"Buffalo" Chicken Salad Sandwiches ~ ElephantEats.com

It was such a nice day out today in NY. Warm but breezy. It makes my walk home so nice.

I’m trying to savor these warm, dry days before we get to the so-humid-you-stick-to-your-pants days. Unfortunately, we did have a couple of those in the last two weeks. All I want on days like those is something cold.

"Buffalo" Chicken Salad Sandwiches ~ ElephantEats.com

Ice cream is totally a possibility for dinner on those days. At least for me. But since I have a husband to feed who can’t subsist on dessert alone, I have to come up with other things.

We had some whole wheat rolls lying around from veggie burgers on Memorial day, and since you know I can’t let things go to waste, i had to come up with some use for them.

"Buffalo" Chicken Salad Sandwiches ~ ElephantEats.com

I thought chicken salad would be great, but to kick it up a notch, I added the most delicious sauce on the planet- Frank’s Buffalo Sauce. I seriously could eat that sauce every day on anything.

I had a hard time coming up with what I should call this, because when I did a google search for “Buffalo Chicken Salad,” all I could find was buffalo chicken pieces ON a salad….which totally makes sense although I hadn’t thought of that at all. I wish I could like emphasize that “chicken salad” is one phrase. Oh, I know…”Buffalo” Chicken Salad.

"Buffalo" Chicken Salad Sandwiches ~ ElephantEats.com

That was totally my thought process, by the way. I literally came up with that as I was typing. Now you probably understand why Nate has learned to completely tune me out when I talk, since for me talking actually means voicing my every thought.

Oh well, I guess it’s worth putting up for if you get this for dinner :)

"Buffalo" Chicken Salad Sandwiches ~ ElephantEats.com

“Buffalo” Chicken Salad Sandwiches

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Makes about 6 sandwiches

1 2/3 lbs chicken breast, raw (I guess the same amount cooked if you have leftovers? prob a little less pre-cooked)
4 ribs celery, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 Tbsp lemon juice
6 oz. 2% Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
1/2 cup buffalo sauce
salt and pepper to taste
6 hamburger buns
Romaine lettuce for garnish (optional)

Put chicken in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and heat until chicken is cooked through. I find the easiest way to tell is to take a piece out and cut into it.

Pull chicken out and set on cutting board to cool.

Meanwhile, chop celery. Whisk lemon juice, yogurt, blue cheese, buffalo sauce and s/p. Dump in celery.

When chicken has cooled, chop into small bite-sized pieces and mix with the sauce. Put in fridge to cool.

Top each bun with a lettuce leaf and a large scoop of chicken salad.

Warm Wheatberry, Brussels Sprout Salad with Feta and Crispy Tofu ~ ElephantEats.com

Well, it’s been another whirlwind week. We put an offer on a house on Tuesday, got it accepted (!!!), and did an inspection on Saturday (because it’s an 85 year old house that they’re selling “as-is”). We were mainly concerned about finding a buried oil tank or major structural issues.

Thankfully, there was no below-ground oil tank, and the house was in pretty darn good shape for such an old geezer. There were some issues we’ll have to fix but overall it’s a well-built house.

Our attorney told ust that today should be the end of attorney review, so before the end of the day, we should be under contract!

Warm Wheatberry, Brussels Sprout Salad with Feta and Crispy Tofu ~ ElephantEats.com

It’s a funny story, this house. Basically my realtor was visiting her daughter at college last weekend, so she told me to just go to all the open houses that I wanted to. I had a list in hand and since I only had from 1pm-4pm, I had to quickly go through each of the 8 or so houses. Some I was more interested in than others, but I figured I should at least check out the ones I wasn’t sure of, since I’m totally fine with doing some renovations (then I could really customize the home the way I want it). This house was one of those.

I went in and there were already 2 or 3 families walking through it. Since a 96 year old woman currently lives there (who I met and she seriously looks maybe 75!), it’s decorated as you’d think it would be. I’m pretty sure it hasn’t been updated since the 50s and the first floor is covered in carpet…even in the dining room.

Anyway, to say I got a bad impression was an understatement. I’m really good at looking past the decorating in a house and just looking at the “bones,” but I was in a rush and I just didn’t look very hard. I took one look at the first floor, briefly glanced at the second, and didn’t even think to go in the basement or attic.

Warm Wheatberry, Brussels Sprout Salad with Feta and Crispy Tofu ~ ElephantEats.com

It wasn’t until I finished all my house hunting and came home to assess everything, that I really started to think about this house that I had pretty much dismissed. When I found out there were already several interested parties in it, I had to really think about what I wanted quickly, and realized that this house really had everything I was looking for- great neighborhood, walk to train, not too big or too small, needs updating so I could customize to my liking, character. Basically, it was kind of perfect. And so we decided to put an offer in!

