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Posts Tagged ‘spinach’

I decided to make a salad the other night with ingredients on hand.  It sounded so good in my head.  And I knew I was going to want to share this with you. But one camera is hiding. And the other camera was full and didn’t want any more food. And I was in too much of a hurry to delete the pictures. And my camera phone is broken so I couldn’t even resort to that.

So, I am going to do something very old-fashioned. I am going to just give you a recipe with very little commentary. And I am going to ask you to do something very old-fashioned as well. Read without pictures. I’m sorry, I know this is horrible but I didn’t want to not share at all!

This salad was delicious. It was a filling salad. It would be a good entertaining salad. It’s a good, “I have leftover chicken that I don’t know what to do with” salad. Even Baker Man went back for seconds – so it is a Man-Friendly Salad. I mean, it has bacon after all.

INGREDIENTS
Bag of baby spinach
½ lb of bacon
3 small apples – I used fuji
1/3 large onion, about 2/3 cup chopped
2 cooked chicken breasts cubed
Grated cheddar cheese – optional
Honey Dijon dressing

PREPARATION
Start by cooking your bacon. While your bacon is cooking, rinse your spinach and let it dry. Then chop your onion. Core and roughly chop your apples.

Set your bacon on a paper towel to drain. Lightly cook the apples and onions in the bacon grease. You want them to be warmed through and just starting to soften. And you don’t have to use the bacon grease if you don’t want too – it just adds a little bit of flavor but you could skip that and make this slightly more healthy.

As for the chicken, I had left over chicken so I sliced it cold and tossed it in the salad. You could grill, bake, broil, sauté, fry, or cook it just about any way you want to and add to the salad. Or you can buy pre-cooked. The point is, cooked chicken, cut bite size, hot or cold.

Mix all of the prepared ingredients into a bowl and toss. Grate cheese into the salad if desired. Or cube cheese. Cubed brie would be delicious in this salad though I used cheddar. Both work with the other ingredients – just in different ways. Serve with Honey Dijon Dressing.

TOTAL PREP TIME – About 10 – 15 minutes (not including chicken cook time)

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img_0152I love stuffed chicken. Usually because it is stuffed with gooey melted cheese. The thought of that is making me drool. But, we try to not eat a lot of dairy. Try. Don’t get me started on the reasons – long drawn out topic better left to another day.

Baker Man reminded me the night I had stuffed chicken planned of our continued attempts to avoid dairy. Sigh.

I was determined to make stuffed chicken though. I had the chicken marinating, so I just “adapted” the stuffing a bit to exclude cheese. I worry sometimes when I start experimenting because I fail as often as I succeed.  Actually, I may fail MORE than I succeed but who is counting?  Anyhow, I was really excited this one turned out so well.   

I will make the cheese version one day for you because I still do love melted cheese. And non-melted cheese. And shredded cheese. And….ok, ok, I digress.

You start by preparing and marinating the chicken. You can marinate the chicken for as little as 30 minutes but I am not waiting around that long in the evening for something to marinate. By the time I get home, I am hungry. So, I started the chicken in the morning before I left for work.

To make the marinade, start with ¼ cup honey Dijon mustard. Add to that 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, a tablespoon of olive oil, and a tablespoon of red wine vinegar. Season with parsley, oregano, and basil. Mix everything together and set aside.

When stuffing chicken, you have to cut a slit into the chicken. The easiest method is to let the chicken start defrosting but to have it still frozen in the middle. Take a small knife and cut a pocket into the middle of the chicken, a small slit will do.  The partially frozen chicken is much easier to deal with than a fully defrosted chicken breast.  Just trust me on this.

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Place the prepared chicken into a casserole dish and cover with the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

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Next, make the stuffing. This I prepared in the evening. The original stuffing included mozzarella cheese, fresh spinach, red bell pepper, garlic, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Essentially, I took all of those ingredients, minus the cheese, and put it into the food processor. I added some mustard (honey Dijon) and mayo to help bind it all together.

I got a spinach-bell pepper pesto like stuffing. And then, because I wanted to, I tossed in some breadcrumbs.

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Now, you get to put the stuffing in the pockets we made earlier.  This is a bit messy so just accept that now.  Use a spoon, use your fingers  (clean fingers please), use a spatula, use whatever gets the stuffing in the chicken. 

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Place on a greased baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees or until fully cooked through.  (I pretty much always cover my baking sheet with aluminum foil but you don’t have to.  I am just weird like that)

Serve it up with whatever sides you want. I made a simple spinach salad to compliment the stuffing.

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Chicken with Spinach-Bell Pepper Stuffing

Marinade
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup honey dijon mustard
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil

Prepare chicken by cutting a pocket into chicken.  Mix marinade ingredients together and pour over chicken.  Let sit for 30 minutes to 8 hours in refrigerator

Stuffing
1 1/2 cups chopped spinach
1 medium bell pepper
2 tablespoons honey dijon mustart
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 garlic cloves minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 spring fresh rosemary
1/4 cup breadcrumbs

Combine ingredients for stuffing in food processor.  Place chicken breasts on baking sheet and stuff chicken with spinach/bell pepper mixture.  Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees or until chicken is cooked fully through and juices run clear.

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