Tag Archives: quick

Orange-cranberry chicken salad

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I came up with this recipe one day when I was craving curry chicken salad for lunch, but couldn’t find any recipes that didn’t call for chutney. How could I do a quick fake for chutney? I tried onions sauteed till soft, then combined them with orange marmalade. Pretty good!

An alternate and easier approach is to just use green onions, and skip the sauteing step. I’ve tried both, and it’s good both ways.

You can use the nuts of your choice. I prefer the contrast of salty cashews, but since they just disappear in the salad, I decided to use pecans for the photos. Again, both are tasty, and you can use your choice. Sliced or slivered almonds would work nicely, too.

To keep the carbs down, I use a sugar-free marmalade and make sure my mayo has a minimum of sugar and no corn syrup. (Homemade is so easy, and needs no sugar! Here’s my mayo recipe.)

 

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Recipe: Orange-cranberry chicken salad

2 c. cooked, cubed, cold chicken
1/3 c. yellow onion, diced fine (or 5-6 green onions, sliced thin)
1/3 c. mayonnaise (more if your chicken is dry)
2.5 T. sugar-free orange marmalade
1/2 t. hot curry powder
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
dried cranberries & nuts to taste (note: substitute dried currants to avoid added sugar)
hearts of romaine or whole grain crackers, optional

If using yellow onion, saute till translucent. If using green onion, reserve a bit of the green tops for garnish, if you like.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the onion (using the white parts of the green onion), mayo, marmalade and spices; stir till well combined. Add an extra tablespoon or two of mayo if your chicken is on the dry side. Stir in the chicken, and green onions, if using. Add dried cranberries to suit your taste. Don’t add the nuts until just before serving.

You may eat it right away, but the flavor improves if chilled it for an hour at least. It’s also a great dish to make a day ahead.

Just before serving, stir in the nuts. Garnish with green onion and extra cranberries, if desired. Serve with hearts of romaine or whole-grain crackers.

NOTE: To make this Paleo, replace the orange marmalade with 1 clementine or tangerine, cut into bite-size pieces. Use homemade mayo. If you like, replace the dried cranberries (which usually contain sugar) with dried currants or raisins.

Serves 2.

You might also like:
30-second Caesar salad

Recipe review: tiramisu cups (quick & easy!)

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I recently did a recipe round-up of a dozen cute little dessert shots. One of those made the final cut for the special birthday party we hosted last week: tiramisu cups from Sprinkle Bakes. Or, as my daughter calls them, “tirami-shooters.”
I chose these because: A) they’re so gosh-darn cute, B) they’re super easy, and C) who doesn’t love tiramisu?
Sprinkle Bakes uses a mixture of sour cream and cream cheese in place of the traditional but hard-to-find (and more expensive) mascarpone. I do wish I’d thought to purchase a large star tip for that finessed look when piping the creamy stuff on, but had to make do with a plastic baggie with one corner snipped off. It doesn’t affect taste though, does it?
You may notice that there’s chocolate in mine…. I couldn’t find lady fingers at my grocery store, and didn’t feel like taking the longer trip to a specialty store, so I subbed Milk Chocolate Milanos — which are basically just ladyfingers sandwiched with chocolate. When the tiramisu had sat at room temp for a while, these worked okay because the chocolate became somewhat soft. But when they were served straight out of the fridge, it didn’t work so well, because the chocolate hardened and interfered with the creamy, fluffy texture that is tiramisu. So, next time, I will start hunting earlier and go farther afield to find real ladyfingers. Or if I’m feeling especially industrious, make my own.
But these are simple, and darling, and delicious. I will certainly be making them again!

Thirty-Second Quick Caesar Salad

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quick Caesar salad

This is the perfect lunch or snack for when you have no time, or when you need to make up for yesterday’s pig-out on carbs.

Take a heart-of-romaine leaf, spread it with your favorite sugar-free Caesar dressing (I like Caesar Caesar, by Litehouse; better yet, my homemade Caesar dressing, if I’ve got it on hand), layer on a few slices of smoked turkey, and sprinkle with grated Parmesan. One or two makes a great snack, several make lunch.

Of course, you could substitute your favorite Ranch or other thick, sugar-free dressing, and your favorite deli meat, or chopped hard-boiled eggs if you want to go vegetarian.

How’s that for a quick Caesar salad?  🙂
You might also like:
Orange-cranberry chicken salad
Chicken club salad with creamy balsamic vinaigrette
Ginger-peanut dressing

Zoodles with peanut sauce (Paleo-friendly options)

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The great thing about this Asian-inspired peanut sauce is that everything you need to make it is stuff you usually have in the pantry. And you can, of course, use it on your favorite pasta — either traditional wheat, or your favorite gluten-free brand.

(Did you know cooking wheat pasta ahead of time, cooling it in the fridge, then reheating it lowers the glycemic effect on your blood sugar?)

But for a more nutrient-dense and grain-free option, consider zucchini noodles.

I use zucchini and summer squash as a low-carb, real-food alternative to pasta any time I’m craving spaghetti, or want something noodle-y in my soup. (And as an alternative to pizza crust.)

