10 Minute Lunch #7: Curried Chicken Salad

Chicken salad… it can be boring, or awesome. This version is pretty darn amazing! I hope you give it a try. :)

Back in the days of grad school, I was ALL about the 10 minute lunch. These working days, I am ALL about leftovers for lunch… or special salads. :) But I resurrected the 10 minute lunch lately with this fantastic curried chicken salad! I saw a few pics of curried chicken salad from different folks on Instagram, but I just made my own version based on what I had in my fridge.

Curried Chicken Salad: a 10 minute lunch on thepajamachef.com

I enjoyed this chicken salad on some fresh, homemade whole wheat bread. Recipe coming soon! But back to this chicken salad…it’s filled with all sorts of deliciousness. Golden raisins [golden > regular in my book!], crunchy celery, curry powder [duh], cinnamon [for a sweet kick!], and real mayo! I’ve tried to like using greek yogurt in the place of mayo, but I almost never like it… So why skip the good stuff?

Curried Chicken Salad: a 10 minute lunch on thepajamachef.com

This curried chicken salad was a great few day’s worth of lunches. I used leftover shredded chicken from one of the whole chickens we roast a couple times a month, but you could also use store-bought rotisserie chicken or just poach some chicken. It made for some great, hearty sandwiches. Creamy, crunchy, and flavorful! And fast! Just what I like for busy lunchtimes. :) Enjoy!

one year ago: Coconut Curry Popcorn
two years ago: Dark Chocolate Crumb Bars
three years ago: Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing
four years ago: Chicken Pot Pie

Curried Chicken Salad

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 5 minutes
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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked chicken, shredded
  • 1/4 of an apple, diced – about 1/2 cup
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • bread, lettuce, crackers for serving

Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine chicken, apple, celery, and golden raisins. Add mayo, lemon juice, and mustard and stir to coat. Sprinkle curry powder and cinnamon on top then stir again.

Serve on good bread, a crisp lettuce leaf, or with crackers.

Butternut Squash and Mushroom Tart

This tart is full of hearty butternut squash and mushrooms, and of course has some cheese and bacon on top for extra deliciousness! 

Butternut Squash and Mushroom Tart | thepajamachef.com

Tarts and quiche are some of my favorite foods! They’re fancier than a regular frittata but almost as easy. The thing is… I like to fill them with things like butternut squash, zucchini, mushrooms, asparagus, and the like. All veggies that while Ben tolerates, he doesn’t really like. Soooo when I know I’ll have an evening to myself, this is just the sort of dish I like to make. Cooking for one only has to be a bore if you let it! Though, I must say, I don’t cook for one very often these days so when I do it’s kind of a novelty. But back to this tart!

Butternut Squash and Mushroom Tart | thepajamachef.comA slice of this tart is pretty much the best thing ever. Though it has a lot of steps, the work goes quickly and when it’s done, you get to eat! :) I used the crust the recipe suggested, and it’s pretty basic with the twist of using olive oil for the fat and seasoning just with salt and pepper. You could certainly use your favorite tart/pie crust though. This crust was super flavorful and once it was topped with the filling it was just perfect! I loved that the cheese was spread out throughout the tart, not just on top, but next time I will probably mix together all the veggies and the bacon with the eggs, and top with cheese for simplicity’s sake.

Butternut Squash and Mushroom Tart | thepajamachef.com

I enjoyed this tart for dinner, but the leftovers were equally fabulous for breakfast and lunch, so make it anytime you please! Enjoy! :)

one year ago: Oatmeal Fudge Bars
two years ago: Lemon Pasta Salad
three years ago: Pineapple-Apricot Teriyaki Chicken
four years ago: Sweet and Tangy Pork Chops with Pineapple

Butternut Squash and Mushroom Tart

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 30-40 minutes
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from Cooking Light

Ingredients:

for crust

  • 5.6 ounces all-purpose flour [about 1 cup + 2 tablespoons]
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons ice water
for filling
  • 3 cups cubed and peeled butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 cup diced onions
  • 2/3 cup [2.5 ounces] swiss or Gruyère cheese, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 ounces pancetta or 2 strips bacon, chopped
  • 5 ounces sliced mushrooms [shiitake is preferred but any will work]
  • 1/4 cup white wine or chicken stock

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 9 or 10 inch pie pan coated with cooking spray. Begin by making the crust.

