Tarragon Chicken Salad

Tarragon Chicken Salad

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Tarragon Chicken Salad is piled high and topped with lettuce on a golden bun. The bun sits on a stack of plates garnished with cucumber slices.

Here’s to having plenty of summer days that are too hot to want to cook.  Tarragon Chicken Salad is perfect for just such days.  No need to cook when tender chicken pairs up with mustard and creamy mayo for a wonderful salad that’s amazing on a crusty roll, croissant, lettuce wrap or cracker.

 

Cooked diced chicken rests on a wooden cutting board and is surrounded by dried tarragon and whole grain mustard in preparation for Tarragon Chicken Salad.

Start with cooked chicken, preferably leftovers or even a pre-cooked roaster chicken for convenience.  While I’m all for making as much homemade as possible, it’s hard to deny the lure of a plump, juicy roast chicken that’s ready when you need it.  Whatever chicken you use, chop it chunky and avoid over mixing it after adding the other ingredients. Overmixing tends to break down the fibres of the chicken a little too much for my liking, so be gentle.

Along with the crisp chopped celery, I also like to add a few of the celery leaves for a bit of freshness.  I have left out adding any onions to this chicken salad, however, thinly sliced scallions would be a nice additional touch if desired.

 

Ingredients for Tarragon Chicken Salad are measured into a glass bowl and ready to be stirred. A basket of buns sits in the background.

The tarragon is a wonderful flavour to go with chicken and mustard. You’ll find that the longer it sits in the salad the stronger the flavour will be.  It does take a little time for it to meld with everything.  By all means use fresh tarragon if you can, using about 3 times the amount of the dry, so in this case, I’d use a tablespoon of fresh.  The fresh won’t require the same amount of melding time, simply mix and enjoy!!

 

 

Tarragon Chicken Salad is piled high and topped with lettuce on a golden bun. The bun sits on a stack of plates garnished with cucumber slices.
Tarragon Chicken Salad
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    2 1/3 cups 15-20 minutes
    Passive Time
    15 -120 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    2 1/3 cups 15-20 minutes
    Passive Time
    15 -120 minutes
    Tarragon Chicken Salad is piled high and topped with lettuce on a golden bun. The bun sits on a stack of plates garnished with cucumber slices.
    Tarragon Chicken Salad
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      2 1/3 cups 15-20 minutes
      Passive Time
      15 -120 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      2 1/3 cups 15-20 minutes
      Passive Time
      15 -120 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: cups
      Instructions
      1. Add all ingredients to a medium size bowl starting with 1/3 cup of mayonnaise. Stir gently until combined adjusting creaminess with additional mayonnaise and seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
      2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes and up to several hours to allow flavours to meld.
      Recipe Notes

      -The tarragon flavour will become more pronounced the longer the chicken salad sits.

      -A precooked roaster chicken that has been chilled works wonderfully.

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      Poached Egg and Kale Toasts

      Poached Egg and Kale Toasts

      I love eggs with greens, so when I was on the hunt for a nice lunch, I couldn’t think of what would be better than braised kale and eggs. Poached Eggs and Kale Toasts are not only quick and delicious, but a great way to eat your greens. Need more motivation to kale?  It’s crazy high in vitamin K, high in vitamins A and C and also a great source of fibre to name just a few. 

      Curly leaf kale braised with shallots, red pepper and garlic get a bright finish with a splash of white wine vinegar.  The tender, yet still slightly chewy kale provides a good texture contrast with the soft eggs.  Crisp toast is the perfect crunchy base to soak up any juices and runny yolk. It goes to prove that eating well can be simple and delicious with only a few quality ingredients. Enjoy!

