Saucy Chicken Salad with Gator Ron’s Wing sauce

(Serves 3-4)

Ingredients:

1 lb chicken breast

½ green apple

1/3 red onion

1 stalk celery

6 tbs Gator Ron’s Sauce (of your choosing)

2 tbs veganaise (or mayonnaise)

4-5 sprigs of fresh cilantro

garlic powder

pepper

salt

 

Chicken prep:

  1. In a small bowl, place raw chicken breasts. Lightly dust with salt, pepper, and garlic powder (just enough to be seen, not a thick coat). Pour 4 tbs of the Gator Ron’s sauce of your choice into the bowl; I’ll be using Angel Wing Spicy Sauce. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Take a small baking pan or pie pan (I use an 8×8 brownie pan) and cover the inside with aluminum foil. Remove chicken from the fridge and place into aluminum covered baking pan. In some baked chicken recipes they recommend removing the marinade. I prefer to pour half in to help keep the chicken moist.
  4. Place chicken in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes. Tricks to telling its done: clear liquid runs from the meat or the traditional “is it pink in the middle?” test. Aka when its not pink, its done.
  5. Remove chicken from the oven and set it out to cool.

 

Veggie prep:

  1. Thinly slice your onions and green apple. Dice into small pieces (about half the size of a pinky nail).
  2. Cut celery stalk down the center. Dice separated stalk into thin pieces, similarly sized to onion and apple.
  3. Tare leaves of cilantro from cilantro sprigs. Chop finely. These leaves can also be torn by hand.

 

Chicken Salad prep:

  1. Take warm chicken and chop into small, bite-sized pieces. Place into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add onion, celery, apple, cilantro, 2 tbs veganaise, and 2 tbs Gator Ron’s sauce.
  3. Top with pepper, to personal preference levels. I use a pepper grinder for the fresh oils of the pepper corns and usually max 4 cranks of the grinder. I do not add salt or garlic powder, as they are both already included in the sauce.
  4. Using a spoon or tongs, toss ingredients until finely blended, creating a creamy orange color (with the wing sauce), and evenly distributed diced ingredients.

 

Personal preference on sandwich prep?: Spicy Sweet mustard, avocado, tomato, and spinach on a multi seed/sprouted seed bread.

Gator Ron’s Sauces and Mixes

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From: Bethesda, MD

Special Facts: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, No GMO’s, low sodium, low sugar, supports ALS research

Why else I love em: Because their story is unbelievable, their BBQ sauce doesn’t give me a sugar rush, and I finally like Bloody Mary’s.

And their story, in brief….

 

          When I first began searching for my ideal clients, I’d spend my breaks (at the grocery store) getting to know the vendors while they demoed.  It only took 5 minutes to know that I would be pursuing them as one of my first clients:

          Ron the pharmaceutical rep.  Constance the administrator for medical professionals.  He tried forever to get her number, tried to get her on a date–she was quite the lovely lady.  Finally, one day, she buckled, “Just come accross the street, one drink”, he said, after reaching for advice from a doctor in her office.  That one drink and the rest became their history, their legacy.  They moved into a home together in their small community in Bethesda and began their neighborly ways.

          Ron became known as the sauce man; holiday boat parties, community events, or special delivery random batches to neighbors.  He would make extras just so they could take some home at the end of the night.  Ron would even make a very special gluten-free batch for his neighbor, Debbie, just so she could keep having her favorite wings.  This man loved nothing more than to share his creations with his community, even if it did mean buying the expensive gluten-free soy sauce just for that one neighbor.

Although it had always been his dream to start his own sauce company, the dream was set aside after being diagnosed with ALS, the degenerative nerve disease also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”.  After two years fighting the illness Ron passed away and his wife, Connie, made a decision: I hate my job, I love my husband…I will build his legacy.

So here she is today, with that gluten-free neighbor Debbie, working on building Ron’s legacy.  They have taken his recipes and learned to make them in large batches.  To make them all natural they’ve switched to fresh horseradish, making the tastes even stronger than before, yet staying true to Ron’s vision (and of course, taste preferences).

          Gator Ron’s core staff consists these two women and Debbie’s husband, Ron’s best friend and grill partner Steve.  They carry his story and continue to shed light on the impact of ALS.  Their sauces are not only a delicious, they’re inspiring.

