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Published on 16 June, 2012, by

Just another lunch at Casa de Groovy

For our daily lunch over here at Casa de Groovy, we often eat a variety of green salads or things like tuna, salmon or chicken salad on brown rice cake, served with assorted fresh veggies and humus. These lunches are always extremely satisfying, never weigh us down and also help us to avoid that dreaded mid-afternoon slump most folks get after filling up on starchy carbs. But the other day, the hubby felt like chicken salad and we had all the ingredients, except the red grapes we usually use and we had no apples or pears for substitution — what to do? Run to the store? — No way!

Be Inventive!

What we did have was a nest of ripe, red and juicy organic strawberries in the fridge. Would strawberries work? Would their sweetness be overwhelmed by the sharp vinegar of the mayo? I decided to forage through our staples and find this salad’s perfect partners. This is what I came up with:

Greek yogurt, mayo, orange muscat champagne vinegar, bleu cheese, green onions and hazelnuts!

Not only would it work — this might just be the best summer chicken salad ever!

Photo courtesy of Whole Foods Markets

That’s what I’m hoping the folks over at Whole Foods will think. They’re celebrating berry season over there and as part of it, yours truly entered a Whole Foods Berry Recipe contest with this recipe (Yay! I hope I win!) Besides that though, I get to take part in the celebration by hosting a berry party for friends (pics and recipes to come!) during the month of June — Coming soon!

Have you ever been out of a key ingredient and found a substitution that blew your socks off? Share your story in the comments below.

Summer Strawberry-Hazelnut Chicken Salad

Ingredients

  • About 8 to 10 medium-sized ripe strawberries (chopped)
  • 2 medium chicken breasts (fully cooked)
  • 1/8 cup chopped (or smashed) hazelnuts
  • 2 tbsp chopped green onions
  • 1/8 cup mild bleu cheese

Dressing

  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise or Veganaise
  • 2 Tbsp plain greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp Trader Joe’s Orange-Muscat Champagne Vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Squeeze of lemon to make the strawberry’s flavor pop!
  • Salt to taste

Prep

Cook the chicken breast, in the oven, skillet or by boiling, and set aside to cool. Chop the strawberries, hazelnuts and green onions and crumble the bleu cheese, setting each aside, in a separate bowl. When chicken has cooled cut it into small, bite size pieces.

Whisk together the yogurt, mayo, vinegar and cinnamon to make the dressing, adjust seasoning to taste.

Mix all ingredients together with the dressing in a medium-sized bowl and chill for 15 to 20 minutes or up to 1 day. Serve on a rice cake, baguette, flaky croissant or a bed of fresh spinach or mixed greens for the perfect summer chicken salad.

Enjoy!

Perfect with fresh veggies and humus

 
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Published on 15 June, 2012, by

With Father’s Day just around the corner dads all over the nation are prepping their grills for the second most notable BBQ day of the year (the first being 4th of July.) If the dads in your life want to spend the day at the grill, I say more power to ‘em (and Whole Foods has a few grilling suggestions to help dear old dad prepare for the great grill off.) For my hubby though,  it’s tacos all the way! (more…)

 
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Published on 7 June, 2012, by

A homemade Ethiopian meal: Kitfo, Raafu, Fuul on freshly made Injera

After my last post, many of my readers voiced that they had never had or heard of Injera bread. This was so exciting to me (I love introducing folks to new things and Ethiopian food is one of my favs.) If you like Indian food, Arabic food or are the least bit adventurous, you will find  Ethiopian food to be sensual, aromatic, and richly flavored. But, for those of you who have never had the pleasure, I had to ask myself, “What good is Injera (“the Ethiopian bread-and-plate-in-one”) if you have nothing to put on top of it?

