Main Dishes, Recipes, Salads

Chopped Thai Chicken Salad

Chopped salads are my favorite salads… they’re just so fun to eat! This version combines chicken, cabbage, carrots, and mango but the peanut butter based dressing takes the cake by far! 🙂

Thai Chopped Salad: a hearty winter salad everyone will love!

Salad in January? So cliched, I know. Especially since last week with that Amish Cheeseburger Soup I talked about how we didn’t need to just ‘eat healthy’ in January. Ummm, right. 🙂 But still, I stand by what I say… and salads are definitely part of our normal meals. Normally, our salads are pretty standard: romaine/spring mix/spinach, carrots, peppers, cucumber, maybe tomatoes or mushrooms or something else based on what’s in season. Dressing, yes… croutons, cheese… maybe. But never anything too exciting, unless I make a salad for our main course. Then, it is GOOD STUFF! And this salad is good stuff. 🙂

Thai Chopped Salad: a hearty winter salad everyone will love!

Every bit of this salad is incredible, and it’s perfect for the winter since it’s so hearty and filling, and isn’t your typical bunny rabbit salad fare. 🙂 This salad is basic and fancy all at once, with a basic chicken-cabbage-carrot mixture dressed up with mango, cilantro, green onions, and peanuts. But the best part of this salad by far is the peanut butter-based dressing… it’s just SO flavorful, tangy, and fantastic. The salad easily serves four, so what we do is divide everything in half and eat half for dinner, and save half for lunch the next day. Leftovers will do okay in the fridge for the next day, but for best results combine the salad and dressing immediately before serving–hence dividing everything in half before serving. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

one year ago: Southwest Veggie + Taco Rice Casserole
two years ago: Oreo Ice Cream Pie
three years ago: Lemon Cranberry Muffins
four years ago: Spaghetti and “Meat” Balls
five years ago: Caramelized Onion Dip

Chopped Thai Chicken Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

from Pinch of Yum

Ingredients:

for the salad

  • 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken [I used some from a chicken we roasted earlier in the week, but a rotisserie chicken would be great too!]
  • 3 cups shredded cabbage [I’ve used green, red, and a combination]
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrot [about 3-4 medium]
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped mango [or green papaya if you can find it]
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped [about 1/2 a bunch]
  • 1/2 cup peanuts, chopped

for the dressing

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey or sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter [natural works great–just microwave for 10-15 seconds to melt a little if it’s too hard to combine]
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions:

Combine chicken, cabbage, carrots, mango, cilantro, and green onions in a large bowl. Toss to combine, then stick in the fridge while you prepare the dressing.

In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, honey, lime juice, oil, fish sauce, garlic, and cayenne. Add peanut butter and water and whisk again until smooth.

When ready to serve, pour half of the dressing over the salad, then sprinkle with the chopped peanuts. Add more dressing to taste, or save for later–the dressing will keep in the fridge for up to a week. Leftovers will be okay in the fridge for the next day, but for best results combine the salad and dressing immediately before serving.

Enjoy!

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Recipes, Sides, Vegetables

Red Cabbage, Raisin, and Apple Slaw

This easy red cabbage slaw is sweet and crunchy, bursting with raisins, apples, and carrots. It’s creamy and tangy so everyone will love it!

Red Cabbage, Raisin, and Apple Slaw | thepajamachef.comI don’t really like the word “slaw.” Or the words “cole slaw.” It just sounds… unappetizing to me. But when you need a cold veggie side dish for summer picnics or barbecue pork, or just a normal weeknight dinner, it’s just really the best choice. You can make it ahead and it’s good in the fridge for up to a week too! And this slaw [shudder!] tastes really, really, really good. So that helps too. 🙂 I’m so picky about cole slaw, besides the name. The taste is super important to me. I don’t like it to be too creamy [like my dad prefers] or too vinegary… but rather, something in the middle. Like this recipe! The dressing for this red cabbage based slaw is creamy AND tangy. I used mayo, Greek yogurt, and sour cream for optimal creaminess along with a hint of apple cider vinegar and lemon juice for tang. Perfect!

