Hello Everyone! For those who do not know me, my name is Danielle I went to law school with Janine and Lisa in the Twin Cities, but am now back practicing law in my home state, Iowa (it is the better state)! Now, for those who read this blog weekly, Lisa and Janine talked me up a little in regards to my cooking ability (I am not as good as they would like you to think) so I hope I do not disappoint you.
This week’s theme is hot and cold, and let me tell you, I had a hard time thinking of something for this post. My first idea was, of course, a dessert with ice cream, but I am on this healthy kick so I decided against it. After searching for quite a while I finally decided on something very simple, a salad. How does this go with a hot and cold theme? Well, I guess you will have to decided if I failed on that.
Here’s the finished product:
Today’s recipe is as follows:
- 5 ounces fresh spinach (half a 10 ounce bag)
- 3/4 cup chopped celery
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1 can (15 ounces) mandarin oranges
- 1 large Granny Smith Apple
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/3 cup pecans
- 1 Grilled Chicken Breast
- Optional: Feta cheese
- 4 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2-4 tablespoons white sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon each: paprika, onion powder
- 1 tablespoon poppyseeds
Throw it all together!
The first thing I did was get the chicken on the grill. If you can see in the picture above, I cut the chicken in half so that they would grill faster. To prepare the chicken, I simply put my favorite seasoning on one side of the chicken to give it a little more flavor. You will also notice I grilled more than just one chicken breast; I love having leftover chicken breast for lunches throughout the week.
After I got the chicken on the grill, I decided to put the dressing together so it would have time to chill in the fridge. I put all the ingredients in a storage container that I would be able to shake so I could mix it better. In the recipe you will notice that there is a choice of how much sugar you can put in. I only used 2 tablespoons. I liked that it was not as sweet, but if you want it sweeter I would add 3 tablespoons. I think 4 tablespoons would be way too sweet. Below is a picture of the dressing.
Once I was done with the dressing, I went and checked on the chicken and flipped it over on the grill! I then decided I wanted to toast the pecans so they would be nice and hot on the salad. To do this you add a little olive oil to the frying pan.
You can add you pecans right into the oil in the pan. I put the heat on medium low so that the pecans wouldn’t burn. It probably took about 5 minutes. I also decided at the end to add the dried cranberries. It gave them a little bit of a toasted flavor. Make sure the cranberries are not on the heat for very long, if they are, then they get almost like a tough gummy candy (not good). After I took the pecans and cranberries off of the heat, I put a lid on the pan so that they would stay warm.
I am betting when you first read the recipe you were wondering what is with the lemon juice. Well did you know that adding some lemon juice to fruit will keep it from browning? AMAZING! So to answer your question, the lemon juice is for the apples so they can stay pretty in your salad. I promise that you cannot taste the lemon juice.
By this point the chicken was done! Does it not look yummy?!
Now to put the salad together. I put everything in a bowl besides the feta and chicken and mixed it together (Please drain your canned oranges). I ended up not using all of the salad dressing, probably about half. I mixed this all together and put it on two plates. I put about 4 oz of sliced chicken on top of each salad along with a little feta (up to you on how much). AND VOILA! Along with a little Iowa Wine we have a nice COLD salad with right off the grill HOT chicken!!
If you need to even ask if this was good, IT WAS SO SO YUMMY! I might next time add more feta, but otherwise I don’t know if there is anything I would change about this. You will notice I did not put in the celery; I personally hate the stuff.
Well that is a wrap! Thank you so much for reading my hot and cold post. Don’t worry, Lisa and Janine will be back next week to entertain and inspire you! I am off to make some yummy cranberry orange buttermilk scones for work tomorrow!
(Don’t worry the recipe is below!)
CRANBERRY ORANGE SCONES
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 3/4 cup cold butter
- 1 cup buttermilk
- one orange (you will squeeze for the juice) *if you don’t have a orange, don’t worry about it
- 1 cup fresh or dried cranberries
In a bowl, combine the flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and baking soda; cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Squeeze juice from one orange into the mixture. Stir in the buttermilk just until combined. Fold in the chopped up cranberries.
Turn onto a floured surface; divide dough in half. Pat each half into a 6-in. circle. Cut each circle into six wedges. Separate wedges and place 1 in. apart on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from pan to a wire rack. Yield: 1 dozen.
Thank you for reading! BYE! 🙂