Grilled Chicken Salad with Berries and Honey Lemon Dressing

 

Well, it’s has begun. The spring cleaning that is. I am slowly going through rooms, pantries, closets and drawers, paring down and cleaning up. The same goes for my diet. Ridding myself of excess and keeping things clean and simple. Like this Grilled Chicken Salad with Berries and Honey Lemon Dressing.

Grilled Chicken Salad with Berries and Honey Lemon Dressing


Baby greens, fresh berries and gorgonzola topped with and my tender grilled chicken breast and drizzled with a simple honey lemon dressing, a perfect spring or summer meal.

Grilled Chicken Salad with Berries and Honey Lemon Dressing

The Recipe: Grilled Chicken Salad with Berries and Honey Lemon Dressing:

You will need: my recipe for grilled chicken breasts.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Grilled Chicken Salad with Berries and Honey Lemon Dressing
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • The Salad:
  • 4 chicken breasts prepared like this
  • 5oz baby greens
  • 2 cups assorted berries
  • ½ cup gorgonzola, or if you prefer a milder cheese, feta
  • ½ cup pecans or walnuts
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • Honey Lemon Dressing:
  • ½ cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 T raw honey
  • pinch sea salt
  • few turns fresh black pepper
Instructions
  1. For salad:
  2. Brine chicken as directed here.
  3. Place all salad items on a platter.
  4. Prepare dressing:
  5. Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, honey, sea salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  6. Cook chicken breasts as directed above.
  7. Dress salad, plate and set one sliced chicken breast atop salad on each plate. If you have extra dressing (you should) drizzle over chicken.

 

Grilled Chicken Salad with Berries and Honey Lemon Dressing

 

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How to Grill Perfectly Tender Chicken Breasts Every Time!

 

An actual conversation between me and my husband years ago:

Him: Shall we BBQ tonight?
Me: Sure, what shall we make?
Him: How about chicken breasts?
Me: Ew. No. Why?

But that was before I learned how to grill perfectly tender and juicy chicken breasts!

How to Grill Perfectly Tender Chicken Breast Every Time!


Grilled chicken breasts are notoriously dry and flavorless, but when prepared the correct way they can be delicious, flavorful and tender. And I promise it’s not a lot of work.

One (of several) problems with grilling chicken breasts is that to cook that thick center you have to overcook the ends leaving the meat dry and ‘cardboardy’. Luckily this problem is easily solved. Simply place the chicken breast on a large piece of unbleached parchment paper, fold the parchment over the chicken and seal the edges by folding a couple of times. Then pound it with a meat pounder or rolling pin the breast is more even. (affiliate link)

How to Grill Perfectly Tender Chicken Breast Every Time!

 

Another problem with boneless skinless chicken breast is they very little fat, and fat is what gives meat flavor and tenderness. Solving that problem is very easy!  Simply place chicken breasts in a brine of water and salt (that’s it!) and let them soak for a half hour. This makes them moist, tender and juicy. There is a scientific explanation, like the salt water changes the molecular make up of proteins…blah, blah, blah, let’s eat! (I use pink Himalayan Salt: Affiliate link)

How to Grill Perfectly Tender Chicken Breast Every Time!

After brining simply brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper….

How to Grill Perfectly Tender Chicken Breast Every Time!

 

Then throw them on a hot grill. The heat needs to be high to brown and then lowered to finish cooking. Total grilling time is 10-12 minutes. Quick and easy!  If you don’t have room fro a big gas grill may I make a recommendation? Cuisinart makes the handiest table top grill (affiliate link) that is budget friendly and perfect for for those without a big yard. And you can easily take it to the park or beach!

How to Grill Perfectly Tender Chicken Breast Every Time!

 

Once grilled to perfection place on a cutting board and slice on a diagonal. Does this chicken breast look dry to you? 

How to Grill Perfectly Tender Chicken Breast Every Time!

