Adaptable Recipes, Food Glorious Food, Makeover Monday Meals, Take Out Favorites From Your Kitchen

Makeover Monday Meal- Turn Takeout into Dine-in

Almost everyone has a go-to place for great takeout. Whether you go on a Friday, Saturday, or even Tuesday night, there’s nothing like ordering your favorites and digging in when you get home.

However, there are times when you just don’t feel like making the drive. Granted, there are a plethora of delivery options available, but many of them require a minimum order to get free delivery, and if you’re in the mood for one thing, it’s just not worth it.

For many people, lo mein with its noodles stir-fried with vegetables and your choice of beef, chicken, or shrimp in a delectable sauce, ticks all the boxes. Thankfully Cooking Professionally has a recipe for Beef Lo Mein that is not only delicious but it can also be prepared for two in twenty minutes. Moreover, by making it at home, you can control the level of sodium and carb intake.

With so many supermarkets and grocery stores offering pre-chopped and julienned vegetables in their produce sections, you can save yourself some more time. This is a great and economical way to enjoy your favorite takeout meal at home.

If you want to make this vegetarian or vegan:

Omit the beef and increase vegetables *

Replace the oyster sauce with an equal amount of low-sodium or regular soy sauce plus 2 teaspoons of white sugar, coconut sugar, turbinado, or raw cane sugar. You can also use 1 teaspoon of Swerve, Splenda, or monk fruit sweetener. *

To make it low-carb instead of Lo Mein noodles or egg noodles, you can use zucchini or spaghetti squash noodles. Instead of blanching in hot water for 2 minutes, blanch the vegetable noodles for 4 minutes and set them aside. *

 

Beef Lo Mein recipe by Cooking Professionally adapted Still A Chick Lit

Ingredients

• 14 ounces Lo Mein noodles (or cooked egg noodles) *

9-ounce beef sirloin (tenderloin/rump or any tender meat cut) *
• 3-4 mushrooms, sliced
• 2-3 spring onions, cut into 2-inch pieces
• 1 bell pepper, julienned
• 2-3 cabbage leaves, cut into thin slices
• 5-6 snow peas
• 1 small carrot, julienned
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil for the sauce:
• 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
• 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
• 4 tablespoons oyster sauce *
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (or rice vinegar)
• 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
For the marinade
:• 1 tablespoon sauce mix
• 1 teaspoon cornstarch
• 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
optional garnishes:• chopped spring onions• chili oil, to taste

Directions

Step 1

To begin, blanch the noodles in hot water for 1-2 minutes, then sprinkle in a bit of sesame oil, mixing well. Set aside.

Step 2

Combine all of the sauce ingredients into a small mixing bowl. Set aside.

Step 3

To prepare the vegetables, wash and slice them. Set aside.

Step 4

Cut the beef steak into thin slices, going against the grain. In a separate bowl, combine all of the marinade ingredients, then add the beef slices. Let sit for 10-15 minutes. Set aside.

Step 5

Heat the pan or wok over medium-high heat. Sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of oil, then add in the beef slices.

Step 6

Flatten the beef, searing for 1-2 minutes, then continue to stir fry for an additional 1-2 minutes. Then, follow with the vegetables, adding in the hard ones first. Cook for 1-2 minutes.

Step 7

Make space in the middle of the wok, add in the noodles, and pour in the sauce mixture.

Step 8

Toss all the ingredients and noodles well for 2-3 minutes to combine evenly, until fully cooked. Remove from heat and transfer to a serving plate.

Step 9

If desired, top the dish with extra chopped spring onions and chili oil. Serve immediately.

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Dinner, Fall Comfort Recipes, Makeover Monday Meals

Makeover Monday Meal- Soup’s On

 

Well, November is here, and we are about to head into the heart of the holiday season. That said, Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away, and many of us will be gathering with family and friends to celebrate and give thanks together.

All of it means there’s a lot of planning underway to put family favorites on the table, and you might be looking to try a few new recipes to include for your get-together. As the unusually warm air gives way to colder temps, you might be looking for something that makes your feel warm inside, and a nice bowl of soup fits the bill.

