Mango, Basil and Tomato Salad

Mango-Basil-Tomato-Salad

Mango and basil are a wonderful combination. I had never thought about putting the two together until a good friend of mine mentioned them to me the other day. The perfumy mango complements the anise-like basil perfectly in this simple salad. For a quick dressing I mixed some olive oil, a little bit of balsamic vinegar and some sesame seeds. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper and you’ve got yourself a refreshing appetizer for a hot summer day.

Basil Tomato Salad Ingredients

 

Mango, Basil and Tomato Salad
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 2
Ingredients:
For the salad:
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled, deseeded and cut into bit-sized pieces
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • ⅓ cup small basil leaves
For the dressing:
  • ½ teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar*
  • salt and pepper
Instructions:
  1. Put all salad ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Mix all dressing ingredients together and drizzle over the salad.
Notes:
I used a black mission fig balsamic vinegar that I can highly recommend for any salad: Elevated Olive, Black Mission Fig Balsamic Vinegar.

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Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad Sandwich

I’m not usually a fan of cold dinners (with the notable exception of sushi, I could eat that every night) but a good chicken salad sandwich with a beer is all right with me every once in a while on a hot summer evening. The salad has to be hardy though; none of that thin, runny stuff for me. So here’s a flavorful and nicely substantial chicken salad recipe. It features my homemade seasoning salt from a few weeks ago along with some fresh tarragon, some freshly ground yellow mustard seed and the usual suspects: sour cream, mayo and celery. It’s quick and easy to whip up and a great make-ahead!

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Chicken Salad
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 2
Ingredients:
  • 2 small or 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • homemade seasoning salt (see notes)
  • vegetable oil
  • sandwich bread
  • lettuce
For the dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds, ground
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • ½ teaspoon homemade seasoning salt (see notes)
Instructions:
  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Generously sprinkle the chicken breasts with the seasoning salt all over.
  3. Drizzle a little bit of vegetable oil over the breasts and put them in the oven until their internal temperature registers 165 degrees F (about 20 minutes).
  4. Take the breasts out, cover and let cool.
Make the dressing:
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Once the chicken breasts have cooled, cut or shred them into pieces and mix in with the dressing.
  3. Chill the salad in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Assemble sandwiches.

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Extra-Crispy Granola

Granola

This yummy granola is made extra crispy by the addition of panko. You know panko, the Japanese-style breadcrumbs that are so crunchy that you reach for your earplugs when someone next to you chews them. I usually use the little guys to bread seafood and poultry but they come in handy in a range of other applications as well. Here they add crispiness, substance and a great addition to the coconut flakes, pecans, sesame and pumpkin seeds and the obligatory oats. As any granola recipe, this one is easy and requires very little work. Hope you give it a try! :)

Extra-Crispy Granola
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 6
Ingredients:
  • 1½ tablespoons light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup panko
  • 3 tablespoons sweetened coconut flakes
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • ¾ cup rolled oats
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • 1½ tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Instructions:
  1. Heat the oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl.
  3. Add the syrup and the oil to the bowl and mix well.
  4. Spread onto a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven for 60 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes.
  5. Let cool and serve with yogurt or milk and fresh fruit of your choice.

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Chicken and Wild Rice Mushroom Soup

Chicken Wild Rice Mushroom Soup

You know those summer days that start out crazy hot and then there’s a huge late-afternoon thunderstorm that crashes temperatures so severely that you have to put on socks and a fleece  jacket and want to make a fire and think of Thanksgiving? Those days is what this soup is for. It’s comforting, it’s creamy, it’s hot and it’s intensely flavorful. It’s also got some really good texture with the chicken, the mushrooms and the wild rice. Except for the mushrooms you need only pantry ingredients and a chicken breast out of the freezer or, if you happen to have, some leftover cooked chicken. Enjoy!

Chicken and Wild Rice Mushroom Soup
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 3
Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • ¾ cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup wild rice or wild rice blend, raw
  • 1 medium-sized boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • a little bit of vegetable oil
  • ⅛ teaspoon dried French thyme
  • ⅛ teaspoon dried marjoram
  • ⅛ teaspoon toasted dehydrated onion (see notes)
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces mushrooms (I used maitake here but oyster work well too)
  • 1½ tablespoons flour
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • fresh pepper
  • parsley (for garnish)
Instructions:
  1. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a Dutch oven.
  2. Add the onion and cook on medium heat until soft and translucent.
  3. Add the wine, broth, water and rice and stir.
  4. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 45 minutes with the lid on. After the 45 minutes, turn the heat off.
  5. Meanwhile season the chicken with salt and pepper, drizzle a bit of vegetable oil on it and bake it in a 375-degree oven until its internal temperature registers 165 degree F.
  6. Shred the chicken with two forks, cover and set aside.
  7. Grind the thyme, marjoram, toasted onion and salt in a mortar with a pestle until you have a fine salt.
  8. Add the herb mix to the soup.
  9. Cook the mushrooms in a little bit of vegetable oil until they are soft (about 3 minutes). Set aside.
  10. To make the roux melt one tablespoon of butter in a skillet. Add the flour and whisk into a paste.
  11. Add the cream to the roux and whisk until the mix is smooth without any clumps.
  12. Stir the roux into the soup and briefly bring to a boil.
  13. Turn the heat off, add the chicken and the mushrooms.
  14. Sprinkle with parsley and freshly ground pepper and serve.
Notes:
You can buy toasted dehydrated onion at a spice shop.

 

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