Dinner · dinner in 30 minutes · salad

Big Mac Salad

These hot August days sometimes turn my appetite away from heavy, hot foods to cold, refreshing salads. But when you need some protein, and you want more than a garden salad, what do you do?

You add ingredients to the salad that have the taste of a Big Mac without the heaviness or the calories of a burger! This Big Mac Salad is basically a deconstructed hamburger without the bun. But it’s hearty and delicious!

Here’s how you make it:

Big Mac Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Ground beef
  • 1 tsp Sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black pepper
  • 8 oz Romaine lettuce (or iceberg if desired)
  • 1 cup Tomatoes (chopped)
  • 3/4 cup Reduced Fat Cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1/2 cup Pickles (diced)

DRESSING

  • 1/2 cup Light Mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp Pickles (diced)
  • 2 tsp Mustard
  • 1 tsp White vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 tbsp  sweetener of choice
  1. Brown ground beef, adding salt and pepper. Break beef up into small crumbles as it cooks.
  2. In a large bowl, add lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and pickles. Top with cooked ground beef. Top with dressing just before serving.
    You can also assemble each salad on the plates as I did in the photos here.
  3. For Dressing:
    Mix ingredients in a mason jar. Add warm water or oil to make it a pouring consistency .

This meal is also super fast and can be on the table in less than 30 minutes – probably faster than you could run to the local fast food restaurant and get served! It’s the perfect meal on a hot day, or a day when you want something delicious, but healthier than a hamburger!

What do you eat when it’s hot outside?

Main dish.

The Best and Easiest Honey/Lime Salad Dressing (and a great salad to put under it!)

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I’m reposting this recipe again because my husband and I recently discovered a Honey-Lime Salad Dressing at Cheddar’s that is delicious and we now always order for our salad. I was so happy to remember that this Honey-Lime Dressing was here on my blog.  It’s a perfect combination with this grilled chicken!  I hope you’ll fire up the grill and try it!

I found this Grilled Chicken and Corn Salad in Rachel Ray’s Magazine and it called my name! It appealed to me for many reasons, but I’m bringing it to you for one reason – IT IS SOOOO GOOD! The kicker for me is the super simple Honey/Lime dressing that goes over the salad. I think I am done buying pre-made salad dressings! Homemade vinaigrettes are just so much better!

I grilled several pieces of chicken at once when I made this (more than I needed), so I could put the meat in other recipes through the week. It makes sense that if you’re going to heat up the grill to cook chicken, do extra and have it on hand for the week! I’ll share my other recipes at the end of this post. But first, here’s the delicious Grilled Chicken and Corn Salad…

Grilled Chicken and Corn Salad with Lime Dressing

  • 1 cup heavy cream or Mexican crema
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, pureed or finely chopped
    This salad is wonderful witihout the Crema!
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken (breast or thigh)
  • 2 large ears corn
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Juice of 2 limes (about 4 tbsp.)
  • 2 teaspoons acacia honey or light agave
  • 6 cups chopped romaine hearts
  • 4 ounces Manchego cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler – I used a Mexican cheese blend
  • 1 ripe Hass avocado, sliced and dressed with lemon or lime juice to slow browning
Directions

  1. Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill over medium-high to high.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the cream and chipotle over low, stirring occasionally. Simmer until it thickens a bit, about 5 minutes. Keep warm.
  3. Drizzle the chicken and corn with a little oil. Season with salt, pepper, thyme, oregano and cumin. Grill the chicken and corn until the chicken is cooked through and the corn is charred in spots, turning occasionally, 12 to 15 minutes. (If using a grill pan, cook the corn first.) Invert a small bowl in a large bowl. Place one corncob upright on top of the small bowl. Cut the kernels off the cob (they’ll fall into the big bowl). Repeat with the other corncob. Slice the chicken. Douse the chicken and corn with the juice of 1 lime.
  4. Dressing: In a large bowl, whisk the juice of the remaining lime, the honey and 1/4 cup olive oil; season. Toss with the greens. Divide among plates; top with the cheese, chicken, corn, chipotle crema and avocado.

