Category Archives: Lunch

Light & Easy Chicken Salad

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Something interesting hit me the other day. I have never put a recipe on the blog with chicken. I normally don’t eat a lot of meat or poultry but on occasion, I indulge, and I do like it! It’s funny because I grew up eating the bird almost every day…and if there was a single thing to name as a staple that was constantly in my fridge as a child, it would be chicken salad. My mother always had a tupperware full of the stuff as it was her favorite snack ready for eating at any time of the day. My mother made us dinner every night and it always included some protein, some starch, and of course a green vegetable.  The protein was chicken pretty often and when there was leftovers she would shred it up and make chicken salad for the week. The trick to her amazing chicken salad was using chicken that had been well seasoned and cooked to perfection. My favorite was when she made rotisserie chicken; it yielded the best leftover chicken salad. Kris and I had some chicken for dinner this week and I knew exactly what I would do with the leftovers. Can you guess? I wanted to make a lighter version than I grew up on; so I subsituted plain greek yogurt for the mayo, because hey, we all could use a little less calories in our daily intake. Let me tell you….You can not even taste the difference and to be honest I like it even better. I honestly loved this new version so much that I called my mom right away to tell her the good news…less calories and less fat and one of the best versions I have ever tasted! She seemed interested but she’s pretty set in her ways…I wonder still if she will ever stray from what she knows and loves. Sometimes people are sticklers that way. But, if you are like me, and you want a new, light, and healthier take on the classic then please make this as soon as possible. You won’t regret it! 

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Light & Easy Chicken Salad

Serves 4


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Prep Time
15 min

Total Time
15 min

Prep Time
15 min

Total Time
15 min

For the Chicken Salad
  1. 3 cups cooked chicken, diced *See note
  2. 1 cup grapes, quartered (I used a mixture of red a green for color)
  3. 2 stalks celery, sliced
  4. 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  5. 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  6. 1 TBSP fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
For the Greek Yogurt Sauce
  1. 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  2. 1 TBSP dijon mustard
  3. 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
  4. 1/2 tsp salt
  5. 1/2 tsp pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine all the chicken salad ingredients in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk all the ingredients for the yogurt sauce. Mix the sauce into the large bowl and stir it all together to coat. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Serve open-faced on wholegrain toast, in lettuce wraps, or on crackers! Chill leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Notes
  1. I used cold leftover rotisserie chicken from dinner the night before. Leftover BBQ chicken or baked chicken would be just as delicious in this! If your chicken is freshly cooked and hot, make sure to cool the chicken salad in the fridge before serving.
HONEYED HOME http://www.honeyedhome.com/

Veggie Pizza w/ Homemade Vegan Beer Crust

DSC_0320There is this local pizza restaurant in San Clemente that has all the quintessential qualities you would expect for a family-owned surf town joint. It is where all major sporting events are watched, where your child’s fifth birthday will be held, and where you go to eat the best pizza and drink craft beers with good friends. One of my favorite things about this place, is that it not only makes every pizza from scratch, but that the selections include a range between standard pizzas and new unique versions of the classics. The thing I crave the most, is their take on a vegan beer crust. Kris and I order every pizza with this crust and just about die every time because it is honestly the softest, chewiest, fluffiest, and most flavorful crust we have ever tried. I knew that I had to recreate it at home and luckily it was a job well done. The beer creates this richness in the crust that you can not get from the yeast and flour alone. I chose to use a local IPA, India Pale Ale, which is essentially just a dark, crisp, hoppy beer. Please feel free to use your favorite beer, but remember the darker and hoppier; the more flavor will come across into the crust. Also, it is worth noting that the crust is made with whole-wheat flour so there is that extra bit of nutrients and fiber that you don’t normally get from a pizza, so go ahead, have another slice! This recipe is seriously easy and homemade pizza is so worth every minute of the prep time. It is super versatile, like most pizza recipes, in the sense that you can top it with whatever it is you like; meats, cheeses, veggies, or fruits! The possibilities are endless. Enjoy fellow pizza lovers! 

