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

Cranberry Almond Muffins


I hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving! And now we enter the holidays…bring on the warm, cozy food! It’s a great time of year to utilize all of the gorgeous fresh cranberries around and this recipe celebrates them in the most wonderful way.

It took me a couple try’s to get this recipe right….and now, I feel pretty darn good sharing it with you because man, oh man, are they a treat! Continue reading

Banh Mi Bowls


It is with a giant amount of salivating that I present to you my most favorite recipe these days..the Banh Mi Bowl. I’m getting all giddy already, guys! Too good. Just too stinking good.

If you’ve been hanging out around here for any length of time you’ve probably figured out that I go batty for Asian food in any form…but the Banh Mi Sandwich trumps them all for this gal. Remember this one?  Continue reading

A Wonderful, New Opportunity

Friends, new things are on the horizon, and I just couldn’t wait to share what’s happening with you any longer.  How long have we been together now?  Some of us for almost four years, no? Can you believe that?  Let me just say that your support has made so many opportunities possible for me and I feel beyond grateful for that.  And I’m so excited to share the latest of those opportunities, one that is already so near and dear to my heart.

As you likely know by now, I am all about the 80/20 rule.  80% of the time I strive to keep myself and my family living a healthful, nourishing life.  And that leaves 20% to just simply “do what feels good or right”.  Some of you may not agree with this mentality, but it is most definitely what works for me and helps me keep things manageable and achievable in everyday life.  You already know we eat this way; we fill our everyday diets with mostly good but indulging a little is totally acceptable.  Continue reading

One Pan Lebanese Chicken + Lentil Pilaf

SONY DSCI have been hardcore craving Lebanese food.  And I’m not talking just a yummy shawarma I can get from a local food truck.  I want the real deal…mamas cooking, preferably.  The authentic flavors, the comfort, all of it.  So I did a little playing around in my kitchen this past week and man have I seen the light!

This One Pan Lebanese Chicken and Lentil Pilaf is not a traditional Lebanese dish.  It is a lazy-cooks version of a couple of dishes combined and can I just say that it’s the best lazy-move I may have ever made in the kitchen?  The most tender, flavorful chicken paired with a savory lentil pilaf is a match made in heaven.  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