Mango Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

Mango Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

This salad has it all; sweet, salty, cheesy, and all delicious. Mango, blue cheese and broccoli are some of my favorite foods, but never in a million years would I think of combining them. Ever. But somehow, it totally works. The flavor combinations definitely make for a very unique meal.

I definitely plan on making this salad again, but next time I think I might add a couple of other things to make it even better. Adding some toasted cashews or almonds would add a great crunch to the salad. I could also imagine substituting the chicken for shrimp (maybe even coconut shrimp for more of a tropical twist).

Mango Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

Mango Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette
Inspired by Better Homes & Gardens.

For the Vinaigrette:

  • 1/3 cup white-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the Salad:

  • 6 cups torn romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 mango, pitted, peeled, and cut up
  • 12 ounces chicken breast
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups broccoli florets

For the Vinaigrette:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Season to taste and set aside.

For the Salad:

  1. On a serving platter place romaine lettuce. Top with blueberries and mango; set aside.
  2. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper. In a large skillet cook chicken in 1 tablespoon of the butter with minced garlic over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes or until no longer pink, turning once. Transfer to a cutting board; slice. Allow to cool slight and arrange atop salad.
  3. In the same skillet cook broccoli in the remaining tablespoon garlic butter over medium heat for 4 to 6 minutes until tender. Place atop salad.
  4. Drizzle salad with blue cheese vinaigrette. If desired, sprinkle with blue cheese.

Chicken Bratwurst with Grilled Mango & Red Onion

Chicken Bratwurst with Grilled Mango & Red Onion

Some might say that grilling season ended yesterday (at least in the States), but quite frankly it’s hotter than hell here at the moment. I have no intention of turning on the stove or oven until this heat wave and gross humidity are over and done. There is something more bearable about standing in front of a 400 degree grill on a hot day than dealing with a 400 degree oven.

I usually don’t buy bratwurst because it’s generally made with meats I don’t care to eat, but I’ve found a delicious chicken bratwurst at Von’s/Safeway. It is gluten-free, no strange meats I don’t like, and it’s extremely tasty. It’s Von’s/Safeway’s own Open Nature brand, which is their store brand of  healthy/organic/natural/etc foods.

The grilled mango and red onion really stood out and brought so much extra flavor to the bratwurst. I combined the mango and onion with a teaspoon of oil, a generous dash of cayenne powder and garlic powder and a dash of lime juice. I think this ‘relish’ would have been delicious by itself, but grilling the mango and onion brought out so much flavor and the spice really complemented that. I topped mine with chili sauce just for a little extra flavor. It was the perfect accompaniment.

I made gluten-free buns from Chebe and then toasted them on the grill before topping them with the brats and grilled mango and onions. I have used Chebe for sandwiches and many other things before, but I never as buns. I was pretty impressed by how they held up to both the brat and to the grill.

 Chicken Bratwurst with Grilled Mango & Red Onion
Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens.


  • 1 large fresh mango, seeded, peeled, and halved
  • 1 small red onion, cut in 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 package of bratwurst links
  • buns


  1. Heat grill to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss mango and onion with oil, cayenne, garlic, and lime juice.
  3. On grill rack place mango halves, onion, and brats directly over flames. Grill for 8-10 minutes, or until mango and brats are browned and cooked through and onion is crisp-tender, turning once halfway through cooking. Lightly toast buns for 1 to 2 minutes on grill. Set aside mango, onion, and brats.
  4. For relish, chop grilled mango and onion. Serve brats in buns with mango and onion.

Shrimp with Mango & Black Bean Salsa

Shrimp with Black Bean & Mango Salsa

This is a fast and easy meal. It’s perfect for summertime since very little heat is needed. The flavors come together perfectly. The best part of these tacos is the salsa. It’s super fast to make and super delicious. It would be great with chicken or fish tacos or on top of a salad. If you want to add some heat, adding in a couple jalapeños or a bell pepper would be great.