I also used the grilled chicken for this soup (with a few changes). I also cut the corn off the cob before adding it to the soup!

My  husband used the grilled chicken and made us Quesadillas for lunch one day (isn’t he sweet?!). He added the chicken, tomatoes, and cheese and it made a great lunch dish!

So, do yourself a favor and make this Lime Dressing, if you don’t try anything else. Do yourself a second favor and fire up the grill and get some really flavorful meat in your fridge for the rest of the week!

What have you cooked up in your kitchen this week?

With love from my country kitchen,

salad · summertime

Summertime Salad

With summertime comes light refreshing meals. I’m going to share a salad recipe that we LOVE. It calls for pears, which are really good in this, but blueberries, blackberries or strawberries are delicious additions; we’ve tried them all!. One great thing is that it only has 6.3 grams of fat. The dressing is so good, but made with only a small amount of oil. Try it and tell me what you think! This recipe came from Cooking Light

Pear, Walnut, and Blue Cheese Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette
You can make and refrigerate the vinaigrette up to a week ahead.
Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup canned whole-berry cranberry sauce
3/4 cup orange juice (about one orange)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger (I didn’t have this and it was still good)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Salad:
Salad greens of your choice (anything but head lettuce is good)
2 Cups sliced peeled pear
1 cup slices red onion, sliced into rings
1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
6 teaspoons coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
1. To prepare vinaigrette, place first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl, stir well with a whisk.
2. To prepare salads, divide the lettuce evenly among 6 salad plates. Divide sliced pear and onions evenly among leaves. Top each serving with about 1 tablespoon cheese and 1 teaspoon walnuts. Drizzle each serving with about 2 1/2 tablespoons vinaigrette. Yield: 6 servings
Enjoy!
t
Fish · salad

Crispy Oven-baked Fish with Pineapple Ketchup

I love integrating fish into our weekly menu, in an effort to eat healthy. Cooking light created a recipe for crispy fish in the oven. This was a great alternative to frying and still gave a nice crunchy exterior! Don’t be afraid of the pineapple ketchup that accompanies this recipe! It’s merely a sweet and sour taste that is a nice change from tartar sauce!

We enjoyed this with potato wedges instead of fries. I also served this fresh Broccoli Salad, made from our garden-fresh broccoli! It was the perfect accompaniment!

What a Delicious meal!

Crispy fish with pineapple ketchup

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups cornflakes – I used crushed Rice Krispies and it worked great.
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 pound tilapia fillets (I used whole pieces of Polluck), cut into 4 x 1-inch pieces (about 12 pieces)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup cubed fresh pineapple
  • 1/3 cup reduced-sugar ketchup (such as Heinz)
  • 1 teaspoon lower-sodium soy sauce

Step 1

Preheat oven to 425°.

Step 2

Place a wire rack on a large baking sheet. Coat rack with cooking spray. Place cereal in a large zip-top bag; roll with a rolling pin until crushed. Place crushed cereal, rind, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a shallow dish. Combine juice and egg in a shallow dish, stirring with a whisk.

Step 3

Sprinkle fish evenly with 1/4 teaspoon pepper and salt. Dip fish in egg mixture; dredge in cereal mixture. Arrange fish on prepared rack; bake at 425° for 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

I did not cut my fish into sticks;
I baked it as whole pieces.

Step 4

Combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper, pineapple, ketchup, and soy sauce in the bowl of a mini food processor; process until smooth. Serve ketchup mixture with fish sticks. I left the fresh pineapple chunks as pieces and we loved the texture in the Ketchup!

This is a nice crispy fish with just the right amount of flavoring. I will definitely repeat this menu!

With love from my country kitchen,

Gluten-Free · salad · Side dish

Spinach Salad With a Twist

Meals can get boring if you don’t change things up a bit.  I’ve found it’s all about The Sides!  If you make your famous meatloaf or pork loin and just add a couple of different sides to along with it, it turns it into a brand new meal!

I love salads of all kinds, and a Spinach Salad is right up there with my favorites!  I love this old standard, Continue reading “Spinach Salad With a Twist”