Oven Fried Lemon Basil Chicken Salad

Oven Fried Lemon Basil Chicken Salad

Finally, Spring is here and I can share one of my favorite warm weather salad recipes!  Oven fried Lemon Basil Chicken Salad is perfect for all the lovely strawberries that are making their début in the produce department.

I have been preparing this recipe for my family for several years now and have made some adjustments over the course of the years based on current healthy cooking trends. I think this recipe version is perfection until I discover a new cooking trend to tweak the recipe once again.

Oven Fried Lemon Basil Chicken Salad

Lately, the new healthy cooking trend for fried chicken has been oven-fried. Basically the method of oven fried is coating the meat with a panko breadcrumb coating, spray it with a little cooking oil and bake it.  I like the idea of this method since it reduces the use of oil, but it does lose some of the fabulous flavor and extra juiciness you get from pan frying.

Oven Fried Lemon Basil Chicken Salad is the best of both worlds when it comes to a crispy breaded chicken. It is quick fried in a little coconut oil that adds an extra layer of flavor, and finished in the oven to reduce the amount oil used and standing over the stove.  Double like!  This dish is perfect for a light meal on a sunny Spring day.

Oven Fried Lemon Basil Chicken Salad

Serves 4
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 45 minutes
Meal type Main Dish, Salad
Inspired by BHG 2003

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup flour (I use spelt or whole wheat)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil (chopped fine)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (chopped fine)
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders (or boneless skinless chicken breast cut into strips lenthwise)
  • 2-3 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
  • 3 heads romaine lettuce (cleaned and chopped)
  • 3 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1 medium cucumber (sliced thin)
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries (quartered)
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • honey mustard dressing

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a metal cooling rack on top of a baking sheet or broiler pan. Set aside.
Set up breading station
Step 2
In a shallow dish, place flour, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. In another shallow dish, beat eggs and water. In a third shallow dish combine panko, basil, and lemon zest. Stir until combined.
Step 3
one at a time, coat chicken in flour, dip into egg mixture, and coat with panko mixture.
Step 4
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 the oil and swirl. Add half the coated chicken, sauté 3-4 minutes until lightly browned. Turn chicken over sauté until lightly brown. Place chicken on metal wire rack. Add remaining oil to the skillet and repeat process.
Step 5
Place chicken in oven and bake 10 minutes or until done.
Step 6
While chicken is in the oven. divide romaine, baby spinach, cucumber, strawberries, and feta cheese on 4 dinner plates.
Plate it up!
Step 7
Serve chicken over salad and drizzle with honey mustard dressing.

Honey Mustard Yogurt Dressing

Serves 10
Prep time 5 minutes
Meal type Condiment
By author Fresh Basil Original
Serving Size 2 tablespoons
Per Serving
Calories 75 kcal
Protein 3.3g
Total Carbohydrate 8.2g
Sugars 7.1g
Total Fat 3.5g
Saturated Fat 0.6g
Sodium 133mg

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Chobani nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup lowfat buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons whole grain dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard (classic yellow mustard)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (1/2 teaspoon recommended for spicier flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Note

Make about 2/3 cup of dressing

Directions

Step 1
In a small mixing bowl, add yogurt, buttermilk, mustards, honey, vinegar, cayenne. Whisk until all ingredients are incorporated
Step 2
Add olive oil and whisk until all ingredients are incorporated.
Step 3
Serve immediately or store in fridge in an airtight container. Shelf life 2-3 days.

Easy Guacamole

 

Easy Guacamole

I Don’t Get It

Every time I am mixing up some guacamole, I think of my Dad.  You probably think because he loves some guacamole, right?  Well, not exactly.  Believe me, he never passes up his share of my Easy Guacamole, but when he is eating it, he says, “I don’t get it.”  I will say, “Get what?”  Then he will say, “I just don’t get it.”  Hmmmm?  I am thinking he doesn’t get all the hype because it taste too healthy. He always likes things a little better if it is topped with some butter, bacon, or some sugar.

Easy Guacamole

Back in the day, I am ashamed to admit this, but I didn’t get it either.  I wouldn’t come in five feet of a bowl of that green stuff!  Sounds pretty ridiculous to me now since I eat avocados daily and guacamole at least once a week.  Maybe I just never had a good guacamole when I was younger.  I did live in the Midwest in my youth before Mexican and Tex-Mex was mainstream to that part of the world.  I am sure the options were the runny guacamole dip you find in the dairy section, not what guacamole really is people. Also, those were the days that all fats were black listed even the good ones like nuts and avocados.