Red Cabbage, Raisin, and Apple Slaw | thepajamachef.comBesides the taste of the dressing, a great slaw to me has to have some sweet elements. The more the merrier, I think! This slaw also features raisins and apples and carrots for tons of sweetness. The perfect blend. 🙂 My slaw isn’t quite as pretty as traditional cole slaws because the holes of my circa-1980 food processor are kinda wonky, so if you take the time to slice a head of cabbage your slaw will look MUCH better than mine. Take a look at the original recipe and you’ll see what I mean. But looks aside, this slaw is fantastic and is sure to be a staple in my home for many summers to come. Enjoy! Happy Labor Day weekend!

one year ago: Healthy Crumb Topped Zucchini Bread
two years ago: Pumpkin Coconut Soup
three years ago: Chocolate Mousse

four years ago: Pumpkin Granola
five years ago: The BESTEST Pizza Sauce Ever + A Pizza How-To

Red Cabbage, Raisin, and Apple Slaw

  • Servings: 8
  • Print

slightly adapted from Budget Bytes

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup mayonaise
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small head purple cabbage [about 1.5 pounds]
  • 2 large carrots, peeled
  • 1 medium Granny Smith apple, cored
  • 1/2 cup raisins [I used a mix of regular and golden]

Directions:

In a small bowl, whisk together mayo, yogurt, vinegar, lemon juice, honey, and pepper for the dressing. Set aside.

Use a food processor or a sharp knife to shred the cabbage into thin strips and place in a large bowl. Grate carrots and apple, then toss with cabbage. Pour dressing over vegetables, then gently toss until combined.

Slaw is best within the first day or so, but lasts in the fridge up to one week.

 

Main Dishes, Other, Recipes

Sriracha Fried Rice

A unique, spicy fried rice with the egg on top! If spice isn’t your thing, just use a little Sriracha for flavor!

Sriracha Fried Rice | thepajamachef.comOhhh yeah. This dinner is my new BFF. I’ve made it more times in the last few months than I can count. It’s full of flavor, is super simple, and uses one of my favorite under-appreciated vegetables–cabbage! It’s rare for us not have have some leftover rice in the fridge because Ben lives on that stuff. And lucky for me–rice is cheap, and it lasts in the fridge or freezer for awhile. But that “lasting’ sometimes means there’s more leftover rice than I know what to do with. Enter fried rice. You can make a normal fried rice like this one or a kale fried rice or a pineapple fried rice, or you can make a kicked up vegetarian version. Like this one! Sriracha is everyone’s favorite spicy condiment so now you have another use for it!

Sriracha Fried Rice | thepajamachef.comThis dinner hits the spot when you want something homey and comforting but don’t want to wait or take the time to cook a big meal. Sriracha Fried Rice takes a bunch of leftovers [like that cabbage you bought for slaw or to add to salad] and turns them into something amazing! I love the nuttiness of the sesame oil and sesame seeds that are added at the end. They give it another dimension of flavor…. and the leftovers are even better the next day! Just don’t forget the fried egg on top. Drippy yolk + spicy rice = amazing. I bet this would be great for breakfast too! Enjoy!

two years ago: Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese
three years ago: Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake
four years ago: Pumpkin Ginger Bread

Sriracha Fried Rice

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Print

from Jenna’s Everything Blog

Ingredients:

  • 5 tablespoons oil, divided
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup cabbage, chopped or shredded [I usually use at least 2-3 cups cabbage, and sometimes even add in mustard greens too]
  • 1 splash Shaoxing wine [or dry sherry or Mirin]
  • 1 pinch sugar [omit if using Mirin since it’s already sweet]
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1-3 tablespoons Sriracha depending on your spice preferences
  • 4 cups cold, cooked rice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • 4 eggs

Directions:

Heat a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add 4 tablespoons oil and heat, then cook garlic for 30 seconds. Add onion, stirring to coat with oil, and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add cabbage, wine/sherry/Mirin, and sugar and cook for another 4-5 minutes until it starts to soften. Add soy sauce and Sriracha, stirring well, then cook for another minute or so. Add rice, breaking up larger pieces with a wooden spoon, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook rice for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Lastly, stir in sesame oil and green onions.

In another pan, heat remaining tablespoon of oil to fry your eggs to desired doneness.

Serve eggs on top of fried rice. Enjoy!

Appetizers, Recipes

#10DaysofTailgate: Baked Blueberry Pork Egg Rolls

Egg rolls are easier than ever when you bake them up with a savory-sweet blueberry pork filling featuring Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup.

Baked Blueberry Pork Egg Rolls | thepajamachef.com #10DaysofTailgate

These Baked Blueberry Pork Egg Rolls are a fantastic way to kick off [sorry, I had to do it] the #10DaysofTailgate blogging event that I’m participating in over the next [you guessed it] 10 days. For more info on #10DaysofTailgate check out my intro post from yesterday here. There’s also a giveaway on that post that you do NOT want to miss. Fourteen prize packs, people!!! Wish I could win! 🙂 But no matter what, we are all winners with this fabulous egg roll recipe I’m sharing today. That sounds cheesy but it is so true, folks.

