Chicken with Balsamic Blueberry Sauce

Chicken with Balsamic Blueberry Sauce

One of the blueberry bushes in my yard is heavy with blueberries right now. Being a fan of savory fruit sauces, I used some of the fresh berries to make this dish for dinner tonight. It was really, really good. Served alongside some roasted fingerling potatoes, this was a meal worthy of a special occasion.

Fresh Blueberries sm

This recipe makes enough sauce for four generous servings. If you are cooking 2 chicken breasts, only use half of the sauce and save the remainder for another time. I think it would be excellent on salmon.

Chicken with Balsamic Blueberry Sauce

2 – 4 chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup finely chopped Vidalia onion (or favorite sweet onion)
1 cup fresh blueberries (frozen should be a fine too)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey (you may want to add an additional tablespoon of honey if your blueberries are not very sweet – taste the sauce and adjust as necessary)
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400º F.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Add to the skillet. Brown the chicken breasts on both sides. Place the seared breasts in a baking dish and place in the oven.

Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet the chicken was seared in (no need to clean it out). When the butter is melted, add the finely chopped onion. Cook, stirring, until softened and starting to caramelize. Add the blueberries and cook for 1 minute. Add the balsamic vinegar and honey. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 5 to 10 minutes. Keep warm.

Spoon some of the sauce over the chicken breasts and return them to the oven until cooked through, about 10 more minutes.

Serves 2 – 4.


Collard Greens Slaw (2 Ways)

Collard Greens Slaw 2 Ways

Last week when I posted the Pickled Collard Greens recipe on my Facebook page, a friend of mine commented that she liked Collard Greens Slaw. I thought the idea of making slaw with collards was interesting, but didn’t get any details from her.

Today, I decided to try making slaw with collards. I had a couple of bunches of collard greens from my CSA in the fridge that I need to use. For the sake of experimentation,  I made two different dressings, my basic coleslaw dressing and the dressing that I used on my Broccoli Salad. I mixed up a bowl of collards, red cabbage, carrot, and green onions. The combination of the green, purple, and orange colors is so beautiful! I divided the mixed veggies and dressed 1/2 with one dressing and half with the other dressing. Honestly, both resulting slaws were good. My husband preferred the vinegar-based slaw and I slightly favored the mayo-based slaw. I thought the slaws were best eaten the day they were made.

Collard Greens Slaw (2 Ways)

1/2 bunch collard greens, washed, dried, center rib removed, thinly sliced
1/4 head red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
1 large carrot, shredded
2 green onions, thinly sliced
dressing of your choice, recipes below

Combine the collards, red cabbage, carrot, and green onions in a large bowl. Add the dressing, tossing well to coat the veggies. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Creamy Collard Greens Slaw

Mayonnaise-Based Dressing

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste

Combine the ingredients in a small bowl.

Vinegar Based Collard Greens Slaw

Vinegar-Based Dressing

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon canola oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Combine the ingredients in a small bowl.


Pickled Collard Greens

Pickled Collard Greens

I get the most amazing collard greens from my CSA. Sometimes I get an overwhelming amount of amazing collard greens from my CSA. It’s a challenge I gladly accept. I’m always trying to think of interesting ways to prepare them. This morning I put a Boston Butt pork roast in the crockpot with dinner plans for pulled pork sandwiches on homemade Focaccia bread. I was staring into the fridge and the idea of pickling the collards popped into my head. I have pickled mustard greens before and enjoyed using them as a condiment. Why not collards? Y’all, they turned out so good. They were excellent on the pulled pork sandwiches. I kind of wish I had made a double batch.

These sweet and sour collard greens would also make an excellent side dish. Just cook the collards until tender (about 20 minutes longer than stated in the recipe) and serve warm. I could easily drink the pickling/cooking liquid. : )

Pickled Collard Greens

1 large bunch of collard greens
2 cups water
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Wash and chop the collard greens. I usually remove the center ribs from the leaves before chopping.

In a pot over high heat, bring the water, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the chopped collards and cook for 5 (for crunchy collards – these are actually better after a few days in the fridge) to 20 (for use right away as a condiment or side dish) minutes. Let the collards and pickling liquid cool and then transfer to a large Mason jar. Refrigerate at least several hours (a couple of days is even better) before use.


