Tag Archives: fruit

Grilled Chicken Salad

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Grilled Chicken Salad is another family favorite when the weather is warm and no one wants to eat a real heavy meal. Chicken of course is good any time of the year but chicken salad is one of those dishes I tend to make when I need a quick meal and I am too tired to turn on the oven or stove. I like to make Grilled Chicken Salad when my hubby is in the mood to do a lot of grilling. Grilling is his territory not mine so I take advantage whenever hubby is ready to fire it up.

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That being said the last time I made Grilled Chicken Salad for the family I didn’t wait for hubby to grill the chicken for me. Instead, I went to Trader Joe’s and purchased packaged grilled chicken which is actually very tasty with a great grilled flavor. Home grilled is wonderful but if you are short on time check out the grilled chicken at Trader Joe’s.

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Most chicken salad is just chicken and a few veggies. I kick it up another level by adding fruit. Grannie Smith apples, fennel, green grapes and golden raisins provide both a sweet and slightly sour taste to the salad. The combination of sweet and sour along with different levels of texture from the chicken, walnuts and tomatoes made this one of my signature dishes.

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To really put a smile on my family’s face I served the chicken salad on a bed of lettuce then sliced up a little brie and served it with crackers. De-li-ci-ous!

Grilled Chicken Salad

Ingredients:
2 pkgs grilled chicken cubed (approximately 2 cups)
2 boiled eggs
½ cup sliced apples
½ cup sliced fennel
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half
½ cup green grapes sliced in half
¼ cup golden raisins
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cracked black pepper
½ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp dill
¼ tsp celery seed
¼ tsp cilantro
¼ tsp parsley
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
3 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp ranch dressing
1 tbsp sour cream
juice from ½ a lemon

Remove yolks from boiled eggs and then chop the egg whites. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and gently mix until chicken, veggies and fruit are well coated with dressing. Chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour then serve on a bed of lettuce or with crackers.

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Wild Rice Salad

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I love this time of year when the weather is slightly warm during the day and cool at night. It lets me know summer is coming and our meals will be filled with grilled foods and salads. All kinds of salads!!! I am fortunate that everyone in the family likes eating salads so it makes it easy for me to come up with a variety of warm or cold salads that go well with grilled chicken, fish and barbeque.

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My latest salad experiment is a Wild Rice Salad. I liked this one because I could serve it either chilled, slightly warmed or at room temperature. Rice isn’t heavy but can be very filling so it goes well with most entrees. If you don’t want to eat a lot of food but you want to feel like you have eaten a meal, put a little more rice on your plate. You will feel quite full and may not even want dessert. I know, who am I kidding. Everyone wants dessert no matter what. At least you may want a little less dessert.

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Whenever I make salads I try to combine both veggies and fruits. Golden raisins are one of the staples in my pantry as well as cranberries. Most of the leafy salads I make include fruits, nuts and cheese. I wasn’t too confident that including all three of those ingredients would work in a Wild Rice Salad so I decided to stick with fruit and nuts. The combination of wild rice, oranges and pecans was perfect. Savory, sweet and crunchy. Not bad if I do say so myself. One more wonderful salad recipe added to my long list of summertime dishes.

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Wild Rice Salad

Ingredients:
1 box wild rice (approximately 2 cups cooked)
1 10 oz can mandarin oranges drained
¼ cup golden raisins
¼ cup cranberries
¼ cup celery small dice
¼ cup vinaigrette
1 tsp lemon zest
½ tsp black pepper
pinch of salt

Prepare wild rice according to package. Let rice cool then place in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

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Strawberry Crepes

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Those of you that have been following dmariedining.com know that I do not consider myself a real baker. However, I have been stretching my wings over time and now I am more comfortable making baked desserts. Looking at the title of the recipe you might say I have really stepped up my game by creating a crepe recipe. That is only partially true so don’t get too excited. Remember, I try to make quick and easy recipes as much as possible. Crepes I think will take a little bit of work for me to learn how to perfect. For this particular recipe I took the easy way out and purchased prepared crepes. They are still delicious but a lot less work and energy.

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The most wonderful thing about crepes is that they can be either a simple dessert or a light breakfast. Plus, you can fill crepes with fruits, whipped cream or nothing at all. The first time I experienced crepes it was for breakfast. Long ago, my family would go to one of the local diners to have breakfast after visiting the barber.  I loved their blueberry and strawberry crepes. The crepes were light , delicate and stuffed with a creamy filling then topped with tons of fresh fruit.

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The key to any great dish is flavor, freshness and eye appeal. After checking out my strawberry crepes recipe I think you will agree it meets all of those elements. If my local diner can make a great tasting strawberry crepe, I figure I can too. Who knows, maybe they use prepared crepes too!

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Strawberry Crepes

Ingredients:
1 package prepared crepes
8 oz mascarpone cheese
1 cup heavy cream
1 pint strawberries sliced thin
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp coffee liqueur
½ cup sugar
½ tsp corn starch
¼ tsp nutmeg

In a small bowl beat together heavy cream, mascarpone cheese, sugar, vanilla, coffee liqueur until mixture forms stiff peaks. Set aside.

In a small sauce pot combine, ¼ cup orange juice 2 tbsp sugar, ¼ tsp nutmeg, ½ tsp corn starch and ½ cup strawberries. Simmer on medium heat until liquid reduces and creates a syrup.

To Assemble:

Spoon a nice helping of whipped cream across the middle of a crepe. Layer with sliced strawberries. Fold one end of the crepe over the filling then gently roll up. Work slowly as the crepes are very delicate. Spoon strawberry syrup over the crepe and add a dollop of whipped cream. Enjoy!

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Sweet Cake Sandwiches

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Sweet cake sandwiches. Don’t panic! These are not your typical sandwiches. They are really sandwich treats. I was working on another dessert recipe when I got distracted and started thinking about sweet cake sandwiches.

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I envisioned slices of dark chocolate cake topped with various fillings that represented things we usually put on a sandwich. Things like cherry tomatoes (cherry pie filling), cucumbers (kiwi) and mayo (whipped cream). Of course you can use any kind of cake you like as the “bread” of your sandwich. I am just a really big fan of dark chocolate.

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Sweet Cake Sandwiches are a nice dessert that can be turned into family fun and even great for a party. Little kids and big kids like me will love to make their own special sandwiches using simple ingredients. Granted this dessert may not be totally healthy but it sure is fun to create.

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Sweet Cake Sandwiches

Ingredients:
1 box of your favorite cake mix

Sandwich Filling:
1 small can cherry pie filling (*cherry tomatoes)
2 tbsp lemon curd (*mustard)
2 kiwi peeled and sliced (*cucumbers)
1 banana sliced
1 cup whipped cream or Greek yogurt (*mayonnaise)

Prepare cake mix according to package. Pour into a greased and floured 9x 11 inch meatloaf pan. Bake per the cooking times indicated on the package. Let cool.

Slice cake then spread lemon curd, Greek yogurt or whipped cream on a slice of cake. Add your favorite fruit filling to the slice. Top with a second slice of cake. Yummy…..

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