Chicken salad w/ almond honey mustard dressing

chicken salad with honey dressing

So we had a couple GORGEOUS days outside in Wisconsin these past couple weeks. And by gorgeous I mean it has consistently been below zero or slightly above all winter, and it was 50 degrees and sunny the other day. Some days have only been in the 40’s, which honestly feel like summer with the sunshine. Yesterday I seriously wore crop jeans and a jean jacket, but I think baby keeps me a little warmer than normal too. Granted we still have a bunch of snow and everything is really muddy and wet, but we will take it. We have been slapping on our rain boots to go walks, going to the park, and playing outside after school gets out. Our clothes may get soaked but it’s nothing a load of laundry and a bubble bath can’t fix.

chicken salad with honey dressing (1)

All this “nice” weather made me want to ditch all the casseroles, soups, and hearty bakes I had planned for the week and substitute with something fresh and light. Also I have been craving salads my whole pregnancy so coming across this recipe on Pinch of Yum had me pretty excited. Besides all the delicious-ness topping this pretty salad, the dressing is phenomenal. It certainly is not your typical honey mustard–it’s tangy but sweet, and the garlic is strong but not overpowering. If you are not a honey mustard fan, have no fear! I actually altered a few ingredients from the original recipe because Ralph isn’t a honey mustard fan and it turned out fantastic! I was licking the food processor with my fingers after I made it. So one word of advice: if you are going to make this salad you have to make the dressing to go with it, don’t use a store bought, I promise you it will be worth it! It’s really simple too–basically you just toss a bunch of ingredients in a food processor and call it a day.chicken salad with honey dressing (2)

We lived on this salad all week and I am already planning on making another trip to the store so we can have again next week. Do you guys do that too? We always seemed to get hooked on something and have it a bunch of days in a row before we get sick of it.

One more thing–my kids loved this salad! I don’t know about your little ones but I know it’s hard to get most kids to eat their leafy greens. Topping them with fruit, nuts, and cheese really worked well for mine. I made a small amount of the dressing with a little extra raw honey and half the garlic for the kids–they loved it!

 

Ingredients
  • 2 cups rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 2 cups grapes
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 3 cups lettuce (your choice) I used a blend
  • ½ cup feta cheese
  • ½ cup almonds slivers
  • 3 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon liquid coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons grape seed oil
  • 1 tablespoon stoneground mustard
  • ½ tablespoon raw honey
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic

Instructions
  1. Toss salad ingredients together.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine: chicken, grapes, blueberries, lettuce, feta cheese, and almond slivers.
  3. In a food processor or blender ( I used my ninja), prepare your dressing.
  4. Blend together: almond butter, coconut oil, orange juice, grape seed oil, stoneground mustard, honey, salt, and garlic cloves.
  5. Add more of anything after you taste it. I ended up adding more oil for the consistency.

Today’s forecast is high of 49 degrees and sunny, plus it’s Friday! What a dream!

 

signature

Crunchy Thai quinoa salad

red cabbage quiona (1)

Heres the thing guys. I sat down to work on this post and all I wanted to do was complain about my pregnancy and being overwhelmed and the weather and everything else there is to complain about. But then I thought nobody wants to read that garbage. Everyone has things to complain about but I think we all have a whole lot more to celebrate and be happy about. I know life has its rough patches (believe me) ,but that’s what my girlfriends and my journals are for. I can fill their ears with all my baggage anytime I want! I want my blog to be a happy place, about happy things. I normally don’t like to share a whole lot of our personal life on here but can I share one thing that we are ecstatic about over here? Do you mind? It’s a really happy thing I promise.

red cabbage quiona (2)

A couple of weeks ago our offer was accepted on the house of our dreams! We have had our eye on it for about 2 years and the way it all worked out had to be God’s plan for us. We are all pretty excited about it but it still seems a bit surreal. We are saying goodbye to our first home of 4 years and we love our home to pieces. Right now we live in a tiny, cozy , cape cod that we never want to leave. Our growing family however has caused us to search for more space and land. So although this will be an emotional move for us, it will also be a beautiful change of setting for our family (of almost 6!).

red cabbage quiona (3)

And now this beautiful salad right!? When I saw a picture of this recipe in my Pinterest feed I knew I needed it, now. That is 20% my impulsive personality, 10% my impatience to wait another day to make it, and 70% my pregnancy cravings crying to be fed. I already had supper planned, a roast thawing and all that jazz, but that pork roast was going to have to wait. As soon as I saw this gorgeous, colorful, crunchy salad I had to have it right away. I ran to the market and gathered the ingredients and crossed my fingers that it would turn out because $$$. Buying good produce this time of the year is pricy as we all know, and decent cashews! Plus I doubled the salad for leftovers so it ended up being quite the expensive salad to throw together. But it was totally worth it, I promise! And if you’re going to be frugal about something, don’t let it be your health/food, that’s what I say.

red cabbage quiona

The crunch of red cabbage is the greatest crunch don’t you agree? Comparable to a good crunchy slab of iceberg lettuce but packed with the strong flavor of an onion. It’s safe to say I am passionate about a good crunch. I also love a good salad, in fact I will often order a salad when we go out to dinner. But during this pregnancy especially salads have been a major craving of mine. Even though a big salad does fill me up, of course I always eat a whole second, not so healthy course afterwards. Something like a burger or chicken sandwich. Lot’s of mayo. Yum. Oh losing this baby weight is going to be fun! Worth it times a million!