Wilted Bok Choy and Tatsoi

Wilted Bok Choy and Tatsoi

I got my first CSA box of the season on Wednesday. Yay! I love being a CSA member! Historic flooding in South Carolina devastated the farm in October, but they are rebounding and expect a plentiful spring season. They are off to a strong start. This week’s box included bok choy, tatsoi, spring lettuce mix, strawberries, spring onions, and mustard greens. I love the challenge of coming up with new ways to cook the produce from the CSA box.

This morning I threw this recipe together to go with my over-easy eggs. It’s a great side dish. I can imagine it would be an excellent side for Teriyaki (or Sweet Bourbon) Salmon.

If you are not lucky enough to get fresh bok choy and tatsoi from your CSA, this produce can usually be found in Asian Markets.

The recipe is written for one. Double, triple, quadruple, etc… it as needed. If you like your greens with a little acid, add a dash of rice vinegar along with the soy sauce.

Wilted Bok Choy and Tatsoi
per person

1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small head of bok choy, stalk end trimmed, roughly chopped
2 cups of tatsoi, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon soy sauce
salt and pepper
sesame seeds

Heat the sesame oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for a minute. Add the chopped bok choy and sauté another minute before adding the tatsoi. Season with the soy sauce and black pepper. Cook until wilted, just a few minutes. Taste and season with salt, if needed. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.


Broccoli Salad

Broccoli Salad

Earth Fare has organic broccoli on sale for 99¢ per pound right now. I won’t lie, I’m a little more excited about it than I should be. Broccoli wasn’t a favorite as a kid, but I just love it now. So far, I have made a couple of different soups and a stir-fry featuring broccoli. I also made this salad.

Recipes for Broccoli Salad often feature lots of mayonnaise. It’s no secret that I am not a mayo fan. The slightly sweet vegan dressing in this recipe is a perfect replacement for a mayonnaise-based dressing. Not only is it lower in calories, it also doesn’t mask the flavors of the fresh ingredients. This salad is not drowning in dressing. You could double the dressing recipe if you would like a bigger dressing to salad ratio.

Broccoli Salad

1 large bunch of broccoli (about 2 big stalks), washed, and cut into bite-size florets (save the stalk for something else)
1 large apple (I prefer Fuji or Honeycrisp), cored and chopped
1/4 cup Craisins (dried cranberries)
1/4 cup sliced almonds (or pecans, walnuts, or sunflower seeds)

Dressing
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon canola oil

Combine the broccoli florets, chopped apples, Craisins, and sliced almonds in a bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard, sugar, white wine vinegar, salt, and pepper. Slowly whisk in the canola oil. Alternatively, shake the dressing ingredients together in a sealed Mason jar.

Pour the dressing over the broccoli salad and toss to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

This salad keeps up to 3 days in the fridge.

 


Corn Salsa

Corn Salsa

Corn Salsa

This colorful salsa, eaten with tortilla chips is a tasty snack. It is also a nice addition to tacos, fajitas, or rice bowls. It can even be eaten on its own as a side dish or salad of sorts. It keeps well in the fridge for a week or so.

Poblano  chiles (fresh or roasted) can be substituted for the bell pepper and jalapenos.

Corn Salsa

1 pound frozen corn
1/2 large onion, small dice (red onion looks pretty with corn)
1/2 green bell pepper, small dice (you could also use red bell peppers)
2 jalapenos, or to taste, minced
handful fresh cilantro, chopped
juice of 1/2 lime
kosher salt, to taste

Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the frozen corn and cook, stirring often, until heated through and starting to char. Cooking it this way really brings out the sweetness of the corn. Let the corn cool completely.

Once the corn is cooled, add the remaining ingredients and mix to combine. Taste and add more lime juice or kosher salt, if needed.


Bamia (Okra with Tomatoes and Chickpeas)

Bamia

This is a quick and flavorful vegetarian/vegan meal. It is a favorite of ours. It tastes even better the next day. Serve it with Basmati rice.

Bamia (Okra with Tomatoes and Chickpeas)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 15.5 ounce cans chickpeas, drained
1 pound frozen whole okra (or fresh), ends trimmed
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 cup vegetable broth
salt and black pepper, to taste
fresh cilantro, chopped

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chickpeas, okra, tomatoes, cumin, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce the temperature to medium-low. Cook until the okra is soft, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with warm rice (I like Basmati) and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.