Like most Americans, I’m accustomed to and usually prefer pasta that’s been cooked till it’s uniformly soft. But al dente means “to the tooth,” and requires pulling the pasta out when the outside is soft but the inside still has a bit of resistance when you bite into it. And if you throw the zucchini noodles in the pasta sauce to heat through for just the last two or three minutes, you get a texture very much like al dente pasta.

You can also make this sauce Paleo-friendly by using almond butter, sunflower seed butter, or another nut or seed butter in place of the peanut butter.

The original recipe is from Kitchen Confidante. Here’s my variation:

Asian-inspired peanut sauce

1 serving; scale up as necessary

 

a drizzle of coconut oil

1 T. finely diced onion

1/2 cup peanut butter OR other nut or seed butter

1 Tblsp soy sauce OR tamari sauce OR coconut aminos

3 Tblsp rice vinegar OR lime juice

2 tsp sesame oil

1/2 tsp minced garlic (or more)

1/2 tsp honey

pinch of ground ginger

At least 1/4 cup chicken stock, add 1-2 more Tablespoons depending on texture

optional: Sriracha or red pepper flakes to taste

optional: 2 – 4 oz. cooked meat of your choice; chicken, pork, or shrimp

 

Heat the coconut oil in a small saucepan or frying pan. Saute the onions till translucent. Add all the other ingredients except for meat, using just the first 1/4 cup of stock. Stir till well combined and heated through. Add stock a tablespoon at a time till you get the desired consistency. Add the meat and cook till heated through.

Taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary. Stir in the noodles till heated through.

(This dish could easily be made vegetarian by using tofu or some type of pea or bean for the protein, and using vegetable stock in place of the chicken stock.)

Try this soon: it’s quick, easy and delish!

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Get a zoodle maker at Amazon (uses my affiliate code):

Image by Kitchen Confidante

25 Super Bowl Recipes, Part 1: Three-Ingredient Treats

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Every day this week, I’ll be posting four to six recipes I’ve rounded up that you might want to put on your Super Bowl table this weekend. Today’s theme: Three ingredients!  — aka, SUPER easy!

Mango Salsa
There are lots of recipes out there for mango salsa, but the first one I was introduced to was this one. It’s so simple, you’ll think, “That can’t be it.” But trust me, these three ingredients combine in some mystical way to create a deliciousness that outweighs the shopping list and expectations. For each two servings:
1 mango, diced (here’s how)
1 handful of cilantro, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
Stir them all together, and enjoy immediately, or use within one day.
For party food, serve it with tortilla chips, but it’s also delish on top of salmon or pork.
Chipotle-Raspberry Salsa on Cream Cheese
Here’s another “recipe” that seems toooooo simple to be impressive, but oh my goodness, is this stuff addictive! And really, the picture above contains the whole recipe. You’ll want to soften the cream cheese first, and you won’t need the whole bottle — just pour it on till the cheese is well smothered.
The third ingredient? Your favorite crackers or chips: Ritz, Wheat Thins, Doritos — it’s all good!
You can find Bronco Bob’s at Amazon, World Market, and last time I checked, Dillons/Kroger.
Coming later this week: Hot Stuff, Cold Dips, Low Carb, and Sweet Treats!

10-Minute Quick French Dip Sandwich

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Quick French Dip Sandwich

I love a good French dip, and this recipe makes it so easy, you can have one on the table in just minutes. Sure, it uses deli roast beef, but there are a few extra ingredients in the au jus that make this sandwich taste like the jus simmered for hours. It’s one of my go-to meals when I need something quick and brainless.

A note about the bread… The classic bread for French dip is baguette, but you can use any sturdy, fairly thick bread. I’m using homemade honey wheat bread in the demo photos. It’s not as authentic as a white French bread, but it does make the dish a bit healthier. Which is where I like to live!

10-Minute French Dip

Servings: 3

2 c. beef broth or stock
1 T. soy sauce (low sodium preferred)
1 garlic clove, crushed (or 1 t. granulated garlic)
1 bay leaf
1/2 t. dried rosemary
3 sandwich buns, or equivalent baguette
9 slices provolone
1 lb. deli roast beef

Preheat broiler, and place rack about 4″ under heat.

Combine beef broth, soy sauce, garlic and herbs in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Yes, just throw the bay leaf in there whole. You’ll strain it out later. Keep this on low while you prepare the bread.

Slice the bread lengthways and and place it cut side up on a baking sheet. Top each piece of bread with slices of provolone to cover the cut surface of the bread. Broil this until the cheese is melted and bubbly, watching closely. This will only take about 2 minutes.

Remove the bread from the oven. Place matching bread pieces on each plate. Using tongs, pick up a few slices of roast beef and swish them in the broth, just to heat them a little. (You don’t want to overcook them, or they’ll get tough.) As you lift the beef out, tap the tongs on the side of the sauce pan to remove excess juice, then place the beef on one sandwich. Repeat for the other plates.

Pour the remaining broth through a strainer, into ramekins or other small bowls for dipping, and serve immediately.

You might also like:
Homemade Whole Wheat Bread
Quick Easy Lunch: Tex Mex Plate
Crockpot Chicken Tacos