 

You can serve as is, or top with my basil pesto, tomatoes in olive oil, or with my mango salsa!

How to Grill Perfectly Tender Chicken Breast Every Time!

 

Or you can serve it atop this salad and drizzle with my honey lemon vinaigrette…recipe will be posted next week! 

How to Grill Perfectly Tender Chicken Breast Every Time!

How to Grill Perfectly Tender Chicken Breasts Every Time!
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Perfectly moist grilled chicken breasts, every time!
Author:
Recipe type: main course
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 6 cups water
  • ⅓ cup salt, I use Himalayan sea salt, but you can use Kosher too
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded and brined
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
Instructions
  1. Place water and salt in a large bowl and stir.
  2. Place chicken breast between folded parchment paper and pound with a rolling pin until uniformly thick.
  3. Place breasts in salt water for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove breasts, pat dry with paper towels.
  5. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Heat grill on high (about 425 degrees)
  7. Place breasts on grill, close lid and cook till nice golden grill marks are established (3-4 minutes)
  8. Turn over and grill till golden on the second side (3-4 minutes)
  9. Turn heat to med/low (about 350 degrees) close lid and cook for five more minutes until just cooked through. Don't over cook!
  10. Remove from grill, cut on the diagonal and serve.

 

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STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with The Organic Kitchen’s ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers. The Organic Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Lessons Learned While Riding My Bike

 

You know what’s great about getting older and being an empty nester? You can make commitments before really thinking it through because you don’t have to take kids into account. For instance, my commitment to ride my bike on all my errands within a three mile radius of my house. NOTE TO SELF: before committing, look at a map. It turns out 99.9% of my errands are within a three mile radius of my house. Not to worry though, I am the kind of girl that once she makes a commitment will half heartedly stick to it till the task is almost completed.  

Seriously though, I actually LOVED this step in my journey to be more green. It literally made me happier. I also discovered some interesting things along the way. Life lessons as it were, nuggets of wisdom found as I pedaled along life’s alleys and back streets. First lesson: stay away from alleys and back streets. But bike paths and sidewalks teach plenty of lessons as well.

Lessons Learned While Riding My Bike

 

Sometimes riding is faster than driving, sometimes it’s not. But Who Cares?

I have learned I can get a few places faster on my bike than in my car, while other errands take me a bit longer. I figure it all evens out in the end and even if the difference is ten minutes…what’s ten minutes? Why the rush? Am I saving the world? Nope, just going about my daily business. So I figure a few minutes here or there makes no matter as long as I am enjoying the ride. 

People are friendly:

Yup. It’s true. Without a windshield separating you, people actually wave, nod, and say hello as you pass. Some even strike up a conversation on a street corner and ask what you are making for dinner with the contents of your basket. Honestly, it brightens my day! 

Lessons I Learned While Riding My Bike

You see more when you ride a bike

In the immortal words of one Mr. Ferris Bueller “Life moves pretty fast, If you don’t stop and look around once in a while you could miss it.” My husband and I have always taken day trips but now we bring the bikes along and once we arrive at our destination (Santa Barbara, Huntington Beach, Laguna, San Diego, Ojai) we ride around instead of driving. We have discovered we see so much more on our bikes and are much more likely to stop at a charming shop, craft fair, farmers market, eat at a cafe, or rest in a park. Biking makes these trips more enjoyable and relaxing. And we take more pictures!

Lessons I Learned While Riding My Bike

Three perfect examples of incredible sites we would not have seen from the car.

 

Sometimes The Wind is In Your Face and Sometimes It’s at Your Back

Sometimes the wind is at your back and you coast down easy street. Sometimes the wind is in your face and you have to dig deep, peddle harder, or faster, or get off the bike and push. And just as in life, sometimes all you need to do to fix the problem is change directions.  

