Chickpea Salad

Chickpea Salad

Chickpea Salad

Chickpea Salad

 Such a wonderful, refreshing salad!!!  I highly recommend trying to find the blood orange olive oil.  The slight flavor of it in this salad is so pleasing and tasty!  Yes, it is still delicious with regular extra virgin olive oil and balsamic so don’t steer away from making this.

 Ingredients List:

1 cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup purple onion, chopped

1/2 cup plum or cherry tomatoes, sliced or chopped

4 jalapeno peppers, seeded, deveined, and fine chopped

1 lg TBS chopped fresh basil

4 tsp white balsamic ( I used Cranberry Pear. This is from a specialty store, If you can’t get it, just use regular balsamic)

2 tsp Olive oil (I used blood orange, also from a specialty store, if you can’t get it, use regular extra virgin)

1/2 tsp kosher salt, or more depending on taste

1/2 tsp coarse ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients well in a medium mixing bowl.  Refrigerate if necessary.

 Serve and enjoy!!!

Tomato and Feta Salad

Tomato and Feta Salad

Tomato and Feta Salad

Tomato and Feta Salad

 Chad and I recently discovered a specialty store in Mobile, Olivella, that sells aged balsamic vinegars that are infused with different flavors as well as infused olive oils.  I was anxious to try one of the balsamic vinegars that I bought so I came up with this delicious salad.

Ingredients List:

1 cup – grape or cherry tomatoes, chopped

1/2  cup – purple onion, chopped

4 ounces – feta cheese, crumbled or diced

1/4 cup – chopped fresh basil

1/8 cup – chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup – white balsamic, I used a cranberry & pear infused vinegar that I bought at Olivella.  If you can’t get that, regular white balsamic works too.

1/4 – cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp – kosher salt

1/2 tsp – coarse ground black pepper

pinch of red pepper flakes

Mix all of the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.  Gently coat all of the ingredients so the feta doesn’t break all apart.  I served it at room temperature since the tomatoes were the main ingredient in the salad.  I think tomatoes are much more flavorful at room temperature and tend to lose their flavor when refrigerated.

 Serve and Enjoy!!!

Loaded Chicken Salad

Loaded Chicken Salad

Loaded Chicken Salad

 Loaded Chicken Salad 

 This chicken salad is so fresh and delicious!  I have to be careful when I make it… It’s so good that I can’t stop eating it.  It is almost identical to my salmon salad that I posted last week but my portions are different.  I also use this recipe for fresh tuna salad (that will be another post).  One ingredient that makes this salad so good is fresh chicken.  I do not use canned chicken and would suggest that you do not either.  Boiling a chicken takes hardly any time and it makes such a difference if the flavor of the salad.  In addition… it gives you some fresh chicken stock to put up in your freezer for another use.   I have heard some people say that they only like to use the white meat but I like to use both white and dark meat in my salad.  It is also very versatile which is great for this time of year when we are tailgating.  You can put it in a serving bowl surrounded with mini croissants or your favorite crackers.  You can stuff it into pepperoncini peppers and serve it over a bed of micro greens for a pretty presentation.  Or, make finger sandwiches with a variety of breads.  Anyway you serve it, it will be a hit!

 Ingredients list:

1 –  whole chicken boiled and deboned

6 – hard-boiled eggs.  Peeled and chopped

1 –  whole bunch of green onions, chopped

1 –  red bell pepper, finely chopped

3 – ribs of celery, finely chopped

1 –  kosher pickle, finely chopped

2 –  TBS Dukes mayonnaise, or more

1  – TBS yellow mustard

A dash of kosher salt

Fresh cracked pepper to taste

To boil a chicken, simply put it in a pot large enough to fill with water and cover the chicken.  Season the water with salt, pepper, and dried parsley.  Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer for about 40 – 45 minutes.  Cover and let it sit in the liquid for about 15 minutes.  Remove the chicken to a baking sheet and allow to cool for about 15 minutes. Allow the stock to cool and freeze it for making soups and sauces later.   Debone the chicken and discard the fat and skin.  Mix everything together in a mixing bowl.  Mix well but don’t over mix and shred the chicken.  It is nice to have some bite sized pieces of chicken in the salad.  If you need more mayonnaise you can add it but don’t overdo it.  Taste it to see if it needs any more salt and pepper.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

 Serve and Enjoy!!!

