Smashed Buffalo Cucumber Salad with Avocado.

Oh how I adore this smashed buffalo cucumber salad! It’s refreshing with a touch of heat and also has cheese and avocado which means it’s basically my favorite thing on the planet right now. So! I’d love to know what you’re eating right now. Are you working out of your pantry? Are you grocery shopping […]

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Oh how I adore this smashed buffalo cucumber salad!

This smashed buffalo cucumber salad is filled with tons of buffalo wing flavor! Avocado, blue cheese, peanuts and lime juice make this irresistible.

It’s refreshing with a touch of heat and also has cheese and avocado which means it’s basically my favorite thing on the planet right now.

smashed cucumbers

So! I’d love to know what you’re eating right now. Are you working out of your pantry? Are you grocery shopping once a week, or twice? How is the fresh produce situation in your life?

Not only is it tricky for me to figure out what to share here on the blog, it’s just as tricky in real life to determine what we will eat. I feel like the past month we survived mostly on comfort food, even if it was a salad of sorts. And now that the weather is getting warmer, I’m craving fresher dishes. But that’s also hard since we’re only getting grocery pickup every ten days or so. 

cucumbers with buffalo wing sauce

I’m still making (and wanting!) fresh salads and dishes like this, so I figured why not. After all, you have to know about this deliciousness. 

Enter buffalo smashed cucumbers!

This smashed buffalo cucumber salad is filled with tons of buffalo wing flavor! Avocado, blue cheese, peanuts and lime juice make this irresistible.

Last year I shared this sesame smashed cucumber salad here on the blog and it is SUCH a hit. I actually can’t believe how much I love it and how I often crave that salad, even for a snack. It’s weird. But it’s so refreshing and flavorful at the same time.

Eddie loathes cucumbers so it’s rare that I make that salad for dinner, unless I do just a few cucumbers for Emilia and me. She loves them too, though her preferred method of consumption is by dipping them in guac. 

This smashed buffalo cucumber salad is filled with tons of buffalo wing flavor! Avocado, blue cheese, peanuts and lime juice make this irresistible.

So this bowl!

We do the whole salt + sugar cucumber thing and let them hang out for 20 minutes or so. Enough time to grab the rest of your ingredients. Instead of an actual vinaigrette with this one, we’re doing buffalo wing sauce. It’s spicy and tangy, which is perfect for the fresh, juicy cucumbers.

This smashed buffalo cucumber salad is filled with tons of buffalo wing flavor! Avocado, blue cheese, peanuts and lime juice make this irresistible.

We’re also adding an avocado. It keeps things mild, in a good and creamy way. It also adds some more substance so the salad, you know? So we’re not just eating a bowl of cucumbers.

I love to drizzle the wing sauce on at this point and toss the cucumber and avocado so it really gets coated in the flavor. I also do a splash of fresh lime juice!

Next comes the cheese. I’m all for blue cheese and definitely have it on hand. Plus, it works with the buffalo wing combo. But if you don’t have it or simply don’t like it, use feta, goat or even cheddar. They all work.

This smashed buffalo cucumber salad is filled with tons of buffalo wing flavor! Avocado, blue cheese, peanuts and lime juice make this irresistible.

My favorite buffalo wing trifecta comes next: green onions, chives and cilantro. I love a mix of these three things on ANYTHING buffalo-wing flavored. It really makes a huge difference. 

Finally, a big handful of crushed peanuts. These are everything. They add texture, of course (which I can’t live without) and again, more satiety to the dish! Also wonderful flavor too. 

Doesn’t it look so incredible?!

This smashed buffalo cucumber salad is filled with tons of buffalo wing flavor! Avocado, blue cheese, peanuts and lime juice make this irresistible.

Smashed Buffalo Cucumber Salad

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Smashed Buffalo Cucumber Salad with Avocado

This smashed buffalo cucumber salad is filled with tons of buffalo wing flavor! Avocado, blue cheese, peanuts and lime juice make this irresistible.
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 35 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2 to 4 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 8 baby seedless cucumbers (or english/seedless cucumbers)
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons buffalo wing sauce, or more, if you like it!
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese (or feta, goat, cheddar, etc)
  • ¼ cup chopped peanuts
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives

Instructions

  • Cut the cucumbers into pieces (some in half, some lengthwise, whatever you want!) and use a jar or meat tenderizer to smash each piece, gently and most of the time, just once. You can discard any seeds that come out, but place all the cucumber pieces in a large strainer. Set the strainer over a bowl. Sprinkle on a generous pinch of salt and sugar, and toss the cucumbers. If you want, you can place a bowl (or something heavy!) on top of the cucumbers to help press out the water. Let the cucumbers sit for 20 to 30 minutes at room temperature.
  • While they sit, prepare the rest of your ingredients!
  • Drain the cucumbers and place them in a large bowl. Toss in the avocado. Add a small pinch of salt and pepper. Drizzle with the wing sauce and lime juice and toss. Sprinkle on the cheese, peanuts, onions, cilantro and chives. Serve immediately!