That’s why today, I am giving you the keys to the kingdom — or at least to that platter pictured in the Injera post. An authentic Ethiopian meal. (more…)

 
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Published on 4 June, 2012, by

A homemade Ethiopian meal: Kitfo, Raafu, Fuul on freshly made Injera

Here in Portlandia, a city resplendent with good food, we have our choice of tasty Ethiopian restaurants. In fact, we have so many that I choose a different one, depending on the item on the menu I’m most craving and who does that item best. If I want the yummiest Fuul (or I’m in a hurry and want a quick but awesome buffet), I go to Enjoni Cafe — plus they have this very cool coffee ceremony that is totally worth it. If I want the best Kitfo in town and a great family feeling, I head to Dalos (here’s my reviewfrom my days a food critic). If want lamb and spot-on lentils, I hit Sengatera Ethiopian Restaurant and if I am dying for a great chicken Sambusa I go to Horn of Africa. (And that’s only half of what Portland has to offer in Ethiopian fare.) 

But sometimes, you just want to hang out at home (or your budget requires that you hang out at home) and for those times, I decided to embark on a bit of Ethiopian home cooking in my home. Today’s post will be injera but in the days that follow, I will supply you with the rest of these knock-out, homemade recipes for Kitfo, Fuul and Raafu (as pictured above.) (more…)

 
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Published on 31 May, 2012, by

Forget what Beck says — peaches and cream is NOT such a “dangerous dream.”

In fact, when it comes to summer fruits, eating healthfully never tasted so good. Summer fruits like peaches, plums, cherries, watermelon and pineapple taste great fresh but they’re even better baked or grilled and topped as simply as possible.

What could be better than peaches and cream? (more…)

 
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Published on 25 May, 2012, by

Warm, freshly baked blueberry muffins with sweet cream butter

Sometimes the weekend comes (especially Sunday mornings!) and you just want a little something special. Something sweet and baked and satisfying — something that makes you feel like a kid again. Blueberry muffins can do that for me — well, GOOD blueberry muffins can. (more…)

 
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Published on 19 May, 2012, by

Psssst. . .come here. You want in on a secret? You want the recipe for the BEST tasting gluten-free pizza crust that will EVER pass your lips? Ok — well, listen — this crust is NOT really a secret. In fact, it’s been posted on countless sites BUT not with this method — I do one thing different from everybody else but this one thing, makes ALL the difference. So if you’ve tried a crust like this before and had it FAIL because it ended up soggy or you had to eat it with a fork, stay tuned for the recipe and the one simple change that makes all the difference. (more…)

 
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Published on 18 May, 2012, by

Black Onyx Chocolate Lava Cakes

There is nothing quite like the dark. In the dark you can hide all manner of sins and indiscretions. The dark is where our deepest yearnings live, those much too black to bring out into the light of day. Those things so unspeakably pleasurable that we never dare let the words loose from our lips — even in a whisper. The secret life of the dark, can be exhilarating, damning, or take us down a path that’s inescapable.

This is true of cocoa too. (more…)

 
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Published on 12 May, 2012, by

“Surprise Mama! Happy Mother’s Day”

SURPRISE!! Well, at least to me — my hubby and son planned a surprise Mother’s Day getaway. It’s been a long time since we had a vacation and even eight long, wet Portland months since our last weekend getaway. So, they decided momma needed a camping trip (one of our favorite things to do) and on a wonderfully sunny weekend like this, I couldn’t have agreed more. But it also came at the end of a VERY busy writing and speaking schedule and I still needed to post a blog here on The Groovy Foody — especially because I needed to introduce you to a new partner on the blog. (more…)

 
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Published on 7 May, 2012, by

As our journey into the world of cocoa continues, you have to know what’s coming next. I mean, how could I explore cocoa — with a fully stocked spice company, like Savory Spice Shop backing me up and NOT make Mole? I’d have to be stupid or crazy and though, I may sometimes be the latter, I am NOT the former. And as a former Central Valley Cali-girl with parents who grew up in Los Alamitos, CA, I’ve had enough immersion into all things auténtico to be in the know.  So, of course I whipped up some of the yummiest Mole just for you. (more…)