Roasted Vegetable Salad

This is my take on California Pizza Kitchen’s salad. I think mine tastes better, though. Hehe. (Just kidding, corporate attorneys!)

This salad blends roasted or grilled veggies with crisp, fresh lettuces for a yummy variety of textures, flavors, and temperatures. You can add meat to make it a meal, or serve it on the side of your protein. Either way, this is no boring salad. Use prepackaged salad mix to make this even easier.

Roasted Vegetable Salad (cut everything into roughly the same size for even roasting)
1 eggplant or about half a dozen baby eggplants: sliced or quartered, respectively
1 bunch of asparagus (cut off woodsy ends)
1 zucchini, sliced or cut into coins
1 bell pepper, slices
1 shallot, sliced
Fat of choice
Sea salt, pepper, Italian herb blend
1-2 bags of salad mix (you can use a simple blend, spring mix, or just spinach)
Balsamic vinegar (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Prep veggies and make sure they are completely dry.

Place all veggies in roasting pan, mix with fat of choice and seasonings. Toss.

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Keep in oven until veggies veggies are nice and roasted. This may take between 30-45 minutes. Once veggies are cooked, remove from oven.

Arrange your lettuce or salad mix of choice on a serving tray. Top with roasted vegetables and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

I topped mine with a cayenne pepper pan-seared chicken breast cut into pieces.

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I also added carrot sticks and fresh broccoli florets before serving.

Vegetarian Option
Serve as-is without meat.

Primal Option
Add a good blue cheese. The flavors work together really well.

Mexican Chicken Salad

This is another super simple recipe that is great for the summer–especially since there is NO cooking involved! Yay! That’s right. This super light and super easy semi-homemade dish is great for picnics, weekends, or outings. This dish transports easily and only gets better after sitting in the fridge for a few extra hours. Use pre-cooked shrimp, rotisserie chicken, or chicken leftovers. These little shortcuts will keep you out of the kitchen and in the pool (mojito not included).

Mexican Chicken Salad
-1 onion, finely diced
-1 bunch of green onion, finely chopped
-1 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
-1 cucumber, peeled, finely diced
-1 tomato, seeded and finely diced
-3 small tomatillos, finely diced
-3 jalapeƱos, cut away membrane, remove seeds and finely diced
-1.5-2 lbs of cooked, clean shrimp (no tails) or one whole rotisserie chicken (remove all the meat from the bones and do a rough chop)
-Juice from one lime
-Sea salt, menudo mix, pepper
-Avocado halves

Throw all of your prepped veggies into a large mixing bowl. Add meat and lime juice. Season with salt, pepper, and menudo mix as necessary.

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Serve the salad in lettuce leaves, cabbage leaves, bell peppers, or in avocado halves!

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Would work well as an appetizer, too!

Enjoy!

Kabobs 2 Ways

It is getting way too hot here in Southern California. When the weather gets like this, I try to avoid cooking in the kitchen. These kabobs are ridiculously simple, you can transport them raw then take them to the backyard (or the beach) and grill them there. Also, the fact that you can eat these with your fingers means no silverware. I love it when I don’t have to do dishes.

Kabobs 2 Ways (Makes a lot)
-2 large chicken breasts, but into about 1-inch cubes
-about 2 lbs cubed stew beef
-apple cider vinegar
-gluten free soy sauce or coconut aminos
-honey or agave nectar
-juice from 1 lemon, 1 lime, and 1 orange
-1 shallot, minced
-3 cloves of garlic, minced
-dried oregano, red pepper flakes, pepper, sea salt, cayenne pepper
-lots of veggies, cut into pieces about the same size as your meat (I used cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, zucchini, and bell peppers)

If your skewers are wooden, soak them so they don’t catch on fire while you’re grilling them. If not wooden, then no worries!

Get three large mixing bowls. In one, combine your beef with pepper, red pepper flakes, equal parts of honey (or agave) and apple cider vinegar, and a half part of soy sauce or coconut aminos. Set aside and allow to marinade.

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In the another bowl, combine your chicken with the shallots, garlic, citrus juice, oregano, salt, cayenne, and pepper. Allow to marinade.

