Mango Chicken Salad
I'm a sucker for chicken salad...always have been and always will be!! Needless to say, I've tried a lot of different varieties, but I've never made it or had it with mango before. I've always liked the versions that have grapes in them for that little extra sweetness so when we had a mango leftover on the counter, I figured why not try it out instead. It worked!!! It was delicious and sweet and salty, with a little bite from the red onion. This will definitely get made again.
Not to completely change topics on you, but one thing I hear from people ALOT is how expensive it is to eat healthy. One thing I want to start doing with some of our blog posts is to add a price component and show you guys what it would cost to make some of the dishes that we make. One of the most important things when it comes to shopping on a budget is buying things that are in season. For example mangoes right now are selling for 80-90 cents per mango. Also buying in bulk is important. If you follow us or have been in an accountability group with us, you know that we love Costco. You can get so much great stuff for pretty cheap! Most of this meal came from Costco but you could easily throw it together for roughly the same price buying everything at a regular grocery store.
Here's the breakdown:
That's a better price than anything you will get going through a drive thru and SO much healthier! You could totally eat this on it's own or put it in a Flatout wrap with some spinach and have some veggies on the side you and you have a completely healthy meal for under $4. Also as far as nutrition goes (if you like to watch your macronutrients like I do) each serving will provide you with 381 calories, 19 grams of fat, 19 grams of carbs, 39 grams of protein.
If you are a man's man and the only way you would ever eat salad is if it was grilled and has red meat, this is the salad for you. No man would or should ever be ashamed of eating a salad like this.
The idea for this salad totally belongs to a former coworker of mine, Eric Simpson. He is the executive chef and at the golf club I used to work at and was always coming up with super tasty food. Recently I was back out there with some family and someone ordered his version of this salad and it just looked tasty. I actually never tasted it but just got a look at it so I'm not sure if the flavors are similar but the main ingredients are close, I think.
This salad would totally be an awesome everyday dinner salad throughout the summer. The smokey char from the romaine pairs perfectly with freshness of the avocado and tomato. The blue cheese rounds it and will help it earn it's spot in your weekly meal rotation. Hope you enjoy this salad.
So this week was an experiment for me on our quest to make a new meal for a Monday post. We've tried cauliflower crust pizzas in the past and really haven't had any luck with flavor or texture. We love the idea of pizza that we can eat without any guilt so we wanted to give it another try.
So this time I thought it would be fun and tasty to add sweet potato to the cauliflower. This would give it a bit of that sweet flavor that you get from regular dough when you add honey or sugar. I was also hoping it would help crisp up the crust a bit more.
If you can't tell by words like "experiment" and "hoping" this didn't quite turn out the way I had hoped. Although tasty it didn't quite have the texture that I was hoping. The outside got crispy but the interior stayed a little on the soft side. It was definitely a fork kind of pizza.
Feel free to make some suggestions if there are any bakers out there that know a way to add more of crunch and firmer texture. I'm thinking maybe a little more tapioca starch and a higher heat when I bake it next time.
Once I master this crust I will post the recipe cards that you guys can download. Until then I would appreciate any feedback on how I could improve this recipe and process.
Make it a Great Monday!
Hosting Easter Dinner
Yesterday was the first time that Laura and I hosted Easter dinner for either her family or mine. It was my family plus Laura's brother, Michael, that joined us for our Easter festivities this year. I have to be honest and say it is difficult to cook for my family, we have a few picky eaters. We are from a small town and didn't grow up eating a lot of different foods. My mom always made good food but it similar in flavors and familiar so that is how the taste buds of my family developed. Meals became traditional. Just like the sun always rises in the east, we always have ham at Easter. I love tradition and there is something comforting about knowing what you will be eating and those foods will remind you have times long ago. Part of me though loves to take the traditional and tweak it and that is what we did this year with our Easter dinner.
So of course we had to make a ham, but instead of traditional oven baked ham I got the idea to grill/smoke our ham. I love smokey foods. This would also free up our kitchen oven to do other things and not have a giant ham taking up half the space. I did a little research and found that spiral cut hams tend to dry out when cooked on a grill, so opted for non-sliced ham. The process of smoking the ham was actually pretty easy. Prior to putting it on the grill, I did a light rub on it. I first added a layer of dijon mustard and then rubbed in some brown sugar to almost make a paste around the outside of the ham. This helped create a nice layer sweet and smokey on the outside.
We have a pretty big grill, so I just turned on the two outermost burners on medium, and placed the ham in the middle of the grill. This provided indirect heat, similar to an oven. As you can see in the picture I used a little smoker box that I picked up at Home Depot and kept it stocked with apple wood chips. This setup kept the temp of my grill around 250. I smoked the ham in a disposable aluminum foil tray for an hour and forty minutes, checking it every 20 minutes to make sure the temp was steady and occasionally add some more wood chips. At the 1:40 mark I added a little apple juice, maybe a cup, to the bottom of the tray, and covered the top with aluminum foil, to essentially steam the ham and keep it from drying out. After 40 minutes or once the ham got to 135, I removed the foil and begin the glazing process. I cheated and just used the glaze that came with the ham, which was a currant glaze and pretty tasty. I turned the heat up to medium high on the two side burners and glazed it twice, keeping it on the grill for another 25 minutes. That was all for the cooking process. I just let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
As for the sides there was one side that I had to keep pretty close to the original, my moms Scalloped Corn. Think gooey cornbread. We did modify a little bit and used greek yogurt instead of sour cream and almond milk instead of regular cow's milk. Sorry this is the one thing that isn't pictured above.
