Turkey Salad with Celery and Cranberries

Thanksgiving by far is one of my favorite holidays. Thanksgiving day is one of those days where you are allowed to eat as much as you want, enjoy your family, watch football, take a nap and then repeat. After a couple of days of eating leftovers, my family is ready for something a little different…. but we ALWAYS have turkey left…and lots of it! This year I decided to make turkey salad with celery and cranberries.  This is one of those meals that you can prepare and refrigerate over night and serve the next day for lunch or dinner on your favorite bread, crackers or with lettuce.

To begin I start by shredding my turkey, then I chop up some celery, a few roasted pecans, sweet dried cranberries, green onions and parsley. Then I mix it all with organic Greek yogurt, a little bit of mayonnaise, salt and black pepper to taste.

In a bowl mix ingredients
In a bowl mix ingredients

Adding cranberries gives this salad that extra little kick. In the summer when I make chicken salad, I add in dried apricots, green apples and dried cherries… So why not cranberries in the fall and winter? They are in season, they provide a beautiful color contrast, as well as a sweet and tangy flavor.

Turkey Salad with Celery and Cranberries on Whole Wheat Bread
Turkey Salad with Celery and Cranberries on Whole Wheat Bread

Personally, I like my turkey salad on top of crackers.. yeah right, who am I kidding? Give me whole wheat bread with lettuce and tomatoes…….. okay so I’m a sandwich geek, but simplicity is the key after working all week and preparing a delicious wonderful feast for your family.

Ingredients:

3 cups finely chopped or diced celery

4 cups of cooked chopped/shredded turkey

1/2 cup minced flat leaf parsley ( fresh)

4 green onion, chopped or minced

1/2 cup roasted pecans, rough chop

1/2 cup dried cranberries

2 Tbs of mayonnaise

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt ( can use low fat)

2 tsp salt

2 tsp freshly ground pepper

In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the salt and pepper. Mix well or until all of the ingredients are combined. Add in the salt and pepper and mix. Let the salad sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or refrigerate  up to 3-4 hour or over night to blend flavors.

Serves 8

Roasted Pork Chops with a Dijon Mutard Rub

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There’s something to be said  about a well cooked pork chop… not just any old pork chop, but one that is full of flavor and juicy. In the south, we like them just about any way they can be served, smothered, fried, grilled or baked. Personally, I  love them roasted… I really do… one of my many love affairs.  With just a few ingredients that you have in your pantry you can make this delicious peppery spicy rub which is a perfect pairing for the pork chops. Add your favorite sides or salad and you will have dinner in no time.

1/4 cup of Dijon mustard or spicy mustard

1 tbsp olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4  tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp dried thyme

1/4 tsp dried rosemary

4-6 pork loin chops. about 1/2 inch  to 3/4 inch thick

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In bowl, whisk together the mustard, garlic, oil, salt, black pepper, rosemary and thyme.  Place chops in glass dish or roasting pan. Pour the rub mixture over the pork chops and spread. Let them stand for 30 minutes. Can let them marinate over night. Roast the pork chops in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until desired temperature is met.

Pan Roasted Chicken with Lemon Garlic Green Beans

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This delicious dish is not only one of my signature dishes, but it’s also one of my go to meals. It has the best of both worlds, meat and veggies all in a serving. Just pop some of your favorite dinners rolls in the oven and voila! You have a complete meal.  Now there is a warning that comes along with this, it’s HIGHLY ADDICTIVE. Eat at your own risk!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

6 tablespoons of olive oil

2 lemon, one thinly sliced and 1 juiced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

3/4 pound of trimmed green beans

8-10 small red potatoes, quartered

4 chicken breast, bone left in and skin on. Can also substitute for legs/thighs

Coat a large baking dish or cast iron skillet with 1-2 tbsp of olive oil. Arrange lemon slices in the bottom of the dish or skillet. In a large bowl, add the remaining oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and green beans, toss to coat.

After coating the green beans, arrange them on top of the lemon slices. Add the potatoes to the same olive oil mixture, tossing to coat. Arrange the potatoes along the inside edge of the dish on top of the green beans.

Place the chicken in the same olive oil mixture, tossing to coat. Place the chicken skin side up in the dish, on top of the green beans. Pour the remaining olive oil mixture over the chicken.

Roast for 50 minutes. Remove the chicken from the dish and place dish back in the oven with just the green beans and potatoes for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Then remove the dish from the oven and place the chicken back on top. Serve warm.

Serves 4-6

 

Roasted Fingerlings with Baby Carrots and Parsnips

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Thanksgiving is just around the corner. We all know that the turkey is the star attraction… but what about the side dishes? If you are like me you want traditional and non traditional dishes. I want my feast flavorful! ( that’s the chef in me). When choosing side dishes I often times will choose simplicity. That is why I love this savory dish of hearty potatoes with a hint of sweetness. It’s a simple dish that packs lot of flavor and it’s easy to make.

Roasted Fingerlings with Baby Carrots and Parsnip:

Preheat oven to 375

11/2 lbs fingerling potatoes

1lb of parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces

1/2 lb-3/4 lb of baby carrots

2 tbs of olive oil

1 tbsp of dark brown sugar ( or honey)

1/2 tsp of salt

1/2 of Italian seasoning

1 tsp of black pepper

In a large bowl, toss potatoes, carrots and parsnips with the olive oil. Season the tossed potatoes with the brown sugar, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Roast for hour at 375.