TROPICAL TURKEY SALAD

Yah, my tulips are blooming and spring has arrived here in Minnesota. What better time to enjoy salads as a main course at meals. With the last blizzard just 3 weeks ago, I was beginning to wonder if spring would ever arrive this year! Soon we’ll be gardening, boating, swimming, fishing and hiking in area parks. Since short and swim suit weather is arriving soon, why not begin to eat healthier if you have slacked off in that area and cut a few calories in the meantime. That is one of the reasons I am swapping out calorie and fat laden mayonnaise and trimming down this salad with protein rich Greek  yogurt. By substituting the Greek yogurt dressing in place of regular mayonnaise in this recipe, you are saving 315 calories, 40 grams of fat, 68 mg of cholesterol and 340 mg of sodium per serving. If you really like that mayonnaise or Miracle Whip taste in the salad and still want to save some calories and fat, you can substitute the reduced fat versions. I was very pleased with the taste of the yogurt and honey dressing in this salad however.

If you’re not as big of yogurt fan as me or are avoiding dairy products, you can easily use a vinaigrette dressing in place of the yogurt dressing or use one of the many varieties on dairy free yogurt on this salad. I had an extra turkey in my freezer from last Thanksgiving which I hadn’t yet prepared so we recently enjoyed a turkey dinner with all the trimmings for a few meals. I had plenty of white meat left over which I sliced and used in this salad. Chicken breast would work well also.

Tropical Turkey Salad

 

Tropical Turkey Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Lunch or Dinner Main Dish Salad
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2½ cup cooked and cubed turkey or chicken breast
  • 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt or nondairy yogurt such as coconut or almond milk plain yogurt
  • 1 TB honey
  • 1 medium avocado chopped
  • 1 cup fresh or canned juice packed, drained pineapple chunks
  • 1½ cup red grape, halved
  • 1½ cups celery, chopped
  • ⅔ cups pecan halves
Instructions
  1. Cut a fresh pineapple lengthwise and remove stem. Using a filet knife, carve out fresh pineapple and dice into chunks. Prepare the dressing for the salad by combining the Greek yogurt and honey in a bowl and whisk well. Place the remaining recipe ingredients in a large bowl and toss together. Next, fold in the yogurt dressing. Refrigerate until chilled. Place the pineapple salad mixture into hollowed out pineapple shells. (You will need two fresh pineapples, scooped out and halved for the four servings.) Serve immediately. If you prepare these in advance, be sure to refrigerate until serving time to prevent food borne illness.
Notes
Information in this food blog is not intended to provide medical advice. Please contact your personal health care provider for nutritional or medical advice.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ recipe Calories: 324 Fat: 11 grams Saturated fat: 0 grams Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 26 grams Sodium: 358 mg Fiber: 2 grams Protein: 28 grams Cholesterol: 50 mg

 

 

 

Summer weddings are popular here in the north so if you are planning a bridal shower or even a baby shower luncheon this salad would be a hit due to it’s  taste, appearance and ease of preparation. If you’d rather not take the extra time to cut, carve and chop fresh pineapple, use the canned pineapple chunks packed in juice and serve the salad on a bed of greens in a serving bowl or plate. A glass of sparkling grape juice or wine complement this  main dish salad. Cheers and enjoy!

Tropical Turkey Salad served in a pineapple boat.

My food blog tends to feature some of my favorite recipes as well as vintage treasures in my home. I use my vintage singer sewing machine as a serving table prop in many of my food blog photos. My mother purchased this for me shortly after I was married years ago at a Mapleton, Minnesota antique store. Of course, I was wanting to decorate our home attractively and on a tight budget also. I purchased some material for fabric drapes for the windows above my dining room window seat and for cushions to match. Fabric drapes were all the rage in the eighties, mind you! I also purchased fabric for living room drapes on sale. With the help of my mom and mother in-law, I sewed the drapes, fabric shades and window seat cushions on this antique sewing machine pictured below with our puppy.  Wow, was I ever proud of myself after that accomplishment and wish that I was equally that ambitious at the current time to take on another sewing project like that.

My vintage Singer sewing machine and cockalier puppy.