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Veggie Pizza w/ Homemade Vegan Beer Crust

Serves 4


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Prep Time
2 hr 30 min

Cook Time
20 min

Total Time
2 hr 50 min

Prep Time
2 hr 30 min

Cook Time
20 min

Total Time
2 hr 50 min

For the Vegan Beer Crust
  1. 3/4 cup dark beer (I used a local IPA)
  2. 1 package active dry yeast (1/4oz envelope)
  3. 1/2 TBSP cane sugar
  4. 2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  5. 1.5 tsp sea salt
  6. 1.5 cups whole-wheat flour (plus about 4-5 TBSP for kneading and rolling)
For the Veggie Toppings
  1. 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  2. 10oz bag of sliced (clean & washed) Cremini mushrooms
  3. 1/2 tsp salt
  4. 1/2 tsp pepper
  5. 8oz bag baby bell peppers (of mixed colors), sliced thin in rounds
  6. 1 shallot, sliced thin in rounds
  7. 1 green onion, sliced thin
  8. 1 jalapeño, sliced thin in rounds (remove the rib and seeds if you do not want too spicy)
  9. 1/2 cup pizza sauce, marinara or other (I used Arrabiata sauce)* see note
  10. 1-1.5 cups organic shredded mozzarella cheese (or any shredded cheese you like, vegan cheese too!)
  11. 1 TBSP chopped fresh basil, chiffonade style
For the Vegan Beer Crust
  1. Pour the beer into a sauce pan and heat over low heat for about 2 minutes. Put your finger in to test that it is warm but not hot (if the beer is too hot it will kill the yeast!). Remove from heat.
  2. In a large glass bowl, add the yeast and sugar and pour the warm beer in. Whisk well and then let sit for about 5 minutes until it is foamy and frothy.
  3. Whisk in 1 TBSP of the olive oil. Add the salt and 1.5 cups of the flour. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Spread a two tablespoons of flour on a clean work surface. Knead the dough with your hands adding more flour (1 TBSP at a time) if you need to (the dough should not be too sticky, it should come together and become elastic. It should bounce back when you poke it).
  4. Add the remaining TBSP of olive oil to the glass bowl you previously used and flip the bowl around so the oil coats the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the dough ball to the bowl and coat all sides of the dough in the oil. Cover the bowl with a dish towel or plastic wrap and let sit on the counter for two hours.
  5. Take the dough ball out of the glass bowl and place onto a clean work surface or parchment paper and cover with a warm, damp towel and let rise for another 20 minutes. At this point, you can refrigerate the dough for a later use.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400. If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven to preheat as well.
  7. Roll out the dough on a floured work surface into a 12″ circle. Pinch the sides so that you get a slightly raised crust edge.
For the Veggie Toppings
  1. Slice all the veggies into thin rounds. Remove the ribs and seeds from the bell peppers and jalapeño. Separate the shallot slices from each other.
  2. In a skillet, heat 1 TBSP olive oil over medium. Add the sliced Cremini mushrooms, salt and pepper, and sauté for about 3 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Place the rolled out dough onto the baking sheet or pizza stone you wish to cook the pizza on (if using a pizza stone careful not to touch as it will be hot!).
  4. Working quickly, spread a thin layer of the pizza sauce over the pizza dough, leaving room on edges so the crust is clean. Add the sautéed mushrooms on top of the sauce (use a slotted spoon here so that you don’t get any of the water that cooked out of the mushrooms). Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella over the sauce and mushrooms. Sprinkle the sliced shallot, green onion, bell peppers, and jalapeño over the top of the cheese in a colorful fashion. You may not use every veggie that you sliced, I didn’t. (Use any leftovers in a salad!) Bake for 20 minutes or until crust edges are golden brown. Once removed from the oven and cooled slightly, sprinkle the basil over the top. Slice into 8 slices, serve immediately and enjoy!
Notes
  1. Arrabiata sauce is a marinara sauce that has a bit of a kick (it’s pretty spicy!). I love this on my pizza but feel free to use any sauce that you like in particular. This goes for the cheese as well.
Adapted from Beer Crust
Adapted from Beer Crust
HONEYED HOME http://www.honeyedhome.com/