In a food processor, combine flour, salt, pepper, and baking powder and pulse until combined. In a measuring cup, whisk together oil and water. With processor running, slowly pour in oil mixture. Process until dough is just barely crumbly. Press dough into an even layer on bottom and sides of pie pan. Place in preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes.

Next, make filling. Place butternut squash into food processor [no need to clean first!] and pulse for about 1 minute to finely chop squash.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan. When hot, saute squash and onion for 7-9 minutes, stirring constantly.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together 1/3 cup cheese, eggs, and pepper. When squash is cooked, fold in with egg mixture. Evenly spread over pre-cooked crust, then return to oven for 9 minutes.

Using the same skillet as before, set over medium-high heat, cook pancetta or bacon until it starts to brown [about 1 minute for pancetta, more for bacon]. Add oil if necessary. Add mushrooms and reduce heat to medium, then saute for 5-6 minutes until browned. Season with pepper to taste, then add wine/stock and turn heat to high. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes until liquid cooks down.

Spread mushroom mixture over egg mixture, then top with remaining cheese. Return to oven and bake for 4-5 minutes until cheese melts. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.

Mystery Dish: Sesame Ginger Shrimp Ramen Noodles

Ramen noodles can be classy too! They aren’t just college student food. These ramen noodles feature shrimp–REAL sesame ginger seasoned shrimp–and lots of yummy vegetables, all cooked in a delightful ginger-chili broth.

Sesame Ginger Shrimp Ramen Noodles | thepajamachef.com #MysteryDish #HealthySolutionsBloggerRecipeChallenge

This dish is genius, if I do say so myself. I’ve made a fancified ramen dish before [check it out!] and ever since then, I’ve been dreaming about ramen noodles… but not the uber salty college kind. Ramen noodles with real food. Mmm!

Sesame Ginger Shrimp Ramen Noodles | thepajamachef.com #MysteryDish #HealthySolutionsBloggerRecipeChallenge

But it wasn’t until this month’s Mystery Dish [hosted by Mary Frances of The Sweet {Tooth} Life] when one of our challenge ingredients included RAMEN NOODLES! Woot! Other ingredients we had to choose from included clams, blueberries, heavy whipping cream, chocolate chunks, potato chips, kale, almond butter, chiles, and orange juice. I used chili pepper paste and kale in this recipe too. Originally, I planned to make this a pretty simple kale ramen noodle dish with a chili pepper sauce. But then when cooking, I saw shrimp in the fridge… shrimp that I had been planning to use for the 2015 Healthy Solutions Spice Blends Blogger Recipe Challenge. Then I wondered… what would shrimp ramen taste like? Turns out, it’s pretty fabulous and I’m so proud to enter it in this awesome recipe contest as well as use it for Mystery Dish. :) I didn’t intend to make one recipe for two events but it worked out really well!

Sesame Ginger Shrimp Ramen Noodles | thepajamachef.com #MysteryDish #HealthySolutionsBloggerRecipeChallenge

Before the recipe, let’s talk about how flavorful these ramen noodles really are. Ramen noodles usually just have some sauce on them. Not mine! These ramen noodles begin with a flavorful ginger-chili broth, made with lots of fresh Asian/Thai ingredients like ginger, garlic, lemongrass, and chili pepper. Add in some fresh veggies [I used kale, mushrooms, and bell peppers] and some flavorful shrimp and you are set for one classy meal! Ben and I both agreed that the shrimp were the best part of the dish… right next to those slurpy ginger noodles, that is. :)

Sesame Ginger Shrimp Ramen Noodles | thepajamachef.com #MysteryDish #HealthySolutionsBloggerRecipeChallenge

To make the shrimp so fabulous, I started with a quick marinade/rub. I used some of the usual suspects–soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, fresh ginger, lemongrass, chili pepper–as well as the star seasoning blend from Healthy Solutions… Sesame Ginger Tuna. This seasoning blend is super flavorful and zesty; it’s hard to believe it doesn’t contain sugar or salt.

