CARROT COINS

I ORIGINALLY posted this recipe in 2012, but I’ve been making it since the 80’s, but boy did it need a serious photo update. This recipe makes a great side that lasts several days or even weeks with a great vinegar base.

CARROT COINS
40 ounces +/- canned sliced carrots, drained
14 ounces +/- canned baby peas, drained
1 medium red onion, sliced thin
1 can Campbell’s tomato soup**
3/4 cup vinegar (I sometimes use apple cider and it is just as good)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup avocado (neutral flavored) oil
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • Whisk together soup, oil, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, salt and pepper. 
  • Add carrots, peas and onions. 
  • Chill overnight so flavors blend. 
  • Serve cold.

**I replaced the canned soup with the following recipe:

CREAM OF TOMATO SOUP
2 tablespoons butter 
3 tablespoons flour 
1 cup pureed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups milk 
dash each of garlic salt, onion salt, basil, and oregano.
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Whisk in flour and seasonings and cook until bubbly. 
  • Add tomato puree’ and blend well.
  • Remove from heat and gradually whisk in liquid. 
  • Return to heat and cook, stirring, until smooth and thickened to desired consistency.

PEANUT CHICKEN RAMEN & PEANUT CHICKEN SALAD

PEANUT CHICKEN RAMEN
2 LARGE chicken breasts grilled to your liking OR 2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken pieces
Yakisoba noodles for 4
1/2 pound Beech mushrooms
3 large green onions, sliced thin
1 cucumber, sliced
A handful of snap peas, trimmed

1 red, yellow and orange mini pepper, sliced
pickled onions
Chopped cilantro, optional

PEANUT SAUCE
1/2 cup salted creamy peanut butter (see notes)
2-3 tablespoons BRAGG’S liquid aminos
2 tablespoons maple syrup
+/- 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce, depending on your heat level
Juice of 2 FRESH limes
+/- 1/4 cup water (to thin)

  • Whisk together the peanut butter, liquid aminos, maple syrup, chili sauce and lime juice in a medium mixing bowl.
  • Add water a little at a time until a thick BUT pourable sauce is formed.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more maple syrup for sweetness, chili garlic sauce for heat, lime juice for acidity, or liquid aminos for saltiness.

NOTE:

  • Almond butter or Cashew butter SUBSTITUTE WELL for Peanut butter.
  • If your sauce becomes too thin, add more nut butter.
  • If your sauce is too thick, thin with more water.
  • FRESH grated ginger to taste adds another layer of great flavor.

NOTE: The leftovers added to torn lettuce make a wonderful salad 😀

SPICY CUCUMBER SALAD – FAITH & FOOD FRIDAY #10

I’m still featuring my Mary & Martha GRACE meal prayer box on Faith and Food Friday, hosted by Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.

THIS WEEK’S PRAYER: Our Heavenly Father, kind and good, We thank Thee for our daily food. We thank Thee for Thy love and care. Be with us Lord, and hear our prayer. Amen.

SPICY CUCUMBER SALAD
2 medium cucumbers, sliced thin
1 tablespoon KOSHER salt
4 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
2 LARGE shallots, sliced thin
1 stalk celery, FINELY diced
1 Fresno chile, halved seeded and thinly sliced
3/4 cup sour cream
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste 
1/4 cup FRESH chopped parsley (optional)

  • Add cucumbers to a LARGE colander and sprinkle with KOSHER salt. Allow to drain 15-20 minutes.
  • Whisk together the sugar and vinegar into a large mixing bowl until sugar is dissolved.
  • Fold in chilies and green onions. Set aside.
  • Rinse cucumbers and pat dry.
  • Whisk sour cream into vinegar mixture.
  • Fold cucumbers into sour cream mixture tossing to coat well.
  • Season to taste with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour until ready to serve.

ANTIPASTO SALAD ~ FAITH & FOOD FRIDAY #9

I’m still featuring my Mary & Martha GRACE meal prayer box on Faith and Food Friday, hosted by Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.

THIS WEEK’S PRAYER:

Oh, the Lord is good to me. And so I thank the Lord for giving me the things I need. The sun and the rain and the apple seed. The Lord is good to me. Amen.