Cauliflower Couscous w/ Quick Pickled Red Onions

DSC_0329Cauliflower is the new black. I swear this vegetable has made the biggest comeback (in the most delightful way) in the past couple of years. Currently you can find cauliflower as a gluten free option for just about anything, including (but not limited to); pizza doughs, pasta dishes, and several baked goods. It is such a versatile little veggie that is pretty subtle in flavor and will take on pretty much whatever you wish of it. I wanted to make a cauliflower couscous after I saw this recipe. What an incredible way to eat a ton of veggies in one big bowl! It really feels like you are eating “real” couscous (you know the kind that is made with all the glutens and flours?)! Except, in this recipe you are consuming a vegan, gluten-free, and insanely delicious salad without any of the, so-called naughty, carbohydrates. The best part about the entire bowl, is that you can eat the whole thing and never once feel guilty. You could even hit up some seconds! Sounds like a winner on the neat and clean eating front. Oh, I shouldn’t forget to note that I have been wanting to share my recipe for quick pickled red onions for some time now. Pickled onions are one of the easiest ways to add so much flavor to any meal. I like to keep a jar on hand for quick weeknight salads or lunchtime sandwiches. It takes but thirty minutes for the pickled onions to deliver a zesty tang, a faint spiciness, with just a hint of garlic. Quick, easy, and flavorful is like the trifecta of awesomeness. These were the perfect addition for the cauliflower couscous. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did! Excuse me while I head back for another helping… DSC_0285

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Cauliflower Couscous w/ Quick Pickled Red Onions

Serves 4


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Prep Time
30 min

Total Time
45 min

Prep Time
30 min

Total Time
45 min

For the Quick Pickled Red Onions
  1. 1 small-medium red onion, thinly sliced into half-moons
  2. 2 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
  3. 1 cup rice vinegar (you could use any light vinegar; white wine vinegar or even apple cider vinegar)
  4. 1 tsp sugar
  5. 1 tsp salt
  6. 2 tsp peppercorns (I used multicolored peppercorns)
  7. 1 tsp dried rosemary
  8. 1 tsp red pepper flakes
For the Cauliflower Couscous
  1. 1 head of cauliflower
  2. 1/2 cup pine nuts
  3. 1 english cucumber
  4. 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  5. 1/2 cup shelled edamame
  6. 1 large handful fresh basil, chopped
  7. 1 large handful fresh cilantro, chopped
  8. 1 large handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  9. 1 lemon, zest and juice
  10. 1 TBSP honey (or agave if vegan)
  11. 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
  12. 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  13. 1/2 tsp salt
  14. 1/2 tsp pepper
  15. 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  16. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
For the Quick Pickled Red Onions
  1. In a large stockpot, bring about a quart of water to a boil. Thinly slice the red onion and add to a large glass bowl. Once you have finished crying, pull the slices apart from each other and separate them with your fingers. Pour the boiling water into the glass bowl and let the onions sit for about 30-45 seconds in the water. Drain the par-blanched onions into a strainer. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, salt and sugar and mix until dissolved. Add the garlic, peppercorns, rosemary, and red pepper flakes and stir to combine. Add the onions into a clean glass jar or container you wish to store them in (I had to pack the onions down in the jar to fit all the slices). Pour the seasoned vinegar over the onion slices (I added just a tad bit more vinegar to the top of the onions so that they were all covered in the liquid). Place the onions in the fridge and let them sit for at least 30 minutes before using. They will store in the air-tight container for up to two weeks in the fridge.
For the Cauliflower Couscous
  1. Bring a large saucepan with water to a boil (add 1/2 tsp salt to the water). Meanwhile, cut off the cauliflower stem and chop the cauliflower into florets and add them to the bowl of your food processor (if your food processor is small you should work in batches). Pulse a few times until you reach a couscous texture (careful not to pulse too much or it will turn into cauliflower paste, ew!). Pour the cauliflower bits into the boiling water and let cook for about three minutes (we aren’t trying to cook the cauliflower here, just taking the raw edge off). Drain the cauliflower couscous into a fine mesh sieve (try and get a much water off as you can). Add the couscous to a large bowl and fluff with a fork.
  2. In a dry skillet, add the pine nuts. Toast them over med-heat, stirring occasionally until slightly toasted and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Set them aside. In a small bowl, combine all the vinaigrette ingredients; lemon zest and juice, honey, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Add the olive oil and whisk well to combine. Add the dressing to the couscous and continue to fluff with a fork. Add the toasted pine nuts, the dried cranberries and the edamame to the couscous. Cut the english cucumber in half, and using a spoon, scoop out all the seeds of the cucumber (this is an important step because the seeds add too much water to the salad if you leave them in). Chop the cucumber and add it to the salad. Add all the chopped herbs and give one last stir to mix. Top each bowl with some of the pickled red onion slices and serve immediately. Store the salad in an airtight container for 2-3 days in the fridge.
Notes
  1. This couscous salad makes enough for four people as a side and is plenty for two people as a main.
HONEYED HOME http://www.honeyedhome.com/