The other sides included mashed potatoes. Obviously I had to do something to dress up just regular mashed potatoes. I added a couple parsnips to the pot of boiling potatoes. I also sauteed some leeks and garlic in some butter, which I added to our Vitamix and blended with some more butter and almond milk, which I added as we mashed the potatoes. I couldn't sneak these past my older brother however, he knew something was up with his "regular" mashed potatoes. Fail on my part. I also did a really easy roasted carrot that I tossed with a little honey and ground ginger. If you make the carrots make sure to toss them in the honey after they are done cooking otherwise you will have a sticky burnt mess in the oven.
Baked beans aren't a traditional side for our Easter dinner but I thought what goes better than ham and beans... Also I have always wanted to make some beans from scratch. This process involved soaking dry beans and then I cooked them in the crockpot overnight. I quasi followed a recipe by The Beeroness for her Slow Cooker Maple Bacon Beer Baked Beans. I did tweak the some things in the recipe. I added some beef broth instead of water. I also ended up adding a small can of tomato paste and a little brown sugar after tasting them in the morning. I like the tomato flavor and richness that the tomato paste added.
The last couple of items in the picture above are what we refer to "individual" corn and a broccoli salad. The individual corn is named for my younger brother that never liked the Scalloped Corn so my mom always had to make a little side dish of regular steamed corn for him. That tradition has continued. The broccoli salad was a spin on the traditional broccoli salad with a mayo dressing. I opted to make a clementine vinaigrette, then added bacon, clementines, dried cherries, slivered almonds, and fresh mint. Flavor-wise I really liked it but the dressing got a little thing so it didn't coat the broccoli quite as well as I hoped.
Of course we had to finish off with some dessert. We didn't go crazy, with anything elaborate even though my mom was mentioned she wanted us to recreate a salted caramel cheesecake that she recently had vacation. We kept it simple with angel food cake and berry syrup, some fresh strawberries and fresh whipped cream.
If you have some picky eaters in your family, I would encourage you not to shy away from foods that they might not like but instead try to find ways that you can "sneak" them into dishes. Chances are their distaste for a food is probably based on either a poor preparation of it or memory from when they were 9 years old and they lived off of Fun Dip instead of broccoli. If you are a picky eater, I encourage you step out and try some new things. It's not going to kill you, unless it is sushi made from raw chicken, don't do that it might actually kill you. Who knows you might actually really like something and be missing out. Just like life you tend to regret the things you didn't do/try versus the ones you did do/try. If you want specific recipes for anything I mentioned I would be happy to share, just comment below.
Have a Great Monday!!!
We wanted to switch it up for you guys this week and give you a great breakfast option for a meal. I know we've focused more on dinner type meals but everybody loves breakfast, right? This would be a great dish/meal to throw together Saturday morning for the whole family. Feel free to scale the spice level to the people for which you are cooking. You could also double this recipe and have leftovers for the entire week. This recipe will give you about 3-4 servings of the hash.
We really love our breakfast hashes because they are super easy to prepare and usually just involve throwing together whatever ingredients are available. Some easy swaps even with this recipe would be to use regular potatoes. You could also throw in some leftover taco meat from last night. We love adding greens to our hash, so some spinach, kale, or chard would be a great add on to this dish. If you want to go vegetarian you could easily leave the bacon out of this dish and you still get a serving protein and veggies. So many options!
If you are new to hashes, start with this recipe and feel free to venture out and get creative with ingredients you like. The key is adding veggies to your breakfast. It is easy to add fruits and breads to breakfast and start your day on the sweet side and also high in carbohydrates and low in protein. This is one of the keys that we promote with our coaching clients to burn fat and manage hunger throughout the day.
Download Recipe Card for Sweet Potato & Black Bean Hash with Eggs
Lemon and Herb Chicken Breast Medallions with Roasted Sweet Potatoes in a Bourbon Cinnamon Sauce
Do you ever have that night where you've been chasing around and crazy from 4:00-8:00 and finally realize that you haven't given dinner a thought yet? Well that situation is how this dish was born. Chicken medallions is just a fancy way of saying I was too lazy thaw chicken breasts so the only way I was going to get them to cook through completely is to chop them up into smaller pieces. The sweet potatoes were an easy side and so was the steamed broccoli. Don't worry the bourbon sauce doesn't taste like bourbon it actually gives it a bit of sweet flavor.
All together this meal took 30 minutes to make from when I pulled the chicken out of the freezer to when we were sitting at the table. Super easy and packed with some good flavor. Hope you enjoy it!!!
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Download Recipe Card for Lemon Herb Chicken Medallions
Download Recipe Card for Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Bourbon Cinnamon Sauce
So this is our first #MakeANewMealMonday recipe and dinner idea. The idea behind this hashtag is twofold: we want to try some new stuff and have gotten into a rut with food and we hope to help you out with some new meal options too!
So what can you look forward to? Most of the recipes we will post will be healthy, made from scratch meals. Sorry no shortcuts here, we eat real food. A majority of the recipes will likely be dinner type meals that you can scale up or down depending on how many you have to feed. Some meals will be kid/family friendly, some will be a little bit more sophisticated for the adventurous types. I can't promise that all of them will be crazy delicious because they are going to be brand new creations for us too, and sometimes you don't get it quite right the first time.
We will post these recipes on our Facebook Page, The Cook & The Coach on Mondays so feel free to follow us over there. If you want to make sure you get all of these recipes delivered to your inbox just plug your email address into the section below and we will email you once a week with our recipe from that week along with any other blog posts we put out.
This first meal was a bit of a throw together meal but it turned out pretty tasty. This dish had a bit of a Moroccan feel to it. We had a rotisserie chicken in the fridge so it made this pretty easy to throw it together. Depending on who you are cooking for, you can either keep the spice level on the low side or really kick it up.
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The Cook & The Coach
Healthy is a LIFESTYLE.