This recipe comes to us courtesy of Catherine Fulvio of the Ballyknocken Cookery School in County Wicklow, Ireland. Catherine’s Kitchen Quarantine Edition had a wonderful recipe for red lentil soup, that’s soothing, delicious, and 100% vegan. The addition of coconut milk makes this soup creamy and velvety.  Many of us will have people with different dietary needs at our tables this Thanksgiving, and this is a soup that is sure to please.

Finally, the soup comes together quickly with a minimum of prep time. You can season the soup to your taste. Be mindful of the fresh ginger, it can have quite a bite. Keep tasting as you go along, and remember to use salt and pepper to balance everything on the palate. Also, Catherine has a tip for ginger that I always use. Store fresh ginger in the freezer. Use a freezer bag and use it as needed. Not only will it keep, but it also makes it far easier to use in recipes.

This recipe is Vegan. Vegetarian, Gluten-free, and low-fat.

I hope you give this a try.

 

Red lentil and ginger soup by Catherine Fulvio

 

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp Oil
  • 1 Onion finely chopped
  • 1 ½ Red Chilies deseeded and finely chopped
  • Pinch of Freshly Ground Nutmeg
  • 2 Red Peppers deseeded and diced
  • 4 oz Red Lentils soaked for 10 minutes in water and drained
  • 20 fl oz Vegetable Stock
  • 14 fl oz Can of Coconut Milk
  • 1 tsp Fresh Ginger grated
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Toasted Desiccated Coconut and Fresh Herbs to garnish

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion for 10 minutes until transparent.
  • Add chili and ginger and cook for a further minute.
  • Add the peppers, lentils, and nutmeg and stir to mix. Add the coconut milk and the stock to the soup. Leave to simmer until the vegetables are fully cooked through and the lentils are soft. Remove from heat and blend until smooth. Season to taste.
  • Sprinkle over the toasted coconut, garnish with fresh herbs and serve.
Adaptable Recipes, Easy Preparation Meals, Food Glorious Food, Healthy Lifestyle Choices, Makeover Monday Meals, Slow Cooker

Makeover Monday Meal- Dinner Edition

 

This Monday meal is just right for autumn and football season. When the temperatures drop, this chili will warm you up without weighing you down. It also comes together fairly quickly. Serve the chili alone, topped with cheese or over rice. It also goes well with guacamole and chips.

This is a family pleaser and perfect for Monday Night Football.

The recipe includes adaptations for vegetarians and vegans. It’s also gluten-free and high protein.

 

Chicken Chili by Still A Chick Lit

 

 

4 small or 3 large sweet onions, diced (Vidalia or Texas sweet)

2 green peppers, medium-diced

3 red peppers, medium-diced

1 orange pepper, medium-diced

1, yellow pepper, medium-diced

1 can low-sodium red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can low-sodium pink kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of unsalted chicken stock or broth

3 cans Campbells tomato soup

3 tablespoons chili powder, or to taste

1 pound ground chicken (or ground turkey)

1 pound ground chicken breast (or ground turkey breast)

3 tablespoons Canola oil

Add Canola or vegetable oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add your diced onions and peppers. Saute for 8 to 10 minutes. Add ground chicken and chicken breast in, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Cover and let cook through, stirring occasionally.

When the chicken is no longer pink, add the chili powder and stir well. Add the beans and tomato soup. Mix well. Lower the flame and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

 

Vegan Substitution

  • 2 Packages of vegan ground meat
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 unsalted vegetable stock or broth

 

To Make Using a Slow Cooker

  1. Cook the ground chicken separately in a skillet until cooked through. Set aside. Clean the skillet and add the onions and peppers. Cook until the vegetables are just beginning to soften. Remove from the heat.
  2. Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a slow cooker with the beans, tomato soup, seasoning, and chicken stock.
  3. Cover and cook on high until chili has thickened, about 4 hours. Or cook on low for 6 hours.

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Adaptable Recipes, Fall Comfort Recipes, Food Glorious Food

Makeover Meal Meal-Fall Comfort Edition

Summer is the season of hot weather, going to the beach, cool drinks, grilling, and long lazy days. Conversely, autumn is the season of cooler temps, leaves changing, sweaters, hot apple cider, comfort food, Halloween, Veteran’s Day, and Thanksgiving. For so many of us, it’s time to put the oven on and head back into the kitchen.

