Balsamic Watermelon Chicken Salad

Balsamic Watermelon Chicken Salad

Watermelon on a salad like what is going on.

I’ve had this idea written up on my nice little kitchen chalkboard for at least three weeks now. The name “Watermelon Chicken Salad” sat there happily on the board right next to all my other random ideas, most of which have since gotten scratched off and erased and replaced with something new because I actually made them and posted them. For whatever reason, this little guy lingered. Another week would pass with no sign of a watermelon chicken salad, but for whatever reason when I’d clean off my board for the week, I really didn’t want to erase the idea just yet. I had this premonition of great things to come.

Speaking of great things.

In the three weeks that “Watermelon Chicken Salad” has been staring me down from the chalkboard, I’ve bought 8 million watermelons with very good intentions, thinking that each of them would be the one I’d use to make some kind of inspired and beautiful salad. But then I discovered this drink instead and every single piece of watermelon since has been doomed for the blender. Or my mouth. Today I ate it for breakfast, which is so weird, but actually not as weird as watermelon in a salad.

And I have a really important question. Why is watermelon like candy? It’s so incredibly good. Juicy, bright, sweet, red… it’s basically large 

 

cubes of all-natural Jolly Ranchers. Have you ever frozen watermelon cubes? <— That. You’re welcome.

So I got a really great bottle of balsamic and starting thinking about salads, and BAM. The inspiration for this salad finally hit and wowzzer. The long wait to actually make this combo happen was totally worth it. Here she is, in all her blue cheese crumbled, rainbow colored, crunchy almond, sweet balsamic glazed glory.

Pinky promise, as I am writing this, I can hear Bjork’s fork + plate clinking together at record speed as he is devouring this in the next room.

The salty blue cheese to me was the thing that tied it all together. You have the sweetness of the watermelon and the balsamic glaze, the savory of the seasoned chicken, the crunch of the almonds, the freshness of the spinach, and then that blue cheese. Oh, the salty, creamy tang that makes my heart go wild. I am making a weird “I LOVE IT” face right now as I’m writing this because I don’t even really know how to describe what I’m trying to say – you get it, though, right? Through computer food osmosis, are we kind of experiencing it together?

Color, crunch, and yum. I want that to be the tagline of my life.

Pretty salad, come to mama.

DESCRIPTION

This Balsamic Watermelon Chicken Salad has blue cheese, watermelon, almonds, herbed chicken, and a balsamic glaze. Simple and fresh.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 teaspoons all purpose seasoning (I used a spice mix I got at a specialty food store)
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups baby spinach or greens
  • 2 cups cubed watermelon
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 1/4 cup sliced or crushed almonds

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pour the balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the balsamic vinegar is significantly reduced and starting to become syrupy.
  2. Meanwhile, turn a grill or nonstick skillet to high heat. Sprinkle the chicken with the seasoning on both sides and drizzle with the olive oil. Transfer to the hot grill and cook until no longer pink on the inside and nicely browned on the outside. Let rest for 5 minutes; cut into small cubes.
  3. Layer the spinach with the chicken, watermelon, blue cheese, almonds, and drizzle with the balsamic reduction to taste. Top with additional olive oil if desired.

Balsamic Watermelon Chicken Salad
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Servings Prep Time
4 10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Servings Prep Time
4 10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Balsamic Watermelon Chicken Salad
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Servings Prep Time
4 10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Ingredients
Servings:
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Beef Kabobs in Vinaigrette Marinade

Beef Kabobs in Vinaigrette Marinade

 

 

Grilling is always fun.  We usually have a family barbecue every Sunday.  It’s lots of fun and a great way to catch up with each other after a busy week.  One of the problems I run in to is finding new recipes to grill. (With recent lock downs and quarantines we’ve had to barbecue for those of us in the household, other family members barbecue at their homes to maintain social distancing.  But hopefully soon we can all get together again for this family tradition!)

Sure hot dogs, burgers, and steaks are easy, but every now and then we need a change. That’s why I’m always in search of a new barbecue recipe.  I like to try them out during this weekly family dinner, and if everyone likes it we make it part of our menu.