Head on over to Ambitious Kitchen for this great recipe. I didn’t change a thing in the recipe besides doubling it, so I didn’t feel right sharing it on my site. Happy crunching!

signature

Happy Valentines Day & One Pot Chicken Spaghetti

maternity 28 weeks

Happy Feast of St Valentine from 3 out of 4 of my Valentines to yours! I can’t wait to celebrate with the boys at their Valentines parties at school, we worked so hard on our cards this year. We have some fun things planned for our Friday night at home as well! Love is in the air!

one pot chicken pasta (1)

Keeping it simple for dinner tonight and making this one pot chicken pasta from Yellow Bliss Road. We have made this recipe a lot over the winter season. 1 because it is delicious and 2 because one pot, duh. You won’t believe how simple this is and how flavorful it turns out.

one pot chicken pasta (2)

one pot chicken spaghetti

 

Ingredients
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into one inch chunks
  • 2 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 small onion diced
  • olive oil
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 box dry pasta
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce (26-28 oz)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup fresh shredded Parmesan cheese

Instructions
  1. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot on medium heat.
  2. Add garlic and onions and sauté for 2 minutes.
  3. Add chicken pieces and season with salt and pepper. Cook until no longer pink.
  4. Add jar of spaghetti sauce, chicken broth, water, bay leaf, diced tomatoes,and seasoning to the pot. Bring to a boil.
  5. Add dry pasta. Reduce heat to low.
  6. Simmer for 20 minutes stirring only a few times.
  7. If all the pasta isn’t covered by liquid, add more chicken broth or water.
  8. Stir in cheese and serve warm.

Recipe adapted from:Yellow Bliss Road

 

Happy Weekend and don’t forget to enter the Pink Blush Maternity giveaway before it’s too late!

signature

2013 Favorites

maternityreal (1)

2013 was a great year for our family and for this blog! Thank you all for your visits, pins, comments, e-mails, and kind words. I wanted to share the most popular and favorite recipes of 2013 plus a few of my favorite other posts. I did not post nearly as much as I would have liked to this year, due to all the pregnancy sickness that was thrown my way, but I still really appreciate you all hanging on and supporting me! I love sharing our family’s favorite recipes, and bits & pieces of our life with you on here, it brings me great joy. God’s blessings for 2014 to all of you.

1. Sloppy Joe spaghetti bake-: My number one visited recipe of this year and one of my easy favorites! Eliminate that gluten as much as you can!sloppy joe bake (1)

2. Heirloom tomato and goat cheese tart: I have pregnancy cravings for this ALL THE TIME. Wish I would have froze some of those beauties.

heirloom tomato tart (1)

3. Gluten-free Mexican pizza: So delicious and fun to make with the kids! This recipe made Family Fun magazine this year which was uber exciting for me!mexican pizza4.Banana cream pudding: You will never appreciate the flavor in this pudding until you make it yourself. Trust me.

bananatruffle (3)

5. Merlot Meatballs: This is my favorite recipe of the year. I make these regularly in the winter now with a heaping pile of mashed potatoes and veggies along side them. You can’t beat this sauce.

Merlotmeatballs (3)

My other favorite posts of 2013:

1.JS Conf 2013: This post will always remind of my battle with anxiety and how this trip changed my ability to deal with it on a daily basis. ameliaisland (26)

2. A halloween to remember: I love this post because years from now when the kids are grown, and I sit down and read it, I will be filled with so many emotions about them growing older and thankful I recorded how I felt on that very day. But I can’t even think about that right now because….pregnancy hormones. pumpkin rissotto (2)3. Holzmann party of 6: Because NEW BABY! DUH!! yay!

Remy14. Meet Ralph: A post I am glad I took some time to write about my incredible partner in life. I love our life together and it is only the beginning.REAL5. 20-week pregnancy update : I asked Ralph probably 10 times if he thought I should take out the rant about having more kids. I am so glad he told me to keep it in there. I can’t tell you how incredible all your sweet messages about that post made me feel. Sometimes the world needs a little honesty.

maternity (4)

xoxo

signature

Crockpot fall apart ribs

crockpot ribs (1)

When fall rolls around the crock pot makes it’s way up from the basement and finds a temporary home in the kitchen. I use my crock so much during the fall and winter months that I leave it out on the counter. That being said, I like to look for “challenging” crock pot recipes if those even exist? But you know what I mean right? I don’t always like the recipes where you just dump some cans of condensed soup, along with some raw meat and call it dinner. Sometimes those recipes work out and are great, but a lot of them turn out rather tasteless and sloppy. I like to think you need to put a little bit of work into a meal to get good results. So while these ribs are not hard or a lot of work, in fact they are quite simple, you don’t just toss everything together in one step. I promise you it really isn’t much work at all and the results are tender and savory fall off the bone ribs.crockpot ribsYou are welcome to skip making the sauce and use store bought if you’d like! I have found myself married to a man that detests store bought BBQ sauce. I think it comes from his dislike of anything “sweet” on or near his meat. He is real manly about meat, you know how that goes. This recipe for BBQ sauce is a little more savory than sweet if you like that kinda thing.

 

Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons paprika
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 8-9 lbs pork ribs
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1-cup raw honey
  • 5-8 drops hot sauce
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • ground pepper

Instructions
  1. First make the BBQ sauce.
  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk ketchup, honey, hot sauce, dry mustard, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar and pepper.
  3. Pour sauce into a sauce pan and heat on medium until everything is incorporated.
  4. Mix together dry ingredients to create a rub: paprika, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
  5. Cover ribs with rub on both sides and place in the crock pot on low heat.
  6. Let the ribs heat for 2 hours then pour sauce over the top.
  7. Heat an additional 4-6 hours.

Hope you are having a blessed week friends!

 

signature