Autumn Chicken Salad

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Earlier today I had a late lunch, so at dinner time, I wasn’t hungry at all. Naturally though by about 9 o’clock I had the munchies. Of course I didn’t want a heavy meal so I had to check out the pantry to see what I could scrounge up. Low and behold, I had some canned chicken and thought I’d throw together a little chicken salad. For some reason, that sounded kinda good.

Normally, I make chicken salad the usual boring way… with mayo, celery, maybe some grapes, onions, blah blah blah. I had some farm fresh apples in the fridge and seeing yesterday was the first day of Fall, I thought maybe I could concoct some sort of “autumn-ish” chicken salad. So I continued searching for items I could add into the mix.

Of course a touch of chopped purple onion is a must, along with some red and orange pepper I had on hand. I hit a home run when I found some Trader Joe’s “Roasted and Salted” Pecans, which added a huge touch of fall flavor!

Now get this! In my cupboard I had some dried dates and figs! I chose the dates and chopped some up, along with a few dried apricots I had on hand. BINGO! My Autumn Chicken Salad was coming together nicely!

I added a touch of salt and pepper and then thought….. cinnamon…. that’s “fall-ish”! And while I was at it, a touch of All Spice.

I mixed it all together with a heaping tablespoon of mayo and much to my surprise, it was delicious! I chilled it for about 15 minutes while I took my evening shower and then came back downstairs and had a small sandwich with the other half of the apple I didn’t use.

Cut calories by using low fat mayo and eat it on lettuce instead of bun and you’ll save even more! I didn’t do either, but I did eat it with apples instead of chips, so that counts for something! 🙂

Autumn Chicken Salad

A delicious chicken salad bursting with Fall flavors!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Chicken, Lunch, Salad, Snack
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 1 can Canned chicken (Drained)
  • 1 tbsp Mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Chopped pecans (Trader Joe’s, roasted and salted are awesome)
  • 1/2 Chopped apple
  • 2-3 Seedless dates or figs (Chopped)
  • 2-3 Dried apricots (Chopped)
  • 2 tbsp Chopped purple onion
  • 2 tbsp Chopped red, orange or yellow pepper
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp All Spice
  • 1 tsp Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Drain liquid from can of chicken
  • Chop all veggies, pecans and fruit
  • Sprinkle on the cinnamon, all spice, salt and pepper.
  • Mix in a bowl with mayo. Add more to taste
  • Chill for a few minutes and enjoy on either lettuce leaves or a bun
Adam LapsevichAutumn Chicken Salad
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Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Arugula Salad

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I’m a total fan of Brussels Sprouts. They are healthy, crunchy and can be served quite a few ways.

At a restaurant this week I had a Shaved Brussels Sprouts salad. It was good, but I knew I could do something a bit better! (If I say so myself!). So tonight I tried, and succeeded.

It’s topped with sweet golden raisins, creamy, salty Roquefort chunks and crunchy pine nuts. It’s simple, tasty and healthy! It went perfectly with my Chicken Sheet Pan dish I made.


Start off by thinly slicing your Brussels Sprouts, after slicing the core off of course. Allow some to be super thin and others to have a bit more thickness to them.

Then just mix the other ingredients and toss with the Dijon Vinaigrette dressing. Sprinkle with some golden raisins and pine nuts and you’ll have a super delicious crunchy salad you should surely enjoy!

One tip: Get a GOOD quality Roquefort. It should be salty, and somewhat creamy, but still be able to be sliced or crumbled. (Coulet Roquefort at Heinen’s is what I love).

Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Arugula Salad

Tossed in a homemade dijon vinaigrette dressing
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 15-20 Brussels sprouts, sliced thinly (core sliced off first)
  • 1/2 c Sliced red cabbage
  • 1 c Arugula
  • 1/2 c Golden raisins
  • 3 oz Chunk of Roquefort or Bleu Cheese (Coulet Roquefort is my favorite)
  • 1/2 c Olive oil
  • 1/2 c White balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Dash Salt and Pepper
  • 1/4 c Toasted pine nuts (optional)

Instructions
 

SALAD

  • Slice of the core of each Brussels spout, then thinly slice or shave each one.
  • Slice about a 1/2 cup of red cabbage.
  • Add 1 cup arugula.
  • Place in refrigerator to keep cold while you make the dressing.
  • Add dressing.
  • Add the raisins and pine nuts and crumble some Bleu or Roquefort cheese on each salad.

