Tag Archives: cucumber

Marianne’s Fancy Chicken Salad

My first post in 2015!😮 Hello!!!!!  Oh wow it’s been soooo long since i did a blog post.  I’m sorry!   I was recently back home visiting my family and my wonderful creative mother made me this scrumptious salad for dinner!  I loved it so much that I asked for all the recipies so I could try it for myself.  I’m very glad I did as it’s now one of my favourite dishes ever.  If you like grilled chicken and fresh wholesome salads, then this is something you should try.  😋

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MARINATED RED ONIONS

• 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

• ½ cup apple cider vinegar

• 1 cup warm water

• 1 tablespoon sugar

• 1½ teaspoons Kosher salt

• Red pepper flakes

• Garlic

PREPARATION

1. Combine Ingredients and bring to a bowl. 

2. Remove from heat and refrigerate for 6 hours.

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MARINATED CHICKEN BREASTS

• 1 to 2 tablespoons vinegar, like cider, balsamic, or red wine

• 2 to 3 teaspoons dried herbs, like thyme, oregano, rosemary, or crumbled bay leaf

• 1 to 2 tablespoons mustard, whole grain or Dijon

• 1 to 2 teaspoon garlic or onion powder, optional

• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast, each about 6 ounces

PREPARATION

1. Put the vinegar, herbs, mustard, powders if using and oil in a large re-sealable plastic bag. 

2. Close the bag and shake to combine all the ingredients. 

3. Open the bag, drop in the chicken breast in the bag. 

4. Close and shake the bag to coat evenly. 

5. Freeze for up to 2 weeks.

I love to bbq and the flavour that grilling gives these marinated chicken breasts is so perfect, and just in time for summer.  I bbq year round because I have a covered patio off the kitchen.  So although the rain was coming down hard it didn’t stop me from getting these gorgeous cross grill marks on the chicken.   Slice each breast in 1/2 inch slices to add to your bed of greens and veggies.

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APPLE CIDER VINAGRETTE

• 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

• 1/4 cup white wine vinegar

• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

• 2 tablespoons agave syrup

• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

• 1/2 cup canola oil 

• 1 1/2 tablespoons minced shallots

PREPARATION

1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. 

2. Gradually add oil, stirring constantly with a whisk; stir in shallots.

I kinda splurged and purchased some Jamie Oliver Pinot White Wine Vinegar because… well… I’m a fan!  It was very pricy but I’ve learned my mistake in the past by buying cheap vinegars….  I definetly recommend you buy good vinegars for your food.  You’ll notice the quality of the flavour for sure.  Well I do anyways.

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FERNIE SALAD

• Greens/ romaine

• Carrot sticks

• Red cabbage

• Cukes

• Marinated red onions

• Toasted Pumpkin seeds

• Feta

• Grilled chicken breast

• Apple cider vinagrette

• Fresh Dill

PREPARATION

1. Place romaine and greens on a plate. 

2. Add shredded red cabbage, carrots and cucumbers. 

3. Sprinkle with salad dressing. 

4. Top with sliced grilled chicken breast. 

5. Add marinated red onions, feta and pumpkin seeds.

 

Once this salad is plated it’s a vibrant flavourful delight!

I had some leftover toasted sunflower seeds and slivered almonds so I added those too and topped it off with a sprinkle of chopped fresh dill. ________________________________________

And there you have it My Lovelies, Marianne’s Fernie Chicken Salad.  Named after a similar salad that she had tried in Fernie, British Columbia.  Awesomesauce!  I hope you give it a try and if you do, I hope you enjoy it.  Please let me know what you think guys!

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CRISP CUCUMBER SALSA

As promised yesterday, here is another super delicious recipe involving…. a cuke!
I saw this and it looked like a neat thing to try seeing as tho I just made a traditional salsa a few days ago. I already had all the ingredients needed in the fridge and I just love when that works out. Now, when I say, “this just may be the very best salsa in the world!” well, this is one of those times that you need to believe me! But you don’t have too. Give me just a few more minutes to tell you how to make it, then you give it a try and you be the judge. Seriously, if you like to cook or make stuff in the kitchen, heck ya you’re going to love it. If you’ve never made anything, then this is a perfect way to start. Regardless, please just try it.

