Roasted Red Pepper Chicken

I do not like salad.  I know there are people that eat it every day.  There are people with fat-free vinagrette running through their veins.  Me?  I’ve got sugar and peanut butter running through mine.  So when B suggests salad for dinner, I have to control myself.  I really have to exercise restraint and not laugh in his face.


So color me surprised when I found a salad I actually like.  I sort of stumbled on it accidentally.  I was really grabbing at straws for a dinner plan.  I hate not having a plan.  And here we were on a Tuesday night without one.  The only small hint of thinking ahead was the plate of chicken in my fridge, sitting next to the red pepper hummus we made over the weekend.

Chicken.  Freshly made red pepper hummus.  Spinach leaves.  Ok, maybe its something we should try.  Why not, right? If it’s terrible, I’ll just pick out the spinach leaves and eat the chicken by itself. 

One bite and I realized that I am a genius.  I might be a biased judge, but this salad turned out so tasty and delicious.  Chicken topped with red pepper hummus on a bed of spinach leaves is now my favorite salad.  It was simple.  It was refreshing.  It had a nice kick to it from the red pepper.  Try for yourself and see.

Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Salad

Homemade roasted red pepper hummus:

2 cloves minced garlic

1 can garbanzo beans, drained

1/3 cup tahini

1/3 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup roasted red peppers

Combine all of these ingredients in the food processor until smooth.  Feel free to add more if you like a peppery taste.

Chicken Salad

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 cup roasted red pepper hummus

2  bunches of spinach leaves

2 Skinny Cow creamy cheese wedges

Trim the chicken of any fat.  Cut each piece into two halves then season with salt and pepper.  Chicken is awfully bland and needs a little love to rise to its full tasty potential.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  On a lined baking sheet, place your chicken breasts.  Coat the breast in red pepper hummus to your liking.  I like mine with a lot of sauce. 

Place them in the oven to cook, about 25 minutes until finished.

While your chicken is cooking, assemble your salad.  Place spinach leaves onto a plate.  Take one wedge of cheese per plate and crumble it into the spinach leaves.

Once your chicken is finished, slice it into strips.  Place it on top of your spinach salad.  Then enjoy! If you plan on taking this for lunch, my advice is to keep the pieces separate and assemble them on the spot so that nothing ends up soggy.

Yum…. My mouth is watering. 


Roasted Veggie Salad

Sometimes, I wonder.  When I became a wife and mother, did I lose myself?  Do I know who I am anymore?  There are moments when I am not sure.  When you have a family, you dedicate yourself so much to them.  They become your world and you focus so completely on their needs.

My life is an endless loop of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, laundry, checking homework, doing dishes, dog walking.  I love doing it.  Although every now and then, I think “What about me?”  Sometimes, I even think it out loud.  And then people turn and stare and wonder why I’m talking to myself.

Today, I discovered that my life functions with great balance.  I have room on my plate for everything and everyone, including myself.  It’s finding those spare moments of time for yourself.  Those couple of minutes in the morning before the kids wake up.  Or that time at night when the house is quite.

I found my spare moments today while Abby was at CCD class.  Brian took the dog for a walk.  I debated about doing the dishes or folding laundry.  I even considered mopping the floor.  Then I turned around, plopped my butt on the couch and watched “Slap Shot”.  Not exactly a movie for children, I got a much needed dose of my favorite man, Paul Newman.  Some fighting and cursing and hockey and I was set.

Oh, and this really doesn’t have much to do with food.  Other than the fact that I made some roasted veggie salad for dinner with leftover food in the fridge.  It turned out mighty tasty.

Roasted Veggie Salad

1/2 zucchini, diced

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 onion, diced

Spinach leaves

Feta cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place your veggies on a foil lined baking sheet, then toss them with some olive oil and salt.  Pop them in the oven for about 25 minutes.  When finished, take them out and let them cool a bit.

Fill a bowl with some spinach leaves.  Place the roasted veggies on top and then toss with some feta cheese.

It’s simple.  It’s easy.  It’s tasty.

It’s my way of stealing time for myself.

Customizable Southwestern Salad

Today, B and I took a vacation day.  I had a doctor’s appointment in the early morning and we figured “Why not spend the day together?”  The day, however, was ruined after my doctor’s appointment.

You see, B has been complaining for months that I breathe at night.  Oh, Heavens to Betsy! I breathe! Whatever shall I do to stop this?! I ignored him for quite some time and let him go sleep in the guest room, disgruntled.  After a few months, I noticed that I was sleeping terribly.  And that’s when I decided to take his advice and head over to the ENT to see if I had sleep apnea.  It runs rampant in my family so I assumed it was my fate. Tests were run. Sleep studies were had.  More complaining about my incessant breathing.

Turns out, I have a fat throat.  No, that was not a typo.  I have a fat throat.  I need to start exercising a bit and eat less junk food.  If I lose a few pounds, my fat throat will be the first thing to thin out.  Weird.  I’ve always known that the butt is the last thing to get smaller.  But I was sort of thinking I’d lose something in the arms or thighs first.

Nope.  According to Doctor Som over in Annapolis, my throat will thin out first and my breathing will cease to be as loud.  Now, I realize that weight loss and better eating habits would be a great move for our entire family.  But I was blindly unaware that my throat was fat.  My self-confidence is shot.  I can’t wear chokers or turtle necks without feeling self-conscious.  And so, I dedicate this post to all of you out there with fat throats.  Let the healthy eating commence.  The moderation.  The working out and enduring pain and nasty looks from Jillian Michaels.

And all of this for love.  B, you’d better appreciate my hard work!

Customizable Southwestern Salad

Serves: 2-4

1/2 -1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed

1 tomato, diced

1/2 red onion, diced

1 bell pepper, diced

2 jalapenos, seeded and diced

1/2 – 1 cup Pepper Jack cheese, shredded

1 romaine lettuce heart, chopped

2 sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped

A few squirts of lime juice

This salad can be anything you want it to be.  I arranged mine on a plate like a chopped salad.  I saved the cilantro and lime juice for garnish on the top.  See the picture for assembly.  But really, you can put it together any way you’d like.

Feel free to toss some chicken in the salad or top with a little sour cream.  Enjoy! It’s a really tasty way to kick off some better eating habits.  And you wouldn’t even know that it is healthy because it tastes unbelievably filling and junk-foodish!

Any leftovers?  Toss a few spoonfuls on some baked tortilla chips and put them under the broiler for a minute or two.  Voila! Nachos!