Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Mexican Chicken Salad

The Recipe: Just in time for Cinco de Mayo or, y'know, a weeknight supper all summer long, a "Mexican" chicken salad, just cooked chicken tossed in a lime and yogurt vinaigrette with black beans, jicama, corn and tomatoes. It's easy, it's tasty and the jicama gives the salad great "crunch". If you're new to jicama, you'll want to check out Vegetables 101: What Is Jicama? You'll be glad you did!

Weight Watchers Friendly, just 3 PointsPlus per cup! Low Carb too!

The Conversation: Chicken, the culinary chameleon.

Mexican Chicken Salad, a quick supper, rotisserie chicken tossed with lime-yogurt vinaigrette, black beans, jicama, corn and tomato.
Easy Summer Recipes
This recipe is so quick and easy
that I'm adding it to a special collection of easy summer recipes.
Watch for new 'summer easy' recipes all summer long.
With a free e-mail subscription, you'll never miss a one!

My favorite just-turned-twelve-year old has a cautious palette, he just doesn’t like surprises. But during a Florida beach vacation last year, he worked up the gumption to try alligator. “It tastes like chicken,” he reported later, obviously surprised that something so exotic could taste so familiar.

That’s the funny thing about chicken, right? Other meats “do” often remind us of chicken. But chicken is itself a culinary chameleon, it easily adapts to different flavors. We loved this Mexican Chicken Salad but we also love Asian Chicken Salad and Chicken Greek Salad with Simple Hummus. What’s next, I wonder?!

ALANNA’s TIPS A whole teaspoon of salt might seem like it would be a “lot of salt” for the dressing. But it’s seasoning for an entire pound of chicken plus about five cups of vegetables. We didn’t find it at all too much! A rotisserie chicken is easier to “pick” when it’s still warm, the skins come off more easily, the meat pulls off the bone less reluctantly. Put the skin and the bones right into a saucepan, you’ll want to make No-Big-Deal Homemade Chicken Stock. Throw the corn cobs into the pot too! If you’re making the salad ahead of time, consider de-seeding the tomato, otherwise the salad can get a little watery. Fresh summer tomatoes and fresh corn make this an especially summer-y chicken salad. During the off-season, use roma tomatoes and frozen corn. A rotisserie chicken is convenient but pricey compared to other cuts. In St. Louis, you can buy a rotisserie chicken for about $7, cheaper than fast food, for sure, but still, about $5.60 a pound if it yields 1-1/4 pounds of meat. So skip the rotisserie chicken if you like, this is my favorite way to bake chicken for eating later, Vince’s Baked Chicken. Add avocado at the last minute so it doesn’t turn brown.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

QUICK SUPPER:
MEXICAN CHICKEN SALAD

Hands-on time: 50 minutes
Time to table: 50 minutes
Makes 7 cups
    LIME-YOGURT VINAIGRETTE
  • 1/4 cup (60g) non-fat Greek yogurt
  • Zest of a lime
  • Juice of a lime (about 1-1/2 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (see ALANNA’s TIPS)
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
    CHICKEN SALAD
  • 1 rotisserie chicken
  • 1/2 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small jicama, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 ears corn, kernels sliced off (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large tomato, cubed (see TIPS)
    TO SERVE
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Small tomatoes, jicama slices, chopped cilantro, avocado slices for garnish

LIME-YOGURT VINAIGRETTE Mix all ingredients in a small food processor or by hand with a whisk. Can be made ahead.

CHICKEN SALAD Pull the skin off the chicken, then the meat off the bones. Cut into bite-size pieces and refrigerate until ready to mix.

Prep the veggies.

Combine the chicken, veggies and Lime-Yogurt vinaigrette.

TO SERVE Line a large bowl with lettuce leaves, spoon salad into leaves.

MAKE-AHEAD Can be made up to 8 hours before serving.

MORE IDEAS Cut corn tortillas into strips or wedges and bake until crisp; break into pieces and sprinkle over top. Serve with warm tortillas or soft whole lettuce leaves on the side for “wraps”. Use the chicken mixture as the meat topping for Mexican Pizza (Oaxaca Tlayuda).

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Cup: 128 Calories; 3g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 21mg Cholesterol; 287mg Sodium; 14g Carb; 4g Fiber; 3g Sugar; 11g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 2 & WW Points Plus 3. CALORIE COUNTERS 100-calorie serving = 3/4 cup (9g protein). This recipe has been 'Alanna-sized'.
Adapted from Sauce Magazine, one of St. Louis' two fabulous food magazines. This recipe has been 'Alanna-sized' with reductions in fat and calories.

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo at Home? Recipe Ideas!

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Mexican Fruit Salad Pork & Poblano Skillet with Creamy Slow-Cooker Beans Mexican Mango Trifle
~ more Mexican recipes ~

More Chicken Salad Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Mango Chicken Salad Chicken Greek Salad Asian Chicken Salad

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Half Steel-Cut Oats & Half Rolled Oats:
How to Transform Your Morning Oatmeal

The Recipe: Hang onto your breakfast slippers, people, because there’s a great new way to cook oatmeal. It's a blend of 50:50 steel-cut oats and old-fashioned rolled oats and the texture is light and creamy but also – there's just no other way to put it – almost chewy, a real porridge. It's wonderful done "sweet" with fruit, glazed pecans and a splash of maple syrup but also "savory" with sautéed veggies and an egg on top.

The Conversation: Three secrets to great oatmeal, one old, two new.