Hubby had barely walked in the door yesterday and I had put it in front of him. He couldn’t stop eating it and he’s really not a big salsa guy. “Yes, success!”
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HERE’S WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO NEED:
2 CUPS CUCUMBER, PEELED, DESEEDED, FINE DICED
1/2 CUP ROMA TOMATOES, FINE DICED
1/4 CUP RED ONION, FINE DICED
1 JALAPENO PEPPER, DESEEDED, MINCED
4-1/2 TSP. MINCED CILANTRO
1/2 A SMALL PRE MADE HOMEMADE GARLIC BALL {or 1 clove minced garlic}
1/4 CUP FAT FREE SOUR CREAM
1-1/2 TSP. LEMON JUICE
1-1/2 TSP. LIME JUICE
1/4 TSP. CUMIN
1/4 TSP. SEASONING SALT
ORGANIC GLUTEN-FREE TORTILLA CHIPS, NO SALT

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HERE’S WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO DO:
In a mixing bowl add the cucumber, tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, cilantro and garlic.
In a seperate bowl combine the sour cream, lemon and lime juice, cumin and seasoning salt.
Add the sour cream mixture to the veggie mixture and gently toss to combine.
Enjoy with organic gluten-free tortilla chips.
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Last but not least, low sodium YO! The is mostly cucumber rather than tomatoes like a traditional salsa. Sure there’s seasoning salt in it but there is salt in traditional salsa also so this is definitely a win win.
Can’t wait for summer bbq’s with this one.

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CUCUMBER & GARLIC SALAD DRESSING

Oh so many wonderful things you can do with a cucumber…… 😊
Head out of the gutter!
Here is 1 fun thing, and tomorrow I’ll share another! Thanks for visiting and please help me out by clicking LIKE and SHARE on Facebook

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
2 CUCUMBERS {PEELED, DESEEDED AND PUREED, I used my food processor, and include the juice from the cucumbers}
1/4 CUP CHOPPED PARSLEY
1/4 CUP CHOPPED CHIVES
1/2 PRE MADE HOMEMADE GARLIC BALL {or 2 cloves minced garlic}
1 CUP FAT FREE SOUR CREAM
1/2 TSP. SEA SALT
1 1/2 TSP. GROUND PEPPER
WATER OR MILK TO THIN {optional}

WHAT TO DO:
I use a melon baller to deseed cucumbers but you can use a small teaspoon if you don’t have a melon baller. I then pureed the cucumbers in my food processor. Dump the pureed cukes and it’s juice into a mixing bowl.
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Add in the chopped herbs. Now if you’re like me and still learning to cook…. you might not use chives all that often. I bought freeze dried chives so that I don’t waste anything. Once you add them in they will soften and be just the same as if they were fresh so not to worry.
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Add the garlic to the mixing bowl. Cucumber, parsley, chives, and garlic. Starting to look like something the dog puked up? K then we’re on the right track. LOL
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Stir in the sour cream, salt and fresh ground pepper.
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Using a funnel and a rubber spatula, {how did I ever live without a funnel?} pour/scrape every drop of this easy, healthy homemade salad dressing into some type of pretty decanter. I picked up this glass beauty from my local $ store. 🙂 Garnished it with a cucumber peel twist 🙂
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Now, whip up a fresh salad with all those leftover veggies you have in the crisper drawer before they spoil and Hubby scowls at you….. not that that happens here or anything…. 🙂 JUST MAKE SURE TO USE UP ALL YOUR VEGGIES. I made up a great salad with romaine lettuce, mushrooms, cucumbers, celery, carrots, tomatoes and peppers.
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Serve this after it’s chilled up a little bit in the refrigerator. Then, sit back and enjoy clean eating and healthy living. Between my Chipotle Southwest Dressing and my Mom’s, MARIANNE’S HOMEMADE CAESAR SALAD DRESSING I doubt I will ever buy salad dressing again. Knowing exactly what we are putting into our bodies is comforting when it’s food like this.