      Recipe source for Poached Egg and Kale Toasts:  Compelled To Cook

      Poached Egg and Kale Toasts
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        4 Toasts 15 minutes
        Cook Time
        12-15 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        4 Toasts 15 minutes
        Cook Time
        12-15 minutes
        Poached Egg and Kale Toasts
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          4 Toasts 15 minutes
          Cook Time
          12-15 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          4 Toasts 15 minutes
          Cook Time
          12-15 minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: Toasts
          Instructions
          1. Heat oil in a medium skillet, add shallots and garlic. Cook on medium for 1-2 minutes, stirring often.
          2. Add kale, red pepper and water. Continue to cook, stirring often until kale is tender but still has some texture and all the water has been absorbed about 10-12 minutes. Stir in white wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
          3. While kale is cooking, add 3" of water to a shallow pot. Bring to a gentle simmer and add 1 tbsp of white vinegar and a sprinkle of salt. Crack eggs, one at a time into the water. Cook for 4 minutes for soft eggs. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate to absorb excess moisture.
          4. Toast bread and butter if desired, top with a generous portion of sauteed kale and top with a poached egg. Sprinkle with chilli flakes if desired. Serve immediately.

          Spinach and Cheddar Potato Cakes

          Spinach and Cheddar Potato Cakes

          Spinach and Cheddar Potato Cakes recipe is an oldie but a goodie.  A simple way to use the cold, hard mashed potatoes that have been hiding in your fridge for three days. I can say with confidence that I always make too many mashed potatoes.  With the same confidence, I can also say that I’ve had that forgotten Tupperware container of mashed potatoes buried in my refrigerator.  I think we’ve all been there. So the next time you’re sifting through your fridge, desperately trying to find something for lunch and can’t believe you have nothing.  Dig deep and move a few jars to find the lost and lonely tub of mashed potatoes, begging to be consumed.  Mix with a few pantry items and a give a quick pan fry, you’ll find lunch is served.

          What I like about this recipe, is the ratio of potato to egg and breadcrumbs.  I find the cakes stay moist and hold together very well during forming and frying.  While this is my own little version, you could easily customize the flavours to your liking. Maybe try different greens and herbs, garlic, parmesan, corn or sautéed onions. I also used sour cream and fresh dill as an accompaniment, but tzatziki would also be great. Use whatever you have on hand and enjoy!

          Recipe source for Spinach and Cheddar Potato Cakes:  Compelled To Cook

          Spinach and Cheddar Potato Cakes
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            2 people 15 minutes
            Cook Time
            10 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            2 people 15 minutes
            Cook Time
            10 minutes
            Spinach and Cheddar Potato Cakes
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              2 people 15 minutes
              Cook Time
              10 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              2 people 15 minutes
              Cook Time
              10 minutes
              Ingredients
              Servings: people
              Instructions
              1. In a medium bowl, mix together egg, spinach, seasoning salt, onion powder and pepper Add mashed potatoes and mix until well combined. Stir in cheese, bread crumbs and chives. Mix until combined and bread crumbs have been absorbed.
              2. Heat oil in a non stick frying pan over medium high heat. While pan is heating, form 1/3 cup potato mixture into approximate 3" patties about 1/2" thick and place into pan as you form them. Cook 4-5 minutes per side until heated through and golden brown.
              3. Stir together sour cream and dill and season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep chilled until ready to serve with cakes.

              Kohlrabi Crab Cakes

              Kohlrabi Crab Cakes

              Are you growing kohlrabi in your garden this year? Fresh kohlrabi is amazing, and with it, you’ll be able to treat yourself to these lovely Kohlrabi Crab Cakes.  They make a wonderful lunch served with dill sauce and a green salad. Not home for lunch most days?  Try them as an appetizer, or top with a poached egg for a heartier meal.

              If you happen to have a little fresh kohlrabi left, trim, peel and cut into sticks.  Dunk the fresh sticks in leftover dill sauce or your favourite veggie dip.   You will love how crisp and refreshing the kohlrabi is and wonder why you haven’t been munching on it sooner.  Kohlrabi is also great in stews, soup, gratins, and salads.