I was so excited to go back to the house on Saturday for the inspection since I didn’t really remember it too well (I had the realtor go back and check it out before we put our offer in). Honestly, it was sooo much better than I remembered. It has gorgeous wood moldings, a beautiful newel post and staircase, hardwood floors, a cute front porch, and an awesome walk-up attic that can totally be finished down the line. So basically, I’m psyched!

Warm Wheatberry, Brussels Sprout Salad with Feta and Crispy Tofu ~ ElephantEats.com

Anyway, with all this mental exertion and stress I’ve had this week, I’ve been craving some hearty, healthy REAL food. I had bought wheatberries the other day at Whole Foods because I love them but don’t think I’ve ever bought them. I figured I’d just come up with some random salad based on what inspired me. I decided on brussels sprouts for the veggie and the rest just came together from there.

It was really delicious and totally just what I needed to make it through the week!

Warm Wheatberry, Brussels Sprout Salad with Feta and Crispy Tofu ~ ElephantEats.com

Warm Wheatberry Brussels Sprout Salad with Feta cheese and Crispy Tofu

Recipe by me

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Makes 4-5 large servings

1 1/3 cup hard wheatberries, uncooked
12 oz. extra firm tofu, drained well, squeezed with paper towels, and cut into bite-sized pieces
10 oz. brussels sprouts, bottoms cut off and thinly sliced
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp white sugar
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, drained and halved
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (plus more for garnish)
salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 425.

Bring 4 1/2 cups well-salted water to a boil. Add wheatberries and cook uncovered on a low simmer for 45 min or until soft but chewy.

While wheatberries are cooking, spray a foil-lined baking sheet with cooking spray. Add tofu and spray again or toss with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and cook flipping the pieces halfway, about 30-40 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

Heat olive oil over med-hi heat in a medium saute pan. Add onion, and cook til soft. Add the sugar and cook, stirring for 1 minute.

Add garlic and cook 2 minutes. Do not let garlic burn. Add vinegar and brussels and cook, stirring occassionally, until brussels are soft but not mushy.

Remove from heat and add the olives. Drain wheatberries and toss with brussels mixture and feta. Salt and pepper to taste, toss in tofu and serve warm.


Peach and Arugula Salad

There’s a lovely blogging group, that you may or may not know about, called the Love Bloghop. Every month they highlight a seasonal ingredient and we all link up together so you can see everyone’s recipes. I’ve participated many times, but as you know, life has a way of keeping you busy…and I think this is my first time back in several months!

I really love doing these bloghops, not just because of the extra exposure one gets, but also because it’s a great way to discover delicious, new recipes from all over the web in one convenient place!

Peach and Arugula Salad

In recent months, I have become obsessed, perhaps even infatuated, with watermelon salad. I combine juicy, delicious watermelon atop a bed of arugula, sprinkle with some mint (or basil), goat cheese, and a drizzle of oil and balsamic vinegar, and I’m in heaven.

Seriously, you can ask Nate, I ate this salad for dinner every night for at least 2 weeks straight. But now that peaches are equally juicy and in season, I couldn’t help myself from buying a few the other day. And you know what? They are just as good, if not better in this same simple salad.

Peach and Arugula Salad

The bitter arugula, sweet peaches, creamy goat cheese and fragrant mint combine in the most amazing way. Also, at Nate’s insistance, I added some candied pecans on top.

If it looks like there isn’t mint in my pictures, it’s because I forgot it at the market when I photographed this and wasn’t about to go back and get it. But trust me, you don’t want to leave it out!

Peach and Arugula Salad

I join with the following lovely hosts this month for #peachlove!

Becky @ Baking and Cooking, A Tale of Two Loves  
Betsy @ Java Cupcake
T.R. @ No One Likes Crumbley Cookies
Jessica @ Oh Cake
Shelia @ Pippi’s in the Kitchen Again
Helena @ Rico sin Azúcar 
Linda @ Savoring Every Bite 
Liz @ That Skinny Chick Can Bake!!! 
EA Stewart @ The Spicy RD 
Susan @ The Wimpy Vegetarian
Serena @ Teaspoon of Spice Serena

Please join in on the #peachlove fun by linking up any peach recipe from the month of August 2012. Don’t forget to link back to this post, so that your readers know to come stop by the #peachlove event! The twitter hashtag is #peachlove :).

Recipe is below linkup!

Arugula Salad with Peaches, Goat Cheese, Mint, and Candied Pecans

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Serves 2

1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 Tbsp sugar
3 cups arugula
1 ripe and juicy peach, sliced
3 Tbsp crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar

Put chopped pecans in a small saute pan over med-hi heat. Sprinkle with the sugar. Stir occassionally until sugar melts and coats pecans. Turn the candied nuts out onto a piece of tinfoil to cool.

Put arugula and mint in a medium-sized bowl and toss with the oil and vinegar. Add peaches and goat cheese and toss to combine. Divide on plates and sprinkle with pecans

Corn and tomato salad with basil

I apologize again for the lack of blog posts. I think this past week was the first time I went an entire week without posting and while it took some stress off of me, I was sad to break my post-at-least-once-per-week streak. Oh well, hopefully things will slow down after the wedding and gvive me more time to devote to this little blog. But on to the recipe…

Before the summer’s bounty of sweet, juicy corn and bright flavorful tomatoes is gone, you MUST make this.

