Tag Archives: onion

Chicken Salad with Greens

I apologize for the lack of posting in the last week.  Unfortunately, we caught the flu that has been lurking around, and there hasn’t been much cooking in this kitchen.  But we’re all better now and excited to share some delicious meals.

As I’ve mentioned before, Sam and I like to make our own vegetable and chicken stock.  It’s healthier- you know what ingredients you’re putting in, especially the amount of salt.  Throughout the month I save odds and ends of various vegetables, and add them to a bag in the freezer.  Using up these scarps (asparagus ends, broccoli stems, celery ends or parsley) also helps with less garbage, and better use of all of your groceries.  The broth or stock is then frozen, and can be defrosted any time we need it for soups.

My favorite part is actually taking the chicken meat, and making something with it.  The last time I posted a recipe like this it was the Indian Chicken Soup, which is a top 3 most viewed post on this blog.  To make the Indian Chicken Soup, or this Chicken Salad, you can also use cooked chicken breasts or leftover rotisserie chicken.

This is a perfect recipe for an easy lunch, or dinner.  And with the weather getting nicer by the day (spring, where are you?!?) hopefully you’ll be attending cookouts and get together with friends soon enough.  Eat it with a fork, or enjoy it between two slices of fresh bread.  It’s light, refreshing and it’s got a little crunch.

Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad with Greens
A Fifth Floor Kitchen Original

4 cups of shredded chicken
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 cups of fresh spinach, chopped
1 cup green peas
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Add all of the ingredients into a large bowl, then stir together.  Taste test if the salad is wet enough for you, if not add a little more mayo/yogurt mixture.  Also, check on the salt and pepper amounts if they are to your liking.

*The wetness and salt amounts will differ on what kind of chicken you’re using- rotisserie or fresh, or one that has been used to make broth.

Sausage, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Casserole

As I’ve mentioned before, Sam and I do a lot of running.  Currently, we’re training for the Rock ‘n Roll USA Half Marathon, which is held in DC in March!  Are any of you running it?  I would love to see some bloggers and readers out there!

For me, the hardest part about training for distance races (halfs, fulls, etc) is providing your body with enough nutrition and energy.  Specifically, the day you do your long run- ours tend to be Saturdays.  What can you eat after a run during which you’ve burned over 1,000 calories?  A burger definitely hits the spot, but I some mornings all I want are eggs.

A couple of weeks ago, I was perusing my Google Reader and I saw the perfect post-long run breakfast dish.  It was from Liza, of (a)Musing Foodie- a fellow blogger I met at the Eat, Write, Retreat Food Blog Conference.  The best part was, it’s a dish you put together the night before, and just pop it into the oven in the morning.

Sausage, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Casserole

Even if you don’t have a long run planned for this Saturday, this is a perfect dish for your brunch guests.  Easy, delicious and very versatile!

Sausage, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Casserole

Sausage, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Casserole
Adapted from: (a)Musing Foodie

Liza used a baguette, I did not have one on hand- so I used leftover whole-wheat bread from Trader Joe’s that had flaxseeds and sunflowers seeds in it.  Feel free to use what you have in your bread box!  Additionally, use any type of milk product for the 2 1/2 cups of liquid (regular milk, soy milk, almond milk, etc)- I ran out of the soy milk so I substituted the rest with the half ‘n half.

2 cups of bread, cubed
6 slices of bacon
1 large onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño, chopped (optional)
1 lb Polish sausage, cut into small pieces
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
10 large eggs
2 cups soy milk
1/2 cup half ‘n half
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Spray a 9×13” baking dish with cooking spray. Then spread the bread cubes on the bottom of the baking dish.

Heat up a large skillet, place the bacon on it and heat it up until crispy on both sides.  Set aside on a paper towel, but leave the bacon grease in the pan.  Then add in the onion, let it cook until translucent over medium heat, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and jalapeño, cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Next, add in the sausage and cook for about 5-10 minutes, until it begins to brown.  Add all of these ingredients into a large bowl.

Once the bacon has cooled off, chop it up and add it to the bowl.  Then mix in cheese, spinach, and green onions.  Once the meats and vegetables are mixed, spread this out over the bread cubes in the baking dish.

Next, in a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, soy milk, half and half, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.  Then pour this mixture over the layers in the casserole dish, and gently press down so the liquid drips down.

Cover the casserole, and let it sit overnight in the fridge.

Once you’re ready to cook it, preheat the oven to 375ºF.  Bake the casserole covered with aluminum foil for 45 minutes.  Then uncover it, and bake it for another 15 minutes when it starts to bubble.

Let it rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Creamy Winter Veg Soup

It’s the week before Christmas, and in light of what happened this past Friday in Connecticut I think everyone is slowing down and enjoying time with their loved ones.  I don’t really talk about politics on this blog, but I will mention that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the grieving families who have lost a loved one.

Whenever I feel melancholy or overwhelmed, I do like a warm bowl of soup.  It’s comforting, and a perfect way to end a cold winter day.  This one is extremely easy, and does not take too much time, or many ingredients to make.  As each of you hurry to get all of your Christmas shopping done, plan your holiday meals, and decorate your homes- also take the time to make some warm soup (such as this one!) and enjoy it with your family and friends.

Also, a note on the new bowls.  We received these as a wedding present (all different colors) from our friends- Ben & Brittany- from Anthropologie, a colorful bowl for a gloomy evening!

