This chicken salad is easy to make, and tastes so fresh and elegant.
This chicken salad is easy to make, and tastes so fresh and elegant.
Wondering what to do with that beautiful, blooming (overflowing?) basil? Pesto is one of my favorite ways to preserve fresh basil. It uses a TON of fresh basil at once, and pesto can be used in a myriad of ways.
If you can believe it, this was my first time EVER making a beef roast. Trust me when I say this shredded beef is easy, flavorful, and versatile!
I love using my Crock Pot for various reasons, but overall it makes dinner insanely easy and it cooks without heating up the kitchen. Between preschool drop off, working, and getting my daughter to and from karate (right before dinner, no less) dropping something in the crock pot is definitely the easiest part of my day. The best part is coming home to a fully cooked dinner!
Let’s get to the nitty gritty of the recipe – start with a 2.5 – 3lb boneless beef roast.
Next, throw the dry spices together in a small bowl: chili powder, cumin, ground coriander, smoked paprika, cayenne, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir them up, activating the spices by rubbing them gently between your fingers.
Season the whole roast on both sides, massaging the spices into the meat.
Into the bottom of your crock pot, stir together the broth (any variety is fine), lime juice, tomato paste, onion, garlic, jalapeño, and Fresno chili. Fresno chilis look like red jalapeños and are similarly flavored. You could also use another jalapeño, Serrano pepper, Anaheim pepper, or a different pepper of similar heat level.
For the peppers, you can remove the ribs and seeds or leave them. I seeded half of my peppers, and the beef remained moderately spicy. I sliced everything straight across, because the crock will cook everything down to falling apart texture and tiny cuts aren’t needed.
Lay the seasoned beef roast on top of the veggies, place the lid, and set it on low.
Let it go low and slow for 8-10 hours until it’s falling apart.
After it’s done cooking, shred the roast between two forks. I say shred, but really that roast cooks up so tender that you could touch it with a fork and it just falls apart. Serve it right up, any way you like it. I put it over a big bowl of greens with some salsa, avocado, and fresh cilantro with a low carb tortilla on the side. My family enjoyed the beef as tacos with sliced avocados.
The beef is incredibly soft and tender. You get a hint of lime juice and a little smoky, spicy kick from the spices and peppers. All in all, it’s the perfect, casual way to enjoy a roast.
The leftovers could be used for salads or burritos later in the week. You could even throw them into a breakfast hash, because WHY NOT.
This homemade ranch dressing is so easy to make, you’ll never want to buy bottled again!
What if I told you homemade ranch was just a turn of your blender away? Well, brace yourselves, because it’s true!
This ranch batch blended beautifully in my Ninja blender, and it only took a few minutes.
This recipe makes about 1 1/2 cups of salad dressing, however you can stretch it a little further. My dressing tends to thicken after refrigeration, and the flavor will intensify, so you can thin it out with a little half and half, almond milk, or water if you prefer.
My kids love this dressing with literally anything – cut veggies, salad (yes, they eat salad ^_^), nuggets, pizza, you name it. I love this dressing because I get to control the quality of ingredients, and because it tastes incredible. [Seriously, it’s better than those $5 bottles of organic dressing at the grocery store. AND IT DOESN’T COST YOU $5 A BATCH.]
Here is a quick and easy rollover dinner or lunch for that fabulous leftover roasted salmon from my Salmon en Papillote.
Niçoise salad is usually characterized by tuna, green beans, potatoes, olives, and boiled eggs.
I swapped tuna for my gorgeous leftover salmon. In order to keep this light, and THM approved, I removed the potatoes entirely. However, if you would like some light carb action, you can top it with up to 1/4 cup white beans. I would choose a great northern variety or cannelini, but it’s up to you. I also swapped the olives for capers, which I think go better with salmon (it almost reminds me of lox and bagels!).
Since you’re using leftovers for this salad, the only thing you need to cook is a couple of boiled eggs. And I have an awesome tip for you on how to get perfectly yellow boiled eggs every time!
I was watching “Brunch at Bobby’s” on Food Network the other day, and he was making boiled eggs using a tip I had never heard before.