Sesame Ginger Shrimp Ramen Noodles | thepajamachef.com #MysteryDish #HealthySolutionsBloggerRecipeChallenge

I rubbed all this on some large shrimp and let it hang out while I whipped together the broth, then I sauteed up all the veggies and shrimp. There’s a lot going on in this dish, but with the common flavors–ginger, garlic, lemongrass, chili pepper… everything goes together SO well. And bonus! This dish comes together in about 30 minutes so it’s perfect for a weeknight family dinner. If you’re super organized, you could put the rub on the shrimp earlier in the day to infuse more flavor into them but that’s totally not necessary. I’m so excited with how well this dish turned out and I hope you love it too! Thanks to Healthy Solutions and Mystery Dish for the inspiration behind this dish. Enjoy! :)
Sesame Ginger Shrimp Ramen Noodles | thepajamachef.com #MysteryDish #HealthySolutionsBloggerRecipeChallenge

one year ago: Lightened Up Cheesy Sausage Grits Breakfast Casserole
two years ago: Chipotle Black Bean Soup with Avocado Cream
three years ago: Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken
four years ago: Whole Wheat Apple Pancakes

Sesame Ginger Shrimp Ramen Noodles

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30 minutes
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Ingredients:

for shrimp 

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Healthy Solutions Sesame Ginger Tuna seasoning blend
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemongrass paste [I used Garden Gourmet brand]
  • 1 tablespoon chili pepper paste [I used Garden Gourmet brand]
  • 1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled and devined [mine still had the tails on though]

for ginger-chili broth

  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated [from about 1-2 inches fresh peeled ginger]
  • 2 scallions, chopped – green and white parts separated
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili pepper paste [I used Garden Gourmet brand]
  • 4 cups chicken broth

for ramen

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces white mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup bell peppers, thinly sliced [I used the mini red, yellow, and orange peppers]
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated [from about 1/2-1 inch fresh peeled ginger]
  • 1 teaspoon lemongrass paste [I used Garden Gourmet brand]
  • 1 teaspoon chili pepper paste [I used Garden Gourmet brand]
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 – 8 ounce packages ramen noodles, uncooked [any flavor – flavor packets are NOT used]
  • 1 cup kale, thinly sliced into ribbons and firmly packed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1-2 teaspoons fish sauce, to taste
  • additional broken ramen noodles, for garnish
  • chopped cilantro, for serving

Directions:

In a medium bowl, whisk together Healthy Solutions Sesame Ginger Tuna seasoning blend, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, lemongrass, and chili pepper. Add shrimp and toss together to coat. Set aside.

Next, prepare ginger-chili broth. In a saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger, and the white part of the scallions. Cook, stirring constantly, for about one minute. Add chili pepper paste and chicken broth, and stir until it comes together. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil for another minute. Reduce heat to low and simmer while the rest of the dish comes together.

In a large skillet or wok, heat oil over medium heat. When hot, add mushrooms, peppers, ginger, lemongrass, and chili pepper. Saute for three to four minutes, then add garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds.

Next, cook the noodles. Break the noodles up and add them to the ginger-chili broth. Turn heat to medium-high, keeping just below a boil. Cook for 3 minutes then remove from heat.

While noodles are cooking, add shrimp to the veggies in the wok. Stir regularly for about three minutes or until shrimp are no longer pink. Next, reduce heat to low and pour ramen and broth in the pan. Add kale, lime juice, fish sauce, and most of the reserved green scallions from the broth. Stir then let rest for about a minute. Serve topped with additional broken ramen noodles, chopped cilantro, and green scallions. Enjoy!

2015 Blogger Recipe Challenge for Healthy Solution Spice Blends | thepajamachef.com

Disclosure: I received a complimentary packet of Sesame Ginger Tuna Spice Blend by Healthy Solutions Spice Blends for participating in this recipe contest. You can use any sesame ginger seasoning blend for this recipe. I received no additional compensation for this post; all comments are 100% accurate and 100% my own. I was not paid or required to publish positive comments but I happen to love Healthy Solutions Spice Blends… check out my review of them here.

Check out other Mystery Dish recipes below:

Flourless Almond Butter Chocolate Chunk Sandwich Cookies from Flavor the Moments
Blueberry Frozen Custard Pops from Simply Gloria
Sesame Ginger Shrimp Ramen Noodlesfrom The Pajama Chef
Potato Chip Chocolate Chunk Cookies from I Dig Pinterest
Almond Butter Chocolate Chunk Potato Chip Cookies from Chez Catey Lou
Blueberry French Toast Casserole from Yummy Healthy Easy
Spicy Clam & Kale Appetizer by Inspiration Kitchen
Chocolate Covered Potato Chip Rice Krispie Treats from The Sweet {Tooth} Life

Mujaddara: Mediterranean Lentils and Rice with Carrot Slaw

Lentils are the new black beans. :) This easy vegetarian meal is our new staple weeknight dinner! The carrot slaw elevates the classic Mujaddara dish into something extra special.