 

Comfort meals are just the thing to help us hit the reset button in the midst of the stresses of work, school, and other obligations that can make us feel a bit off balance. During the week, we often don’t have the time or energy to deal with a long complicated meal. Even a slow cooker can be hard when you don’t have time to put the ingredients together, or some of us have even forgotten to put it on.  However, we came across a recipe in Southern Living that is easy, healthy and comes together in less than thirty minutes.

Chicken soup is one of the ultimate comfort foods and cure for all that ails you. The best thing about this soup is you can buy many of the ingredients pre-cooked and pre-chopped.  We’ve adapted the recipe for vegans and vegetarians ( no chicken, vegan noodles, and non-dairy milk) as a way to be sure that everyone can find comfort in a hot, creamy soup perfect for the cooler evenings ahead.

 

Enjoy and Happy Fall!

Creamy Chicken Soup recipe by Southern Living Magazine adapted by Still A Chick Lit

Total Time 25 minutes

¼ cup unsalted butter (unsalted vegan butter)

1 medium-sized yellow onion, finely chopped

3 medium carrots, sliced into 1/2 -inch rounds (about ¾ cup)

2 medium celery stalks, chopped

4 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 cups fresh spinach or 1 cup frozen peas

1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1 bay leaf

¼ cup all-purpose flour (gluten-free all-purpose flour, sorghum, white rice, or brown rice flour)

¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

6 cups unsalted chicken stock (unsalted vegetable stock) (I like Kitchen Basics)

8 ounces Old-fashioned wide egg noodles (you can use pasta, such as orzo or even angel hair spaghetti to keep it vegan/vegetarian)

1 cooked or rotisserie chicken, torn into bite-size pieces (omit for vegan/vegetarian soup)

½ cup heavy cream (dairy: light cream or half and half) (non-dairy: rice, soy, or almond milk)

1 tablespoon Sherry Vinegar

2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Melt butter in a large pot. Add onions, carrots, celery, bay leaf, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until softened. Add flour, garlic, and smoked paprika. Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture is fragrant and the flour begins to turn brown.

Add stock to the mixture and increase the heat to bring to a boil. Stirring occasionally. Add the noodles, spinach, or peas and cook, stirring occasionally until the noodles are tender. Reduce the heat to low, add the chicken. Cook until the chicken is heated through, about one minute. Stir in the cream, sherry vinegar, and remaining salt. Before serving top with thyme leaves. Serves Four.

Notes

  • For a vegan or vegetarian version of this soup, double the vegetables for an extra-yummy creamy vegetable soup.

There isn’t a lot of knife work for this recipe, however, if you’re not comfortable, most grocery stores and supermarkets have pre-chopped vegetables in their produce section. It’s also a time saver.

 

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Adaptable Recipes, Food Glorious Food, Living Your Best Life North of Forty and Fifty Plus, Makeover Monday Meals

Makeover Monday Meal- Breakfast Edition

It’s already August for many of us it’s been a hot summer. It is also the time when we begin to see more zucchini recipes as it’s the time of year there’s a bumper crop of zucchini everywhere.

I found this recipe in my inbox and it was a hit, even with my seven-year-old nephew, a very picky eater. The best part was that I got to sneak in a little nutrition with all the chocolate goodness. I hope you give this recipe a whirl. There’s a link for A Kitchen Addiction to see what other goodies she has.

This recipe has adaptations for:

  • Gluten-sensitivities
  • Low Sugar
  • Vegan, Vegetarian
  • No-Sugar

Happy Monday to everyone.