              Recipe source for Kohlrabi Crab Cakes:  Compelled To Cook

               

              Kohlrabi Crab Cakes
              Print Recipe
                Servings Prep Time
                10 3-4" cakes 25-30 minutes
                Cook Time
                20 minutes
                Servings Prep Time
                10 3-4" cakes 25-30 minutes
                Cook Time
                20 minutes
                Kohlrabi Crab Cakes
                Print Recipe
                  Servings Prep Time
                  10 3-4" cakes 25-30 minutes
                  Cook Time
                  20 minutes
                  Servings Prep Time
                  10 3-4" cakes 25-30 minutes
                  Cook Time
                  20 minutes
                  Ingredients
                  Dill Sauce
                  Kohlrabi Crab Cakes
                  Servings: 3-4" cakes
                  Instructions
                  Dill Sauce
                  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl and keep chilled until ready to use.
                  Kohlrabi Crab Cakes
                  1. Trim ends off kohlrabi and peel with a vegetable peeler. Grate using a large grater and add to a separate bowl. Sprinkle with salt and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Drain and squeeze dry with a paper towel. Using the same large grater, peel and grate potato and pat dry with a paper towel. Add to kohlrabi.
                  2. In a large bowl stir together egg, dill, dijon mustard, celery salt and pepper. Stir in drained crab meat, prepped and dried grated kohlrabi and potato, bread crumbs, flour and green onions.
                  3. Add about 1 tbsp of oil to a large non stick skillet and heat over medium heat until hot. Form approximately 1/4 cup of batter into a 3-4" round patty. Flatten as much as you can while still retaining its shape. Pan fry for 5-6 minutes per side, adjusting heat if necessary. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and keep warm in a low oven while cooking any remaining cakes. Serve immediately with dill sauce.

                  Everyday Lunch Buns

                  Everyday Lunch Buns

                  Everyday Lunch Buns are just that, used everyday, almost! Since I’m a shift worker who packs up to 4 meals a day when including my husband, I need a reliable go to option for our everyday lunches. While I will generally take frozen leftovers for my main meals, my husband does’t always have the luxury of a microwave or a way to heat frozen meals. That’s one of the reasons a cold lunch is best for him. The other is because he likes to run errands over his lunch and is often driving while eating…..I know, distracted driver for sure!! For these reasons I make bread and buns regularly, and my go to recipe is tender, yet sturdy enough to fill will shaved meats or tuna salad. They’re also made with multigrain cereal and whole wheat flour for added fibre and nutrition.

                  I believe these buns are the reason I got a new 7quart, 1.3HP KitchenAid Stand mixer for Christmas this year. I can now make multiple batches at once, it’s fantastic to say the least. This recipe also falls into a new, fun category called “Mark’s top ten”. My husband’s favourite recipes, some of which are not mine in their entirety but HIS favourites. You’ll see them make an appearance every so often, for fun and good food to eat if nothing else.

                  You’ll notice that I use a dry multigrain cereal as apposed to multigrain flour. As USUAL, I cannot always find multigrain flour in my community, so I took matters into my own hands and decided to add my own multigrain mix from dry cereal. The solution really works well, as I cook a pot of cereal, allow it to cool, then wrap and freeze in individual portions for future use. No more hunting for the flour, just grab a little bundle from the freezer when getting ready to make a batch of buns. I believe it’s also a cheaper option than the flour as well. It’s one more step to the recipe, however if you make bread and buns often, it’s a great way to do it. Enjoy!

