Chipotle Chicken with Avocado Peach Salsa


Hi all– I’m happy to say I’m tucked in here in San Francisco waiting with Ani & Brian & Lois or the new baby to arrive!  It could be any day now!  (You know I’ll let you know when he arrives!)

But back to chicken– here’s dinner a couple nights ago.  Spicy chicken, with bright salsa.  It’s peach sweet, avocado creamy and a little tart from the lime juice.  With a leafy green salad and a chunk of cornbread– a good end of summer dinner.

CHIPOTLE CHICKEN WITH AVOCADO PEACH SALSA

Chicken:
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 tab. flour
2 to 3 tab. Chipotle Garlic chili powder*
2 tab. olive oil

Salsa:
1 to 2 tab. chopped cilantro
1 tsp. fresh lime juice
2 tab. red onion, chopped fine
pinch salt
1/4 tsp, freshly ground black pepper
1 tab. olive oil
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, cut to chunks
1 large peach, not peeled, pitted, cut to chunks

To cook the chicken, heat the olive oil in a medium high skillet.  Then cut the chicken breasts horizontally to make 4 thinner chicken filets.

Mix the flour and Chipotle chili powder together in a flat bowl and dredge the chicken in the mixture on both sides before dropping it into the hot oil.  Cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side until the chicken is well browned and cooked through.

To make the salsa, mix the cilantro, lime juice, red onion, salt, pepper and olive oil.  Then cut in the peach and avocado.  Mix it and spoon the salsa over the cooked chicken hot from the pan.  Enjoy!

*The flavored chili powder was McCormick brand– but any chili powder would be good.

 

Fruity Farro Salad with Honey Lime Dressing


HI all– I’m hoping summer is cooling down here– but we are still big on summer salads and with nectarines and strawberries beautiful and ripe these days, here was a recent supper.  A splash of farro and sprinkling of garbanzos gave it some heft and balanced out the sweet fruit and creamy avocado.  With the tart lime dressing and a chunk of walnut Levain bread– delicious!

FRUITY FARRO SALAD WITH HONEY LIME DRESSING

Salad:
1/2 cup farro
3 cups greens
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup garbanzo beans
1 nectarine, cut to small chunks
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
1 avocado, cut to small chunks
1/4 cup salted almonds, chopped

Dressing:
3 tab. olive oil
1  1/2 tab. lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. honey
salt & freshly grond pepper to taste

Cook the farro according to the directions on the package (mine simmered 10 minutes with 1 cup water and a pinch of salt).  Drain off any extra water.  Cool.

To make the dressing, put the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, honey, salt and pepper into a container with a tight fitting lid.  Shake briskly until it’s thoroughly combined.  (If you let it sit, the honey may sink to the bottom, so shake it again just before you pour it on the salad).

Layer the greens, cilantro, garbanzo beans, farro, nectarine, strawberries, avocado,, and almonds on a platter.  Pour on the dressing when you are ready to eat.  Enjoy!

Fresh Corn, Avocado & Tomato Salad


Hello there– Do you have a summer favorite dish??  Laurel made this for us on our stay with them in Wisconsin and I’ve made it twice already since we’ve been home!  Tonight it was on the table for a cookout at our neighbor’s house– my new summer favorite!!

Sweet charred corn, creamy avocado, summer ripe tomatoes– flavored with just a hint of lime.  Perfect!

FRESH CORN AVOCADO & TOMATO SALAD

Salad:
3 ears of sweet corn
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 lage avocado, peeled, pitted, chunked
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced

Dressing:
1 jalapeno, ribs & seeds removed, minced
zest & juice of 1 large lime
1/4 tsp. salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil

Cut the corn kernels from the cob, slicing down the cob with a knife. Heat 3 tab. of olive oil in a skillet and drop in the corn for about 4 minutes, until some of the kernels are charred, stirring a couple times while it cooks. Take off the heat and cool the corn.