Winter Veg Soup

Creamy Winter Veg Soup
Fifth Floor Kitchen Original

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 leeks, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 bulb fennel, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
4-5 turnips, peeled & chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 large potatoes, cooked OR 3 cups mashed potatoes
4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
2 cups of water
1/4 cup of parsley, chopped

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot.  Then add in the onion, sauté them until they are translucent, for about 5 minutes.  Then add in the leeks, bulb fennel, turnips, salt and pepper.  Cook while stirring for about 10 minutes, or until the fennel is soft.  Then add in the potatoes, broth and water, cook for another 15 minutes.

Puree the soup using a blender.  Pour back into the large pot, cook for another 10 minutes, feel free to add more salt or pepper.

Ladle soup into bowl, sprinkle with parsley & enjoy with a slice of fresh bread!

Lamb Shepherd’s Pie in a Mason Jar

Two nights before our wedding we got a box with presents from our registry- it was one of the first ones, and I got really excited (it felt like an early Christmas!).  First, I pulled out a set of dessert plates I’ve been eying for some time, but there was also a cute cookbook which I didn’t have on my list.

As any food blogger would do, I flipped through the cookbook- Handheld Pies: Dozens of Pint-Sized Sweets & Savories by Sarah Billingsley & Rachel Wharton- and picked out my favorite recipes.  Immediately, I opened to the page with Shepherd’s Pie on it, and I knew this was going to be the first recipe I would make.  Since we still had a wedding, and a honeymoon I knew it’d be a couple of weeks- but the moment we came home this recipe was immediately on my “to cook” list!

Using mason jar’s was a great idea for this dish- it kept everything in equal servings, and it was so easy to store, heat up, and take to work.  The book suggested using smaller mason jars, but since I only had the medium size, this is what I used.  With nights getting colder, this is the perfect dish to wrap your hands around the mason jar to keep warm, and your tummy full!

Thank you Jen & Neil- this is a great addition to our cookbook collection!

Shepherd’s Pie in a Mason Jar
Adapted from: Handheld Pies: Dozens of Pint-Size Sweets & Savories

You can use lamb, beef or tofu crumbles- all would be great with this dish.  If there are other veggies you’d like to add in here, definitely do- we stuck with the traditional version the first time around.

3 russet or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled & quartered
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled & finely chopped
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb ground lamb
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup green peas
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

In a medium pot, add the potatoes and water (so it covers the potatoes) and bring the water to a boil.  Then reduce the heat to medium, and cover the pot.  Cook until the potatoes are tender, when pierced with a fork (about 20-30 minutes).

When the potatoes are cooked, drain them.  In a large bowl, mash them using a potato masher (or mixer).  Then add the milk, cheese, butter, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper- stir well.

In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Then add in the onion, carrots, and celery and cook, until the onions are translucent.  Next, add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.  Add the lamb and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon and stirring frequently until it is browned, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the vegetable broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and cook until the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.  Finally, add the peas, red pepper flakes, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper and stir well.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.  Place 6 medium-sized mason jars on a baking sheet.

First divide all of the meat mixture, then the mashed potatoes into all of the jars.  Place the jars and banking sheet on the top rack of the oven and bake for about 15 minutes (or until the potatoes turn golden).

The pies can be cooled, covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.  Reheat at 350ºF for 15 minutes.

Food Matters Project #26: Veggie Stir Fry

Another exciting recipe for the Food Matters Project!

This weeks host is Big Girls Small Kitchen College.  It’s a blog written by college students across the country on how to cook, eat, drink and live on and off campus.  There are a number of contributors that provide recipes and college stories.  Today’s contributor, Jen, chose the Crispy Rice Cakes with Stir-Fried Vegetables and Chicken; check out her version of the recipe here.  For all Food Matters Project contributors recipes, look under the comments section on this page.

I really enjoy making Asian food, especially since the home version is always healthier than the takeout!  Although I glanced over Mark Bittman’s recipe in the Food Matters Cookbook, I decided to do my own version of this dish.  First, we didn’t have chicken, so we enjoyed a vegetarian dish (you can also add tofu, chicken, beef or shrimp).  Secondly, although the rice cakes sounded great- I just wanted some regular stir-fry.  Sounds like everyone had some fun making the rice cakes, so check out Mark’s original recipe on page 324.  I was going to add water chestnuts, which I forgot about- so definitely add that into yours.

Veggie Stir Fry
Fifth Floor Kitchen Original
Servings: 4

1 cup uncooked rice
2 tbsp stir fry oil
1 large onion, chopped
7 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, peeled & chopped
1 inch fresh ginger, grated
1 head of broccoli, chopped
1 1/2 cup snow peas, halved or quartered
1 jalapeño, chopped (optional)
2 tbsp fish sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 tbsp sesame seeds

Cook rice per package instruction.  The cooked rice should yield about 2 cups.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp stir fry oil in a skillet.  Once it’s hot, add the onions and saute for about 5 minutes.  Next, add the garlic and carrots- cook for about 3-5 minutes.  Then, add in the ginger and broccoli, cook for 2 minutes.  Finally, add in the snow peas, jalapeño, fish sauce, soy sauce, 1 tbsp stir fry oil, pepper and red pepper flakes.  Cook all of these ingredients, while stirring, for about 5 minutes.  If you don’t want your broccoli or snow peas to be crunchy, cook for another 5 minutes.

Place the rice on the plate, add the stir fry veggies.  Then sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds.  Serve with some chopsticks!