Incredible Pasta Salad

Incredible Pasta Salad

Incredible Pasta Salad

Incredible Pasta Salad 

 This pasta salad just can’t be beat!  Years ago, we had a little yogurt shop in town that also sold some lunch items.  They had the best pasta salad in the world!  At the time…I must not have known enough about cooking to try and create it at home.  I searched cook book after cook book trying to come up with something similar with no luck.  The little shop ended up changing owners and eventually closed.  That was over 20 years ago.  That pasta salad was so tasty that it’s goodness remained in the back of my mind after all of those years.  As I started to enjoy cooking and creating recipes I decided to take the memory of that salad and create my own kitchen.  Their salad did not have shrimp in it and that is completely optional.  I make this a lot on Fridays during Lent.

 Ingredients list:

1 –  13.25 box of rotini pasta cooked according to package directions

1 – 32 oz. jar of Boscoli olive salad, drained

1 – 14 oz. jar large artichoke hearts, quartered (NOT marinated)

1 – 15 ounce can of pitted black olives, chopped

1 – 10 ounce box of cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered

1 – bunch of green onions, chopped

1/4 cup – fresh basil, chopped

1/4 cup –  fresh parsley, chopped

1 TBS minced garlic

1 –  cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Kosher salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Optional:  2 lbs cooked medium shrimp (recipe below)

Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Set the pasta aside and allow to cool so that it doesn’t melt your Parmesan cheese.   Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

Recipe for the shrimp:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Evenly spread the shrimp on the baking sheet.  Spray the shrimp with olive oil no stick.  Season the shrimp with salt, pepper, and a slight sprinkle of red pepper flakes.  When the oven is ready, cook the shrimp for exactly 10 minutes.  Let them cool and add them to the pasta salad.

Scrumptious Salmon Salad

Scrumptious Salmon Salad

Scrumptious Salmon Salad

Scrumptious Salmon Salad

 It always seems that when I cook salmon, there is usually one piece left over.  Last week I made salmon croquette’s and served them along side a steak for surf and turf.  Yesterday, I had a piece left from Monday’s dinner so I decided to make salmon salad.  We had it for lunch.  It was so light and delicious and served inside the avocado cups it was equally as pretty.  You could also serve this over a bed of baby greens, drizzled with a little olive oil and lemon juice.  Either way, you will certainly enjoy this tasty salad!

Ingredients List:

1 – 9 ounce cooked salmon fillet

2 – hard boiled eggs, chopped

1/2 cup celery, chopped fine

1/2 cup yellow bell pepper, chopped fine

1/2 cup purple onion, chopped fine

1/4 cup green onions, chopped

1 Claussen kosher dill pickle SPEAR, chopped ***Note – not a whole pickle, not a half

1 TBS – Dukes mayonnaise

1 TBS – Sour cream

1 tsp – yellow mustard

Juice of 1/2 lemon

pinch of kosher salt

pinch of coarse ground black pepper

In a medium size mixing bowl, gently flake apart the salmon fillet.  Add in the remaining ingredients.  Gently fold everything together until blended well. You still want some flakey pieces of salmon in there.  If you want to serve it like I did in the picture,  cut an avocado in half.  Remove the pit and a small portion of the avocado around the pit.  Do the same with the other half.  I did not remove the avocado for it’s peel.  Drizzle the avocado with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Spoon approximately 1/4 cup of the salmon salad into each avocado half.  I sprinkled mine with a little cayenne for some color, or you could use paprika.

 Serve and Enjoy!!!