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April 28, 2013 - 4 Comments


Well it’s Sunday. How was everyone’s weekend?! Ours just flew by way too fast. Way. Too. Fast. It was beautiful here. Perfect 75-80 degree F weather. You can’t get much better than that. We unfortunately have snow in the forecast for Wednesday…right before my sister arrives for a visit. I’m sure she will just LOVE that. Hopefully it warms up quickly for everyone’s sake! Speaking of Kara (my sister), we are super excited for her to come visit, and not just because she’s bringing herself. She’s bringing a little fur ball too! Woohoo! Her name is Pippa, and she has the makings of being a true terror, but she is just SO adorable! She will torment Cilantro, and this is the part we are most excited about (evil laugh) =). But in all seriousness, we are super excited for her visit. This is totally besides the point. She doesn’t get here until Thursday. Moving along: So today I decided to do a little bit of prep for the week, and Zach and I tend to go through cold salads galore. I have found with the past couple of weeks of food prepping, that these cold salads go the quickest … i.e. we like them the most. Dill potato salad is Zach’s favorite. You can find that recipe here, but chicken salad is one that we both really enjoy. Instead of going the same old route of chicken, mayo and celery; I decided to kick it up a notch with some of our favorite flavors. It … is … Well, it’s just incredible. We will leave it at that for now.





So, we decided to make gardening our Saturday project for this week (can you tell? I went a little overboard on the horrible iPad quality photos which really aren’t that horrible I have found)…even though there is a snow storm in the works. What’s cool about container gardens, is that they can move inside on a whim (just in case the weather isn’t cooperating). Don’t get me wrong. I really really want a yard, with a garden…in that yard, but our patio will have to do for now. In someways (like being easily transportable) it can be better. There’s not a better feeling out there than growing your own food. Somehow those fruits and veggies just taste better. Well we only had limited space to work with so I stuck with some of our favorites for planting this year:

Peppers (of all kinds)
Tomatoes (your regs)
Roma Tomatoes
Cilantro
Basil
Thai Basil (ahhhhhh … there’s not much better out there than Thai basil)
Sage
Summer Squash
Thyme & Rosemary

We are usually pretty successful with container gardening, so hopefully this year doesn’t let us down. =) Are any of you planning on doing a little bit of gardening this year?




I love chicken salads and I’m always looking for new ways to spice them up. Chipotle, mango and pomegranate are just a few of our favorite flavors, so this is what I decided to go with today. It’s a very easy recipe to follow and it’s great for a weekly prep item. I have found that prepping for the week is most appreciated come Wednesday, and providing a variety of yummy munchies keeps the week alive! Well maybe it doesn’t go that far, but at least the food tastes good! One thing I may change with the next go around in this recipe is to maybe use a mango pulp or a jarred mango. The problem with using fresh (not that there is anything better than fresh) is that the mango has to be JUST right. Just soft enough to blend well, but not so soft that it is starting to go bad. I had to pulverize the heck out of the sauce while I was blending because the mango was just a little harder than I would have liked for blending. It really doesn’t change the taste, it’s just a little harder to deal with and may take just a little bit longer.

Don’t you just love new fabrics?! Joann’s … 50% off. That’s right. This little checkered number was like love at first sight.

I will really try not to go off on random tangents. I just can’t help myself sometimes, especially when it comes to new food photo shoot fabrics =). Especially, especially when they are 50% off.

Well chipotles are one of the key ingredients in this recipe, so of course we had to go with a chipotle “something” for the beer pairing. Rogue’s Chipotle Ale is scrumdidliumptious. It is crisp enough to be allowed into the “summer” club of beers, but has just a hint of smoky flavor. And although the chipotle flavor may have the tendency to knock you on your feet, I’m certainly not complaining, it really is great. I promise it’s not that bad. For a person who doesn’t love “spicy” it can be a little eye opening. It is soooooooooo GOOD though and perfect for this pairing!

I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their weekends!


 

Chipotle, Mango Chicken Salad
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Yield
4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless, fully cooked chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 cup raw cashews, chopped
  • 1/2 a mango, skins removed and chopped
  • 1 chipotle pepper (in adobo sauce)
  • 3 tablespoons pomegranate juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup mayo
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano

Instructions

  • Combine your chicken, onion, celery, pepper and cashews in a large bowl. Mix to combine and set aside.
  • In a blender, combine the mango, chipotle pepper, pomegranate juice and apple cider vinegar. Blend until smooth, about 5-6 minutes. Remove the sauce from the blender and add to a small bowl. To the same bowl, add the mayo, a dash of salt and pepper, cilantro and oregano. Whisk to combine.
  • Gently fold the sauce into the chicken mixture until all is combined. Season with more salt and pepper if needed. Cover and refrigerate. Will keep for 4-5 days.
  • Serve on top of a bed of greens or on a slice of bread! Enjoy!

Notes

Hardware: * Blender * Bowls * Whisk * Sharp Knife * Cutting Board * Spatula *

http://www.cookingandbeer.com/2013/04/chipotle-mango-chicken-salad/

 

  • Julie

    Made this tonight for my lunches since summer has arriveds It is fantastic! Such a unique recipe!

    • http://www.cookingandbeer.com/ Justine Sulia

      I’m glad it came out so delicious! Thanks Julie!

  • Julie McGill

    Can you substitute roasted cashews?

    • http://www.cookingandbeer.com/ Justine Sulia

      Of course you can Julie! If they are salted then I would tone the amount of salt you add to the chicken salad, but that’s the only modification I would make. I think using roasted cashews would be a nice added touch. Enjoy!