To make the dressing, carefully removed the ribs and seeds from the jalapeno, then mince it finely.  (I use a plastic bag on the hand holding the jalapeno, to prevent pepper burn!).

Put the jajapeno, lime zest & juice, salt, garlic and oil into a container with a tight fitting lid.  Shake until the ingredients are well blended.

Add the cut cherry tomatoes, avocado, cilantro and green onion to the cooled corn.  Mix in the dressing and refrigerate until you are ready to serve it up.

Fruity Avocado & Chicken Couscous Salad with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette


Hello all–  How is your summer rolling along??  We’re trying to keep cool and our ice cream consumption is definitely on the rise!  And if we can manage dinner without turning on the oven, all the better.

So here’s a cool, fresh, filling salad that’s just right for a hot summer evening. Add something cold to drink and a bit of crusty bread.  Perfect. I think you’d like it.

FRUITY AVOCADO & CHICKEN COUSCOUS SALAD WITH HONEY MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE

Salad:
1 cup couscous
14 oz. can chicken broth
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
1 skinless, boneless chicken breast
1 avocado, peeled & cut to chunks
1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup green onion, chopped

Dressing:
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tab. cider vinegar
2 tsp. honey
1 tsp. seedy mustard
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Bring the chicken broth to a boil on the stovetop.  Pour in the cup of couscous. Turn off the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes.  Scoop the couscous into an ample bowl and let it cool to room temperature.  Drop all the salad ingredients into the bowl and stir them up.

To make the dressing, put all the dressing ingredients into a container with a tight fitting lid.  Shake the container until the ingredients are thoroughly blended.  Mix it into the salad and refrigerate it until you are ready to eat.  Enjoy!

 

Blackberry Avocado Salad

Hello there– We had another important celebration at our house last week– Larry’s folks came in to celebrate their 69th anniversary!!  It’s a joy to watch them together.

So we made toasts and ate lasagna (Stu’s favorite) and Larry’s cheery sister brought in a magnificent cake. It was a great time together.  Stu & Helen, you’re the best!!

Oh, and with our supper, we dug into this bright salad– sweet berries, creamy avocado, crunchy almonds, salty feta– tossed with a mustard & maple dressing.  Just fine on the plate with our lasagna.

BLACKBERRY AVOCADO SALAD

Salad:
6 cups salad greens
2 small Persian cucumbers, sliced
2 avocados, cut into chunks
6 oz. carton of blackberries (about 1 cup)
1/3 cup roasted salted almonds, coarsely chopped
1/3 cut feta, crumbled

Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tab. tarragon veingar
2 tab. maple syrup
1 tsp. seedy Dijon mustard
salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste

Layer the salad ingredients in a shallow bowl.  When you are ready to serve it up, shake together the dressing ingredients in a container with a tightly closing lid until they are all blended and drizzle over the salad.

Summer Pasta Salad

 

Hello all– This weekend we’re happily stacking all the things we need to pack up for early Monday morning, when we fly off for our Laurel & John’s wedding in the woods of Wisconsin!  Party dress,  check. Sunblock, check. Grandma Lo’s wedding cake bride and groom, check.  Surprises for grand-girl Jobay, turning 6 on the wedding date, checkity check.

And meanwhile, around here, we’re cleaning out things lingering in the kitchen before we go.  Had a 1/3 bag of egg noodles, a ready to eat avocado, MORE of Larry’s sweet tomatoes…  Throw them in with some corn, a couple slices of bacon and a little chicken.  Summer Pasta Salad  –just right on a hot summer evening!

SUMMER PASTA SALAD
4 oz. pasta (I used egg noodles)
1 boneless chicken breast
1 tab. olive oil
5 slices bacon
2 ears of corn, cut from the cob
3 green onions, sliced thinly
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 avocados, cut to nice chunks

Dressing:
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tab. tarragon vinegar*
1 tsp. seedy mustard
1 tab. honey
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.  Drain and let it cool.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet.  Cut the chicken breast into 3 flat filets and saute in a skillet until it’s nicely browned and cooked through (3 or4 minutes on each side). Remove to cutting board and cut into nice polite size pieces.