Grilled Artichokes w/ Lemon Caper Aioli

DSC_0307Yesterday was Father’s Day and my dad’s birthday! So, because it was such a memorable day, and we were celebrating two major reasons to love on my on pops, I decided to make his favorite grilled veggie. When I was growing up, I could find my dad in the kitchen on special occasions, otherwise it was mostly my mother who cooked. My father was the grill master and would always be the one to prepare a select few things; he made the juiciest steaks, the best gyros, and of course, the perfect artichokes. He knew what he was really good at and he stuck to his classic recipes. From what I can remember, we seemed to always have those crazy good artichokes on those long summer nights and it was usually for a Sunday supper. Sunday dinners were always special in our home. My sister and I would sit down with my mom and dad and discuss the past weeks events and the future weeks plans. It was nice and I really miss those times.

I wanted to make the same grilled artichokes I grew up with, but with a bit of a twist. Kris and I don’t own an outdoor grill, so the job had to be done on a grill pan on our stovetop (which incidentally turned out perfectly!). I have always been a bit intimidated by the big green vegetable, that some what resembles a succulent or cactus flower, but have learned that they are just the opposite of intimidating. In fact, they are super simple to prepare but do require just a few tasks. The thing about artichokes, is they take some time to prepare and they need a lot of flavor enhancing goodies. They are all about a labor of love and that is one reason why I adore them so much. Even when it comes time to eat them, you have to “get through” the outer leaves to reach the perfectly cooked center, called the heart. You must coax these babies with a lot of affection and they will most definitely love you right back! The lemon caper aioli is a friendly dipping sauce for the artichokes and is really nice if you are serving this as an appetizer for a small gathering, but otherwise isn’t really much needed. These artichokes can be eaten straight from the pan and have enough seasoning to sustain them alone, although the ailoi is always a nice touch. Serve them how you wish and remember to give them a try for your next dinner! Enjoy! 

