Friday, July 15, 2016

Quick and Healthy Chicken Salad


Are your evenings and nights super busy? It seems like we never have a slow day here on the farm, and I've found a quick answer to supper when we are hustling around: Quick and Healthy Chicken Salad.  With just a few tricks, you can have this salad made and ready to share in 15 minutes, and around here that's a very good meal!

 Quick and Healthy Chicken Salad.  With just a few tricks, you can have this salad made and ready to share in 15 minutes, and around here that's a very good meal!

 Quick and Healthy Chicken Salad

Farm Report:  Corn is tasseling and the silks of the new ears are coming out, so that means there will be some pollinating going on out the fields.   Pollen falling from the tassel to the silks is how how the kernels are made on the corn cob.  You might say that there are a lot of babies being made out in the corn fields right now!  Watch for the silks to turn brown to know that baby corn is on the way!  So with the corn doing its thing, all focus around here is gearing up for the 4-H fair in about 12 days~!

When we are finishing up projects and working with our calves and checking the sweet corn for critters and to know when it is ready to eat, meals are not at the top of anyone's list until that moment we are all hungry, and everyone looks at me to see what the next meal is.  Crazy thing, I'm usually out there with them working!!!  This Quick and Easy Chicken Salad is a great go-to if you do a little prep work ahead of time.

To get ready for this meal, It's nice to have some chicken breasts cooked as you like them ahead of time.  It can be last night's leftovers, or what we sometimes do is use rotisserie chicken.  I'm kind of in love with rotisserie chicken, and if I am in a grocery store that offers them, I will usually grab one or two to take home.  At around $5.00 a chicken, it's a great meal in itself.  We all love the dark meat, so it's legs and thighs for supper, and the breasts are saved for the next day.

Alrighty!  Let's get this salad started. First, diced up your chicken breasts and put in a large mixing bowl. Do the same with your veggies. I love these little peppers because you get just as much as you want!


 Quick and Healthy Chicken Salad.  With just a few tricks, you can have this salad made and ready to share in 15 minutes, and around here that's a very good meal!

 Quick and Healthy Chicken Salad.  With just a few tricks, you can have this salad made and ready to share in 15 minutes, and around here that's a very good meal!

Red Gold tomatoes are grown right here in Indiana, and I love that the tomatoes and chilies are ready to go!  *I use referral links to products I love.

 Quick and Healthy Chicken Salad.  With just a few tricks, you can have this salad made and ready to share in 15 minutes, and around here that's a very good meal!

Ok, now your bowl should look like this:

 Quick and Healthy Chicken Salad.  With just a few tricks, you can have this salad made and ready to share in 15 minutes, and around here that's a very good meal!

Well, not quite....Sigh, Yes, I put my bowl in the dishwasher, so yes, it has that lovely milky-foggy look to it.  Any ideas on how to make it clear again?  I would love to know what you know about this.

This next part is a bit tricky because, as I always remind you my Peeps, I don't faithfully measure as I go..... Start with adding 3/4 a cup of Miracle Whip, the minced garlic, horseradish, and Farm Dust seasonings to the bowl of chicken and veggies.  Stir it up gently, taste, and see what ingredient you might want to add.

 Quick and Healthy Chicken Salad.  With just a few tricks, you can have this salad made and ready to share in 15 minutes, and around here that's a very good meal!

 Quick and Healthy Chicken Salad.  With just a few tricks, you can have this salad made and ready to share in 15 minutes, and around here that's a very good meal!

 Quick and Healthy Chicken Salad.  With just a few tricks, you can have this salad made and ready to share in 15 minutes, and around here that's a very good meal!

I have to stop here a minute, and tell you that this is a VERY Indiana-based recipe!  Besides the Red Gold tomatoes and chilies, Miracle Whip and horseradish are pretty much staples in Hoosier kitchens.  The Farm Dust has a great name, and it too is made in Shipshewana, Indiana!  This is an Amish family business and goes by Weaver's Dutch Country Seasoning!  It's delish on everything you put it on.  Amazon is packaging it with a spicy version I didn't know about so YUM!  and Yea Indiana!

When you have the salad tasting the way you like it, add a lettuce leaf to a plate, grab yourself some water or Sweet Tea, and enjoy!

Printable Recipe here:

 Quick and Healthy Chicken Salad.  With just a few tricks, you can have this salad made and ready to share in 15 minutes, and around here that's a very good meal!



Quick and Healthy Chicken Salad

Yield: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
Cooking Directions
  1. Chop or dice chicken breasts, and add to large mixing bowl
  2. Chop or dice vegetables. May also add onions and radishes if desired. Add to mixing bowl.
  3. Start with 3/4 C. Miracle Whip and add to bowl.
  4. Add rest of ingredients.
  5. Gently stir together. Add more Miracle Whip or other seasonings to suit your taste.
  6. Refrigerate any leftovers immediately.

                                                                                      

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Farmer Q & A: How Has Weed Control Evolved in Farming?

At the end of June and around the first of July, farmers are ready to let Mother Nature take over their crops.   It's time to sit back and watch them grow.  As you drive around our great country this weekend, you should be treated to tall rows of corn and rows of beans beginning to close the gap between themselves.  Every once in a while, however, you will come across a weedy field of beans and wonder how that can be when most of the bean field are clean, pristine, even, acres of uniform green.  It's all about treating your weeds.



Once upon a time, in a world far far away, farm children would walk out by a barn or shed or truck and see this tool........


......the tool that could make even the best kid moan and groan a bit inside his or her mind.  Do you know what this is?  I would love for you to leave me a message at the end of this post telling me just how and when you used it.

It kind of looks like something Miss Bo Peep might use on her miniature goats right?  Yeah, no such luck!  It is called a "Hook," but its function is not quite that whimsical...  It was/is carried down bean rows and used to "hook" large weeds out of the bean rows. Here's a picture of how it works.


Back in the late 60's and early 70's, my brother and I would find several of those tools hanging around our grandparents' barn lot, and when we saw a couple make their way to the bed of Grandpa's truck, we knew what that meant.  "Time to weed the beans!"  Now Grandpa Bill felt it a personal affront to his ability to farm if a weed dare show itself in his bean field.  He didn't care if it was just one lousy weed at the OTHER end of the field; if he saw it, it had to go, and we had to take our hooks out to get it.  It earned us a bit of money and a nice tan, so we didn't grump too much, but Grandpa was a bit OCD when it came to weeds, and most farmers still are!



In today's world as fences disappear and farms grow larger in size, weed management has changed its ways.  Today there are many tools farmers can use to manage the weeds trying to grow in our fields. From tillage practices like no-till to treated seeds to prescription weed sprays, we are able to keep weed populations down without having to spend extra time in the field.  Some farmers plant in 15 inch rows or drill beans so that exposed ground is limited to open time in the sun, and emergent weeds are choked out by growing bean plants.

Farmers are always looking for better environmental and economical ways to keep weed populations down in our fields.  It is important to find a way to stop weed growth, promote crop plant growth, and still be good stewards of the land.