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Place your prepped veggies in the other bowl.

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Set up your stations! I usually fully line a dish with foil twice. I put my raw kabobs there, then once they are on the grill, I remove the foil and use the same dish for the cooked kabobs.

Start shanking your meat. Just kidding, but start skewering your meat and veggies.

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You will have to forgive me, I don’t have photos of my chicken kabobs or the finished product. Grill until fully cooked. I served me leftover chicken kabobs with guacamole on top. Super good. Enjoy! It’s summertime (well, at least it feels like it), so start grilling!

Semi-Homemade Cilantro Lime Chicken

When I was at Sprouts the other day, I came across this package of shredded chicken in the meat section. Normally, I wouldn’t bother, but since it was essentially chicken breast, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt, I decided to give it a try.

Cilantro Lime Chicken
-16 oz of shredded chicken
-Juice from 2 limes (or one lemon and one lime)
-Cilantro, trimmed
-Garlic powder, onion powder, chile powder, paprika, cayenne pepper
-Green salsa (optional, I like Trader Joe’s green salsa)
-Fat of choice

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Too simple. Throw everything in a pan and heat through. I added green salsa to mine while in the pan since it seemed a little dry.

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Variations
Don’t have the package of shredded chicken? Bake in the oven or use your slow cooker. Just make sure your raw chicken is thoroughly seasoned before placing in the oven or slow cooker. You can shred the chicken later (if you want).

I made mine into a simple salad with some salsa “dressing”

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Egg Muffins

Baked eggs, egg muffins, egg cupcakes–this simple, portable snack has a variety of names. While I refuse to call them egg cupcakes (cupcakes are supposed to be sweet, no? I can’t trick myself) these little suckers are easy to make and you can eat them cold. They’re versatile, too.

Egg Muffins (makes 6 regular size muffins)
-4-6 eggs (depends on how much filling you use)
-Purple Kale, torn into bite size pieces
-Green onion, chopped
-Mushrooms, minced
-Fat of choice
-Seasonings to taste: garlic powder, onion powder, salt, cayenne pepper, pepper
-Meat of choice (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Grease a muffin tin with your fat of choice. Add your veggies to the greased muffin tin–filling each about halfway.

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In a measuring cup with a spout or lip, mix your eggs with your seasonings. Use the spout to help you pour your egg mixture into the muffin tins.

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Bake until eggs are thoroughly cooked. Don’t trust my times. I tend to like my eggs overcooked.

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Enjoy!

Nopalitos con Pollo

Ok, so I lied… One more chicken recipe (I swear I’m not a one-trick pony). I just made this at the last minute because I thought we were buying dinner, but that didn’t end up working out. This recipe is super simple–chicken and cactus (nopales).

What is that my friend? You’ve never had nopales before? I can’t say I’m surprised. Entonces, dejame ayudarte (“Well, then let me help you,” for my monolingual friends). Cactus may sound weird or exotic, but it’s just another veggie–and super simple and versatile, too.

Nopalitos con Pollo (This made about 2 servings)

  • Chicken breast, cut into strips (My package had about .65 lbs)
  • 1 small bag of fresh cactus/nopalitos (most readily available at Latin markets)
  • 1 can of Mexican tomato sauce (I used El Pato)
  • Seasonings to taste: Menudo or pozole seasonings, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper
  • Garnishes: Radishes, cilantro, green onion

In a large saucepan, bring salted water to boil (enough to cover all your nopales). When it comes to a boil, add your nopales. Let you nopales cook in the boiling water. They will change color and texture. They will also get slimy. No frets, we will fix this.

When your nopales are finished cooking, strain them in a colander. Rinse with cold water to get the slimy stuff off and allow as much of the excess liquid to get off.

In another large saucepan, bring your tomato sauce and seasonings to simmer (check for taste before you add your chicken). Add your chicken pieces and allow your chicken to boil in the sauce. When your chicken is almost done, add the drained nopales. Allow your nopales to cook in the sauce, and allow your chicken to fully cook.

When everything’s finished cooking, serve and top with sliced radishes and chopped cilantro and green onion.

Dinner’s done!