Grilled Lavender Pepper Chicken Salad

Summer time is a great time to have a lot of cold dinners where you don’t have to turn the oven on and generate more heat in the house and few dinners are more nutritious than salads.  Combine this with a lean protein on the grill and you can make a meal that not only provides healthy nutrition for the family but tastes fantastic.

I bring you the Grilled Lavender Pepper Chicken Salad that I made the other night.

lavender chicken salad


  • Pelindaba Lavender Gourmet Lavender Pepper (click to buy some)
  • 1lb chicken breasts (approx 4 small breasts)
  • Baby spinach or kale pack (or chopped)
  • Iceberg lettuce (pack or chopped)
  • Red and Yellow or orange bell peppers (1 of each)
  • Carrot (sliced or strips)
  • Red Onion (1/4) chopped
  • Cucumber 1 whole (sliced into thin slices)
  • 4-6 radishes (1 per plate, sliced thin)
  • Roma tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
  • Aged Cheddar Cheese sliced into small strips



4 hours before grilling, put chicken breasts in a ziplock bag or in a tray and cover with 1/4 cup of olive oil and the lavender black pepper mix.  Make sure to coat both sides of the chicken breast and let sit in fridge to marinate.

Grilling Chicken Breasts

Grilling the Chicken Breasts takes only a few minutes per side until cooked thoroughly, always make sure chicken is grilled with no pink/raw center.  Slice cooked and grilled chicken breasts into strips or smaller pieces.

Wash and chop all vegetables and arrange on plate, then place the grilled chicken strips on the plate on top of salad mix, then place the sliced cheese pieces on top of the salad as well.

Serve with dressing of your choice, some recommendations are an Asian Sesame Dressing or a light Honey Mustard.

Enjoy, this serves family of 4, just increase the amount of ingredients as appropriate.  If you want family members to have more chicken, increase the amount of chicken put on top of the salad.


Homemade Brittle Makes a Great Gift

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Eminent Advertising for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

One reason why Brittle makes such a great gift on holiday occasions is it's transportability and nature of being able to stay fresh for longer periods of time over softer goods.  Peanut Brittle in particular is a favorite and is enjoyable any time of year for fans of all treats peanut flavored.

Making Brittle has always been a chore, but you can Buy homemade candy from Homespun Brittle and they have the largest selection of brittle I have ever seen including Cherry brittle, Pumpkin brittle, Banana Nut Brittle and so much more.  You can get a variety tin and choose 3 types of brittle to add variety that any brittle lover would enjoy.

Apple Pie Brittle

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Known for Peanut Brittle Temecula which is where they are established, Homespun brittle prides themselves on the quality of their confections.  If you are looking for a place to make a unique and original treat to send as gifts, or even have for yourself then give Homespun brittle a try and taste a homemade brittle that comes in so many distinct flavors each one will be a new experience.

You can buy online, or call to place an order with them and get some brittle today.

What flavors of brittle are you interested in trying? What unique flavors have you already had?

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Make Your Grill Mark on this #BurgerNation

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Private Selection for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I love hamburgers and to me they are a work of art.  The bun is the canvas and the meat, condiments, flavors are the paints for my taste palette. I enjoy eating them around the country as well as grilling my own burgers and I find that most of the time I enjoy getting my meat whether it is Bison, Beef or Turkey from Kroger and it is often the Private Selection brand.

After my wife and I had a Bison burger in Las Vegas once we came home and she replicated the recipe with some minor modifications, in the end the Bison burger was one of the best I had ever tasted and it was grilled in our backyard and served one spring evening.

Buffalo Burger (8)

Keeping it simple, the burger itself has some salt and pepper mixed into the meat and is grilled to medium rare.  Topped with grilled onions, mushrooms, goat cheese, served on a bun with mixed greens and with a black truffle aioli as the topper.  A Kaiser roll works perfectly too for this burger and it begs to be accompanied with some steak fries, fried zucchini or even sweet potato fries.

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After having a delicious burger, nothing tops it off better than a sweet desert and you can find 10 delicious flavors with the Mason Jar Desserts which include Cherry Crumble, Chocolate Brownie, Salted Caramel Cheescake and more!

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Enter the Burger Nation Sweepstakes!

Private Selection® and the Kroger Family of Stores invites their customers to share the endless possibilities of toppings and tastes that the Private Selection® “Burger Nation” has to offer. Every recipe, quick tip or sweepstakes submission gives entrants a coupon for a free Mason Jar Dessert. Through the Burger Nation Sweepstakes, Kroger is also offering to help customers create the ultimate burger at home. One lucky winner will enjoy the ultimate grilling experience by winning a brand new Weber® Summit® E-670™ Gas Grill. Treat yourself and your guests to the delicious flavorings of the nation’s best burgers, right in your own backyard!

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The Private Selection brand can be found exclusively at the Kroger Family of stores and affiliated stores which include Dillons, Fry's, Gerbes, Pay Less, QFC, Owen's, Ralph's, Smith's, Baker's, City Market, and Fred Meyer.  Don't forget to become a fan of Private Selection on Facebook and be on the look out for recipes, tips, info and even maybe coupons.