Lay the eggs into a pot of cold water, and set it over high heat uncovered on the stovetop. When the water is almost boiling (not rumbling, but almost there), turn the heat completely OFF, put a lid on, and leave the pot on the hot eye for 14 minutes.
After 14 minutes, drain the hot water and turn it into an ice bath by adding a few handfuls of ice cubes and running cold water over the top. Let them sit for about 8-10 minutes, then peel away! You’ll have perfectly yellow yolks in your boiled eggs every time.
After the eggs are cooked, simply combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl and dress with your favorite vinaigrette. I used a simple vinaigrette of 1/2 lemon, juiced, about 1 1/2 Tbsp EVOO, salt and pepper. Easy, fast, and fresh!
Balsamic vinaigrette would also be a good alternative to use here.
That is one beautiful, fresh, and flavorful lunch or dinner! This meal would pack well for on-the-go, or as a make-ahead. It’s the perfect protein-packed lunch or dinner.
If you are lucky enough to have a Chuy’s Tex-Mex restaurant near you, then I bet you already know the sauce I’m talking about. We discovered Chuy’s over the summer, and now my daughter begs to go there at least once a week. We try to appease her by going once or twice a week.
On to the legendary Creamy Jalapeño Sauce. At Chuy’s, you can put this sauce on anything you want – tacos, enchiladas, nachos, chile rellenos, and even dips your chips in it. It’s ah-mazing. It has a hint of ranch flavor, a ton of freshness, and just a little *bite* of fresh jalapeño.
After I made some wildly successful Homemade Buttermilk Ranch, I decided to build on that recipe to replicate copycat Chuy’s Creamy Jalapeño Sauce.
What’s wonderful about this recipe is that it takes maybe five minutes to put together. You throw all of the ingredients into a food processor or high-powered blender and whip together until everything looks uniform. Then taste, taste, taste! Add more flavor as you wish – more dill, more cilantro, salt, pepper, etc. Make it your own! What you end up with is a fresh, creamy, slightly spicy sauce.
A few tips…
*Grate or finely mince the garlic prior to blending it. Garlic can be tough for blenders and processors to get to, because it’s already small so it will get “chunked” instead of blended.
*Finely chop the jalapeño prior to blending it as well. Again, just helps ensure that you won’t end up with chunks of jalapeño. If you would like tips on how to take the seeds and ribs out without setting your hands on fire with pepper juice, check out my how-to here.
As with any homemade dressing/sauce, the flavor will intensify over time. It’s best to stir it before each use.
Use this fabulous sauce on your salads, tacos, enchiladas, as dip for crudités, or anything else your heart desires.
I love quick, easy salads that I make one day, and eat for lunch all week. I usually go for chicken salads of some sort, but sometimes I go for something a little simpler.
This egg salad is creamy, delicious, and filling. And it only takes a few minutes to prepare!
The base starts with hard boiled eggs, of course. My trick for easy-peel boiled eggs is to sit them in ice water after they’re done cooking. I boil (really, that’s a loose term. It’s more like “rapidly simmer,” because if the eggs are bouncing all over, they’ll crack.) the eggs for 12 minutes, drain the hot water, place a few handfuls of ice cubes (in the same pot, because one dish) around the eggs, then cover with water. Let that sit until the eggs are cool enough to handle.
To peel, I crack the egg on all sides until I can easily get to the membrane. Set the egg down in the ice water and move along the membrane to remove the shell. Easy peasy!
I chop just the whites to begin, leaving the yolks whole, off to the side. Once they’re all chopped, I dab the pieces gently with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture (nobody likes wet egg salad). Then I add mayonnaise, Dijon mustard (or yellow mustard works too), chopped fresh chives, a little Cajun seasoning or a few dashes of hot sauce. The Cajun seasoning and hot sauce are just for deeper flavor. You can choose one or the other, or both (that’s what I did), whatever you like. Mash up the yolks with the back of a fork, and add them to the mix. Finish by seasoning with a little salt and pepper, and you’re done.