Avocados are so good for you in moderation. They are a good source of monounsaturated fats, protein, fiber, potassium, vitamin K, B6,B9, B5, C, and E.  Now that I know how to make a good guacamole and the health benefits, I totally get it these days.

Easy Guacamole

Anyway, I have made this Easy Guacamole for several people who didn’t get it or who are guacamole connoisseurs.  Everyone always seems to enjoy it and want to know how I make it.  People, not that guacamole is hard to make, but this recipe cannot be any easier. No excessive chopping and dicing, just a little mixing.

Traditionally, guacamole is prepared with diced tomatoes, onions, lime or lemon, salt, pepper, and sometimes cilantro. The secret to my Easy Guacamole is already prepared pico de gallo. You can usually find pico in the produce department of your grocers. The pico de gallo gives the guacamole a kicked up flavor with the tomatoes, cilantro, and onions that have been marinating in the lime for countless hours.  You just can’t get that flavor with plain ‘ol tomato and onions.

Easy Guacamole is perfect for a snack, Taco Tuesday Night, or a party appetizer.  My Dad will be down to visit soon, maybe I will top my Easy Guacamole with a little bacon, I bet he will “get it” then!

Easy Guacamole

Serves 4-6
Prep time 5 minutes
Meal type Appetizer, Condiment
By author Fresh Basil

Ingredients

  • 2 large ripe avocados
  • 1/2 cup pico de gallo (I buy mine from the grocer's produce department)
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Directions

Step 1
Cut avocados in half, remove the pits, and scoop out the flesh. (I use a spoon) Place flesh in a large bowl.
Step 2
Add lemon juice, salt, and pepper to bowl. Using a fork, smash avocados while mixing in ingredients. (Guacamole should be a little chunky so don't overdo the smashing!)
Step 3
Add pico de gallo and mix well. Taste for salt, pepper and additional lemon juice if needed.
Step 4
Serve immediately or cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

Turkey Chickpea Chili

Turkey Chickpea Chili

Just Do It

 One of my favorite motivational slogans I like to adopt when things get a little busy and challenging with parenting is, “Just Do It.”   People we have been doing “it” this week,  I have been running around  like an event coordinator/logistics manager/chauffeur.  My kids are at the age where the after school activities are in full swing and I have been planning every minute of our day just so we can successfully accomplish their schedules and mine.  Just when you think you got this parenting gig figured out it changes. Sound familiar?

One thing that has changed this past week is dinner time.  Most nights we all eat together, but this week we have all eaten in shifts and sometimes as early as 4:30. Believe me, I don’t like this, but sometimes you just have to do it.  So, with all this shift eating, I have had to plan some make ahead one pot meals to accommodate our Just Do It lifestyle.

Turkey Chickpea Chili

Turkey Chickpea Chili has been one of our go to meals lately.  It is inspired by Panera Bread’s Turkey chili.  A hearty chili packed with turkey, beans, veggies, and a smoky chili flavor.  I love one pot meals when we are busy, less clean up and more time to Just Do It.

Turkey Chickpea Chili

Serves 6
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 1 hour, 30 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 50 minutes
Meal type Main Dish
Inspired by Panera Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds turkey tenderloin or breast (cooked and rough chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium red bell pepper (seeded and chopped)
  • 2 medium carrots (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 small white onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (peeled and chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup canned crushed low sodium fire roasted tomatoes (or crushed tomatoes)
  • 1/4 cup salsa verde
  • 1 15 ounce can low sodium chickpeas/garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 15 ounce can low sodium black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup frozen sweet corn
  • 1 cup frozen edamame
  • 1 small bay leaf (dry)

Note

Quick meal tips- This a perfect recipe to prep up or cook on the weekend for your upcoming busy week.

Directions

Step 1
In a small bowl, add coconut sugar (or brown sugar), chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined and set aside.
Step 2
In a large pot or dutch oven, add olive to the pot and warm. Add bell pepper, onions, and carrots. Saute on medium until soft. Add chopped garlic, and sauté about a minute.
Step 3
Place cooked and chopped turkey in the pot. Stir.
Step 4
Add chili seasoning to the pot. Stir and cook on medium heat until seasonings are fragrant.
Step 5
Add chicken broth, water, crushed tomatoes, and salsa verde to the pot and stir loosening any bits and pieces from the bottom of the pan.
Step 6
Add chickpeas, black beans, corn , edamame, and bay leaf. Stir.
Step 7
Cover chili, bring up to a boil and reduce heat to a gentle simmer stirring occasionally, Cook for at least 1 hour covered. (If I have time, I will cook a couple hours)
Step 8
Remove lid and cook on a gentle simmer for about a half hour. Remove bay leaf before serving.

