Orchard Harvest Pear Salad with Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette

Orchard Harvest Pear Salad with Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette
I recently came across the Sisters Running the Kitchen blog and they have some really great stuff on there!  This salad practically screamed out to me because I’ve ordered a similar salad at Potbelly’s many times and fall in love with it more every time.  Despite some people’s (you know who you are) beliefs that a salad can’t be a meal on it’s own, the chicken could easily be left off with an extra handful of salad on your plate. 
Ingredients – Salad

  • 5oz. Spring Mix salad
  • D’Anjou pears, sliced (or whatever kind you have)
  • toasted pecans, diced
  • cooked/grilled chicken breast
  • dried cherries
  • pomegranate
  • Gorgonzola Cheese

Ingredients – Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 C balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 C cherry preserves
  • 1/4 C red wine vinegar
  • 1/8 C olive oil
  • salt
  • ground black pepper

Directions for Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette:
1.  In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the vinaigrette ingredients and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar.
2.  Simmer the mixture, uncovered, until reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
3.  Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature
4.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
5. Pile salad on your plate & pour the vinaigrette on.  Top with pears, pecans, chicken, cherries, pomagranate & cheese on top.  I served this with Asiago cheese bread and butter.  YUM!

Beach Street Lemon Chicken Linguine

Beach Street Lemon Chicken Linguinie
Source: My Kitchen Cafe, adapted slightly
**This recipe requires marinating the chicken for 3 hours so plan ahead**
Marinade:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed (smashed with the back of a large knife or saucepan)
  • 1 Tablespoon Cajun seasoning (you could cut this down to 1 1/2 teaspoons if you want less heat.  I left it at 1 Tablespoon and the kids didn’t mention it being hot at all.)
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce (I’m a reduced sodium soy sauce convert after trying it in the Sesame Noodles)
  • 10-12 chicken tenders

Combine the marinade ingredients in a Ziploc plastic bag.  Add chicken and toss to coat. Refrigerate 3-12 hours.
Pasta:

  • 1 lb. linguine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • zest from one lemon
  • juice from one lemon (about 3 Tablespoons)
  • 3 green onions, chopped (white and green parts)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1.  When ready to cook, pour contents of plastic bag (both marinade and chicken) into a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat. Cook until chicken is no longer pink and sauce is reduced by half.
2.  Combine juice of one lemon, lemon zest, olive oil, green onions, Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley together in a small bowl. Set aside.
3.  While the chicken is cooking, prepare linguine according to package directions; drain and add to pan with chicken. Pour lemon juice/olive oil/green onion mixture over pasta and mix well. Serve warm.

Spinach & Artichoke Dip

Spinach & Artichoke Dip
This dip tastes just like Chili’s!
1 c. mozzarella cheese (pre-shredded is easiest)
8 oz. cream cheese – cubed
1/4 c.parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic – minced
1/4 tsp. pepper
14 oz. can artichokes – finely chopped
10 oz. bag of spinach (fresh is best but frozen, then thawed, works well too) – chopped
Place all ingredients in crock pot. Cook on high 2 hours. Stir and serve with warm tortilla chips.