Grilled Chicken and Strawberry Salad with red wine vinegar dressing

Grilled chicken and strawberry salad -- A Pinch of Joy

Grilled chicken and strawberry salad -- A Pinch of Joy
Grilled Chicken and Strawberry Salad is a springtime hit with berries fresh from the garden and fresh salad greens. Of course, you can make it any time of year with berries and greens from the grocery. Use your favorite salad greens. Leaf lettuce or Bibb lettuce from the garden, spring green mix, iceberg pieces, spinach, romaine. Or a mixture of any mild flavored green. Add a handful of chopped kale to each plate, if you like. Generally, a serving of salad is about one cup (pressed down) of fresh greens. Or, the number of servings in a 16 ounce bag of greens is often listed as six. This recipe will make 6 side salads or three generous dinner salads. The dinner salads are the choice at our house.

The dressing is the star of the show. And I don’t eat dressing on my salads!!! I’ll have ranch on the side occasionally, dipping my fork in the dressing before spearing a bite and that’s it! But this tangy, sweet, oniony concoction is delightful! I think you’ll really like it, too!

Grilled Chicken and Strawberry Salad with red wine vinegar dressing
Recipe type: salad
Serves: 6 servings
  • ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
  • ⅓ cup plus one tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • ½ onion, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound chicken breast, tenders, cutlets or fillets
  • ½ cup pecans, toasted if desired
  • 6 cups your favorite salad greens (or 16 ounces)
  • 1 cup fresh sliced strawberries
  1. Grill chicken about 6 minutes on each side or until juices run clear. Remove from heat to cool.
  2. While chicken is grilling, prepare dressing. In blender combine olive oil, onion, mustard, salt and pepper. Process about 10 seconds to thoroughly mix seasonings and onion. Add red wine vinegar and pulse two to three times to mix in. Add one half the sugar and process 5 seconds. Add last half of sugar and process for 10 seconds or until sugar is thoroughly dissolved.
  3. Slice strawberries and set aside.
  4. If desired, toast pecans by heating over medium high heat until fragrant, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Arrange salad greens on serving plate. Slice grilled chicken. Add chicken, strawberries and pecans to each serving plate.
  6. Drizzle with dressing to serve.

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Maple Glazed Baby Carrots

Maple Glazed Baby Carrots -- A Pinch of Joy

Maple Glazed Baby Carrots -- A Pinch of Joy

They are really good, my sister Vee said, when telling me about the glazed carrots she’d made. That was a couple of years ago and I’ve had the recipe in my “let’s try this” stack ever since. Last time we visited her family, she made Maple Glazed Carrots with Pecans. And she was right – again! They are good! But let’s just keep that between us okay – she doesn’t need to go gettin’ the big head!*

I’ve gotten lazy and grab a package of frozen vegetables to microwave instead of cooking the real deal. This recipe starts with baby carrots – no need to peel and slice. Put a cup or so of water in a medium pan, add carrots, cover and bring to boil. Steam/boil until carrots are crisp tender when pierced with a fork. That only takes about 15 minutes. So easy, it was not worth the fussin’ on my part –. The glaze is simple.   The predominate flavor is the maple as the dressing just enhances it without competing or changing it. Glaze the carrots, add nuts and you have an impressive dish. That is really, really good.

*I worked for a season in a children’s program with an elderly volunteer who was a gifted teacher. She could explain complex things so simply anyone could get it, keep the room organized and things moving. But she did not believe in praising children because, she said, they would get the “big head”. I think we all need to hear appreciation. Vee, here is yours! And thanks for sharing!

Maple Glazed Baby Carrots
An impressive dish for holidays and guests -- or just the family. Impressive and delicious!
Serves: 8 servings
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 pounds baby carrots
  • ¼ cup light catalina dressing
  • ¼ cup maple flavored syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped pecans
  1. Put water in medium pan, add carrots and cover. Cook 12 –14 minutes or until tender, then drain.
  2. Mix dressing and syrup, stirring frequently, until glaze is thickened.
  3. Add carrots and butter. Stir until butter is melted and carrots are covered with glaze.
  4. Add pecans and stir to distribute.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ cup

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Hot German Potato Salad

Hot German Potato Salad -- A Pinch of Joy

Hot German Potato Salad -- A Pinch of Joy

Donna was a guest at one of the two luncheons that took place on our deck last week. They were casual affairs of the potluck sort with the guests bringing a salad or dessert. Donna brought a classic hot German potato salad and was gracious enough to share the recipe she’d gotten from her sister in law via Better Homes and Garden cookbook. Donna said she’d used her mother’s recipe without the spices, until she tasted this combination of flavors. Finding out the recipe was easy to make was a bonus! German potato salad is traditionally served hot and will be perfect for the coming fall weather. Time tested and stamped approved!!!

 The peel will slip off the boiled potatoes easily.  You can rub off the peel by using a clean dish towel.  Hold the potato with the towel in one hand and rub off the peeling with the other — somewhat similar to drying a cup.  Or hold the potato on a cutting board with a fork and gently tease off the peel with the tip of a knife.  Stir the cooked potatoes into the dressing gently to avoid breaking them.   I would also tip the skillet to make the dressing run to one side and spoon it over the potatoes to lessen the amount of stirring necessary to coat the potatoes.

This week is Donna’s birthday. Here are wishes for a wonderful celebration day and the beginning of a fabulous new decade!!!

Donna also shared this recipe for Spinach Salad with Lemon Garlic Dressing a couple of years ago. 

Hot German Potato Salad
A tangy, yet slightly sweet potato dish with bacon and onions! Delicious with brats or burgers, a hit at potlucks and just for the family at home.
Serves: 6 servings
  • 1 ¼ pounds potatoes
  • 4 slices bacon
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon celery seeds
  • ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ⅔ cup water
  • ¼ c vinegar
  • Snipped fresh parsley
  1. Cover potatoes with water and boil potatoes until tender about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Drain and somewhat cool to touch. Peel and slice into ¼ inch slices.
  1. While boiling potatoes, cook bacon till crisp in medium sized skillet. Remove bacon and reserve 2 Tablespoons of bacon grease in skillet.
  2. Add onion to drippings, cook on medium heat till tender. Set aside until potatoes are peeled and sliced.
  3. Stir in flour sugar, salt celery seeds, dry mustard, and pepper until mixed well.
  4. Stir in water and vinegar. Cook over medium heat, stirring until thickened and bubbly.
  5. Gently stir in potatoes & bacon crumbles. Cook, stirring gently 1 or 2 min till heated through.
  6. Transfer to serving bowl & sprinkle with fresh parsley

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