Apple Almond Chicken Salad

Apple almond chicken salad is an easy lunch that’s full of flavor, without a lot of bother.  You can either start with rotisserie chicken from the store, or roast your own.  The flavor comes from sweet apples, crunchy almonds, and tangy sour cream.

Switching from all mayo to half sour cream and half mayo adds more zing, and makes the salad a lot less heavy. I don’t just mean calories.  I find all mayo is just too greasy.  If you don’t have sour cream, Greek yogurt works really well too.

This recipe was inspired by an online food group I belong to. There are themes most months and this time it was apples. So I decided to switch my usual chicken salad up a bit.  Goodbye grapes and hello apples!

Use a rotisserie chicken and this recipe is done in five minutes. Or, do it yourself (think of this as two recipes in one). The roast chicken is delicious for dinner too.

If you want to roast the chicken yourself, mix up 1 tsp olive oil, a small clove of garlic (chopped), and 1 tsp rosemary in a small ramekin. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and then coat it with the olive oil mixture.  Roast at 400 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.

Then let it cool, and remove the skin. Eat the skin as a chef’s treat (this is an important step!). Shred the chicken, and prepare the rest of the salad. Roasting at a higher temperature keeps the meat juicy while the skin gets crispy and golden brown.

Apple Almond Chicken Salad

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Category: Lunch Recipes for One

Cuisine: American

1 serving

apple almond chicken salad


  • 1 cooked chicken thigh, shredded
  • 1 small apple, cut in chunks
  • 2 tsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp ground almonds


  1. Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix them together.

Apple Almond Chicken Salad Substitutions and Variations

  • Use chopped almonds or other nuts, like walnuts or pecans
  • Try switching the rosemary in the roast coating with tarragon instead
  • If you use rotisserie chicken, add some fresh rosemary or tarragon to the salad
  • Go back to the grapes
  • Toss in some craisins (sweetened cranberries)

More Chicken Salad Recipes

Chicken Caprese Salad Panini Sandwich

Chicken Salad Recipe with Greek Yogurt and Dried Currants

Mixed Greens Egg Potato and Chicken Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Kielbasa with Sauerkraut and Apples

Huddled up at home waiting out the virus? Want dinner that’s both comforting and easy? Kielbasa with Sauerkraut and Apples is just the thing. It’s filling, it’s quick, and it’s dinner all by itself. All in one pot.  Some say this dish is German, others call it Polish.  Whichever, it’s delicious!

I adapted this recipe from one I found online. That recipe called for first cooking the kielbasa on a grill, then putting them in the oven, while starting the onions on the stove, and making the rest of the recipe. That would leave you with a grill, a baking sheet, and a frying pan to clean.   No! No! No! Not doing that way.

Plus, it’s  early to stand outside and  grill anything here. Even if I had a grill.  This way is much easier.

My version only uses a single pan.  And, it’s ready in about 20 minutes.  Much better!

The kielbasa makes this dish filling, while the sauerkraut adds a little bite. Cooking it mellows out the sharpness (a bit like cooking onions or garlic), and the apple gives it a bit of sweetness and balance the richness of the sausage and the sourness of the kraut. The honey mustard horseradish sauce is also sweet/spicy so it complements the rest of the dish perfectly.

Use an apple that is slightly tart (I had Crimson Topaz, but a tart apple such as Granny Smith would work fine).

No kielbasa? Bratwurst would work too.

Kielbasa with Sauerkraut and Apples

Category: dinner

Cuisine: Polish


kielbasa with sauerkraut and apples


  • Kielbasa
  • 1 T cooking oil (less if you use pork kielbasa, a bit more for turkey)
  • 1/2 onion, sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 6 oz kielbasa (about 6 inches long, cut into 1/2 inch slices)
  • 1/4 C sauerkraut, drained
  • 1 small tart apple, sliced
  • Honey Mustard Horseradish Sauce
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp prepared horseradish


  1. Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add kielbasa, and cook 5 minutes
  4. Add the sauerkraut and cook for 5 minutes more.
  5. Turn over sausage.
  6. Add the sliced apple
  7. Cook that for another 5 minutes and remove from pan onto plate.
  8. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl or ramekin. Pour sauce over sausage mixture.

