A Year of Recipes: #30

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Shredded chicken breast, celery, light mayo, canned crushed pineapple, sage, thyme, pineapple and coconut yogurt, grapes, sliced almonds, green onion

For my “easy meal” last week I went with a Pina Colada Chicken Salad, after searching for pineapple on FoodGawker. I’m surprised I hadn’t made a chicken salad yet this year.

Like most chicken salads, this required quite a few ingredients to get that nice variety of flavors and textures that makes chicken salad so good.

Instead of cooking my chicken and then cutting into chunks, I cooked my chicken in the crock pot and shredded it, which is much easier in my opinion. I also think the texture of shredded chicken is better than chunks in a chicken salad, but that’s just my opinion.

All the ingredients but chicken mixed and ready to go

All the ingredients but chicken mixed and ready to go

So…other than making my chicken all I really did was cut a few key ingredients into bite-sized pieces and mix everything up in a big bowl.

My meal was slightly different from the recipe in two ways. First, I was unable to find pina-colada yogurt among the literal plethora of flavors available at the store.  So I instead used half a container of pineapple greek yogurt and half a container of toasted coconut vanilla yogurt…I was worried about that combination. I didn’t taste much coconut in the end, but it was fine!

I also ended up using light mayo, mostly because I already had some in my fridge and I didn’t want to buy another container just to get regular. I actually think there was no problem making this substitution (and mayo kind of grosses me out anyways…) and ended up keeping the calorie count lower on this meal.  If I remake this in the future I’ll still use light mayo.

Beautiful mixture of flavors and textures!

Beautiful mixture of flavors and textures!

I served in half a piece of pita bread on a fancy white paper plate.

Flavor 3/4 – the recipe itself mentions this, but the spices really balance everything out. The pineapple flavor is strong, but not overwhelming.
Ease 4/4
Guiltless 3/4 – the calories on this were great, and the ingredients were decent.
Leftovers 4/4 – this is the type of food that is meant to be packed in lunches!

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A Year of Recipes: #29

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Cauliflower, quinoa, cumin, chickpea/garbanzo beans, limes, olive oil, sliced almonds, green onion and one jalapeno!

Some weekends I just want to try something crazy, and like I’ve mentioned previously, vegan or meatless meals always answer that call. I was feeling up for spicy, so I ended up with a Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Quinoa Salad (with Jalapeno-Lime Dressing). The title alone is a mouthful.

To start I roasted two trays in the oven, one with cauliflower cut into bite-size pieces and one with a can worth of chickpeas. Don’t do what I did and not realize that chickpeas are generally labeled as garbanzo beans at the grocery store.

Each tray was drizzled with olive oil and a variety of spices before going into the oven. During this time I got my quinoa cooking and my dressing mixed, both of which are simple processes.

One head cauliflower, toasted.

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Ready to mix everything up

Once everything was done cooking, all I had to do was mix it together. I kid you not, it was that easy!

IMG_5509Flavor 2/4 – this was good but aside from the sauce, a little on the bland side.
Ease 3/4 – several steps involved, but all easy ones.
Guiltless 3/4not a fan of canned foods
Leftovers 3/4 – this was not bad to reheat. Quinoa is good for leftovers most of the time.