Tag Archives: picnic

Hawaiian Chicken Salad

Let me start by saying, don’t let this unattractive photo fool you, this dish is delicious. I’d have a better photo if I wasn’t allergic to cashews and getting just this close on my iPhone triggered a big reaction!

I’ve been playing around with this concept of a Hawaiian chicken salad for quite some time and I have not been happy with the results … until now.

I initially made this with macadamia nuts, but they didn’t offer enough crunch. So I decided on cashews, the one problem is I am allergic to cashews. It’s the only food I am allergic to.

No worries, I thought, I will be sure not to touch the nut and I’ll be fine. Wrong. As I stirred this salad (I was taking it to a ladies gathering that night), I started to run bright red! I got hives down my neck and throat and started to consider a trip to urgent care. Luckily, it only last about 30 minutes.

But now I know not only am I allergic to cashews, I am highly allergic, so this will be the last recipe I likely post with the nut. And that is why these pictures are so pitiful. I shot it quickly on my iPhone instead of taking time with my big camera.

I just needed to get away from this nut.

So, try it out. The ladies loved it! I tasted it before I added the nut and liked it, but I knew the cashew would add a lot of depth to this dish.

The combination of basil, pineapple, chicken and cashews explodes with flavor. It’s fantastic! I really wish I could have done some food styling.

I hope you like it.

Hawaiian Chicken Salad

1 rotisserie chicken

½ cup chopped red onion

1 cup minced fresh pineapple

1/3 cup chopped celery

12-15 basil leaves

¾ cup cashews

2/3 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Remove all the skin from the rotisserie chicken and  discard. Then pull the meat off the bones and chop the entire chicken into pieces. Place it in a large container with a lid.

Chop onion, pineapple, celery and thinly slice basil leaves. Add to the bowl. Top with cashews.

Stir together mayonnaise and red wine vinegar. Add to the dish and stir to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste. For best results, cover and refrigerate 2 hours before serving.

You can eat this salad as a sandwich or wrap, with cracker or tortilla chips (I served tortilla chips and it was popular) or on a bed of lettuce as a real salad.

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Fresh Corn Salad- and tips for using corn

Sometimes memories are so vivid you feel like you can taste them.

That’s how I feel about the sweet taste of corn on the cob fresh my grandparents’ farm.

My family would visit every summer. Grandpa would harvest corn in late July into August and I’d help my grandma shuck it for dinner. She always boiled it and served it so hot that a slab of butter would melt and slide down the side of the cob the second the butter touched it.

I couldn’t wait to nibble off the golden kernels in horizontal rows. It was a delicious tradition and a wonderful memory.

I still love corn on the cob although nothing compares to the flavor of farm fresh corn. For starters, corn is best consumed the day it’s picked because within 24 hours of picking, the sugars start to convert to starch and some of the flavor is lost.

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That said, I recommend buying corn from a farmers market for the freshest corn possible. If you’re not going to eat it that day, pop it in the refrigerator to slow down the conversion.

If you’re substituting fresh corn for canned, as a general rule, when you cut corn off the cob, you get about ½ a cup of corn.

When cutting corn off the cob, a neat little trick is to place the cob in the hole of an angel food pan or Bundt cake pan and then scrape off the kernels so they fall into the pan without going all over the counter (Bundt works better because the hole is smaller). I saw this idea on Pinterest and it works beautifully.

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Microwaving corn is my favorite cooking method because it’s so simple and fast. Simply pop the entire corn in its husk in the microwave and cook on high for 3-3.5 minutes; two ears for 4-5 minutes; three ears for 5-6 minutes. Allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes before you shuck it.

Another popular cooking method is to boil the corn. I always add a good dash of salt but also 1/3 cup of sugar to the water to bring out the sweetness. I particularly recommend this if you buy corn in the off season when it’s likely been shipped from far away and not as sweet. Boil corn for about 6-8 minutes. The older corn is, the longer it takes to cook because it’s starchier (add 1-2 minutes).

If you’re working with a bunch of corn, don’t toss the cobs when you’re done. Corn cobs can be used to make wonderful corn stock and frozen for corn chowder this winter. I boil 8-10 cobs with 5 cups water, 2 cups chicken stock, a carrot, two celery stalks, 1 bay leaf, and one sliced onion. Boil for an hour and then cool and freeze it for corn chowder this winter. If you want to use it right away, you can use it in place of water when making rice, quinoa or risotto.

That’s all the corn tips I have. I made this for my husband when we first met and it’s one of his favorite dishes to this day. This salad has celery, several types of bell pepper, red onion, parsley, basil and a light vinegar dressing.

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It’s so refreshing on a hot summer day and goes with everything from sausages to chicken to burgers.  It’s perfect for picnics and potlucks. And is an easy side dish for rotisserie chicken. The great thing about this corn salad is you can substitute canned corn in the winter.

Summer Corn Salad

3 ears of corn

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

¾ of a green bell pepper, chopped

½ an orange bell pepper, chopped

1/3 cup finely chopped red onion

1/3 cup chopped parsley

5 basil leaves, sliced thin

Dressing:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 heaping tablespoon sugar

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

For the dressing, whisk ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

For the salad, cook corn according to your favorite method. If you’re microwaving, microwave on high in the husks for 5-6 minutes. When cool enough to handle, remove husks and corn silks and cut corn off the cob and add to a large bowl.

Chop all your vegetables and add to corn. Add chopped parsley and basil and toss the salad with dressing. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours before serving. Leftovers keep for days in the refrigerator.

Southwest Quinoa Salad with Cumin-Lime Dressing

This is now my favorite Go To Summer dish. I am so in love with this quinoa salad.  It’s healthy, refreshing, low fat, high in fiber, high in protein and loaded with vitamins. And did I mention it’s delicious!