 

Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins by A Kitchen Addiction adapted by Still A Chick Lit

Yield: 18 muffins

 

Prep time: 15 minutes

 

Bake time: 20 minutes

 

Total time: 35 minutes

INGREDIENTS

2 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour (brown rice flour, quinoa flour, buckwheat flour)

1 cup unsweetened baking cocoa (Dutch-Process cocoa powder)

1/3 cup sugar (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, monk fruit sweetener granulated, or coconut, raw cane, golden, or turbinado sugar, pulsed fine before using)

1/4 cup brown sugar (Swerve brown sugar substitute, or organic brown sugar, light or dark)

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 Cup whole-fat or low-fat plain yogurt (non-dairy: almond, soy, or coconut yogurt) (dairy: Greek plain yogurt low fat, whole milk Greek yogurt, do not use fat-free yogurt)

1 cup milk (dairy: whole, 2%, or skim) (non-dairy: almond, soy, rice, or light coconut milk)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 eggs (1/4 cup Aquafaba, ½ cup silken tofu pureed with ¼ teaspoon baking soda, 2 flaxseed or chia seed eggs, vegan egg replacer)

1/4 cup melted coconut oil (measured in the liquid state), melted and cooled butter or canola oil would also work (vegan unsalted butter)

2 cups shredded zucchini

3/4 Cups mini chocolate chips + additional mini chocolate chips for garnish, if desired

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners or spray muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, unsweetened baking cocoa, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until well-combined. Stir in yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract until the mixture just starts to combine.

Add in eggs and melted coconut oil. Stir until combined.

Gently fold in shredded zucchini and mini chocolate chips.

Divide batter into muffin cups. Depending on the size of the muffin cup, each cup will be anywhere from 3/4 to completely full.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.

Store leftovers in an airtight container.

For More Recipes From A Kitchen Addiction visit:

https://www.a-kitchen-addiction.com

Health, Living Your Best Life North of Forty and Fifty Plus, Mind Body Spirit Connection, Whole Body Wellness

Health and Whole Body Wellness

 

Maintaining our health is always important, but it is increasingly so as we age. While there are many things we can do to improve and maintain our physical appearance, taking care of what’s on the inside is the key to looking and feeling good.

Taking Care of Your Body

Over the past five years, more people are investing in home fitness equipment that comes with personal trainers for different types of workouts. Peloton is at the front of the pack. Fun fact about the word peloton. In a road bicycle race, the peloton (from French, originally meaning ‘platoon’) is the main group or pack of riders. Riders in a group save energy by riding close (drafting or slipstreaming) to (particularly behind) other riders.

Peloton is just one of a number of in-home streaming workouts. There are others that may be more suited to what you like such as:

  • Yoga
  • Dance
  • Barre (ballet-based)
  • Cardio
  • Cycling

Look for a program that fits your budget. Many of these services offer trial periods before your commit to the either monthly or yearly expense of the service. Some workout platforms like Fit-On, have free basic memberships. However, it’s important to remember that if you want more variety, the price of a pro-plan could be worth it for you.

Healthy Diet

A healthy diet is another key to maintaining balance in our lives. It’s important not to focus on calories, carbs, and fat. Rather, approach your diet by putting the best food or fuel into it. Vegetables, fruit, whole grain, lean proteins, and plenty of water are the basis for keeping your body running at peak condition. Treats are okay and don’t need to be measured and weighed if you partake in moderation.

There is a vicious cycle that results from denial. When you feel like some ice cream, chocolate, or whatever your preferred indulgence is, it’s best to go ahead and eat it.  You are more likely to indulge moderately. Conversely, it’s the denial of what your body is craving that leads to overindulgence, binging, and guilt. Allow yourself a treat. When you want to snack, pick something that hits your flavor profile whether it’s sweet and crunchy, sweet and salty, or salty and crunchy. This way you snack smarter.

Read labels. Even light or healthy food products have hidden things in them like salt. Google all the alternative names used for salt and sugar. You would be surprised at how many healthy alternatives are filled with sugar, salt, and preservatives. Also, if you are looking into one of the many meal services available, research their ingredients too. The meals and components have to travel, which means preservatives and more. If this is something that would work for your lifestyle, make sure you pick one that benefits your health too.

Relax and get some rest

Powering down our bodies is as essential as powering them up. Most of us lead incredibly busy lives and spend oodles of time on the go. Find time to disconnect from your schedule to reconnect with relaxation and rest.