This smashed buffalo cucumber salad is filled with tons of buffalo wing flavor! Avocado, blue cheese, peanuts and lime juice make this irresistible.

Yes to some green!

The post Smashed Buffalo Cucumber Salad with Avocado. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Crispy Chickpea Chopped Salad.

About to make this crispy chickpea chopped salad your new favorite thing!  How is that for alliteration? Because a good salad is better with alliteration.  This salad came from two places.  Err, let me say that again. This idea came from two other salads that I make all the time. My favorite greek salad and […]

The post Crispy Chickpea Chopped Salad. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

About to make this crispy chickpea chopped salad your new favorite thing! 

This crispy chickpea chopped salad is super simple and loaded with flavor. It's an incredible side or starter and a huge crowd pleaser!

How is that for alliteration? Because a good salad is better with alliteration. 

crispy roasted chickpeas

This salad came from two places. 

Err, let me say that again. This idea came from two other salads that I make all the time. My favorite greek salad and my howsweeteats house salad. They are probably the salads I make the most often in this house – the salads that I make when we need a salad on the side or as a starter.

This crispy chickpea chopped salad is super simple and loaded with flavor. It's an incredible side or starter and a huge crowd pleaser!

It’s no secret that I make a TON of other salads, but they tend more towards “entree salads” now don’t they? They do! Not only because most have chicken or meat or another protein, but it’s because they are enormous. 

The greek salad and the house salad are great for a salad course or on the side. Sure, you can add a protein of some sorts to them, but they are simple and fantastic on their own.

shallot vinaigrette

I’ve wanted to another salad where chickpeas are the star – this panzanella with chimichurri and chickpeas is incredible, but I wanted something… easier.

Something chopped. Because a chopped salad is basically my love language. Chopped salads are how I really learned to love salads – all the flavors in one big bite of salad, since everything is chopped small. It’s so much more enjoyable for me!

This crispy chickpea chopped salad is super simple and loaded with flavor. It's an incredible side or starter and a huge crowd pleaser!

So this chopped salad.

First, we start with some super crispy chickpeas. These are best made right before eating, but if you follow me on instagram, you know I make them ahead of time ALL the time. Sure, they lose a little crunch as the days go on. But they still have tons of flavor.

Into the big bowl goes:

Lots of butter lettuce, chopped up.

Tomatoes and cucumbers, for a somewhat greek salad feel, even though this isn’t a greek salad at all. 

Torn castelvetrano olives. I am a briney olive freak and if you are too, raise your hand! Or skip the olives if you hate them.

Lots of creamy, dreamy goat cheese. Big hunks of it! 

See? Embarrassingly easy!

This crispy chickpea chopped salad is super simple and loaded with flavor. It's an incredible side or starter and a huge crowd pleaser!

The dressing is a shallot vinaigrette and I love this for a few reasons. First, I love any sort of vinaigrette (see my briney love above). Second, with the shallots sitting in the honey with some salt and pepper and red wine vinegar, they soften and lose some of that sharp taste. It’s a great way to add raw onion and flavor to your salad without actual pieces of raw onion straight from the… onion. This is more like marinated onion! 

Then mix the whole thing up! Bite after bite is perfect and flavorful. 

This is a salad for, frankly, whenever you want it! Need something lighter for lunch? Go for it. Want a side for dinner? This is it. There is tons of flavor, lots of texture and all this green stuff which apparently is super good for us! 

This crispy chickpea chopped salad is super simple and loaded with flavor. It's an incredible side or starter and a huge crowd pleaser!

Crispy Chickpea Chopped Salad

Crispy Chickpea Chopped Salad

This crispy chickpea chopped salad is super simple and loaded with flavor. It’s an incredible side or starter and a huge crowd pleaser!

  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 8 cups butter lettuce, (chopped)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, (chopped)
  • ⅔ cup chopped cucumber
  • ½ cup castelvetrano olives, (pitted and torn)

shallot vinaigrette

  • 1 small shallot, (diced)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the chickpeas on a towel and lightly towel dry them so they aren’t wet from rinsing. You can remove any loose skins at this time too. Place the chickpeas on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Toss to coat, then sprinkle with the paprika, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper. Shake the pan a few times to distribute the seasoning. Roast the chickpeas for 15 minutes, then toss and roast for 10 to 15 more.
  2. To make the salad, chop the lettuce and place it in a large bowl. Top with the chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, olives and goat cheese. I like to drizzle the dressing on now, so it doesn’t take lots of crisp away from the chickpeas. Toss the salad then top with the chickpeas and eat!

shallot vinaigrette

  1. In a bowl or jar, whisk together the shallot, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. Stream in the olive oil until emulsified and combined. This stores great in the fridge for a few days.

This crispy chickpea chopped salad is super simple and loaded with flavor. It's an incredible side or starter and a huge crowd pleaser!

Chomp chomp.

The post Crispy Chickpea Chopped Salad. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad with Triple Citrus Vinaigrette.