Wipe out the skillet and cook up the bacon.  Crumble it to small bits.

Cook the corn cobs in the microwave 6 or 7 minutes.  Cut the corn from the cobs with a large knife.

To make the dressing put the oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, salt & pepper into a container with a tight fitting lid and shake it up until it’s completely blended.

When the chicken and pasta have cooled, put them in a large mixing bowl and mix in the bacon, corn, tomatoes, green onion and dressing.  Then gently fold in the avocado.  Put to chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes or more before serving. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

 

Cherry Citrus Salad

 

Hello friends– Have cherries turned up at your market yet??  I walked over to the Farmers Market in San Francisco last week with little Lois and there were cherries galore!  So dark and sweet– we bought a bagful for a treat.

And back home there are piles of Cherries at the market too– So when Jenni invited us over for a bar-b-que, we arrived with this salad in hand.  Bright and sweet and hearty.  Just right for a summer night eating grilled chicken & sausages with a table of friends.

CHERRY CITRUS SALAD
8 cups mixed salad greens
14 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed
2 avocados, cut into chunks
3 cups fresh cherries, pitted
2 oranges, peeled and cut into sections

Dressing:
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tab. Champagne orange vinegar*
1 tsp. sugar
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Spread the greens into a large salad bowl.  On top, layer the beans, avocados, cherries and oranges.

Shake the dressing ingredients in a container with a tight fitting lid until they are thoroughly blended. Drizzle the dressing over the salad when you are ready to serve it.  Enjoy!

*They have this luscious Orange Vinegar at Trader Joe’s– but I’ve seen it other places too.

A couple pics from our trek to the SF Farmer’s Market  (San Francisco City Hall in the background)–
   

Steak Salad with Peruvian Peppers

 

Hello there– This year they put a Whole Foods Market in our little suburb– chuck full of beautiful food!!  But a little over my price range.  So this week I dropped in to get a couple nice candy bars for a little birthday treat for a friend– and indulged myself with a loaf of crusty bread, 3 perfectly ripe peaches, those candy bars and from the olive bar–a handful of olives and these brilliant little red Peruvian peppers!  Total– $12.90!  I happily clutched my little bag of treats and headed home…

The Peruvian peppers inspired this salad– sweet and just a little spicy– and so pretty on the plate.  With that loaf of crusty  bread– dinner ready!

STEAK SALAD

Salad:
2 small beef filets
1 tab. olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper
4 cups salad greens
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, sliced
1/2 cup cucumber sliced thin
1/4 cup Peruvian peppers (petit poivrons)*
1/4 cup feta, crumbled
a little red onion, sliced

Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tab. tarragon vinegar
1 tsp. seedy mustard
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste.

Heat the olive oil in s skillet on high heat.  Liberally salt & pepper the beef and drop it into the hot skillet.  Cook the beef for 3 or 4 minutes on each side for medium rare (depending on the thickness).  Remove it from the pan and slice against the grain.

Layer the lettuce, sliced avocado and cucumber and beef on 2 plates.  Sprinkle on the feta and little peppers.

To make the dressing, combine the oil, vinegar, mustard, slat & pepper in a container with a tight fitting lid.  Shake it until the ingredients are well blended.  Pour over the salad when you’re ready to serve it.

*The peppers are available from Amazon as petit poivrons.

Blueberry Broccoli Avocado Salad with Poppyseed Ranch Dressing

Hi all– Should I apologize for the extra long title of this salad??– I just wanted you to know the yummy components and plus also the lovely dressing on top!

Took this salad along to my brother’s house for our Easter dinner.  And liked it so much we had it again last night!  It’s bright and fresh and I can say it works well with Easter ham or a slice of mushroom pizza!

