Onion and Chive Dilled Egg Salad

onion-and-chive-dilled-egg-salad

My first post of the new year…I seem to be looking forward a lot more than normal.  I hate wishing the time away, but 4 years cannot go by fast enough.  I hate that in 4 years my oldest daughter will be in college.  I hate that these are such important years for her to grow as a woman.  But I dread more the role model that our electoral college chose to lead our country.  It wasn’t until Saturday that I actually believed there is a path forward, and that people are not going to sit back and watch.  I was almost in tears to see that our global friends were right there with us…standing up for what is right – Paris, London, Sydney, and on and on – it is not America First – it is Humanity First.

I find myself cooking and baking less and less these days – I am busier than ever, but unfortunately not in the kitchen.  When I am in the kitchen, I am focused on making things that are going to save us time during the week.  Tonight one of our dinner table conversations was about our public school system – and the huge budget deficit that we are facing.  My youngest daughter has decided that maybe if the government can fully fund education, that means that school lunches might actually be edible.  I didn’t have the heart to tell her that school lunches were the least of their worries – although I did remind her that she was lucky to have healthy food at home to bring for lunch.  Particularly this week!

Egg salad has become somewhat of a delicacy in our house.  It is definitely something that both girls LOVE for their lunches.  When Stonyfield Farms asked us to try their new Double Cream yogurt, along with some spices and mixes from Simply Organic – I was over the moon.  It didn’t take me more than a minute to figure out what I was going to make.  Aside from using the wonderful dips as an afternoon snack with carrot sticks – I decided to use some in making egg salad.  What a delicious treat.  First of all, this yogurt is really incredible, it is like a mild form of sour cream, it is so rich and thick, but more like a crème fraiche – since the sour flavor really doesn’t come out.  I hear it will be on the market real soon, so go give it a try yourself.  And as my daughter would say – School Lunches First!!

Ingredients

Preparation

Mix 2 cups of the triple cream yogurt with the package of onion and chive dip.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Chop the hard boiled eggs and mix with the celery, fresh dill and salt.  Add 1/2 cup of onion and chive dip.  Mix until all ingredients are incorporated.  Sprinkle lightly with smoked paprika on top.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  onion-and-chive-dilled-egg-salad

Please note: As a Team Stonyfield ambassador, I am being compensated. All opinions about Stonyfield Farm’s products and Simply Organic are always my own.

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Chicken Salad with Fennel and Dill

Chicken Salad

Is it Friday yet?  Oh my, it is not a good sign that I am already thinking that, and we are not even at Monday.  My life has been one big hurricane lately – but I haven’t yet reached the eye of the storm.  I am really hoping it comes soon before I completely fall apart.  I am definitely overextended at the moment – at work and at home, and last week just about did me in.  I figured if I didn’t post something tonight, I might never get to it…so here we go.

On top of everything going on right now, this weekend was the International Food Bloggers Conference in Seattle.  Lucky for me, there was no travelling involved – I just had to get myself out of my office on Friday and downtown for the kick-off event.  Even that was difficult – but I managed to get down there.  And I am really glad I did.  The conference was terrific, with lots product samples to try – that hopefully I can play with when things calm down a little.

I must say, I was not in the mood to socialize this weekend, and I think people could actually sense that.  I didn’t have a lot of people come up to me (was it the scowl on my face that gave that away?) and want to chat – but I did happen to meet a few people that really took me out of my shell, and to the Foodland that I long to be in.  At lunch on Saturday I chose a person with just one other person sitting – who happened to go to college with a couple of others who were at the conference, and they joined her – Adam and Lyndsay from NYC, who worked for Peanut Butter & Co.  They were awesome.  There was no break in the conversation, and they really put a smile on my face.  As well as showering me with packets of their delicious peanut butter – which my daughter basically inhaled today.  I think they have their latest Super Fan in the making.

Later that evening, as we were waiting for the Food Fair to begin, I met two others from NYC – these wonderful ladies named Christina and Alycia.  They have a fantastic blog called Feel Good Foodies – all about their food adventures in NYC and beyond.  It was really fun to look through their site today.  I felt like they were long lost friends, we had so much to talk about – of course everything tying back to food.

Which reminds me – this chicken salad.  Recently I have had to join the ranks of many who have trouble digesting lactose.  Of course those tiny Lactaid tablets work perfectly – but what a pain in the neck.  One of the products I sampled this weekend was the lactose-free Green Valley Organics sour cream.  Oh my gosh.  Wow.  I swear I could have just gotten a spoon and gone to town – good thing they just gave us a little taste.  It was so creamy and delicious, and wonderfully rich.  I can’t wait to try it in this chicken salad with fennel – which was outstanding.  Just the perfect end of summer dinner.

I have lots more to share about the conference, but this is a good start.  Now excuse me as I prepare to blow away…hurricane style.

Ingredients

  • 4 large skin-on, bone-in chicken breast (12-14 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup crème fraiche or sour cream
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 425°. Place chicken on a small rimmed baking sheet and rub with 2 tablespoons oil; season with kosher salt and pepper. Roast until golden brown and cooked through, 25-30 minutes. Let cool, then shred into bite-size pieces.