 

 

Beef Burger

Beef Burger

Hometown Favorite

Beef burger, a.k.a. loose meat sandwich or maid rite for the Iowa folks.  If your roots are not from the Midwest,  I will give you a brief description on these tasty burgers. It is not a hamburger formed into a patty or a Sloppy Joe. This little delicious burger is crumbled ground beef cooked in a savory seasoning and served on a soft bun with pickles, mustard, onions, and for goodness sakes…. no ketchup please!  Sorry ketchup lovers, it’s just not right.

IMG_6682

Original Burger Bar

When we go back home one of the first restaurants we drive by when we pull into town is the Burger  Bar/Dari Maid, home of the beef burger. They have recently torn down the original Dari Maid and combined the two establishments in to one building. The new building is pretty swanky and roomy compared to the rustic and tiny original building. I miss the old building, but I certainly appreciate the new ventilation and not smelling like the Burger Bar all day.  Love the beef burgers, but didn’t love smelling like beef burger cologne all day.

beef Burger

(photo credit: Jason Burger)

  My husband and I probably say the same thing every time we pass the Burger Bar, “We need to get a beef burger and a dip cone before we leave.”  We don’t always make it back to indulge in this hometown favorite, but when we do I feel like our trip is complete.

Beef Burger

Best dip cones ever at the Dari Maid!

There are several things I like about my beef burger recipe:

  1.  It is perfect for a make ahead quick meal . (Great for the weekend food preppers.)
  2.  My kids love it.
  3.  My husband and I love it
  4.  It taste really close to the Burger Bar’s recipe.
  5.  Finally, I can have a beef burger in Texas which is unheard of. (I know you tried, Johnny B).
  6.  Reminds me of home.

It seems like everyone in my family has attempted to remake the beef burger at home.  It might be a family obsession to recreate this recipe and I have become the ring leader this past month. I have had several consultations with family members and even received a copy of the ingredients list off the seasoning package of the Burger Bar’s seasoning mix.  It’s obvious, we are on a mission to conquer the beef burger recipe.

I would like to think I nailed this recipe and we can all have the beef burger experience at home, but it’s missing one thing. Driving into C-town on a hot July day from a 700 mile road trip and experiencing the nostalgia of the hometown favorite.  You just can’t replicate that feeling in your kitchen.

Beef Burger

Serves 4-6
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 1 hour, 20 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 30 minutes
Meal type Main Dish
Inspired by Carrollton Burger Bar

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces button mushrooms
  • 1 cup white onion (minced)
  • 1 1/2 pounds 96% lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard (yellow)
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 small bay leaf (dry)
  • hamburger buns
  • hamburger pickles

Note

Ground Beef - If you choose a fattier beef (80/20), I would recommend draining the meat after you cook it. You might lose some of the mushroom/onion flavor, but it won't be greasy.

Directions

Step 1
Place cleaned and trimmed mushrooms in a food processor. Process mushrooms till chopped very fine.
Step 2
In a large skillet or dutch oven. Add mushrooms, onion, and ground beef. Break ground beef into small pieces using a spatula or wooden spoon. Cook on medium high heat until meat is browned.
Note - If you are using very lean ground beef, do not drain. You will have some liquid, but it is from the onion and mushrooms. This liquid has flavor we want to keep. If you choose a 80/10 ground beef, I would recommend draining to avoid greasiness.
Step 3
While the meat is browning, in a small bowl, mix together onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, sea salt, and black pepper.
Step 4
Add seasoning mixture to the cooked beef, mushroom, and onions. Stir.
Step 5
Pour chicken stock in a small mixing bowl and whisk in corn starch. Add the liquid to the beef mixture and stir.
Step 6
Add yellow mustard, soy sauce, and bay leaf to beef mixture. Stir. Bring up to a boil, turn heat down to a low gentle simmer and cover. Cook for 1 hour. Stir occasionally.
Step 7
Take lid off after 1 hour and let sauce reduce for about 15-20 minutes or more if needed. You want a small amount of thick liquid remaining in the pan.
Step 8
Serve on buns with chopped white onion, pickles, and mustard. And if you must use ketchup, please don't tell me!