Kielbasa with Sauerkraut and Apples Substitutions and Variations

  • Add a little apple cider to the pan
  • Use some dark beer
  • Experiment with different kinds of sausage, even plain frankfurters
  • Add sliced potatoes for an entire meal in one pan
  • Serve with rye bread, or add some caraway seeds
  • Leave the sausage whole and put it on a hot dog bun (cook it a bit longer)

More Sausage Recipes

Polish sausage with cabbage and potatoesOne Pot Polish Sausage and Cabbage with Potatoes

Another great one-pot fridge stable/shelf stable meal, with only a few simple ingredients.  The cabbage mellows as it cooks, and the potatoes make it a filling, hearty meal.


creole cabbage and sausageQuick Creole Cabbage and Sausage

Travel (in your imagination) to New Orleans with these quick skillet dinner. Spiked with creole seasoning and creole mustard for a burst of flavor (don’t worry if you don’t have those things, you can easily make them with common ingredients).

lamb merguez sausage with rice and vegetablesLamb Merguez Sausage with Rice and Vegetables

Spicy sausage, sweet carrots, and largely pantry ingredients. It does call for eggplant, but you can skip it if you don’t have it.  Add more carrots instead. Or some mushrooms.



Apple Glazed Ham Steak Recipe for One Person

When I was little, everyone served ham with pineapple. That’s good, but I think this apple glazed ham steak is better. There’s an enzyme in pineapple that breaks down protein and tends to make it a bit mushy.  Plus you have to get a good pineapple, wonder what to do with the rest of it, or settle for canned.  Apples on the other hand, add a touch of sweetness, plus a hint of tartness. It’s less overpoweringly sweet and it complements the salty ham better.

The other good thing about this recipe is that it’s fairly quick. Sauté the ham steak, set it aside, make the apple topping, and you have dinner in about 15-20 minutes.

Score! There are more quick dinner recipes at the bottom of the post.

If you can, get the ham steak from a butcher.  The pre-packaged kind tends to be bulked up with water and additives.  I’m lucky enough to have a butcher nearby that sells them frozen, so I can buy it and use it when I’m ready.

I made this with brandy, but if you don’t have that, apple cider will work too.  For a more intense apple flavor, try it with apple brandy, such as Calvados, or a hard apple cider.

The Brusssels sprouts, by the way, are tossed with some olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper and then roasted.  My new favorite way to eat them!

Apple Glazed Ham Steak

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Category: dinner

Cuisine: American

one serving

apple glazed ham steak

Great for a quick fall meal, this glazed ham steak takes only a few minutes to make. Best with crispy apples.


  • 1 slice 
ham steak
  • 1 T 
  • 1 small apple, sliced
  • pinch 
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 
  • 1/4 C brandy (or apple cider or apple brandy or a combination)


  1. Put the ham steak in a frying pan large enough to hold it without crowding. Cook the ham until heated through (about five minutes per side). Remove and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the sliced apple and sauté them until slightly tender (about 5 minutes). Add nutmeg, brown sugar, cloves, and brandy (or cider or Calvados) and deglaze the pan (stir the sauce with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom of the pan to incorporate the brown bits from the ham into the sauce). If this sauce is too thin, add a bit of flour or turn up the heat and cook for a few minutes until it thickens.

Apple Glazed Ham Steak Substitutions and Variations

  • skip the cloves and add a bit of tangy mustard
  • try some cinnamon
  • sauté some sweet onions and include them in the sauce (Vidalia onions would work nicely for this)
  • mix up the apples; I used Gala but Granny Smith would add a bit of extra tartness to the recipe and make a nice complement to the ham
  • if you don’t have brandy, use Calvados, or apple cider

More Quick Dinner Recipes

Quick Creole Cabbage and Sausage

One Pot Polish Sausage and Cabbage with Potatoes

Cider Braised Pork Chop with Sauerkraut and Apples


Cider Braised Pork Chop with Sauerkraut and Apples

Now that fall has finally arrived, it’s time to start switching light meals and salads for something more substantial. This cider braised pork chop with sauerkraut is full of classic fall flavors, from rich pork, crisp apples and sweet cider. That sweetness is balanced by savory onions, piquant sauerkraut, and just a touch of brown sugar.