ANTIPASTO SALAD adapted from Valerie Bertinelli

VINAIGRETTE
2 tablespoons QUALITY red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard  (optional)
1/2 teaspoon Calabrian chile paste, crushed red pepper flakes or sriracha 
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning 
1/2 small shallot, minced 
FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper
3 tablespoons avocado oil 

  • Whisk the vinegar, mustard if using, chile paste, Italian seasoning, shallot and 1/4 teaspoon salt together in a small bowl.
  • Gradually whisk in the avocado oil.
  • Pour into a cruet and shake.

SALAD
4 radishes, thinly sliced (watermelon OR yellow radishes if you can find them)
2 celery heart ribs, thinly sliced 
1 romaine heart, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips 
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips 
1/4 pound provolone, cut into 1/4-inch cubes 
1/4 pound mozzarella balls
1/4 pound Genoa salami, cut into 1/4-inch cubes 
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 
3 tablespoons sliced pickled pepperoncinis
3 tablespoons sliced pickled cherry peppers

  • Combine the radishes, celery, romaine, iceberg, provolone, salami, tomatoes, pepperoncinis and cherry peppers in a large salad bowl.
  • Toss with the vinaigrette and serve immediately.

NOTE:

  • I like to add a generous drizzle of a QUALITY balsamic glaze.
  • I also like to refer to this as a kitchen sink salad because I use up whatever is in my crisper bins and deli drawer 😀

MACARONI POTATO SALAD

MACARONI POTATO SALAD adapted from A Spicy Perspective

2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into half inch cubes
12 ounces macaroni
1/2 cup FINELY minced Vidalia onion
1 large carrot, coarsely shredded
1 can Le Suer peas, drained WELL
1 LARGE bunch green onions, minced
1 1/2 (+as needed) cups Duke’s mayonnaise
1 cup sweet pickle relish
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon mustard (optional)
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes and place them in a large stock pot.
  • Fill the pot with cold water until it is one inch over the top of the potatoes.
  • Set the pot over high heat and bring to a boil.
  • Once water is boiling, add 1 tablespoon salt and cook the potatoes for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, add the macaroni noodles, stirring to combine and continue boiling for 6-8 minutes, until the pasta is al dente.


  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl mix the mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish including juices, apple cider vinegar, mustard if using, allspice, FRESH ground sea salt and pepper to taste, stirring until smooth.
  • Use a grater to shred the onions and carrot.

  • Drain the potatoes and macaroni in a colander and place in a large salad bowl.
  • Add in the onion, carrots, peas, and scallions.
  • Pour the dressing over the top and mix until well combined.

  • Cover the potato macaroni salad and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

NOTES:

  • If you have time, make the salad a day or so ahead of when you want to serve it. It tastes even better on day two!
  • Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week.

  • You can make this with unpeeled new potatoes for a slightly different texture. Follow the instruction as is, yet leave the potato skins on when you chop them.

PEA & BACON SALAD with FRENCH DRESSING

PEA & BACON SALAD with FRENCH DRESSING adapted from Molly Yeh DRESSING
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
1/3 cup champagne vinegar 
1 cup FRESH sliced mushrooms (optional)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard  (optional)
1 tablespoon sugar 
1 teaspoon paprika 
1/2 small onion, coarsely chopped 
FRESH gound sea salt

  • Blend together the ketchup, yogurt, vinegar, mustard, sugar, paprika, onion and salt to taste into a high-speed blender.
  • Puree until smooth.
  • Use immediately or transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

SALAD
4 slices bacon
6 ounces sugar snap peas, stringed and cut on the bias (about 3 cups) 
2 cups diced rotisserie chicken pieces (optional)
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 SMALL head butter lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
2 cups bite size torn romaine lettuce pieces
1/4 cup FRESH chopped Italian parsley leaves
Wedge of Parmesan, for grating 

  • Put the bacon in a large cold skillet and cook over medium heat until crisp, 5-7 minutes.
  • Drain on a paper towel-lined plate, and set aside.
  • Add the peas to the bacon fat, then sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat until they get a slight color, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and set aside.

ASSEMBLY

  • Scatter the peas and herbs onto a bed of butter lettuce leaves.
  • Crumble the bacon and scatter over the pea layer.
  • Finish with a grating of Parmesan and a drizzle of dressing.
  • Serve with more dressing on the side.

