Sunday, May 24, 2015

Curried Chicken Salad

I hope everyone is enjoying the weekend! I'm in the midst of my typical Sunday food prep for the week and popping in with a quick and easy recipe that we are loving right now. 

Chicken salad has been my go-to lunch lately. I buy a rotisserie chicken from my grocery store on Sunday and make a big batch of chicken salad to enjoy for lunches all week. I usually wrap mine in butter lettuce for a crunchy bite. I love adding whatever fresh vegetables and herbs I have on hand, as well as a little mayo and olive oil. Sometimes I skip the mayo all together and just do olive oil and a little vinegar. 

This curried chicken salad is my favorite. My mom has made a similar recipe for years and I always loved when she made it. It's even better leftover! This is the perfect chicken salad to munch on all week long. 

Curried Chicken Salad

1 Rotisserie chicken, shredded
handful of mini sweet peppers, diced (or one whole bell pepper)
1/4 yellow onion, finely chopped
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 can water chestnuts, chopped
3 hearts of palm, sliced
1/3 cup mayonnaise (I use Hellman's made with olive oil)
1 Tbsp. Curry powder, or more if desired
salt and pepper, to taste

Start with the shredded chicken in a large bowl, and mix all other ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Serve on top of a bed of mixed greens or in butter lettuce as wraps.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Chicken, Bacon, Avocado + Roasted Asparagus Salad

When the weather is warm and we are looking for lighter meals, big salads are my go to for healthy weeknight dinners. During a typical week, my grocery list consists of about 75% produce, all of which is probably enough to make a different salad every night of the week! 

Mark and I spent all day last Thursday at the Wells Fargo Championship here in Charlotte and this salad came together in no time at all. It was perfect after a day outside- it was light, fresh and still filling enough for dinner! I had some leftover grilled chicken breasts from the night before so all that I had to cook was a few strips of bacon and asparagus with some red onions. I plated each salad separately with a dijon balsamic vinaigrette on the side. Roasted mushrooms, blue cheese and even some fresh sliced strawberries would be delicious additions to this. 

We LOVED this salad.

Chicken, Bacon Avocado + Roasted Asparagus Salad 
serves 2

2 grilled chicken breasts, sliced
4 cups chopped romaine
6 asparagus spears, chopped into 1" pieces
1/4 red onion, sliced thin
4 pieces bacon
1/2 avocado, sliced
olive oil, for drizzling
salt and pepper, to season

Dijon Balsamic Vinaigrette:
1/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to season

In a medium skillet, cook bacon until done. Drain on a plate with paper towel and roughly chop. 

While the bacon is cooking, add asparagus and red onion to another medium skillet. Drizzle with olive oil and saute on medium until onions are translucent and asparagus is tender. Season with a little salt and pepper if desired.

To assemble the salads, divide romaine into two bowls. Top with asparagus and onion mixture, bacon crumbles and sliced chicken breast. Finish with sliced avocado an drizzle of dressing.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Queen City Coffee Tour: The Daily Press

I love, love, love a good cup of coffee. I start every day with a giant mug of our favorite brew. I like my coffee with a quick pour of regular half and half. In the warmer months, I enjoy a cup over ice with a splash of almond milk as a mid afternoon treat to sip on during Will's naptime. A trip to a coffee shop is always a fun outing and my sister and I are making it a point to try new (and new to us) coffee shops around our city. Our first stop? The Daily Press in Noda.

This tiny establishment is located inside The Evening Muse on North Davidson Street. It's quiet and eclectic and the coffee is INSANE. I had a cold brew coffee with blueberry, thyme and lemon. It was unlike anything I've ever had before and I wanted to go back for seconds. And thirds. Andi took a bold move and tried the Barista's Bloody Mary (also a cold brew) and it was beyond delicious. Both of our drinks came from their seasonal menu. We loved our trop to The Daily Press and Will was a fan, too! The sweet baristas made him a blueberry infused seltzer water and he drank every last drop. 

The Daily Press is located 3227 N. Davidson Street. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Lemon Ricotta Almond Cake

I enjoy baking but I LOVE cooking. Baking always seems to get a bit tricky and if you aren't paying close attention and making precise measurements, you could end up with a complete disaster. When I cook, I do my thing, I let my mind wander and most of the time I don't even closely follow the recipe. Cooking is my therapy and I love spending time in the kitchen.

This Lemon Almond Ricotta cake though...I loved making it! It came together seamlessly, the recipe was easy to follow and the end result was incredible. A friend made this cake for my birthday last year and I knew it would be the perfect end to our Easter meal. It might even be my new favorite Springtime dessert! Lemon and almond go together like a dream and the ricotta creates such a nice balance. Using almond meal instead of flour gives this cake a unique texture that I love. Our Easter meal was complete when we finished with a delicious slice of this gem of a cake.