  1. Spend time with hobbies- Whether it’s model airplanes or cars, sewing, knitting, crocheting, painting, or drawing, hobbies relax our minds to focus on something we enjoy.
  2. Read- Turn the television off and put down the smartphone to pick up a book or magazine.
  3. Watch television- Put on your favorite program. Watch a nature show or binge a series. There’s nothing like watching a guilty pleasure.
  4. Get all the electronics (phone, television, computer, laptop) out of your bedroom. Make your bedroom a real place of rest. This will allow you to turn off the distractions so you can get the 7 to 8 hours your body needs.

 

Keep your mind clear and centered

Our mental and emotional health plays a big role in the health of our physical body. To keep everything balanced, we need to find ways to deal with the biggest enemy of good mental and emotional health, stress.

Stress, anger, and sadness, are three things that can wear us down. Therefore, it’s important to deal with the issues that cause them.

  • Talk to a professional. There is nothing wrong with seeing a therapist or psychologist for talk therapy. It’s a safe space to let our emotions out and to figure what’s a healthy way to deal with them.
  • Friends, family, spouse, or partners. Talking to the people we love can help us feel supported and loved. However, there’s a difference between unburdening ourselves and offloading our problems onto someone else’s shoulders. The latter is something to avoid doing for the sake of your relationship.
  • Worship If you’re a religious or spiritual person connecting with God through a church, synagogue, or mosque can provide a sense of being grounded and having a greater purpose in life.
  • Meditation – This allows you to connect with yourself. It also helps you learn how to quiet your mind, which keeps stressful thoughts at bay.

 

If you can find a way to implement some of these tips, you will be on your way to whole-body wellness as a woman who is north of forty plus shining brightly for years to come.

Health and Wellness Keys to Balanced Body

Food Glorious Food, Makeover Monday Meals

Makeover Monday Meal-Veggie Edition

An Easy and tasty way to get more veggies in your family’s diet

 

July is nearly over, but as the calendar changes to August with the heat still on in much of the country, you want to keep your time in the kitchen to a minimum.  This recipe comes courtesy of my sister, who spotted it in her Google feed just before Independence Day.

The recipe for this Cowboy Caviar is from the Dinner At The Zoo Blog. It works great as an appetizer, with a salad, or your favorite tortilla chips. The recipe requires a little knife work, but you can find a number of the ingredients pre-chopped at most grocery stores.  Low-sodium versions of the canned beans are widely available too. If you aren’t a fan of cilantro, you can use parsley instead. If you like it hot, add more jalapenos. If you don’t like heat, leave it out. Play with the recipe until you get it to suit your palate.

 

It’s one healthy bite that I am sure you and your family will enjoy.

Prep Time 20 minutes

Cook Time 1 minute

Total Time 21 minutes

Servings 8

Cowboy Caviar by Dinner at the Zoo

Ingredients

1 can of black beans rinsed and drained (low-sodium)

1 can black-eyed peas rinsed and drained (low-sodium)

1 cup tomatoes seeded and finely diced (plum, cherry, grape tomatoes are great to use)

1 jalapeno seeded and finely diced

1 cup corn can be fresh, canned, or thawed from frozen

1 avocado chopped

3/4 cup red and/or orange bell pepper seeded and finely diced

1/2 cup red onion finely diced

1/3 cup cilantro leaves chopped

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup lime juice

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Place the beans, black-eyed peas, tomatoes, jalapeno, corn, avocado, bell pepper, onion, and cilantro in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, honey, chili powder, cumin and salt, and pepper.

Pour the dressing over the bean mixture and toss gently to coat. Serve as a salad or with chips.

Notes

Make-ahead instructions: Assemble according to instructions, except omit the avocado. Refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Add the avocado right before serving.

 

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Adaptable Recipes, Food Glorious Food, Makeover Monday Meals

Makeover Monday Meal- Summer Salad Edition

It’s hard to believe that we are already more than halfway through the month of July. With summertime temperatures rising across the country, light, refreshing, and easy-to-prepare recipes are the order of the day.

In our search to find the best of light, healthy, and tasty, this recipe from Simply Recipes for Tex-Mex Chopped Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing fits the bill. Moreover, we were able to adapt it to add protein to fit with vegetarian and vegan diets too.