NOTE: This salad is another “kitchen sink” salad that allows for substitutions, deletions or additions to clean out the crisper drawer or leftover chicken.

CHICKEN PASTA SALAD ~ FAITH and FOOD FRIDAY #6

I’m still featuring my Mary & Martha GRACE meal prayer box on Faith and Food Friday, hosted by Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.

THIS WEEK’S PRAYER:

Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts which we are about to receive, from Thy bounty through Christ our Lord. Amen.

CHICKEN PASTA SALAD
2 cups dry rotini pasta
1/2 pound snap peas, trimmed and halved
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
2 cups rotisserie chicken pieces
1 LARGE shallot, small diced
1/4 cup FRESH chopper parsley
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, diced or rough grated
1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts, diced (optional)
3 tablespoons tarragon rice vinegar (or flavor of choice)
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
1/2 cup avocado oil
1/4 cup Italian dressing
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste

  • Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain well.
  • Whisk together the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, Italian dressing, mustard (if using), salt and pepper until emulsified.
  • In a large mixing bowl toss cooled pasta, snap peas, shallots, Parsley, artichoke heart pieces and chicken pieces together.
  • Pour vinegar mixture over and toss again.
  • Fold in tomatoes and cheese, tossing to coat well.
  • Chill several hours before serving.

CHICKEN, CORN & BLACK BEAN SALAD with BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE

CHICKEN, CORN & BLACK BEAN SALAD with BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE

CHICKEN, CORN & BLACK BEAN SALAD
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup FINELY sliced red onion or shallot
1/4 cup FRESH chopped cilantro
1 can seasoned black beans, drained and rinsed WELL
1 LARGE can fire roasted corn, drained WELL
1/2 cup sour cream
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
2 1/2 cups chopped OR shredded rotisserie OR grilled chicken
1 cup shredded spicy Mexican blend cheese
4-6 cups salad greens of choice
FRESH chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)
Lime wedges for garnish (optional)
1 batch balsamic vinaigrette (see below)

  • Whisk together sour cream and lemon juice. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl toss together the beans, corn, red onion, cilantro, tomatoes and vinaigrette.
  • Toss together the chicken and sour cream mixture until well coated.
  • Fold in cheese.
  • Transfer bean mixture to platter.
  • Top with chicken mixture.
  • Sprinkle with FRESH ground pepper, cilantro and FRESH lime wedges if desired.

BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE
GENEROUS 1/2 cup QUALITY balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup avocado oil
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon QUALITY honey
1 tablespoon QUALITY Dijon mustard
1-2 cloves garlic, minced

  • Add all ingredients to a lidded mason jar and shake WELL.
  • Refrigerate until needed and shake WELL again before using.

MELISSA’S CHICKEN a.k.a. CHICKEN IN MUSTARD SAUCE

MELISSA’S CHICKEN A.K.A. CHICKEN IN MUSTARD SAUCE
adapted from Melissa d’Arabian

1 1/2 to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 + 1 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, chopped **
1/4 pound white button mushrooms, quartered
1 cup shredded carrots
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon WONDRA flour
1 teaspoon dried tarragon or thyme
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock, plus more if needed
1-2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons sour cream

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Rinse and dry the chicken thighs and season with FRESH ground salt and pepper.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil  and 1 tablespoon butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the thighs on both sides, working in batches if needed. Remove the chicken and set aside.
  • Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the Dutch oven and cook the onions until soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until the mushrooms have softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and flour and cook, stirring, to remove the raw flour flavor, about 3 minutes.
  • Stir in the tarragon or thyme.
  • Turn up the heat and deglaze the pan with the white wine, allowing to bubble for a minute or two.
  • Return the chicken to the Dutch oven.
  • Add enough chicken stock to reach halfway up the sides of the chicken. Cover, place in the oven, and braise for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken from the Dutch oven and set aside.
  • Add the mustard and sour cream and whisk to blend well.
  • Return the chicken to the pan and allow the flavors to meld before serving, about 5 minutes.
  • Serve over Super Buttered Noodles.

NOTE: **I use a combo of red and green onions or whatever I have on hand.

