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The Old Hen B&B closed May 31, 2014. We recommend The Roaring River B&B 425.888.4834 and The Log Cabin B&B 425.533.8278 for your North Bend get-away. Please stay tuned for Deanna's cookbook plans. Here's to starting from scratch. Talking about The Old Hen online? Our hashtag is #theoldhen .

Kale Salad

Kale doesn’t try to fit in with everyone. The flavor is a bit stronger than your average lettuce so some snub kale; but, the health benefits make her worth getting along with.

A light, lovely dressing is the answer. Coat salad with this healthy dressing as you would a Caesar, and you will be pleasantly pleased, have one more veggie friend, and be a bit healthier than you were yesterday.

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Kale Salad Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted in saute pan over medium high heat for a few minutes
  • 1 bunch kale, julienne-cut (thin strips)
  • 1 cup raisins or dried cranberries (or a mix of both)
  • 8 ounces parmigiano reggiano, large grated with potato peeler

Place all ingredients except parm in a large bowl. Toss together.

Lemon Dressing Ingredients

  • Juice from 1 large, fresh lemon
  • 2 ounces grapeseed oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Shake the salad dressing ingredients together in a container with a lid.

Drizzle over kale salad.  Toss salad until well-dressed.

Top salad with beautiful parmigiano reggiano.

Here’s to lean and green… and to more new, bold veggie friends.

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Steak Salad Recipe

The older I get, the more have to face the fact that green needs to be the most prominent color on my plate. Gone are the days of pasta and cheese. Enter rainbows of veggies… okay, and blue cheese dressing… and beef.

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Serves two.


Salad Ingredients

Cook steak, make dressing, and fry leeks according to instructions given and set aside. Then divide in half and place ingredients on two plates in a sexy fashion.

It helps that she’s easy on the eyes. I can go green. No prob’.

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Cobb Salad in a Tomato Bowl Recipe

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It’s time for summer. It’s time for salads. With bacon. Because, well, bacon. One of the least snobby is the cobb-y. There are no candied pecans, or fresh berries, lemon dressing, or anything very hob nob. These things are loverly, but sometimes you just want easy-going, casual fixins and cobb is where it’s at.

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Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breast
  • 4 large beefsteak (or comparable) tomatoes
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups ranch dressing
  • 4 hardboiled eggs, peeled & cut into wedges or diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 cup bacon bits and/or freshly cooked bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 4 slices freshly-cooked bacon for garnish (optional)

Butterfly cut two chicken breasts. Bake in oven on baking sheet at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until chicken reaches 165F in thickest parts.

Remove cooked chicken from oven and dice. Set aside. (This can also be done a day ahead if desired the refrigerated so it can be placed on salad chilled.)

Cut tomatoes into six wedges about 2/3 of the way down so they stay together but can be fanned out to serve as a resting place for your salad. Place one tomato on each plate.

Place 1/2 cup chopped lettuce into each tomato.

Drizzle each with a generous amount of ranch dressing. Because it’s the right thing to do.

Top with diced chicken breast.

Top with remaining ingredients and, if desired, you can garnish with bacon. I mean, who doesn’t want more bacon?

I love you beautiful cobb-y. You are my heartthrob-y.

 

 

 

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Southwest Salad Recipe

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I’ve had some fantastic Southwest salads and I’ve had some horrible ones. One restaurant served theirs covered in a vinaigrette – heavy on the vinegar. I couldn’t eat it. I puckered up, pecked at it like an Old Hen would, cut my losses, and left the place $18 poorer and pretty darn hungry.

So, because I love you, I present thee with a Southwest Salad which will be more pleasing than a prissy plate of lettuce & vinegar every single time.


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Makes two large salads or 4 medium salads.

