Chicken Salad in Bell Pepper Rings

Chicken Salad in Bell Pepper Rings

Edible bell pepper rings filled with chilled chicken salad. What would bring a smile to Mom for brunch on her special day more than these edible flower rings? I can’t think of a single thing.

These little bell pepper rings are so pretty on a plate – delicious and good for you, too. I used my favorite chicken salad recipe, but you could use any cold chopped salad you like. The possibilities are endless, I say. Egg Salad. Tuna Salad. Pasta Salad. I am going to be using this technique again and again, with a different filling each time.

We are fans here at Apron Strings of edible “rings” for food. Our first try was eggs in bell pepper rings. We loved this idea so much we made many versions: Eggs in Avocados, Eggs in Onion Rings, and the list goes on and on with eggs. Why not with chicken salad?

Mom deserves  to eat festive food, after all.

Chicken Salad in Bell Pepper Rings
Prep time
Total time
Chicken Salad in pretty pepper rings - a festive addition to your next brunch!
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4 to 6 servings
  • 4 cups cooked cubed chicken
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 cup halved grapes
  • ½ cup diced pecans
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced dill
  • ¼ cup plain or vanilla Greek yoghurt
  • 3 bell peppers, any color
  1. Mix all ingredients together and chill at least 2 hours.
  2. When ready to serve, stir in additional Greek yogurt if desired to make the salad creamy.
  3. Spoon into bell pepper rings that are cut about 2 inches thick.

CReative spins on chicken salad that are on my Must Try list:

Shredded Chicken Salad, Kalyn’s Kitchen
Crunchy Kale and Chicken Salad, Budget Bytes
Grilled Chicken and Pecan Salad, Copycat Recipes
Strawberry Balsamic Chicken Salad, Closet Cooking
Pineapple Chicken Salad, Annie’s Eats
Low Fat Chicken Salad with Curry and Apricots, Cookin’ Canuck

Broccoli Squared: Broccoli Stem Puree topped with Roasted Broccoli Florets

If you’ve never tried broccoli stems – especially this way – prepare to be amazed.


Broccoli Squared

Broccoli Squared: Roasted Broccoli Florets over Broccoli Stem Puree

I wish I could travel back in time and retrieve all the broccoli stems I’ve so blithely tossed aside over the years. Here I was thinking the florets had all the fun. I had no idea! Why did no one tell me?

Okay, to be fair, I knew of using the stems for slaw, but had never even thought of using them in a puree. Then, a few weeks ago, a recipe from the 21 Day Sugar Detox turned me around. Diane Sanfilippo blew my mind by combining roasted florets with pureed stems. I’ve made it three times since then, adding my own tweaks. Try this and you’ll seriously never throw another stem in the compost again.

(Oh and yes, that is a dish in the shape of the lovely, verdant state of Oregon. I thought this recipe paid perfect tribute to its lush greenness.)…

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Mediterranean Heart Healthy One Pot Wonder White Fish Dinner

One Pot Fish Donner

This one pot fish is simmered on your stove top with flavorful mediterranean ingredients for a 20 minute healthy meal.

So, let’s just say that your sweetheart has what the doctors refer to as a heart “condition.” The love of my life had a massive heart attack in 2002 and one third of his heart tissue died. I am always trying to get him to eat more fish – especially Omega 3s  fatty acids – fish like salmon and cod.

I am making this for my sweetie for Valentine’s Day. I know, I know. A nice hunk of beef is more traditional, at least for American valentines. But, for a flavor-packed meal that is low carb and is heart healthy – c’mon, doesn’t that just scream I LOVE YOU and I want you to live a long, long time???

WARNING: This is a healthy low carb easy dinner, but all that reduced liquid is so yummy, you might want to have a baguette handy – to sop up the sauce. Just sayin’.

One Pot Fish Dinner

 — posted by Donna

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Slow Cooker Seafood Gumbo

Not only does the slow cooker work beautifully for a fantastic seafood gumbo, it turns out cauliflower rice is great with it, too.

Slow Cooker Seafood Gumbo with Cauliflower Rice

Slow Cooker Seafood Gumbo with Cauliflower Rice

PSA: Mardi Gras falls on February 17th this year. I love any excuse to make/consume Cajun food, but Fat Tuesday itself is always the best. Are you prepared? Well, here’s one way to get on it, with a slow cooker recipe for seafood gumbo. And you can certainly eat it as per tradition with regular rice, but I’m here to tell you that cauliflower rice? Totally works! …

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Baked Curly Fries for Superbowl Sunday

baked curly friesI’m hosting my first ever Sportsball Party this weekend, so of course I’m most looking forward to the food. Lucky me, I just got a spiffy new addition to my kitchen gadget collection, the Paderno Spiralizer. Along with making oodles of zoodles, the first thing I looked forward to making was a baked version of a curly fry. The widest setting on the Paderno was perfect for this! It worked with both sweet and regular potatoes, and I plan to experiment with other root vegetables in the future. Perfect lighter fare for your game day plans, whatever other decadence is served alongside them. …

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Paleo Paella with Shrimp, Sausage and Cauliflower Rice

cauliflower rice paellaWhat do you think for a paleo paella: Paelleo? Paleolla? Regardless, this paleo rendition of paella using cauliflower rice is truly every bit as flavorful as the original, with shrimp, chorizo and jambon, finished with a spicy garlic sauce that’ll knock your socks off. Perfect for low carb, paleo, or any other grain free, whole foods approach.

