Blackened Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps with Croissant Croutons

These wraps kind of came about by accident…I was in the mood for Caesar salad.

I had leftover croissants.

I had just made blackened chicken wings.

I had finally found – and bought! – rice paper wrappers at my local health food store. I’d been looking for them for awhile, about to order them from Amazon when there they were. I’d been itching to wrap up something in them.

And so this crazy idea begins to form.

The only thing I didn’t do is make my own Caesar dressing – I’ll post separately about that. Today, we use store bought dressing.

You’ll need some cooked chicken – we like to use blackened. Make my wings or use any chicken you like!

Croissant croutons are soooo good. If you’ve never made them, please make them now. They hardly need anything added before baking because, well, they’re croissants. A little garlic powder and olive oil add flavor but let that buttery goodness shine through.

A little Romaine lettuce and you’re off to the races!

Rice paper wrappers are easy to handle, and practically wrap themselves since they are sticky and stretchy.

Pack these in your kids’ lunches for a twist on the typical sandwich!

And now that I’ve finally found these rice paper wrappers, you’ll be seeing more ideas – but start by making these!

P.S. Without the croutons, these are gluten free.

 

Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps

Blackened Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps with Croissant Croutons

yield 8 wraps.

  • 8-10 ounces shredded chicken (try my blackened chicken wings recipe)
  • 1 large or 2 small heads Romaine lettuce, large pieces torn
  • 1/2 cup Caesar dressing, more to taste
  • 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 3-4 small croissants, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2-1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 8 rice paper wrappers

Toss croissant pieces in a bowl with the olive oil and garlic salt. Bake at 350°F degrees for 5-8 minutes or until bread is brown and crispy. Set aside.

In a zip-top bag, add lettuce and dressing. Seal, and toss to coat the leaves thoroughly. Set bag aside.

Get your assembly line arranged now: Large plate with warm water (for soaking the rice paper), lettuce, chicken, Parmesan cheese.

Submerge a sheet of rice paper completely in warm water for 5 seconds. Remove, let excess water drip off, and set on a smooth surface.

To the center of the sheet, add Romaine leaves, leaving an inch space on left and right.

Add chicken and cheese.

Pull bottom round up and over the filling, stretching it tight. Fold the sides over toward the filling, and roll whole wrap toward to the top round of the paper, sealing it as you go. (There are lots of good instructional posts about how to do this, if you need help.)

Repeat with all wrappers. Serve with more dressing, if desired. Enjoy!

 

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Chorizo & Goat Cheese Pizza with Roasted Vegetables

I love pizza. I mean, who doesn’t?

And it’s nice to sometimes switch it up from the usual pepperoni-sauce-cheese mix.

I love smooth, creamy goat cheese on pizza – mixed with basil pesto! – instead of tomato sauce.

Add spicy Mexican chorizo and roasted vegetables and I think I just died and went to heaven.

By the way, there is a reason I say Mexican chorizo: it’s the kind you buy raw and must cook, as opposed to Spanish chorizo that’s already cooked and more salami-like.

Not that anything would be wrong with using Spanish chorizo. That would be delicious. But on this particular weekend night, I had Mexican chorizo in my fridge.

And so it was.

Kale, green pepper, and onions flavored with garlic roast in the oven until tender. I love how the kale gets a little crispy! Mmmm, good texture.

Did you know Pillsbury makes (dedicated facility) gluten free pizza crust? It’s in a tub next to their cans of regular dough (the ones you have to “pop” open with a spoon. I hate those cans.) It is delicious. Udi’s also makes precooked pizza dough, in the frozen section by the pizza. Take your pick! If you go with the Pillsbury dough, I suggest flipping it over in the oven halfway through to crisp it all over.

Then make this pizza!

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Chorizo & Goat Cheese Pizza with Roasted Vegetables

Makes one 12-inch pizza.

  • one premade pizza crust of your choosing, refrigerated or frozen
  • 4 ounces Mexican chorizo sausage, casings removed
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons jarred basil pesto
  • 1 cup red or green kale, stems removed, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 green pepper, cored and sliced into thin strips
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced thin
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat your oven to 425°F.

Toss the green pepper, red onion, and garlic in the tablespoon of olive oil and a little salt. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring once. Set pan aside.

Toss the chopped kale in the teaspoon of olive oil and salt. Spread on another baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake 7-10 minutes, or until kale starts to crisp at the ends. Set pan aside.

Prebake your pizza crust per it’s package directions (or skip this step if it’s already fully cooked). One helpful hint: the more toppings you plan to pile on your pizza, the more done you’ll want the crust to be before topping it.

