Learning to Cook

The kitchen for me has always been my favourite part in my home, mainly because it’s the gathering place in the house.  The kitchen is where I have some of the best conversations with Ren and the kids, where we share some of the best meals over the holidays and a place where I have the most laughs with my cousins during our many MANY family parties.  The kitchen has also become my favourite part of the home because I love cooking!  Now this hasn’t always been the case.  In fact it wasn’t until recently (like just the last year) that I actually enjoy cooking, mainly because I was never very good at it.  I always told Renan that when our kids are grown and out of the house they will never say “I miss mom’s cooking” because I rarely cooked.  We ordered out A LOT and our moms spoiled us like crazy making us meals that we just never cooked.  Sad but true, and I’m not ashamed at all to say it because our moms make the best dishes.  How could I compete with that?

These days sometimes the highlight of my day is scrolling through the thousands of recipes on Pinterest while waiting in the car for the bell to ring when picking up the kids.  So many great recipes that are sooooo good and relatively easy to make.  Other than feeling the need to learn to cook for the kids sake, something else that keeps me motivated to cook is when the dishes actually turn out great and the kids approve!  Who would have thought that actually following recipes make your dishes taste delish and even look like they do on Pinterest!

One of my favorite things to make is salad because let’s be honest – it’s not really cooking, its chopping up a bunch of ingredients, adding a protein and tossing it all together.  Today I’m sharing what we had last week for lunch.  So good!

Chicken Salad with Honey Lime Mango dressing.

Salad

  • 1 large head romaine lettuce, chopped (about 8 cups)
  • fresh corn kernels from 1 ear of sweet corn
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cucumber peeled, quartered, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 avocado, sliced or chopped – (I cheat and use frozen ones when to save time)
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced

Toppings

  • 1/2 cup roasted salted sunflower seeds
  • 3/4 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

Honey Mango Dressing

  • 1 1/4 cups chopped ripe mango (1 large mango)
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 jalapeno seeded, deveined, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Instructions:

  1. Honey mango dressing: Add all of the ingredients to your blender except the canola oil and chop then puree until smooth. Blend in canola oil. Taste and add additional jalapeno for spicier, honey for sweeter, and/or lime juice for tangier. Chill.
  2. Prepare chicken breast as desired.
  3. To assemble, toss the chicken, Salad Ingredients, cheese and sunflower seeds together in a large bowl and drizzle with dressing.

 

 

 

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