                  Recipe source for Everyday Lunch Buns:  Compelled To Cook

                  Everyday Lunch Buns
                  Print Recipe
                    Servings Prep Time
                    12 Buns 30 minutes
                    Cook Time Passive Time
                    23-25 minutes 1 3/4-2 hours
                    Servings Prep Time
                    12 Buns 30 minutes
                    Cook Time Passive Time
                    23-25 minutes 1 3/4-2 hours
                    Everyday Lunch Buns
                    Print Recipe
                      Servings Prep Time
                      12 Buns 30 minutes
                      Cook Time Passive Time
                      23-25 minutes 1 3/4-2 hours
                      Servings Prep Time
                      12 Buns 30 minutes
                      Cook Time Passive Time
                      23-25 minutes 1 3/4-2 hours
                      Ingredients
                      Servings: Buns
                      Instructions
                      1. In a small sauce pan combine dry cereal and 2/3 cup of water. Bring to a simmer and cook for approximately 5 minutes until visible moisture is gone. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to 95-110℉
                      2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir together buttermilk, 1/2 cup water, honey and yeast. Allow to ferment for 5-6 minutes until frothy. Add whole wheat flour, 1 cup bread flour, cooked cereal, butter and salt. Stir to combine. Add 1/2 cup bread flour and begin kneading until flour is absorbed. Continue adding bread flour by the 1/4 cup until dough is supple and pulls away from the bowl, approximately 7-9 minutes.
                      3. Grease a large bowl with oil or non stick spray. Remove dough from mixer and form into a ball, placing into greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm draft free area until double in size, 60-80 minutes.
                      4. Line a large baking tray with parchment. Remove dough from bowl and knead 3-4 times to remove air. Weight out dough into 12 equal size portions of approximately 85grams. Arrange dough balls with even spacing 4x3 on baking sheet. Cover with greased plastic wrap or kitchen towel and allow to rise until puffed and double in size, approximately 45 minutes.
                      5. Preheat oven to 400℉. Bake buns for 18-20 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and slide buns onto cooling rack. Brush with melted butter if desired. Allow to cool to room temperature.

                      Edamame and Chickpea Sandwich Filling

                      Edamame and Chickpea Sandwich Filling

                      Well, we’re already into the first month of the new year and for many the new year brings the resolution to eat better, get more exercise etc. So for those looking for a healthy low fat, yet satisfying lunch option I’ve got a lovely Edamame and Chickpea Sandwich Filling. It’s made with protein packed edamame and chickpeas, which along with the fibre they provide, helps to keep you feeling full and satiated. Avocado gives it a bit of creaminess to help hold it all together and provides good monounsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals. Avocados are also quite high in fibre and contain little sugar, again helping to keep you feeling full. A little feta cheese, garlic and cumin round it out with flavour and salt. It’s a darn tasty sandwich filling that makes a great lunch and will keep for several days well covered in the fridge. Although I enjoy my Edamame and Chickpea Sandwich Filling on multigrain bread, it’s also great stuffed in a tomato or eaten on sliced cucumbers if you’re wanting to cut out the bread all together.  So let the healthy eating begin!

                      I have to honestly say I didn’t have a new year’s resolution this year. Certainly not that I couldn’t have used one, like taking better photographs or drinking less wine. There’s always something to improve upon and goals are important. My real problem was time, no time to reflect and decide what goal was most desired and no time to process a thoughtful plan to put into action. Time…..we never have enough it seems. So in hindsight while I write this post, I believe time will be my focus for the year ahead, and maybe a little less wine too, but I fear I have little resolve for that my friends!

                      Recipe source for Edamame and Chickpea Sandwich Filling: Compelled To Cook

                      Edamame and Chickpea Sandwich Filling
                      Print Recipe
                        Servings Prep Time
                        2 cups 20 minutes
                        Servings Prep Time
                        2 cups 20 minutes
                        Edamame and Chickpea Sandwich Filling
                        Print Recipe
                          Servings Prep Time
                          2 cups 20 minutes
                          Servings Prep Time
                          2 cups 20 minutes
                          Ingredients
                          Servings: cups
                          Instructions
                          1. In a food processor combine 1/2 cup edamame, 1/2 cup chickpeas, avocado, feta cheese, garlic, lime juice, cumin, salt, and pepper and process until almost smooth. Add remaining 1/4 cup of edamame and chickpeas and pulse a few times to combine, leaving a chunky texture.
                          2. Spread filling thickly onto desired bread and top with pea shoots and fresh cilantro. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and freshly cracked sea salt. Top with bread.
                          Recipe Notes

                          I used a 300g bag of frozen edamame to yield 3/4 cup shelled edamame. Cook edamame as per package directions. Submerge in cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain and shell.

                          Should you prefer a smoother texture, process all the edamame and chickpeas together in the first blend.

                          Yields approximately 2 cups of filling which will make 4-6 sandwiches.