 

 

RASPBERRY CHIA PUDDING

If you are looking for a new recipe that is delicious, nutritious and filling, Raspberry Chia pudding is all of these. It can easily be prepared in your blender, food processor or bullet, poured into a decorative small mason jar or even your fancy china, refrigerated and ready to serve in 3-4 hours.

Raspberry Chia Pudding

When you have been shopping at the grocery store recently, you have most likely noticed that many food companies have added chia seeds to puddings, yogurts, smoothies and cereals. Why are they so popular as of late? Chia seeds are members of the mint family and grown mainly in Mexico and the United States Southwest. They are an excellent source of heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids, protein, fiber as well as calcium, phosphorus and manganese content. Two tablespoons contain 138 calories, 10 grams of fiber, 9 grams of fat, 5 grams of protein, 17% of your daily value (DV) of calcium, 12 % of your DV of iron and 23 % of your DV for magnesium. Ideally, you add chia seeds to liquid foods and as they soak up the liquid, they begin to thicken or gel these foods. As they do this, the soluble fiber in the seeds go to work to slow your digestive process and may keep you feeling full or satisfied much longer.  Chia seeds are not necessarily low in calories so just using a small amount initially such as 1-2 tsp as an addition to your smoothie for example, is ideal if you are limiting your calorie intake. Chia seeds do not cause weight loss but may keep you feeling full for a longer period of time. Chia seeds can easily be added to smoothies and make delicious puddings and can be added to pancake and cooked cereals such as oatmeal. Refer to a recipe book or online recipes for  further recipes.

 

RASPBERRY CHIA PUDDING
Author: 
Recipe type: pudding
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 servings
 
Serve as a dessert, healthy snack or on the go breakfast in the morning.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 cup nonfat Greek plain or vanilla flavored yogurt (may substitute nondairy yogurt)
  • 2 tsp (or packets) of Stevia
  • 2 TB chia seeds
  • ¼ cup 1% milk or nondairy milk such as almond or cashew milk
  • ½ tsp pure almond extract
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in your blender, food processor or bullet. Add the frozen fruit and chia seeds last for better blending. Blend or process until mixture is smooth and berries are completely processed. Pour into small mason jars (6-8 oz each) or serving dishes .Stir mixture together with a small spoon. Add the cover to mason jars or saran wrap to serving dishes. Refrigerate at least 3-4 hours or overnight to allow the pudding to thicken. Serve cold. Add whipped topping if desired and garnish with fresh raspberries.
Notes
The recipe has been calculated using the plain nonfat unsweetened Greek yogurt. Information in this food blog is not intended to provide medical advice. Please contact your health care provider for individual medical and nutritional advice and information.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ recipe Calories: 170 Fat: 5 grams Saturated fat: 0 grams Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 17 grams Sodium: 74 mg Fiber: 8 grams Protein: 5 grams Cholesterol: 6 mg

 

Raspberries are one of my favorite fruits and we grow these in our garden in the summer. Raspberries are not only delicious but are also an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C. The combination of raspberries, chia seeds and smooth and creamy greek yogurt is sure to satisfy. Raspberry Chia Pudding can be served as a delicious dessert, filling and tasty between meal snack or as a quick and nutritious breakfast  in the morning. If you plan to eat this for breakfast, whip up the recipe in your blender in the evening, pour into your serving dish, refrigerate overnight and enjoy in the morning.

 

 

 

 

SUMMER BLUEBERRY CHICKEN SALAD

Alas, summer is quickly passing us by and fall is approaching. It’s no secret that summer is my favorite season, fall comes in with a close second due to all of the beautiful colors of the leaves during Autumn. Spring ranks right behind as third since it’s a time of new beginnings and is so green and lush.  No surprise, but winter trails behind in fourth place because of the cold howling wind and lack of bright colors. I don’t participate in skiing, ice fishing or snow mobiling much and I would just as soon sit inside by a warm fire near the fireplace sipping on hot chocolate than to be outside that time of year. The end of summer isn’t all bad since this is the time of year that us Minnesotans harvest our gardens. I have a bumper crop of tomatoes and green peppers this year. My kale crop was lush and green as well but my squash, spinach and lettuce crop didn’t fare so well. Some nasty critters attacked my squash plants. I planted my spinach and lettuce from seeds instead of from plants this year and they refused to grow in my garden. We enjoyed only one squash this year, gave up on the greens that didn’t come up and planted flowers over them. Low and behold, lettuce was coming up in my flower garden recently. It was only two months late and I had enough to prepare one salad.

