Walnut Crusted Chicken Autumn Salad

Truth: I have no idea where this salad came from. I was in kitchen madness mode…one thing led to another with no plans in sight and this salad is what we ended up with. And I must note, it was a wonderful WONDERFUL ending.

The chicken has just the perfect crunch and flavor…and paired with roasted beets, sweet pears, tangy goat cheese and a mustard-balsamic vinaigrette…I’m basically just salivating at the mere thought of it!

It’s a lovely switch up to boring old chicken salads and I think our future will see much much more of this crusted chicken..so num!

Walnut Crusted Chicken Autumn Salad

Ingredients

For the Vinaigrette

1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

3 Teaspoons Pure Maple Syrup

3 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard

3/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/8 Teaspoon Pepper

For the Salad

1/4 Cup + 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil, divided

1 Pound Beets

1 Cup Walnuts

2 Tablespoons Corn Starch

1 Egg + 2 Tablespoons Water

1 Pound Chicken Breast Tenderloins, seasoned liberally with salt and pepper

2 Tablespoons Butter

7 Ounces Arugula

1 Ripe Pear, diced

1 Avocado, diced

1 Cup Cooked Quinoa, optional

1/2 Cup Crumbled Goat Cheese

Directions

For the Vinaigrette

Place all ingredients in a glass jar, cover with a lid and shake well to combine. Alternatively, whisk together in a small bowl. Set aside or refrigerate for up to 4 days, bringing it back to room temp before serving.

For the Salad

Preheat oven to 400. Season beets with salt and pepper and drizzle with 1 Tablespoon olive oil; toss to coat. Wrap each beet tightly in foil and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until beets are tender. Remove from foil, let cool slightly and rub the peel off with your fingers (wrapping them in foil will help the peel slide right off). Dice peeled beets and set aside.

Add the walnuts and corn starch to the bowl of a food processor and pulse about 10-15 times or until walnuts are chopped fine. Place the mixture on a large plate.

Mix the egg and water together in a large bowl.

Heat 1/4 cup olive oil and butter in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the seasoned chicken to the egg mixtures and toss to coat well. One by one, dredge the egg-coated chicken in the walnut mixture and place in the prepared pan. Cook chicken for 2-3 minutes, or until crust in nicely browned, flip and then repeat on the other side. Remove from pan once cooked through.

Add the arugula, beets, pears, avocado, quinoa and goat cheese to a large bowl. Drizzle on half of the vinaigrette and gently toss to coat, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Divide salad among serving plates and top with a piece of crusted chicken. Drizzle remaining vinaigrette on top, as desired. Serves 4

Warm Grilled Salmon and Orzo Salad

Well friends, it’s back-to-school day over here! One down, one to go next week and as wonderful and adventurous as our summer was together I think we are all ready for some structure and space…getting back into the swing of schedules is feeling so good already!

Our summer break dinners seemed to be so loosey goosey this year. Most nights, dinner ended up being a game time decision based on how late our day ran. Even if I meal planned for one thing, chances are we’d end up squeezing in one more afternoon activity which made me change the plan for lack of time. So needless to say, this mama is so excited to be back on a schedule of meal plans!

This Grilled Salmon and Orzo Salad is just one of those dishes that will fit so nicely into our weekday dinner plans. It’s super fast and can easily be prepared in under 30 minutes…and if you make the vinaigrette ahead of time you’re looking at 20 minutes or less…can’t complain about that!

It’s the perfect summer to fall transitional dish because it uses all of the wonderful tomatoes available right now, yet it’s got a small bit of a comfort factor while still being light. And it tastes super yum too…an awesome way to switch up how you serve salmon!

To all of you parents sending those kiddos off to school as of recent, I wish you a smooth transition and a wonderful, fun-filled year for both you and the kids. And for you teachers…you are EVERYTHING. Thank you for being such a bright light in our kiddos lives…you are shaping the future, truly!

Xo

Warm Grilled Salmon and Orzo Salad

Adapted from this recipe

Ingredients

For the Vinaigrette

1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar

1 Garlic Clove, grated or pressed

2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard

1 Teaspoon Maple Syrup

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/8 Teaspoon Black Pepper

For the Salmon/Salad

1 1/2 Cups Orzo

4 (4-6oz) Skinless Salmon Filets, seasoned liberally with salt and pepper

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

4 Cups Baby Spinach

2 Cups Cherry Tomatoes, halved

1/2 Cup Crumbled Feta Cheese

1/4 Cup Toasted Pine Nuts, optional

2 Tablespoons Chopped Basil

Directions

For the Vinaigrette

Place all ingredients in a small jar, cover with a lid and shake until well combined. Can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

For the Salmon/Salad

Cook Orzo according to package directions. Drain and place in a large bowl.