Everything You Really Need Can Fit in a Basket 

When I take my bike basket into the market to shop I have to be very selective about what goes in it. There is only so much room. But what I have found is this; all I really need fits in the basket. Every time. In reality we need so very little. Family, friends, and health are all we really need. Everything else is just stuff. Fluff. Is fluff nice? Yes. But abundance is all the head my friends. Someone could look at my little basket and think “What can she possibly make out of that?” at the same time I am looking at the basket and thinking “A feast!” 

Lessons I Learned While Riding My Bike

An actual dinner for four made exclusively from the ingredients in my basket! It was delicious!

 

That said, Sometimes It’s Nice to Have Two Baskets:

If it’s one thing I have learned it’s that as nice and peaceful as a ride is all by myself, it certainly is nice to have a companion. Someone who has your back, watches out for you and shouts “on your left!” Sometimes life’s load gets too heavy for one basket and the burden can be shared, making it so much lighter. And even though all you really need can fit into one basket, sometimes… it’s nice to have room for tulips.

Lessons I Learned While Riding My Bike

 About Our Bikes:

We ride Electra Bikes and have for the last four years! My husband and I both love the Townie. The unique and wonderful thing about Electra day cruisers is that they are designed for comfort. The pedals are placed slightly in front of the seat so when you ride, you can sit upright instead of leaning forward and you can easily place your feet flat on the ground while still seated. We love our bikes and our baskets and know you will too. To learn more visit the Electra Bike website.

Lessons I Learned While Riding My Bike

Another beautiful place we would not have discovered if we weren’t on bikes: the historic Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara. Jason Mraz was playing there that night!

 

 

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STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with The Organic Kitchen’s ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers. The Organic Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Spicy Fried Chicken Nuggets and Mini Waffles ~ Will’s 2nd Birthday

 

This Easter we got to spend time with our little chicks in Sundance Utah. This is Nora Jane and Will. It just so happened Easter weekend coincided with Will’s second birthday party.

Mini Fried Chicken and Waffles~ Birthday recipes

 Will is a little obsessed with his Blabla doll “Luigi”. 

Mini Fried Chicken and Waffles~ Birthday recipes

So his mama and daddy gave him a Luigi themed birthday party.

Will is also a bit crazy about waffles, so his birthday invitations depicted Luigi serving waffles to his friends. (Invitations custom made by The Trim Shoppe)

Mini Fried Chicken and Waffles~ Birthday recipes

And what could be better for a waffle and Luigi obsessed birthday boy’s brunch than Spicy Fried Chicken Nuggets and Mini Waffles topped with his favorite green frog?
(Photo credit: Lizzyography)

Mini Fried Chicken and Waffles~ Birthday recipes

Will’s mama, Mari, kept the theme going with simple banners and beautiful sugar cookies. (Take a peek at Mari’s Instagram) My recipe for traditional sugar cookies here.

Mini Fried Chicken and Waffles~ Birthday recipes

Honestly the party could not have been cuter. And neither could Will, even though he was a little camera shy.

Mini Fried Chicken and Waffles~ Birthday recipes

Mini Fried Chicken and Waffles~ Birthday recipes

Mini Fried Chicken and Waffles~ Birthday recipes

 

Ombre cake from Annie Bee Cakery

All the food was delicious! I can take credit for a few of the recipes, but not the execution. My daughter in law did it all!

Mini Fried Chicken and Waffles~ Birthday recipes

Served along with the Spicy Fried Chicken and Mini Waffles were my Berries in Compote, my Bacon Cheddar Biscuits and plain yogurt and granola in mason jars. 

Mini Fried Chicken and Waffles~ Birthday recipes

With all this fantastic food the Spicy Fried Chicken Nuggets and Mini Waffles were still the first to go! They were a huge hit. Mari just used a nugget version of My Spicy Fried Chicken recipe placed between two petite versions of my Simple Buttermilk Waffles and then drizzled them with butter and real maple syrup! (Photo credit: Lizzyography)

Spicey Fried Chicken Nuggets and Mini Waffles~ Birthday recipes

To make these cute little waffles she used a mini waffle maker by Sunbeam (affiliate link) for perfectly sized sliders!

