Cucumber & Cilantro Chicken Salad

Cucumber Chicken Salad

Have you ever been such a busy bee that when you came home from the grocery store you realized, not only did you forget something, but you brought home another thing that already had fair representation in the fridge?  Like cilantro. I’ve purchased cilantro three times  in less than a week.  Not good.

Cubed Chicken Breast

Luckily my roommate’s gym schedule is about an hour behind my yoga schedule. And since we both go to the grocery store on a daily basis {I wish I was joking}, I knew he could pick up that onion that slipped my mind.  And as far as the boat loads of cilantro?  I’d just freshen up a batch up super summery chicken salad and pretend the overstock was all on purpose.

Chicken Salad Ingredients

And then I’d be thankful.  Because chicken salad with cukes, red onions, cilantro, lime, and homemade mayo is such a darn good combo.  Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of cayenne pepper and man oh man, you’ve got yourself something special.

Homemade Grapeseed Oil Mayo

Homemade Mayo

At some point during every summer, I start craving massive amounts of sandwich salads {minus the sandwich part}.  Chicken, tuna, egg – I could easily rotate the three every day from May to August.  Insert a slaw here and there, and you’ve got yourself the happiest of girls.

But then there’s mayonnaise.  I strategically create salads and slaws that have simple ingredients and then add a mystery ingredient condiment to bind it all together?  It just doesn’t make sense.  So I turned to Melissa Joulwan, fellow Austin food blogger, for her paleo olive oil mayo recipe.

And then I failed.  Hard.  Not because of her instructions or impatience.  But because I didn’t sample the olive oil before creating the most beautiful, fluffy, poisonous tasting mayo ever.

So I went back to the grocery store on a mission to purchase the lightest tasting oil I could find.  I walked away with grapeseed oil and ended up with a beautiful, fluffy, delicious mayo the second time around.

Using only egg, lemon juice, salt, and grapeseed oil completely changed my perception of mayo.  I eat eggs and use lemon juice/oil as salad dressing on the regular, so there was no longer anything mystery about it.

If you’re a sandwich salad lover as well, I highly suggest you make your own mayo this summer!

Shredded Beef With Red Cabbage Slaw

Red Cabbage Slaw & Shredded Beef

You know those people who take forever to eat salads because they want a bit of every ingredient with each and every bite?  That’s me to a tee, which is why I can’t get enough of shredded meat lately.  It’s a totally lazy way to make sure you get some meat in every bite.

Red Cabbage Coleslaw

I crock potted up about 3 pounds of boneless chuck roast with 4 cups of water, 1 chopped onion, 3 chopped celery stalks, 3 sliced garlic cloves, and salt and pepper on low for about 8 hours.  And after shredding with two forks, I did something I hadn’t ever done before, and reduced the stock in a saucepan on high heat for about 20 minutes until it was thick and flavorful.  Game. Changer.

Shredded Beef

After the meat soaked up the bulk of the reduction, I spread a thin layer of it on a plate and topped with a heaping scoop of red cabbage slaw.  And that slaw… was really the highlight of this meal.

I used a mandolin slicer to achieve super thin and delicate slices of cabbage.  Then added mild veggies, cilantro, citrus, and homemade mayo to create a light slaw that’s perfect for summer {especially a Texas summer}.  I’m so looking forward to coming home to these leftovers tomorrow!

Hen & Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Cornish Hen

There was something appealing about a mini bird at the grocery store tonight.  I didn’t want to fuss with carving up and packaging leftovers from a regularly sized bird.  I didn’t feel much like navigating through my cabinets to dig out the roasting pan.  And I had a new dish that was just begging to be stuffed with sautéed brussels sprouts and topped with a roasted cornish game hen.  So mini bird, it was.

How To Cook Cornish Game Hen

I followed the same chicken roasting basics that I’m accustomed to: dry off, place fat {coconut oil or ghee} above and beneath skin, place chopped herbs {thyme, rosemary, or both} beneath skin, stuff cavity with lemon and some more herbs, and roast at 375 degrees until the meat thermometer reads 165 degrees {about 45 minutes}.  Tonight roasting happened with a cast iron grill pan rather than the deeply buried roasting pan.

Sliced Brussels Sprouts

While the hen was doing its thing in the oven, I whipped up some super simple brussels sprouts with shallots that were… okay.  I focused on the flawless hen and made a mental note to be better at brussels sprouts the next time around.