Delicious 10-minute Chicken Salad with Meyer Lemon Honey Mustard Dressing

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When Peter saw me typing up the title for the blog, he interjected, “Not just ‘delicious,’ it’s fantastic.  Why did I bother driving to Yountville when I can have this right at home?”  That’s nice.  He is certainly an appreciative customer, and of course, biased.  But this simple and scrumptious dish is one of my own favorites from the many recipes I have posted.  

I am finally going to start exercise more conscientiously now.  I only have 5 to 6 weeks to get back in shape, not only for the second season of Marco Polo which will start shooting in June, but also for the pretty summer dresses that no longer fit me.  I have to face the reality that my decades long, often intense relationship with nuts and cheeses has become unhealthy and is no longer good for me.  It will have to stop, especially those midnight rendezvous which I always regret in the morning — I don’t mean to stop seeing each other entirely, that would be too unbearable — but we will just be friends, for now at least.  When I turn 80, if I’m lucky to get there, I will rekindle my old flame like there is no tomorrow.

For now, I must try to develop a love for baby carrots — a rebound fling.

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10-minute Chicken Salad with Meyer Lemon Honey Mustard Dressing

Ingredients for the Dressing:

Juice from 1 large Meyer lemon

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoon coarse ground Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon honey

1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste

Ingredients for the Salad:

2 to 2.5 oz Organic Herb Salad Mix

1 roasted chicken breast (I used Costco roast chicken)

1 avocado, diced

1/3 long English cucumber, thinly sliced

3/4 to 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

Fresh corn kernels from 2 corns, cooked or roasted

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Preparation:

Mix all ingredients for the dressing in a bowl.

Grill, roast or cook the corn and shave the kernels off with a serrated knife.  The quickest way is to cook it in boiling water on high for 2 to 3 minutes.  I wok charred 1/4 of the kernels on high heat for a minute or so.  

Lay a bed of herb salad mix in the salad bowl.  Top with slice the chicken breast cucumber, tomatoes avocado and the corn.  Pour in the dressing and give it a light toss. 

The recipe makes two large main course servings.

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If you like this one, be sure to try the Chinese chicken salad!

Black Bean Salad with Corn Avocado Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette

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A friend is visiting me from Los Angeles.  It’s her birthday, and we decided to celebrate by taking the cruise to Alcatraz Island.  I tend to take this amazing city for granted until a friend or relative shows up and I take them sightseeing.

It was a glorious day.  The sun was shining, and the flowers were blooming, and there was a provocative art installation in some of the old prison buildings.  I found that these dilapidated buildings with broken windows and peeling paint were perfect settings for an art exhibition. 

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The last time I went to Alcatraz there was a bad storm.  We couldn’t have picked a worse day.  My parents came to visit us from Shanghai, and it was their last day in San Francisco.  Against Peter’s advice, I took them and the girls to Alcatraz.  Everyone got dreadfully wet and cold, and we shivered all the way home after only staying on the island for one hour. It was quite miserable. That was almost ten years ago.  When I visited my parents in Shanghai last month, they talked to me so fondly of the time they spent visiting us.  Even the Alcatraz trip became a wonderful adventure. 

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“Blossom”

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Looking at the eroded buildings around me today, I thought of my parents, my children; I thought of time — its relentless and indifferent march.  And yet in my subjective world, once seized, time is also malleable.  It becomes our memory and stretches to fill our imagination.

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Black Bean Salad with Corn Avocado Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup frozen corn kernels, cooked

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons minced red onion

2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons sugar

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, best quality such as Colavita

1 teaspoon lime zest (be sure to zest limes before juicing them)

6 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish

2 Hass avocados, chopped

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Instructions:

Combine all ingredients except for avocados in a large bowl and mix well. Cover and chill for a few hours or overnight. Right before serving, add avocados and mix gently, being careful not to mash avocados. Garnish with a more chopped cilantro if desired. Serve at room temperature.

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 Recipe adapted from : http://www.onceuponachef.com

Corn Chowder with Queso Fresco & Chive

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Audrey loved the Fisherman’s Wharf when she was little.  We would go there a couple of times a month, first stopping at the Musée Mécanique for an hour and then to eat her favorite clam chowder in a bread bowl at the Boudin Bakery, and finally at Candy Baron for some saltwater taffy. 

We haven’t been back to the Boudin since Audrey became a vegetarian.  After school today Audrey suddenly said, “Oh, I wish I could have a bowl of chowder.”

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Audrey and a friend at her favorite haunt Fisherman’s Wharf

I used the frozen corn from the freezer and made her a healthy and nutritious corn chowder. And according to everyone in the house it was much tastier than the clam chowder at Boudin.  Not to mention much healthier.

Audrey just wished it was in a bowl of sourdough bread.

Corn Chowder with Queso Fresco and Chive

Ingredients:

1/2 teaspoon olive oil

1/3 cup chopped scallions

1 garlic clove, chopped

3 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels

1 (6 oz) russet potato, peeled and diced

5 cups 1% milk

1 chicken bouillon cube (or Vegetable Better than Bouillon)

1/4 onion, chopped

1/4 cup fat free Fage

salt and fresh pepper, to taste

3 oz (6 tbsp) crumbled queso fresco or reduced fat feta

Preparation:

Heat a medium heavy pot or Dutch oven on medium heat. Add oil and sauté scallions and garlic and onion for 1 minute. Add the corn, potatoes, milk, bouillon, and cilantro in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for approximately 15 minutes or until the corn is tender, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and reserve 6 tablespoons of the corn kernels for topping. Add yogurt to the soup and purée in the blender in two batches, careful not to burn yourself; return to the pot.

Adjust salt and pepper, to taste and heat over low heat 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pour into 6 bowls and garnish each bowl with 1 tablespoon each of corn kernels and cheese. Top with fresh chive.

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Recipe inspired by skinnytaste