Shrimp with Mango & Black Bean Salsa
For the Salsa:
  • 1 (14.5) ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 mango, diced
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 sprigs cilantro, chopped
  • 2 limes, juiced
For the Shrimp Tacos:
  • 3 shrimp per taco
  • 1 corn tortilla per taco
  • olive oil
  • Ground Cumin, to taste
  • Ground Roasted Coriander, to taste
  • Ground Cayenne Pepper, to taste
  • Onion Powder, to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Crumbled feta or queso blanco

For the Salsa:

  1. Mix beans, tomato, mango, green onion, garlic and cilantro in a medium bowl. Top with lime juice. Toss before serving.
For the Tacos:
  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. When oil is heated, add shrimp.
  3. Sprinkle with cumin, roasted coriander, cayenne and onion powder to taste. Add in the minced garlic.
  4. Stir to coat. Cook shrimp about 3 minutes per side until pink throughout.
  5. In a separate pan, heat the tortillas.
  6. Top the tortillas with shrimp and salsa. Add cheese if desired.

Thirsty Thursday: Mexican Mango Smoothie

Mexican Mango Smoothie

I apologize in advance to anyone living where winter is actually a thing, but it’s hot here. Like inappropriately so, especially considering it’s January. It’s not meant to be 80F/27C in January. I really don’t like hot weather.  The only good thing about hot weather is that it gives you the perfect excuse to drink delicious cold things. If you are living somewhere where it’s cold and wintery, you should still make this, crank up the heat and pretend it’s summer too.

It’s pretty common in these parts to see street vendors selling fresh mango sprinkled with lime juice and topped with chile powder and salt. It’s a popular Mexican snack and it’s damn tasty. I happened to have a ton of frozen mango in my freezer that was in desperate need of a use. Problem solved! The pineapple and limve juice give the smoothie a really nice tang that counterbalances the sweetness of the mango and the chile powder really gives it a nice little kick, but it’s not too noticeable with the sweet fruit.

You could totally add white rum or silver tequila to this thing and make it a real party. I made this for lunch, so I decided against it, but I bet it would be just amazing if you did.

Mexican Mango Smoothie

  • 2 cups frozen mango
  • 2 cups frozen pineapple or papaya
  • 1 1/2 cup orange juice
  • juice of 3 limes
  • chile powder

Place mango, pineapple, orange juice and lime juice in a blender and a generous dash of chile powder. Blend until smooth,  adding more juice if necessary. Pour into serving glasses and sprinkle with chile powder.

Salmon with Mango Salsa and Arroz Verde

Salmon with Mango Salsa

I first had this salmon at a Mexican restaurant in Budapest. Yeah, I know what you are thinking, ‘Fish? At a Mexican place? In a landlocked country?’. Yes, I am aware I am lucky to have lived to tell the tale. But trust me, all misgivings aside, this is truly a delicious meal. I have been dreaming of re-creating it for well over a year and now that I have I think this might be entering into regular meal rotation. This salmon was so good, I’m not even going to apologize for the crappy iPhone picture.

I used frozen, skinless Coho salmon from Trader Joe’s, but fresh is perfect as well. If you want to make this recipe even easier to make, you can buy pre-made fresh mango salsa. It’s fairly easy to find around here, but that could just be a Southern California thing. Regardless, it’s very easy to make. Chopping the mangoes is the most difficult part.

For the salmon, I flavored it with garlic powder and Chile con Limon, which is a Mexican seasoning. Again, it’s something really easy to find in Southern California, but if you don’t live in these parts, it is super simple to make at home. I cooked my salmon in a grill pan on the stove, but a real barbecue grill or a regular pan would work just fine. Just make sure that what ever you are cooking on is HOT.