This is also a great use of Aneto’s Paella Valenciana Broth! Super rich with flavor. (Chicken or other stock works perfectly well here too, of course, but the paella base really does go the extra mile if you can get it!)…

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Fire Cider: Extreme Health Tonic

Fear not! This bold home remedy is not only packed with health-supporting properties, it packs a flavor punch you just might love.

Fire Cider

Homemade Fire Cider Health Tonic

Everything old is new again, right? If you’ve never tried a health tonic, there’s no time like the present, what with all manner of viruses and other seasonal maladies flying around. This potent fire cider is reputed to be warming and energizing, immune-boosting, great for relieving congestion and even a digestive aid. But on top of its health-enhancing properties, throngs of fire cider lovers enjoy its flavor enough to not just throw it back like a shot, but mixing it into lemonade or OJ, putting it in salad dressings in place of vinegar alone, using a few dashes in cocktails, adding it to chili, soups and stew for an extra kick.

If you like video tutorials, check out old school herbal goddess Rosemary Gladstar brewing up a batch. She recommends taking a tablespoon or two when you feel a cold coming on, and then if it sets in, repeat every 3 or 4 hours until symptoms begin to subside. To get the benefit for cold an flu season, make this now, since you want this to steep for at least a few weeks to get the most bang out of it! (And wear goggles when you grate the horseradish. YOW!)  …

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Cilantro Veggie Curry with Veggie Sauce

Nothing but goodness in this all-veggie curry with veggie sauce, plus extra veggies.

Cilantro Veggie Curry

Cilantro Veggie Curry with Veggie Sauce, plus extra veggies with veggies on top.


This is the perfect warm, mildly spicy dish for January, as it fits into just about ANY health-conscious approach to eating you can think of. It’s vegetarian. It’s vegan. It’s gluten and dairy-free. It fits with paleo, Whole 30, and all other manner of dietary reset plans. Even if your only resolution was to eat more vegetables, period, this fits the bill and then some. Bottom line, it’s absolutely packed with vegetables and vegetables only, save for the spices and broth – the sauce itself is made from pureed veggies that are incorporated into the dish itself.  You cannot go astray with this one.

I fist discovered a version of this in Nigella Lawson’s How To Eat, and have been tinkering with it for years. My latest additions are golden beets and cilantro, plus a touch of turmeric, all of which brighten the dish up. This iteration isn’t terribly spicy – you could certainly add more cayenne if you like, or more heat in another form. Add it to your meal in any of the aforementioned approaches. …

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Saturday Morning Low Sugar Green Juice

Green juice – a Kelly family weekend tradition!

Green Juice

Don’t you feel healthier just looking at this juice?

Most juice recipes call for using lots of high sugar fruits – like pineapple, melons, etc. And many smoothie recipes have tons of sugar.

At our house, however, we have a weekend obsession ritual tradition that uses low carb veggies – with just a touch of sweetness from a few apple slices. (Note: You can use a juicer for this, but we have tried it in a good blender – we have a Blendtec – and it works just as well with more fiber added in.)

So, here’s the combo we love: 3 parts celery; 3 parts cucumber; 5 parts spinach; one part apple; a few slices of ginger. DON’T skip the ginger – it gives the juice a kick that is so refreshing. The wonderful thing about juice recipes is that you can have fun experimenting and going crazy with the veggies and fruits – it took us about a year to develop this combo and we are crazy for it!

I have been reading lots about anti-inflammatory diets and how beneficial they are in reducing risks of heart disease and cancer – and this juice has lots of alkaline foods and ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory. You can drink it just for the deliciousness, of course, but I love drinking in powerful healthy nutrients as well.

I drink this green drink pretty much every Saturday. I miss it and crave it when I don’t get my Saturday Green Juice. It fills me up and makes me feel so good. Saturday Morning Zen. In a glass.

Happy New Year, All~

Other food bloggers do green juice:

My Favorite Green Juice, Lauren’s Latest
Benefits of Green Juice, Healthy Green Kitchen
Happy Herby Detox Juice, The Blender Girl
Green Juice Recipes, Jeanette’s Healthy Living
Kale Grape Ginger Lemon Juice, Jeanette’s Healthy Living

– posted by Donna

Hoppin’ John Salad for a Lucky New Year

A salad spin on the traditional New Year’s Day dish

Hoppin’ John Salad to start your New Year off right!

Even if cornbread, collards and blackeyed peas with bacon or ham weren’t reputed to bring one wealth, luck and overall prosperity in the the year to come when eaten on New Year’s Day, I’d still enjoy eating them all. Hoppin’ John is the component of the  New Year’s meal from the American South that brings prosperity, and if you save some for leftovers the following day, it becomes “Skippin’ Jenny”, which demonstrates your commendable frugality and further increases your chances of manifesting that prosperity.

We though we’d try a salad variation of Hoppin’ John, and since it’s a bean salad, it definitely keeps well and even improves for a next-day reprise. There’s one collard leaf in there, less for flavor and more for tradition, though I love any extra green in a salad like this. You could also omit the ham for a still-totally-flavorful vegetarian version. …

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