Gluten-free–Dairy free–GMO free–low sodium–low sugar–LOCAL–aaaand…

A portion of the proceeds go to ALS research at the John Hopkins Robert Packard Center.

And yes, it is a majority of their profits.

 

Where can you Can Find this Product?

Annapolis:  Annebeth’s of Maryland Avenue, Whole Foods Annapolis

Baltimore:  Eddies Market, Eddies Liquors, Whole Foods Harbor East, Whole Foods Mt. Washington

Sis’s Meatballs for spaghetti yum

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1 lb ground beef

3 cloves of garlic (crushed/diced)

3 tbs Worcestershire sauce

5 fresh basil leaves (finely chopped)

1 tsp italian herb

1 ½ tsp lemon pepper

½ tsp crushed red pepper

1 pinch of sea salt

 

  1. In a small bowl, mix together salt, lemon pepper, red pepper, italian herb. Add crushed garlic and basil leaves.
  2. In a medium bowl, place ground beef. Add Worcestershire sauce and spice mixture. Press ground beef firmly in the palm of your hand, working to round the shape.
  3. In a small saute pan, place a thin layer of oil, on medium heat. Once the oil is heated, add the meat balls. Once the bottom of the meatballs has browned, rotate the meatballs onto different sides to repeat the browning. As the pan fills with fat from the meat, there are two options: leave the fat in, hope it doesnt break the meatballs up (rare, but it happens), or drain it in a can.
  4. Turn the heat to low. Pour a ladle of sauce into the pan to keep the meatballs from drying out and adding to their overall flavor.  
  5. Remove from the heat and enjoy!

Best served with my Ma’s Spaghetti sauce.

Ma’s Second Generation Sauce with Zucchini Linguini

Growing up, my family always called me the little Panda Bear.  “You might as well just stick to bamboo”, Ma would say.  This sauce is a dish that one recipe that she could always get me to eat and, as I grew to love cooking, made it my own.  This is the every kitchen friendly version (aka a little less time cooking, a lot more time eating) and is a variation of the very sauce I may one day bottle and share. At this point I have to, considering I have old friends, after 2 years without it, still asking to have it shipped to the west coast!

The Zucchini linguini is a brilliant substitute for the carb-filled pasta that I love so dearly. As much as I love those delish, wheaty noodles, its not necessarily the best for you.  As someone who never thought she’d find a way to fill the hole pasta had put in her heart, this version of linguini can trick your taste buds, add more veggies to your daily diet, and make room on the plate for tasty garlic bread!

Sauce Prep:

Ingredients:

1 quart grape tomatoes
1 can peeled whole tomatoes (home prepped or store bought)
1 jar of simple, pre-made sauce (for a time effective meal use pre-made)
½ bulb of garlic
2 tsp Italian Herbs
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Oregano (dried or fresh, to taste)
Fresh Basil

  1. Pour olive oil into your sauce/sauté pan. Add two shakes of each: oregano, italian herbs, and crushed red pepper flakes to the oil and turn the burner to a medium heat. Adding the herbs to the oil as it heats creates an infused oil, helping to increase the over-all flavor of the dish. Make sure not to raise the heat past medium, as the additional heat changes the oils structure and reduces the health benefits of the olive oil.
  2. Slice the grape/cherry tomatoes in half. When the oil heat rises, distribute the oil around the pan and add the cherry tomatoes to the pan. Cover and let sit on medium-low heat for 5 minutes.
  3. While the grape tomatoes cook, drain additional juice from the peeled whole tomato can. Add whole tomatoes to the pan. Using spatula, cut whole tomatoes into halves/quarters and stir.
  4. Add ½-1 jar of pre-made sauce. This is to act as a base and increases the amount of time spent table-side, rather than counter-side. It is a trick I learned with my mother after a long day of work. I learned with Classico Spicy Red Pepper but have since switched to the most fairly priced local sauce at the Whole Foods. They will often have a sale on at least one sauce, giving opportunity to try new things without too much variation in price or flavor. Remember, its a base sauce, so nothing too fancy! Having too much in the base can ruin the overall flavor. When in doubt, try the Roasted Red Pepper WholeFoods sauce.**To the locals: in the market for a good local sauce at a reasonable price, comment and email with suggestions!**
  5. Add a thin layer of italian herbs and oregano to the top of the mixture. Turn the heat to low and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. This is a good point to do your zucchini prep (see below).
  6.  Using a garlic press, crush half a bulb of garlic (approx 8-12 clove according to personal taste). You can also finely chop the garlic. Add the garlic to the sauce and cover the sauce pan. Prepare to serve in the next 5-10 minutes. This will make it similar to a fra diavolo sauce, identified in italian cooking by garlic and crushed red pepper. This is also a good point to add crushed red pepper to your dish, if your a super spicy fan like I just so happen to be.
  7. Right before serving, add finely chopped basil to the sauce (added towards the end to preserve flavor).