Irish Porridge

Irish PorridgeLuck of the Irish

This past week we were stuck in the house over spring break for a couple of days due to much needed repairs to our house.  Since we wouldn’t be hurrying out of the house that day, I wanted  to make a big pot of steal cut oats for breakfast for all of us.  My son, the cold boxed cereal only kid, does not like oatmeal or he thought he didn’t like it.

In the spirit of the upcoming holiday, St Pat’s Day, I decided to use this as my angle in getting him to agree to try oatmeal again. Sometimes being a good marketer is just as important as anything in child nutrition. McDonald’s does it, why can’t I?

I asked him the night before if he had ever had a proper Irish porridge? He loves history and learning about different cultures so he was intrigued by the word Irish and I had him on the hook. I scooped in with the exciting pitch on the history of porridge and we were on our way to trying porridge in the morning.

  Another trick that I use quite often with my kids in trying new foods is serving family style.  So, I arranged a Irish porridge bar and placed all the toppings in cute little bowls and let them pick it out.  A traditional Irish Porridge is served with a fresh buttermilk, cream or milk, sugar, honey, and butter. To kick up the flavor and make it kid friendly,  I like to top our porridge with fruits, nuts, and a little spice.  With all the excitement of little bowls of fun toppings, you would have thought they were making ice cream sundaes.

 With a little Irish luck, he was loving the oatmeal, I mean porridge. He swears he still doesn’t like oatmeal (rolled oats) it’s too mushy.  He is right, rolled oats are a bit mushier than steel cut. I am thinking he will be a little more open about the prospects of oatmeal for breakfast in the future as long as it is Irish Porridge served with a topping bar to go with it.

Irish Porridge

Serves 4-6
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 35 minutes
Meal type Breakfast
Inspired by John McCann's

Ingredients

  • 2 cups steal cut Irish oats (I use John McCann's)
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cup milk of choice (I use unsweetened coconut milk)
  • 1 large apple (diced)
  • 1/3 cup chopped nuts (I use walnuts)
  • 1/3 cup dried fruit (I use raisins)
  • 1 large banana (sliced)
  • 2-3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (I use coconut or brown sugar)

Note

Want to prepare your Irish Porridge the night before?  - Bring 8 cups of water to boil in a medium pot.  Add 2 cups of oats and simmer 1 minute. Cover pot and store overnight in the refrigerator.  To heat up in the morning, cook porridge on low for 9-12 minutes. Stir occasionally.  Prep all toppings and store covered in refrigerator.

Directions

Step 1
Bring 8 cups of water to boil in a large pot.
Step 2
Add oats, stirring well. When oats are smooth and start to thicken, turn down heat to simmer and cook uncovered for about 30 minutes. Stir oats frequently.
Step 3
Place remaining ingredients in individual serving dishes.
Step 4
When oatmeal is ready, divide evenly into bowls and serve with toppings.

Cherry Ambrosia Salad

Cherry AmbrosiaPink Panther

11 children, 30 grandchildren, and 29 great-grandchildren.  This is my Grandmas Dolly’s legacy she left last week when she made her way to the VIP section of heaven. Yes, I do believe she is right up there with Mother Theresa.

cherry ambrosia

She was a constant in my life. She was there when I was born, baptised, first communion, grandparent days at school, birthdays till 18 years of age (always accompanied with a cake she personally baked), Christmas, Easters, popcorn balls for Halloween,  All-Star softball games, high school graduation, preparation for leaving for college, wedding reception, my first child’s baby shower, holding my children when they were newborns, and she was always there when I came back home for visits. Her sweet voice welcoming me to come in when I opened her back door will forever be part of my memories of her.

I feel blessed to have had such an amazing women to be part of my life and to know the meaning of love from a grandparent.  She was always there for me and she will always be on my mind and in my heart.

Cherry Ambrosia was my absolute favorite dessert my Grandma made for holidays.  I loved it so much as a kid, I prepared it for a class presentation in the third grade, and no matter how much you love it, you never lick the serving spoon. Seriously, I did that, I can still remember my aunts and uncles cringing and laughing their heads off. Who knew it was bad manners?

cherry ambrosia

I do have to tell you a funny story about this dessert. I made the ambrosia a couple a days ago for my kids. My son ask me, “What is this stuff?”  Right when my daughter stuck a big spoonful of it in her mouth, I replied, “Well, when I was a kid, we called it Pink Panther Poop.”  My daughter took this quite literally and started freaking out and desperately trying to get the ambrosia out of her mouth.  My son was rolling on the floor laughing his head off and I started tearing up thinking about all the good times we had at my Grandma’s house laughing about the Pink Panther Poop. I think that is why it is my favorite, I love a good laugh. P.S. I don’t think my Grandma thought the name Pink Panther Poop was as funny as we did, so out of respect, I named it properly for her.