BLUEBERRY BROCCOLI AVOCADO  SALAD

Salad:
5 cups of your favorite salad greens
1/2 cup broccoli, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1/4 cup dried cherries (or cranberries)
1/4 cup pecans, chopped

Poppyseed Ranch Dressing:
1/2 cup unflavored yogurt
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. tarragon vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. poppy seeds
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Layer the salad ingredients in a pretty bowl.

Then stir together the ingredients  for the dressing until they are thoroughly blended.  It makes more dressing than we needed on our salad, so there’s more in the fridge for another day.

Mandarin Pomegranate Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

 

img_6805

Hi all–  A couple weeks ago we had friends in for a wintery night dinner.  There was honey crusted pork loin, wild rice and Brussel spouts– and this bright sweet salad to start us off.

The real hit of the evening was after dinner, when our friend Mark pulled out his little bag of tricks and did an amazing magic show!  How did the nine of hearts jump from that stack of cards to the other?? Or the coin go right through the table??  You had us totally mystified Mark.

MANDARIN POMEGRANATE SALAD WITH POPPY SEED DRESSING

Salad:
4 cups of your favorite greens*
3 mandarin oranges
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
1 avocado, cut to neat chunks
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Dressing:
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tab. orange vinegar**
2 tab. honey
1 tab. poppy seeds
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Peel and break the mandarin oranges into neat segments.  Then layer the greens, mandarin segements, pomegranate seeds, avocado and almonds onto a pretty platter.

In a container with a tight fitting lid, shake together the oil, vinegar, honey, poppy seeds. salt & pepper until they are thoroughly blended.  Pour over the salad when you are ready to serve it up.

*I used baby arugula– spinach, green leaf lettuce, bib lettuce are all great.
** Love love Trader Joe’s Orange Champagne Vinegar, but red wine vinegar or tarragon vinegar would be terrific too.

 

img_6814

Green Goddess Veggie Dip

img_1725

Hi all– I think I’ve already told you about the group of 20 somethings who drop in every Monday night to meet up, talk, laugh, plan, pray.  The don’t knock–just drift in 2 or 3 at a time, stop in the kitchen to say they’re here, to catch up.  It’s great. And I get to feed them– just a little snack to get us going.   I love our Monday nights.

So this week (too hot to bake!) we had the coffee table full of veggies, dip and some crackers on the side.  Here it is:

GREEN GODDESS VEGGIE DIP
2 ripe avocados
2 tab. tarragon vinegar
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
salt (about 1/2 tsp.) and freshly ground pepper to taste.
garnish: chopped green onion

Just drop all the ingredients into a blender or use a stick blender until it’s smooth and creamy.  Set it out with a board of veggies and maybe a few crackers.  Done.

img_1720

P.S.  I know this recipe is nothing like the traditional Green Goddess dressing– I think the name was just stolen because it’s green!

Crunchy Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing

 

IMG_8543

Hi all–  I like this bright friendly salad– All that sturdy kale, hearty farro and those crunchy almonds.  But the real star is the dressing!  So much flavor from the cilantro, tahini, cumin, garlic…

Actually I had the tahini in the fridge, because I got it for a humus recipe that was grand failure (lumpy, bumpy and bland).  Add that to the list of not so great cooking attempts that never made it to be blog posts!!   But happily, the tahini was just what I needed when I came across a version of this salad (thanks Pinterest!). I think you might like it as much as we did…

CRUNCHY KALE SALAD WITH TAHINI DRESSING

Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tab. red wine vinegar
2 tab. cilantro, chopped fine
2 tab. tahini
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
several grinds of freshly ground pepper

Salad:
1/2 cup farro, uncooked
5 cups, kale, chopped to bits
1 carrot, shredded to strips
5 radishes, sliced thin
1 avocado, cut to small pieces
1/4 cup toasted almonds

Whisk together the salad dressing ingredients until they are thoroughly blended, set aside.