Ingredients

  • 1 small can black beans
  • 1 recipe of Southwest Rub
  • 2 chicken breasts, butterfly cut in half
  • 1 cup Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
  • 4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped into about 1-inch squares
  • 1 ear corn on the cob
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalepeno, minced
  • 1 small can sliced black olives
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, diced fine
  • 8-10 stalks cilantro, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons grated cheddar
  • 4 tablespoons grated pepper Jack cheese
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • Tri-color tortilla strips (or regular tortilla chips will do)

Rinse black beans well and place in saucepan in water. Boil for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.

Turn on grill (or oven to 350F. Prepare Southwest Rub and set aside. Butterfly cut chicken breasts and coat with Southwest Rub. Allow chicken to sit for about 20 minutes then grill until middle of thickest part reaches 165F.

It is wise to invest in a good meat thermometer to be sure any meats you cook reach their safe temperature for eating. 

Place corn cob in a pot of boiling water. Leave in water for three minutes and then place in a bowl of ice cold water for a few minutes. After corn is cool enough to handle, cut corn off of cob.

Place lettuce on plates. Top each plate of lettuce with corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, black olives, red onion, cilantro, cheddar and pepper jack cheese.

Slice chicken at a slant for an extra stylish look and place on top of salad.

Drizzle with desired amount of ranch dressing.

Dice avocado right before serving (so it won’t brown). If preparing in advance for a crowd, you can drizzle and toss avocado with fresh lime juice. Keep everything except chicken refrigerated until ready to use.

Decorate sides of each plate with tortilla strips and a couple of lime wedges. Lime wedges are ever so delightful squeezed upon your salad.

Budget-friendly, fresh, flavorful, and comforting. Eating out (on the patio) is so very perfect.

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Old-Fashioned Fresh Coleslaw Recipe

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Sweet, humble, colorful, and healthy. Cole slaw is all that I strive to be.

This dressing is also fantastic for other salads. One might consider making a couple batches and keeping some in the fridge for BBQ nights on the deck.


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Ingredients for the Slaw

  • 1 cup green cabbage, sliced fine
  • 1/2 cup purple cabbage, sliced fine
  • 3 stalks of kale, chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped

Ingredients for the Dressing

  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper

When making cole slaw, it is best to cut up the salad ingredients and prepare the dressing and chill them separately until party time. Until then, never the two shall meet. This will keep your cole slaw crisp and refreshing.

Hey, Slaw. You go, girl. May I be more and more like you when I grow up.

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Easy Tomato and Cucumber Salad

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This super dooper easy salad option flew off my radar for years. In fact, this very post has been a draft in my reserves waiting for me to publish since 2012. And then I saw how gorgeous it was again and here we are.

If you dislike Miracle Whip, please avert your precious eyes. If you must, you can replace the Miracle Whip with regular mayonnaise but, of course, it will have a savory flavor rather than sweet.


INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 medium vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 1 English cucumber, diced
  • 3/4 cup Miracle Whip
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Nothing terribly fancy to see here but a fun, tasty (and don’t forget easy) option to remember when your garden blossoms this year.

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Spinach Salad With Honey Mustard Dressing and Fried Onion Crisps Recipe

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Glory. glory. I didn’t think I could love spinach salad anymore than I do. And then I added homemade  crispy, sweet fried onion strips. And. my life was complete. And, the point of having salad in the first place became obsolete.


Here’s a recipe for about 4 people so that you, too, can enjoy this healthy unhealthy creation.

Ingredients 

Divide all ingredients between two – four dinner plates. Refreshing with a wee bit of sin. You’re welcome.

 

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A Recipe from Pam in the Sand

Meet my friend, Pam.

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Pam is a Midwest girl who now lives in Egypt with her husband. They are teachers there. She has made a hobby of making cultural faux paus and learning to cook with simple ingredients. She has ridden too many camels and has actually exclaimed, “Do I have to go to the pyramids again?!” (Haven’t we all?) I must introduce you to this talented, fun, and oh-so-talented friend of mine.  You can read about her adventures on her website Pam in the Sand. She’s a kindred heart of this Northwest girl, only, you know. She’s making salad in the dry desert and I make desserts over here where we get nearly tropical levels of rainfall every year. Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 12.50.44 PM

Egyptian Salad

  • 2 Tomatoes, cubed
  • 2 Cucumbers, cubed
  •  1 Onion. chopped
  • 2-3 leaves Arugula chopped
  • 1 T. Lemon juice
  • 1 T. Olive Oil
  • Sea salt & Pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let “cure” for 30 minutes at room temperature.

