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Posts tagged ‘Avocado’

Spicy Chicken Salad with roasted tomato dressing

I will admit that this one is a little more labour intensive as far as salads go, but definitely worth it!

Spicy Chicken Salad with roasted tomato dressing

It has a few components, lettuce, dressing, chicken and “Southwest Salad“.

So, start by cooking up some skinless, boneless chicken breast by the method of your choice.  Or even better, if you should have some leftover cold chicken just begging to be used!

Meanwhile, wash, trim and cut in half a couple of tomatoes.  Put them in a roasting dish skin side down, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and put them in the oven at about 350 for about 1/2 hour or till they look like they would be mushy to the touch.

Roasted tomato

Then while all that is going on, whip up a quick batch of “Southwest Salad which we have made before on the episode calledSouthwest Supper“.

Southwest Salad

Then chop up and wash some nice romaine lettuce as your base.

Once the tomatoes have roasted, let them cool a bit so you can make the dressing.

In a blender or quick chopper of your choice ( even it that means your hand and a fork) chop up:

  • roasted tomato
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • juice of 1-2 limes ( depending on size)
  • 1 tbsp smokie paprika
  • a few shots of Chipolte Tabasco
  • salt & pepper to taste

This dressing is very thick.  If you prefer it less thick,  just add a little water or chicken stock to thin it out.  But notice there is no oil in it, you are getting the fat completely from the avocado ( and that’s a GOOD fat!!)

Now you are ready to assemble.

Cover the bottom of the plate with a nice helping of chopped romaine lettuce.

Then a generous spoonful of  Southwest Salad to one side.

Some cooked chicken to the other side.

Then a good glop of dressing down the middle.

Sprinkle with a little paprika if you like and  there you have it!

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Raw Soup – Re-Run Wednesday

What with summer and the warm weather  ( well hopefully where you live anyway!) just around the corner here is one of my favorite soups for re-run Wednesday.

After yesterday’s heavy meat rich offering, this one is SO cool and light it will lift your spirit just eating it!

Raw corn and avocado soup

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Pulled chicken tacos

I seem to have gone taco crazy lately.

Not sure why I haven’t enjoyed them more in the past?  I always tended to be more of an enchilada type girl before, but I am finding the taco experience so much lighter and fresher.

Here are some super easy chicken tacos to try.

Start with a good size heavy skillet and add:

  • 1 onion chopped into small cubes

Saute in a little oil till they are nice and translucent

Then I added four frozen  boneless, skinless chicken breasts ( the frozen part was poor planning on my part).  However boneless chicken of any sort will do just fine.  Then I add just enough water to cover them about half way, then put a lid on  and let them simmer a spell.

If you are using fresh chicken, I would brown on all sides and then follow the rest of the recipe.

Once the (frozen) chicken has thawed in the water and turned white it is time to add the rest of the ingredients:

  • 1/2 jar ( or more) of store bought salsa of your choice
  • equal part of water or stock
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar

Mix that in evenly and cover again for about 15 minutes at a slight boil, to make sure the chicken is cooked thoroughly.

At this point, test to see if the chicken is done inside by taking two forks and “pulling” the chicken apart.  Resulting in the “pulled chicken” part.

If the chicken comes apart easily, then it is time to add the herbs and spices.   But if you like you can shred up the chicken first, or leave it in the larger pieces and shred it later.  Doesn’t really matter too much.

So then I added and this is just a suggestion, what ever you have, or what ever you like better is fine, but this worked well:

  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp smokie paprika
  • 1 tbsp chili powder ( the kind that is more flavour than hot)
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ( more or less) of chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • salt & pepper to taste

And if you wanted to take it up just a notch,  add a couple of tsp of brown sugar.

Mix that all in well, cover again and let simmer about another 10 minutes until you are ready to serve.  Add a little more liquid if it gets too dry.

Now you are ready for assembly

I prepared a bit of a “taco bar” so we could dress our own.  Some possibilities are:

  • fresh made guacamole
  • sour cream ( I added chopped cilantro and hot sauce)
  • grated cheese
  • salsa
  • chopped tomato
  • chopped cilantro

Start with the tortilla of your choice ( warmed or not) and start piling on the fixins!

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Pulled chicken tacos

Happy times!

Left overs salad

I think sometimes people get hung up on what food is supposed to “look like”.

As in they think that there are some kind of rules about what something is, just because you call it something.

Example, salad.

When you say “salad” what immediately comes to mind?  Some kind of lettuce, few chopped carrots or cucumbers, maybe some sliced radish for colour……..

Or maybe you go to chunky potato salad with the obligatory cup of mayonnaise?

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with any of those, but sometimes it is okay to get out of the box.

Came home and needed something to eat.  What to do?

Well, I had some slightly old baguette so I chopped that up into bite size squares and tossed it with some chopped garlic, chopped rosemary and some olive oil.   Then on to a tray and into the oven to crisp up.

What next?

I had a romaine lettuce so I washed it and chopped it up and dried it well.

In the bottom of the bowl that I tossed the croutons in, there was some of the oil, garlic and rosemary left, so I used the same bowl and made a little dressing.

Mostly, it was a Caesar dressing only minus the raw egg and anchovy:

  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp Keen’s hot mustard ( or Dijon)
  • a few shots of Worcestershire sauce
  • juice of half a lemon
  • a couple of twirls of olive oil
  • salt & pepper

whisk that up at the bottom of the bowl.

Then add the Romain lettuce and toss with the dressing.   Then add a few handfuls of freshly grated parmesan cheese.

But is that it?  No no no……let’s see what we have in the fridge??

Well, how about some left over roasted cauliflower?  Why not?