I’m going to be completely honest and maybe a little vain but I am smiling…. I’m smiling because I’m proud of the change we are making. We were always conscious of the crap food we would eat but we let our tastebuds make the decisions. We can do this, we can continue this.
Today this blog passed 7000 views. I just can’t believe that it’s been looked at over 7000 times. Today my Facebook page, Cooking With Hay, reached a new high as well. Over 100 people have kindly LIKEd my FB page. Thank you Thank you Thank you. The higher these numbers grow, the more inspired and eager I get. I’m constantly browsing for new things to try and yet they are things that are quite basic, fairly common, and well, really good. But it’ real food for real people. When I start whipping up Crown Roasts….
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…then it’s a whole different kinda ballgame. {Although I hear they aren’t as hard as they look… 🙂 }
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This dressing came out with a thicker consistancy that most salad dressings. We like it this way but it was pretty thick. You can thin it with a little bit of water or skim milk if it’s too heavy for you. I’m going to leave mine as is and use it as a dip for the rest of the remaining veggies, as it’s just the perfect consistancy for a dip as well.

Found on Pinterest from Taste Of Home

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Sushi with Hay

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First toast your seasame seeds in a hot pan.  Just toasty not too toasty.

Rinse your uncooked sticky/sushi rice for a few minutes until the water runs clear.  This gets rid of all the starch that can burn.

2 cups of uncooked rice and 2 1/2 cups water in the rice cooker and when it’s done add about 2 tbsp of rice vinegar to season the rice.  Don’t forget this step or your sushi will taste like rice and not sushi.

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Avocados, cucumber and crab meat for the California rolls.  Don’t cut your avocado too early or it will brown on you.  Cut the cucumber into strips as wide as the roasted seaweed wraps.  Cut the crab sticks in half

20140113-231321.jpgI used the big jumbo prawns.  Raw, peeled and deveined with the tails on.  Make 2 or 3 small slices on the bottom side of the prawn to help keep them straight when frying and not curling up tight like they like to do.  See the pictures above. I made my tempura batter exactly as the instructions said on the package but what I got was so thick and doughy… so I added more water but I could have added even more…. mine were awful at first and my oil was way too hot….. by the end of it they turned out much better but nothing like the picture they had…. I’ll keep practicing… Practice makes perfect after all.  Hubby says… “why are you taking pictures of the burnt ones?”  well, because, that’s what happens when you are trying something new.  You fail and then you learn how not to fail…. IMPROVE.
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This is the Tempura I bought… Yup, Cock Brand Tempura…..20140113-231352.jpg

I made a spicy mayo for the Dynamite Rolls.  Very basic, Mayo and Srirracha sauce… mix it up.  Put it in a baggy for easy piping and snip the tip before using.

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Wrap your rice mat with saran wrap otherwise that rice will stick to everything.  Including your hands.  A tip…. rub your hands with a bit of mayo…. like lotion,  creates a barrier and nothing for the rice to stick to.

Next place your roasted seaweed on the mat.  Cover it with some rice, I use the back of a flat wooden spoon to help smooth it out.  Then sprinkle the rice with the toasted seasame seeds.

Now you can choose to flip it so that the rice will be on the outside of the sushi roll or you can leave it and the seaweed is on the outside.  I actually like them with the seaweed on the outside more.  Make a few of each to keep the presentation pretty!

Layer with cucumber, avocado and crab.  Roll em up and roll em up tight.  Practice makes perfect for this as well.  TIGHT!!!!

Rinse a sharp knife under water or a light spray of cooking oil and slice the ends of the roll first.  then cut the main section in half and then cut those halves into smaller pieces.  Depending on your preference.  Plate them!  Yum

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For the Dynamite rolls you do the same thing as before, rice on the mat, sprinkled with seasame seeds.  Now here’s where you at a squirt of that spicy mayo lengthwise to the rice, add cucumber, and avocado and I add 2 of the prawns tails out.  Roll it up, TIGHT and  cut the same way.  Ends off, then in half, then into smaller pieces.20140113-231912.jpg

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Another Greek Chicken Recipe