This recipe fits the dietary requirements for:

  • Gluten-free diets
  • Low Sugar or No Sugar diets
  • Low-Carb
  • Keto-Friendly (don’t add corn or tortilla chips)

Tex-Mex Chopped Chicken Salad by Simply Recipes adapted by Chamein Canton

PREP TIME25 mins
COOK TIME10 mins
TOTAL TIME35 mins
SERVINGS4 servings

Ingredients

  • For the salad
  • 6 cups Romaine lettuce, chopped and packed
  • 1 medium red pepper, diced
  • 1 cup English or Persian cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon plus1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (2 medium ears) or frozen and thawed
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs (1 package of extra-firm tofu, drained or 1 package seitan)
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning mix (low-sodium taco seasoning or your favorite taco seasoning in the packet or homemade)
  • 12 corn tortilla chips
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Cotija cheese (Feta cheese or Cheddar cheese can be substituted)  (For Vegans mozzarella or cheddar shreds are a good choice)
  • For the dressing
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Combine salad ingredients:

    Combine the lettuce, red pepper, cucumber, tomatoes, and scallions in a large serving bowl. Set aside.

  2. Char the corn:

    Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a medium or large heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the corn.

    Season corn with 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until blackened in spots and tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

  3. Season the chicken:

    Sprinkle the taco seasoning and 1/2 teaspoon salt over the surface of the chicken, rubbing it in and coating it so the chicken is fully seasoned.

  4. Cook the chicken:

    In the same skillet used to cook the corn add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and cook until deeply brown along the bottom and the flesh turns opaque about halfway up the side, 4 to 5 minutes.

    Flip the chicken and continue cooking, until brown on the second side and fully cooked through another 3 to 5 minutes.

  5. Cut the chicken:

    Transfer the cooked chicken to a cutting board. Once it is cool enough to handle, cut it into bite-sized pieces.

  6. Make the salad dressing:

    Place the lime juice, vinegar, honey, cumin, salt, pepper, cilantro, and olive oil into a blender and blend until smooth. Add 1 tablespoon of water, if needed, to get the blender going.

    Alternatively, make this dressing by hand. Finely chop the cilantro and place it in a medium bowl. Combine all salad dressing ingredients and whisk until smooth.

  7. Finish and serve the salad:

    Add the corn and chicken into the bowl with the salad ingredients. Crumble the tortilla chips over the top.

    Add about two-thirds of the dressing and toss to lightly coat. Add more dressing and toss again, if needed. Divide salad into 4 bowls, top with crumbled Cotija cheese, and serve.

Notes for Vegan and Vegetarians

  • To replace the chicken, you can use extra-firm tofu or seitan instead. Prepare it as you would the chicken, being mindful not to crowd the pan when sauteing in the pan. To keep it from steaming, cook the tofu or seitan in batches.

For those who don’t like Cilantro

  • You can use parsley to make the dressing in the same proportions.

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Living Your Best Life North of Forty and Fifty Plus

Makeover Monday Meals

Make Monday Tasty and Light

This weekend many areas across the country got a taste of hot summer temperatures to come. With Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer just a week away, many of us are going to transition to healthier meals that don’t take too much time.

To that end, Simply Recipes had a wonderful salad that came together in no time at all.

