Tag Archives: greek yogurt

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.


Food Matters Project #34: Rice & Lamb Burgers with Spinach & Tzatziki Sauce

It’s another Monday post of the Food Matters Project.  This week we’re hosting the recipe, and have chosen Mark Bittman’s Brown Rice and Lamb Burgers with Spinach, from The Food Matters Cookbook.

To catch up all of our readers, we joined the Food Matters Project with these fellow bloggers last winter.  Each week we have a new host, who chooses a recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook.  The recipes are your own interpretation, and it’s great to see the creativity from all of the blogging participants.  To read more about the project, check out the web site here, and this is our schedule.  We’d love to have you join in!

Sam and I had hosted one dish so far on Fifth Floor Kitchen.  Almost exactly a year ago we hosted the Vegetables au Vin with Coq.  If you’d like to see the rest of our recipe interpretations, check out this list.

To host our 2nd recipe we chose another delicious one, although as always, we did make some changes.  As you all know, we recently moved from a condo to a house.  One of the bigger changes (aside from having more space and a bigger kitchen), is that we can finally have a grill!  Our fantastic realtor, Peter Raia, got us a wonderful housewarming gift- a new grill! What perfect timing to enjoy a burger, especially since yesterday DC had amazing weather- sunny and in the 60’s!

Tzatziki Sauce

How did we change the recipe from Mark Bittman’s original?  First, we added a tzatziki sauce, rather than using feta cheese.  We also used less rice (he had 1 cup) and more onion (1 whole one).  The biggest change is he did not use burger buns as we did, instead he placed each burger on the bed of spinach (and more of it, 1 lb).  Check out what creative ideas other bloggers came up with here.

Rice & Lamb Burgers with Spinach

Rice & Lamb Burgers with Spinach & Tzatziki Sauce
Inspired & Adapted from: The Food Matters Cookbook

Servings: 4 patties

Tzatziki Sauce
16 oz plain Greek yogurt
9 sprigs of mint leaves
1/2 tsp salt
juice of 1/4 lemon
1 cucumber, peeled

1 tbsp olive oil
3 cups of fresh spinach, roughly chopped

Burger Patties
1 1/4 lb ground lamb
1/4 cup cooked rice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 red onion, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground sumac
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

4 burger buns

To make the tzatziki sauce, blend together the Greek yogurt, mint, salt, and lemon juice in a food processor.  Also add in 3/4 of the cucumber and puree it.  Scoop out the tzatziki sauce into a bowl.  Chop the remaining 1/4 cucumber, and add it into the bowl, stir.  The sauce can be made ahead of time, and actually tastes great when it’s served cold.

To make the spinach, add the olive oil to a large skillet and allow to heat up.  Once the olive oil is hot, then add the spinach to the pan.  Stir occasionally until the spinach begins to soften and wilt, about 5 minutes.  Remove from the pan.

To make the burgers, mix the following ingredients in a mixing bowl: ground lamb, cooked rice, garlic, red onion, cumin, sumac, salt, and pepper.  Mix the ingredients together and form 4 patties.  These can be made ahead of time, or be added onto a grill right away.  Grill to 6-8 minutes on each side, depending on your preference of cooked meat.  If you do not have a grill, you can still make these on a skilled over medium-high heat, cooking the patties for about the same time until they are cooked through.

To make the burgers, place some spinach on the bun, then the burger patty.  Lastly, drizzle with tzatziki sauce.  Feel free to add tomato or onion slices.  Enjoy!

Indian Chicken Curry Wrap

My apologies (once again) for not posting as often.  It’s just that busy time of the year- and with the beautiful weather outside, it’s hard to make yourself stay in the kitchen!  Last year at this time we were preparing for our amazing European Adventure (Kraków, Vienna and Munich), this year we’re getting ready for our wedding!

At times like these I try to find recipes which are really simple and don’t take too much time to prepare.  With the extra time we can sneak in a run, some extra time with friends, or watch our favorite football games!

For this recipe I used leftover chicken, making it a whole new dish with curry flavors.  This is perfect for a lunch or dinner, feel free to add some sides!

Indian Chicken Curry Wrap
Adapted From: Cooking Light (June 2011)

1 1/4 lb coooked chicken, shredded or cubed
5 nectarines, chopped
1 mango, peeled & chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 cup chopped green onions
1 inch ginger, peeled & grated
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 tbsp chopped mint
1 jalapeño, chopped (optional)
1 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp chili powder
juice of 1 lime
lettuce or arugula
tortillas or wraps

In a large bowl, combine: chicken, nectarines, mango, red onion, green onions, ginger, garlic, cilantro, mint and jalapeño.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together the greek yogurt, salt, pepper, curry powder, chili powder, and lime juice.  Add the dressing to the chicken mixture.  Then stir everything together.

Add a handful of lettuce or arugula onto a tortilla, then add in the chicken curry mixture.  Roll the tortilla, and enjoy!


Brunch: Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

On Saturday a group of us ran the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon here in DC.  Post-race festivities were definitely needed, and our friend Stephanie hosted a brunch.  The weather couldn’t be more perfect: sunny, warm, with a light breeze.  All of us contributed to a little something, from champagne and croissants to egg dishes and french toast.  Runners and non-runners enjoyed the beautiful day and the company.

One of the things we brought over was some banana bread.  Sam had put it into his backpack, and carried it to the cheering locations and the finish line of the race.  It survived all in once piece, and I couldn’t wait to try a bite- a great motivation when running 13.1 miles!

A couple of weeks ago I was browsing through a bookstore and recognized Homemade Life Stories, a book written by Molly Wizenberg.  Her blog, Orangette, is one of the first that I had started reading about 3 years ago.  I was bored during my lunch hours at work, and started browsing different blogs for new recipes, new restaurants in DC or some fashion advice (if you need some blog links check out my list of Blogs, Books & Magazines).

I was really excited about this book, and finished it rather quickly.  The exciting part was that there were recipes after each chapter, which I couldn’t wait to try.  Molly has a great way to pulling you into her life, explaining how each recipe ties in.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Adapted from: Homemade Life Stories by Molly Wizenberg

Molly notes that this banana bread freezes wonderfully, once it has fully cooled.  Her original recipe called for crystallized ginger, I chose not to add this (I will next time) just so everyone could enjoy the bread during brunch- just in case we had any picky eaters.  I did add more chocolate chips- who doesn’t enjoy those?

6 tbsp salted butter
3 bananas, frozen or fresh
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

In a small bowl, microwave the butter until it has melted.  On a plate, microwave the bananas for 2 minutes.  Peel the bananas and mash them.  Alternatively, if yours aren’t frozen, then just mash them.

In a large bowl, mix together: flour, sugar and baking soda until they are well combined.

In a smaller bowl, whisk the eggs.  Add in the mashed bananas, yogurt, melted butter and vanilla.  Stir the mixture until everything is mixed well.  Pour the banana mixture into the flour mixture, stir gently until the flour is well incorporated.  The batter will be think and slightly lumpy.  Then, add in the chocolate chips and stir a couple more times.

Grease a 9×5 inch bread pan with cooking spray or butter.  Pour the batter into the bread pan, smooth the top.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Once the oven is hot, bake the bread for 50 minutes.  At this point, start checking if it has cooked.  If the toothpick comes out clean, you can take it out of the oven.  Ours didn’t, and the top was getting darker so I covered the top with aluminum foil.  I baked it for another 20 minutes, checking on the bread every 5 minutes (this will depend on your oven).  Let it cool before cutting it into slices.