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Find your next burger ingredients with the Private Selection Store Locator and get started with making your grill mark.  Let us know what kind of burger you like to make, how you like it (rare, medium rare, well done) and what toppings or seasonings you put in the meat to make it your own!

If you want to learn even more about the Burger Nation Sweepstakes, see the Official Rules for more details as well. 

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Offered only to legal residents of the 50 U.S. including D.C. (except FL, NY, RI, AK and HI), 18 or older. Void in and to residents of FL, NY, RI, AK and HI, and where prohibited by law. Participants must have a participating Kroger Shopper Card which may be obtained without cost. Begins on or about 9:00 a.m. ET April 28, 2014 and ends on or about 8:59 p.m. ET June 6, 2014. Limit 1 entry per person/Shopper Card account/household per day, across all banners. Limit 30 total Sweepstakes entries per person/Shopper Card account/household during the Promotion Period. For prize details, odds of winning, and limitations, see complete Official Rules.


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Gluten Free Greek Meatloaf

1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 cup dry Gluten Free bread crumbs
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 pounds ground lamb
1 cup refrigerated tzatziki sauce

In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. Crumble lamb over mixture and mix well. Shape into a loaf and place in a greased 11-in. x 7-in. baking dish.
Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 55-60 minutes or until no pink remains and a thermometer reads 160°. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Serve with tzatziki sauce. (8 servings).


Artichoke Lemon Chicken "Pasta" with Walnut-Arugula Pesto

Entertaining a group of friends that are on the Paleo diet can be tricky to deliver elegance, flavor, and maintain the perimeters of the diet. This unique pasta dish incorporates homemade pesto made of raw walnuts and spicy arugula to balance the sweetness of the artichokes. Fresh lemon is tossed in to brighten the palate; as zucchini ribbons act as the pasta.

This dish is a two part recipe; the pasta and the pesto. You can definitely utilize the pesto recipe for other uses; one idea is to toss the pesto with the roasted zucchini ribbons and create a flavorful vegetarian Paleo recipe.

Serve the dish with dry oaky wines, if permitted; or tannin rich Syrah blends to complement the complex flavors of the dish.

Serves: 4


For the pesto:

· 2/3 cup raw walnuts, roughly chopped

· 2 cups fresh arugula, roughly chopped, stems too.

· 1/2 cup basil leaves, roughly chopped, stems too.

· 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

· 1 small lemon, zest and juice

· Pinch red chili flakes

· 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

· Kosher salt

For the zucchini ribbons:

· 2 lbs. zucchini, washed

· 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

· Kosher salt to taste

· Fresh cracked black pepper to taste

For the chicken:

· 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast

· 1 (10 oz.) jar artichokes in oil

· 2 small lemons, zest and juice

· 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

· Pinch of red chili flakes

· 1/2 cup vegetable broth

· 3 cloves garlic, minced

· 2 large shallots, thinly sliced

· 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


Make the pesto:

1.) Place the walnuts in a saucepan over medium-low heat and toast for 5 to 7 minutes. Gently shake the pan to evenly coat the heat with the walnuts. Remove from the heat and cool for 5 minutes.

2.) In a large food processor, add the arugula, basil, cooled walnuts, lemon zest and juice, and chili flakes. Pulse 5 to 6 times to break down the ingredients. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil in a thin steady stream to emulsify into the base. Once all of the oil has been added, blend for 30 more seconds.

3.) Transfer the pesto to a container with a fitting lid. Season the pesto with the salt and place a piece of plastic wrap over the top. Cover the pesto with the fitting lid and store in the refrigerator until it is time to use. **Covering the pesto directly with the plastic wrap prevents discoloration while it sits in the refrigerator**

Make the zucchini ribbons:

1.) Heat the oven to 325 F. Line two baking sheets with the olive oil using a pastry brush.

2.) Cut the zucchini horizontally into thin ribbons and divide the ribbons between the baking sheets. You will need to slightly overlap the pieces.
**You can also use a mandolin to slice the zucchini if you have one.

3.) Sprinkle the zucchini pieces, lightly, with the salt and pepper. Place the pans in the oven and roast for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Finishing the dish:

1.) Drain the artichokes and reserve 1 Tablespoon of the oil it was packed in; set aside.

2.) Heat the olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Cut the chicken into 1/4-inch chunks and add to the hot pan. Sear the pieces on all sides and transfer to plate.

3.) Reduce the heat to medium and add the shallots and garlic. Cook for one minute and then add the artichokes, the reserved oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and red chili flakes. Cook for 2 minutes, constantly stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the bits from the bottom of the pan.

4.) Return the chicken to the pan along with the vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer the dish until the broth has almost evaporated and check for salt and pepper.
**Remember, when seasoning the dish, you will be adding the seasoned pesto and seasoned zucchini. It is a good idea to desire a little more salt to the pan to ensure you do not create a salty dish.

5.) Add 3/4 cup of the pesto to the pan and toss to combine; cook for 2 minutes to heat through.

6.) Add the grape tomato halves and toss to combine; adjust the seasoning to your liking.

Serving the dish:

~ Divide the zucchini ribbons between 4 large dinner plates. Top each plate the chicken mixture, add 1 Tablespoon of pesto on top, and serve at once.

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