Mediterranean Lentils and Rice with Carrot Slaw | thepajamachef.com

I used to not know what to do with lentils. They seemed mushy and weird. But then Ben and I started frequenting this fabulous Turkish restaurant in Indiana and I fell in love with their red lentil soup. So I bought lentils to recreate it at home… and they sat in my pantry for like two years. And moved to Nashville with us. Once here, I started making red lentil soup, but that’s all I did with lentils. Until I found this recipe in an old issue of Food Network Magazine. [True story.] Though the recipe didn’t say this was Mujaddara, aka the beans and rice of the Mediterranean, Middle East, and beyond, it clearly is. 

Mediterranean Lentils and Rice with Carrot Slaw | thepajamachef.comI had a hard time making lentils and rice look pretty but there you have it. Since the fall, we’ve had this for dinner almost every other week and it’s so simple I can practically make it in my sleep! Since I can’t leave recipes alone, I have simplified the dish a weeee little bit from the original. Namely, the traditional dish calls for caramelizing the onions. I’m sure that’s great, but for a quick weeknight dinner? Not gonna happen, sorry. The traditional dish also serves the onions on top of the lentils and rice. But there’s no way Ben would like that, so I just dice ’em up like usual and saute them until they’re really soft and call it a day. Or a night. Or a dinner, whatever. I’ve also noted this in the recipe itself but you can use ANY rice and ANY lentils to make this fabulous meal. My most used combo is brown lentils with jasmine rice, but any combo will do. Just know that the amount of time it takes to prepare this dish is related to what type of rice and lentils you choose. Red lentils are quick, brown rice is slow, etc. And don’t forget the carrot slaw. It’s tangy and earthy and uses just three ingredients to make its magic! Carrots, lemon juice, and cumin. You can season with salt and pepper too. It’s divine! I really should always make a double batch of this stuff because Ben and I are ADDICTED to it, and I usually make more later in the week for leftovers. The contrast of the hearty lentil and rice mixture with the fresh slaw and yogurt is just fabulous. Enjoy!

one year ago: Apple Rubies in Coconut Milk
two years ago: Double Blueberry Walnut Muffins
three years ago: Quinoa Pancakes
four years ago: Lemon Blueberry Bread

Mediterranean Lentils and Rice with Carrot Slaw

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 30-45 minutes
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from Food Network Magazine

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups rice – I’ve used basmati, jasmine, brown, and white so use what you like/what you have!
  • 3 cups water or broth
  • 3 cups shredded carrots – about 6 medium carrots
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons cumin, divided
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup lentils – any kind you like… red, green, or brown
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • freshly ground black pepper + salt
  • plain greek yogurt or sour cream, for serving [or tzatziki!]
  • fresh cilantro, for serving

Directions:

Begin by preparing rice according to package directions.

In a medium bowl, combine carrots, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, and a little freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 6-7 minutes. Stir often and when almost done, add garlic, cinnamon, cayenne, and remaining cumin and cook until fragrant. Add lentils and water/broth to the pan and stir well to combine. Raise heat to high, and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low, and allow to cook for about 10-15 minutes or until lentils are tender. When rice and lentils are done, add rice to the lentil pan and stir to combine.

Serve rice and lentils topped with carrot slaw, yogurt, and cilantro.

SRC: Falafel, Tzatziki, and Greek Lemon Rice

Panfried falafel served up with lots of creamy tzatziki [cucumber sauce] and a tangy Greek rice. No one said vegetarian food had to be boring!

Falafel, Tzatziki, and Greek Lemon Rice | thepajamachef.com #SRC #vegetarian

I’m so glad it’s a Secret Recipe Club [SRC] day! What’s SRC? Basically a fun blogging group where you’re secretly paired up with another blogger. Everyone makes a recipe from their assigned blog and posts on the same day. The club has grown over the years and now has four groups. Since I first joined a few years[!] ago, I’ve been in group A. But when I had the chance to switch groups, I got SO excited because–hello!–new blogs to explore! :) So now I’m in group C and loving it! This month I was assigned to Jamie’s blog, Our Eating Habits. Jamie lives in Canada and like any food blogger, loves food. She says on her about page: “Eating is a big part of my life, so I make sure everything that goes into my mouth is tasty.” A sentiment I agree with! [And that is EXACTLY why I bought jalapeno cheetos on Saturday at the grocery store. Those are SO good. Anyway…] Jamie loves cooking and baking for her family and has an impressive number of recipes on her blog. It was so fun to browse her recipes! I was tempted to make these red velvet M&M cake mix bars for Valentine’s Day, and will make this Butterscotch Confetti at Christmastime this year! I was all set to make those red velvet bars when I saw that Jamie had a falafel recipe…and I was sold!