I’m probably preaching to the converted here, but I’ll go ahead and say it – ranch dressing rocks my world.
I’ve spent time scouring store brands trying to find something that’s Trim Healthy Mama compliant while keeping within my budget, and it’s either a unicorn or it doesn’t exist. Most brands have varying sugar levels, and it seems the sugar levels and price have a variable relationship. Smaller levels, higher price. Quite frankly, I’m just not willing to pay upwards of $5 per bottle for something I’m not sure I’ll enjoy.
Enter: homemade ranch.
Honestly, it blows my mind how much better homemade dressings/sauces taste than store brand. I’m not even remotely exaggerating!
After mixing this dressing together, I really had to refrain from drinking the entire bowl.
I chopped everything by hand, but if you like the pieces smaller feel free to use a food processor.
Start off by making a homemade buttermilk from unsweetened almond milk and apple cider vinegar.
Combine all other ingredients in a small bowl, season with salt and pepper, and add the buttermilk to your desired consistency.
It tastes best when it has a few hours to hang out in the fridge, but straight from mixing to serving works too. The taste will deepen over time.
The first night, I paired this with one of my favorite classic sides: the wedge salad. There’s something about a wedge salad that feels so simple yet elegant. Even when I make it at home, I feel like I’m in a fancy steakhouse.
The best way to get your iceberg wedges is to start by cutting the stem end off the head of lettuce. Then cut diagonally down toward the center twice, and rock your knife side-to-side to free your wedge slice from its prison.
Add it to a bowl with some chopped seedless cucumbers, tomatoes, blue cheese crumbles, and bacon. Season with a little salt and pepper.
And finally, drizzle on your homemade ranch dressing.
Store the dressing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks (although I’m almost certain it won’t be around that long), stirring before each use. This recipe makes about 8 servings.
I used to get an antipasto salad at Quizno’s (are they even around anymore?) back in my days of roaming my college campus nearly all day. Until recently, I had almost completely forgotten about it, but in trying to come up with adult-friendly finger food for my daughter’s birthday party this weekend it all came back to me.
You can mix up the flavors any which way you please, based on what you like in an antipasto platter. Things not included in my salad which may be good are: marinated mushrooms, giardiniera (an Italian mix of hot-pickled vegetables), cucumbers, different cheeses (hunks are parmesan, provolone, feta, or swiss), or roasted red peppers.
I picked up most of my salad fixings at the salad bar of my local Sprouts. It was much easier, and cost-effective, than doing jars of every item. Plus, in picking the marinated olives, I got to choose more black than green ^_~.
Marinated Antipasto Salad (THM S)
Cut the salame and bucatini into bite-size chunks (I did 1/4 inch pieces). Roughly chop all the other ingredients and add them to a large bowl.
In a small jar or bowl, combine the vinegar, herbes de Provence, salt and pepper. Stream in the EVOO as you whisk until the dressing comes together. Taste and adjust for seasoning as needed.
Drizzle the salad with 2 Tsp of the dressing and toss to combine. Cover and marinate for 4 hours, or overnight.
Party ideas: Serve as is or on skewers (just cut everything a little bigger). For individual servings you can have it as is, or put it over mixed greens with some onions and cucumbers and drizzle with some additional balsamic dressing (this was my favorite!).
This was incredibly easy to toss together, and makes lunchtime prep a breeze.
One of the first Barefoot Contessa recipes I ever made was her Chicken Salad Veronique. Chicken, green grapes, mayo, tarragon..it’s obviously delicious!
When thinking about this recipe to prep ahead for lunches, I knew I had to do some THM tweaking. Luckily, that was fairly easy to do while keeping all the wonderful flavors intact.
Chicken Salad Veronique THM Style (THM E)
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary. Seal in an airtight container in the fridge.
This chicken salad is truly scrumptious. The grapes give it a sweet tang and break up the richness a little. Celery adds great crunch and texture. It’s perfect atop some sourdough with a few lettuce leaves and a swipe of Dijon mustard.
Kids even like it as well! My creatures were stealing it off my plate faster than I could eat it. Plus, it’s a fabulous make-ahead for lunches.