salad

Crunchy Honey Mustard Chicken Tenders

Have you ever thought about the elements of a meal that provide you with satisfaction? Because listen up, ya’ll, it’s not only about the taste.

Disclosure: This recipe was created through my partnership with Barbara’s Bakery and I was provided compensation for sharing this recipe. All words and opinions are my own.

IMG_0319.jpg

Yes, food that tastes delicious is usually much more enjoyable to eat, but let’s not forget the other elements of satisfaction, such as the way a plate of food looks visually, how it smells, how it feels in your mouth, and even what temperature the dish is. When we strive to satisfy our senses with food we are better able to take the focus off of only the nutrition or health-benefits, which can often lead to preoccupation and worry when eating. It’s all too easy to overlook to pleasure nourishing food can bring us, but my recipe today is challenging you to take back the satisfaction factor!

My husband and I looove making peach salad in the summer. It started from an actual recipe, but now we have adapted it to our own tastes and ingredients we have on hand. The salad is usually a combination of tender salad greens, raw or grilled onion, crumbled cheese, and slices or chunks of yellow peach. For more satisfaction we add a source of protein, which is usually simply grilled salt and pepper chicken. The chicken is good, but it’s not great or mindblowing.

Wanting to not settle and eat another “just pleasing” salad, I got to thinking of how to jazz up my chicken. When I asked myself what I truly wanted, I landed on honey mustard. And I knew I wanted something crunchy. A few minutes later and these Crunchy Honey Mustard Chicken Tenders using Barbara’s Bakery Spoonfuls Cereal were born!

IMG_0320.jpg

Seriously, these chicken tenders are SO satisfying, and they respected and honored my taste buds in every which way. So, the next time you’re questioning what you truly want, I encourage you to ask yourself some of these questions:

Think about a salty or sweet food. Does it feel right to you at this moment?

Would you like the crunch of a baby carrot or a potato chip right now?

Is the aroma of pizza appealing you to right now?

Do you want something airy or more filling and sustaining?

OKAY, now on to the recipe!

Crunchy Honey Mustard Chicken Tenders- serves 2

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pound chicken tenders

  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard

  • 3 teaspoons honey

  • 1 1/4 cup finely crushed Barbara’s Bakery Spoonfuls cereal

  • Fresh ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mustard and honey and set aside. Place the crushed cereal on a large plate and spread in an even layer.

  3. One at a time, dip a chicken tender into the honey mustard mix, coating all sides, and then dredge in the crushed cereal, firmly pressing the crumbs in any spots not coated.

  4. Lay the chicken tenders on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

  5. Serve tenders with some fresh cracked black pepper and lay over a bed of arugula and pea shoots, with a chopped peach, sliced red onion, crumbled feta cheese, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

IMG_0322.jpg

Grilled Corn and Summer Squash Pasta Salad

macaroni salad.jpg

When I say “pasta salad” what dish comes to mind?

If I had to guess, I’d say for a majority of people this dish is typically made of macaroni noodles, maybe with some shredded carrot and chopped celery thrown in, and leaning heavy on the mayo to make it a thick salad that holds together. Is this what popped into your mind too?

Now don’t get me wrong, I love a pasta dish as much as the next one, but I think it’s about time we gave this summer classic an updated look- a recipe that’s just as easy to throw together and enjoy as one or with many people, but one that’s also more nutritionally balanced and servable as a main dish.

IMG_0267.JPG

Here’s what I’m proposing for a pasta salad redux…

  1. Consider a refreshed pasta base- if you haven’t tried a legume-based pasta, like Banza chickpea pasta, Barilla red lentil penne, or other plant-based noodles from Tolerant Foods or Trader Joe’s, I highly recommend giving them a go. These pastas are higher in protein, and therefore lower in carbohydrates, than traditional wheat varieties. Not sure how it’s going to taste? Try replacing only half of the pasta in the recipe with this new variety!

  2. Amp up the vegetables- while a small pop of color in traditional pasta salad is nothing to turn a nose up at, those shredded carrots are far from the 1 serving of vegetables I would recommend if serving this dish for lunch. Use the pasta salad as a vehicle for easily eating more veggies, rather than feeling like it’s a chore to eat ANOTHER leafy green salad on the side. Since we’re in summer, think about tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, and peppers- they are all great pastabilities!

  3. Make it a complete meal- if you can’t tell, by bulking up the vegetables I’m trying to inch this recipe towards becoming a one-stop, one-pot complete meal. To achieve this, my last recommendation would be to add a source of protein. If preparing pasta salad in bulk you could always make up the base, and then cook and add a new protein each day to your liking. I’m thinking chicken sausages, grilled shrimp, or more chickpeas would be easy ways to round out the dish.

  4. Keep it light, but not on the flavor- you may consider this sacrilegious at first, but I think the days of mayo being the mandatory condiment for pasta salad are over. With not much to offer besides saturated fat and an overpowering flavor, mayonnaise can easily be swapped for olive oil and additional herbs and spices without compromising on flavor. If you’re still craving a little creamy quality, consider a sprinkle of feta or goat cheese for texture and tang.

So, who’s on board to try this dressed up, but totally simple summer pasta salad? Dig in!

IMG_0269.JPG

Grilled Corn and Summer Squash Pasta Salad- serves 2

Ingredients

  • 4 oz. legume pasta

  • 1 large ear of corn, husk removed, cleaned

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

  • 1 large yellow summer squash, cut in half lengthwise

  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)

  • 1/2 cup baby arugula

  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flake

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven’s broiler.

  2. Cook pasta according to package instructions or al dente. Drain, rinse under cold water, strain, and place in a large mixing bowl.

