Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Caramelized Apples & Cheddar Cheese

Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Recipe Level: Creative | Recipe Speed: Average | Season: All | Type: Main Dish | Diet: Omnivore

The combination of chicken, mayonnaise, apples, and cheddar really make this sandwich shine. The pea shoots add a nice crunch to the mix.

  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. Place the slices of bread on a baking sheet, and brush the top side with olive oil or smear with butter.
  3. Toast the bread in the oven until the top has just started to turn golden. Meanwhile, slice the cheese.
  4. Turn the bread, and top half of the pieces with cheese. Toast the second side until the cheese is melted and bubbly. 
  5. When the bread is done, remove from the oven and turn off the heat. 
  6. Top the cheesy bread slices with caramelized apple slices, top with chicken salad, and garnish with pea shoots. Place the plain bread slices on top. 

Kneaded Kale Salad

Kneaded kale salad

Recipe Level: Creative | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: All | Type: Salad or Side | Diet: Vegan/GF/DF

When you want a change from steamed kale, a kneaded kale salad is a great alternative. This variation can be tossed with any vinaigrette of your choice, and garnished with chopped apricots and toasted sunflower seeds, but you could use any toppings that please you. 

  • 1 bunch kale
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • your favorite vinaigrette
  • unsulfured apricots (usually, these can be found in the bulk section of your favorite co-op. They are much more delicious than sulfured apricots)
  • toasted, salted sunflower seeds
  1. Strip the kale from its stems, rinse, and spin dry (if you don't have a salad spinner, shake the water out of the kale as well as you can).
  2. Tear the kale into bite-sized pieces, and place them in a large salad bowl. Add a teaspoon of salt, and knead the kale with your hands to tenderize it slightly, and break down some of the cell walls.
  3. Chop the apricots, and mix with the kale. 
  4. Dress the kale and apricots with vinaigrette, season to taste, and top with toasted sunflower seeds.

Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad

Recipe Level: Basic | Recipe Speed: Average | Season: All | Type: Main Dish | Diet: Omnivore/GF/DF

A couple weeks ago, we showed you how to make homemade mayonnaise. If you'd like, you can do that for this recipe, too. We mixed tarragon into our chicken salad, but you can use any herbs or spices that you'd like. Celery is a great addition to chicken salad, as are dried fruits and toasted nuts. Get as creative as you'd like! 

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower or olive oil
  • 2/3 cup mayo, either homemade or store bought
  1. Preheat the oven to 400-degrees. 
  2. Remove the chicken breasts from the package and pat dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel (if you use a kitchen towel, make sure to put it in the laundry thereafter). Season both sides of the meat with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat the oil in an all-metal pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken to the pan. When it has browned on the first side, flip it onto the other side, turn off the burner, and place the pan in the oven. Cook the chicken until the internal temperature reaches 160. If you don't have a food thermometer, try pressing on the meat. If it feels firm all the way through, it is done. Another test: poke halfway into the breast with a skewer or the point of a knife. If the juices that seep out are clear, it's done. 
  4. Remove from the oven, turn off the heat, and let the chicken cool. If you're making the mayo from scratch, this would be the perfect time to do it. 
  5. Cut the chicken into cubes and combine with the mayonnaise. If you're using store-bought mayo, you may want to season it up with salt, pepper, mustard, herbs, and spices. 

Caramelized Apples

Caramelized Apples

Recipe Level: Basic | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: Fall | Type: Basic - Dessert | Diet: V/DF/GF

Caramelized apples are a great addition to sandwiches and salads. You could also chop them and add them to yogurt, or ice cream. 

  • 4 apples
  • sunflower oil, or another oil you prefer
  • salt to taste
  1. Wash apples and remove the cores. You can use an apple corer if you have one. If not, you can cut the apple into quarter-inch slices, and use a melon baller or a pairing knife to remove the pieces of core.
  2. If you used an apple corer, go ahead and cut the apple into quarter-inch slices.
  3. Put the oil in a saucepan, and place it over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add apple slices one at a time, until you have a single layer. Sprinkle with salt. Cook until the bottom has browned, slightly, and flip the apples. When the second side has browned, remove the apples from the pan.
  4. If you have additional apples, do another batch. Continue until all of the apples are cooked. 

Roasted Carrots with Strained Yogurt & Honey

Carrots with Strained Yogurt and Honey

Recipe Level: Creative | Recipe Speed: Average | Season: All | Type: Main Dish | Diet: Vegetarian/GF

  • 4 large carrots

  • olive oil

  • salt and pepper

  • 2/3 cup walnuts

  • strained yogurt

  • 1 tablespoon of honey

  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Wash carrots and cut them at a slight angle so that you get as much surface area as possible (called cutting on the bias).

  3. Toss the carrots with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place the carrots on a baking sheet (for easier clean-up, you could line the sheet with parchment, first).

  4. Roast the carrots until tender, checking every 7 or so minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, toast the walnuts, which can be done "dry" or with a little bit of oil. You can do this in a pan over medium heat, or in the oven alongside the carrots. Whichever method you choose, make sure to watch the walnuts carefully, and stir them regularly.

  6. When the carrots are done taste them for seasoning, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Put the seasoned carrots on a serving dish, top with dollops of strained yogurt, drizzle on the honey, sprinkle on the cardamom, and serve.

Notes: The cardamom isn't essential, but it brings amazing flavor to the dish. A sprinkling of parsley would be another wonderful addition. 

Strained Yogurt

Strained yogurt

Recipe Level: Basic | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: All | Type: Condiment | Diet: Vegetarian/GF

Strained yogurt -- also called labneh, or yogurt cheese, or "even better than Greek yogurt!" -- is a rich and creamy condiment that's delicious stirred into stews, used as a topping for roasted vegetables, or even eaten plain. And, it's super simple to make. 

  • 1 quart whole yogurt
  • walnut oil or olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. Line a colander with one of these things: a couple layers of cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel. (In a pinch, you could use paper towels, or coffee filters, but they're less preferable).
  2. Dump a quart of yogurt into the center of the cloth/towels. Whey will begin soaking the towel, and dripping into the bowl. If using cheesecloth or a kitchen towel, tuck the edges of the fabric up over the yogurt to cover it. If there's not enough fabric to cover, find some other way to cover the colander. Place the colander in the refrigerator. 
  3. Let the yogurt sit for at least 3 hours and up to 2 days. The thickness will correlate to the length of time it sits. 
  4. When you like the labneh's texture, scoop it into a container for storage, and stir in half a cup of walnut or olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. (Also, save the whey! You can use it in place of buttermilk in salad dressings and in baked goods such as pancakes or biscuits, and put it in marinades for meat).

Extra exciting ideas: sprinkle the labneh with za'atar, a Middle Eastern spice blend that includes thyme, sumac and sesame seeds. It's also great topped with cardamom and pistachios. If you like things sweet, stir in a little bit of honey or maple syrup, some fruit, and cinnamon.