DIJON VINAIGRETTE

  • In a Ninja food processor or blender, add 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp dijon mustard and 1 small chunk of fresh Bleu or Roquefort cheese.
  • Add a dash of salt and pepper and blend.
  • Toss the dressing into the salad mix.
Keyword Brussels Sprouts, Salad
Adam LapsevichShaved Brussels Sprouts and Arugula Salad
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Sauteed Halibut with Peppery Butter Beans

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This was an AMAZING dinner I concocted this evening. OMG, the flavors were so savory, I was in a food coma – but at least it was a healthy one!

It’s raining out and humid – grilling wasn’t what I felt like doing. The gloomy weather was calling for a bit of comfort food as well. I decided to try and meld a delicious recipe I had for butter beans into a delicious recipe I created for halibut and see if it would work. And much to my surprise, I not only hit a home run, I hit a grand slam!

And to top the dinner off, one of my best friends, who also happens to own a farm and sells his produce at our local farmer’s market, brought me over a ton of his perfectly ripened, farm-fresh tomatoes.

I made a tomato and basil salad that knocked the grand slam totally out of the park!


Peppery Butter Beans

Let’s start off with the butter beans. They take the most time. In a medium sized sauce pan, sauté a 2 tablespoons of butter and a 1/2 of a finely chopped small yellow (sweet) onion. Let it brown. Add a tablespoon or 2 of Wondra, or flour, to create a roux. If it’s too thick, add more butter or even a touch of olive oil.

Then add an entire can of butter beans, with the liquid, into the saucepan. Simmer on low and stir for a few minutes at the beginning. The roux will perfectly blend into the juice from the can of beans.

If you need it a little thicker, add a touch more Wondra or flour. You won’t want it too thick though. Next, add a good heaping of ground pepper, (yes, ground already), white pepper, and some salt. All to taste. It’s supposed to be peppery.

Set it on the back burner on low and let it simmer, uncovered. Don’t let it burn or get too thick. You can always thin it down with some water but not too much!


Sauteed Halibut with Capers

Now onto the halibut. Heat up a non-stick pan with a little olive oil and 2 garlic cloves, pressed.

Do not let them burn. Pat off the halibut with a paper towel and sprinkle fresh ground pepper and kosher salt on both sides.

Once the pan is hot, place the fish in it and let it do its thing. Add a tablespoon of butter to the pan and let it meld into the olive oil.

While that is cooking, slice up your tomato, or prepare whatever type of salad you’re making. Mine was tomato, basil, olive oil, and white balsamic vinegar, with salt and pepper. Then when I was ready to eat, I sprinkled some grated Romano cheese on top. Place in refrigerator to keep cold until dinner is served.

Go back to the halibut now and flip it. You want to both sides get brown and form a crust. Then add a few tablespoons of white wine. Not a lot! Remove the halibut from the pan and scrape up the brown bits with the wine. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of capers. Whisk it all together.


Final Touches

Next is to add a bit of the creamy butter bean sauce to the pan and mix that in. This will thicken up the juices from the pan a bit. Once that is ready, add the fish back into the pan for one last warmup. Cover it for about 2 minutes while its cooking on low.

To plate the meal, place a cup of butter bean in the center of the plate. Add the fish on top, and then take the sauce from the frying pan, and add that to the top of the fish. A touch of freshly grated lemon zest is a nice touch.

Serve with the tomato salad and nice white wine, and you’re set.

The whole thing took me about 40 minutes to make, and sadly, 15 minutes to eat! 🙂

Sauteed Halibut with Peppered Butter Beans and Capers

Flaky, savory halibut served on top of peppery butter beans. Delish!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Dinner, Fish, Salad, Seafood
Cuisine American, Seafood
Servings 2 servings

Ingredients
  

Halibut

  • 2 8-10 oz Halibut filets
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 2-4 tbsp White wine
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 2-3 tbsp Capers
  • 1 tsp each Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Freshly grated Lemon Zest

Peppered Butter Beans

  • 1 can Butter Beans
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1/2 small Onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp Ground Pepper
  • 1 tsp White Pepper
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1-2 tbsp Wondra or Flour

Instructions
 

Peppery Butter Beans

  • In a medium sized sauce pan, sauté 2 tablespoons of butter and 1/2 of a finely chopped small yellow (sweet) onion. Let it brown.
  • Add a tablespoon or 2 of Wondra or flour. Whisk to thicken and create a roux.
  • Add an entire can of butter beans, with the brine, into the saucepan. Mix into the roux to thicken.
  • Simmer on low and stir for a few minutes at the beginning.
  • Add a good heaping of ground pepper, white pepper, and some salt. All to taste. It's supposed to be peppery.
  • Set it on the back burner on low and let it simmer, uncovered. Don't let it burn or get too thick.

