About Jessie Davis

Grilled Chicken Cobb Salad with Honey Mustard Ranch

Cobb Salad

It’s only been almost 2 years since I posted. All I can say is that food and babies don’t mix for me. My last post corresponds perfectly with when I found out I was pregnant with baby #2 and then the sick set in. The second time around was worse than the first for me- I had some degree of aversion to food most of my pregnancy. And it turns out having 2 kids is slightly more chaotic (and sleepless) than one, so it has taken a long time for me to find the time/energy/etc. to get back here. But it doesn’t mean I haven’t been cooking. The minute I give birth my appetite comes back and then it quadruples with the nonstop nursing. So lots of cooking and eating going on this past year. I have more than fifty drafts of recipes I want to share (many I’ve made repeatedly and have become quick-healthy-kid-approved favorites)!

My goal is to post a recipe once a week. Bonus if I can pull out my real camera and take a photo to go with it. My phone might have to do occasionally. I can count on one hand the number of time I’ve used my DSLR in the last year-ish: Gwen’s birth, Christmas morning, and Gwen’s first birthday. (She turned 1 on March 1st so no excuses now that I technically no longer have a baby!) Besides adding another girl to our family, last year we moved from Colorado to the Seattle area. And I absolutely love it here! The winters are milder, the summers are glorious, the Pacific Northwest is stunning, and I can’t get enough of this city. Dustin started working with a new pediatric dental practice (a job that may become permanent- we are yet to see), we took our first trip to Europe (babymoon!), and took our first international trip as a family (Costa Rica!).

Now that we’re somewhat caught up, let’s talk about this recipe. My post-pregnancy self craves salads and protein (and I’ve lost much of my sweet tooth which is slightly sad, but mostly great for my health). So we eat a lot of greens and meat. This salad packs in a lot of protein with grilled spiced chicken breast, bacon, and hard-boiled eggs. And I even snuck some Greek yogurt into the dressing. I included the changes I made next to the original recipe. I chose to grill the chicken because my indoor grill pan is my best friend, but come summer I’ll definitely be repeating it on the outdoor grill. My girls devoured theirs and my husband didn’t complain that he was eating salad for dinner so that’s saying something!

Grilled Chicken Cobb Salad with Honey Mustard Ranch

INGREDIENTS

Grilled Chicken:
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. paprika (I used smoked paprika)
1 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. thyme leaves
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (I just added a pinch)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used 18 oz.)

Honey Mustard Ranch Dressing:
1/2 cup mayonnaise (I used half mayo and half low fat plain Greek yogurt)
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. paprika
pinch of cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp. kosher salt (I only used 1/2 tsp. and think it could be reduced further)
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 (15-ounce) can corn kernels, drained and patted dry (I used Trader Joe’s frozen roasted corn)
1 head iceberg lettuce, chopped (I used romaine lettuce)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large avocado, cubed
10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (I only used six)
4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

DIRECTIONS

Cook the chicken and the corn:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with oil. (I grilled my chicken on an indoor grill pan headed to medium-high.)

2. In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon oil, paprika, salt, cumin, thyme, black pepper, and cayenne. Rub the mixture all over the chicken. Place the chicken on the baking sheet and bake until cooked through but still juicy, 15 to 20 minutes (or grill). Transfer the chicken to a plate and when cool enough to handle, cut into small bite-size pieces.

3. Meanwhile, arrange the corn on the same baking sheet. Crank up the heat to broil and broil the corn until just slightly charred, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. (I roasted my corn in a skillet over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes.)

Make the dressing:

4. In a small bowl, stir together the mayo, buttermilk, mustard, honey, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne, salt, and black pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Assemble the salad:

5. Arrange the lettuce on a serving platter or in a big salad bowl. Top with the tomatoes, avocado, bacon, roasted corn, eggs, and chicken. If you’re like me, line them up in the most OCD way possible and get really annoyed when the lines aren’t perfectly straight. Drizzle the dressing to taste over the salad, and toss if you want to ruin all those pretty lines. Serve immediately. Any leftover dressing keeps in the fridge for a week or so.

Serves approx. 4.

(Adapted from Cravings)

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By in Salad, Uncategorized, Vinaigrette/Dressing · Comments { 0 }

Sweet and Spicy Pork and Pineapple Tacos

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I’ve found a lot of favorite new recipes on Mel’s Kitchen Cafe recently. This one I’ve already made twice and know it’ll be a frequent repeater because it’s absolutely yummy (especially with ancho chili powder- you must try it!) and comes together so so quickly. Pork tenderloin might be my favorite cut of meat- it’s super lean and still has so much flavor. These pork tacos are sweet (thanks to the pineapple/juice) and just a bit spicy (from the chili powder/cayenne) and amazingly tender. We wrapped the sweet and spicy pork filling in warm corn tortillas (the Tortillaland uncooked corn tortillas from Costco) and topped them with salsa verde, a touch of sour cream, and guacamole.

Sweet and Spicy Pork and Pineapple Tacos

INGREDIENTS

2 lbs. pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. chili powder (I used ancho chili powder because I love the flavor)
pinch of cayenne pepper (more to taste, if wanted)
1/4 cup pineapple juice
3 cups diced pineapple (fresh or frozen preferred to canned)
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
warm corn or flour tortillas, for serving
salsa verde, for serving (optional)
sour cream, for serving (optional)
guacamole or avocado, for serving (optional)

DIRECTIONS

1. Heat the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the pork pieces and add them to the hot skillet, browning on each side until golden (the pork doesn’t need to cook all the way through in this step, just get a nice color on all the pieces).