 

Last month I tried this new marinade, mostly because I had all the ingredients in the pantry.  (Again with the pandemic quarantine we try to keep shopping trips to a minimum).  But also because I love balsamic vinegar, which is the main ingredient to this recipe.  I call it Beef Kabobs in Vinaigrette Marinade.

The best part about marinades is that it flavors your meat with very little work.  It’s simple, just toss the ingredients together, soak the meat, and let the marinade do the rest of the work!  I marinate my meat in the refrigerator overnight.  The longer is marinates the more flavorful it will be, but you don’t want to marinate it more than a day or so, because when marinated too long the meat starts getting this tough jerky like texture and it may eventually spoil.  If for some reason we don’t use the marinated meat the next day I freeze it, marinade and all.  That way I just thaw it out when we’re ready to grill.

Just before grilling I skewer the beef cubes on bamboo skewers, but you can use metal skewers if you have them.  We do have a bunch of pretty metal skewers we brought home from Turkey one year, but cleaning them after the barbecues is an extra chore I can do without.  When you do use bamboo skewers remember to soak them in water for about 10 – 15 minutes before putting the meat on, it keeps them from burning when you pop them on the grill.

Another helpful tip when grilling is to not over cook the meat.  Grill meat until it is just about done to the way you want it (rare, medium, well).  In short remove it from the grill before it is the desired “doneness”.  Place grilled meat in a covered pot or roasting pan and let rest covered for 5 minutes before serving.  This allows the meat to finish cooking and to release its juices.  Try it out!  You’ll end up with tender juicy meat!  It works for steaks too!

Having said that here’s my recipe for Vinaigrette Marinade!  By the way you can use the same marinade on chicken, lamb, or shrimp.  Just don’t mix the meats, make a separate batch of marinade for each type of meat or seafood.

 Ingredients:

3 Lbs.  Beef Tenderloin cut in 1″ cubes (you can use your favorite beef cut)

1 Cup Balsamic Vinegar

1/2 Cup Olive Oil

2 Tbs. Finely Minced Garlic

1 Tbs. Fresh or Dried Rosemary

1 Tbs. Fresh or Dried Oregano

1 Tsp. Sea Salt

1 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper

1 Large Onions cut into large chunks

1 Large Green Pepper cut into large pieces

1 Basket Mushrooms, washed and patted dry

Directions:

Combine Balsamic Vinegar, Olive Oil, and seasonings in a large ziplock bag.  Seal bag and shake to combine all the ingredients together.

Vinaigrette MarinadeAdd meat cubes to the marinade.  Seal bag and shake to cover all the meat.

Refrigerate at least 3 hours, for best flavor marinate in the fridge overnight.

 

 

About and hour or less before grilling place meat, onions, peppers, and

Vinaigrette Marinademushrooms on skewers.  Alternate meat with veggies.

Grill over medium heat until meat is just about done the way you want it.

Place skewers in a large pot or roasting pan with a lid.  Cover and let stand 5 minutes to allow meat to finish cooking and release its juices.

Serve hot with rice, potatoes, and other sides.


Beef Kabobs in Vinaigrette Marinade
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Tender, juicy, and flavorful grilled meat that's perfect for any cook out.
Beef Kabobs in Vinaigrette Marinade
Print Recipe
Tender, juicy, and flavorful grilled meat that's perfect for any cook out.
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Combine Balsamic Vinegar, Olive Oil, and seasonings in a large ziplock bag. Seal bag and shake to combine all the ingredients together.
  2. Add meat cubes to the marinade. Seal bag and shake to cover all the meat.
  3. Refrigerate at least 3 hours, for best flavor marinate in the fridge overnight.
  4. About and hour or less before grilling place meat, onions, peppers, and mushrooms on skewers. Alternate meat with veggies.
  5. Grill over medium heat until meat is just about done the way you want it.
  6. Place skewers in a large pot or roasting pan with a lid. Cover and let stand 5 minutes to allow meat to finish cooking and release its juices. Serve hot with rice, potatoes, and other sides.
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Italian Beef Hoagie – Yum!