Baked Blueberry Pork Egg Rolls | thepajamachef.com #10DaysofTailgate

For me, football is all about the food. I’m not a football fan, even though my husband and my dad are obsessed. I’m super thankful that my husband Ben is willing to watch quite a bit of his games at home with the sound turned off. The announcers just drive me crazyyy with all their babbling, and I do try to sit with Ben while he’s cheering on his teams or just enjoying a good game [side note: I don’t understand this concept. Why watch a game where you don’t care who wins or loses? #makesnosensetome]. During these times, I always have a good book, my laptop, and a snack on hand to keep me occupied. I actually made these egg rolls a few weeks ago for the first football Saturday of the year [woohoo] and just couldn’t wait to share them with you! They’re incredibly tasty–the filling is a mix of leftover carnitas, though you could also used ground pork, coleslaw mix, and some seasonings… most notably Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup. This fruit-based sauce [sans tomatoes] has a ketchup-like consistency with tons of sweet, smoky, fruity flavor. It plays very well with soy sauce for a fun and easy dip for the egg rolls.

Baked Blueberry Pork Egg Rolls | thepajamachef.com #10DaysofTailgate

I’ve had homemade egg rolls before, but haven’t ever made them myself. It turns out they are super easy to roll up. Just follow the photos below! Just place the filling in the center, roll up the bottom, fold in the sides, and roll up! Some of mine looked a little wonky, but that’s part of the fun of homemade, right?! It’s how they taste that matters. 🙂

How to Fold an Egg Roll | thepajamachef.com #10DaysofTailgate

I baked my egg rolls for an easy/healthy way to enjoy this app, but if frying is your thing they could totally be fried. I was surprised how much crunch the baked egg rolls had. We even had a few leftover that I refrigerated and heated up in the oven later in the week. Boom! Back to crispy perfection. This is such a great snack, you guys! I hope you give it a try! If you’re interested in checking out more about Not Ketchup, be sure to follow them on social media: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram. Enjoy!

Baked Blueberry Pork Egg Rolls | thepajamachef.com #10DaysofTailgate

Baked Blueberry Pork Egg Rolls

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Print

Ingredients:

for egg rolls

  • 16 ounces cole slaw mix [shredded green and purple cabbage, carrots]
  • 8 ounces cooked pork [leftover carnitas or cooked ground pork]
  • 3 green onions, green and white pieces, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 package egg roll wrappers [approximately 20 wrappers]

for dipping sauce

  • 3 tablespoons Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup
  • 2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with foil and spray with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine cole slaw mix, cooked pork, green onions, Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup, soy sauce, and ground ginger. Stir and taste–season if necessary. I used leftover carnitas so I didn’t need more seasoning but salt, pepper, etc. may be necessary.

To fill egg rolls, consult the back of the package. 🙂 But seriously, directions should be there. The pictures above can help too. You’ll want to have a small bowl with water and a brush handy, along with a towel to dry your hands and work surface.

Set the egg roll wrapper as a diamond on your work surface. Put 2-3 tablespoons of filling in wrapper at a diagonal. Roll the bottom portion tight over the filling, then fold the left side and then right side over so it looks like an envelope. Brush with a little bit of water to hold everything together, then gently roll the rest of the way, brushing over the seams with water.

Mist with cooking spray, then bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

While egg rolls are baking, stir together ingredients for the dipping sauce.

Let egg rolls cool for 5-10 minutes before serving with dipping sauce. Enjoy!

Note: If you don’t have any Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup on hand or can’t find it locally, I’d recommend using blueberry jam/preserves instead.

Here’s what the team brought to the table…

Starters
Loaded Baked Nacho Supreme by Cheese Curd In Paradise
Baked Blueberry Pork Egg Rolls by The Pajama Chef
Gazpacho Shooters with Spicy Shrimp by OnTheMove-In the Galley
Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatball Sliders with BlueCheese Aioli by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventure

Dips
Soft Pretzels and Buffalo Cheese Dip
 by Things I Make (for Dinner)
Cheesy Bean Dip by Making Miracles
Garden Fresh Salsa by Eliot’s Eats
Pineapple Salsa by The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
Devilish 7-Layer Dip by Miss Laura’s Kitchen

Sips
War Eagle Sangria
 by Sew You Think You Can Cook
Spicy Strawberry Bourbon Shooters by CafeTerraBlog
Iowa Sunrise by From Gate to Plate

Sides
Deviled Egg Potato Salad
 by Cooking In Stilettos

Mains
El Diablo’d Lamb Lollipops
 by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Ginger Chicken Kabobs by Summer Scraps
Chili by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Spiced Fig and Garlic Chicken Wings by girlichef
Baked Mac and Cheese  with Bacon Pretzel Topping by Debbi Does Dinner Healthy
Asian Duck Sliders  by Curious Cuisiniere
Pineapple Chile Lime Wings by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches by Love and Confections

Sweets
Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies 
by The Spiffy Cookie

Disclosure: I received a complementary bottle of Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup to try as part of my participation in #10DaysofTailgate. I was not compensated in any way–for my time, to create a recipe, or to publish positive comments. I was not required to use this product as part of my recipe. My opinions are my own.

