Spinach Salad with Spicy Pineapple Dressing

Steak isn’t the only way for me to add iron into my diet – another option is spinach. Spinach is also the more heart friendly way to do it too. 😉 So with more red meat recipes, there’s also a chance for more salad nights!

I found this particular recipe when I was going through my very first Secret Recipe Club assignment. And now that this is the second recipe I’ve made from Lynsey’s blog – I am willing to bet my other pinned recipes from her will also be a big hit.

This salad recipe called out to me not only because of the iron rich spinach, but because of the pineapple dressing!

Spinach Salad with Spicy Pineapple Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 2 large chicken breasts, cut in half length-wise so they’re thin
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 1/4 C cubed fresh pineapple, divided use
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 C fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced

Steps:

  1. Season chicken with chili powder, salt, and pepper. Grill 4 minutes on each side, or until chicken is cooked through. Set aside.
  2. In a blender combine cilantro, jalapeno, garlic, half of the pineapple, orange juice, and vinegar. Pulse until smooth. With the blender running, stream in the olive oil. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  3. In a large bowl toss the spinach with the bell pepper, onion, and remaining pineapple.
  4. To serve: distribute salad, top with chicken, and dress with pineapple dressing.

*This recipe is adapted from Lynsey at http://www.lynseylous.com/2012/05/grilled-chicken-and-spinach-salad-with.html?m=1*

 Pineapple Salad

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BBQ-Pineapple Pulled Pork

Thanks to the invention of the slow cooker there couldn’t be any easier dinner than pulled pork.

It’s great for a crowd and fool proof. And all you need are two essential ingredients – pork and barbecue sauce. From there you can add even more flavor with a dry rub if you so desire. And sometimes it’s fun to add an extra ingredient or two.

In this instance, the addition of pineapple juice into the barbecue sauce! My mom actually made this and pureed some fresh pineapple in place of the juice. Dad said that he could actually taste the pineapple. When we made it using juice I couldn’t pick out the pineapple, but I’m sure it added to the sweetness.

Another wonderful thing about pulled pork, is that it makes for fabulous leftovers whether you simply reheat and place on a bun for more sandwiches or re-purpose it in a quesadilla like I did. Other great ideas include stuffed baked potatoes or pizzas!

BBQ-Pineapple Pulled Pork

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 2 1/2 lb pork loin
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 C pineapple juice or pineapple puree
  • 1 C barbecue sauce
  • hamburger buns

Steps:

  1. In a small bowl combine brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, S+P. Rub over pork.
  2. Place pork in a lightly greased slow cooker.
  3. In a small bowl combine garlic, pineapple, and barbecue sauce. Pour over pork.
  4. Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours. (If you’re home, flip pork loin halfway through cooking time)
  5. Shred pork and serve atop hamburger buns.

*This recipe is adapted from Danelle at http://www.letsdishrecipes.com/2013/08/slow-cooker-pineapple-barbecue-pulled-pork-sandwiches.html*

BBQ-Pineapple Pulled Pork

Chicken and Pineapple Kebobs with Honey Chipotle Glaze

The reason I love to cook is the same as any other chef and home-cook. I like to make people happy, and a great way to do that is through food. Just bring in a plate of cookies to the office and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

When I decide on a recipe, I’ve got one person’s interest on my mind – my husband’s. I know what type of flavors he likes and try to find something that will make him happy. This dish did just that.

“What are we having for dinner tonight?”

“Chicken and Pineapple Skewers with a Honey Chipotle sauce”

“You know me so well.”

Stuart is addicted to pineapple, he likes meat of any kind, is obsessed with honey, and enjoys chipotle spiciness. There’s no way this could go wrong. (And it didn’t!) If you’ve never had grilled pineapple, you really should try it – it brings out the sweetness of the fruit while toning down the tartness.

Chicken and Pineapple Kebobs with Honey Chipotle Glaze

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 fresh pineapple, cubed
  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 – 3/4 C honey, to taste

Steps

  1. Soak 10-12 bamboo skewers in water for 15-30 minutes.
  2. Assemble kebobs by alternating chicken and pineapple.
  3. Grill kebobs until chicken is cooked through.
  4. In a blender, puree chipotle peppers, mustard, oil, salt, and honey.
  5. Brush cooked kebobs with the glaze and reserve some for dipping.

*This recipe is adapted from http://bsugarmama.com/chicken-pineapple-skewers-with-honey-chipotle-glaze/*

Chicken and Pineapple Kebobs with Honey Chipotle Glaze 1

Chicken and Pineapple Kebobs with Honey Chipotle Glaze 2

Chicken and Pineapple Kebobs with Honey Chipotle Glaze 3

How To Cut A Pineapple

About 9 months ago my husband drank the CrossFit Kool-Aid. (Really, I can’t complain!) The CrossFit gym on base has classes during the lunch hour, and if I don’t pack him a lunch he’ll run to Einsteins Bros. Bagels on his way back to his desk. In an effort to stay healthy, he always gets the fruit cup in addition to his bagel sandwich. (Fruit with lunch is an Everson household rule) The fruit cup has pineapple in it, and an addiction was born. He always examines all available fruit cups and buys the one with the most pineapple.

When you buy a pineapple from the store, there’s usually a tag on one of the leaves telling you how to cut the fruit. If you’ve tried this, you know as well as I do that it’s not as easy as the cartoon drawings make it seem. And I was determined to find an easier way if Stuart was going through a whole pineapple every 5 days!

For a while I’d cut the entire pineapple into circles, and then trim off the skin and cut around the core. Although this method is simple, it’s time consuming and very sticky.

Here’s how I do it now!

Here’s what you’ll need: a sharp knife

Here’s what you’ll do: Chop off the top and bottom of the pineapple and stand it up on the now flat bottom. Run your knife between the flesh of the pineapple and the skin. Cut the flesh of the pineapple away from the core. Cut into cubes.

How to Cut a Pineapple 1 How to Cut a Pineapple 2

How to Cut a Pineapple 3 How to Cut a Pineapple 4

Fun fact: Eating an entire pineapple 1-3 days before getting your wisdom teeth removed will help to prevent swelling! There is a chance that doing so will affect your taste buds’ opinion of the fruit though.