Italian Beef Hoagie – Yum!

 

Beef

Easy crockpot recipe for this tasty Italian Beef Hoagie.

The holidays are here!  That means most of us are busy, busy, busy!  This time of year planning and preparing daily family meals becomes yet another chore tacked on to our list of daily chores.  I try to make my life easier and my family fed by having ready to serve or easy to prepare ingredients on hand.  One of our family favorites is this Italian Beef Hoagie.

I make beef filling in the crockpot, so it cooks even if I’m out shopping.  I use a large roast so that there will be lots of left overs to save for another day.  It keeps for several days in the fridge, in fact the flavor gets better with age, just like beef stew!  Or I can freeze it and heat it up when I’m ready to throw a sandwich together.

I usually pick up a loaf or two of french rolls on my way home for these hoagies, or if I have time I bake my own bread using Bridgeford frozen bread dough.  Served with soup or salad this hoagie makes a delicious and hearty meal.

Ingredients:

3-4 pound chuck roast
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 can Rotel – Italian flavored if you can find it
1 can Beef Broth
1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 cup Peperoncini
1/2 cup Roasted Red Peppers
1/4 cup pimiento
Jalapenos to taste – I usually don’t add this to the crockpot because my baby grandchildren have this too.  I can spice things up, but I can’t unspice them, so we add the jalapenos when we assemble the sandwich.
Crusty rolls
Provolone Slices or other cheese slices

Directions:

Place all ingredients except bread and cheese into crockpot.

Cook for 4-6 hours or until beef is falling apart.

Using 2 forks shred the beef.

You can now cool it off and store or make sandwiches.

Sandwich assembly:

BeefIf beef is cold, remove any solidified fat and warm it up a bit.

Split roll in half, but don’t cut thru.

Place one slice of cheese on the bread.

Add desired amount of beef, spoon some sauce over it.

Place another slice of cheese on the beef.

Add more pepperoncini, roasted red peppers, and jalapenos if desired.

Place sandwich on parchment covered sheet and broil on high until cheese melts. and bread starts to toast around the edges.

Remove from oven and serve.

You can serve this with a small bowl of the sauce (heated up) for dipping.  Yummy!

 

Italian Beef Hoagie
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A hearty meal that's so easy to make. The beef is prepared in a crockpot so it soaks in the seasoning. This is one recipe you will want to make ahead of time or make extra for left overs, the longer it sits in it's juices the tastier it gets.
Servings Prep Time
6 People 10 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
4-6 Hours 4-6 Hours
Servings Prep Time
6 People 10 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
4-6 Hours 4-6 Hours
Italian Beef Hoagie
Print Recipe
A hearty meal that's so easy to make. The beef is prepared in a crockpot so it soaks in the seasoning. This is one recipe you will want to make ahead of time or make extra for left overs, the longer it sits in it's juices the tastier it gets.
Servings Prep Time
6 People 10 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
4-6 Hours 4-6 Hours
Servings Prep Time
6 People 10 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
4-6 Hours 4-6 Hours
Ingredients
Servings: People
Instructions
Cooking Directions
  1. Place all ingredients except bread and cheese into crockpot.
  2. Cook for 4-6 hours or until beef is falling apart.
  3. Using 2 forks shred the beef.
  4. You can now cool it off and store or make sandwiches. If you are storing it be sure to store the beef in it's liquid. You can reheat the liquid to use for dipping.
Assembly
  1. If beef is cold, remove any solidified fat and warm it up a bit.
  2. Split roll in half, but don't cut thru.
  3. Place one slice of cheese on the bread.
  4. Add desired amount of beef, spoon some sauce over it.
  5. Place another slice of cheese on the beef.
  6. Add more pepperoncini, roasted red peppers, and jalapenos if desired.
  7. Place sandwich on parchment covered sheet and broil on high until cheese melts. and bread starts to toast around the edges.
  8. Remove from oven and serve.
Recipe Notes

You can serve this with a small bowl of the sauce (heated up) for dipping. Yummy!Beef

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Italian Herb Pot Roast

Italian Herb Pot Roast

If you’ve a yen for some comfort food nothing is more comforting than this Italian Herb Pot Roast.  It’s delicious, filling, and oh so easy to make!