Toss in a large bowl with fennel, scallion, dill, vinegar, chicken, sour cream, mayonnaise and lemon juice; season with kosher salt, pepper, and more vinegar, if desired.

Do ahead: Chicken can be cooked 2 days ahead; cover and chill. Shred just before using.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Chicken Salad with Fennel and Dill

Corn, Squash, and Green Onion Flatbreads

 

Corn, Squash, and Green Onion Flatbread

Less is more.  I keep trying to remind myself of that – although it is truly not the motto that normally I would quote.  Normally what goes through my mind comes from a very wise man in my life – my father-in-law – if it’s worth doing, it’s worth over doing…  Yes, unfortunately those are usually the words that describe my crazy life.  What can’t I just adopt less is more?  Maybe then I wouldn’t be so ridiculously exhausted.

It’s funny – eating is probably the only place in my life where that cute little three word saying makes absolute sense.  I have always subscribed to the everything in moderation theory.  I have never dieted in my life – I eat healthy, and I eat everything in moderation.  A little of this, a little of that – and I never deprive myself.  It seems to work for me, but I also exercise – I love being active, and then if I want to eat something, I do it – I just don’t overdo it.  I save that for everything in my life besides eating.

The other month I found this recipe in Cooking Light – it looked so fresh and simple, and it was on a piece of…wait for it…YES…NAAN!!!  I was immediately intrigued.  It seemed so obvious and simple, yet I never thought of it myself.  Isn’t that always the way?  Now that zucchini is in abundance, and fresh corn is easy to come by, I gave it a try.  It was super easy to make, and seriously, it was amazing.  My older daughter loved it almost as much as I did.  It really was the perfect lunch.  And look at it – with just a handful of ingredients – less really is more.  Less time, more substance.  What could be better?  I’ll tell you – if I could just adopt that technique everywhere.

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 (8.8-ounce) package whole-wheat tandoori naan bread
  • 8 green onions, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 (7-ounce) yellow squash, thinly sliced (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2.5 ounces vegetarian part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 2/3 cup)
  • 2 ounces vegetarian fontina cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

Preparation

Place rack in upper third of oven. Preheat to 400°.

Heat a grill pan over high heat. Lightly coat pan with cooking spray. Add naan; grill 1 minute on each side or until grill marks appear. Place naan on a baking sheet. Add onions to pan; grill 2 minutes, turning once.

Rub cut sides of garlic over top side of naan. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons oil. Layer squash over naan, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle corn over squash; top with onions. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon pepper and salt; top with cheeses. Bake at 400° for 8 minutes. Turn broiler on (do not remove flatbreads from oven); broil 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons oil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and thyme. Cut each flatbread into 4 pieces.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Corn, Squash, and Green Onion Flatbreads

Garlicky Grilled Cheese with Spinach and Bacon

Garlicky Grilled Cheese

I feel like I should have a column on my blog called “Sunday Lunches” – maybe it would get me to do this more often.  I swear, I love having a plan for lunch on Sunday.  This is now about the 4th time I have actually decided to make something out of the ordinary for lunch, and the girls and I are having a ton of fun with it.

Grilled cheese is definitely a staple in this house.  It started out many years ago – before my husband and I were married, but we lived together.  Sometimes he needed a snack after dinner – in those days it was not uncommon for us to eat dinner, and then go do something – or he would run back to the lab for more work.  It wasn’t a mid-night snack, but he would often need something before he went to sleep – and he always turned to his toasted cheese sandwiches.  He loved cheese more than anyone I knew.  It was his 5th food group.  He would toast some bread, throw some cheese on it, stick it in the microwave for just a few seconds, just enough for the cheese to melt, then he would put it together – and there he had his perfect toasted cheese sandwich – no grilling necessary.

Over the past few years, that has stopped as he has given up dairy – but recently the girls have started having that as their Sunday lunch.  At first they balked at a toasted cheese sandwich – they claimed the bread would get soggy – but he showed them exactly the way to make it, and even they were impressed.

Well, that’s good and all, but nothing is better than a good old fashioned grilled cheese sandwich – and this recipe from Cooking Light was just about as good as it gets.  Adding in the spinach and bacon – wow.  Even my older daughter was fine with the greens, because everything else about the sandwich was so darn delicious.  So there you have it – another Sunday lunch.  This might just be the last, seriously, what could top this?

Ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2  large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 4 cups baby arugula leaves
  • 4  center-cut bacon slices, halved
  • 8  (1-ounce) rustic Italian bread slices
  • 2 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 ounces fontina cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup)

Preparation

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add garlic to pan; sauté 1 minute. Add spinach and arugula; stir until wilted. Remove spinach mixture from pan. Return pan to medium-high heat. Add bacon; cook until crisp. Remove bacon.

Top 4 bread slices evenly with cheeses, bacon pieces, spinach mixture, and the remaining 4 bread slices.

Heat pan over medium heat. Add sandwiches to drippings in pan; weigh down with a plate. Cook 2 minutes on each side.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Garlicky Grilled Cheese with Spinach and Bacon