Tag Archives: lemon

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.

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Food Matters Project #28: Lemon Cornmeal Cake

A little late here with my Food Matters Project post, but better than never, right?  And this is a good one to keep in your back pocket, a quick dessert- perfect to make before friends stop by for a mid-week dinner.

This weeks host is Jen, of Prairiesummers.  She chose Mark Bittman’s Apricot Polenta Cake.  Check out her version, and what everyone else made here.

I was very excited to make this since I’ve been saving a very similar recipe from A Meandering Mango.  When I was making this, I decided to take a little from both recipes and make my own version.  Mine tasted very similar to a lemon bar, refreshing and light.

This cake is a perfect way to celebrate a little milestone in our house!  This past weekend we visited Philadelphia, and ran the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon!  It was Sam’s first half, and he had fun doing it!  I’m very proud, and excited that there will be another race in the near future!

Lemon Cornmeal Cake
Adapted from: The Food Matters Cookbook (pg. 560) & A Meandering Mango

3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup olive oil
juice & zest of 1 lemon
juice & zest of 1 lime
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup white all-purpose flour
1/2 apple, slices*
2-3 fresh figs, finely chopped*

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Spray your baking dish with non-stick cooking spray (or use butter or olive oil).

In a stand mixer whisk together the eggs and sugar for about 5 minutes, until fluffy and creamy.  Slowly add in the olive oil, lemon and lime juices, lemon and lime zest, and vanilla extract.  Lightly whisk the ingredients together.

In a small pot, mix together the cornmeal and salt.  Then whisk in the water, until it is lump-free.  Set the pot over medium heat, whisk frequently and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, and cook until the water is absorbed.  Then set aside and allow to cool.

Stir in the flour and cornmeal mixture into the mixing bowl with eggs and sugar.  Stir well, then pour into the sprayed baking dish.

Arrange the apples and figs on top of the cake.  Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the cake.  Allow to cool about 15 minutes before cutting it.

*Other alternatives for toppings or frosting: fresh berries, fruit soaked in liquor or honey, ground nuts or coconut, powdered sugar or a honey drizzle!  Be creative, and let me know what worked!

Summer: Asparagus, Tuna & Bean Salad

Summer is here, and so are all lighter meals, which is the reason for this salad.  That, and I had a huge craving for tuna!

Summer is one of those seasons that blows by us, it always seems far too brief.  I remind myself to enjoy it- the outdoors, the warm weather (or humidity), the hot sun, and the long days.  It’s that time of the year when we allow some of our obligations to slip away a little (or put off for another day or two).  Instead, we spend it with our friends and family, outdoors.  Sometimes it’s those BBQ’s on our porches, or happy hours outside on gorgeous Thursday afternoons; other times it’s reading by a tree, or enjoy the sand between our toes at the beach.  Yes, that’s what summer is all about.  So keep reminding yourself to sip some cocktails with your friends, linger over a couple more pages in that book, stargaze, daydream or enjoy a nap in the sun.

Summer also brings amazing vegetables (and fruits) that we definitely need to take advantage of- asparagus being one of them.  So go to your farmer’s market, grab a bunch of asparagus, and throw together this salad.  The tuna can be exchanged for chicken (or none of the above).  Cannellini beans can also be substituted for something else that works for you.  Then, take that salad outside with a glass of wine, relax, and enjoy!  Don’t let summer slip away!

Asparagus, Tuna & Bean Salad
Adapted from: Cooking Light (April 2011)

1 bunch of asparagus (about 30), washed & cut into thirds
3 tbsp capers
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter, melted
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
2 tomatoes, diced
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed & drained
1 head of bibb lettuce (feel free to use others)
1 (5 oz) can tuna, drained

Heat water in a small pot.  Once the water is boiling, steam the asparagus, covered, for about 3 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cold water, drain.

In a small bowl combine: capers, parsley, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, butter, salt and pepper.  Stir well until all of the ingredients are combined.

In a large bowl combine the asparagus, tomatoes, white beans and the juice mixture.  Chop up the lettuce into smaller pieces.  Add the vegetable and juice mixture on top.  Lastly, add pieces of the tuna over the salad.

Blueberry Tart

Summer has officially arrived to Washington D.C.!  Finally!  It’s been a wonderful day of summer and warmth, just how I like it!

Although it’s been weeks since the Royal Wedding, I had made this tart for some friends that came over that night.  While we were watching this exciting event, we had a lot of little finger foods, a number of desserts, and some British drinks.

This tart was very springy-summery.  It makes a great dessert, or wonderful for a quick breakfast for the rest of the week (when you’re running out the door).  Making it with fresh blueberries would be wonderful, and the lemon zest keeps it refreshing.

Blueberry Tart
Adapted from: Sparkling Ink

3 cups of flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
juice of 1 lemon
zest of 1 lemon
1 stick of butter, cold & cut into small pieces
1 egg
3 cups of blueberries, frozen (or fresh)
1/2 cup sugar
4 tbsp corn starch

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.  Grate the lemon, and add the zest into the mixture.  Add in cold butter.  Mix until combined, and the mixture is crumbly.  Then add the egg, and mix some more.

Mix the blueberries, sugar and lemon juice.  Add in the corn starch and toss well.

Line the baking dish (9 x 13 inches) with parchment paper.  Take half of the dough and press it into the baking dish.  Then, sprinkle the blueberry mixture on top.  Lastly, crumble the rest of the dough over the blueberries.

Bake at 375°F for 50 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.  Cool completely and cut into bars.  This was still delicious 5 days later, so it can sit out for a while!

Goat Cheese and Roasted Pepper Quinoa Salad

I absolutely love “salads” that don’t exactly look like the typical salad which many think of (lettuce, croutons, dressing, veggies).  I prefer using many of the grains that are out there (quinoa, barley, couscous, etc) to make a different type of salad to take for lunch.  I have found that quinoa is the easiest (especially cooking it!), and has a great taste.

So having goat cheese in our fridge, and coming across a recipe on one of the food blogs, I tried this one out.  I also grab any new ideas to put into my quinoa salads whenever I can.  But, anything goes!

Goat Cheese & Roasted Pepper Quinoa Salad
Adapted from: Cooking After Five

2 cups of cooked quinoa
8 cups (16 oz) of fresh spinach
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp of red pepper flakes (or less/more)
1 cup of roasted red peppers, chopped
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
4 basil leaves, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
6 oz goat cheese, crumbled up

With 1 teaspoon of olive oil, saute the fresh spinach for about 3-5 minutes with the minced garlic.  Once the garlic begins to wilt, add the red pepper flakes and cook for another minute or two.

Then mix all ingredients in a large bowl, except for the basil and goat cheese.  Place the salad in a bowl (or tupperwear for lunch!) and sprinkle with some basil and goat cheese.  We had 6 servings out of this for lunch.