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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 and food truck plans as seen on New Day Northwest. Here's to starting from scratch. Talking about The Old Hen online? Our hashtag is #theoldhen .

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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Turkey Salad Recipe

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Done with your hot turkey sandwich, turkey noodle soupturkey fajita and turkey pot pie? If you don’t want to freeze the leftover turkey, maybe something a little lighter and refreshing is in order. Da da da daaaaa I present thee with turkey salad on, well, a salad. Use dressing if you must but it may not even be necessary when you taste this yummy turkey salad. For it alone packs a tasty punch.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups diced freshly cooked, chilled turkey (or chicken)
  • 1 rib of celery, diced
  • 1 tablespoon yellow onion, fine diced
  • 1/2 cup canned sliced water chestnuts, cut into quarters (optional)
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • Lemon Pepper

FOR SANDWICHES: Stir turkey, celery, onion, water chestnuts, mayonnaise, almonds, lemon pepper, salt & pepper together. Spread turkey salad on bread, add lettuce or sprouts and sliced tomatoes. Makes about 4 sandwiches.

FOR SALADS: Stir turkey, celery, onion, water chestnuts, mayonnaise, salt & pepper together. Place about 1 & 1/2 cups of lettuce on each plate. Place 1/4 of turkey salad on top of lettuce. Sprinkle with the almonds and lemon pepper. Add diced tomatoes and a little salad dressing if desired.

And, although I doubt it’s an issue, you can always freeze the leftovers if the extra turkey just won’t disappear after five turkey-filled days to save for the fun Snow on the Mountain tradition.

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Black Bean Salad Recipe

If I were voted president, the world would be less consumed with guarding wetlands and more focused saving cilantro fields for I have never met a cilantro dish I have not loved.

Of course, if I were voted into office, Nutella crepes would be on the food pyramid, every ladies’ restroom would have a stall especially for little boys who are still practicing their aim, and rest areas would have two Marine’s on guard twenty-four hours a day.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 – 15 ounce cans black beans
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey or sugar
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (red, yellow or orange or for more color, some of each)
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Sea salt & fresh ground pepper

Open cans of beans and rinse well with cold water. A most lovely natural doctor friend taught me to rinse the beans to prevent excessive gaseous anomalies. You’re welcome.

Place beans and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then turn down heat to medium low. Cook for 30 minutes.

Rinse beans with cold water until chilled and drain.

Place beans and all remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Stir well and place in a pretty serving dish.

Of course, if everyone ate more cilantro, the world would be a better place and we might not need the Marine guard part, so let’s get started.

Today’s make the world a better place to do list:

1. Eat this bean salad.

2. Buy more Nutella.

3. Vote.

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Mediterranean Pasta Salad

What does one serve at a party in the fall? Why, a summery pasta salad, of course.

Who would do such a thing? Maybe a person who just can’t let go of summer. Maybe a person who plays Christmas music in October. Maybe a confused person. Or maybe someone who has an ungodly amount of love for pesto.  Maybe me.

Pesto, I love you. Don’t tell apple cider.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound spiral (or insert your favorite shape here) whole wheat (or regular) pasta
  • 7 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 ounce container of pine nuts
  • 4 ounces of fresh basil (this can be purchased in the produce department of the grocery store if you don’t grow your own)
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 cup mayonaise
  • 1/2 cup canned  julienne-cut, sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, sliced into fours

Boil water in a medium large pot then add pasta and about a teaspoon of salt. Boil for the length of time instructed on the packaging. When done, drain and rinse with cool water in a strainer. Place pasta in a large bowl.

Place garlic cloves, pine nuts, basil, olive oil, Parmesan cheese in food processor and process until everything becomes almost like a paste texture to make pesto.

Add pesto, salt & pepper, mayonaise, sun dried tomatoes and Kalamata olives. Stir until combined. Chill for a few of hours and serve.

If planning in advance for a party: Pesto, salt & pepper, mayonaise, sun dried tomatoes and Kalamata olives can be mixed together  & placed in a smaller container in the fridge until ready to put salad together. Cook noodles on day of party, chill and then mix pasta with other ingredients in a larger bowl.

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