Thai food is a favorite, especially if it includes a peanut dressing. I love the IowaGirlEats.com blog and, again, this one did not disappoint. It would be a great side salad, sans the chicken, as well. It’s so yummy! You can make the salad, adding dressing only to the portion you are currently eating. This is a new favorite for my menu planning!
Thai Crunch Salad with Peanut Dressing
3 cups coleslaw mix (green cabbage, red cabbage, carrot mix)
1/2 red pepper, sliced into thin matchsticks
1 chicken breast, cooked then shredded
2 green onions, chopped
3 Tablespoons peanuts, finely chopped
3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
For the Thai Peanut Dressing:
4 Tablespoons smooth peanut butter (I used Smucker’s Natural)
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons warm water
1-1/2 Tablespoons gluten-free Tamari or soy sauce (dish will not be GF if using traditional soy sauce)
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
juice of 1/2 large lime (slice remaining 1/2 lime into wedges)
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
heaping 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 large or 2 small cloves garlic, pressed or minced
salt and pepper
Add ingredients for Thai Peanut Dressing into a mason jar or bowl then shake or whisk to combine. Taste then adjust lime juice and/or add water to thin if necessary.
Add remaining ingredients into a large bowl. Drizzle desired amount of dressing on top then toss well to combine. Scoop into bowls then serve with lime wedges.
Fresh sweet corn, tomatoes, onion, and cucumber tossed with avocado and Feta…OMG it is so good. This salad is a wonderful side dish to grilled fish, chicken or beef but it also can serve as the main event on a hot summer evening.
SUMMER CORN AND VEGETABLE SALAD
4 ears corn, cooked
2 avocados, diced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (I use orange & red for a little color)
1/2 an English cucumber, finely diced, skin on
1/3 cup crumbled feta
1/2 red onion, finely diced
Cook the corn. I steamed the corn and cut from the cob but the original recipe had a great idea to ‘put in the oven on 350 degrees, and throw the corn in, husks and all. Bake them for 25 minutes, let it cool, and then cut off the very bottom of the corn. You should be able to easily pull off the husks and the silk’.
Cut off the kernels with a large knife, add to a big bowl.
Chop the avocados, cherry tomatoes, English cucumber, and red onion, then add to the bowl. Add the feta.
For the vinaigrette, combine the first 5 ingredients (so the seasonings react with the vinegar), then add the cilantro and the EVOO. Shake it up.
Gently mix all the salad ingredients together. When ready to serve, add the dressing and stir to combine.
Chicken Tikka Masala is made easy using Trader Joe’s delicious Masala sauce. The first time I made it, I followed the recipe below. The second time I made the recipe, I used strips of red, yellow and green pepper, carrots and chopped onions. Both were delicious and easy, peasy. We were so excited when a Trader Joe’s was built fairly close to my house. There are always new products to try and enjoy!
During the pandemic, I went to Trader Joe’s only a couple of times. Hat’s off to Trader Joe’s and how they managed shopper entry, masks, and cleanliness. By far, the best job of any grocery store I ventured into.
CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA…TRADER JOE’S STYLE
1 (15-ounce) jar Trader Joe’s Masala Simmer Sauce
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds total), cut into bite-sized pieces
1 (14.5-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup frozen pearl onions
1 cup sliced baby carrots
Coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
Cooked rice, for serving (optional)
Pour half of the sauce into the bottom of a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Nestle the chicken into the sauce in a single layer. Pour the drained tomatoes evenly over the chicken.
Add onions and carrots
Pour the remaining sauce on top.
Cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through. (I cooked for 4 hours)
Sprinkle with cilantro and serve over rice, if desired.
Savory Pork Poblano Stew was the second version I tried. Last week I posted Pork Poblano Stew with Citrus Notes. My girls asked me which Pork Poblano Stew I liked best and the answer is a resounding ‘Both’. They are different and the flavors are incredible in both versions. I called this one savory as opposed to a more citrus version shared last week. Next time I will add fresh cilantro to the stew as well as sprinkling cilantro on top when serving.