It’s great simple comfort food. This is a good dish for a weeknight dinner or even for company. You only need to use one pan, so there’s not a lot of clean up involved. And, after a bit of chopping and slicing it’s ready in about half an hour. Just be careful not to overcook the pork. Put everything together, deglaze the pan, and then cook it gently for 15 or 20 minutes.

There are lots of variations on this idea. Some add bacon. Others roast the pork. I added carrots, but you can also skip the carrots in the main dish and make my honey mustard glazed carrots as a side dish. The sweet honey and the savory mustard complement the pork nicely.

Cider Braised Pork Chop with Sauerkraut

Category: dinner

Cuisine: German

one serving

cider braised pork with sauerkraut

Pork chop braised in sweet cider and sauerkraut. An easy, one-pot meal that's perfect for chilly weather.


  • 1 pork chop
  • 2 tsp canola or neutral oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced onion
  • 1 small apple, sliced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut in chunks
  • salt and pepper to taste (go easy on the salt because of the sauerkraut)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 1/4 cup sauerkraut
  • 1 tsp brown sugar


  1. Heat oil in frying pan. Brown the chop and set aside.
  2. Add the onion, apple, thyme, and carrot and season to taste.
  3. Cook for about 5 minutes and then remove from the pan onto a plate.
  4. Add the cider to the pan and deglaze the pan, scraping up any bits that cling to the bottom.
  5. Now add the sauerkraut and brown sugar.
  6. Put the pork and the veggies back in the pan. Turn heat to low, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Pick up the pork chop with tongs and set it on a plate. Arrange the vegetables over the pork chop, and then spoon the sauce over everything.

Cider Braised Pork Chop with Sauerkraut Substitutions and Variations

  • Use white wine or chicken broth instead of the cider
  • Replace the carrots with potatoes
  • Add some sausage
  • Saute some bacon in the pan first and cook the pork in the bacon fat instead of the oil
  • If you find commercial sauerkraut too salty, mix in some raw cabbage to cut the salinity.

Cabbage and Apple Recipes

Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Apples

One Pot Polish Sausage and Cabbage with Potatoes

Quick Creole Cabbage and Sausage

Small Batch Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe

Easy One Serving Apple Crisp Recipe

It’s officially fall, so that means it’s also officially apple season! This easy one serving apple crisp recipe really satisfies that apple craving, while indulging your sweet tooth at the same time. I had a serious hankering for something sweet, but not too gooey, and this hits the spot.

Try to use apples that are large, crisp, and juicy, but not too sweet.  I am lucky enough to have access to a greenmarket with a farmer who grows 75 kinds of apples.  So, I used Esopus Spitzenberg (supposedly Thomas Jefferson’s favorite apple).  If you don’t have 75 kinds of apples, Granny Smith or Mutsu or similar will do just fine.

The original recipe called for 2 cups of sugar (for 12 servings), which was waaay too much.  Every other recipe I saw used half that.  So, I followed suit and cut it in  half.  It’s still sweet and delicious, without endangering  your teeth.

Easy One Serving Apple Crisp Recipe

Category: dessert

Cuisine: American

one serving

easy one serving apple crisp recipe


  • 1 2/3 cup apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (this is roughly one large apple)
  • 1 T plus 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2T plus 2 1/2 tsp flour
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 2T plus 2 tsp quick cooking oats*
  • 1T plus 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1 T plus 1 tsp melted butter


  1. Preheat toaster oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Arrange the sliced apples in a small baking dish.
  3. Mix 1 tsp white sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg together in a small bowl.
  4. Sprinkle the mixture over the apples.
  5. In the same bowl, add the oats, flour, remaining white sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and melted butter, and stir to mix together.
  6. Pour the oat mixture over the apple slices.
  7. Put in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.


*Quick cooking oats are just finely ground oatmeal; if you don't have them, just put some regular oatmeal in a mini-chopper and grind them up.

Easy One Serving Apple Crisp Recipe Substitutions and Variations

  • Give in to the pumpkin spice craze and add ground cloves and ginger
  • Try a splash of brandy (especially Calvados)
  • If you want your crisp more syrupy, add some apple cider
  • Serve with ice cream or whipped cream on top

Tools and Ingredients for Easy One Serving Apple Crisp


black and decker mini chopper

Black & Decker Food Chopper

A mini chopper is essentially a food processor’s little cousin.  This is perfect for grinding up the oatmeal in this recipe.  And, it takes up a lot less space than a food processor.  It’s great for chopping nuts, dicing onions, making pesto, or even grinding a small batch of meat for meatballs.

HIC Square Baking Dish small porcelain baking dish

This dish is ideal for baking smaller casseroles, cakes, crisps, and crumbles.  Use it for brownies, peach crumble or a mini-meatloaf.  It’s perfectly content in the oven, the dishwasher, and the microwave. And, it also takes up very little space in your cupboard.

More Fruit Dessert Recipes

Small Batch Cinnamon Sugar Apple Bread

Peach Crumble Recipe for One

Poached Pears with Chocolate Sauce and Ice Cream

Small Batch Ginger Pear Bread

Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Apples

There’s nothing better and more comforting than hot soup on a chilly, blustery day. This curried butternut squash soup with apples is perfect for cold fall or winter weekends when squash are plentiful. I had quite a bit of squash left over from making roasted cinnamon nutmeg butternut squash, so this was the perfect way to use it up.   I have adapted the recipe from The Silver Palate cookbook, with a few tweaks.

First, I cut the recipe in half, as the original recipe made 6 large servings.  Plus, I only had most of one squash left (not two!).  I also substituted apple cider for the apple juice called for in the recipe. This gives it more flavor than just plain apple juice.

One more note, I recommend that you use a mild curry in this recipe (not something super-hot and spicy as it will overwhelm the flavor of the squash and the apples). I have a West Indian curry blend which is more savory than spicy; it works perfectly. If you can’t get the curry, try a teaspoon of ginger and a teaspoon of brown sugar.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Apples

Category: soup

Cuisine: American

three to four servings

curried butternut squash soup with apples

An easy soup that's perfect for chilly fall or winter days.


  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 1 C yellow onion (about one medium-large), finely chopped
  • 3 teaspoons mild curry powder (preferably West Indian)
  • 1 butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 1/2 C chicken stock
  • 1/2 C apple cider
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Melt the butter in a three quart dutch oven or soup pot.
  2. Add the chopped onions and the curry powder. Cover the pot and let the onions cook, on low heat, about 20 minutes.
  3. Peel the squash and cut it into chunks. You don't have to be too neat about this as you're going to puree the soup. The easiest way is to take a large, sharp knife and cut the squash in half (width-wise) and then into smaller hunks. Make sure you scrape out the seeds and discard them. I find a grapefruit spoon works nicely.
  4. When the onions are soft, add the stock, the chunks of squash, and the apple to the pot.
  5. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring the soup to a boil. Once it's boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook (with the cover partially off the pot), until the apples and squash are soft. This should take about half an hour.
  6. Turn off the flame and remove the pot from the heat.
  7. Now, take a stick blender and puree the soup until it's smooth.
  8. Add the apple cider and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Tools and Ingredients for Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Apples

Cuisinart  Immersion Hand Blender

cuisinart hand blenderThe original recipe called for straining the soup, then putting it through a food mill or food processor, and then pouring it back into the original pot.

Doable, but a pain in the neck, and it means two more things to clean.  The immersion blender is much easier to use, and a lot easier to clean up too.  You just pop off the end and wash it.


Chief West Indian Curry Powder

Flavorful, but not too hot, this curry blend comes straight from Trinidad.  It works well with butternut squash, a quick chicken curry, or over some cauliflower or roasted potatoes.

Oxo Swivel Peeler

Butternut squash is notoriously hard to peel, but this gadget makes the job a snap. Using this peeler, peeling a squash is no harder than peeling a carrot.

The little hole in the pointed end is great for removing the eyes from potatoes, or taking out bruised spots from veggies.  Oxo was originally designed for people with arthritis, so the handle is soft, round, and easy to grip.

More Butternut Squash Recipes

Roasted Butternut Squash with Brown Sugar and Vanilla

Butternut Squash Cream Sauce Recipe for One Person

Roasted Cinnamon Nutmeg Butternut Squash

Small Batch Cinnamon Sugar Apple Bread

It’s apple season! It’s also the time of year when it’s traditional to eat apples and honey (for a sweet Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year).  I brought a full batch of this cinnamon sugar apple bread to my brother’s house for the holiday. They gobbled it up! Pretty good, considering it was competing with mom’s New York cheesecake.

I originally planned to post the entire recipe, which I adapted from Cookies and Cups.  Then I remembered (duh), that this is the “single serving chef” blog, and the portions should be smaller!

I have reduced the sugar and the vanilla, because the original recipe was far too sweet for me. The result is a delicious, and easy to make, quick bread (think banana bread, but with apples rather than bananas), that’s full of apple flavor and topped with a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar.

If you can get them, use a Canville Blanc D’Hiver apple (which is a French tart apple). If not, Granny Smith, Mutsu, or GingerGold will work well. You want an apple that’s firm, crisp, and not too sweet.

I once accidentally made this with cayenne (!) instead of cinnamon. I mention it because it was much better than I would have expected.  I’m not sure I’d do it again deliberately, but it did give me an idea (see the substitutions section).

Small Batch Cinnamon Sugar Apple Bread

Category: dessert

Cuisine: American

three to four servings

cinnamon sugar apple bread

A rich, delicious cake full of apples and dusted with cinnamon sugar. Serve it warm or cold. It's great topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or gelato.


  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 C flour
  • 1/4 C butter (half a stick), at room temperature
  • 6 T light brown sugar
  • 4T granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 C milk
  • 1 tart apple, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon


  1. Preheat the toaster oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter and flour a small baking dish.
  3. Mix the salt, baking powder, and flour in a small bowl.
  4. Beat the butter, sugars, and cinnamon in your mixer until the mixture is fluffy. If you have a KitchenAid, this should take about a minute, on speed 2. If not, mix on medium speed for two minutes, scraping down the sides.
  5. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix another few seconds (KitchenAid), or about a minute for standard mixers, scraping the sides.
  6. On low speed, alternately add the flour and the milk. Start with some flour, then some milk, then flour, then milk, then flour again. You should begin and end with flour.
  7. Add the chopped apple, and stir just enough to combine.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  9. Mix the remaining sugar and cinnamon together in a small ramekin and sprinkle over the batter.
  10. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  11. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Substitutions and Variations for Cinnamon Sugar Apple Bread

  • Add 1/2 tsp ground ginger to make the cake a bit spicy
  • Give it a bit of a kick with some brandy or Calvados
  • If you’re brave, or like spicy sweets, go for the cayenne
  • Top the bread with bourbon sauce (2 T bourbon, 1/4 C sugar, 2 T butter, heated in a small pan) instead of the cinnamon/sugar.

Tools for Small Batch Cinnamon Sugar Apple Bread

Wilton Mini Loaf Pan

I’m having a grand time with these mini loaf pans. They allow me to make “half-size recipes” without a lot of leftovers. And I don’t have to worry about having bread or cake going stale before I can finish it.  Just take a recipe for a single loaf of bread, divide the dough in half, and you have two mini-breads.  Perfect!

More Dessert Recipes

Greek Yogurt Triple Chocolate Cake

Small Batch Brownies with Cocoa Powder

Cinnamon Sugar Bananas with Brandy

Easy One Serving Apple Crisp Recipe