I love summer – I love that my boys get to sleep in, the weather is warm, and just the overall more relaxed vibe that summer brings. I love a good salad, but the warm weather always brings my cravings for fresh, delicious salads to the forefront so I decided to come up with a new creation which is where I came up with this Salmon, Potato and Spinach Salad.
Spinach is a superfood and one of my favorite greens to use in salads. Not only is spinach rich in niacin and zinc but also provides a plentiful amount of fiber, vitamins A, C, E and K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese. Definitely a great addition! Then there’s salmon, another superfood which is rich in vitamin B12, vitamin D, and selenium. Salmon is also a good source of niacin, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, phosphorus, and vitamin B6.
OK, so we have two super foods and then I decided to add potatoes for their creaminess and additional texture. I added my favorite vinaigrette recipe and some parmesan to round out the salad and give it a salty, creamy bite. A squeeze of lemon makes the whole dish come together.
I changed my stuffed peppers from using beef to ground turkey. I also used brown rice instead of white rice for the added nutrition and fiber. For my two boys I gave them the filling minus the peppers and they loved it. A few carrots on the side and they also have a complete meal.
As much as I love to cook, when my husband isn’t home, I basically don’t make big dinners. My boys prefer simple meals like eggs & bacon, basic pasta dishes and things of that nature, so if my man isn’t around I will take a pass and make things easy on myself.
Well, it had been about a week or so and due to conflicting schedules and basic life craziness, I hadn’t been cooking much and this particular evening I decided to make something new since my honey was back in town. I had some Emeril’s Southwest rub that I had mixed up for a chili recipe and decided to rub that on some bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts that I had brined for a few hours earlier in the day.
When looking for a side dish, I decided to use some yummy cilantro I had purchased earlier in the week for a cilantro pesto and I have to say, this is now one of my favorite meals. It blew my husband away and had him happy to back for some of my home cookin’. 🙂
I have always had a love/hate relationship with granola. You see, I love to eat granola, but I am often put off by the extremely high-fat, high calorie granola that comes with the itty bitty service size. Some different brands of granola I have tried have as much as 10-12 grams of fat per serving. I love chocolate far too much to be wasting those fat calories on granola so I passed on granola for ages, until now.
I feel like the skies cleared once I started making this recipe. It is so flipping good. One of the main things I love about this recipe is how versatile it is. The base includes oats, crisp rice cereal, coconut oil and either maple syrup or maple flavored agave syrup (I am sure that honey would taste delicious here as well.) All the other ingredients can be included, excluded and/or swapped out based on what you have on hand. I included chia seeds and hemp harts in this granola recipe due to their nutritional benefits. However, if you don’t have those ingredients, by all means leave one or both of them out. Same goes for the almonds. You may also notice that I have excluded dry fruit from this recipe. I did this because I actually prefer to enjoy this granola with fresh fruit and I find dried fruit to be extremely calorie dense and overly sweet.
Man oh man is it COLD out! Every morning when I turn on Good Morning America one of the first stories covered has to do with how much of the country is being bombarded with record breaking snow and freezing temperatures. I live in Seattle and although we (thankfully!!!) have not been plagued with this type of winter storm, it is pretty chilly and nothing warms my soul like a comforting pot of homemade soup.
The recipe I wanted to share today is super easy and so comforting. It is a recipe for Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup that I stumbled on years ago while perusing the internet for a yummy and easy chicken soup. The original recipe can be found here, however I have made some changes over the years to make it a bit healthier and tastier, in my opinion. I love to start the soup with a healthy dose of veggies that I like to put in a food processor so that my boys will actually eat the soup and not question everything. You will also notice that I have a bit of an odd flavoring addition which is noted as packets of Ramen flavoring. I know – very weird, but I can’t explain how good that salt in those little packets make this soup! I also like to use either corn starch or potato starch to help make this a gluten free soup and I substituted half and half for the cream in the original recipe as well.
I hope you try this recipe out and let me know what you think. This has become one of our family favorites and hopefully will become one for your family as well.
Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic
3 T. oil
3 T. corn starch or potato starch
4 c. chicken broth
2 c. water
1 package Rice a Roni Wild Rice Mix
2 packets Ramen Soup Mix (I prefer beef flavored for this recipe)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1-2 cups Half & Half
Over medium-high heat in a large stock pot warm 3 T. olive oil.
Place onions, carrots, celery and garlic into a food processor and pulse until all vegetables come to a very, fine chop. Place vegetable mixture into soup pot and sauté until veggies are lightly golden, about 6-8 minutes. Add starch (potato or corn) and cook for 2 minutes.
Add stock, water, rice mix and ramen packets to the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, cover pot and cook for 25 minutes over low heat.
After 25 minutes, add chicken breasts and half and half. Warm for another ten minutes and serve.