  • 2 salmon fillets
  • Chile con Limon seasoning*
  • Garlic powder
  • Olive oil spray
  • Fresh lemon to squeeze/serve
  1. Heat grill pan over medium-high heat. Season salmon with chile con limon and garlic powder on both sides.
  2. When pan is hot, spray with olive oil. Lightly spray salmon with olive oil spray. Place salmon on pan and cook 5 minutes each side. Squeeze lemon over salmon just before removing from pan.
Chile con Limon Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon citric acid powder (available on Amazon or in bulk grocery sections)
Combine ingredients together. Sprinkle over fish, meat, chicken, vegetables as seasoning.

Mango Salsa

  • 1-2 Mangoes, peeled and diced
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 Jalapeño, finely diced (add seeds according to desired heat level)
  • 1 red bell pepper or tomato, diced
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Arroz Verde (From a whole bunch of different recipes)

  • 1/2 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro sprigs
  • 1 cup tightly packed fresh stemmed spinach leaves
  • 1 1/4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 1/4 cups non-fat milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
  • 1/2 cup finely minced onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  1. Put the cilantro, spinach, and broth in a blender and blend until the vegetables are puréed. Add the milk and salt and blend a bit more until well combined.
  2. In a medium heavy-based saucepan (with a lid) over medium heat, heat the olive oil and butter. When the butter is melted, add the rice and sauté, stirring about every 30 seconds, until it just begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the contents of the blender, stir well, turn the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Cover the pan, turn the heat to very low, and cook for 20 minutes. Stir the rice carefully to avoid crushing it, cover, and cook another 5 minutes.
  3. Take the pan off the heat and let the rice steam in the covered pot for 10 minutes (be sure to remove from hot burner completely, otherwise the bottom of the rice will burn). Serve hot.

Mango Chutney, Prosciutto and Paneer Pizza (Gluten Free)

So, a little while ago, I had quite the conundrum to deal with. I had a craving for Indian food, yet I also wanted pizza. The two cuisines seem to have little common ground, but luckily I found a solution, a very delicious solution.

Now, this pizza has a lot going on. I initially thought that the flavors would be too much and not go to together at all, but somehow they all work. The tomato paste and mango chutney, which were the two ingredients I had the most hesitation about, were absolutely great together. I also added some caramelized onions to the pizza, just because caramelized onions make everything better.

Now, let’s talk gluten. If gluten is not an issue for you, go to Trader Joe’s and buy some of their frozen naan and you are all ready to make your pizza (I recommend the garlic naan). You could probably also buy any naan, frozen or fresh, or even some large pitas to substitute. Basically any thick flat bread or pizza crust will work. If gluten is an issue, this recipe might be a little more work. I made pizza dough from Bob’s Red Mill Pizza Crust mix. It’s not really too much work, just some mixing, sitting, rising, waiting, pre-baking, waiting but it’s worth it. I know there are pre-made gluten free crusts available, but I was just using what I had in the pantry. When I had the gluten free pizza crust ready for it’s pre-bake, I sliced up some garlic cloves, sprinkled them on the crusts, brushed with a bit of melted butter and put them in the oven. This was my attempt at getting the gluten free pizza crust to be a little more like garlic naan. It worked perfectly.

Mango Chutney, Prosciutto and Paneer Pizza (From Food Network)

  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons sweet mango chutney
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup crumbled paneer cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 large green onion, finely chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • A glug extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 frozen naan bread (recommended: Trader Joe’s) or gluten free pizza crust
  • 4 slices prosciutto, torn
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the tomato paste, mango chutney, minced garlic, and water over medium heat, until well combined. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes and then remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the mozzarella, paneer, red pepper flakes, cilantro, green onion, ground cumin and extra-virgin olive oil. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Add more red pepper flakes if you like it spicy!
  4. Arrange the naans on a cookie sheet. Divide the tomato-mango chutney sauce evenly among the naans, spreading to coat the top. Evenly divide the cheese mixture among the naans. Throw in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until crisped around the edges.
  5. Meanwhile, tear the prosciutto into small pieces. When the pizzas are ready, top them with the fresh prosciutto. Cut each naan into 4, and serve!