This pecan crusted chicken salad is bringing allll the cheer in the new year.  Doesn’t it look so fresh?! So filling? So I-want-to-jump-in-right-now good? I KNOW! I’ve made a lot of kale salads over the years and this one is just as great as all the others. Don’t make me choose a favorite! We start […]

The post Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad with Triple Citrus Vinaigrette. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

This pecan crusted chicken salad is bringing allll the cheer in the new year. 

This pecan crusted chicken salad is so hearty! Kale, cara cara oranges, pickled onions, cucumbers and pecorino make this a bowl of flavor.

Doesn’t it look so fresh?! So filling? So I-want-to-jump-in-right-now good?

I KNOW!

cara cara orange

I’ve made a lot of kale salads over the years and this one is just as great as all the others. Don’t make me choose a favorite!

We start with some pecan crusted chicken. I’ve made pecan crusted chicken before (seriously how was that eight years ago?!) and threw it into a wrap, which was lovely. It’s funny because I made that pecan chicken based on the same salad that inspired me for this pecan chicken! I just can’t get away from it. 

I use the method that I always use – a wire rack, olive oil mist and high heat – to get the thick pecan “breading” on the outside. It’s fantastic! It also ups the chances that your kids will eat these (Emilia called them chicken nuggets multiple times) and heck, will make you enjoy the chicken more too.

If I do say so myself. 

pecan crusted chicken tenders

If you’re not feeling a salad, this chicken is great for any meal! Fantastic with some house sauce too.

pecan crusted chicken fingers

But if you are in the mood for a big salad bowl?

This one checks all the boxes!

The chicken is ridiculously flavorful AND also breaded, so it’s crisp and delicious. It adds that extra crunch to a salad. I know that I always want crunchy chicken tenders on a salad if I can get them. The “breading” of pecans is huge, because if you’re anything like me, I instantly want chicken more when it has a topping.

The cara cara oranges are slightly sweet and tart – so good. Citrus season is rocking my world. And the cucumbers are light and freshing.

This pecan crusted chicken salad is so hearty! Kale, cara cara oranges, pickled onions, cucumbers and pecorino make this a bowl of flavor.

The pickled onions are tangy and briney. You can find the recipe I use here. Make a batch each week and stick them in the fridge! They work on all the things.

The pecorino is rich and salty and adds the cheese to a salad that we all love, but does it with just a small sprinkling because it’s loaded with flavor. 

This pecan crusted chicken salad is so hearty! Kale, cara cara oranges, pickled onions, cucumbers and pecorino make this a bowl of flavor.

Oh and the dressing! Triple citrus, whatwhat! We’re using lemon, orange and grapefruit. YUM.

I know this whole bowl is a little high maintenance – you have to make the chicken; there appear to be lots of ingredients in the dressing. However, if you’re in a pinch, just make the chicken ahead of time and use whatever dressing you prefer, from a bottle or whatever. Use mandarin oranges in juice as opposed to segmenting a fresh orange. Use a sliced shallot if you don’t have time for pickled onions. Make it your own and don’t let the ingredient list scare you! 

This is seriously such a wonderful, fresh salad for the new year. Adore it!

This pecan crusted chicken salad is so hearty! Kale, cara cara oranges, pickled onions, cucumbers and pecorino make this a bowl of flavor.

Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad

Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad

This pecan crusted chicken salad is so hearty! Kale, cara cara oranges, pickled onions, cucumbers and pecorino make this a bowl of flavor.

pecan crusted chicken

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenders
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 ⅓ cups unsalted pecans
  • 2 large eggs, (lightly beaten)
  • olive oil mist/spray

triple citrus vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, (finely minced or pressed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

salad

  • 1 large bunch kale, (leaves torn from stems)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cara cara oranges, (segmented)
  • 1 seedless cucumber, (sliced)
  • ½ cup whole pecans
  • ¼ cup shaved pecorino romano cheese
  • pickled onions, (if you want!)

pecan crusted chicken

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil then top it with a wire rack. Spray the rack with nonstick spray.
  2. Season the chicken with the salt, pepper and garlic powder. Place the pecans in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until crumbs remain. (You can add a pinch of salt and pepper to the pecans but I love the buttery flavor without.) Place the pecans on a plate. Place the eggs on another large plate or bowl.
  3. Dip each chicken tender in the eggs then in the pecans, pressing gently to adhere. Place the tender on the wire rack and repeat with the remaining,
  4. Bake the tenders for 12 minutes then flip and bake for 12 minutes more.

triple citrus vinaigrette

  1. Whisk all ingredients together until combined and emulsified. This dressing stays great in the fridge for about a week.

salad

  1. Place the kale on a cutting board and chop until shredded. Place the kale in the bowl and drizzle with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Massage the kale for 2 to 3 minutes until it’s all coated. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Assemble the salad by adding the oranges, pecans, pickled onions, oranges, cucumbers and chicken to the kale. Drizzle on the dressing and pecorino. Serve

This pecan crusted chicken salad is so hearty! Kale, cara cara oranges, pickled onions, cucumbers and pecorino make this a bowl of flavor.

Pretty much going to faceplant into this bowl. Because WOW.

The post Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad with Triple Citrus Vinaigrette. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.