Cook the farro according to the package directions– mine said boil with 1  1/2 cups slightly salted water for 10 minutes.  Drain in a sieve and rinse with cold water to be cool enough for the salad.

Then layer up the kale, farro, carrots, avocado, radishes and almonds.  Pour on the dressing when you are ready to serve it up.  Crunchy good!

IMG_8536

Avocado Green Sauce

IMG_7642

Hi all– If you love Mexican food as much as we do, I think you will love love this green sauce!  It’s the best all purpose sauce– on tacos, enchiladas, nachos, chicken, fish and just for chip dipping…  And so delicious. I couldn’t stop eating it!!

Got this scrumptious green sauce from Melody on her friendly Texan blog– Meals with Mel. She’s a pro when it comes to Mexican dishes.  And this is one our favorites!!

AVOCADO GREEN SAUCE
7 oz. can salsa verde (I like Hedrez brand)
1/3 cup chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 avocados, peeled & pitted
juice of 1 lime
salt & pepper to taste

Put all the ingredients into a blender and whip until it’s smooth.  Refrigerate until you’re ready to use it.

P.S.  The recipe I worked from called for 2 cans of salsa verde and optional jalpeno or serano pepper– You might want to spice it up, but this version is just spicy enough for me.

IMG_7639

Kale Salad with Pomegranate, Avocado & Pecans

IMG_7662

KALE SALAD WITH POMEGRANATE, AVOCADO & PECANS

Hello all– It’s summer.  So we are just having grilled fish, this salad and a chunk of sour dough bread.  That’s it– just enough to satisfy on a hot summer evening.  (or maybe just a prelude to a walk for frozen yogurt…)

Salad:
4 cups kale, chopped to bits
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and cut in chunks
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
1/3 cup pecans

Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tab. tarragon vinegar*
1 tab. honey
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

IMG_7658

Pour the kale into a bowl and top with avocado, pomegranate seeds and pecans>

In  container with a tight fitting lid, shake together the olive oil, vinegar, honey, salt & pepper until they are thoroughly blended.  Pour it over the salad.**

*Any vinegar will do– It’s an inexpensive luxury to have a collection of vinegars to choose from, since they keep for quite a while in a cool place.
**Usually I dress the salad at the last minute before I put it on the table, but kale will hold up to dressing so you can pour it on stick it in the fridge for a few minutes while you get the rest of the dinner on the table.  That way it’s ready to go!

IMG_7648

Mexican Cobb Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

IMG_6059

Hi all– We are trying to get a little jump on summer here.  It’s been warm and my thoughts are already on summer break, lazing in bed mornings with a book, lunch dates with friends, weekend beach walks, dinner out under the maples in the backyard…  It’s all about slowing down, less rush.

And salads.  A bright salad for dinner, makes it seem like summer.  Fresh colorful veggies, salty bacon and cheese.  And tart cilantro lime dressing.  It isn’t June yet, but with this salad on the table, it feels like summer!

MEXICAN COBB SALAD WITH CILANTRO LIME DRESSING

Salad:
4 cups leafy greens
3 small tomatoes, cut in quarters
1 firm avocado, peeled and cut in chunks
1/2 cup fresh (or frozen) corn kernels
1 Persian cucumber, sliced thin
3 strips of bacon, fried & crumbled
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed
2 hard boiled eggs, cut in half
1/3  cup cortijo cheese*

Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tab. lime juice (about 1 large lime)
2 tab. cilantro, chopped fine
1/2 tsp. sugar
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

This is easy.  Spread the lettuces out on a platter and spoon the other ingredients on top.  Done!

For the dressing, put the olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, sugar and salt & pepper into a container with a tight fitting lid.  Shake til it’s thoroughly blended and drizzle over the salad.

Great served with a chunk of cornbread– or if there’s no time to bake, a handful of crispy tortilla chips. Dinner for two.  Enjoy!

*I didn’t have cortijo cheese in the fridge, so used feta.

