Tag Archives: lunch

Healthy Chicken Salad Sandwich

Let me start by saying that this post is not about a humble chicken salad sandwich as much as it is about my love of food,  and all things that have to do with food. A month or so ago I was given the opportunity to help my sister-in-law with her amazing new recipe book (Vegetarian Comfort Foods to be released August 2015). She had a photographer coming over to take images for her new book and needed a bit of help with the overwhelming task of preparing 70 dishes or so that were to be photographed. Of course, I jumped at the chance. What seemed a daunting task was my idea of heaven. Several hours of playing around in the kitchen with no interruptions from the wee ones? Yes, please. While preparing the dishes, I got to watch her talented photographer take beautiful images of the food we prepared. It has inspired me to work on my food photography skills a bit more and play around a bit with the backgrounds and details.

Then the other day the sun was shining in the window, highlighting the  sandwich I had made myself for lunch. It looked so perfect, like it was waiting to have it’s picture taken. It’s something I probably wouldn’t have noticed before, but I find I’m noticing these little details more since the cookbook prep. Feeling a bit silly at first, I grabbed my camera and took a picture. I thought it turned out pretty well, given there was no staging, just a bit of sunlight.

Getting back to the recipe:  I try to eat healthfully most of the time. It makes me feel good. With that being said, I’m just as likely to devour multiple helpings of home made mac n’ cheese as I am a plate of salad, if it suits my taste that day. What can I say, I like to cook, but I really like to eat. For me it’s about making those sometimes unhealthy foods I love, as healthy as possible, while still maintaining the delicious components that make those  dishes what they are. My lunch today was a great example: I love a good chicken salad sandwich. It’s something I remember having often growing up. Unfortunately, they’re not usually overly healthy given the mayonnaise they’re often loaded with. Here is my healthy makeover for a chicken salad sandwich:

Chicken Salad Sandwich

1/2 avocado

1/3 C chicken, cooked and diced

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

2 slices whole grain bread

alfalfa sprouts, lettuce or any other veggies you like

 

Whisk together the olive oil and vinegar. Set aside

Dice the avocado. Place it in a small bowl with the chicken, salt and pepper. Gently stir in 1/2 the vinegar mixture. Depending on your taste, you may need to add more of the vinegar mixture – I used about 3/4 of it.

Toast your bread, then spread with your chicken salad and top it off with your veggies of choice.

Curried Quinoa Salad

Playing around in the kitchen is my all-time favourite thing to do. A couple of hours to myself with music playing in the background and a recipe idea floating around in my head waiting to get out. With a glass of wine nearby, of course, for inspiration. That’s the dream anyway. The reality is more like this:  two little kids trying to “help” by grabbing everything out of the pantry so they can create their own masterpiece, with every Disney princess song ever written playing in the background. And no wine. Let’s just say it’s been a long summer “vacation”.

This is a recipe I’ve had in the back of my mind for most of the summer, but I haven’t taken the time to try it out. This past weekend I finally did and the result was delicious. I hope you enjoy it!

Curried Quinoa Salad

 1 Cup uncooked quinoa

2 Cups water

1/4 cup raisins

!/2 cup pistachios

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup orange juice

2 Tsp curry powder

2 tsp honey

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

salt to taste

 

Place quinoa and water in a small pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce temperature and continue to simmer for about 15 minutes until the water has evaporated. Remove from heat. Let sit, covered for 5 minutes. Cool.

While the quinoa is cooking, you can prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Over low heat, toast the pistachios until just golden. Then set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, vinegar, olive oil, honey and curry powder.

Once the quinoa has cooled, combine it with the raisins, pistachios and cilantro. Toss with the orange juice mixture and season with salt. Chill for 1 hour before serving.

Southwest Quinoa Salad

You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces, just good food from fresh ingredients – Julia Child

This has become my mantra over the past week. I love spending time in my kitchen cooking away, usually with a glass of wine in my hand. Obviously, that’s not practical or even possible every night.

When I made the Turkey Sliders last week, I grossly overestimated how much quinoa I would need. Not a problem, it’s easy to find something to use leftover quinoa in. An easy go-to is quinoa salad.  My usual additions are chickpeas and cucumbers. But, out of boredom (and probably out of chickpeas), I decided to mix it up a bit. This recipe is really simple and delicious, but quite healthy as well. It’s even better the next day. I hope you enjoy it!

1 1/2 Cups Quinoa, cooked

1 Cup Black beans, drained and rinsed

1 Red pepper, diced

1 Avocado, diced

1/2 Cup Red onion, finely diced

1/4 Cup Cilantro, chopped

Dressing:

1/4 Cup Lime juice

2 Tbsp Honey

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 tsp Cumin

Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together dressing ingredients. Pour over Quinoa mixture and toss until combined.

A quick tip about the limes.  To get the most juice out of them, I find it helps to roll them under the palm of your hand or stick them in the microwave for about 10 seconds.

 

%d bloggers like this: