Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

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Posts Tagged ‘easy meal’

My Chicken Salad Recipe

Posted by terrepruitt on October 16, 2017

Last month we had some really hot days where it never cooled down. My idea was to not cook when it was really hot, but I didn’t know what to make. I mean, part of staying cool meant NOT getting in the car and going to the store! So, I was using what I had. I had decided to make chicken salad but give it a Mexican inspired flavor. I posted about it in September. In that post I mentioned my “regular” chicken salad. Well, I had a hankering for that the other day and I thought since I was making it, I might as well share the recipe.

I know there are probably a million variations on chicken salad. I used to never like it because of the celery . . . but I don’t use celery. Here is what I do.


Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitChicken Salad

1 12 ounce can of chicken (about 8 to 10 ounces)*
1/4 onion
½ cup pickles (4 stackers)
1 green bell pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp garlic salt
2 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise (between 1/4 cup and 1/3 cup)
sprinkle of pepper

Drain the liquid out of the can, then dump the chicken in a bowl. If you buy Kirkland canned chicken you have to use a fork to break up the chunks of meat. Chop the onion and pickles. Chop the bell pepper. Add all the chopped ingredients into the bowl with the chicken. Stir it up. Sprinkle the garlic powder and salt over the mixture. Then mix it up. Add the mayo . . . more or less depending on how mayo-y you like your chicken salad. A sprinkle of pepper (unless you like pepper, then add more).

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitMix it all up. If you have time . . . let it set at least 20 minutes. This will let the flavors meld a bit. But if you are in a rush go for it.


*The can is 12 ounces but a lot of it is water, so I think you end up with about 8 to 10 ounces of chicken. So if you are using chicken that is not in a can, I would start there. Also, the ONLY canned chicken I will buy and eat is Kirkland. I have tried other brands and the meat does not look good. It looks dark and there looks like there are a lot of “parts” and not just chicken meat. So I ONLY use Kirkland (Costco).


I like chicken salad because you can eat it on bread, making a chicken salad sandwich. Or you can eat it on crackers. Today I actually had some in a tortilla. You can fill up a lettuce cup and eat it that way. Or you can just eat it with a fork.

Unfortunately if you put it on bread you kind of have to eat it right away otherwise the bread gets really soggy. Because the combination of mayo, bell peppers, and pickles this mixtures get pretty watery. So, my hubby doesn’t get chicken salad sandwiches in his lunch. (Sorry, Honey!)

Just like I asked in my other chicken salad post . . . what do you put in your chicken salad? And what do you put your chicken salad on/in?

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Posted by terrepruitt on January 25, 2017

I was trying to think of something to make for dinner with the limited meat that we had in the house.  We have BEEF, but I haven’t gone there yet.  I need to figure out how to cook the beef that we have, but I was not interested in figuring that out at that time.  So I was trying to find something to cook that didn’t require much meat (we had a leftover pork chop) or any meat.  I remembered that my husband liked the flatbread I made once, so I decided to make it.  We had ricotta, I would put that on top, chop up the pork chop and put it on top, then add a sprinkle of mozzarella.  Well, as I was making the flatbread and I said to myself, “one tablespoon cornmeal” it dawned on me that I wasn’t using cornMEAL, I was using cornSTARCH.  That is probably why the flatbread turned out so dense.  I decided to continue since when I had made it last time, my hubby liked it.  And it works, it just probably has a different consistency than if I used actual cornMEAL.

So this isn’t really a recipe post (well not a NEW recipe) it is me just admitting and explaining the substitution.  It works fine.  And the pork chopped up and spread on it with a little mozzarella on top of that was really good.  The flat bread is very dense, that is why I ended up calling it Flat-Biscuit-Shortbread.  One of these days I might think to buy cornMEAL and make the recipe as per the real ingredients!

The information on the internet about the difference between cornstarch and cornmeal is not very detailed.  They are obviously both made from corn, but one (cornstarch) is made from grinding just the endosperm of the kernel into a fine powder.  The other (cornmeal) is made from grinding the whole kernel.  Cornmeal is not ground as fine as corn flour.  Yet, Wiki does go on to say that the most common cornmeal in the United States “has the husk and germ of the maize kernel almost completely removed”.

Cornstarch is usually used for thickening sauces and it does not have the strong corn flavor that cornmeal has.  Could be because it is not the whole kernel.  I am familiar with cornmeal being used in batters to coat things, like corndogs.  And used for things like cornbread.  There are many, many, many uses for it, but as you might have guessed, since I don’t have any, I don’t use it.

I am making a note of the recipe below so that I know how to do it with the cornSTARCH and the less oil . . . . I forgot that this last time, but I added a lot more flavor to it:


Flat-Biscuit-Shortbread  (the way I want to have it available to make)

• 1 1/2 cups + 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/3 cup olive oil
• 1/2 cup water
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 teaspoon basil
• 1 teaspoon garlic salt

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitCombine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, garlic powder, basil, and garlic salt in a bowl.  Stir until ingredients are well mixed.  Add olive oil and water mixing until all the ingredients are incorporated and it forms a smooth dough. Form the dough into a ball or a log – something to get you started into the final shape you want.  Place the dough onto a piece of parchment paper large enough to fit the pan you are going to bake it on.  Then roll out the dough until it’s about 1/4 inch thick in the shape you want. Lift the parchment paper with the dough on it and place it on your baking sheet.

Bake it in the oven at 400° F for 12 minutes until the edges start to turn brown.

