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, September 2, 2011

Twenty-minute prep-time max for this Chopped Chicken Salad: that's for me

Any recipe that bills itself as requiring only 20 minutes of prep from start to finish catches my attention. When I saw Prevention mag’s Chopped Chicken Salad featured as a 20-minute meal (August 2011 issue) , I grabbed it and ran to my kitchen counter. Twenty minutes was absolutely ALL I could spare to ready that night’s repast; I had the ingredients on hand—at least with a few subs.

Chopped chicken, avocados, carrots, red onion, plus the makings of the vinaigrette dressing—everything went together swimmingly. Shredded chicken? Waiting in the wings in the freezer compartment of the fridge. Didn’t have the cucumber Prevention suggested, but a couple of nice, fresh avocados should sub—after all, like a cucumber, they’re green. Mixed greens? Didn’t have those, either, but did have almost a full bag of fresh spinach. Carrots weren’t in the recipe, but I had some freshly grated ones from the Lightened Squash Casserole the day before—couldn’t resist adding some bunny food. Same thing with radishes—why not toss in a couple?

Thinking about it, pretty much the entire recipe was a makeover, but so what? I did have the red onion from my garden. With most everything burned up by now, we’re glad to have a few home-grown success stories still to brag on despite this heat.

The meal absolutely got turned out in 20-minutes flat; I looked as though I had slaved all day, and dinner was terrific and healthy. Who could ask for more?

Chopped Chicken Salad

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 cups (about 8 ounces) spring mix with herbs
4 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
1 small cucumber, sliced
1 1/2 cups chopped chicken (about 8 ounces)
1/3 cup chopped red onion

In serving bowl whisk together, vinegar, oil, mustard, salt, and pepper. Add remaining ingredients and gently toss to combine. (Avocado, radishes, carrots, and spinach can be subbed.) Serve salad in bowls. Refrigerate any leftovers. Makes 4 servings.

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