How to transform your morning oatmeal, half steel-cut oats and half old-fashioned rolled oats. Great texture, Weight Watchers PointsPlus 3. KitchenParade.com
Easy Summer Recipes. Less cookin'. More livin.' It's the summer's motto!
Yes, it's that time of year again!
This recipe is so quick and easy
that I'm adding it to a special collection of easy summer recipes.
Watch for new 'summer easy' recipes all summer long.
With a free e-mail subscription, you'll never miss a one!


COMPLIMENTS!
"... really like your blended rolled and steel-cut oats!" ~ Charlie


A dear friend, spoken with regret: “I don’t really like oatmeal.”

Me, responding with confidence: “Then you’re not using enough salt.”

At lunch a few weeks ago, my friend Riffi recalled this long-ago conversation. I have no memory of it – still, it doesn’t surprise me: the first secret to good oatmeal is salt.

What does surprise me is that the Microwave Creamy Oatmeal with Peanut Butter that’s been my go-to breakfast three or four or even five mornings a week for the last fifteen or so years now – that’s three thousand bowls of oatmeal! – has new competition been displaced.

The second secret to good oatmeal? Whole milk! It yields oatmeal that’s light and creamy at the same time.

The third secret to great oatmeal? A mix of steel-cut oats and old-fashioned rolled oats. The combination is a mix of creamy and chewy.

And my friend Riffi? She now eats oatmeal – cooked with enough salt, mind you – a few times a week. Wait until she learns my new secrets!

ALANNA’S TIPS
STUFF THAT WORKS All old-fashioned oats is excellent but the 2:1 mix of old-fashioned oats:steel cut oats has amazing texture, it’s almost chewy. No quick oatmeal here, no instant oatmeal here, just old-fashioned oats and steel-cut oats. Salt? Don’t even think about leaving it out. I’ve also added a tablespoon or two of chia seeds (before cooking) and protein powder (after cooking) to the Almost-Chewy Creamy Oatmeal: both work great.

STUFF THAT DOESN’T WORK For vegan and dairy-free “creamy” oatmeal, I tried both almond milk (homemade and commercial) and coconut milk: “fine” but to my taste, these are nothing special. I also use 2% milk, our usual drinking milk. The oatmeal is still quite creamy and quite good – just not as special as whole milk. I had high hopes that Almost-Chewy Creamy Oatmeal would turn out well in the slow cooker – but sorry, no-no-no. It was edible but lost all the amazing texture that happens on the stovetop. Since I have such good luck “slow cooking” in the oven at low temperature overnight, it was worth a shot to cook oatmeal this way. But yuck, what a disaster! The oats were like glue and went straight into the garbage. One batch, I added chai-style spices; somehow the oatmeal tasted “sweet” even without added sugar. Some will like this but we didn’t.

ALMOST-CHEWY CREAMY OATMEAL

Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 20 minutes
Makes 2 cups, easily multiplied for more servings
  • 1 cups oats – preferably 2/3 cup old-fashioned and 1/3 cup steel-cut
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (don’t skip!)

In a heavy saucepan that’s big enough for stirring and for the volume to more than double, bring the oats, milk, water and salt to a boil on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.

Once it comes to a boil – there will be big sloppy bubbles – stir continuously with a silicone spatula, scraping the sides of the saucepan often, until the oats absorb all the liquid, about 5 minutes. Don’t walk away, otherwise the oats will scorch!

If you’re using steel-cut oats, cook the oatmeal for another 5 minutes, stirring continuously, until the denser steel-cut oat pieces soften but retain some chewiness.

After five minutes, if the steel-cut oats aren't done, add more liquid, either more 1:1 milk:water or just water and continue to cook until they finish. You can also do add liquid to loosen the oats to your liking, they really absorb an amazing amount of liquid.

SERVE IT PLAIN I l-o-v-e this oatmeal plain, all by itself, just tiny teaspoons at a time, really savoring the texture and creaminess, you can actually taste and touch the oats!

DRESS IT UP Top with seasonal fruits, a few Maple-Glazed Pecans and a tiny splash of maple syrup.

MAKE-AHEAD TIPS Almost-Chewy Creamy Oatmeal is best served straight from the stove so I tend to make it in small batches. Still, it does reheat well. Before reheating either in the microwave or on the stovetop, stir in some extra milk or water to loosen the oats. Believe it or not, I like this oatmeal cold too! Again, it's that great texture!

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Half Cup: 136 Calories; 4g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 6mg Cholesterol; 607mg Sodium; 21g Carb; 3g Fiber; 4g Sugar; 5g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 2.5, WW PointsPlus 3 CALORIE COUNTERS Divide into 5 servings, 1 serving = 109 calories (4g protein).
Inspired by recipe for Oven-Baked Oatmeal from Half & Half, as published in my column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Do click through, the Raspberry Compote is very worth making, the whole combination is magnificent!

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

Morning Oatmeal: Make It Savory!


Almost-Chewy Creamy Oatmeal (here in savory version), the great new way to cook oatmeal including three tricks, one old, two new.

Breakfast oatmeal doesn't have to be sweet, it really doesn't. Especially in the summer, we like to saut´e a few vegetables and put an egg on top. Dreamy good, that soft yolk streaming into the creamy oatmeal.


Morning Oatmeal Plus Seasonal Fruit? Heaven


Almost-Chewy Creamy Oatmeal, the great new way to cook oatmeal including three tricks, one old, two new.

Even just a touch of fresh fruit tastes like a real indulgence on Almost-Chewy Creamy Oatmeal.


More Favorite Ways to Cook Oatmeal

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Microwave Creamy Oatmeal with Peanut Butter Stovetop Oatmeal with Whipped Banana Slow Cooker Steel-Cut Oats
Easy Baked Oatmeal with Blueberries & Bananas Swiss Bircher Müesli Homemade Granola with Almonds & Apricots
~ more oatmeal recipes ~

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