IMG_6068

Sweet Potato, Avocado Chicken Salad

IMG_5790Hello all– On the tail end of a fine longish weekend.  Kids started rolling in on Tuesday and were all here by Saturday for their cousin Bradley and Amanda’s wedding.  I’m pretty sure you know, there’s nothing a mom loves more than having those kids at arm’s length.

I’ll be remembering an all family shoe shopping trip, a fancy dinner out at the Tavern, hamburgers on the grill & a Michael Pollen documentary, good girl-talks, driving down to the beach for a frozen banana,  Laurel’s photo shoots and wedding dances with the grand-girls!

And on Saturday, we sat down to a colorful salad lunch– just enough to fill us up before we  headed down to the wedding– grilled chicken, avocado, sweet potato and sweet pomegranate seeds– with a tarragon dressing.  Add a chunk of sturdy bread– easy lunch!

SWEET POTATO, AVOCADO CHICKEN SALAD
4 cups green leaf lettuce
1 chicken breast, grilled and cut to pieces
1 sweet potato, roasted, peeled, cut into bits
1 avocado, cut in small chunks
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup feta, crumbled

Dressing:
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tab. tarragon vinegar
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tsp. honey

Layer the greens, sweet potato, avocado, chicken pomegranate and feta on a large platter.  In a container with a tight fitting lid, shake together the olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and honey until it’s thoroughly blended.  Pour it on and eat!

IMG_5796
Pre-wedding family photo (Maryann!!) overlooking the marina in Dana Point.

13007289_10154219746674665_1472221574375509535_n
Down to Balboa Island for Balboa Bars & Frozen bananas– almost feels like summer’s here…  So thankful for time with our kids.

 

Roasted Sweet Potato, Avocado & Faro Salad

IMG_3512Hi all– Saturday night we had magical evening with friends– literally magical.  Our buddy Mark did an hour of amazing slight of hand tricks after dinner around our table.
I kept thinking, “If I watch just a little closer, I’ll figure out how he does it.”  But no.  We were all totally mystified.

And besides that, we had a sweet time talking around the table– with this salad to start us out, coq au vin, mixed rice, shaved Brussel sprouts and bread ( I love good bread!).  Oh and to end the evening ice cream puffs.  Everyone stayed late.  It was a fine time.

ROASTED SWEET POTATO, AVOCADO Y FARO SALAD
1 sweet potato
2 tab. olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper
Red leaf lettuce
1 avocado
1/2 cup faro
1/2 cup Pomegranate seeds

Dressing:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup orange muscat vinegar*
(or your favorite flavored vinegar)
1 tab honey
salt & pepper to taste

IMG_3498

Peel the sweet potato and cut it into small chunks.  Mix the little chunks with the olive oil, salt and pepper.  Spread them all out on a baking sheet, separating them as best you can.  Bake them in the oven at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are tender and just starting to brown around the edges.  Let them cool.

While it’s cooking shake all the dressing ingredients in a container with a tight fitting lid until they are thoroughly blended.

Cook the faro in water according to the instructions on the package– (mine boiled just 10 minutes)  until it’s tender.  Cool.

On a pretty plate, layer the lettuce, avocado, faro and pomegranate.  Give the the dressing a little more shaking and dribble it over the salad when you’re ready to serve it.

*Orange Muscat Vinegar from Trader Joes– citrus, sweet, delicious

Quinoa Avocado Garbanzo Salad

IMG_1700Hi all– in the middle of all this holiday eating, sometimes you just have to stop and say a salad is all we need for dinner.  It happened to us last Sunday– no big Sunday lunch.  A salad was quite enough.  And this one is satisfying enough to feel like a real meal.

