Strawberry Chicken and Spinach Salad

Ha Hump Day! Hooking you up with a delicious nutritious midweek, or anytime really, supper. And at a mere 300 calories per serving, go ahead and have seconds. This works beautifully with blueberries as well. So choose your fruit and race to the kitchen. Leave your love life to chance…but not your cooking!

Entree Salad Strawberry Chicken

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 Tbs olive oil, divided
1 Tbs white balsamic vinegar
1 t honey
1/2 t chopped fresh thyme
1/4 t kosher salt, divided
1/2 t black pepper, divided
2 cups halved strawberries, divided
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/4 t paprika
Cooking spray
4 cups fresh baby spinach
3 Tbs chopped pecans, toasted
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Whisk together 1 Tbs olive oil, vinegar, honey, thyme, 1/8 t salt, and 1/4 t pepper in medium bowl.
Add 1 cup halved strawberries, tossing to coat.
Let stand at room temperature 10 minutes.
Heat medium skillet over medium high.
Brush chicken with remaining oil.
Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and paprika.
Coat skillet with cooking spray.
Add chicken, and cook 2 to 3 minutes per side.
Remove chicken from skillet.
Let stand 5 minutes.
Cut across the grain into slices.
Divide spinach, and 1 cup strawberries between 4 plates.
Lay chicken evenly across spinach.

Top with strawberry balsamic mixture.
Sprinkle with pecans and feta.

BLAT (Bacon Lettuce Avocado Tomato) Lobster Roll

Fresh from Breakwater Fish and Lobster Market

Fresh from Breakwater Fish and Lobster Market in Brewster!

I gave myself an A+ this special evening! A few weeks back the Hardee/Yelle family found themselves in a villa at the lovely Ocean Edge Resort, located in the darling Cape Cod village of Brewster (more on that sweet place later!). Friday night we cooked in, a virtual feast actually, including this local lobster. Since the Yelles moved to Boston I’ve become hooked on addicted to lobster rolls, enjoying at least one each and every visit. So I decided to make my own this time around, with Marc’s most capable assistance. We all decided that it deserves at least four Michelin Stars! Stay Calm and Dig In.

I KNOW! It looks too good to be real. I promise it is tho.  ©PEGhardee

I KNOW! It looks too good to be real. I promise it is tho. ©PEGhardee

Meat from 2 boiled lobsters, chopped in large pieces
5 slices cooked bacon, chopped
4 leaves Boston Bibb lettuce
1 avocado, cut in chunks
2 tomatoes, cut in chunks
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 Tbs celery leaves, chopped
2 Tbs chopped fresh basil
1 Tbs chopped fresh chives
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs butter
4 long split rolls

Combine mayo, celery, celery leaves, basil, chives, and lemon juice in large bowl.
Add in lobster, bacon, avocado, and tomatoes.
Toss gently.
Melt butter in sauce pan over medium heat.
Split rolls and toast inside part in butter about 2 minutes.
Place lettuce leaf inside roll.
Top with lobster mixture.

Of course you may delete the roll if you are watching your carb intake. Simply serve the lobster mixture on a bed of lettuce, as I did here! PS…sorry the pics aren’t terrific. They were taken with td’s phone!

A bit of extra avocado AND a claw on the side!

A bit of extra avocado AND a claw on the side!

Chicken Club Salad

Entree Salad Club Sandwich Salald IThis is how the simple cook rolls for an easy weeknight supper. I adapted this refreshing salad from my darling friend Katie Lee‘s The Comfort Table, 2008. I think I adore her so because she’s down to earth and honestly grew up in the kitchen. AND the fact that she and a sweet young friend of mine (knock knock Teryn Elizabeth) look so much alike. They are both natural beauties! Dance with this one.

Breast meat from 4 cooked chicken breasts
6 slices pre cooked smoked bacon
1 ripe avocado
3 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup diced sweet onion
1/2 cup fat free mayonnaise
2 Tbs Dijon mustard
2 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 t black pepper
1 head of Bibb lettuce
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges

Chop chicken into cubes.

Heat bacon in microware according to directions.
Drain on paper towels.
When cooled, crumble into small pieces.

