Pseudo Salad

Can I just tell you, I freaking LOVE LOVE LOVE the Morrocan chicken salad at CPK (You know California Pizza Kitchen, yes food blog people DO go to chains) Anyway, I am obsessed with it, BUT its SOOO expensive! Literally, I spend $16-$18 on the salad (the range is because the tax/tip usually makes it $17) which is totally cray to spend on a salad and yet I do. A) because of the convenience of grabbing it after work en route to my night MBA class B) because it is beyond delish! It has all the taste bud pleasing elements you can think of: sweet, savory, crunchy, creamy, etc! Anyway work was slow this week and I have an online class this semester so I am not running around as much and I figured its time to replicate this salad. Especially because I need to save my money for pedicures. Oyi my feet are looking rough! woof! Ok back to the tasty salad prep. As always this is going to reuse ingredients from other recipes. At CPK they use a champagne vinaigrette, so I grabbed a bottle of the Trader Joe’s pear champagne vinaigrette used in one of our salad recipes and a chicken dish to toss my greens with. Then the beets were in the last salad recipe as well-ha can you tell I really like them?! Might be the new truffle, lol just kidding that would never happen.

  • 1/3 cup Dates (Sliced in halves or quarters depending on how big yours are, I did mejdool dates)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup Toasted almonds (I tossed them in a pan to toast when I was boiling the eggs)
  • 6 oz. Beets (Drain all the water if using the canned stuff and chop vs. slice)
  • 10 oz. Roasted butternut squash (I just did it with salt, pepper, and paprika)
  • 1/2 cup Cranberries (I bought dried packaged ones from the store)
  • 3 Grilled chicken breasts (I just did it with cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, cumin, & paprika)
  • 1 Avocado (dice into cubes)
  • 1 medium Red bell pepper (try for the same sizes as the beets and avocado).
  • 1 package or 8-10 oz. Mixed greens (tossed w 1/3 cup of the bottled dressing)
  • Chopped up boiled eggs (I did 2, but 3 without the yellow of the 3rd would be good too)

Heat up a nonstick pan (I used my grill pan since it was washed & ready from the last time I made burgers) with some olive oil and sear the chicken breasts (I had them coated & rubbed in with the spices on both sides of the breasts) until cooked through about 5-7 minutes on each side. Let the meat rest before slicing and adding to salad. While you are cooking the chicken you can toss the squash with some oil & spices as well and roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. While the chicken and squash cools, chop the other veggies and eggs and mix well. This is how pretty the colors look:

I called this recipe the pseudo salad because its a knock off of the one from the restaurant and its much more filling than a regular old salad. This is meant to be an entrée and that’s why there is a bit more cooking involved than most salad recipes. Anyway its yummy, don’t worry about what the title means, just devour.

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Happy Eating, XO.

 

 

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Cake Cake Cake

Ok I am not literally going to sing Rihanna’s birthday cake song, well at least not till NEXT WEEK!! That’s right kids…THE BIG DAY is arriving shortly…

Jess & Sonia’s BIRTHDAY!!!
Funny thing is, I don’t even need to say it should be a national holiday, because it is!! I mean sure, its because its also Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, but a holiday nonetheless. Plus I mean Drew Brees, QB of the Saints, also has that birthday amongst many others. Bottom line, January 15th equals best day of the year. Birthday or not, you should eat cake on the best day of the year. So here is a cake for all foodies, no funfetti here my pets. This is some grown up ish that is just as easy to whip up! ha that’s funny because the “frosting” is actually whipped cream 🙂
nom nom nom here we go:

  • 1 package of store bought yellow cake mix (I mean if you are like Jess and got a new FANCY Kitchen aid stand mixer for Christmas, feel free to cheat on the short cut and do the whole whipping of butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking soda gig. However, if you are like the rest of us peasants, just go the “easy” way out).
  • 1 can of cherry pie filling (15 oz.)
  • 1.5 tsp. Almond extract
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup of sliced toasted almonds (listen I did a 1/2 cup like the recipe says, but it was WAY too nutty (even for a nutjob like me). It got in the way of the cake part, but whatever to each his own).
  • 2  eggs
  • a tub of light cool whip

No oil needed, just mix the above & pour. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 min (also base the time on what you are baking in. i.e. size of dish, you goobers-check back of cake box to confirm). Let it cool and slather with some whipped cream and maraschino cherries to make it look all gorgina, just like your pretty faces.

Happy Eating, Happy Birthday, XO.