PORK POBLANO STEW
4 to 5 poblano chile peppers (about 3/4 pound)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed, cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 teaspoon cumin
3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
1 chipotle chili in adobo, minced (I used 1/2 of one–to keep it milder)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 quart chicken stock (use gluten-free stock for gluten-free option)
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn (no need to defrost if frozen)
1 large (about 1/2 pound) sweet potato, peeled and diced (about 1/2 to 3/4-inch cubes)
Sour cream or Greek Yogurt
Toasted shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas) Optional
Char, peel, and chop the poblano chiles: Char the chile peppers on all sides, directly over a gas flame, or broil, turning every minute or so until the chiles are blackened on all sides.
Place in a bowl and cover with a clean dish towel. Let sit for 10 minutes or so, then rub off the blackened charred skin.
Cut away and discard the stem, seeds, and internal veins. Roughly chop the chiles into 1 to 2 inch pieces. Set aside.
Sear the cubed pork: Heat the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven on medium high heat. Pat dry the pork pieces with a paper towel and brown them, working in batches as to not crowd the pan. Sprinkle salt generously over the pork while they brown.
Sauté the onions and garlic: Remove the pork from the pan and set aside. Add the chopped onion and cumin to the pan and cook about 5 minutes, until translucent.
Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan while the onions cook. Add garlic and cook for a minute more.
Add the chipotle, poblanos, pork, chicken stock and oregano, simmer: Add the chopped chipotle to the onions and garlic. Return the browned pork to the pan. Add the chopped poblano chiles to the pan. Add the chicken stock and oregano. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and let cook for 1 hour.
Add sweet potato, corn: After an hour, add the diced sweet potato and corn to the stew. Cook for another half hour to 45 minutes, until the pork is tender and the sweet potatoes are cooked through.
To serve, spoon out the stew into bowls. Swirl in a spoonful of sour cream to each bowl. Top with chopped fresh cilantro and toasted shelled pumpkin seeds.
Tomatillos are plentiful this year so I’m always up for trying a new recipe. I love my standard Posole recipe with pork, but liked this idea with chicken and tomatillos. Tomatillos have almost a citrus-like taste to them so it pairs well with chicken and pozole.
The soup was great fresh and I’ve frozen a large batch for a cold winter’s night!
CHICKEN POSOLE WITH TOMATILLOS
1 pound tomatillos
6 cups chicken stock
2 cups chopped onion
1 pounds chicken, skinned (I used 2 cups of cooked, chopped chicken vs. raw)
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and quartered
1 (30-ounce) can white hominy, drained
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or more to taste)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream (optional)
8 lime wedges (optional)
Discard husks and stems from the tomatillos.
Cook whole tomatillos in boiling water 10 minutes or until tender; drain.
Place tomatillos in a blender; process until smooth; set aside.
Place chicken stock, onion, chicken, garlic, jalapeño and hominy in a large stockpot and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes or until chicken is done.
Remove chicken from bones; shred.
Stir in pureed tomatillos and salt; cook for 5 minutes or until heated.
Stir in chicken, and serve with cilantro, sour cream, and lime wedges.
One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to prepare meals primarily from my pantry and freezer until I had whittled down the food on hand. A large bag of black rice, from Costco, has been sitting there with no great recipes, until now. I swear I hear Angels sing when I read this recipe. It is a great salad, side dish and good enough for dessert, too. Black rice has a nutty flavor and texture which pairs beautifully with the other ingredients. Also check out the history of black rice.
MANGO & BLACK RICE SALAD WITH CILANTRO LIME VINAIGRETTE
1 1/2 cups organic black rice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large ripe mango, diced
1 small ripe avocado, diced or sliced
1/4 cup roasted almonds (I used chopped pecans)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup diced red onion
For the Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 3 limes)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon honey (agave nectar if vegan)
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
lime wedges, to garnish
Rinse rice in mesh strainer. Add to medium saucepan. Add 2 3/4 cups water and a pinch of salt; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to a low simmer, and cook until rice is tender and water is absorbed about 30-40 minutes. When rice is done cooking, remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Cool for 10 minutes before adding dressing.
While rice is cooking prepare the dressing: Combine lime juice, olive oil, garlic, honey (or agave), cilantro, and salt in a food processor. Process for 15-30 seconds or until dressing is combined. Once rice is done cooking and has cooled a bit, stir in dressing. Cover bowl and place in fridge for an hour or until cool and you are ready to add in the rest of the salad ingredients.
Before serving, toss salad again with dressing and fold in cilantro, mango, and red onion. Pour into cold salad bowls and top with roasted almonds and avocado. Garnish with a lime wedge or extra cilantro if desired. Enjoy!