I found a recipe a few weeks ago while searching the interweb for new ideas. I followed it pretty closely but tweaked it just a bit… more garlic, less oil, etc.
I also added a bit more lemon then required and upon taste testing… too much lemon. So stick with this and you can’t go wrong
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GREEK MARINADED CHICKEN

INGREDIENTS:
1 + 1/4 CUPS PLAIN GREEK YOGURT,FAT FREE
1 T OLIVE OIL
5 CLOVES MINCED GARLIC (or a frozen premade homemade garlic ball 😉)
I LEMON (the juice and as well the zest)
1 T OREGANO
1 T PARSLEY
FRESH CRACKED PEPPER (at your discretion)
12 CHICKEN LEGS and/or CHICKEN THIGHS🍗🍖
DIRECTIONS:
Combine everything, except the chicken, in a bowl.
Place chicken pieces in a large ziplock bag.
Pour the marinade over the chicken. 🍗
Mix the chicken around in the bag for a consistent coating
Seal and chill in the fridge for at least an hour. I did 4 hours 😋 YUM
Preheat oven to 375
Line a large baking dish with parchment like I did or grease the pan
Bake chicken in the pan uncovered for about 1 hour or until slightly crispy and golden brown
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We had this along side a super fresh greek salad with light feta cheese and lemon rice pilaf.

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GREEK! A meal without Avocado…. Finally! Too much of a good thing as my mom said.

While chatting with my wonderful mother again last night about the Creamy Potato & Cauliflower Soup and Roasted Garlic as well that I had just made, I thought I should ask her about avocado’s. We eat so many avocado’s because they are just sooo tasty and we really enjoy the meals that include this wonderful stuff. Well she said if you were to eat 1 a day you may start to gain weight…. Yikes, we eat more than 1 a day each… sometimes 3! YIKES again! I told her I really like them tho and she responded with… “too much of a good thing”

True!

It’s time to slow down on the avocado’s and so I decided to go Greek for the night!
Here are some new recipies I’ve managed to find and everything tasted really good.

Just some of the things needed for tonights dinner!
GREEK TONIGHT

LOW FAT GREEK SALAD DRESSING

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fat-free chicken broth

Directions:
Blend all the ingredients and let it sit a couple of hours .

I doubled this recipe to ensure I had enough for everyone for 2 nights.

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GREEK PRAWN & PASTA SALAD

Ingredients:
1 lb of raw prawns (without the shell or tails)
1 tbsp. butter
2 cloves of minced garlic
Salt & pepper
3-4 cups of cooked and cooled pasta (I used rotini noodles)
½ purple onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
½ red pepper, chopped
¼ yellow pepper, chopped
1 cucumber, sliced then quartered
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
I small tub of low fat feta cheese
*feel free to add olives… hubby doesn’t like em….
Low Fat Greek Salad Dressing

Directions:
1. Saute prawns in butter and garlic, season with salt and pepper. Chill in the fridge
2. In a salad bowl add the pasta, feta cheese, onion, peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, prawns and feta cheese. *olives if you choose
3. Gently toss with Low Fat Greek Salad Dressing
4. Garnish with a lemon wedge

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GREEK OVEN BAKED CHICKEN

Ingredients:
4 bone in split chicken breasts (I used chicken legs because I had some in the freezer)
1/2 cup olive oil
juice of 2 lemons
3 -4 cloves of garlic, crushed or minced (I used 5 cloves because we love garlic)
3 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Directions:
1. Mix the olive oil and next 5 ingredients in a 9 X 11 baking dish.
2. Place chicken in the dish, turning them in the marinade a few times. I like to lift the skin and use my hands to spread some of the marinade underneath it. Leave them skin side down in the dish. Cover them and refrigerate overnight.
3. The next day, bake them at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Flip and bake an additional 30-40 minutes.
4. turn the broiler on high during the last 5 minutes to brown up the skins.

  

 

In the end I was very pleased!  A very refreshing juicy meal that made the husband quite pleased.  Success!

I would add a little more lemon to the chicken next time and they didn’t make for nearly as long because I used legs instead of breast piecese smaller than they should have been but hey they were what I had leftover in the freezer.

The best part is I have enough left over so I don’t have to make dinner tomorrow!

Thanks for reading!

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