I just tossed it into a saute pan for a couple of minutes to take the extreme cold off of it and mellow the flavour a bit.

What else do we have?  Oh, here is some left over South West salad, let’s toss that in too!

All right then, I think we are in business!

We have the lettuce tossed in dressing with cheese, then cauliflower and then the bean salad.  Last but not least, the croutons and toss well and serve!

Perfect any night “Salad”!

What have you got in YOUR fridge that you can call salad?

“Left Overs” salad

South West Supper

We very much enjoy the taste of the South West around our house.  Even if we DO live in the North West.  Maybe that’s why?

Tonight I have made a South West beef stew, a South West salad and some South West corn bread muffins.  All together, you have a South West Supper!

I started with the stew so it would have some time to get acquainted.   I have to warn you that this stew will seem remarkably similar to chili.  That’s cause it most is the same only instead of ground beef I used stewing beef.

So in your dutch oven, brown in a few splashes of oil:

  • cubes of stewing beef dredged in a little flour ( or whatever protein you are into)

Once they are browned on all sides, remove to a resting bowl.   Then add to the pot:

  • 1 large onion sliced and or cubed
  • 1/2 of 1 large red pepper cubed
  • 1 small carrot cubed

Try to keep all of these things the same size of cube for consistency.

Cook these till they are nice and sweaty looking and then add:

  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika ( smoky adds more flavour)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp chili flakes ( depending on your tolerance)
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 3-4 cloves minced fresh garlic

Feel free to use more or less of anything depending on your taste.

Mix those into the vegetables well, then return the meat to the pot with any juices that may have collected.  Stir it all well.

Then add:

  • 1 small tin tomato paste
  • aprox 1 cup water or stock

Stir, cover and let come up to a boil, stir again and turn down to a simmer.

Shortly before serving add:

  • 1/2 can rinsed black beans

Stir in and turn off heat.

South West Stew

While your stew is simmering you can put together your South West Salad.

Add together is a bowl:

  • the other half of the can or black beans
  • 1/2 a can of nibblet corn ( keep other half for corn bread)
  • the other half of the red pepper diced ( same size as corn and beans)
  • 2 green onions ( green part only) sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 large handful of fresh cilantro finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

Toss all that together.

Just before serving add:

  • 1 ripe avocado diced
  • juice of 1 whole lime
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • S & P to taste

Toss again and serve.

South West Salad

Put these two dishes together with some nice corn bread muffins to soak up the sauce and you’ve got yourself a tasty South West Supper!

South West Supper

Oscar nachos

We didn’t have an Oscar party, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have some sort of party like food while you watch…….does it?

I whipped up a batch of nachos!  What better and easier, to stuff your face with while you yell at the TV?

First I started with making some fixins to go with them.   The beauty of nachos is that there are really no rules, so you can put anything you like on them!

 

Nacho fixins

I chopped up some red onion, green onion, tomato.   Then I grated some cheese and squished up some avocados into guacamole.   And then I added a few drops of my favorite Chipolte tabasco sauce to some sour cream.

I took a baking sheet and put down a layer of nacho chips ( use your favorite kind, I used white corn) then I added some left over chili I had kickin around in the fridge.  But make sure you heat it up first to make sure it is properly brought back up to temperature.

 

I spread that and some pickled hot peppers and then sprinkled some grated cheese.   Then added a few more chips and did the same again.   That way you don’t get that big melted mess in the middle.

 

Toss them in the oven under the broiler for…..as long as it takes……..just long enough to melt the cheese and the outside chips start to get slightly brown…..or to your taste…..but KEEP AND EYE ON THEM!!

 

 

Oscar nachos with all the fixins

 

Add some fixings and serve immediately.

Fish tacos

Two things that I really don’t like the smell of in the house are fried and fish.  So you can only imagine how much I would dislike “fried fish”!    ψ

We’ve been watching a lot of the Food Network’s ” Eat Street“.  A show about various food carts or street food all over the place.  They really come up with some great ideas and I would love to eat at least 95% of everything they have on there.  The other 5% usually involves shell fish of some kind which I am allergic to and therefore must avoid.

But something I’ve been dying to try is Fish Tacos!

I tried looking up some recipes but most of them call for frying the fish.  Which I’m sure tastes great, but brings me back to the problem of smelly stuff in the house, but I found a way around it!  I BAKED the fish instead!  Worked great.

You will need some firm white fish.  Although I imagine you could use salmon too but that is a much stronger flavour.  On this occasion I used haddock and it worked great.

I chopped it into bite size chunks, put it in the dish and drizzled it with a bit of olive oil.  Then sprinkled it with cumin, chili powder and some pre-packaged “Cajun spice” that I had.

Then I put it into a 400 degree oven for about 12 – 15 minutes or until it is nice and opaque.

Baked haddock

Meanwhile, I got my toppings ready.

First I took sour cream and mixed it with chopped fresh cilantro, Chipolte Tabasco sauce and S&P.  Put that aside and let it get acquainted.

Then I chopped up:

  • 1 ripe tomato
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • handful of fresh cilantro leaves

While all of this was going on, I wrapped a few tortillas in some tin foil and popped them into the toaster oven.  Make sure you cover them up or they will get very dry and nasty.

So, when the fish is cooked, the tortillas warmed, the garnish chopped, it is time to assemble.

First lay down the tortilla.

Then a dollop of the chipolte cilantro sour cream

Then a few pieces of fish

Then top with tomato, red onion, avocado and a few leaves of cilantro!

There you have it, a beautiful, non fried, fish taco!!

Fresh fish taco

Roll it up and eat it!

Oh and for a little extra zing and some vitamin C, add a splash of fresh lime juice over top!

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