 

 

Veggie Prep:

**If it is your first time you may want to peel the skin of the zucchini. They can be a bit more firm, but, like most produce, contain much of the nutrients in the vegetable. This will also change whether you decide to boil the zucchini or not.**

  1. Using a julienne peeler, start from the top of zucchini (where the vine was once attached), to the bottom. This will create strands of the vegetable, similar to the width and length of the traditional linguini.
  2. You have two options from here: you can boil the zucchini linguini for one minute or eat it raw. Enjoying it raw will increase the nutrient density of your dish, but requires that the zucchini be tossed with the sauce. Either way you will not be ruinin’ the flavor!

Le Final Dish:

  1. Toss the zucchini linguini with your delicious sauce and enjoy!

**Topping suggestions: Try parmigiano reggiano, for classic italian prep, Cherry Glen’s Crotin (grated) for a health cheesie parm substitute, or cracked hemp heart seeds for a vegan substitute.
A finely chopped basil leaf or two makes for a great color atop the red for presentation. **

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See the next post for Sis’s meatball recipe!

What’s local:

Tomatoes and Garlic: The Trusted TableBasil and Zucchini: Fleet Street Market; Oregano: my buddy Joeys garden

A brief about me…

Why one blogs:  to express to the world what makes them passionate.  

 

Why I never blogged: because I thought they were dumb.

 

Why I really never blogged: because I wasn’t exactly sure what made me so passionate.

 

How I figured it out:  a pushy (yet wonderful) best friend, an encouraging community, and a treadmill.  Somehow the treadmill created clarity? Thank you exercise!

 

and what I shoot for…

 

To encourage innovative entrepreneurs by creating a platform from which to be seen by our community.  

Oh yeah! And to make tasty recipes with the food and ingredients I find from the places around me.  Enjoy!

The Trusted Table: online grocery goodness

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Ever just really not feel like getting up and going to le grocery store?

How about feeling pretty over trying to find actual local produce?

 

While you try and wiggle through the sea of oblivious shoppers, some who might see you there, others who have just run over your heels with a cart, you search for things labeled organic. That shopping list you’ve prepped, so familiar with your weekly regular meals, becomes overwhelmed with rando add ons and slow, yet steady, the weekly planned meals fall through the crack and you end up with a basket of less than sustainable mix and match meals.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some impulse buying. I love throwing in new ingredients, trying new things….but I do not like having my heels run over. I really don’t. More importantly, I do not like having to question where my food comes from. Quite frankly, I’d love if someone would just do that for me, make sure the farms are local, find me good, organic, produce, and bring the foods right to my door. I’d still get to innovate my meals, but me and my heals would be safe. Why doesn’t that magical grocery store exist??

 

Oh wait…..it does.

 

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They were the very first company in Annapolis to really wake me up to our growing organic farm community. Originally stationed in the Market House, they have changed their face a bit, cleaned up their requirements (if that was even possible), and reopened as The Trusted Table! Their product lines go beyond just CSA boxes and include anything from meats and seafood to dairy and dry pasta. Each week, they find the products that our local, organic, farmers have to offer and post them up, starting Sunday, for you to order. What am I ordering this week from the Trusted Table?

 

  • A POUND of habaneros to make some homemade hot sauce!
  • A lb of zucchini for my summer favorite: zucchini linguini
  • A lb of full chicken wings to use with my favorite Gator Ron’s Angel wing sauce
  • Salmon to make some delish fish tacos
  • One head of garlic
  • and a small produce box!

 

Every thursday, I look forward to the delivery! Stress free, guilt free groceries appear on my door and I thank the magic foodie gods for all of their good graces in my tasty meals!

Eat well. Eat happy.