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Grilled Artichokes w/ Lemon Caper Aioli

Serves 4


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Prep Time
15 min

Cook Time
15 min

Total Time
30 min

Prep Time
15 min

Cook Time
15 min

Total Time
30 min

For the Grilled Artichokes
  1. 4 globe artichokes
  2. 1 TBSP red wine vinegar
  3. 2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
  4. 1 garlic clove, smashed
  5. salt & pepper
  6. 1 TBSP chopped fresh dill
  7. 1 TBSP chopped fresh parsely
For the Lemon Caper Aioli
  1. 1 large egg yolk
  2. 1 garlic clove, minced
  3. 1/2 tsp salt
  4. 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  5. pinch of cayenne
  6. juice of a small lemon
  7. 2 tsp dijon mustard
  8. 1/4 tsp pepper
  9. 1 TBSP capers (optional)
Instructions
  1. 1. Prepare the Lemon Caper Aioli. In large clean bowl, whisk the egg yolk, garlic and salt with 2 teaspoons of water until frothy. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in the olive oil, about a teaspoon at a time, until it become thick and creamy looking. Whisk in the cayenne, dijon, lemon juice and pepper. Add the capers and whisk. Cover and set aside in the fridge.
  2. 2. Prepare the artichokes. Add the olive oil and the smashed garlic clove to a small bowl and set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add 1 TBSP red wine vinegar. Cut off about an inch off each of the artichoke’s stems and about 1/2″-1″ off the top of the artichokes. Peel away some of the outer lower tough leaves. Cut each artichoke in half lengthwise and scoop out the choke (the “hairy” middle). Add the artichokes to the boiling water and boil for 10 minutes, using tongs to push them under the water from time to time. Drain the artichokes and place on a large plate or baking sheet. Heat your outdoor grill, or your stove-top grill pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once cool enough to handle, brush each artichoke with garlic infused olive oil and sprinkle each one with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Place cut side down and grill for 5 minutes or until visible char marks are seen. Plate the artichokes cut side up and sprinkle with freshly chopped dill and parsley. Serve immediately with (or without) the lemon caper aioli. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. These artichokes could serve a small gathering of 4-6 people as a little, yet super delicious, appetizer, or 2-4 people as a side.
  2. The aioli is obviously not vegan. If you are not consuming animal products, a nice lemon vinaigrette could work just fine. These artichokes are just as good without a dipping sauce when served on their own!
Adapted from Aioli from Sprouted Kitchen
HONEYED HOME http://www.honeyedhome.com/

Homemade Pita w/ Fattoush Salad

DSC_0254I honestly do not know a whole lot about Middle Eastern cooking, but I can tell you that I am always fascinated by it. I seriously can’t get enough of the entire Persian-style spread because it is always deliciously healthy and super flavorful. Normally, the cuisine consists of dishes that are prepared with herbs, vegetables, and rice along with meat, lamb, chicken or fish. Fresh herbs and vegetables are the main ingredients and make almost every meal especially wholesome. The traditional spreads, also called Meze, typically include one of my favorite salads I have ever tasted, Fattoush. Fattoush is a simple veggie salad (think tomato, cucumber and romaine) w/ a classic zesty spice and toasted pita bread crisps. The spice that I am referring to is called “Za’atar”, which isn’t very accessible in local grocery stores but can be made effortlessly right in your own home. My dear friend, whom happens to be Persian, told me her secret to homemade Za’atar and I have forever kept it on the forefront of my spice rack since she divulged her classified blend (which I will share with you shortly, you’re welcome). Za’atar is a classic blend of sumac, dried thyme and toasted sesame seeds. Sumac, though, is the ingredient that is most difficult to get a hold of. I couldn’t find it at Ralphs but had good luck at Whole Foods. (Trader Joe’s just came out with a exotic spice pack that includes one with Sumac! Yay for TJ’s!) Whole Foods sells the organic sumac and they also sell the already-made Za’atar blend, if you would like to go that route. Just wait until you try this magical spice concoction. It lends this tangy and herby flavor that you can not get from anything else (trust me I tried to find sumac substitutes all over the inter-web). I now have officially become obsessed with Za’atar and put it on almost everything; my avocado toasts, egg scrambles, hummus dips, and in lots of salads and vinaigrettes. You should also know, the following homemade pita bread recipe is not at all difficult to prepare and can be made in just 40 minutes flat! Not only can you taste the difference between homemade pita bread and store-bought pita, but you can actually see it! It puffs up perfectly and serves as an impeccable vessel for this salad or anything else you can imagine to be wrapped in it’s amazingness. I hope that this dish finds you in good company because it makes a lot and can serve up to eight people. Enjoy my friends! 