Preheat grill over medium high heat. Drizzle olive oil over salmon and gently rub to ensure the are well coated, adding more oil as necessary. Place Salmon on the grill and cook for 4-5 minutes or until nicely browned on top. Flip and finish cooking until the fish is opaque and cooked thru, about 3 more minutes. Remove salmon to a plate and set aside.

Add the spinach, tomatoes, feta and pine nuts to the Orzo. Drizzle on the vinaigrette and toss gently to coat. Flake the salmon with a fork, divide Orzo Salad among dishes and top with salmon and basil. Serves 4.

Summer Steak Salad with Fresh Herb Vinaigrette


Lofty, bold statement, I know, but this here Fresh Herb Vinaigrette is hands down the best dressing I’ve ever thrown together, friends. It’s a flavor bomb, in the lightest, most gorgeous way possible….and will be a new staple in my kitchen without a doubt!  


And when you drizzle in on the whole crunchy romaine, summer-ripe tomato, creamy avocado, tangy bleu, sweet corn deal you just might loose your marbles. 

But when you add perfectly grilled, savory steak to the mix….and a bit of toasted pine nuts for crunch…I can’t. I just can’t. 


Speechless….Likely because my mouth will be stuffed full of this wonder as much as humanely possible this summer.

Twenty five thumbs up for this one, guys!!!! 

Summer Steak Salad with Fresh Herb Vinaigrette 

Ingredients 

For the Vinaigrette

1 1/2 Cups Parsley Leaves

1/2 Cup Basil Leaves

1/4 Cup Cilantro Leaves 

1 Garlic Clove

1/4 Cup Cider Vinegar

2 Teaspoons Honey

1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/8 Teaspoon Black Pepper 

3/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil 

For the Salad

1 Head Leafy Romaine, chopped 

2 Ears Peeled and Cleaned Sweet Corn

1 Avocado, diced

1 Heaping Cup Cherry Tomatoes, halved

1/2 Cup Freshly Crumbled Bleu Cheese

2  1/4-1/2 Inch Thick  New York Strip Steaks

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1/4 Cup Toasted Pine Nuts

Directions  

For the Vinaigrette 

Place parsley, basil, cilantro, garlic, vinegar, honey, Dijon, salt and pepper into the bowl of a food processor and run the motor until combined. With the motor running, stream in the Olive Oil and process for one minute. Serve immediately or store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to four days.

For the Salad

Preheat outdoor grill over medium high heat. Rub the steaks with olive oil and season both sides liberally with salt and pepper. Place steaks and corn on the grill. Cook steaks for about 8-10 minutes total, flipping halfway when the first side is nicely charred. Remove from heat and let sit uncovered for 10-20 minutes to rest. After resting slice the steaks against the grain into strips. 

Cook corn until nicely charred all over, turning often as it browns. Remove from grill and slice the kernels off of the cob.

Lay romaine on a serving dish and top with corn, avocado, tomatoes and bleu cheese. Top with sliced steak and sprinkle with pine nuts. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the top and serve. Serves 4 as a main course.

Pan Seared Salmon + Citrus Salad


Howdy dudies! Nick and I recently arrived home from a little getaway to New Orleans and holy cow…food, culture, drinks, FOOD…some of the most incredible food I’ve ever eaten. I might still be full, 3 days later. And, while I typically tend to slightly poo-poo the whole cleanse thing, this may be the closest I’ve ever felt to hopping on the bandwagon.
If you follow along on Instagram, you may have seen my stories blow up with beingets, cocktails, fried green tomato po boys, knock-your-socks off sandwiches, the whole shebang. And while we enjoyed every little indulgence in our time away together…man does it feel good to be back with the kids and on our normal eating routine! Continue reading

Thai Chopped Salad with Peanut Dressing

SONY DSCOh Lordy.  Meet my new best friend, you guys.  And I’ve got one lousy photo to prove it…ugh, a food bloggers worst nightmare.  I contemplated waiting to take more photos and post this recipe after the next time we have it but you know what?  I don’t really think its a good idea for me to wait any longer than necessary to hand this one over to you.  It’s a weeknight game changer and it tastes like a giant bowl of happiness.   Continue reading

Smokey Pork and Citrus Kale Salad

SONY DSCCan you believe it’s February already?  How is this happening, you guys?  It seems like just yesterday we were in the midst of Thanksgiving preparation, and now, we are full blown into winter and darn near our decent into Spring.  Spring!  I mean I know I’m jumping the gun a bit here…but it will be here before we know it, no?

And that pretty much makes me feel all sorts of crazy emotions.  Because spring equals baby’s arrival…eek!  I can’t even begin to tell you how insanely fast this pregnancy has gone..wow.  I mean we have two trimesters under our belt and one to go; I swear I blinked and here we are.   And while I have seen so incredibly many changes in myself/my body during these last several months, there is positively one thing that has remained constant throughout this entire journey….CITRUS FRUIT.     Continue reading