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!

Chocolate Thistle & Chicken Soup

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A crunchy chocolate dessert high in cereal fiber

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A hearty chicken soup with whole grain and vegetables

Last week, Peter bought a Costco roast chicken as he often did when I was away at work.  Tasty, tender and versatile, Costco roast chicken is the best $4.99 anyone can spend.  Peter would usually eat the drumsticks on the first day, and then breast meat for sandwiches for the next couple of days.  If I am home, I often use the breast meat to make a quick chicken curry, or use it on top of a caesar salad.  And I use what’s left to make a stock — for porridge or for soup. 

When I opened the fridge today, the roast chicken carcass was waiting there to be transformed.  I suppose this is what home cooking is often about — improvise with leftovers.  I usually make the soup with hulled barley, but I was out of it today and made the soup with farro instead.

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Chicken Farro Vegetable Soup

Ingredients for the Stock:

1 Roast Chicken Carcass

1/4 cup cooking wine

1 inch giner, sliced

12 cups water

1/4 tsp salt or to taste

Ingredients for the Soup:

1/4 farro or hulled barley

1 cup diced carrots

1 zucchini

8 to 10 oz mushroom, sliced

2 cups chicken broth (from carton or can)

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Preparation:

To make the stock, put the entire carcass in a large pot with cooking wine, ginger, water and salt.  Bring to boil and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.  Turn off stove.  Pour the entire pot of soup over a colander into another large pot.  Discard the bone and the skin from the colander and save the meat.  Skim the fat off the top of the stock.

When the stock is simmering, cook the farro or hulled barley with the chicken broth in a rice cooker.

To make the soup, add the meat back into the stock with the cooked farro and carrots. Cook for about 10 minutes.  Add the zucchini and mushroom and cook for another 5 minutes.

Peter has a sweet tooth, but he is supposed to be careful with his sugar intake.  So the one thing he missed the most when I was away was healthy dessert.

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Chocolate Thistles

Ingredients:

1 1/3 3.5 oz milk or dark chocolate bar (I used dark)

1 cup All-bran cereal (I used Kellogg’s)

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/4 cup unsweetened shaved coconut

1/4 cup dried sweet cherries

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Preparation:

Break the chocolate bar and put in a bowl.  Steam the bowl with chocolate in a steamer on low to melt.  Remove the bowl from the steamer and pour in the cereal, almonds, coconut and dried cherries.

Spoon 1 tbsp mounds of chocolate mounds onto prepared baking sheet.  Transfer to freezer to set for 10 minutes.

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