It’s also a good way to use up some of the basil that’s taking over your herb garden. If that’s the case, I’m really jealous…I want a garden so badly.

I would create an indoor herb garden but my cat would eat everything I grew and then probably throw it up all over my living room. Does anyone have a solution for growing things indoors when there are cats around? One of my friends suggested maybe hanging the herbs in containers on the wall. That could definitely work, I’m just trying to figure out what type of containers I could use. Also, my apartment walls don’t take screws very well, only nails, so it’d have to be lightweight. I dunno if it’s worth the effort.

Corn and tomato salad with basil

Aaaanyway…the original recipe I based this from also added mozzarella and scallions to the dish, but I don’t like scallions and I really wanted this to be a nice fresh, low-cal side dish. I thought the cheese was unecessary since I’d be serving protein with it anyway.

It resulted in the most delicious, juicy, fresh summer salad you could imagine. I LOVE basil. Honestly, I think I could sprinkle a shoe with basil and it would taste summery, although this probably tastes a bit better than that. Nate and I couldn’t stop raving about this simple little dish.

Make this alongside some fish or chicken for your next meal!

Corn and tomato salad with basil

Oh and I almost forgot to mention, you NEED this tool in your kitchen if you don’t already have it:

Kuhn Rikon Corn Zipper


I used to think this was stupid because you could just use a knife to strip all the kernels off. But after making a lot of corn recipes this summer and having the kernels fly all over the kitchen (I know you know what im talking about), I sucked it up and bought one. Actually I used a gift certificate so I didn’t even feel guilty about it.

Anyway, this could be one of my all-time greatest kitchen purchases. Seriously. It makes it SO much quicker, neater, and easier to de-kernel your cobs!

Fresh Corn and Tomato Salad with Basil

Adapted from the Food Network

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makes about 5 cups

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 ears fresh corn, husked (about 4 cups corn kernels)
2 cups red or orange grape tomatoes, halved
1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves, chopped

Whisk the vinegar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil, starting with a few drops and then adding the rest in a steady stream, to make a smooth dressing.

Shear off the corn kernels with a sharp knife over a bowl. Toss in the tomatoes. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat. Cover and let set for 15 minutes or up to 2 hours (even good immediately!). Before serving stir in basil.

Tex mex pasta salad

Here’s another no-cook recipe coming your way! Ok, well I guess you technically have to boil the pasta, but you don’t have to turn on your oven.

This is a nice twist on the traditional pasta salad. The vinegar-based one, I mean.

I don’t really understand the mayo-based pasta salad. Maybe because I didn’t grow up eating it? I always take a bite thinking I’m going to like it and then I don’t. I guess maybe I think it’s going to be like an alfredo sauce or something but it’s actually kind of tangy. I think maybe I don’t mind the taste so much but I just get thrown off because it’s not what I’m expecting.

Tex mex pasta salad

Anyway, non-mayo pasta salads are much healthier…AND they’re good for picnics! I don’t want you to go making something and getting people sick because the mayo sat in the sun too long. And I especially don’t want you to blame it on me.

I suppose I’m a bit late for you to make this for 4th of July, but I’m sure you have plenty of upcoming summer bbq’s that you could bring this to….or you may eat a little too much while doing “quality control” taste-testing and not have any left to bring so you just have to keep it for yourself.

Oh well, these things happen.

Tex mex pasta salad

On another note, Saturday is my birthday!!! My parents are coming into the city and we’re going to see a concert by the singer/songwriter who will be playing at our wedding, David Berkeley, so I’m pretty excited.

Also, Nate ordered me a birthday cake from this little bakery near us called Two Little Red Hens. I got to choose exactly what I wanted and so I decided to go with an orange cake with chocolate pudding filling and orange buttercream frosting. Um, yeah, I know. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. I’ll be sure to take pics and tell you how it was since there won’t be enough to go around ;)

Vegetarian Tex-Mex Pasta Salad

adapted from Cooking Light

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Serves 10-12

1 pound uncooked pasta- i like wagon wheels :)
1 1/2-2 cups preshredded Mexican blend cheese
2 cups chopped seeded tomato
1 cup chopped bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup sliced ripe olives
1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
2 Tbsp water
1 (1.25-ounce) package 40%-less-sodium taco seasoning (such as Old El Paso)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lime

for next day:
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
salt to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain; set aside.

Combine pasta, cheese, and next 7 ingredients (through corn) in a large bowl.

Combine water, taco seasoning, vinegar, oil and lime juice. Whisk well. Pour over pasta mixture; toss gently to coat. 

If you make a day ahead, stir in 2 Tbsp oil, 2 Tbsp vinegar and salt to taste.

*This is best made a day ahead of time.