I make this Italian Herb Pot Roast in the crockpot.  All you have to do is toss in all the ingredients, including the veggies, set the pot to slow cook, and when you come home your dinner’s ready!

What makes my Italian Herb Pot Roast different from all the other pot roast recipes out there?  I add lots of garlic and a bit of Balsamic Vinegar to give it extra flavor.  And since you’re throwing everything in the pot it’s really a complete meal.  Best of all I use chuck roast, one of the least expensive cuts of meat.  This meal isn’t only easy to make, it’s easy on the budget too!

Italian Herb Pot Roast is the perfect comfort food for rainy or snowy days.  Served with a loaf of fresh crusty bread or even garlic knots it’s simply a delicious meal the whole family will enjoy!

So the next snowy or rainy day, or just because you feel the need for some good old fashioned comfort food haul out your crockpot and make some Italian Herb Pot Roast.  Here’s the recipe!

Ingredients:

2-3 Lbs.  Chuck Roast

4  Large Potatoes scrubbed clean and cut in quarters

2  Cups Baby Carrots

1 Large Onion cut into large chunks

6 Cloves Garlic finely minced

1 Tbls. Italian Seasoning

1 Tsp.  Oregano

1 Tsp.  Rosemary

1/2 Tsp.  Thyme

2 Cups Beef Broth

1/2 Cup Balsamic Vinegar

Directions:

Toss all the ingredients into a crock pot.

Stir gently making sure to get some of the liquid on top of the roast.

Set the pot to low – about 8 hours.

Serve when done!

Italian Herb Pot Roast
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Italian Herb Pot Roast
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Toss all the ingredients into a crock pot.
  2. Stir gently making sure to get some of the liquid on top of the roast.
  3. Set the pot to low - about 8 hours.
  4. Serve when done!
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Italian Herb Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Italian Herb Slow Cooker Pot Roast

It seems like everyone’s lives are so busy these days, I know mine is.  Finding time to cook can be challenging when I’m busy chasing after the 2 year old twins, Harper and Sadi.  Actually keeping them safely out of the kitchen so I can cook is the biggest challenge!  But now that my daughter Jenny and her sons, Dion and Devon, have moved back home with me preparing meals is a must.  I usually cook dinner at least 4 nights a week, but now that they’re back we prepare 3 meals a day almost everyday.

In my life my Slow Cooker or Crock Pot has been a lifesaver!  It really makes cooking dinner that much easier, toss everything in the pot in the morning, forget about it, and serve for dinner! One of my family’s favorite slow cooker dinners is Pot Roast.

It’s really the best way to make pot roast  in my opinion.  You can toss in just about any cut of meat, I like to use chuck roasts, and it turns out tender and juicy.  For a bit of variety I like to add different herbs and spices to my pot roast.  One of our favorites is this Italian Herb Pot Roast.  We eat it with steamed white rice, but really it’s hearty enough to serve by itself, specially if you toss in lots of potatoes and other veggies.

Fresh herbs and Balsamic vinegar is the secret to this tasty pot roast.  It’s a great way to use some of the herbs in my kitchen garden!  If you don’t grown your own herbs you can buy some at your local farmer’s market or grocery store.

Here’s the recipe!

Ingredients:

3-4 Pound Chuck Roast

3 Cups Beef Broth

1 Cube Beef Broth – crush and stir into the liquid in the pot

2 Cups Baby Carrots

1 Large Onion – cut in chunks

6-8 Small Yukon Gold Potatoes – scrubbed clean, cut in half

1 Sprig Fresh Rosemary

2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme

2 Sprigs Fresh Oregano

3 Cloves Fresh Garlic – minced

1/2 Cup Balsamic Vinegar

1 Tbs. Sea Salt

Directions:

Place all ingredients into a crock pot.

Cook over low heat for 8-10 hours.

 

Italian Herb Slow Cooker Pot Roast
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Italian Herb Slow Cooker Pot Roast
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a crock pot
  2. Cook over low heat for 8-10 hours
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