Lemon Ricotta Almond Cake
recipe from Honey and Figs

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
2 vanilla beans or vanilla bean paste equivalent amount
zest from 2 lemons
4 eggs, separated and at room temperature
2.5 cups almond meal
10.5 oz. ricotta cheese. 
almond flakes

Freeze whisk attachment and mixing bowl.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 20 cm. round springform pan with parchment paper and set aside. 

Beat softened butter, 1 cup of the powdered sugar, vanilla bean paste and lemon zest in the bowl of an electric mixer until creamy and pale, about 5-6 minutes. Add egg yolks, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add almond meal and beat on medium to combine. Gently fold in the ricotta cheese. 

Remove bowl and whisk from the freezer and beat egg whites and the remaining powdered sugar (1 cup) until soft peaks form. This took me 8-10 minutes. Fold stiff egg whites into the cake batter and gently combine. 

Pour mixture into cake pan and sprinkle with almond flakes. Bake for 20-25 minutes and then cover with tin foil. Bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until cake is done, the top is slightly browned and the edges are starting to pull away from the sides of the pan. 

Let the cake cool for 20 minutes before removing from the springform pan. Dust with additional powdered sugar before serving.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Pulled Pork, Sweet Potato Salad, Jalapeno Lime Slaw + Roasted Okra

YOU GUYS. Mark fired up the smoker this weekend for the first time this Spring and we enjoyed the most delicious meal on the screened in porch. The weather was incredible and our azaleas were in full bloom. I love love love love love this time of year! 

We bought a pork butt from Harris Teeter and rubbed it with a brown sugar coffee rub from Trader Joe's. Mark smoked it for several hours and it was perfect. Along with our pulled pork we had sweet potato salad, jalapeno lime slaw and roasted okra. 

Gina's Sweet Potato Salad was a winner! I only used about 1/4 of a Vidalia onion because the one that I found at the grocery store was huge. I also opted to only use the green parts of the scallions and used only 1/4 cup of mayo. We try to stick with sweet potatoes vs. white potatoes so this was a yummy way to get our potato salad fix- and even better the next day! 

This Jalapeno Lime Slaw has been a long time favorite. It's so easy to toss together and has few ingredients but big flavor. The only thing I swap in this recipe is honey instead of sugar. We love this salad! 

Nothing fancy for the okra. Just washed, trimmed and tossed in a little olive oil, salt and pepper. I baked this at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes, tossing every five minutes.

For more dinner ideas, you can check out my hashtag on Instagram, #eatmooredinner! 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Skinny Lemon Bites

I just can't quit with the snack bites. The possibilities are endless with these bite sized treats and I find that they are the perfect snack to have around for a quick energy boost during the day or to curb a sweet tooth at night after dinner.

These skinny lemon bites are perfect for Spring! I love the light, bright flavor of lemon- especially in the warmer months! With only four ingredients, you can whip these up in no time. I doubled the original recipe and added lemon zest for even more lemon flavor. I have been storing these in the freezer and they taste like lemon sugar cookie dough! The perfect healthy springtime treat! We can't get enough.

Skinny Lemon Bites
recipe adapted from House of Yumm

1 cup raw unsalted cashews
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 tsp. lemon zest
2.5 Tbsp. honey 
1/4 tsp. pure lemon extract

Place cashews, oats and lemon zest in a food processor. Pulse until there are no large pieces left. Add the honey and lemon extract and pulse until combined. Scoop out the mixture with a teaspoon and form into small balls. Chill in refrigerator or freezer and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

{What Will Ate} Apple, Pear, Carrot + Orange Juice

I was hopeful that our house would make it through the Winter months without getting sick, but near the middle of February, Will was a sniffly mess and Mark and I followed closely behind him. Thankfully, he bounced back quickly and with a lot of good rest and TLC, he was back to himself in no time.

I have never given Will juice because of the added sugars and general junk that is always added in. He drinks milk with his meals and water throughout the day and that is it. When he was sick, I wanted to make sure that he was taking in extra fluids and staying hydrated. I pulled out my juicer and came up with this tasty concoction. He loved sipping on this during his sick days at home and I felt good knowing that he was getting all of the good nutrients. 

If you have a juicer, try this combo! It's bright and refreshing and especially tasty in the morning.

Apple, Pear, Carrot + Orange Juice

1 large Granny Smith apple, cored and cut into quarters
1 large D'anjou pear, cored and cut into quarters
2 large carrots, peeled
1 large orange, peeled

Juice ingredients according to juicer manufacturer's instructions. Store in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator for up to three days.