Spicy Fried Chicken Nuggets and Mini Waffles~ Birthday recipes

 The Recipes: Spicy Fried Chicken Nuggets and Mini Waffles

Tips and must haves: mini waffle maker, a good cast iron pan and vanilla paste, I buy the quart it’s a money saver! To make a gluten free version of the mini waffles use your favorite gluten free flour. I use Perfect Blend by Namaste. (affiliate links)

5.0 from 2 reviews
Spicy Fried Chicken Nuggets and Mini Waffles: The Chicken
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Mini Fried Chicken Nuggets fabulous alone or served between mini waffles. How "hot" your chicken turns out will depend on how hot your hot sauce is. I recommend using a hot one...of course!
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast lunch, brunch or dinner!
Cuisine: Southern
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 4 chicken breasts, pounded to 1" thick and cut cut into 2" rectangles (makes approx 24)
  • 1 cup cultured buttermilk
  • 2 Tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour (or gluten free flour, or equal parts almond meal and blanched almond flour for my grain free friends)
  • 1½ Tablespoons sea salt
  • 1½ tablespoons freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp dried onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ⅓ cup olive oil (the amount you use will depend on the size of your pan)
Instructions
  1. In a shallow baking dish, whisk together buttermilk and hot sauce. Place prepared chicken in buttermilk mixture, turning so both sides have been coated. Leave chicken in dish, cover and place in the fridge for an hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 and place rack in center of oven.
  3. Mix flours and seasonings. Remove chicken from buttermilk mixture and dredge in flour so each piece is lightly coated. Set on a plate.
  4. Place a large pan on high heat. Add enough olive oil to pan so that the entire bottom is well coated. When oil is very hot, carefully add chicken to pan. Lower heat to medium/high. When first side is golden (about 3-4 minutes) turn and brown other side.
  5. Place browned chicken on a rimmed cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.
  6. Place in oven and cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and serve piping hot, or serve cold the next day. So good either way! If making sliders, place between 2 mini waffles and top with butter and syrup.

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
Spicy Fried Chicken Nuggets and Mini Waffles: The Waffles
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Delicious mini waffles any time. Gluten free option included. I recommend brushing waffle iron with butter to prevent sticking. If making sliders place a piece of fried chicken (recipe above) between two waffles and top with butter and maple syrup.
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner
Cuisine: Southern
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • Waffle ingredients
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (gluten free friends use your favorite GF flour, I like Perfect Blend by Namaste (link above)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk (dairy free use almond milk)
  • 1 cup melted butter (plus additional for topping waffles)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or honey (optional, I leave it out because in my opinion the fruit and syrup are plenty sweet!)
  • 2 Tsp vanilla paste
Instructions
  1. Waffle prep:
  2. Heat mini waffle maker. Whisk flour, baking soda and salt. Whisk in eggs, buttermilk, vanilla paste and melted butter till well combined. (add sugar or honey if desired, whisk)
  3. Cook waffles according to waffle maker instructions.
  4. If making sliders, place a piece of fried chicken between two waffles and drizzle with syrup and melted butter if desired (I always desire melted butter).

 

I am one lucky grandma, I got to spend time with my children, grand babies and eat some fabulous food. If you would like to receive more recipes like this weekly, please sign up for my newsletter. (Just under my picture in the right side bar) ~ Linda Spiker

Mini Fried Chicken and Waffles~ Birthday recipes

 Spicy Fried Chicken Nuggets and Mini Waffles~ Birthday recipes

MAY I PLEASE ASK A LITTLE FAVOR?

We small bloggers need all the help we can get. Subscribing and sharing on social media is very appreciated! 

STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with The Organic Kitchen’s ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers. The Organic Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

 

Spring Quiche with Asparagus and Artichoke Hearts

 

Spring often brings on a whopping case of wanderlust at our house. In the past our lifestyle didn’t allow for much travel. We had too many kids, schedules and responsibilities. If we did go on a trip, it was in a car, for a big extended family vacation. Which is great and perfect for our needs at the time. But now that the nest is empty, we have a lot more freedom to do what we want, when we want. After our first trip to Europe (Italy) last year, we decided we needed a repeat. So we have a trip planned in May. We will be visiting England, France, and Ireland!

You can’t think of France without thinking about the food. Quiche, in particular. Lovely, creamy, eat for days quiche. 

Spring Quiche with Asparagus and Artichoke Hearts

In my daydreams I conjured up a creamy spring vegetable quiche, and promptly decided waiting till May was not an option! Out came the rolling pin, the flour, butter, cream and cheese. A short while later I was in heaven.

I am going to be honest here, this quiche is the best quiche I have ever tasted. So lovely and subtle and well, it melts in your mouth. 

A gorgeous buttery pie crust….

Spring Quiche with Asparagus and Artichoke Hearts

 

…filled with sautéed asparagus, chopped artichoke hearts, eggs and Gruyere.

Spring Quiche with Asparagus and Artichoke Hearts

 

Spring Quiche with Asparagus and Artichoke Hearts 

Baked to golden perfection.

Spring Quiche with Asparagus and Artichoke Hearts

 

Spring Quiche with Asparagus and Artichoke Hearts

 

Lovely served as dinner with a salad…and even lovelier for breakfast…for days to come.

Spring Quiche with Asparagus and Artichoke Hearts

 

The Recipe: Spring Quiche with Asparagus and Artichoke Hearts

Tips and must haves: I use this pie crust recipe. If you need a gluten free crust use this one from Raising Generation Nourished. If crust begins to brown too much, cover with strips of aluminum foil leaving the center of quiche exposed. For more dietary options and variations see the bottom of this post!  

You will need a good knife, a rolling pin, sea salt and a pie plate. My pie plate (affiliate link) is really pretty, inexpensive and nothing sticks to it! 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Spring Quiche with Asparagus and Artichoke Hearts
 
A lovely, creamy quiche filled with spring vegetables. You can use the crust recipes I have linked above or your favorite recipe. If edges of crust begin to brown too much, cover the crust with foil leaving the center of quiche exposed.
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: French
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 1 pie crust
  • Quiche Filling:
  • 10 asparagus spears, cut into ½” pieces and sautéed in butter till soft
  • 10 Artichoke hearts packed in water, drained, chopped
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup grated Gruyere (a sharp yellow cheese)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 and place oven rack in lower third of oven.
  2. Place pie crust in pie plate. (see recipe suggestions above)
  3. Trim and pinch the edges if desired (my pie plate comes with ruffled edge so I skipped that step)
  4. Trim the last few inches off the asparagus and cut into ½" pieces, sauté in butter till soft. (6 mins)
  5. Set aside.
  6. Place artichoke hearts between too paper towels and squeeze out excess water. Chop.
  7. In a large bowl whisk together, eggs, cream, sea salt, and pepper. Then gently stir in vegetables and cheese.
  8. Pour into pie crust.
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes, till golden and center is set.
  10. Serve warm or cooled.

 

Spring Quiche with Asparagus and Artichoke Hearts

 More Fun Options for those with restricted diets!

Several of my blogging friends collaborated to bring you a variety of spring quiches all featuring asparagus.

Crustless Spring Quiche from Recipes to Nourish
Gluten and Dairy Free Crustless Quiche from Dr. Karen Lee
Egg Free, Dairy Free Quiche with Grain Free Crust and Spring Vegetables from Eat Beautiful

Spring quiche

 

Enjoy! ~ Linda Spiker

MAY I PLEASE ASK A LITTLE FAVOR?

We small bloggers need all the help we can get. Subscribing and sharing on social media is very appreciated! 

STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with The Organic Kitchen’s ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers. The Organic Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.