Sauteed Halibut

  • Heat up a non-stick pan with a little olive oil and 2 garlic cloves, pressed.
  • Pat off the halibut with a paper towel and sprinkle fresh ground pepper and kosher salt on both sides.
  • Once the pan is hot, place the fish in it. Depending on the thickness of the filet, cook for 4-6 minutes on a medium high flame.
  • Add a tablespoon of butter to the pan and let it meld into the olive oil. Cook for another 2 minutes. Again, this depends on the thickness of the halibut.
  • Flip the halibut so both sides get brown and form a crust.
  • Add a few tablespoons of white wine.
  • Remove the halibut from the pan. Scrape up the brown bits with the wine.
  • Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of capers. Whisk it all together.
  • Add a bit of the creamy butter bean sauce to the pan and mix that in.
  • Add the fish back into the pan for one last warmup. Cover it for about 2 minutes while its cooking on low. The steam from it being covered with keep the fish moist and the sauce more liquidy.
  • Plate the meal by placing a cup of butter bean in the center of the plate. Add the fish on top, and then take the sauce from the frying pan, and add that to the top of the fish. A touch of freshly grated lemon zest is a nice touch.
Adam LapsevichSauteed Halibut with Peppery Butter Beans
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Flank Steak – An Amazing Marinade

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As a Weight Watcher, I try to keep my daily food intake within my points range…. but sometimes, I just have to have a steak! I’m not a big red meat eater, so when I do indulge, it has to be something that I really, really enjoy. My favorite cut of beef is a flank steak, and I was given a secret marinade years ago by a former colleague of mine who is also a food connoisseur.

Back in the mid-2000’s, a colleague of mine from my days working for Seabourn Cruise Line was visiting me from Dallas. Of course, being a Texan, she knows a little about beef! She taught me a few tricks to cooking beef, including how to make a classic pan-seared filet mignon, French style in a cast iron skillet (recipe one day soon)…. but more importantly, was how to prepare the perfect flank steak and marinade.

OMG – it is so delicious, you’ll be licking the plate for all the remaining juices! And, the best part, it’s so simple.

I serve flank steak as a standalone meat with a variety of sides, including just veggies, or potatoes, and sometimes even an olive oil and pepper pasta dish. It’s delicious on salads, or in burritos, tacos or tortillas, as well as a variety of Asian dishes.

The key, in my opinion, is the temperature. I know many people like their beef overly cooked, but medium-rare is the bomb. A little pinkish-red brings out flavor so much better than a dried shoe-leather steak, but I digress. That’s up to you!

The first thing when making it is to score it with criss-cross cuts on both sides. Rub a few cloves or garlic in the scores and pour soy sauce on top. Not too much, otherwise it will be too salty.

Rub lots of freshly ground black pepper and squeeze a lemon over it all. Refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. Remove the meat and allow to get warmed up to room temperature for about 10 minutes while you’re heating your grill or cast iron skillet up. Then sear it baby!

See the whole recipe below. Slice it thinly on an angle for wide, thin pieces.

I make zillions of salads so here I just added it to a salad with grilled romaine, corn, and veggies, and drizzled with a balsamic vinegar, olive oil and a touch of freshly squeezed lemon.  OUT OF THIS WORLD!

Give it a whirl and let me know what you think!

Flank Steak

A delicious marinade and recipe for flank steak.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Marinate in refrigerator 30 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Beef, Main Course
Cuisine American, Dinner, Lunch
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1-2 Pound Flank Steak
  • 1/4 cup Soy sauce
  • 4 cloves Garlic Pressed
  • 1/2 Lemon (Juiced)
  • 1 tsp Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Score flank steak on the diagonal, criss cross, both sides, with a sharp knife
  • Press 2 cloves of garlic into the scores on each side
  • Add fresh ground pepper to both sides
  • Juice the lemon onto both sides
  • Cover with wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Remove from refrigerator for at least 10 minutes before cooking. Preheat grill on high, or cast iron skillet if cooking inside. (Cast iron requires a bit of olive oil in the pan).
  • Cook on each side for at least 5 minutes before turning. It's delicious when there is a slight char to the meat.
  • Cook to desired temperature. Medium-rare is preferred with a slight pinkness to the meat.
  • Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
  • Cut the meat thinly on a slight angle. I find it's easy to slice the meat vertically (down the center) into 2 long pieces, especially if the steak is fairly wide. This way you can wrap any unused portions that aren't sliced, which prevents the meat from drying out when reheating it.
  • Serve on a salad, standalone with side, in tortilla... however you want!
Adam LapsevichFlank Steak – An Amazing Marinade
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