While the pizza bakes, heat a dry skillet over medium-high. Cook the chorizo until no longer pink; drain off the fat.

Remove pizza crust from oven, keeping temperature in accordance to the crust’s directions.

Mix goat cheese and pesto together; spread on pizza crust. Top with crumbled chorizo, vegetables, and kale and put back in the oven to warm everything up.

When pizza is heated through, add freshly cracked pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil. Enjoy!


Sausage & Poached Egg Yolk with Basil & Feta

Try this easy and delicious dish for breakfast or brunch!

Feta isn’t just for topping – it melts nicely in the pan and helps everything stick together.

You can use any ground meat you like – I used pork sausage, but try ground turkey or even beef if that’s what you have.

Fresh basil and a runny poached egg leave only one element left – what to put it on?

Try a multigrain or french baguette, sliced in half and toasted with a little butter. Udi’s Millet-Chia bread is a delicious gluten free option. So good!

Sausage & Poached Egg Yolk with Basil & Feta

  • 1/2 small green bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup ground sausage
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta
  • 4-5 fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • crusty bread, toasted with butter
  • 2 eggs, yolks separated from whites
  • pepper to taste

Heat the butter in a small skillet. Add green pepper, onion, and sausage. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until meat is cooked through and the vegetables are soft. Stir in feta.

Place toasted bread on 2 plates and divide the meat and vegetable mixture evenly between them.

Boil 2 quarts water. Carefully drop one yolk at a time into the water, waiting 30 seconds before adding the second yolk so they don’t stick together. Boil 1 minute, and remove with a slotted spoon. Place on top of meat and sprinkle with basil leaves and a little freshly ground pepper.

Add hot sauce if you like! Enjoy!


Mini Blue Cheese Wedge Salads

Recipe by Amy Grossi. See my blog post about this event here.

Mini Blue Cheese Wedge Salads

  • 1 head iceburg lettuce
  • 1/2 cup crumbled cooked bacon
  • 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, diced small
  • blue cheese dressing (Amy favorite is Bolthouse Yogurt Blue Cheese dressing)

Core the end of the iceberg, then chop in half lengthwise.  Cut each half into 4 wedges.

Arrange on a platter and drizzle with dressing.

Sprinkle remaining toppings over lettuce wedges and serve. Enjoy!


Bacon Wrapped Dates

Recipe by Amy Grossi. See my blog post about this event here.

Are you kidding? No, I’m not. The title says it all…read on!

Bacon Wrapped Dates

  • pitted Medjool dates
  • sliced bacon

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking dish with aluminum foil.

Wrap each date in 1 slice of bacon, overlapping until entire slice is rolled up.

Arrange wrapped dates on the baking dish, making sure they aren’t touching.

Bake 30-45 minutes or until bacon is browned and crispy. Enjoy!


Featured Post: In the Kitchen with Amy

Last night I had the pleasure of watching my longtime friend Amy Grossi work her magic in the kitchen as she prepared tapas for her mom’s birthday.

Amy and I have been friends since we were 9. We’ve been through a lot together and I’m so glad she likes to cook and eat as much as I do!

I don’t know how much Amy enjoyed my being there, shoving a camera lens into all her food! But hey, we’re friends. She put up with me.

This is the first in what I hope to be many featured posts of Amy cooking and sharing her recipes with me, so I can share them with you!

If I have to resort to threats to make it happen, so be it.

Just kidding. Maybe.

Links to the recipes can be found below. Click “Amy’s Recipes” to the right to see all related posts in a continuous roll.

The lamb kebabs with pomegranate glaze (shown above) is from Food Network online, you can find it here.

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A guest makes a plate at Amy’s party

Bacon Wrapped Dates

Mini Blue Cheese Wedge Salads

Greek Layered Dip

Mini Shrimp Tacos

Peach & Blue Brie Crostini


Greek Layered Dip

Recipe by Amy Grossi. See my blog post about this event here.

Add your own personal touch to this recipe by making your own hummus, or try using a flavored variety instead of plain!

Greek Layered Dip

  • 4 cups hummus
  • 1 english cucumber, diced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup pitted greek olives, chopped
  • 2/3 cup feta cheese
  • handful of fresh dill, finely chopped

Spread hummus evenly on the bottom of a shallow, wide glass dish.

Top with chopped cucumber, tomato, bell pepper, olives and crumbled feta.

Top with fresh dill.  Serve with pita chips or corn chips. Enjoy!