QUINOA AVAOCADO GARBANZO SALAD
4 cups greens
1 cup quinoa
1 14 oz. can garbanzos, rinsed
1 avocado, cut in chunks
1 navel orange, cut in segments
1/2 cup almonds, cut in half

dressing:
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tab. orange chanpagne vinegar* (or cider vinegar)
1 tsp. seedy mustard
1 tab. honey
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Layer all the salad ingredients on a ample plate.  Shake together the dressing ingredients in a container with a tight fitting lid until they are completely blended.  Add the dressing to the salad just before you are ready to serve it up.

makes 2 full lunch servings

IMG_1702

Chicken Enchilada Soup

IMG_2573Hello all–  This week our young mom’s group* got together after our summer hiatus.  I made a major pot of soup (did I really think we’d eat that much?!) and set the table, but I didn’t know it would be a celebration dinner– Esther and her Brian finally signed the adoptions papers this week for their little guy– it’s been 3 years of unbelievable ups and downs.  We all couldn’t have been more thrilled!!

So this simple chunky soup became a special occasion supper– I think it was yummy enough to measure up– along with a bright fruity green salad and some orange poppy seed cornbread.  So happy for Esther and her sweet family!

CHICKEN ENCHILADA SOUP
splash olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup yellow corn meal
3 cups chicken broth
14 0z. can green enchilada sauce**
14 oz. black beans
14 oz. can corn
14 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes
1 tsp. cumin
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped to nice little bites***
1 cup cheddar shredded
salt to taste
toppings:  avocado, cheddar, cilantro, red onion, chopped tomatoes, chips…

Heat the oil in the bottom of a soup pot.  Throw in the onions and cook for 4 or 5 minutes until they are completely wilted, then drop in the garlic and cook a minute more.

Stir in the cornmeal.  Then stir in the chicken broth until it’s all blended and bubbling.  then add in the enchiladas sauce, black beans, corn, tomatoes and cumin.

I’m averse to big chunks of tomato floating in my soup, so I smoothed it all out with a stick blender at this point– but you can totally skip that if you’re found of tomatoes.

Then stir in the chicken and finally the cheddar.  Bring it to a simmer and taste to see if you want to add salt– I added just a 1/4 tsp.

It’s ready!!  So easy.  You can serve it with any or all of the garnishes– and with a fruity salad and a slab of cornbread on the side it’s a happy meal.

*It’s a young moms group– but I’m an old mentor mom in this group.

**I love Herdrez brand enchilada sauce (and their green salsa)
***Used a rotisserie chicken from the market, plus several cans of all those ingredients– makes the recipe so fast and easy.

IMG_2574

Summer Corn Soup

IMG_2234Hello all–  Supper tonight landed at the intersection of summer and fall. The last of the sweet summer corn cooked into a hearty fall-ish soup.  It’s a little lighter and fresher than the normal corn chowder.  The sweetness of that summer corn shines through.

SUMMER CORN SOUP
3 tab. olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 small red or yukon gold potatoes
3 ears of corn
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
3 tab. cornstarch
salt & freshly ground pepper
Garnish: paprika, green onion & avocado

In a soup pot, heat the olive oil and then add in the chopped onion.  When the onion is wilted, add in the minced garlic and cooked 2 minutes more.

While that’s happening– cook the ears of corn for 6 minutes in the microwave in a dish with water and a couple shakes of salt.  Cut the corn off of the cobs.  (save a 1/2 cup of corn aside to use as a garnish)

Cut the potatoes into small bits.  When the corn is done cooking, pop the potatoes into the microwave in the dish with water & a shake of salt.  Cook for 5 minutes.

Then add the corn, potatoes, chicken broth and milk to the onions in the soup pot.  Stir it up and taste.  Season with salt & pepper til it’s just right.   Bring it to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes to blend the flavors.

In a container with a tight lid, shake together the cornstarch and 1/2 cup water.  Add it to the simmering soup and stir a couple minutes until it thickens.

Serve it up hot– and garnish with a sprinkle of paprika, some chopped green onion, avocado and saved corn. Makes 4 -6 lovely bowls of soup.

IMG_2235