Poppyseed Power Salad

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Super salads are …..….super!! Poppyseed Power Salad is a super delicious salad!!

Poppyseed Power Salad

What makes a salad super you might ask???? Well for me these are the 7 key components to build a super salad ……..

  1. Start with a really great mix of lettuce or green……..I love baby…..any green…..spinach, romaine, red leaf, ……the darker the color the better.
  2. You need some crunchy stuff……in this salad brussels sprouts, cabbage, kohlrabi, carrot and kale. Nuts or seeds are a great addition……I used almonds.
  3. You need a colorful ingredient…….I used dried cranberries but, colored peppers, red onion, tomato, avocado, even shredded beets.
  4. Add a punch of protein……beans, meat, fish, eggs, or cheese….I used goat cheese.
  5. Fruit adds a fresh element. Apples, or berries, the choices are really endless. Be careful with dried fruits, they tend to have a higher sugar content so a little goes a long way. Less sugar options are also available….I use those.
     
  6. Leftovers can add any of the above ingredients, and are a good way to stretch your food dollar.
  7. Use a good dressing……preferably homemade. You can control the fat and sugar. Oil, vinegar and citrus make the best healthy dressings. Dress salads lightly.

Poppyseed Power Salad

I have salad several time a week, the more the better. I came across a bagged mix……let me say this about that………if you have access to a Farmers Market, or have a garden of your own……make that your first choice. Having said that, there are many great organic and non organic pre-made mixes that can save you time and money and still give you all the benefits for a super salad.

Mann’s is a brand name of veggie that I use often.
They have a large line of products that make eating your veggies easy. Their Powerblend mix with brussels sprouts, cabbage, kohlrabi, broccoli, carrots, and kale that I adore…….is what I used in this recipe.

Poppyseed Power Salad

Crunchy, nutritious, and full of vitamins…….and bonus ……it’s already ready already! I added some baby spinach to bump the green power and, cause I had some leftover.

I think fruit in a salad is a nice sweet surprise, and dried cranberries are an easy salad add in. As I said above, dried fruits do have more sugar so go lightly, and if possible buy a reduced sugar version.

Poppyseed Power Salad

If I had to chose a favorite nut……and had to exclude Tim…….lol, I would chose almonds. To me they have a light, delicate flavor that won’t overpower a dish. They are great in either sweet or savory dishes and are packed with vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber…..they are kinda super too!

Goat cheese……love it or hate it……I love it. So beautifully white, with a creamy mild and distinct flavor. It is not everyones cup of tea, but give it a try……it was the only choice for this salad.

Poppyseed Power Salad

Poppyseed dressing, I have made several varieties over the years, those is one of the best. Fresh and light, lemony, with a touch of sweetness. Lemon juice, olive oil, honey, dijon, and apple cider vinegar make the perfect dressing for Poppyseed Power Salad.

This salad does not have meat but you could add a nice grilled chicken and make it a main course. I must confess, that even thought it does not go with the healthy theme to the salad, I put leftover bacon on top when I took the leftovers of this salad for my lunch the day after I made it. It was bacon……what can you say….it was deliciousPoppyseed Power Salad

Poppyseed Power Salad is a perfect side or main dish salad.

Poppyseed Power Salad
Author: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 10 ounce package Powerblend Salad Mix
  • 1 cup baby spinach, chopped
  • ½ cup reduced sugar dried cranberries
  • ½ cup almonds ( whole, slivered or sliced )
  • ½ cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • Dressing
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • ¼ cup organic honey
  • ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon granulated onion
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon poppyseed
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl combine all of the salad ingredients, toss to combine.
  2. Place all dressing ingredients except poppyseed in a blender or a jar with a tight fitting lid, blend or shake until emulsified. Add poppyseed and mix until combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. When you are ready to serve give the dressing a shake, top the salad, and serve.

 

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Cranberry Almond Energy Bites

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Spring Break is approaching it’s final days, then it’s back to school for the last of the 2015-2016 school year. I will need something to get my motor running……… Cranberry Almond Energy Bites.

Cranberry Almond Energy Bites

I am always running later than I want too! I start getting ready for school early enough, but somewhere between the shower and the door……..I think I enter a time warp, or fall into a black hole…….anyway, I am always running out the door.


But, I believe in the power of breakfast. After a good nights sleep you need to refuel your tank. But, for the running late me, it needs to be a grab and go, eat in the car kinda thing. Cranberry Almond Energy Bites are certainly that kind of breakfast.

Cranberry Almond Energy Bites

Loaded with oatmeal, almonds, and almond butter, you will have all the protein you need to start your day. Chia seeds and flax add an additional health boost and cranberries and coconut add a bit of sweetness.

Since I have been on Spring Break, and doing Spring Break things…..no alarm, a few extra hours of sleep…..it will be hard to get back into the groove.