Cilantro is an herb that people either LOVE or HATE. I’m on the love side of Cilantro. It brings such a fresh, aromatic addition to select dishes, including this Vinaigrette and Salad. This Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette was a discovery a few years ago and I love it, especially on a summer Quinoa Salad, enjoying the salad throughout the week.
CILANTRO LIME VINAIGRETTE
3 T extra virgin olive oil
3 T red wine vinegar
2 T freshly squeezed lime juice
1 small jalapeno pepper (or less) chopped
1 clove garlic, halved
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1.5-2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
Put all ingredients in food processor or blender. Pulse until ingredients are blended. Shake before serving.
To prepare the quinoa, cook 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups liquid (water or chicken broth) for 15-20 minutes. Drain. Cool.
Then I throw in whatever I have on hand: onion, peppers, beans (garbanzo or black beans), carrots, celery, tomatoes, etc. I’ve never had a combination I didn’t like. You can use it as a side dish or add a protein to make it an entrée.
My earliest recollection of Chicken Tortilla Soup was at Tijuana Tilly’s in the ’80s. The soup was flavorful and came with a bevy of accoutrements. During weekend trips from Scottsdale to San Diego, we always tried to fit in a trip to Tijuana Tilly’s and take in a game of Jai Alai. Sadly, the days of Jai Alai at the Fronton Palace are gone, but Tijuana Tilly’s survives. We visited again, with our girls, in the 90s and it was equally as yummy.
On cold winter days, I long for a yummy soup and Chicken Tortilla Soup was on my mind. I adapted a few recipes to come up with this version and it hit the spot!
CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP
1 can black beans
1 can chili beans
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can Rotel tomatoes
4 ounces diced green chiles
16 oz. can tomato sauce
1 cup salsa
4 cups water
1 teaspoon cilantro
1 pound boneless chicken breasts (halved)
Place all ingredients in the crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours.
About an hour before serving, remove chicken and chop or shred into smaller pieces and return to crockpot. Stir.
If soup is too thick, add additional water and simmer for another 30 minutes.
Serve in bowls with sides of shredded cheddar cheese and tortilla chips. You can also try sides of chopped green onions, radishes, avocado, fresh cilantro, and sour cream.
Raspberries have always been my favorite fruit. My Mother grew red and black raspberries on the farm. When we moved into our home in 1988 we, too, planted red raspberries in our yard. Very few raspberries make their way into the house, instead being consumed right there on the spot.
Through the years I’ve tasted several wonderful commercial raspberry salsas and it was time to make one from scratch. Several recipes call for tomatoes but I’m a raspberry purist and didn’t want to ruin the tart, tangy goodness of fresh raspberries.
The salsa was good with tortilla chips (I’m thinking a cinnamon chip would be great with it!) and as a side to fresh grilled salmon. The salsa would be wonderful with a grilled or broiled chicken breast as well.
Our summer bounty will fast come to a close so enjoy while you can! Also try the fresh peach or tomato salsas:
Grilled chicken is a summer favorite. The key is to assure that the chicken is moist and tender. I’ve always wanted to try a yogurt marinade and when I found this recipe, it fit the bill! I marinated the chicken for about 4 hours and it was delicious. Next time I’ll try marinating overnight to see if the flavors are even better.
I served with another new recipe for Mediterranean Edamame Salad (post and recipe on Friday) and loved the combination. The leftover chicken was great afterwards on green salad. Another new favorite for my recipe collection.
The original recipe called for pounding each piece of chicken between 2 sheets of waxed paper, pounding to 1/2 inch thickness. Instead, I cut each chicken breast in half to achieve the same thickness.
YOGURT-MARINATED GRILLED CHICKEN
8 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 3 lbs.)
2 cups plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for topping
1/2 large onion, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for grill grate
6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon garam masala
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 (2″) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
Cut each piece of chicken breast in half to achieve 1/2″ thickness. Place chicken breasts in plastic ziplock bag.
Puree remaining ingredients in a food processor.
Pour yogurt mixture over chicken, seal bag, and turn to coat. Marinate chicken in refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours or overnight.
Preheat grill to medium-high direct heat. Brush grill grate with oil. Scape excess marinade off chicken; season with salt. Grill until browned and cooked thoroughly, turning once.