –

Pour all ingredients in a 8 ounce jar, replace the lid and shake vigorously.

Buffalo Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

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In an effort to make something new using yesterday’s leftovers, I made this. I had just enough chicken from this pizza to make this boring salad a meal. I also whipped up a simple buttermilk blue cheese dressing to go with it. And because wasting a perfectly good dressing would be just plain dumb; I made a batch of delicious hot wings to go with it! I haven’t made these in years, but they’re worth the extra time required. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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Buffalo Chicken Salad – adapted from The Pioneer Woman

  • Leftover marinated and grilled chicken from this, chopped
  • 2-3 TBSP Franks Red Hot
  • 2 TSBP butter
  • Romaine lettuce
  • avocado
  • cucumber
  • cherry tomatoes
  • Blue Cheese Dressing
  • Extra Blue Cheese Crumbles

Directions-

Place a skillet over medium heat; add the butter and Frank’s Red Hot. Heat just until butter has melted, then add chicken and coat with buffalo sauce. Turn off heat and set aside.
Heap tossed salad into individual bowls. Sprinkle blue cheese crumbles, cucumber, sliced avocado, chicken and cherry tomatoes and top with blue cheese dressing.

Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing – adapted from My Baking Addiction

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2- 4 ¬†tablespoons buttermilk (more to thin out)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup Crumbled blue cheese

Directions- 

Combine mayonnaise, sour cream and milk in small bowl; mix until smooth. Stir in vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, salt, pepper and garlic powder until well blended. Fold in cheese. Transfer to container with tight-fitting lid. Chill until serving time. Stir well before serving.

Croutons

These are so easy to make and dangerously tasty! “Yes, I would like some salad with my croutons” kind of good. I hogged them all tonight, but my husband told me I could have his share – that is real love in action, people! ūüėČ I need to make more of these ASAP, who knew that it was these croutons that my salads had been missing all along? Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Croutons – adapted from Annie’s Eats

  • 1 baguette or about 4 cups 1/2 – inch bread cubes
  • 1 1/2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 1/2 TBSP melted butter
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. dried parsley
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper

Directions –¬†

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place the bread cubes in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in the melted butter and olive oil and toss to coat. Season to taste with garlic powder, dried parsley, salt and pepper. Toss once more until everything is evenly combined. Spread the croutons in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, stirring once every 10 minutes, until the croutons are light golden and crisp and no chewiness remains. They will bake about 40 – 50 minutes total but the time may vary depending on the size of cubes and type of bread. Remove to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Store in airtight container.

French Bread Pizzas

Quick Post: These were amazing! I tried out a new bread recipe that worked out really well for these, and this Greek dressing was a great addition to our green salad. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

French Bread Рadapted from The Galley Gourmet 

  • 3 cups bread flour (381 grams)
  • 1 Tablespoon dry active yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Directions –
In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, olive oil, and water.  Mix on low speed until a dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  Add the salt and increase the speed to medium; knead for 10 minutes.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a ball.  Lightly grease the inside of the mixing bowl and return the dough to the bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free space to rise for 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently deflate the dough.  Divide the dough in half and form into balls.  Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow them to rest for 15 minutes.  Form each ball into a 16 x 2 inch loaf.  Place the loaves onto a large parchment lined baking sheet, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside in a draft-free space to rise for 1 1/2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375¬ļ F. ¬†Bake the loaves until golden brown, about 30 minutes. ¬†Transfer to racks to cool completely. ¬†Slice and serve at room temperature or rewarm before serving. ¬†Enjoy!
French Bread Pizzas Рadapted from Budget Bytes 
  • 2 loaves of French bread
  • 1-2 cups marinara sauce
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese
  • pepperoni chopped
  • dried oregano for sprinkling over the top, optional
  • Parmesano Reggiano and other Italian cheeses for grating over top, optional
Directions-
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil. Cut your baguette into the size you want your pizzas. I had a half length baguette so I cut it in half (lengthwise) then sliced it open to make four pieces, each about 8 inches long and four inches wide.Top each pizza with about 1/4 cup of sauce and 1/4 cup of shredded cheese. I like to sprinkle on a little extra Italian spices at this point to kick up the flavor. Follow this up with pepperoni or whatever other toppings you are using. Bake the pizzas in the oven at 400 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the edges of your bread are brown and crispy.
Greek Dressing Р adapted from Center Cut Cook
  • 1/4 cup + 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 3/4 tsp pepper
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard

Directions –

Mix all ingredients in a glass jar, shake and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before using.

Grilled Chicken and Pear Salad

Strange combination for this family, but I decided to try it. Grilled fruit is always a good idea, and I’m hoping these pears don’t disappoint! I recently started ordering produce from a local co-op and it’s been a great motivator to try new recipes. I never buy pears, and honestly wasn’t a huge fan – chalk it up to never eating them as a kid. I’m also hoping that the simplicity of the rest of the dish doesn’t equal lack of flavor…we will soon see.

Verdict:¬†All the components of this salad work together really well.¬†They were all leery of the pear, but tried it anyway. I’m pleased with how it turned out, and most of my family (minus the pickiest eater), enjoyed this. Up next, the cheddar biscuits we ate with this salad! ūüôā Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Grilled Chicken and Pear Salad – adapted from Plan to Eat

  • 1 pound chicken breasts, boneless/skinless
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • pepper
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • 2 pears, cored and sliced
  • 6 cups mixed greens with baby spinach
  • Goat cheese, optional

Vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • ¬Ĺ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¬ľ teaspoon honey
  • ¬ľ cup grape seed or olive oil
  • ¬ľ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Directions –

1. Prepare the vinaigrette and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

2. Butterfly each chicken breast or pound to an even thickness. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.

3. Grill chicken and pears until chicken juices run clear and pears and soft, warm, and slightly charred.

4. Remove chicken and pears from grill and slice chicken into strips.

5. Plate greens, top with chicken and pears, sprinkle with goat cheese, and drizzle with vinaigrette

Carrot Ginger Dressing

Quick Post: One of my favorite things to order at local Japanese restaurants is the side salad with carrot ginger dressing. I don’t know why it’s so good, I just accept it! Now that I have a recipe for it that tastes so good, I can enjoy it in the comfort of my own home and I can make it cheap! Really, the most expensive ingredient was the miso paste. Now that I have a huge container of it, there is plenty to go around for lots more of this; and my next experiment – miso soup! I doubled the recipe and I’m glad I did. Between the three of us, half the jar was put away ūüôā Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Carrot Ginger Dressing – adapted from Smitten Kitchen via GOOP.com
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 small shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons sweet white miso
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seed oil
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed or another neutral oil
  • 2 tablespoons water

Salad:

  • Romaine lettuce
  • avocado
  • cucumber

Blitz the carrots, shallot and ginger in a blender or food processor until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides, then add the miso, vinegar and sesame oil. While the machine running, slowly drizzle in the grapeseed oil and the water.

Divide the lettuce among four bowls, add some of the onion and a quarter of the avocado. Drizzle with plenty of dressing and serve.