July 30, 2015

Recipe: Grilled Ginger-Sesame Chicken Salad

I've got a fantastic salad for you today that is as simple to prepare as you need it to be! You can easily sub the cabbage and carrots for the pre-chopped variety if you're in a rush, but please don't skimp on the home made dressing and marinade -- it makes all the difference in this recipe!

Funny little story: Sometimes Owen like's to help me gather ingredients before I cook dinner. When we made this salad recently I was reading down the list of what we needed and when I got to the hoisin Owen heard "poison", and the look on his face was priceless.  He said, "Poison? What?!" I explained to him it was just a sauce with a similar sounding name and that our chicken and salad were totally safe!


recipe source

INGREDIENTS
marinade & dressing
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 cup canola oil
2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp sriracha sauce
1 tsp kosher salt
2 large chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions (white and green parts)

salad
1 lb Napa cabbage, very thinly sliced
2 carrots, grated
3 green onions, thinly sliced and cut on the diagonal
2/3 cup freshly cut cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup slivered almonds, dry toasted
1 tsp white sesame seeds, toasted
1 tsp black sesame seeds, toasted

INSTRUCTIONS
Marinade. Whisk together the soy sauce, ginger, canola oil, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, and salt to make the marinade. Put the two chicken breasts in a gallon sized zip-top bag and add 3 - 4 Tbsp of the marinade to the chicken. Note** - You are going to reserve the rest of the sauce that we just made (the part that is still in the mixing bowl). It will become the dressing later, and it should never touch the raw chicken. Squeeze the air out of the bag so that the marinade comes into contact with the meat. With a meat pounder (or heavy pan, or empty bottle), pound the breasts to a uniform thickness. This will allow them to cook more evenly and also help tenderize the meat. Allow the flattened chicken breasts to marinade 30 minutes.

Dressing. To the reserved marinade, add in the 1/4 cup each of red wine vinegar and sliced green onions. Now we have the dressing.

Grill the chicken. To a hot grill pan (yes, an outdoor grill or 'regular' pan is fine), add the marinated chicken breasts. cook them about 4 minutes per side or until there is no signs of pink and juices run clear when pierced with a small, sharp knife. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and allow them to rest 15 minutes. Please don't cut them right away... all the juices will run out leaving you with dry meat! After the 15 minutes, you will cut them crosswise into 1/4" inch thick slices.

Salad. In a large bowl, add the cabbage, carrots, green onions, cilantro, half of the sesame seeds, and half of the almonds. Add the chicken and mix together. Add just enough of the dressing to coat the salad lightly and toss together.Serve. Distribute salad to 4 - 6 plates. Re-whisk the dressing and drizzle a little over each salad. Garnish with the remaining almonds and sesame seeds on each salad.



Enjoy!

July 28, 2015

Baby Sullivan #2 - 21 Weeks


How far along? 21 weeks!

Baby's size: About 10 1/2 inches long, about as long as a carrot.
 
Maternity clothes? Some, mostly just a few tees, tanks and leggings mixed with regular clothes. I'm going to need less this time around since I'm not going to work each day. My Maternity Stitch Fix came last week and I was sorely disappointed. I didn't even considering keeping any of it before putting it right back in the box and mailing it back.

Stretch marks? Not yet, although I did get a few with Owen, so it's probably just a matter of time. 

Sleep: Rough! I wake up briefly a handful of times each night as I try to get comfortable. I pulled a muscle last week (I'm pretty sure it happened in my sleep because I don't remember pulling it) and it was seriously uncomfortable to sleep with. It's healing now thank goodness.

Best moment this week: Making some purchases for the boys' room!

Miss anything? Wearing bathing suit! I'm avoiding it like the plague.

Movement: All the time! Sitting, standing, laying down -- it seems like this baby is always on the move!

Food cravings: This week I'm all about the salty foods and still craving lots of water. I used to be fine having toast and peanut butter for breakfast, but lately I need eggs and toast to get going on the right foot. If I don't have something salty / savory for breakfast I end up way hungrier by lunch.

Anything making you queasy or sick: No, I'm feeling pretty good! The 2nd trimester is the sweet spot! 

Gender: A sweet little baby boy!!

Symptoms: I'm feeling a lot of pressure at the end of the day. I asked about it at my doctor appointment last week and the doctor (not mine, since she is on vacation) said it's totally normal to feel pressure this early for a second pregnancy and it just means our baby is getting bigger and bigger.

Mood: Good! I'm grateful for this baby and feel so blessed to be raising a family with Keith.

Looking forward to: Meeting this baby! We've got about 4 months left and I know they're going to fly by.

Are we ready?: Not really, but we've ordered Owen's new bed, which should come in the next week or so, and the bedding, and some art for the walls that came last week, so we're getting there. I'm working on a post to share soon on what we hope it will look like, although I'm realizing now that it's going to be an even tighter squeeze than I thought!


We still haven't decided on a name, and I don't see us rushing to make a decision just yet, although I'm eager to order some cute personalized baby items.... I can totally see why some people wait until they meet their baby before settling on THE name. When we do pick a name we've decided to keep it to ourselves until he is born.

How is Owen adjusting?: Great! Lately he's been talking a lot about hiding his smaller toys from the baby so he doesn't put them in his mouth. I like to believe he's more concerned about the safety of his little brother than of his toys, but I'm probably wrong!

July 27, 2015

Menu Monday Link Up!

Welcome to week two of the Menu Monday link up!

I can't wait to see what everyone else has to share this week! Remember, you don't have to share a whole menu to join in the fun! If you have a favorite dinner recipe link it up below, because I know we're all looking for new recipes to try!


We've got another normal week this ahead of us, so I planned for four dinners, leaving Friday open since I know we'll likely eat out somewhere. Thursday night needs to be something quick and easy since Owen has Taekwondo in the evening, but other than that I just planned around what we had on hand that needs to be used and what I've been wanting to make!


I just love this salad! It really makes such a difference when you make your own croutons and it's really not hard to do. I buy the balsamic glaze at Safeway, which dresses it up a bit, and I can't wait to use up the tomatoes we bought at farmer's market this weekend!



This is one of my favorite "copycat" recipes to make! It has been pinned and re-pinned hundreds of times from my blog too, and so there is just something about it people must like.



I picked up Cooking Light One-Dish meals last weekend and flagged a bunch of new recipes I'd like to try. First up on the list is this Chicken and Mushroom dish. I'll let you know how it turns out!


We'll be at Taekwondo in the late afternoon on Thursday, which kind of gets in the way of cooking dinner, so I've planned this slow cooker dinner to give me a little hand. We all enjoy it, even Owen, and I'll be serving it with a side salad to balance out all the bread and saltiness. 

Now it's your turn! What's on your menu this week or what's your go-to dinner to serve? Link it up below and share!

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