  3. To “grill” the corn indoors, rest the cleaned ear of corn over a stove burner. Turn on the burner to start a medium flame. The corn will start to crackle and pop a bit, while getting a char. Every so often use tongs to turn the corn so that the entire ear becomes lightly “grilled”. Once finished, let the cooked corn cool on a cutting board. When easy enough to handle, cut the kernels from the cob and add them to the pasta.

  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the squash flat-side down. Sear the squash until the flesh starts to brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and transfer the skillet to a rack 4 inches under the broiler. Continue to cook for about 5 to 7 minutes until the squash skin starts to soften and turn slightly browned as well. Remove the cooked squash from the skillet and let cool on a cutting board. When easy enough to handle, cut the squash into 1/2 inch-thick half moon shapes and add to mixing bowl.

  5. Add the tomatoes, arugula, feta, and remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pasta mixture. Toss to coat and mix well, then taste and add salt and red chili flake. Serve with protein of choice for a complete meal.

IMG_0268.JPG

BBQ Broccolini Salad

saladwithpackage.JPG

Disclosure: This recipe and blog post were created in partnership with Mann’s Fresh Vegetables (Mann Packing Company). I was compensated for my time and provided with product from Mann’s. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support Casey Seiden Nutrition!


The Fourth of July has come and gone, so we are firmly into summer now, which means it’s barbeque season! Sadly, living in New York City affords me limited access to an outdoor grill, so I take a more liberal view of what barbeque means throughout the months of July and August. By traditional definition, barbeque is “a meal at which meat, fish, or other food is cooked out of doors, on a rack over an open fire”. When I get the chance to do some grilling at my in-law’s house in the country I take full advantage, but in our city apartment, barbeque means cranking up the oven’s broiler to quickly get a nice crisp and char on some salmon or chicken, and also getting creative with “grilling” vegetables!

Have you ever thrown vegetables on the grill before?

Grilling can transform a vegetable side dish or salad into something truly spectacular! Heating them in such a way brings out their natural sweetness, while also lending a smoky flavor. It also has the nice effect of creating a more crisped, yet still soft texture, which many people don’t associate with veggies.

 However, not all vegetables are well-suited for tossing straight onto the grill. Many are small and oddly shaped, but I’ve happily found a new favorite that can get grilled up with minimal fuss- BROCCOLINI® baby broccoli! I’ve teamed up with Mann’s Fresh Vegetables to showcase their baby broccoli in a barbeque-style summer salad.

 BROCCOLINI® baby broccoli is actually a cross between two vegetables- gai lan and broccoli- and has a sweeter, milder flavor compared to regular broccoli. Plus, since it can be eaten from flower to stem, these larger pieces of BROCCOLINI® baby broccoli are easy grillers whereas broccoli florets may be a bit small and annoying to turn. But do you want to know the best part? My husband, who reeeally dislikes broccoli, will gladly down some charred BROCCOLINI® baby broccoli!

rawbrocc.JPG
roastedbrocc.JPG

 Tossing some vegetables onto grill helps boosts the fiber content of your summer barbeque spread. Animal proteins that you may be grilling up- like chicken, ribs, and fish- contain zero dietary fiber, but in just three stalks of BROCCOLINI® baby broccoli there is about 5 grams of fiber. Most of us could stand to get more fiber in our diets for improved gut health, blood sugar balance, and heart health, so why not include it in the form of deliciously grilled vegetables!

 And even though we associate winter with cold season, that doesn’t mean keeping up with micronutrients like vitamin C isn’t important in the summer. The good news if that BROCCOLINI® baby broccoli contains 130% of your daily vitamin C needs, alongside other nutrients like vitamin A, calcium, vitamin E, folate, iron, and potassium.

saladsetsup.JPG

 I don’t know about you, but I’ve got my tongs ready to get this BROCCOLINI® baby broccoli “grilling” and put together this summertime BBQ salad! If you have access to an outdoor grill, replace the broiling steps in this recipe with your outdoor flame.

 BBQ BROCCOLINI® baby broccoli Salad- serves 2

 For the salad:

  • 1 package Mann’s BROCCOLINI® baby broccoli

  • Olive oil spray

  • 2 small ears of corn, kernels cut from the cob

  • 1 tablespoon diced jalapeno

  • ¼ cup chopped red onion

  • Juice of 1 small lime

  • Salt, to taste

  • 4 cups mixed greens

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa

  • ½ lb. shredded chicken breast (I used a rotisserie chicken)

 For the dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons plain greek yogurt

  • 1 tablespoon barbeque sauce

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil

 Instructions

  1. Heat the oven’s broiler to high. Spray the BROCCOLINI® baby broccoli with some olive oil and transfer it to a baking sheet. Broil for about 15 minutes or until the BROCCOLINI® baby broccoli stars to brown and crisp. Once cooked, remove from the oven and let cool.

  2. While the BROCCOLINI® baby broccoli is cooking, prepare the dressing by whisking together the yogurt, barbeque sauce, and avocado oil in a small bowl. You want the texture to be thin and pourable, so add a tad more oil or a small dash of water as needed.

  3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the corn kernels, diced jalapeno, and red onion. Drizzle the lime juice over the mixture and season with salt to taste.

  4. When the broccoli is cool enough to handle, roughly chop the stems into 1 inch pieces.

  5. Plate the salad by layering 2 cups of greens onto each plate, then top each bed of greens with ½ cup cooked quinoa, equal amounts of chicken, BROCCOLINI® baby broccoli, and corn salad. Drizzle with the barbeque dressing and toss to coat and combine flavors.

broccolinicloseup.JPG