“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.” -Ruth Reichl
Just came across that quote-love it!! Don't you? So anyhow, just wanted to give you another idea how to use that Cool and Crunchy Jicama Slaw I recently featured. It makes summer meals taste better...really! We had it last night with Oven-Baked BBQ Ribs (finished off the ribs on the grill with some smoking chips). It was perfect because ribs are heavy and rich and the slaw is the complete opposite-light and fresh. Well, here is another idea, a grilled chicken tostada. If you have the slaw made already you are half-way there! If you have left-over grilled chicken from another meal, well, then you have a quick and easy meal with barely any effort! If you are starting from scratch, let me show you how!
Grilled Chicken Tostada- serves 4 to 6
Jicama Slaw made with half of dressing, reserve other half
4 split chicken breasts, about 6 ounces each
seasoning mix from this recipe
6" flour or crunchy corn tostada tortillas (your choice)
2 avocados, pitted and sliced
cilantro leaves for garnish, optional
lime wedges for serving, optional
1. Preheat grill. Prepare seasoning mix and set aside.
2.Take two sheets of plastic wrap and place chicken breasts in-between the two sheets. Pound them into an even thickness, no more than 1/2 ".
3. Season both sides of chicken with spice mixture (a generous pinch per side).
4. Place chicken on hot grill and cook, turning once, til just done, about 3-4 minutes per side. Do not over-cook. Remove from grill and let rest for 5 minutes.
5. Slice chicken in half lengthwise and then into thin strips cross-wise.
6. If using flour tortillas, grill them until browned and crisp (sorry for the way too blurry shot, but you get the idea). If using crunchy corn tostada tortillas, skip this step.
7. To assemble: on each plate, lay down a tortilla. Top with a layer of grilled chicken. Top the chicken with Cool and Crunchy Jicama Slaw, drizzle with a little extra slaw dressing, then garnish with sliced avocado , cilantro leaves and lime wedges, if desired. As they say south of the border- Buen Provecho! ♥
“But, you must remember, whatever you eat, make sure you have at least one bowl of salad with it.” -S.A. Tawks, The Spirit of the Imagination
I don't know if I have mentioned it before, but I am an accidental vegan. It has been less than a year that I undertook a (mostly) vegan lifestyle. I had been living with a chronic, rare and so called auto-immune and incurable skin condition called granuloma annulare for nearly three years. Western medicine was unable to help me. Functional medicine approaches yielded no help, including the Paleo diet which is supposed to be really helpful for so called auto-immune disease). The condition only worsened and became more disfiguring by the month, appearing on most areas of my body including my face. Then this past November a book was released by Hay House called Medical Medium by Anthony William. It changed my life. Embarking immediately on a diet change incorporating as many organic raw fruits and vegetables as possible, the condition stopped spreading. Then in January I did the very strict 28-day cleanse out-lined in the book and I my skin cleared up 100% and has never come back. I have felt so good eating that way (both physically and emotionally, not to mention my hot flashes disappeared) I primarily stick with the diet of only raw fruits and vegetables (I am not 100% perfect 100% of the time, and that is good enough for me). Now my family is not following a vegan eating plan, and that's ok with me, too, so I cook for everyone in my family (exhausting sometimes, I'll admit!) Luckily, there are some recipes the whole family can enjoy, and this is one of them! I have been making this for years and it seems to turn up on our dinner table mostly in the summer. It makes a lot, but it lasts several days stored air-tight in the refrigerator, so great to have on hand. It's a perfect accompaniment to typical summer BBQ fare of grilled chicken and ribs, so it would be perfect for summer entertaining as well. It's crunchy, cool and refreshing, And it's so pretty on the plate! Give it a try, won't you?
Cool and Crunchy Jicama Slaw- serves 8-10
special equipment needed - Mandoline with slicer and julienne blades
1 large Jicama (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and julienned
1 cup of julienned radishes
4 cups shredded red cabbage
2 cups julienned carrots (about 3 medium, peeled)
1 cup red onion, halved, and sliced lengthwise
1 yellow or red bell pepper (or half and half), cored, halved cross-wise, seeded and sliced thinly
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (or Italian parsley, if you are a cilantro hater)
1 tsp kosher or sea salt
1/4 cup freshly squeezed
1/4 cup unseasoned rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons honey (you can sub for another sweetener if you are strictly vegan)
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon minced jalapeno, seeded, optional
1/2 cup avocado oil
1. Place all of prepped veggie ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Prepare dressing. Combine all ingredients for dressing except the oil and whisk together. Gradually drizzle in the oil while whisking constantly.
3. Pour about half of the dressing over the ingredients in the bowl (I always like to start with less. You can always add more); toss. Taste and adjust seasoning to your taste.
4. Serve on a bed of baby greens, garnished with a few slices of avocado for a main dish (top with some broccoli sprouts? Yes!), or as is for a great side dish.
Disclaimer: I am not advocating for a vegan lifestyle, just sharing my story. However I will highly recommend the book Medical Medium if you have a chronic mystery illness (RA, fibromyalgia, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, MS, Lyme and more...) and can not get help with your condition. You CAN heal!
