Chicken and Fruit Salad

spring berries atop lettuce and grilled chicken

Although I don’t follow everything Dr. Joel Fuhrman says, I do love his advice to try to eat G-Bombs daily. This stands for Greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries and seeds and nuts.
My lunch salad today hit several of these notes and I just couldn’t resist taking a picture of it. (A change from brownies, right?)

First, I always grill extra chicken breasts when I make them so we can add it cold to our lunch salads.

Love berries

I used romaine lettuce and spinach for the greens. Then I piled on carrots, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries and raw pecans. With just a bit of fat free dressing. It was delightful!

It’s spring in Iowa and soon we’ll be hunting for blueberries at a farm near by, instead of the grocery store. Then the other fruits follow along in turn and life is so sweet.

Enjoy your spring!

chicken and fruit salad

Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

This winter, while long, has provided endless reasons to use my oven for more than just brownies!
Besides roasting chickpeas, all sorts of vegetables and pork roasts, I’ve also enjoyed a few roast chickens.

roast chicken and veggies

I used to purchase only the white meat of the chicken, but new research is telling us that there are different nutrients in the dark meat and that it really isn’t that much fattier. My husband loves dark meat, making this another good reason to roast an entire bird.

And of course, the cost benefit is great. An entire chicken is about $5-$7.00 and although you cannot serve an army with one chicken, you can enjoy several meals. I love making soup with the left overs.

add lemon wheels

There are many ways to season your chicken, but I’m going to give you an easy one to get started.

Ingredients for roast chicken
1 whole chicken, with giblets removed
Salt and pepper
1 lemon cut into wheels
2-3 sprigs of rosemary or another herb of choice
2-3 TBS olive oil

cover with foil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Wash your chicken inside and out and let it drain. (Be sure to carefully clean your sink after this.)
Sprinkle the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper.
Place the lemon wheels inside the chicken, along with the rosemary.
Rub olive oil over the enire outside of the chicken and then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
If you have twine, you may want to tie up the legs and tuck in the wings. But your bird will be just fine if you don’t have any twine on hand.
Place chicken in a roasting pan breast side up and cover with lid or foil.
Bake about 45 minutes.
Add vegetables to the roasting pan or add a pan of veggies to the oven at this point.
Continue roasting until the juices run clear.
Chicken will take about 20 – 30 minutes per pound.
Let the chicken rest for ten minutes before you slice into it. This will help the juices stay in the chicken.
While the chicken is resting, you may want to make a simple gravy. Or save some juices for soup.

add veggies to pan after 45 min

roasted veggies in a separate pan


Note on vegetables
You can add cut up potatoes, carrots, onions and other vegetables to your roasting pan if there’s room.
You may also want to place other veggies, including brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes and peppers on a separate baking sheet. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over them and sprinkle with garlic salt or regular salt and pepper.
This way the entire meal is in the oven and you can put your feet up and feel smug.

This is a meal fit for company or for a cold winter’s night. Your house will smell divine and you and your family will enjoy a classic meal.
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Turkey Chili Tango

Trot around your kitchen, chop a few veggies, open a few cans and enjoy fabulous turkey chili soup.

easy weeknight dinner

OK, this is way too easy to be so delicious! I know I usually do everything from scratch, but this is one of those short cut meals. And we all need that from time-to-time. I always start with a few fresh veggies – usually peppers and onions to bump up the vegetable content. I have also used small diced carrots and that’s a great addition too.

chili soup

Don’t stress about changing the meat from ground beef to turkey. No one every seems to guess.
And I like the textural difference of having both the Mrs. Grimes beans in chili sauce and the regular dark red kidney beans, so I add both. But you do as you like.

If you are making this for a large crowd, increase the meat to two pounds and add at least one more can of Mrs. Grime’s chili beans. Then adjust seasonings to taste.

garnish with cheese

chili soup

So if you’re looking for a great tasting chili, give this a try.

1 TBS olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 pound ground turkey – or beef, your choice
1 15 oz can Mrs. Grime’s chili beans (regular seasonings)
2 cans – 15 oz each – diced tomatoes with roasted garlic and onion (or chilies if you want more spice)
1 15 oz can regular red kidney beans – rinsed and drained
1 28 oz oz can tomato sauce
1 TBS beef soup base (or 2 cubes beef bouillon)
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
2 tsp chili pepper

Heat the olive oil until hot in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven.
Add onions and peppers and cook over medium heat for several minutes until softened.
Remove the vegetables from the pot and add the ground meat.
Brown the meat while breaking it into small pieces.
Drain the fat off the meat.
Add the vegetables back into the pot.
Pour in the diced tomatoes, beans, and sauce and let the mixture come to a boil.
Add the rest of the ingredients and let the chili simmer for at least 10 minutes.
Adjust seasoning and serve alone or with potatoes, cheese or sour cream.

Note: This is an easy one to make and then pour into a slow cooker where you can leave it for hours. The ingredients will merge nicely and the sauce will thicken.

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Red Swiss Chard and Chicken

Do you ever walk by the endless aisle of multi-colored vegetables at the grocery store and wonder who buys all of it and what they do with it?

Red chard and chicken

Over the past year I’ve adopted a new vegetable occasionally to play with it in my kitchen. Recently, the red color of Swiss Chard drew me in and it landed in my grocery cart. Once home, I ate a bit of it raw and discovered it was rather bitter raw.

cut ribs and stems and chop

So I went looking for ideas and didn’t find too many online. But eventually, I came up with this idea to make it a main dish with chicken.

*Tip: Remove the stems and ribs of the chard and chop them separately. They are edible and do add a great texture, but if you cook them a bit longer than the leaves, it helps to soften them.

stirfry chicken first

gently cook veggies

add chicken and chard leaves

walnuts for garnish

2 TBS olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced, or 1 TBS
2 chicken breasts, cut into bite sizes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch of Swiss Red Chard, with stems cut into small pieces* and leaves coursely chopped
1 TBS lemon juice
1/2 cup white wine
4 oz lowfat cream cheese
1 TBS lemon juice
Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil.
Sprinkle salt and pepper on chicken and stir fry until it is almost cooked. Remove it to a bowl.
In the same pan, add onion and garlic.
Stir in stems and ribs of the chard and cook until softened.
Add wine, cream cheese, lemon, salt and pepper and cook until blended.
Add the leaves of the chard and the chicken back into the skillet.
Cook until leaves are wilted and chicken is finished cooking – about five minutes.
Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the dish as it is served.
Garnish with toasted walnuts.

The color will amaze you. The red from the chard seeped into the rest of the dish, but it was very tasty and really quite pretty.

Another new and scarry vegetable decoded and made into an elegant dinner.
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