Chicken Salad

The surprise ingredient in this chicken salad adds a delicious crunch to this lunchtime favorite.Sharing the kitchen with my daughter and her family has many advantages. One of the greatest advantages is that I am in charge of only half the meals. Another is the opportunity to learn new recipes from the cook who’s in charge of the other half of the meals. Here’s her take on chicken salad. I never would have guessed how much cauliflower can add to this simple dish.

Anne’s Chicken Salad

2 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped fine
4 large pickle spears, chopped
1 small head cauliflower, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 cup mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste

Saute cauliflower in olive oil until some pieces begin to brown. Remove from heat.

Combine chicken, onion, celery, pickles, and cauliflower in a large bowl. Add mayonnaise 1/4 cup at a time until it reaches the consistency you like. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate 2-4 hours before serving with your favorite bread or on a bed of lettuce.


Slow Cooker Chicken Broth

Making chicken broth in a slow cooker is simple and yields several quarts of delicious, sodium-free broth.I’ve been making chicken broth for years by boiling the chicken carcass in a big stock pot. But my daughter recently showed me how to make very flavorful broth in a slow cooker overnight. What could be simpler? Not much as this recipe shows, which works equally well with turkey.

Slow Cooker Chicken Broth

Place the carcass of a roasted or slow cooked chicken carcass, including skin and bones, in the slow cooker. Add pan juices and brown bits scraped from the bottom of the roasting pan. Fill the slow cooker with water. Throw in an onion (quartered), three stalks of celery cut into 3 inch lengths (include the leaves), and 6 garlic cloves (halved). It will look a little gross.

Making chicken broth in a slow cooker is simple and yields several quarts of delicious, sodium-free broth.Put the lid on the pot, turn it on low and let it cook overnight. In the morning, run the contents of the slow cooker through a strainer into two large bowls. Allow the broth to cool. Pour into pint freezer bags. Seal and lay the bags flat on cookie sheets. Place cookie sheets in freezer until the broth is solid. Remove bags from cookie sheets, stack and keep in freezer until needed. Makes 8–10 pints of broth.

Thai Chicken Soup

This easy Thai soup recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, and full of flavor. It also yields some excellent leftovers.Soup season will soon be over. But while it lasts, this recipe is one to try before warm weather hits. Especially if you love Thai food. This recipe is my version of one from the Elana’s Pantry website.

This recipe is easy, dairy-free, gluten-free, and bursting with flavor. It makes a big batch. That’s good because The Man of Steel and I would have quibbled over the leftovers otherwise. Needless to say, this version of Thai soup received the Hiram Coveted Seal of Approval. Next time, I may add some red pepper flakes to add a bit more heat.

Thai Chicken Soup


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 bunch green onion, chopped
  • 8 sprigs cilantro, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 28 ounces coconut
  • ½ pound crimini mushrooms
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1 pound chicken breasts skinless-boneless, halved lengthwise, sliced on bias, cut into ⅛ inch thick pieces
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons red curry paste
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • ½ cup cilantro, minced

Cooking Instructions

  1. Warm oil in a large saucepan over medium heat
  2. Add half of the green onions and cilantro, stirring frequently until softened, about 5 minutes
  3. Stir in stock and coconut milk and bring to a simmer
  4. Pour broth through a fine mesh strainer and discard solids (green onions and cilantro)
  5. Return broth to saucepan
  6. Reduce heat to medium, add mushrooms and broccoli and cook until tender, about 5 minutes
  7. Add chicken and cook, stirring constantly, until no longer pink
  8. Combine lime juice, curry paste and fish sauce in a small bowl then stir into soup
  9. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with cilantro, chilies and scallions


Chicken with Raspberry Chipotle Sauce

This easy and delicious recipe is low-sugar, gluten-fee, and dairy free. Plus it will set your taste buds dancing.This post is the culmination of a three part series that began with DIY adobo seasoning, which was an ingredient in the raspberry chipotle sauce used in today’s delicious chicken recipe. I first tasted this dish at a church potluck and made it for my daughter and her family a few weeks later. We all loved it, and I’m looking forward to making it again soon, and the Man of Steel is looking forward to eating it.

Chicken with Raspberry Chipotle Sauce

2 grilled chicken breasts sliced into thin strips
1 batch low sugar raspberry chipotle sauce
1 red, yellow, or orange sweet bell pepper cut into thin strips
1 large onion, sliced into thick strips

Place grilled chicken strips in the bottom of a crock pot. Place peppers and onions on top of the chicken. Pour the raspberry chipotle sauce over all. Put lid on crock pot and cook on low for 4 hours.

Serve in tortillas or over rice. Feeds 4.

Low-Sugar Raspberry Chipotle Sauce

This delicious raspberry chipotle sauce goes together quickly & easily. It's delicious on grilled meat or fish & in next week's featured main dish.Today’s recipe is the second in a series leading to a bang up main dish to be featured next Wednesday. The original recipe can be found at the Food Renegade website. I substituted the DIY adobo seasoning from last Wednesday’s post for the Swanson Organic Mexican adobo and upped the jalepeno peppers for more zing. The sauce goes together quickly and easily. It’s delicious on grilled meat or fish, as well as in next week’s main dish.