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First, I cook the quinoa with chicken broth to give it more flavor. Then I chilled it and tossed it with chicken, cilantro, red bell peppers, corn, avocado and a lime-cumin vinaigrette. Sliced grape tomatoes are a nice addition and so are black beans. I actually thought I had black beans when I made this and when I realized I didn’t, was too busy to go to the store, so I made it without.

Anyway, this is perfect for lunch as a main course; as a side dish at a picnic; or as a light dinner.

Give it a try.

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Southwest Quinoa Salad with Cumin-Lime Dressing

1 cup uncooked quinoa

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken (breast is preferred in this recipe)

Half a large red bell pepper

1 1/2 tablespoons red onion

½ cup of chopped cilantro

Half a can of corn, drained

½ cup black beans, drained (optional)

1 avocado

Dressing:

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon canola oil

2 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon ground cumin

For the quinoa: Bring quinoa and chicken broth to a boil in a medium pot with a tight fitting lid. Let it boil 3 minutes, cover with lid and cook another 15 minutes. Quinoa is done when a hook is released from the grain. Chill for later.

To prepare: Chop chicken, red bell pepper, onion and cilantro and place in a medium to large bowl. Fluff the quinoa and add it to the mix.

Drain corn and black beans (if you’re using those) and toss with quinoa. Then pit your avocado and chop.

Whisk the dressing ingredients together and pour over quinoa. Toss to coat and serve.

If you are making this ahead of time, leave the avocado off until the last minute.

Note: This recipe is also good with about ½ cup halved grape tomatoes, too.

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Ultimate, Classic Chicken Salad

I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since I’ve posted on here. It’s been a crazy two weeks. I’ve been dealing with shingles, which if you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to have it you know it’s so painful. Miserable!

Then, I headed to Chicago for the weekend to meet one of my longest and best friends. We’ve been best mates for 23 years and counting. She lives in Switzerland now and we continue to meet every year in some city. We’ve never missed a year

Then, my sister from California was visiting and we went to Branson and just hung out. So it’s been hectic.

But now, I am back in the kitchen cooking up a bunch of rotisserie chicken recipes. Here’s my classic chicken salad, which is always popular. Everyone loves chicken salad.

You can serve this as a sandwich or appetizer with Ritz crackers. I love it either way

Ultimate Classic Chicken Salad

3 ½ cups chopped rotisserie chicken

½ cup coarsely chopped pecans

2 tablespoons dried cranberries

½ cup chopped celery

½ cup halved white grapes

1/3 cup chopped red onion

¾ cup mayonnaise

2 teaspoons white wine vinegar (can substitute apple cider vinegar)

1 teaspoon sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

Remove skin from the rotisserie chicken and pull the meat off the bones. You will use most of the chicken for this recipe, but not all. Chop chicken into chunks.

In a large bowl, add first six ingredients (through the red onion) and toss gently.

In another bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar and sugar. Stir together until chicken salad is well coated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve or cover and refrigerate until it’s time to serve.

Asian Chicken Salad (three ways)

I love, love, love chicken salad and am constantly creating different versions.

My top three recipes are this one, my rosemary chicken salad and my curried chicken salad.

My Asian version always wows people and I think it’s because it’s so unique. I love it because it’s easy, delicious and I can serve it three ways.

. I have served this on Ritz crackers at parties and it’s a huge hit;

I have piled it in the middle of a salad and devoured it for lunch (pictured here).\;

And I have served it on French bread as a sandwich and that’s pretty fantastic, too. I recommend topping the sandwich with thinly sliced cucumbers.

Every version is fantastic. In my recipe, I recommend using celery OR water chestnuts. I prefer celery but have made it both ways.

They key to this salad is you must have Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki sauce. If you’ve never used that sauce, you should. It’s one of my favorite kitchen condiments.

It’s AMAZING on stir fried vegetables, soba noodles, on chicken. The great thing is, it’s a complete sauce so you don’t need to add other sauces.  I have used it for dipping sauce, as a marinade, etc, etc. It’s so versatile. Once you try it, you will ask that bottle: “Where have you been all my life?”

If you can’t find it on your local store, you can order it online: https://www.soyvay.com

You can search stores in your area on the website to see if they carry it.

This salad is perfect for entertaining or enjoying at home. Take it on a picnic or out on the boat. It’s lovely. Enjoy.

Asian Chicken Salad

3 1/2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken, skin removed

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki

2 stalks of celery OR 5 ounces water chestnuts, minced

3 green onions, sliced

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Pepper to taste (you don’t need salt)

2 tablespoons shredded carrot (optional) I add carrots when serving as a salad

Ritz crackers to serve, or bread, or a bed of lettuce

Dark meat is great in this dish, so if you’re not crazy about legs and thighs, try adding the meat to this. It makes a wonderful appetizer. A buttery Ritz is a wonderful complement, or serve it on a slice of cucumber when it’s hot outside for a refreshing appetizer.

While I am not an iceberg lettuce fan, if you are serving this on lettuce, iceberg is the way to go. It’s so crisp and light and is a beautiful compliment to the salad.

Directions:

In a large bow, mix mayonnaise and Soy Vay sauce together. Then add chicken, celery or water chestnuts, onion and cilantro. Stir until thoroughly combined. Add pepper to taste.

If serving as a salad, serve it over lettuce with cucumbers and topped with carrots.

In serving for a party, you an sit it out surrounded by crackers or plate each individual cracker. Cucumber slices are a nice addition if it’s self serve. You an also use cucumber slices to serve the salad if you are avoiding extra carbs. You can garnish with extra cilantro, if desired. I did it more for aesthetics for the photo.

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Or serve on bread.