I really enjoy creating new recipes, cooking as well as blogging. I took a break from blogging over the summer months since I have not posted a food blog since last April. I promise to be more faithful and post a new food blog at least once a month. I was pleasantly surprised to read some encouraging, positive comments  from my blog audience and this has motivated me to continue writing and creating healthy. easy to prepare recipes. I love to include nutritious, tasty food in my diet but I don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen either!

SUMMER BLUEBERRY CHICKEN SALAD
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups sliced grilled skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup sliced green, red or yellow peppers
  • 8 sliced small roma or cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds or chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 4 cups mixed salad greens
  • Honey Vinaigrette Dressing
  • 4 oz each honey, apple cider vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and water
  • ¼ tsp each sea salt, cracked pepper and Italian Seasoning
Instructions
  1. Place salad greens, sliced tomatoes, peppers, blue berries and chicken breast in a large salad bowl and toss gently. Add salad dressing to salad mixture and toss lightly again. Top salad with sliced almonds and serve. To serve individually: Add 1 cup salad green to a salad plate or individual salad bowl. Top salad with sliced tomatoes, peppers, almonds, berries and chicken breast. Drizzle dressing on each salad and serve.
  2. Dressing: Combine all ingredients in a glass jar. Cover and shake well. Refrigerate until serving time. Top salad with this dressing.
Notes
The nutritional information has been calculated for the addition of 2 tablespoons of dressing per serving of salad.

Information presented in this food blog is not intended to serve as medical advice. Please contact your personal health care professional for medical advice.

Plan to serve this salad as a first course for your summer menus or double the recipe to serve as a summer meal.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ recipe Calories: 220 Fat: 10 grams Saturated fat: 1 gram Unsaturated fat: 9 grams Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 26 grams Sodium: 126 mg Fiber: 4 grams Protein: 9 grams Cholesterol: 18 mg

 

I love to make a meal out of salads this time of year so I used my garden produce that I had on hand as well as some leftover grilled chicken breast and my favorite fruit blueberries to create this salad. Since I love the taste and health benefits of honey, I experimented in my kitchen and came up with a  Honey Vinaigrette Dressing to serve with my salad. It is very easy to prepare and doesn’t contain all of the preservatives, sugar and sodium that bottled commercial dressings contain. It is also very economical since you can purchase healthy bottled dressings but you will end up paying a premium for the additional health benefits.

Blueberries are a nutritional superstar and one of the best food sources of disease fighting antioxidants. They are also a good source of heart healthy resveratrol,  Vitamin K, Vitamin C and dietary fiber. Blueberries have a host of health benefits in which some scientific studies have concluded that they boost focus and memory, support good digestion, promote heart health and slow the aging process.

Tomatoes are so plentiful this time of year that I not only use them in salads and BLT’s but also use the extra to make salsa, spaghetti sauce and freeze them so I can enjoy them in chilli and casseroles in the cold winter months which lie ahead. Tomatoes are very filling, naturally low in calories and an excellent source of Vitamin C and potassium. Cooked tomato products such as tomato sauce are an excellent source of lycopene. Lycopene has been found to be beneficial in the  prevention prostrate cancer. Below are some pictures that I snapped from my garden recently.

Green peppers are an excellent source of immune system boosting vitamin C, fiber and are also very low in calorie content. Due to my bumper crop of peppers, I am  planning to prepare some stuffed green peppers for dinner tonight and I also add them to salads, scrambled eggs, meatloaf, chilli and tacos. They freeze very well also so you can enjoy them all year long.

Enjoy these last few days of summer and plan on taking some leaf watching trips as autumn approaches. The garden spot below is a beautiful area for my husband and I to enjoy our morning coffee. Bon Appetit!