Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Canned Salmon Salad or Simple Pictures are Best

While I'm not hard-pressed for grocery money ... right now.. at this moment...I have been.  I spent years feeding six of us and, before that, had fifteen bucks a week to feed two hungry adults.  Really.  I know from cheap eats and, btw, canned salmon salad is cheap eats.

Lately, I find I'm just heart-sick over the cost of groceries.  And I only have to feed two people and two dogs.  Everyone I know complains about it.  One friend recently described a woman speaking on NPR about wanting to eat healthily--to eat vegetables.  Her words were something like this:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Help! I've Got Leftover Take-Out Rice and Don't Know What to Do with It

Leftover Take-Out Rice Salad
Do you leave all that extra rice at the Chinese place?  (What do they do with all that rice?  Make fried rice!)  When you pick up take-out and there's two of those "little" boxes stuffed to the gills with white rice, do you eat it all?  Do you soy sauce it up with a scrambled egg for breakfast? That's one idea.  Throw it in chicken broth with chopped green onions, a drop of soy sauce, and shredded deli chicken?  That's another.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Breakfast Reuben in a Cup for St. Patrick's Day

Here is it out of the cup.
Here it is in the cup.  You can eat it either way.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Spread 2 thin, trimmed slices of pumpernickel or rye with Dijon Mustard and place in buttered, oven-safe large cup or small bowl.  (For crispy toast, bake the mustard bread in oven for 5 min. before continuing.)  No oven-safe cup?  Use a Pyrex measuring cup.
Add 2 thin pieces of corned beef.

Top with 1/4 cup rinsed/drained/squeezed-dry sauerkraut, a piece of Swiss cheese, an egg, and a pat of butter.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes until egg is set to your liking.  (30 min was a runny  yolk for mine.)

While egg bakes, make a Horseradish-Yogurt Sauce, set the table, and make the coffee.

Sauce: Whisk together 2T plain yogurt or sour cream, 1/2 t Dijon mustard, 1/4 t horseradish sauce, 1 T milk, pinch  each salt/pepper.  (Optional:  a drop of hot sauce.)
Drizzle with sauce and eat in or out (like this!) of the cup. 

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Love, Alyce

Friday, March 9, 2012

Vietnamese Chicken Salad

Ready?  Set?  Eat.  I'm about all written out this week, but I haven't forgotten Dinner Place.  And when I thought about you, all I could think about was this Vietnamese Chicken Salad.  I made it twice this week--once with chicken and once with tofu and shrimp.  If I had my druthers, I'd say do the chicken.  We just wanted to eat and eat this.  Which is ok.  It's light and healthful.  Good to pig out on.  If you like, you can use rotisserie chicken; I know a lot of solo cooks buy a chicken a week.  Or  roast one yourself; here's how.

 vietnamese chicken salad  (courtesy Nigella Lawson/Food Network)
                        2-3 generous servings


  • 1 Thai chile, seeded and minced (I used 1/2 a jalapeno, minced)
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Vietnamese or Thai fish sauce (nuoc nam or nam pla)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely sliced
  • Freshly grated black pepper
  • 7 to 8 ounces white cabbage, shredded
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded, julienned, or grated
  • 7 ounces cooked chicken breast, shredded, or cut into fine strips (I used 3 boneless chicken breasts)
  • 1 bunch mint, plus extra for garnish, leaves roughly chopped  (I used about 1/2 cup chopped mint.)
  • Salt


In a medium bowl, stirring with spoon, combine the chile, garlic, sugar, vinegar, lime juice, fish sauce, oil, onion, and black pepper, set aside for 1/2 hour. In a large bowl combine cabbage, carrot, chicken breast, and mint, tossing with tongs. Pour cabbage mixture over the dressing, tossing with tongs, slowly and patiently so everything is coated. Add salt, to taste. Serve on a flat plate with mint for garnish. 

Solo Cook's Notes:

If you make this whole recipe (and why not), divide the undressed salad in half.  Dress and eat one half and store the other half separately from the dressing in the frig.  Otherwise, the salad is soggy the next day.  Unless you like soggy! 

Slice the cabbage thinly by hand.

Make the dressing and marinate the pepper and onions.

Avoid tough chicken:  Sear well-seasoned, oiled boneless breasts over high heat 1 minute on each side, turn down to low and cook partly covered  until done.

Toss with chicken and dressing.  Eat as long as it holds out.

If you liked this, you might like:

My Lenten Journey blog.  Lent 2012:  40 Thoughtful Days.

This week on More Time at the Table, I've blogged a bunch of desserts and Darina Allen's Irish Soda Bread.  Take a peek!

Have fun cooking and taking care of yourself,