"Don't cry me a river. That's stupid! Cry me a milkshake." -unknown
When I was young, for several summers my family was invited up to an Adirondack lake called Follensby Clear Pond by some family friends. The family shared some of their family cabins on a small island with us. There was no electricity, we had to pump our water, bathe in the lake and use an outhouse among other wonderful adventures. We all fell instantly and permanently in love with the place. We swam, fished, water skied, fed the chipmunks peanuts, and every night, weather permitting, we had a campfire with singing, popcorn and our most favorite treat of all, "shutemuppers" (pronounced: shut 'em uppers). I had never heard of them before then and have never heard of them since. They were basically s'mores with the addition of a Kraft caramel square inside. I believe the adults coined the name "shutemuppers" as the children's mouths were too busy chewing through the gooey sticky layers to speak thus affording the adults a moment, maybe two, of quiet. Isn't that a great story? I have only the fondest , most beautiful memories of that very simple, wonderful time. So this shake is my nod to that campfire treat of long ago. But maybe now the Shutemupper part is that it is so tasty you will be speechless, if only for a moment! I hope you enjoy it as much as I treasure my memory. ; )
Shutemupper Shake -makes 2 large
2 ounces melted semisweet or bittersweet chocolate*
1/8 cup coarse graham cracker crumbs
2 cups chocolate ice cream
2 cups vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup whole or 2% milk
16 very well toasted marshmallows (I like Jet Puff better than store brands)**
2 double rectangles of Hershey's Milk Chocolate (or better)
2 tablespoons caramel sauce (see step #9 in recipe)
1. Dip the tops of your glasses into the melted chocolate and then into the graham cracker crumbs. Place in fridge to harden.
2. In jar of blender, pour in milk and scoop in both flavors of ice cream and 12 of the toasted marshmallows (i know....). Reserve the other 4 for garnish.
3. Right before blending shake, drizzle 1 tablespoon of caramel sauce down the sides of both glasses.
4. Blend the milkshakes well, according to your blender instructions, until thick and smooth. Pour into prepared glasses. Top with reserved toasted marshmallows and chocolate squares. Serve immediately!
* I melt the chocolate in a small bowl, just large enough for the rim of my glass to fit in so it is deep enough to coat about 1/2" of the rim.
** you want to have your marshmallows very well toasted for flavor, but not burnt. If your grill isn't available you can broil them carefully in your oven, but keep an eye on them. It can go from perfect to bad very quickly! A small kitchen torch could also be used, with care of course, to toast the marshmallows. Remember they will be hot, especially the molten center-handle with care!
DISCLAIMER: This is a total sugar bomb. I don't recommend indulging often. You can obviously scale down the portion to make 4-6 small ones. You can also reduce the sugar coma effect by omitting the marshmallows from the shake mixture and using them only for garnish. Enjoy in moderation as with all things! xo
"You don't have to cook fancy, complicated masterpieces, just good food from fresh ingredients. "- Julia Child
Julia's thoughts pretty much sum up my personal food philosophy. The simpler, the fresher, the better, with some exceptions, of course. Now that summer is here in the northern hemisphere, what better time to embrace fresh, good food than now? Farmer's markets are starting to get in more and more fresh fruits and vegetables and that should last up until some time in October. depending on where you live. I can't encourage you enough to seek out yummy local produce wherever you live.
This salsa recipe couldn't be easier and takes full advantage of summer's bounty. It combines all kinds of fresh veggies with a touch of prepared salsa to make a nice chunky and delicious salsa that could almost pass off for being a salad (I have been known to eat it by the bowlful, just sayin').
Couple suggestions- have everything cut into more or less the same size. That makes it easier to scoop and eat. If you are one of those people who can't stand the taste of cilantro, leave it out, or better yet, substitute fresh Italian parsley for it instead. The fresh green is beautiful and tasty. If you are going to serve it right away, feel free to add a bit of chopped avocado as well. You can't save any leftovers though, as the avocado will deteriorate quickly. Pretty much everything in the recipe can be adapted to suit your taste. Look at this recipe as just a guide to get you going. Mostly it should be chunky, delicious and fresh. Have that bag of chips on standby and let's get chopping!
Black Bean and Corn Salsa
2 heaping cups cherry or grape tomatoes washed and diced
1/2 cup red onion, peeled and diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced, or to taste
juice of 1/2- 1 lime, to taste
1/3 cup lightly packed, cilantro leaves, chopped (or Italian Parsley if you are a cilantro hater)
3/4 cups cooked corn kernels off the cob (or frozen, thawed)
1/2 cup diced colored bell pepper (red, orange or yellow)
1 heaping cup black beans, rinsed and drained very well
3/4 cup prepared salsa (your favorite one)
small pinch of kosher or sea salt
1. Prep all of your ingredients and admire how beautiful and fresh it all is.
2. Place all the ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning (Salt, lime juice and jalapeno) as desired. I suggest tasting the salsa on the corn ship you will be serving it with before adding any more salt as the chips tend to have quite a bit of salt themselves.
3. Serve immediately with your favorite chips (also tastes great on grilled chicken breasts). Any leftovers can be refrigerated in an air-tight storage container for up to 3 days. Ole!