Cranberry Almond Energy Bites

I have a plan, or I should say I made a plan. I made the Cranberry Almond Energy Bites this week, and I am already for that first day back to school. I can grab a couple of the bites and a cup of joe and head on out the door! Hopefully on time……..but, lets not get hysterical!

Cranberry Almond Energy Bites

If you need that make ahead grab and go breakfast, try these bites. A big shout out to The Creative Bite for the recipe I found on Pinterest.

For now, I plan on enjoying my last few days of Spring Break!!!

Cranberry Almond Energy Bites Collage

Cranberry Almond Energy Bites
Serves: 16
 
Ingredients
  • 1 c. oatmeal
  • ⅓ c. sliced almonds
  • ⅓ c. sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
  • ½ c. almond butter
  • ¼ c. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • ⅓ c. dried cranberries, roughly chopped
Instructions
  1. Bake oatmeal, almonds and coconut for 8-10 minutes at 350°, stirring after 5 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool. (My coconut was already toasted so I did not add it to the oatmeal and almonds)
  2. In a medium bowl microwave the almond butter for 20-30 seconds until runny, add the baked mix along with flaxseed, honey, chia seeds and cranberries to the bowl.
  3. Form into 1.5" balls and refrigerate. I used a small ice cream scoop to make sure they were uniform. Store in an airtight container refrigerated for up to one week or freezer for 3 months.
Notes
To make shaping the balls easier I sprayed my hands with coconut spray.
I also rolled them in extra coconut and almonds for a pretty look!

 

 

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Pickle Brined Chicken Tenders

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How many ways can you cook chicken??? Here one more, Pickle Brined Chicken Tenders.

Pickle Brined Chicken Tenders

I adapted this from a recipe that I found on Epicurious. When I first started to really get into cooking, this my my go to site for whatever I wanted to cook. The recipes are all phenomenal and I was never at loss as to what to cook. I never had to ask What the Forks for Dinner?


When I first saw this recipe I thought maybe the recipe had pickle juice in it…….no, but it had the pickling spices for pickles……I was intrigued.

Pickle Brined Chicken Tenders

The original recipe called for chicken thighs, but friends were coming over to my brothers house to watch the Nascar and fried finger foods were on the menu. So, for my contribution, instead of the thighs……light bulb moment…….chicken fingers.

The only problem I had was when making the brine my salt never did dissolve, but that did not affect anything.

Pickle Brined Chicken Tenders

All and all the recipe, although a couple of steps was easy to make. During the brine period you can make other things or just set back and relax…..I chose option one, but whatever suits you is fine.

Breading was a messy process, but in the end well worth the mess.

Pickle Brined Chicken Tenders

Now, my brother’s friend Jeff manned the deep fryer so I got off easy in the actual cooking department. Jeff also made fried fish which was out of this world. So….. Thank you to Jeff for making this recipe so easy for me. And for the super tasty fish.

Fry Master Jeff

End result………so “forking” good…….not a crumb left. This picture of my nephew about says it all.

Pickle Brined Chicken Tenders
Picture says it all!!

The meat was tender and juicy, and the coating was crispy. The addition of honey drizzled over the top and a dash of hot sauce. Lets just say nobody had a plate we just ate as it came out of the fryer.

Yeah it was that good!!

Pickle Brined Chicken Tenders

In the mood for chicken strips….a.k.a. chicken finger…… Pickle Brined Chicken Tenders are your bird!!!!!

Pickle Brined Chicken Tenders
Author: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • Brine:
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 1½ teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • ⅔ cup kosher salt
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh dill
  • Chicken:
  • 3 pounds chicken tenders
  • Vegetable oil (for frying; about 10 cups)
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt
  • Honey, sea salt, sesame seeds, hot sauce (for serving)
Instructions
  1. Brine:
  2. Toast mustard and coriander seeds in a dry medium saucepan over medium heat, tossing often, until mustard seeds begin to pop, about 3 minutes. Add vinegar, salt, and sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until salt and sugar are dissolved, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in dill and 4 cups water. Let cool.
  3. Chicken:
  4. Place chicken and brine in a large bowl, cover and chill for 3 hours. Remove chicken from brine, scraping off seeds, cover, and chill until ready to fry.
  5. Heat oil in deep fryer until 350°F.
  6. Place buttermilk in a large bowl. Place flour in another large bowl; season with kosher salt. Coat chicken in buttermilk, then dredge in flour, dipping your fingers in buttermilk as you pack flour on. Transfer to a baking sheet.
  7. Working in batches fry chicken, until skin is deep golden brown and crisp and chicken is cooked through, 6–8 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack set inside a baking sheet.
  8. Drizzle chicken with honey; sprinkle with sea salt and sesame seeds. Serve with hot sauce.

 

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