Please do not let the nickname, Pink Panther Poop detour you from trying it. My family has a wicked sense of humor and it is not a reflection of the flavor.  It is quite delicious even after I cut out tons of sugar from the original recipe. Cherry Ambrosia is a creamy and sweet dessert with little treasures of fruits and nuts disguised in a pink cloud. It is a perfect and easy to prepare dessert for a holiday get together, or an occasional indulgent treat.

Cherry Ambrosia

Serves 8
Prep time 15 minutes
Meal type Dessert
By author Lock Family Recipe
Serving Size 1/2 cup
Per Serving
Calories 292 kcal
Protein 2g
Total Carbohydrate 18.6g
Dietary Fiber 3.3g
Sugars 12.7g
Total Fat 22.8g
Saturated Fat 12g
Sodium 29.1mg

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 2 cups frozen dark sweet cherries (thawed and cut in half)
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup fresh pineapple (cut into small cubes)
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk

Note

Want to make this a healthier dessert? substitute yogurt (about 3 -4 cups)

Directions

Step 1
Place the cream and sugar in a chilled bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Whip until stiff peaks are formed.
Step 2
Fold in remaining ingredients until well combined.
Step 3
Divide into individual serving dishes or serve in a medium glass serving bowl, cover and refrigerate about 2 hours before serving.
Step 4
Garnish with any remaining coconut flakes and pecans.

 

All Natural Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pudding

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pudding

Chocolate Pudding…Yes!

All I can say about this recipe is, Wow !?!  Who would have thought an all natural ingredient pudding can taste better than the little box of chemicals we have been buying for years at the grocery store? It’s hard to believe we turn to chemicals for a treat when we are so fortunate to have access to so many delicious whole foods.

The first time I saw a recipe for an avocado pudding I was a little skeptical, and decided to put it in on the new recipe back burner. Not even three days after seeing all these avocado pudding recipes,  I get this picture from my sister of her little boy happily eating an avocado pudding.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pudding

 

Okay, now I will make the pudding with a face of pure pudding joy like this. Sorry, Bill Cosby, this kid does not need JELLO pudding, just some of Mom’s avocado pudding.

My daughter wandered in the kitchen as I had the food processor in full speed blending up the chocolate goodness.  She inquired of the chocolate content with a little twinkle in her eye. She’s no fool, she knew it was something scrumptious.  As soon has she heard the word pudding, she was  high as a kite on anticipation of chocolate.

My kids do not get the boxed pudding anymore, so this was like Christmas morning for her! Just like my little happy pudding covered nephew, my kids really digged the avocado pudding. Did I tell them it had avocado in it? Heck no!  You know, I am totally against disguising food for kids, but some ingredients are better off kept to the cook.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pudding is chocolate whole food heaven with 9.6 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein, and the best part it takes less than 5 minutes to prepare.  Sorry, Bill, hate to put you out of the pudding business, don’t let the door hit ya own the way out!  Zip Zop Zoopity Bop!

All Natural Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pudding

Serves 2
Prep time 5 minutes
Meal type Dessert, Smart Treat
Website slightly adapted from: Healthfully Ever After Inspired By: My Sister, J. Green
Serving Size 1
Per Serving
Calories 305 kcal
Protein 6.7g
Total Carbohydrate 32.8g
Dietary Fiber 9.4g
Sugars 10g
Total Fat 20.3g
Saturated Fat 2.5g
Sodium 6.1mg

Ingredients

  • 1 small hass avocado (peeled and pitted)
  • 1 medium ripe banana (peeled)
  • 2 tablespoons raw unsalted almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 4 fresh strawberries (sliced thin)

Directions

Step 1
In a food processor, add all ingredients and blend for one minute. scrape down the sides of processor bowl and blend again until mixture is smooth. If you like your pudding less thick, you can add a little water at the end and blend again.
Step 2
In two small glasses, layer strawberries at the bottom, then pudding. Repeat layering till glass is full.
Step 3
Cover and refrigerate a minimum of 30 minutes.

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...