No matter where life takes me, the bumps in the road or the people I meet, Texas will always have my heart! Yup, this globetrotting girl will always want to eventually come home to Texas!
Don’t get me wrong, I love to travel and have had many wonderful experiences, meeting amazing people and eating some of the best food of my life while on the road. From exploring an 12th century castle in Scotland, to climbing the Statue of Liberty and listening to live jazz music while eating like a King in New Orleans; these adventures taught me so much about life and have created life long memories!
BUT! Growing up Texan has definitely shaped who I am! When out-of-towners, vising or here to stay awhile, or fellow wanderers cross my path on the open road; I always get asked a lot of questions about my life in Texas. Like why do we say ‘y’all’? Do I ride a horse to school (no really, I was asked this like 100 times when traveling overseas)? What are homecoming mums? I give it all a good laugh and then smile and say it is a Texas thang!
One thing that everyone asks about upon arriving to Texas is about H-E-B. First you know they aren’t from around these parts, because they say HEB without saying each letter individually. Then when you correct them and inform them that it is said, H. E. B. and is a Texas grocery store, they immediately want to know what H-E-B stands for. Technically the store is named after the store’s founder Howard E. Butt but most Texans and transplants know the store, and yes the great state of Texas as a whole (Smile!), as Here Everything’s Better.
While shopping at H-E-B is super convenient, I live in a 2 mile radius of 3 (yes THREE) H-E-B stores, and the nature of my job requires frequent grocery store visits, I just enjoy shopping there because of how much they support other Texas business. I love supporting local and love that H-E-B makes it easy for me to do this. One way they shine a light on local products is by featuring them in their monthly Primo Picks. These are a variety of items, from H-E-B branded products, to local Mom and Pop merchants, to other fun and tasty seasonal items. Of course for October it was everything pumpkin! Pumpkin spice nuts, coffee, soup and even dish soap and dog treats! A.K.A Pumpkin Lovers Paradise!
And you thought the pumpkin craze was over! Ha!
Inspired by the assortment of all things pumpkin, I decided to get in the kitchen again and create another pumpkin recipe, this time savory! This Fall Cobb Salad with Pumpkin Butter Vinaigrette, has a few classic cobb salad ingredients like hard boiled eggs, creamy avocado, crispy bacon and juicy, grilled chicken, but then I added as many fall flavors that I could: apples, dried cranberries, spiced pecans, roasted sweet potatoes and a light drizzle of pumpkin butter vinaigrette. Yup, dish up this salad if you want to eat fall with a fork!
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 large chicken breast
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
1 large honey crisp or pink lady apple, cored and diced
4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and diced
4 slices cooked bacon, chopped
½ cup dried cherries
½ cup H-E-B Pumpkin Spiced Pecans City Street Nuts
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
6 cups mixed salad greens, such as romaine, radicchio, spinach and arugula
1 batch Pumpkin Butter Vinaigrette (recipe below)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, toss together diced sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon oil, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Spread seasoned potatoes onto prepared baking sheet and roast in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until tender.
Meanwhile, preheat remaining oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season both sides of the chicken breast with remaining salt and black pepper. Place seasoned chicken in hot skillet and cook for 5-6 minutes per side, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from skillet and cool. Dice chicken into bite size pieces. Set aside.
Drizzle avocado and apple pieces with lemon juice.
In a large bowl toss together roasted sweet potato, cooked chicken, chopped eggs, bacon, avocado, apples, dried cranberries, spiced nuts and feta cheese with the lettuce greens and pumpkin vinaigrette.
Alternatively, salad can be served on a serving platter. Arrange lettuce greens on top of a large serving platter and arrange each ingredient in lines on top of the lettuce.
¼ cup Barton Creek Crossing Pumpkin Spread
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Combine all ingredients in a glass jar. Tightly seal jar and shake to combine ingredients. Serve immediately or store, sealed in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Disclosure: This sponsored blog post was written by me on behalf of H-E-B. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Because of sponsors like H-E-B I am able to continue to bring you all the content I feature here.