Suggested topping instructions:

Remove the flat-biscuit-shortbread and top with ricotta cheese and a sprinkle of salt.  Then place back in the oven for three minutes.

Then top it with whatever else you want.  I once used Leeks and Mushrooms.  Another time I used pork.


What about you?  Do you use cornmeal?  Do you use cornstarch?

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Easy Dinner – Yes, Please!

Posted by terrepruitt on September 8, 2011

After I taught my Nia Class in Willow Glen I had some shopping to do.  After shopping I rushed home because I was going to meet a friend in the afternoon back the way of my class, but I thought would shower so as not to offend her.  It was pretty warm here.  As is normal for a hot day, the late afternoon early evening is the hottest.  So as I was driving home from my visit I was not looking forward to cooking dinner.  I had chicken thawed in the fridge, but what else to cook?  I ended up visiting longer than I had planned and getting stuck in traffic on the way home so I didn’t want to stop to get anything to add to dinner because it was already late.  All the way home I was wondering what to cook.  When I got home it was really hot.  I thought it would be best not to turn on the oven or the stove.  I had an idea that maybe using my electric skillet would be cooler.  I do believe it was.  Although this is a common dish cooked in a crock pot or the oven.  When you have limited ingredients sometimes dinner is really easy.  I have found that with limited ingredients I come up with come pretty good meals.  Some end up being regularly cooked meals.

Ingredients:dance exercise, Nia teacher, Nia class, one pot dinner, easy dinner, healthy dinner, meat veggies rice dinner

-A little over a cup of rice
-32 oz broth
-1/2 cup of sherry
-1 tablespoon of worchestire sauce
-1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
-1 tablespoon marjoram
-1/2 tablespoon powdered garlic
-two large chicken breast (skinless, boneless)
-bag of green beans
-salt and pepper to taste**

I put the rice in the skillet with about half of the broth and turn the skillet on to its highest setting.  I started to cut up the chicken into bite size pieces.  When most of the broth boiled off, I added the rest of the broth, the sherry, the worchestire sauce, the soy sauce and stirred, then I added the marjoram.  I turned the heat down to the lowest setting.  I finished cutting up the chicken, then put it in with the rice I sprinkled the garlic on the chicken with some salt.  I turned it to the middle setting.  I let the chicken cook until it was almost done, then I added the green beans.  I stirred them into the dish and let it cook until they were done.

If you know me, you know I don’t like pepper — at all.  But my friend gave me some smoked pepper, which seems very different than regular black pepper.  It helped finish the dish off perfectly!  I brought the grinder to the table though so we could pepper our food separately.  My husband loves pepper.

I wasn’t planning on posting about this so I wasn’t keeping track of the time, but I think it all took about 30 to 40 minutes.  That is what I will plan on in the future, but I will keep an eye on it to see.  I am looking forward to using different veggies.  Frozen green beans is all that I had.

The last time I cooked an all in one dish I used the oven and I used brown rice and canned soup.  The rice was a bit crunchy still but I didn’t want to cook it longer because the chicken was done.  So that is why with this one I started the rice first, although this time I used white rice and it could have been less done.

I am working my way away from using canned soup so that is why I used broth and it came out great.  With the oven cooked dish I used broccoli.  I am looking forward to trying different veggies in the skillet.

I had forgotten about the electric skillet even though my parents use theirs all the time.  I am glad it was hot and I was at a loss of how to cook dinner because now I am going to start using my electric skillet more often.

Do you have an electric skillet?  If you do, what do you cook in it?  Do you have any favorite one pot recipes?

**09/10/11 — This actually made quite so we ate it a second night. On the third night it seemed as if all that was left was rice and green beans so I sauteed some baby bok choy and a can of chicken then put the left over rice and green beans in the pan and heated it up. Wow! I think I am a fan of baby bok choy!!!

09/12/11 — I didn’t take a picture while I was cooking it because I didn’t think of posting about it.  So the next night when we were having it for dinner I decided to at least take a picture of the food and the electric skillet, even though the food is on my dinner plate.  🙂

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Veggie Topped Tortilla

Posted by terrepruitt on May 17, 2011



I love tortillas.  I love that they come in so many different flavors and ways.  Depending upon your nutritional needs and health goals you can pretty much get almost any kind of tortilla you want.  There are corn tortillas.  They can be white corn, yellow corn, or corn with flavors.  There are flour tortillas, wheat, whole wheat, multi grain, or white.  There are low carb tortillas, low fat tortillas, spinach tortillas, tomato tortillas, fortified tortillas, high fiber tortillas, gluten-free tortillas, low-sodium tortillas, and the list goes on I am sure.

There are probably as many tortillas as there are ways you can cook with them.  I think I have proclaimed my love for them before.  Here is one of my favorite ways (why yes, yes I do have MANY favorite ways to eat a tortilla.  And this is ONE!  🙂 )  This is a tortilla that I had warmed in the oven, then I put cheese, onions, and grape tomatoes on it.  Then I heated up until the cheese was melted.  Then I put the spinach on it.  Then I put the mushrooms on it that I had cooked.

This is actually what my husband ate.  Mine was not as colorful as I did not have the tomatoes or onions.  And I cooked my spinach a little so it was wilted and wilted spinach does not make as pretty of a picture was the non-wilted kind.

Love this.  Just looking at it I want to go have one.  To me this is an easy meal.  Put a bit of cheese and load a tortilla with veggies. Have more veggies on the side.  Yay.  Perfect!

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