Low-Sugar Raspberry Chipotle Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 jalepeño pepper, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 cups of fresh or frozen raspberries
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons DIY adobo seasoning

Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add minced jalepeño peppers and cook until caramelized. Slowly add apple cider vinegar and stir gently, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen the browned jalepeño bits. Add raspberries, honey, and adobo seasoning.

This delicious raspberry chipotle sauce goes together quickly & easily. It's delicious on grilled meat or fish & in next week's featured main dish.

Cook down until sauce forms, stirring regularly. Lower the heat and simmer until reduced to desired thickness. Remove chipotle sauce from heat and pour into jar or bowl. Allow to cool before serving.

Dairy-Free Pineapple Cream Pops

Pineapple cream pops are a healthy after school snack for warm August and September days. They are also dairy-free and gluten-free with no processed sugar.Today’s recipe is a great after school snack. It’s perfect for kids who come home hot and hungry the first few weeks of school. The original recipe comes from one of those annoying websites with lots of confusing arrows and pop up ads. The kind of websites I usually hate. But the ingredients were healthy and the recipe was easy to make dairy-free.

So I gave it a try. The frozen pops were tasty and satisfied my sweet tooth. The original recipe suggested freezing them in popsicle molds. Since I don’t have them and don’t want to reclutter my cabinets, I used 3 ounce. Dixie cups and plastic straws cut in half instead. The cups worked beautifully. The straws not so much. Next time–and I will make them again– I’ll use wooden craft sticks instead.

Dairy-Free Pineapple Cream Pops

1 large, ripe, fresh pineapple cut into cubes
2 cans coconut cream (not coconut milk)
1 lime
Stevia to taste

Open the cans of coconut cream (DO NOT SHAKE THEM) and skim off the heavy cream on top. Put it in a small, deep bowl. (Refrigerate the rest of the coconut liquid and use it in smoothies or baking.) Whip the coconut cream with an electric mixer until it is frothy and thick.

Put the pineapple cubes in the blender. Process until you have a smooth, frothy mixture. Add the juice of 1 lime and process for another minute. Add the coconut cream to the blender and process until all ingredients are mixed well. Taste the mixture and add Stevia if it needs sweetening.

Pour the liquid into 3 ounce. Dixie cups.

IMG_5085Put a wooden stick or plastic straw in each cup.

IMG_5086Cover with foil. Put in freezer for several hours. Before serving, peel off the paper. Enjoy!


Non-Dairy Shrimp Scampi


Well, I jumped straight from the family camp frying pan into the helping with the 3-monty-old grandbaby fire. Which means that while the Gravel Road kitchen remains closed, this grammy is flexing her cooking muscles on a daily basis. Especially today which is the birthday of the baby’s mommy.

The birthday mommy requested shrimp scampi for supper and cherry pie instead of birthday cake. Because all the adults at the table couldn’t eat dairy, I jimmied the original scampi recipe to make it non-dairy. Also, we didn’t have dried cranberries, so I substituted fresh sweet cherries. They were a worthy stand in, but the tang of cranberries is even better.

Non-Dairy Shrimp Scampi

1 ½ pounds shrimp, shelled and deveined
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chopped parsley leaves
¼ cup lemon juice (fresh-squeezed, if possible)
¼ cup dry cooking sherry or dry white wine
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
½ cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon chopped, sweet red pepper
1/8 cup dried cranberries

Wash shrimp and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Add shrimp and cook until pink. Do not overcook. Remove from pan and place on serving platter. Sauté garlic, green onions, and sweet peppers for about a minute. Add sherry or wine and lemon juice. Cook and stir until liquid boils, scraping up any brown bits in the pan. Stir in lemon zest, cranberries and chopped parsley. Pour sauce over shrimp and serve over rice or linguini.

Peanut Lemon Stir Fry for a Fantastic Fourth

shapeimage_1-2715-300x171Tis the season for grilling and stir fry. We’ll be eating this delicious meal over the fantastic Fourth of July season. What about you?

Last week and this week, our CSA share has included one of my favorite summer treats – sugar snap peas. Often, I stir fry them solo in olive oil, with a dash of crushed garlic and kosher salt added at the last minute.

But I also like to make them part of a main course, so last week I threw together this peanut-lemon dish using whatever was in the fridge. My, oh, my it was so tasty that we’re going to have it again tomorrow night. I’m already drooling at the thought. So give it a try and leave a comment about what you think.

Peanut-Lemon Stir Fry

1 chicken breast, cut in bite-sized pieces
2 cups sugar snap peas, with tops cut off
1 medium onion cut in wedges or 2 bunches green onions, cut in small pieces
1 sweet red pepper, cut into chunks
1/2 cup raw peanuts
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons Thai peanut sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons olive oil

Combine lemon juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and red pepper flakes in a bowl. Add chicken and marinate in refrigerator for 1/2 hour or longer.

Put peanuts in a small cake pan and roast in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. Cool.