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Homemade Pita w/ Fattoush Salad

Serves 8


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Total Time
1 hr

Total Time
1 hr

For the Homemade Za’atar
  1. 1/4 cup sumac
  2. 1/4 cup toasted white sesame seeds
  3. 2 TBSP dried thyme
  4. 1 TBSP dried oregano
For the Homemade Pita
  1. 2 tsp active dry yeast
  2. 1 cup luke-warm water (not too hot)
  3. 2.5 cups flour, plus more for dusting
  4. 2 tsp sea salt
  5. 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for bowl
Fattoush Vinaigrette
  1. 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  2. zest and juice of 1 large lemon
  3. 1 tsp honey
  4. 3 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 1 tsp salt
  6. 1 tsp pepper
For the Fattoush Salad
  1. 1 cucumber, chopped
  2. 3 tomatoes on the vine, chopped in small quarters
  3. 1 red bell pepper, chopped, stem and rib removed
  4. 1 green bell pepper, chopped, stem and rib removed
  5. 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
  6. 3 green onions, green and white parts, sliced thin
  7. 1 bunch mint, finely chopped
  8. 1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
  9. 2 cups romaine (1 bunch), shredded
For the Homemade Za’atar
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Store in an empty and clean spice canister or glass jar. Set aside.
For the Homemade Pita
  1. In a large glass bowl, combine the yeast with water. Let sit for 5 minutes to dissolve. Add the flour, salt, and olive oil and stir until a scrappy dough is formed. Sprinkle some flour on a clean work surface and turn out the dough. Knead the dough for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth (add more flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking to the surface or to your hands, careful not to work with too much flour, the less the better). Form the dough into a round disc.
  2. In another large glass bowl (or clean the one you just used), spread about 1 tsp of olive oil around the sides of the bowl with your fingers, making sure to go all the way up the sides. Add the dough ball to the bowl and toss the dough so that it is lightly coated with oil on all sides. Cover the bowl with a dish towel or plastic wrap and let it rise anywhere from 30 minutes-1 hour or overnight in the fridge (it should double in size)* (see note).
  3. After it has risen, deflate the dough and turn it out to a lightly floured work surface again. Divide the dough into 8 equal parts and flatten each piece into a round disk. Using a rolling pin, roll each of the 8 discs into thin circles (about 8″ wide and 1/4 inch thick). They won’t roll out to perfect circles and this ok, it looks more rustic anyways. Sprinkle with more flour if the pieces start to stick. Heat a lightly oiled cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Lay a rolled-out pita piece onto skillet and cook for 30 seconds or until small bubbles start to form. Flip and cook 1-2 minutes on the other side. Flip again and cook another 1-2 minutes. The pita will start to puff up and visible char marks will show. Remove the pita from the heat and keep covered with a dishtowel until all the remaining pitas are cooked.
For the Fattoush Vinaigrette
  1. Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well to combine. Set aside.
For the Fattoush Salad
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well to combine. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and mix well. Lastly, sprinkle the homemade Za’atar over the top of the salad (about 2 TBSP). Serve the salad in the homemade pitas immediately. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. I let my pita dough sit in the fridge overnight because I think the flavors develop so much better, but if you are short on time, allowing the dough to rise after 30 minutes to an hour should do the trick.
  2. This salad can be made up to a day ahead of time and stores nicely in an air-tight container in the fridge for a few days.
  3. Store the pita breads in a ziplock bag for up to 4 days in the fridge. Reheat in conventional or toaster oven.
HONEYED HOME http://www.honeyedhome.com/