Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Kitchen stays cool with this oven-less summer meal: Super Chicken Salad Wraps

Previously I’ve mentioned about how Hubby is almost fanatical about not firing up the oven in the kitchen during the summer time. He’d almost rather go without some of his beloved desserts such as peach cobbler than to walk into the kitchen and get hit with an immediate heat wave emerging from the oven area. If he had his way, during the summer he’d tape up the oven door and put a ban on any oven-cooked meals.

So I eagerly cut the recipe for Super Chicken Salad Wraps from the pages of our community newspaper that arrived this week. There amid the announcements of swimming-pool hours and outdoor concerts were two easy-fix recipes suited for this season. One of them, these cool wraps that were stuffed with all things healthy, were a real attraction for me.

I’ll never get over the freshness of chopped, fresh-from-the-garden green onions and how much seasoning they add to a recipe. Out my back steps and into the garden I moseyed; I pulled two green onions and immediately whacked their heads off, chopped, and threw them into the mixing bowl. Don’t know that I’ve ever seen a chicken-salad recipe that called for grated carrots, but I happened to have in the fridge’s veggie compartment some carrots that quickly needed to be prepared. In with them; then chopped walnuts, the miracle health food these days, also were listed as ingredients. I can’t abide walnuts by themselves and only can bear them when they’re part of a recipe. Here was my chance.

Not only did this food prep not turn the kitchen into a walk-through sauna from oven use, this recipe also was assembled in a heartbeat (provided the chicken already is cooked and de-boned, of course). Containing fruit, veggies, and protein, these Super Chicken Salad Wraps represented a meal all wrapped up in one humble tortilla—one cool way to spend a summer dinnertime.

Super Chicken Salad Wraps

1/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt
1/4 cup fat-free mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon ginger
6 ounces skinless chicken breasts, cooked, cubed
1/2 cup red seedless grapes, halved
1/4 cup cup chopped celery
1/4 cup grated carrot
2 medium green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
2 large whole-wheat tortillas (or pita pockets)
1 cup spinach leaves

In a large bowl combine yogurt, mayonnaise, ginger, and cooked chicken until chicken is well-coated. Stir in grapes, celery, carrots, green onions, and chopped walnuts. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Cover tortillas (or stuff pita pockets) with spinach leaves. Add chicken salad mixture, roll tortillas, and cut in half (or thirds if you want smaller wraps). Makes 4 servings.

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