Falafel, Tzatziki, and Greek Lemon Rice | thepajamachef.com #SRC #vegetarian

Though I love falafel, sometimes I’m hesitant to order it at restaurants because it’s easy to make it too dry since it’s basically deep-fried chickpea balls/patties. Chickpeas are a drier bean anyway, so it makes sense. That’s why I’ve been excited to see so many pan-fried recipes for falafel lately. This recipe doesn’t disappoint! It’s so flavorful and moist [sorry!]. I changed the recipe a little from Jamie’s version, using lime juice instead of lemon, and adding the zest in for a little something special. Jamie used an egg as a binder and I decided to exclude it just so I didn’t have to worry about not cooking the falafel enough. I compensated for the lack of egg by using more chickpeas and less bread crumbs. Served up with some creamy tzatziki, chopped tomatoes and red onion, on a pita or lettuce-wrap style, this is an awesome meal! I couldn’t believe how easy it was to make this tasty vegetarian meal. Jamie added mayo to her tzatziki sauce and I thought that was genius! The mayo made the sauce a little creamier and added a little extra zip, but it also tasted good without.

Falafel, Tzatziki, and Greek Lemon Rice | thepajamachef.com #SRC #vegetarian

As a side, I made a super easy lemon rice. It has just four ingredients: jasmine rice, chicken broth, rosemary, and lemon juice and is SO addictive. The bright, fresh flavor was perfect alongside the falafel. This is not a meal to be missed! Hope you try it today. :) Thanks, Jamie, for a great recipe!

one year ago: Fresh Cranberry Coffee Cake
two years ago: Go-To Pancakes
three years ago: Sunrise Muffins
four years ago: Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes

Falafel, Tzatziki, and Greek Lemon Rice

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 50 minutes
  • Print

Falafel and Tzatziki from Our Eating Habits; Greek Lemon Rice from Thank Your Body

Ingredients:

for falafel

  • 1 small onion
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • zest of 1 lime
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1/2-1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1-2 cans chickpeas [15 ounces each]
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • oil for cooking

for Tzatziki

  • 2 cups plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cucumber, seeded and grated, pressed dry with a clean dish towel
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill [or 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped]
  • 1-2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • salt, to taste

for Greek Lemon Rice

  • 1 cup jasmine or basmati rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • juice of 1 lemon [approximately 1/4 cup]
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • salt, to taste

for serving

  • pita bread
  • chopped red onions
  • chopped tomato
  • romaine lettuce

Directions:

Begin by making the tzatziki. In a medium bowl, stir together yogurt, cucumber, dill, and mayo. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate while cooking falafel and rice.

Next, mix up the falafel. In a food processor, pulse together onion, parsley, garlic, cumin, coriander, cayenne, lime zest, and lime juice. Then add 1/4 cup bread crumbs and 1 can chickpeas and pulse together, being careful to not completely pulverize the chickpeas. Check to see if mixture holds together, then add additional bread crumbs and/or chickpeas, pulsing gently, until mixture can be shaped into patties. I used 1/2 cup bread crumbs and 1 1/2 cans chickpeas [approximately 2 1/4 cups chickpeas]. Season to taste with pepper and salt. Shape into small patties–I used about 1/4 cup for each. Place on a plate or baking sheet and pop in the fridge to chill while starting the rice.

In a small saucepan set over high heat, combine rice, chicken broth, rosemary, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, then stir. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer, cooking for 15-20 minutes until the rice has absorbed all the liquid. Fluff with a fork and season with pepper and salt to taste.

While rice is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil and when hot, cook falafel patties, about 3-4 minutes per side until heated through and browned on each side.

Serve falafel in a pita or with lettuce, topping with onions, tomato, and tzatziki. Rice is great on the side or in the pita too!

Be sure to see what other SRC members made this week: