Open Faced Greek Salad Pockets

It is Monday. Shall we detox on something healthy?

This meal was all over the place. I was thinking of making a Greek dip-ish. Then I was thinking Greek pizza-ish. I ended up with a sort of open-faced Greek “un”Wrap.
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Ingredients:

2 thin chicken breasts, marinated
2 wheat pita pockets
1 cup ricotta
2 thin chicken breasts, marinated in Greek/Italian dressing
2 cups of mixed greens/spinach/romaine
1 tomato
¼ cup red onion
½ cucumber
2 -3 tbs Italian Dressing/Greek Dressing/Olive Oil & Vinegar
2 tbs Creamy Greek dressing (optional)
½ cup feta cheese

Directions:

Grill the chicken.
Assemble the salad by mixing the lettuce greens, chopping the tomato, chopping the onion, chopping the cucumber.
Mix in salad dressing and feta.
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Heat a skillet over medium heat. It should be sized to fit the pita pocket.
Once hot, add 2 tbs olive oil to the pan then add the pitas one at a time, flipping once.
Spread half the ricotta onto each pita pocket.
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Top with salad mix, then feta.
Slice and top with grilled chicken.
Drizzle some additional dressing over the whole thing or the creamy Greek dressing.
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I liked the crispness of the pita… toasting them up was in my best interest, since my pitas were not exactly fresh anymore. It was a great weird mix of not a salad, not a pizza. Not a pizza topped with salad. It was tricky to eat, but that’s a challenge I was happy to accept.

This is a refreshing summer meal. I love that is has some great flavors, freshness, and uses only a few ingredients. There is only a small amount of chicken in/on this. Once again, it was a good reminder that those super skinny breast pieces are useful when cut up or one normal size chicken breast would easily serve 2-3 people this way. I had some green onions hanging around so those went on top too.

I’ve proclaimed my love for ricotta, haven’t I? It is true. I love it. Ricotta on toast + avocado = delicious. I had leftover ricotta from making personalized Pizza Dip so I figured this was definitely a different use for it. Whipped feta would be great on this too.  These would be fun on little mini pitas for an appetizer. Pita bread is a great pizza crust. I need to do that again!

BLT Pasta Salad

Now that the 4th is over, the pressure is off for your food to be red/white/blue. Phew!

I was thinking this pasta salad was getting so hearty that it didn’t really need to just be a side, I thought it could be almost the whole meal. I put it on salad with a few more veggies and thought it was great!

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Ingredients:

6 oz plain greek yogurt
1 envelope Ranch Dressing (or Italian Dressing)
10 oz dried pasta (any shape you like)
4 slices of bacon
2 tomatoes
1 cucumber

Directions:

In advance: mix yogurt and dressing packet together and refrigerate for 3+ hours.
Boil pasta until cooked through, but just a little al dante. (I cook it longer than when I prepare hot pasta).
Fry bacon until crisp.
Let pasta cool.
Chop tomatoes, cucumbers, and bacon.
Mix dressing onto room temperature pasta.
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Chill for an hour-or-two before serving.
Serve as pasta salad or on top of a green salad.
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Basil would have been a good addition to make the pasta salad be more BLT instead of the lettuce. I used Greek yogurt to up the protein and lower the fat from mayo. If it dries out, add a tablespoon or two of milk to get it creamy again before serving.

There are pretty much a million substitutions for this one…ready? go!

Shrimp and Couscous Salad

Sometimes it is just too hot to really cook. I don’t like when it is this hot out. I don’t know how people like the 90s. Yuck. It was too hot to cook, we had just been away for the weekend, I hadn’t planned anything so I was digging around to see what I could whip up. I came up with this salad-y dish that was perfect!

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Ingredients:

5 medium-large shrimp, pealed, deveined, and cooked (I used frozen)
½ cup Israeli couscous
¾ cup chicken/veggie stock/water/white wine (liquid of your choosing)
2 tbs whole grain mustard
1 tsp butter
1 cup edemame (I used unshelled, if they’re in the pods cook and pop them out earlier)
½ cup bell pepper, chopped
salt & pepper

Directions:

Add couscous to a medium pan over medium heat to toast for about 3 minutes.
Shake them around until they start getting a little tan colored.
Add in the liquid (I used chicken stock) and cover for 5 minutes.
Cook edemame (mine was frozen and deshelled and just needed to boil for 5 min).
Chop pepper and cut shrimp into 3rds or leave whole, depending on your preference while couscous is cooking
Remove from heat and add in butter and mustard.
Drop in edemame, peppers, and shrimp.
Stir until combined and sprinkle in cracked pepper and kosher salt.

This was so easy and I was using what I had. I didn’t have anything citrus based, but that would be really fresh and perfect for shrimp. I liked the butter and mustard flavors. The peppers are raw but warm up a bit from the heat of everything else. They add a good crunch. I loved this one dish meal. I’ve made couscous before sort of like this but this time, it got to be the whole meal!

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This could easily have a bunch of substitutions. Salad dressing would be a good substitute for the mustard if that isn’t your thing. It would nix a lot of calories to use water instead of chicken stock in the couscous, and to omit the butter, but I figured it was under 400 calories anyway so I’d live it up. I would have chopped spinach if I had some or cherry tomatoes would be great. My cucumber was questionable but I thought that would be a good crunch. This could use any veggies you had around.

I loved the colors and felt so summery eating outside on the deck!

What I Ate: Ramen Coleslaw

I was trying to think of an easy side I could literally throw together. I was lacking motivation recently and somehow this came out of nowhere. I’ve made it a few times, but not once this summer yet. My twist is using broccoli slaw instead of cabbage or slaw mix.

This is so easy and takes 5 minutes to prep and goes with everything. It isn’t vegetarian but it is delicious! It is probably the cheapest side-dish ever. I dare you, find a cheaper one.

The Three Bite Rule - Ramen Slaw

Ingredients:

1 bag broccoli slaw
1 pack ramen noodles, chicken flavor
3/4 cup oil
4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
4 tbsp sugar
sprinkle of pepper
1 of the chicken pack flavorings in ramen noodle package

Directions:

The Three Bite Rule - Ramen Slaw
Boil the ramen noodles for about 5 minutes then drain.
Whisk or shake in a jar the oil, vinegar, sugar, pepper, and ramen flavor pack.
The Three Bite Rule - Ramen Slaw
Mix noodles, slaw, and dressing.
The Three Bite Rule - Ramen Slaw
Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving. I should have thrown in sunflower seeds. That crunch on top is delicious. I like how oil-vinegary this is. There is so much flavor from the ramen. My Mum and mother-in-law both make it with grapes & nuts. I like this salad when you keep the noodles raw too. They’re super crunchy.

Let’s break it down:

1 pkg chicken ramen: $0.24 (12 pack @ $2.99)
1 pkg broccoli slaw: $2.99
very little oil & vinegar
total = $3.23 and serves about 6, or $0.53 per serving.

Can you believe that pricing? It’s a crowd pleaser that won’t break the bank.

What I Ate: Cobb Salad Lettuce Wraps

Cobb Salad and Chef Salad united for my dinner. This isn’t really a recipe, but it is more of an idea you can happily capitalize on. I went with a everything-but-the-kitchen-sink method for a salad for dinner. It was definitely a dinner plan that was low on actual cooking but was hearty and fun.
3 Bite Rule: Cobb Salad Lettuce Wraps

We don’t eat tons of salads as dinner, so during a hot few days I took advantage of a low-cooking meal. This felt like a fun meal to serve when it is hot, or especially if you aren’t a confident chef! Serve this next time you’re the host or for a potluck and everyone will be happy.

Ingredients:

2 grilled chicken breasts
4 hard boiled eggs
avocado
carrots
cucumber
tomatoes
corn
shredded cheddar
broccoli
head Boston Bibb lettuce
croutons
blue cheese dressing

Directions:

Fry bacon, boil eggs, and grill the chicken.
Chop everything except the lettuce.
Mix the “fillings” and serve in lettuce wraps.

These were really fun! I liked that there were so many interesting textures and bright flavors. I went with the normal cobb salad as though it was a chop salad. I figured if the lettuce didn’t really work, then we could always drop the toppings on a bed of lettuce. It worked well as wraps though.
3 Bite Rule: Cobb Salad Lettuce Wraps

It takes time to chop and prep everything but I made enough for two of us to have for dinner and then for lunch again the next day. I didn’t dress the salad so besides the avocado, it packed up well for lunch too. The only cooking was the bacon, eggs, and grilled chicken.

We were eating and that’s when I realized I had forgotten the chicken. Ohh well. It truly felt like a dinner meal even without that. The eggs, bacon, and avocado makes this a hearty one.

Croutons are such an easy item to make at home and I never buy them anymore. Whenever I do buy them they seem to disappear as snacks before they appear on many salads.
3 Bite Rule: Cobb Salad Croutons

Cut some bread into squares, drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary, and some grated parmesan. Toast a few minutes on each side and voila! Croutons made-to-order!

What I Ate: Salad Bar

Well, we’ve made it to Friday! Somehow it always seems like an accomplishment. A wise gal, Ms. D, told me “I like to call it big Friday. Thursday is like little Friday.” I like that.

I’ve been really into salads for dinner so I wanted to throw this idea your way. We like salad bar dinner to each customize and because it’s all the fun stuff at the salad bar that make it fun food. Toppings to a sundae.
3 Bite Rule - Salad Bar
There’s nothing super crazy in this bar, but it’s a good use for leftovers!

What I Ate: Antipasto

The Italian salad ‘antipasto’ itself means before the meal. Well, this was THE meal. I chose some meats, cheeses, and paired them with veggies. I made my own croutons and drizzled a balsamic reduction.
Antipasto Salad
This was a perfect dinner on a hot night. I’m trying to be conscious about adding some easier, less strenuous meals. Sometimes I burn myself out by trying to one-up my own meals

every.
single.
day.

This is really where this What I Ate series came from. Easy things that aren’t worth blogging are good too. I always have a soft spot for an easy meal that can just highlight quality ingredients. I feel like Joey eating Rachel’s trifle/shepard’s pie. Fresh mozzarella? good! gouda? good! english cucumbers? good! pepperoni? good!
Rachel’s Dessert

This is also a great belated tribute to my Dad’s bday. He can’t cook much but his antipasti are out of this world!

Corn, Avocado, and Cuke Salad

I have a brief (but delicious) one for you today. I just got back from San Fran and have a lot of catching up to do. I made this side salad for Father’s day since my dad is all about the avocados recently. It is a bit delayed but couldn’t be more perfect for the crazy heat we’re having here on the East Coast (San Fran, not so much). I liked it as an easy alternative for a veggie side.

Ingredients:

2 cups corn
1 large cucumber (I used an English cuke so I didn’t have to peal it and there would be some dark green)
1 avocado
2 tbs chives (or green onions)
2 tbs Italian salad dressing
dash of salt

Directions:

Cook corn and roast corn slightly (roasting = optional).
corn roasting for corn/avocado/cuke salad
Chop cucumber, avocado, and chives.
Combine dressing with all the chopped ingredients and serve immediately.
corn avocado cuke salad thethreebiterule.com
Tip: leave out the avocado until serving but the rest can be prepped earlier that day
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I like the color and textures in this one. I would have been tempted to throw in some tomatoes if I had any around. The chives came from my garden and yes, they are the only edible thing growing right now. I’m crossing my fingers for my tomato plant that seems to be rockin’ some green future-tomatoes.

I think it also lends itself well to a Mexican meal or if you have an abundance of fresh corn this summer! It is light and cool so serve it at your next bbq and throw any leftovers into a quesadilla or onto your salad or dip into it with chips.

What I Ate: Couscous

To continue this What I Ate series, I have a fun side for you.

This was a perfect summer meal. Marinated grilled chicken and couscous packed with veggies. I loved the flavor and was really jazzed about the couscous as a side. It might not look extra special but it was just right.
what I ate : couscous
I cooked the couscous as I normally would but I roasted tomatoes while the couscous was cous-ing. I added the roasted tomatoes, and spinach I chopped up as if it were an herb. Worked like a charm to use a somewhat small amount of leftover spinach and “hide” it in a way. I added a touch of butter and Dijon. Perfect!

Ingredients:
Israeli couscous
10 grape tomatoes
1-2 cups spinach, cut chiffonade
1 tbs butter (or 2 if you’re being real)
1 tbs dijon mustard

Hail Caesar

My sis was coming over for dinner and I was trying to think what would be a good idea for her first meal from my new kitchen. I thought of her love of chicken Caesar salad and decided to tweak it a bit. I made it into a pizza!
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It didn’t come out perfectly but I’m still getting acclimated to my new oven. It went from not done to quite crispy in just a minute. I made the Caesar dressing earlier in the day and marinated chicken breast pieces in some dressing.

Caesar Dressing:

Ingredients:
4 garlic cloves
2 tbs mustard
1 tbs white vinegar
2 tbs mayo
2/3 cup olive oil
1 tbs lemon juice
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 tbs Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Combine garlic, mustard, vinegar, and mayo in a blender.
Slowly stream in olive oil and lemon juice until blended completely.
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Transfer to a jar and mix in pepper and cheese by hand.
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Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Caesar Pizza

Ingredients:
1 pizza dough ball
¼ cup pesto
1 cup mozzarella shredded
1-2 hearts of romaine
2 chicken breast (marinated in Caesar dressing), grilled and sliced
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup croutons (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Stretch pizza dough out onto a greased and floured baking pan or pizza stone and top with pesto (I used sundried tomato pesto).
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Add mozzarella and grilled chicken slices.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown (not torched like mine)
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While pizza is baking, chop romaine and toss with dressing.
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Allow pizza to cool for a minute or two and top each slice with lettuce mix.
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I drizzled some dressing over the pizza since mine was overdone (and pretty dried out) before adding the lettuce.

I made some croutons just for fun by just toasting some bread cubes with olive oil and some seasonings.
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Overall, it was good and I’d probably make it again. I have since tried an alternative pizza technique to ensure I get the crust crispy without massacring everything else. Stay tuned for that one and just wait till you see what our office Valentine’s Day Potluck was!