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Pam’s new book will be coming out in October of 2016. So excited to read about her hilarious journeys!

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Fresh Start Balsamic Fruit Salad Recipe

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Fresh starts are a good thing. I’m pretty sure we don’t give ourselves enough of them. Fresh starts are a result of proper grieving. Proper grieving happens not only after big, life-changing moments but also needs to be a part of our every-single-freakin’-day processing. We need to grieve when other drivers are rude to us, when our go-to coffee shop discontinues our favorite syrup flavor, and when we make a silly mistake in front of co-workers. We don’t need to cry over teeny-tiny everything, but we do need to acknowledge the feelings we have over the incident, talk ourselves through it with healthy, truthful words, and move forward without ignoring the lil’ bruise to our ego.

Have I ever mentioned that I’m a counselor too? Yeah. That. For realz. For the last twenty years, I’ve helped many people find their fresh starts and this always – and I mean always – includes grieving the past. There are textbook guidelines for grieving but there is no perfect recipe for getting over stuff. I mean, sometimes it just comes on too fast to keep up with the grieving. And sometimes we just don’t want to grieve yet. And sometimes no one has ever told us how important grieving is for the soul. And sometimes we excuse every bit of pain in our lives which just allows the stink to take up residency in our soul.


May I recommend a weekend away alone at your favorite B&B to find your fresh start? And may I recommend this fresh start salad to nourish your beautiful person in the meantime?

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Balsamic Fresh Fruit Salad

  • 4 nectarines
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 1 pint fresh blackberries
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries
  • 2 kiwis, diced (optional)
  • 3/4 cup apricot jam (for sugar-free, use sugar-free jam)
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 basil leaves, minced
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 Sprigs of mint (for garnish)

Rinse & drain nectarines & berries to clean. Cut nectarines in half. Set 4 halves aside.

Dice the remaining nectarines and place in large bowl. Peel and dice the kiwi and add to bowl. Remove stems from strawberries and dice then add to bowl. Add remaining berries to bowl as well.

In a separate bowl, passionately whisk together jam, water & balsamic vinegar. Add minced basil leaves and salt & pepper to taste. The salt should simply help bring out the other lovely flavors in the dressing.

Pour dressing over diced fruit & berries. Stir in gently until fruit is well-coated.

Place each nectarine half on a plate and top with diced fruit salad . Garnish each serving with a sprig of mint. Makes 4 servings.

You got this! Here’s to your fresh start. Also, this might be a good time to admit that I still haven’t forgiven Starbucks for ditchin’ their almond syrup eight years ago. Do as I say, not as I do.

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Waldorf Salad Recipe

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It appears I am not the only person on the planet who has the gift of making incredibly healthy food unhealthy. I am happy to carry on the tradition which has obviously been going on for decades. The proof? The Waldorf Salad – a must for every holiday table and a perfect snack if there are leftovers.


 

  • Waldorf Salad Dressing Recipe
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Stir together and allow to rest so sugar can dissolve while chopping salad ingredients.

Waldorf Salad Recipe

  • Waldorf Salad Dressing (above)
  • 4 cups chopped honeycrisp or cameo apples
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup of red & green grapes cut in half (optional)

Stir all ingredients together and place on a pretty platter or bowl. If you like, sprinkle with a few more chopped walnuts.

Merry healthy, unhealthy Christmas and may your tables be filled with an abundance of lovely food and joyful relatives and friends this year. Thank you for reading. I love you.

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© Deanna Morauski 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016