Tex-Mex Chopped Chicken Salad with Cilantro-Lime Dressing

PREP TIME25 mins

COOK TIME10 mins

TOTAL TIME35 mins

SERVINGS4 servings

Ingredients

  • For the salad
  • 6 cups Romaine lettuce, chopped and packed
  • 1 medium red pepper, diced
  • 1 cup English or Persian cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon plus1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (2 medium ears) or frozen and thawed
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning mix
  • 12 corn tortilla chips
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Cotija cheese
  • For the dressing
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Combine salad ingredients: Combine the lettuce, red pepper, cucumber, tomatoes, and scallions in a large serving bowl. Set aside.
  2. Char the corn: Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a medium or large heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the corn. Season corn with 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until blackened in spots and tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Season the chicken: Sprinkle the taco seasoning and 1/2 teaspoon salt over the surface of the chicken, rubbing it in and coating so the chicken is fully seasoned.
  4. Cook the chicken: In the same skillet used to cook the corn add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and cook until deeply brown along the bottom and the flesh turns opaque about halfway up the side, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the chicken and continue cooking, until brown on the second side and fully cooked through another 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Cut the chicken: Transfer the cooked chicken to a cutting board. Once it is cool enough to handle, cut it into bite-sized pieces.
  6. Make the salad dressing: Place the lime juice, vinegar, honey, cumin, salt, pepper, cilantro, and olive oil into a blender and blend until smooth. Add 1 tablespoon of water, if needed, to get the blender going. Alternatively, make this dressing by hand. Finely chop the cilantro and place in a medium bowl. Combine all salad dressing ingredients and whisk until smooth.
  7. Finish and serve the salad: Add the corn and chicken into the bowl with the salad ingredients. Crumble the tortilla chips over the top. Add about two-thirds of the dressing and toss to lightly coat. Add more dressing and toss again, if needed. Divide salad into 4 bowls, top with crumbled Cotija cheese, and serve.
  • If you can’t find Cotija cheese, feta cheese is a great substitute. I have people that aren’t fans of either cheese, so I used extra sharp cheddar
  • For vegans and vegetarians substitute extra-firm tofu for the chicken. Cut the tofu into cubes and let sit in a sieve lined with a paper towel or cheesecloth over a bowl for about 30 to 45 minutes to let some of the extra water drain away. This will help ensure that it will get a little char on it like the chicken.
  • If you are not a cilantro fan, use Italian parsley

1 Photo from Simply Recipes Alison Bickel

Living Your Best Life North of Forty and Fifty Plus

Taking the garden path in 2021 and what’s better than a revenge body

I am still not one for resolutions. To me, the minute folks mention the word, it begins the usual graph chart. Most people are highly motivated in the beginning, then after a few weeks their enthusiasm wanes as winter’s long dark nights take a toll on workout schedules. Finally, most people drop off the chart altogether.

The better idea to me is substitutions instead of resolutions. You can begin making the changes you want to see in yourself by changing your mind set. The focus should be on a healthy body, mind, and spirit. I hear a lot about revenge bodies from people who want to get some sort of cosmic payback on an ex. Since revenge is defined as the action of inflicting hurt or harm on someone for an injury or wrong suffered at their hands. To me, that means it steeped in hate.

The word to substitute in place of revenge is empathy. Although usually applied to others, t it’s important that we empathize with ourselves and come from a place of love. The best revenge might be looking good, but , loving, looking and feeling good about yourself, can’t be topped and unlike revenge, can be served cold, hot, or never.

Now many of us north of forty and fifty chicks are making changes in our diets include more vegetables and/or lean proteins. A salad can combine the best of both in a bowl or on a plate topped with homemade dressing that allows you to control the sodium, sugar, and taste.

One of the most raved about salad dressing is from the Olive Garden. Many people love to fill up on their soup and salad. To that end, I discovered a copycat recipe for it some years ago that I have tweaked a bit. However, you can feel free to make it to your taste.

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

3 small or 2 large garlic cloves

2 tablespoons Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon sugar (optional)

1/4 cup fresh grated or shredded Parmesan Reggiano (Follow Your Heart Dairy-Free Parmesan, Go Veggie Vegan Parmesan grated, Go Veggie Vegan Soy-free Parmesan grated topping, Violife Parmesan Wedge)

2 tablespoons Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (Field Roast Chao Cheese Creamy is the closest in mimicking the funky saltiness of romano.)

3 tablespoons mayonnaise (regular, light, vegan, olive oil)

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

In a small food processor or mini-chop, pulse the garlic a few times. Add the vinegar and lemon juice. If using sugar, add it with the Italian seasoning, parmesan, Romano, and mayonnaise. Pulse the mixture a few times. Then with the processor running, pour the olive oil. The dressing will appear thick. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your taste.

  • If you don’t want to use Romano cheese, you can add more parmesan cheese
  • Asiago, Grana Padano, or even Taleggio cheese are great substitutes. Use the kind of cheese you prefer