SUPER BUTTERED NOODLES
1 tablespoon Better Chicken Bouillon
1 pound egg noodles
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon sour cream
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • In a large pot filled with boiling water, dissolve the bouillon and cook the noodles according to package directions.
  • Drain the noodles in a colander and then nestle the colander into the pot so some of the pasta water goes into the pot as the pasta continues to drain.
  • Remove the colander and stir the butter and sour cream into the pasta water until the butter melts.
  • Add the parsley and the noodles.
  • Season with FRESH ground sea salt and pepper.
  • Toss to combine well.
  • Pour into a serving bowl and serve.

SOUR APPLE SLAW

SOUR APPLE SLAW adapted from Michael Twitty
8 cups shredded green cabbage
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 Granny Smith apples, julienned
1 bunch green green onions, sliced
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons PURE maple syrup
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped tarragon
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped Italian flat leaf parsley

  • Toss cabbage and salt together.
  • Let stand in a colander over a large bowl for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes submerge cabbage in COLD water. Drain and pat dry.
  • Whisk vinegar, maple syrup, sugar, salt and pepper together.
  • Toss cabbage, apple pieces, herbs and green onion slices together.
  • Drizzle dressing over cabbage mix and toss well.
  • Chill for several hours.
  • Toss again before serving.

ASIAN CHICKEN CHOPPED SALAD

ASIAN CHICKEN CHOPPED SALAD

2 chicken breasts

MARINADE
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon ginger, chopped

  • In a large bowl, combine marinade ingredients.
  • Add chicken into the bowl, coat the chicken, and marinate for 30 minutes in the fridge.
  • Fully cook chicken and cut into cubes.

VINAIGRETTE
¼ cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated ginger

  • In a mason jar, combine ingredients for the dressing.
  • Shake and set aside.

SALAD
2 romaine lettuce, chopped
1 cup red cabbage
½ cup carrots, grated
¼ cup green onions, chopped
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
¼ cup almond slices
¼ cup fried wonton chips

  • Add all of the salad ingredients into a large bowl and add the cubed chicken and dressing.
  • Toss and enjoy!

NOTES: Get creative and add in ANYTHING you’d like; tomatoes,diced celery, red onions, hard boiled eggs, mandarin oranges…

SALMON TERIYAKI and SALT & VINEGAR CUCUMBERS

SALMON TERIYAKI adapted from JET TILA

SAUCE
2 ounces sake
3 ounces mirin
4 ounces Bragg’s liquid aminos
3 tablespoons (45 grams) sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch combined with 1 tablespoon water

  • Mix all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat; whisking 1 to 2 minutes until the sugar dissolves and the sauce bubbles and thickens slightly.
  • Set it aside to use on the salmon and store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

SALMON
2 pounds salmon filets, deboned and scaled
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons avocado oil
3 scallions, sliced on the bias, for garnish
Steamed white rice, for serving

  • Pat the fish dry with a paper towel, cut into four 3-inch pieces, and season it with salt and pepper.
  • Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Once you start to see white smoke, lay the fish flesh-side down in the skillet. Move the fish around constantly while cooking to keep it from sticking. When the fish is medium, 4 to 6 minutes, turn with a spatula only once.
  • Cook the other side for another minute.
  • Add the teriyaki sauce to the pan and reduce the heat to low. The sauce will begin to simmer and reduce.
  • Tilt the pan around a few times and turn the fish until it’s well coated with the sauce.
  • Serve with rice on the side. 

This quick and easy salad is essentially just a big ol’ bowl of quick-pickled cucumbers, which is exactly why it’s so tasty. It makes a fresh, crunchy and acidic side to any main dish. Assemble it the night before and it will be even more perfect.

SALT & VINEGAR CUCUMBERS

1/4 cup rice wine or white vinegar
2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons flaky sea salt, plus more as needed
FRESH ground black pepper
4 medium cucumbers
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill 


  • Place the vinegar, oil, sugar, salt, and a few grinds of pepper in a large bowl and whisk to combine. 
Slice the cucumbers into 1/8-inch-thick rounds.
  • Place them in the bowl, add the dill, and toss to combine.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight to allow the flavors to meld together.
  • Taste and season to taste with more salt and pepper as needed before serving.