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Tropical Chicken Salad



I was feeling very tropical today.  Basically I was hoping for sunshine since it is so cold.  Hopefully this fun salad warms up inside with beautiful rays of sunshine!

Tropical Chicken Salad

  • 2 cooked chicken breasts
  • 1 ½ cups cubed pineapple
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 2 tsp dried tarragon
  • 1/3 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 orange
  • 4 cups of your greens of choice


  1. Diced the cooked chicken breast into ½ inch pieces.  Place in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Over medium heat, brown the pineapple and onions with the butter until golden brown.  The sugar in the pineapple will help to caramelize the onions.  *For someone who is not an onion lover, this helps neutralize the sharp flavors of the onion. 
  3. Once the fruit is browned, toss with the chicken.  Add in the tarragon and mayonnaise. 
  4. To segment your orange, cut off both stem and flower ends so that they can sit flat on the cutting board.  Run your knife along the sides to cut off the peel and pith.  Next, you can either run your knife along the segment membranes to release the orange without membrane.  Or for something a bit easier, cut the orange flesh in half, and dice.  Because you have removed the pith, the membranes are barely noticeable. 
  5. Squeeze any additional juice from the peels you cut off.  Fold the oranges in with the chicken salad.  Serve over your favorite bed of greens, or in lettuce leaves. 

Oops Soup

oops soup

Out of sheer necessity, I decided that I would make my staff lunch for Christmas rather than being crafty. I was planning on making reusable mesh produce bags, but I ran out of time…. I’ll start on them for next year.

So last night, I had made 3 beautiful pots of Spicy Squash and Sausage soup from the Squashed! cookbook.  It turned out so nicely. And I had a brilliant idea that I would take all the crock pots down to my car last night because my weather app said it would get down below 40. Then I wouldn’t have to carry them out at 6 in the morning.

Brilliant, at least I thought so.

Well I woke up at 1am, why, I don’t know.  But I looked at my weather app, and 43 degrees! DANG IT!!! My soup never actually got cold. Panic set in.

What if I get my entire staff sick?!?!

Should I dump it out?

Has it really gone bad?

How long until food poising sets in? So I googled it.  One side said 2-6 hour.  Ok so its 1 am, if I become a ginny pig now, and taste the soup (or eat a bowl full) and I dont die by morning, I wont have to dump it.

So I ate a bowl full, and tried to go back to sleep.  I couldn’t. I kept tossing.  Randy tried to sooth my by saying no body died. Its not the end of the world if I have to dump it.  And then I thought, no matter what, soup bad or good, Jesus is still king.  SO TRUE. I panicked less.  But I still couldn’t sleep.  I googled food poising some more.  And then I read it could set in 12hrs – 2 days later. So I figured a gift is no good if everyone gets sick for the holiday concert Tuesday.  So at 2 am, I dumped it all out.

I slept a few hours, and with a quick trip to the grocery store, and a hot pan in my class room, I threw together OOPS Soup.  Oops, because it was never intended, but still good… great none-the-less.

So here it goes:

  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup roughly chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 21 oz of Hilshire Farms Turkey Kielbasa (1.5 packs)
  • 1 1/2 cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 3 cups of green beans
  • 4 tsp Better Than Bouillon Chicken Stock
  • 6 ounces low fat cream cheese
  1. Saute onions, celery and mushrooms in the butter.  Add in parsley, Italian seasoning, garlic, and black pepper. Once fragrant, add to a crock pot.
  2. Slice Kielbasa sausage, and quickly fry in the pan that had the vegetables.  Once the sausage has browned a bit, add to the crock pot as well.
  3. Add in diced tomatoes with juice, green beans, and cabbage.  Bring to a boil 4 cups of water, stir in cream cheese and chicken bouillon until dissolved.  Add to the crock pot and cook on high for 4 hours.

Calories: 155

Fat: 9      Carbs: 9     Protein: 12     Sodium: 1010 * this is kind of high, so to lower it you can switch out the kielbasa with ground turkey.

Squashed! Cookbook finally out

It’s been a while in the making, but my 3rd cookbook just got released last week.


I hope you check it out and let me know what you think of it.


Lasagna Zucchini Boat

I wanted to share this great recipe with ya’ll. Who doesn’t love lasagna, and when you can freshen it up with zucchini noodles – even better.  But what about when you stuff it into zucchini, and cut the labor-intensive process of making zucchini noodles (labor intensive if you don’t have a mandolin slicer).  I tested this one for my cookbook a while back and its a crowd pleaser for sure.  ENJOY! Lasagna Zucchini Boat

Lasagna Zucchini Boats

  • 3 zucchinis (about 8-9” in length)
    1 pound Italian sausage
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1/2 cup onions, diced
    1 cup diced tomatoes
    2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves, divided
    2 cup cottage cheese, drained
    2 cups mozzarella cheese – divided
    1 cup parmesan cheese
    1 egg
    1 tsp black pepper

1. Pre heat oven to 375 degrees. Wash zucchini, and slice in half length wise. Scoop out seeds and discard. The outer shell of the zucchini should be about 1/4-1/2” thick.
In a large frying pan, brown sausage with garlic, onions, diced tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and 1/4 cup chopped basil leaves. 2. Once sausage is cooked, reduce heat to low and simmer until most of the liquid is evaporated. Stir occasionally.
In a mixing bowl, mix drained cottage cheese, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup basil, egg, and black pepper.
3. In a 9×13” baking dish, lay out zucchini boats. Equally divide the sausage mixture into each boat. Top with the cheese mixture. Sprinkle the entire casserole dish with remaining cup of mozzarella cheese.
4. Cover dish with tin foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

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