Dice the avocado.
In small bowl, combine diced avocado with lemon juice.
*Lemon juice keeps avocado from browning.
Set aside.

Combine mayonnaise, mustard, cilantro, and pepper.
Stir until combined.
Add onion and chicken and toss.
Gently add avocado.

To serve:
Line plates with Bibb lettuce.
Top with the chicken mixture.
Garnish with tomato wedges.

Serves 6 to 8.

My Signature Salad with Chicken

As the weather warms, we tend to lighten our dinners, and enjoy cooler entrées. This is one of my favorite simple dinner salads. A bonus is that the salad minus the chicken is a great side salad with meatloaf, pasta, or pork.

Entree Salad Peg's Signature with Chicken

2 Rotisserie chickens
1 head of Romaine, chopped
Small bag of mixed European greens
3/4 cup of jumbo raisins or Craisins
1/4 cup pine nuts or 1/3 cup peanuts
1/2 cup Crumbled Blue Cheese

Balsamic Italian Dressing:
1 envelope of Good Seasons Italian dressing mix
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 cup olive oil
Combine all in glass dressing bottle and shake vigorously.

Combine lettuces, Craisins, nuts and blue cheese in large salad bowl.
Pour dressing on top and toss.
Place mound of lettuce mixture in center of plate.
Slice breasts of the chickens thinly on the diagonal.
Place on top of the tossed salad.

Serves 8.

Italian Seasoned Shrimp

Italian Dressing Shrimp

Here’s my simple and elegant NCAA Finals Monday night supper …

1 stick butter
1 lemon, sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
1 lb shrimp, cleaned
1 packet of dry Italian dressing mix

Preheat oven to 350°.
Melt butter in baking pan.
Spread lemon slices on top of melted butter.
Spread shrimp evenly in baking pan.
Sprinkle Italian mix over shrimp.
Sprinkle lemon juice evenly over shrimp.
Place in oven.
Bake 15 minutes, until shrimp are pink.

This can be served as an appetizer with hors d’oeuvre picks, as an entrée salad over lettuce and tomatoes tossed in Italian dressing, and over rice or pasta as a dinner entrée.

Mexican Chicken Salad

South of the Border Instagram

I-95 Northbound on Easter Sunday was not a Funday! Alas, I am grateful that we made it home safely. The corny South of the Border sight always brings a smile, or smirk to my face.  So in honor of our neighbors south of the (US) border, I am posting a Mexican Chicken Entree Salad …mmmm; bring on the chips!

For Dressing:
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
3 Tbs olive oil
3 Tbs honey
2 t granulated sugar
2 t cumin
1 t chili powder
1/4 t salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a small bowl combine all above ingredients.
Mix well with wire whisk.
Set aside.

For Salad:
Breast meat of 1 rotisserie chicken, chopped
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can white shoepeg corn, drained
1 red pepper, chopped
2 large carrots, julienned
1 avocado, peeled and chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, rinsed and chopped
2 heads romaine, chopped

In medium bowl, combine chopped chicken, tomatoes, black beans, corn, chopped pepper, carrots, avocado, and cilantro.
Pour dressing over chicken mixture.
Toss gently to combine.
Cover and chill at least 1 hour (or overnight).

To serve, place chopped romaine on center of plate.
Top with chicken salad.
Serves 6.

New Mexican Chicken Salad Entree Chicken

Waldorf Salad Sandwich*

Sandwich Waldorf SaladBreast meat of 1 roasted chicken, cut into pieces
4 stalks celery, diced
1 small red delicious apple, diced
2 Tbs chopped walnuts
2 Tbs Hellman’s light mayonnaise
2 Tbs yogurt
1/8 t nutmeg
1/8 t cinnamon
6 lettuce leaves
12 slices raisin bread, toasted

Combine chicken, celery, apple, walnuts, mayonnaise, yogurt, nutmeg, and cinnamon in medium bowl.
Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight to allow flavors to blend.
To serve, place lettuce on slice of bread.
Spoon chicken mixture over lettuce leaf and top with another slice of bread.
Repeat to make 6 sandwiches.
Chicken mixture will keep up to 4 days in refrigerator.

Serves 6.
*Naturally, you may use this as an entrée salad rather than making it a sandwich. It is delicious both ways.