Wayne's Weekend: Gazpacho And Pineapple Chicken Salad

Create two quick, easy and colorful light meals for summer.

I like creating light and colorful meals during the summertime.  These two dishes are really easy to put together and make a great presentation.  With the gazpacho, your guests get lots of options for additional toppings with a mini buffet of cream cheese, croutons and chopped fresh vegetables, all in small bowls.  The chicken salad is even easier to prepare, with less ingredients, and uses the shell of the pineapple as a serving bowl.  Both can be made early in the day so that final set up and serving is a breeze.

Pineapple Chicken Salad
makes 2 servings


1 Whole Pineapple
1 pkg Pre Cooked Roasted Chicken Pieces, 9oz size
1 cu Green Seedless Grapes, split in half
1 Granny Smith Apple, cored and cut into chunks (skin on), tossed in the juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cu whole Almonds
1 Celery Stalk, split lengthwise and chopped
1 tbl Fresh Tarragon Leaves, chopped
1/2 cu Light Mayonnaise
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper


Slice the pineapple lengthwise through the steam.  Cut out the meat of the pineapple, reserving the liquid.  Discard the core section and slice the remaining pineapple into 1” chunks.  Measure 2 cups of pineapple chucks into a large bowl (reserve the rest for snacks or other dishes).  Add about 1/4 cu pineapple juice.  Add remaining ingredients and toss to combine.  Season with additional salt and pepper if necessary.  Spoon mixture into pineapple halves and serve. 

makes about 6 cups


2 lg Tomatoes
1/2 cu Roasted Red Pepper
1 Seedless Cucumber
1 lg Yellow Onion
1 lg Green Pepper
3 cu V8 Juice (spicy or regular)
2 Jalapeño Peppers, seeded
1 sm Red Pepper
1/4 cu Light Olive Oil
1/2 cu Red Wine Vinegar
2 tbl Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp Louisiana Hot Sauce
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Dill
1/2 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Worchestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/4 cu Chives, chopped for garnish
Sour Cream for garnish
Croutons for garnish


Bring a pot of water, large enough to cover 1 tomato, to a boil.  Score a small X across the bottom of one of the tomatoes.  Once the water is boiling, place the tomato in the water for 30 seconds.  Remove and then peel away the skin.  Cut the tomato into large chunks and place it in a blender with 1 cup of tomato juice.  Add the roasted red pepper.  Add 1/2 each of the cucumber, onion and green pepper.  Add 1 jalapeño pepper.  Blend ingredients until smooth.  Transfer to a large bowl.  Add remaining tomato juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, Louisiana hot sauce, cumin, dill, chili powder, Worchestershire sauce, salt and pepper.  Stir together ingredients, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or longer. 

Meanwhile, chop the remaining 1/2 each of cucumber, onion, green pepper and the small red pepper and place them in separate small bowls or serving dishes.  Chop the  remaining jalapeño pepper and place it in a small bowl or serving dish.  Place chives, sour cream and croutons in serving dishes as well.

Serve gazpacho in individual chilled bowls and allow your guest to add any of the extras that they like.

If you’d like a simpler version, add all the ingredients except the sour cream and croutons into the gazpacho and serve with a dollop of sour cream and a few croutons sprinkled on top.

If you have any comments or questions, please send me an email at wayne@waynesweekend.com or follow me on Facebook or Twitter.

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