In a small bowl mix together the broth, peanut sauce and corn starch. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in skillet or wok, medium high. Add peas and stir fry for 1 minute. Add pepper and stir fry for another minute. Do the same with the onions. Pour all veggies into a bowl. Heat remaining olive oil and add chicken (but not the marinate). Stir fry until chicken is thoroughly cooked.

While chicken is cooking, add 1/2 cup of marinate to the broth mixture. Stir well. Add mixture to the skillet, stirring constantly, until it bubbles and turns clear. Add vegetables to the skillet, stirring until they are hot and coated with sauce. Sprinkle peanuts on top and serve over rice.

Red Thai Soup with Ginger Meatballs

This recipe for Red Thai Soup with Ginger Meatballs is dairy-free, but the coconut cream makes it taste like a milk-based soup. Yum!June isn’t usually considered soup weather. But I’d been wanting to try this recipe for Red Thai Soup with Ginger Meatballs ever since a friend posed it on Facebook. The ingredient list included fresh parsley, basil, and cilantro, all of which are ready for harvesting in my herb garden. So we had soup one night, and it was good.

The meatball prep took some time, but the soup went together quickly. Since the recipe makes enough meatballs for 4 batches of soup, several bags of frozen meatballs are ready for quick soup suppers when the weather turns cool again. Both the Man of Steel and I found the soup delicious and filling.

Red Thai Soup with Ginger Meatballs

Ginger Meatball Ingredients:

1 pounds ground beef
1 pound ground pork
2 cups baby bella mushrooms, minced
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 egg
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoonground black pepper

Heat oven to 425 F. Mix all the ingredients by hand in a large bowl. Form into 1-inch balls. (Makes 35–40) Place at least an inch apart on broiler pan. prepared cookie sheets. Cook for 12-15 minutes. Divide into 3–4 quart freezer bags and freeze.


2-4 tablespoons coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cups Yukon gold potatoes, cubed
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1-2 cups stir-fry vegetables•
4 cups chicken or turkey broth
9-12 juicy meatballs
2 tablespoons red Thai curry paste
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 can coconut cream
Chopped cilantro or basil leaves

Sauté onions, potatoes and mushrooms in coconut oil over medium heat until onion becomes translucent. Add stir-fry vegetables* and cook for 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, meatballs, curry paste, salt and white pepper. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Add coconut cream, cook on medium-low until hot enough to serve. Stir in cilantro or basil right before serving.

*I used sweet red pepper and broccoli. The broccoli was a bit overpowering.

Healthy Chicken Noodle Bowl with Peanut Sauce

This dish is a meat lovers variation of a veggie noodle bowl with peanut sauce recipe I found recently. The peanut sauce is so good!The beginnings of this week’s dish can be traced to a recipe called Healthy Veggie Noodle Bowl with Peanut Sauce. The ingredient list for the peanut sauce made my mouth water, but I knew the Man of Steel wouldn’t go for the tofu, so I used chicken instead. Also, I couldn’t find edamame and used pea pods. Then, when I went to get the broccoli from the crisper there was none (a side effect of being 59), so kale went into the dish instead.

The end product was delicious, though as the Man of Steel said, the strong flavors mean it should only be served now and then to avoid getting tired of it. So that’s what we’ll do, which should give me time to locate a produce department with edamame and to forget whether or not there’s any broccoli in the vegetable crisper .

Healthy Chicken Noodle Bowl with Peanut Sauce

Sauce Ingredients:

1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter stirred well (not stabilized peanut butter with additives)

2 – 2 1/2 tablespoons tamarii

2 1/2 teaspoons finely grated ginger

1/3 cup fresh lime juice

2 tablespoon pure maple syrup

2 – 3 tablespoons water

2 medium garlic cloves, smashed

veggie bowl Ingredients:

1 pound chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces
8 oz box pad Thai brown rice noodles noodles, prepared according to package directions
1 cup pea pods, washed and cut into thirds
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 large bell pepper cut into bite-sized pieces
2 carrots, julienned
2 cups broccoli florets or 1 bunch kale, veined and torn into pieces
1/2 cups raw peanuts

  1. Combine all dressing ingredients (except the garlic) in a jar or gravy shaker. Seal and shake until mixed. Add the smashed garlic, stir gently and set aside for at least 10 minutes. Remove garlic after it sits. The dressing thickens as it sits. Add more water and/or lime juice to thin it out if needed.
  2. Heat a large frying pan with 1 tablespoon coconut oil. Add the raw peanuts and cook until they begin to brown. Remove with slotted spoon and place on paper toweling.
  3. Add chicken to frying pan and cook until it’s cooked through and slightly browned. Place on a plate.
  4. Add remaining tablespoon of coconut oil. Add broccoli or kale and cook for 7-10 minutes for broccoli, 5-5 minutes for kale. Stir frequently until it is lightly brown. Add the peppers and pea pods. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Shake the dressing and add more water/lime juice if needed.
  6. Add chicken to the pan and toss with a few tablespoons of the dressing.
  7. Toss the noodles with about half of the dressing to coat well and then add to vegetables and chicken. Add the carrots and toss well to combine all ingredients and cook until heated through. Add more dressing as needed.
  8. Serve hot and top with peanuts.