2. Stir in the garlic, cumin, chili powder and cayenne and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the juice and pineapple and simmer the mixture until the pork is just cooked through, 5-8 minutes.
Stir in the cilantro. Serve with corn or flour tortillas and salsa, sour cream, and guacamole (all optional).

Serves 8 (I halve it to serve four.)

(Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe)

By in Pork, Southwestern ·

Chipotle Guacamole

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Chipotle as in the smoked jalapeno pepper, not the restaurant. (Just to be clear.) We eat lots and lots of guacamole. Most often I mash a ripe avocado with some red salsa and voila! guacamole. But this is my new favorite recipe for when I want to put forth more effort. Originally I added an ear of fresh corn but didn’t love it. (More of a personal preference. If you love sweet corn, you might prefer it.) I did love the chipotle flavor so on my second attempt I used a red onion instead for crunch and thought it was perfect.

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Chipotle Guacamole

INGREDIENTS

2 large ripe avocados, halved, pitted and peeled
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 plum tomato, seeded and diced
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
3-4 Tbsp. chopped red onion
1 canned chipotle chile*, finely chopped (I used a medium chipotle for mild spice, feel free to add more)
1 Tbsp. sour cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

optional add-in: 1 ear fresh corn

DIRECTIONS

1. Mash avocados with lime juice in medium bowl. Stir in tomato, garlic, cilantro, and onions. Combine chipotle and sour cream in small bowl; whisk to blend. Stir cream mixture into avocado mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Do ahead: Can be made 4 hours ahead. Place plastic wrap directly onto surface of guacamole and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.

*Chipotle chiles are dried, smoked jalapeños canned in adobo sauce. They are available at some supermarkets, at specialty foods stores, and at Latin markets. Leftovers can be frozen for a long time.

(Adapted from Bon Appetit)

By in Appetizer, Southwestern ·

Cinnamon Biscuit Fans

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My mom made us these delicious cinnamon-sugar biscuits many times when I was a kid. And I had forgotten all about them (for over a decade!) until she mentioned making them recently. So, of course, I requested the recipe and have made them several times since. Think of them as cinnamon rolls (minus the yeast and hours of rise time) in biscuit form. They can be baked from scratch in about a half hour (meanwhile I scramble some eggs, heat some sausage links, you get the idea…). One of my favorite breakfast treats!

I didn’t read the recipe too closely because sometimes I just assume I know what I’m doing. (I often don’t.) And so I added much too much milk, making my glaze too thin. And I didn’t remove the muffins from the tin before drizzling the runny glaze over top. They still tasted great, but next time I’ll follow my own instructions!

Cinnamon Biscuit Fans

INGREDIENTS

Biscuits:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup cold butter
3/4 cup milk
3 Tbsp. butter, softened
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tsp. milk
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
pinch cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, etc. (optional)

DIRECTIONS

1. Heat oven to 425 F. Grease 8 regular-size muffin cups.

2. In large bowl, mix flour, 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar, the baking powder and salt. Cut in firm butter using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until mixture particles resemble fine crumbs. Stir in just enough milk so dough leaves side of bowl and forms a ball.

3. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead lightly 10 times. Roll into 12×10-inch rectangle. Spread 3 Tbsp. butter over rectangle. Mix 3 Tbsp. granulated sugar and the cinnamon; sprinkle over rectangle. Cut rectangle crosswise into 6 (10×2-inch) strips. Stack strips; cut crosswise into 8 pieces. Place cut sides up in muffin cups.

4. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from muffin cups to cooling rack.

5. In medium bowl, mix all glaze ingredients until smooth and thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle over warm biscuits. Serve warm.

Makes 8 biscuits.

(Adapted from Betty Crocker)

By in Breakfast ·

Orange Couscous with Cranberries and Cashews

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I realized while typing out this recipe that it would make a very festive Christmas side dish. And here we are on the first 80+ degree day of summer! You don’t have to wait for Christmas to make this couscous. Dotted with green onions, sweet dried cranberries, and roasted cashews, and tossed in a maple-orange vinaigrette, it’s light and fresh and perfect year-round! I served it with Parmesan and panko crusted thin-cut pork chops and steamed green beans. It would be excellent with chicken kebabs or grilled shrimp or fish or just about anything.

Orange Couscous with Cranberries and Cashews

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup couscous (I used whole wheat)
1 cup water or low-sodium chicken/vegetable broth
zest of 1/2 orange
2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
1 tsp. pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup roasted cashews, roughly chopped
2-3 green onions, thinly sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS

1. Put the couscous in a medium bowl. In a very small saucepan, bring the broth and a pinch of salt to a boil over high heat, then pour it over the couscous. Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand until the couscous is tender and the broth is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Gently scrape and fluff the couscous with a fork and serve as is (stir in a little butter or olive oil, if you like).

2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the orange zest, orange juice, maple syrup, and oil, then season with salt and pepper.

3. Pour the dressing over the warm couscous and gently toss to combine. Add the cranberries, cashews, and scallions and gently toss again. Adjust the seasonings to taste and serve.

Serves 4.

(Adapted from Keepers)

By in Sides, Uncategorized ·