It's my first Secret Recipe Club post!!! I had been wanting to join the SRC for a while, but wasn't sure that I met the posting requirements, because I don't always post every week. I also didn't have a recipe index for a long time, so that is something that I have been working on. I finally felt like the time was right and asked to join, and here I am with my first post! Yay!
My assigned blog was Renee's Kitchen Adventures, and I had such a great time looking through it. Renee is a stay-at-home mom and former nurse (labor and delivery - what a special unit!), and her story reminded me a lot of my mother. She talks about trying to be healthy and lose weight, and posts healthy recipes based on Weight Watchers points. I, too, am trying to be healthy and lose weight, so I loved that about this blog. Even though our ideas of what constitute healthy food are a bit different (I think fat is healthy), I think this blog will be a great resource and inspiration for me. I also love how accessible and family friendly Renee's recipes are. I think I tend to only post about the really complicated stuff, which maybe isn't so great.
As I was reading through Renee's most recent recipes, I saw a lot that I wanted to try. I love that she has a lot of s'mores recipes, and especially that she made s'mores krispy treats - because I did the same thing! I also really liked the sound of this Almond Joy Poke Cake made with coconut oil, coconut oil is the best! She writes that she isn't ashamed to use boxed cake mix as a shortcut, and I feel the same way! I don't post about them much, but I love to make poke cakes or dress up cake mix in other ways (pro tip: use 1 extra egg, milk instead of water, melted butter instead of oil).
I've been baking way more than usual lately, though, and what jumped out at me the most was this Creamy Lemon and Fresh Basil Chicken Salad. It has been super hot and humid lately, so this is exactly the kind of thing I want to be eating right now.
I did make a few changes to Renee's recipe because, as I mentioned, we have different ideas of what healthy means - but I believe the changes were minor and the spirit of the salad is very much the same. So I used mayonnaise with olive oil (instead of low fat mayo), Cabot 10% fat yogurt (aka the best thing ever; instead of low fat yogurt), and left out the honey (the Cabot yogurt is not bitter). I was a little hesitant about the slivered almonds (because I don't like crunch in my creamy things), so I used sliced almonds instead, toasted them, and sprinkled them on top instead of mixing them in.
I also really like the flavor of celery leaves, so I threw some in along with the stalks. It took about 3 chicken breasts to get to four cups and I still had plenty of dressing mixture (maybe because I chopped them kind of large), so I went ahead and chopped up my 4th breast and threw it in.
This was so light and creamy, it was just perfect on a hot day. My husband really liked it, too, although he requested that I add in some golden raisins for him. If that's your thing, I say go for it, the pops of sweetness were yummy (halved green grapes would also be good). I had a great time scrolling through Renee's blog, and I look forward to making more of her recipes!
Creamy Lemon and Fresh Basil Chicken Salad
adapted from Renee's Kitchen Adventures
1/2 cup full fat plain Greek yogurt (I use Cabot 10%)
1/2 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
juice of half a lemon
4-6 cups of cooked, diced chicken breast (based on your preferred ratio of chicken to dressing; I poach mine)
3/4 cup chopped celery and celery leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
salt and pepper, to taste
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mayonnaise, and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste.
To the yogurt mixture, add chicken, celery and leaves, and basil. Toss, taste for seasoning, and either add almonds to mixture or save for garnish.
Serve on its own, or with bread or lettuce.
One Year Ago - Zucchini Pizza with Burrata and Anchovy
Two Years Ago - Tabbouleh
Three Years Ago - Zucchini Tart; Lemon Garlic Honey Grilled Chicken; Pasta with Goat Cheese and Basil Oil
Four Years Ago - CSA Week 10