Main Dishes, Recipes, Seafood and Fish

Mystery Dish: Baked Fish Tacos with Cranberry Salsa

Welcome to December Mystery Dish! Should be a good post for my last recipe of the year. I didn’t intend to take a two week break, but it’s been nice to unplug. 🙂 Sherri at The Well Floured Kitchen was this month’s host for Mystery Dish, and the ingredients she chose for us included: Dark Chocolate, Greek Yogurt, Berries, Coconut Oil, Walnuts, Fish, Baby Spinach, and Pecorino Romano Cheese. We had to use at least two, and I chose to use fish and berries… cranberries to be specific. I know cranberries aren’t always thought of as traditional ‘berries’ but they are in season and I love them so I wanted to use them! For more info on berries, check out Wikipedia. 🙂

Baked Fish Tacos with Cranberry Salsa | thepajamachef.com

Ben helped extensively with this recipe–he came up with the idea to make fish tacos, and I wanted to try my hand at a cranberry salsa. Fruit salsas are so complimentary to fish tacos, and this one, though a little more tart than most, was absolutely amazing. I used two types of fresh herbs [rosemary and parsley] and tangerine to flavor it up, then added a little sweetness and tartness with honey and red raspberry vinegar. My goal was to make the salsa be different from my usual cranberry relish [fresh cranberries, sugar, and an orange], and I think I succeeded!

Baked Fish Tacos with Cranberry Salsa | thepajamachef.com

While I was cranberry salsa-ing it up, Ben was busy preparing the fish tacos. He’s the fish taco expert in the family, and decided to season the tilapia with some olive oil and vinegar–but not just your average olive oil and vinegar. He used some special blood orange-infused olive oil and coconut-infused white balsamic vinegar from the Bumble Olive Oil Company in his hometown [Toledo, Ohio]. If you can get your hands on these infused oils, DO IT! So good. But if not, use extracts or juices to create the same effect. The result? A sweet, tender, flaky fish that pairs so well with some tart salsa and crunchy cabbage. I also whipped up some Mexican rice with dinner… aka my favorite side ever. Yum yum and yum! Hope you enjoy!

one year ago: White Chocolate Peppermint M&M Cookies
two years ago: Classic Sugar Cookies
three years ago: Cranberry Scones

Baked Fish Tacos with Cranberry Salsa
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 tilapia filets [frozen or fresh]
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil [mine was blood-orange infused]*
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar [mine was coconut infused]*
  • 1/4 of a sweet yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tangerine, sliced and seeded [leave on peel]
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons red raspberry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • salt
  • tortillas, for serving
  • chopped red cabbage, for serving
  • lime wedges, for serving
  • sour cream, for serving

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray, then place tilapia filets in baking dish. Combine olive oil and vinegar in a small bowl, then brush mixture over tilapia, turning to coat. Cook for 13-15 minutes or until fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork. If you use fresh fish, the cook time will be reduced.

Meanwhile, combine onion, garlic, and tangerine in a food processor. Pulse until nearly smooth, then add parsley, rosemary, vinegar, honey, and cranberries. Pulse a few times to break up cranberries, then season with pepper and salt to taste.

Gently slice fish into strips, then serve in tortillas with cabbage and sour cream, squeezing lime wedges overtop before enjoying.

Time: 25 minutes.

Yield: 3-4 servings.

Note: I used infused evoo and balsamic vinegar. You can add a few drops of coconut or orange extract for a similar flavor profile, or a little orange juice or zest.

Please check out the rest of the Mystery Dish posts when you have a chance too. They all look SO delicious!

Mystery Dish Collage

1. Cinnamon Coffee Cake from Buttercream Fanatic
2. Dark Chocolate Chip Coconut Oil Cookies from Chez Catey Lou
3. Dark Chocolate Raspberry Tart from The Dessert Chronicles
4. Berry Chocolate Streusel Bars from Baking a Moment
5. Green Berry Smoothie from I Want Crazy
6. Baked Fish Tacos with Cranberry Salsa from The Pajama Chef
7. Dark Chocolate Raspberry Swirl Brownies from Joyful Healthy Eats
8. Healthy Homemade Granola Parfait from Yummy Healthy Easy
9. Pear Cranberry Crockpot Oatmeal from See Hubby Cook
10. Dark Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies from Culinary Couture
11. Raspberry Chocolate Crumb Bars from I Dig Pinterest
12. Dark Chocolate Walnut Coconut Macaroon Fingers from The Well Floured Kitchen