Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thai Quinoa Salad with Chicken

Lately I've been attempting a new recipe every week.. mostly coming from Pinterest.
Follow my food board - Link!

One of my favorites, which I've made twice this month already, is the Thai Quinoa Salad!  It's filling, delicious and healthy.. perfect to eat after a great run, because you won't feel bad about eating it, and it's a quick fix dinner.    I added chicken to my recipe, just for some added protein.

Here is a link to the original recipe.

Now here are my preferred modifications:

3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 heaping cup shredded red cabbage 
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup edamame  - without the shells
½ cup cashew halves
½ cup chopped cilantro
For the dressing:
¼ cup peanut butter (smooth)
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
3 Tbsp soy sauce 
1 Tbsp honey 
1 Tbsp vinegar - I used white wine vinegar, bc that's what I had
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp sriracha hot sauce 
For the chicken:2 chicken breasts - skinless boneless
salt & pepper
1 pinch Cayenne Pepper (For added spiciness - optional)

Cook quinoa according to package directions. You should have a little over 2 cups of quinoa.
In a large bowl combine cabbage, carrots, edamame, cashews, and cilantro.  (See picture to left)
For the chicken:
Season chicken with salt, pepper, and a pinch of cayenne powder (if you like it spicy).   Grill chicken, bake, or sauté until done.   Set aside to rest.
For the dressing:
Add peanut butter and honey to a microwave safe bowl and heat in microwave for about 20 seconds. Add in ginger, soy sauce, vinegar,  olive oil and sriracha and stir until smooth and creamy. If necessary, thin the dressing by adding a little more olive oil or some water.

Drizzle half of the dressing over the cooked quinoa.
Fold in the quinoa to your bowl of cabbage and other ingredients.  Add as much of the remaining dressing as you'd like (to taste).
Cut the chicken into strips and garnish on top of salad.
Chill until ready to eat or eat warm.

Here is my final results:

Friday, September 7, 2012

Roasted Citrus and Herb Chicken

Since I'm currently addicted to Pinterest.. Here is another inspired recipe I found, that has since been altered to my own taste.

It's a Roasted Citrus and Herb Chicken Breast.   I used chicken breast on the bone with skin, this allows the chicken to stay really juicy and the skin comes to a golden crisp.  

Ingredients for Chicken:
2 Chicken Breasts on the bone w/ skin (if serving more, just add more chicken)
Juice from 1/2 Orange
2 tsp Orange Zest
Juice from 1 Lemon
2 tsp Dried Rosemary spice
1 Garlic Glove - minced
Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 425
Before i cook my chicken i like to trim it of any unnecessary bones.  The ones I bought had some crazy looking rib pieces hanging off the side of the breast, wasn't very appetising, so i cut those off. :)
Then season with salt and pepper.
In a bowl combine:  juice from 1/2 an orange, juice from 1 lemon, orange zest, 2 tsp rosemary, minced garlic, 3 tablespoons olive oil.  Add the chicken breasts to your bowl and coat with mixture.
Place your chicken in a dish and pour remaining mixture over top.  
Cook for 40-50 minutes depending on thickness of chicken.

You will love this chicken - only took a few minutes to prepare and then you can relax or get other chores done while it's baking.  Perfect for a work day!   It's definitely one of our favorites.

For the side items we had the baked tomato, zucchini, squash (recipe in my previous blog) and a baked sweet potato (with pumpkin spice seasoning & butter)!

Baked Tomatoes, Zucchini and Squash

This recipe was inspired by something I saw on Pinterest.    I love mixing different colors of vegetables so last night i made a baked tomato, zucchini and zucchini squash side item with our meal.

2 Roma Tomatoes
1 Green Zucchini
1 Yellow Zucchini Squash
Olive Oil
Parmesan Cheese

Preheat the oven to 375
Wash your veggies and slice about 1/4 of an inch thick.  Arrange them in a baking dish, alternating colors.  Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle some Parmesan Cheese over all the vegetables. (I used just a light dusting).    Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Then, remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes. 

This is a picture of the vegetables before I put them in the oven:

The vegetables were super tender and delicious.  Very simple and healthy side dish - ENJOY!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Product I Love - Garlic Twist

I'm going to share one of my favorite, time saving, gadgets for the kitchen.
The Garlic Twist!

I just got this a few months ago and I still love using it.  Of course, I got it in green to match my other kitchen tools, but it comes in more colors.

You just place the peeled garlic gloves in the twister (I can fit up to 3 or 4 and have it still easily work).  Then you close the lid and start twisting.  It's genius.
When you are done you just shake the garlic out and throw it in the dish washer!

You can find these on for way cheaper than what i ended up spending at the local kitchen store - just an FYI!  It's called NexTrend Garlic Twist - Enjoy!

Mexican Lasagna

Happy Day after Labor Day!

After a long wonderful weekend.. I got lazy on my Labor Day cooking!
I decided to revert to a Rachel Ray 30 minute meal, Mexican Lasagna.  It is inexpensive, super quick, and delicious.

Here is the original recipe.

Mexican Lasagna

Ingredients - with my own modifications:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground chicken breast, available in the packaged meats case
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped - I didn't add this!
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained
  • 1 (14-oz) can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • Salt
  • 8 (8 inch) spinach flour tortillas -  I used the Jalapeno Cheddar Flavor and it was awesome!
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar or shredded pepper jack
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped - I didn't add this!
  • 1 cup of Jalapenos Chopped - I added this to spice it up a little
This is what the ground Chicken looks like - if you can't find it, I'm sure ground Turkey Breast would work too!
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add Olive Oil and add chicken and season with chili powder, cumin, and red onion. Brown the meat, 5 minutes. Add fire roasted tomatoes. Add black beans and corn and Jalapenos if you like it spicy. Heat the mixture through, 2 to 3 minutes then season with salt, to your taste.
Coat a shallow baking dish with cooking spray or Olive Oil . Cut the tortillas in quarters (this works best) to make them easy to layer with. Build lasagna in layers of meat and beans, then tortillas, then cheese. Repeat: meat, tortilla, cheese again. Bake lasagna 12 to 15 minutes until cheese is brown and bubbly. Serve and Enjoy!

This recipe could really be changed up with any ingredients you prefer - have fun!


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Shredded Chicken Tacos

Well it's officially time to get in shape before our vacation... So we are attempting to complete P90X prior to the trip!  I use the word "attempt" because we've tried it before and only made it to day 45.  But this time I'm motivated because I'm training to become a pool layer-outer / fruity drink drinker...  So far, I'm feeling the pain!

Today is Yoga Day - easy! 
So I've decided to make a fun, inexpensive, and easy Mexican Dinner to spice up the middle of the work week.

Menu: Shredded Chicken Tacos

1 large can of white chicken breast - drained
2-3 Tbsp Taco Seasoning
1 Pinch of Cayenne Pepper - Optional
Olive Oil
Tortillas (crispy or soft) - I used Crispy Corn Tortillas
(Makes about 7 tacos, I recommend using 2 cans of chicken if you like your taco extra meaty!)

Optional Add-ons:
Shredded Lettuce - Used this
2% milk shredded cheese (Mexican or cheddar works) - Used this
Your favorite salsa - Used this
Chopped tomatoes
Black Olives
Fat Free Sour Cream

In a pan add a lug of olive oil and the drained can of chicken.  Season with 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning and dash of cayenne pepper.  Cook until the chicken is nice and crispy.  Took me about 8-10 minutes on medium heat.  Add Salt and Pepper to taste.

While the chicken is cooking, place your side items in dishes so everyone can build their own tacos.

I like to serve this meal with black beans and rice on the side.... and we had Mexican Coca-Cola - yum!

PS - not sure why this picture won't flip... I blame Google :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My Favorite Soup - Minestrone

Yesterday after work, I decided I would make my husband and I's favorite soup - Minestrone.  Especially since it's been getting colder here and I felt like it was a soup kind-of day.  (By cold I of course mean it got down in the 50's at night - being a Florida girl who recently relocated to Oregon, when i say it's cold, take that term lightly)

Anyway, the hubs calls it Lydia's Soup.. because he calls everything I make "Lydia's" something... Super creative, i know :)  But in all honesty, it's not my recipe.  I stole this one from Jamie Oliver.  Here is the original link.  This soup is soooo good and only 240 calories a serving (makes 8), however it really serves like 6, not 8.

Ingredients Include (with my own modifications):
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 strips thick bacon, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped - I like my garlic
1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped - my husband refuses to eat onions
2 carrots, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 small leek, washed and chopped
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups chopped plum tomatoes
1 large potato, scrubbed and diced  Missed this item on my grocery list, made it without this time
1 x 15.5 ounce can garbanzo, drained and rinsed
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
Large handful curly kale, stalks removed, chopped
1 cup mixed pasta - I like the twists and whole wheat
sea salt - to your taste
1 large pinch freshly ground black pepper
5 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese; optional

  • Heat a large pot on medium heat with the olive oil.  Throw in the bacon and fry it until it turns brown.  This step is important, because if you add the other ingredients before the bacon is good and brown, it will get soggy in your soup!
  • Then add the garlic, onion (if you want), carrots, celery, zucchini, leeks, oregano, and bay leaf and cook slowly for 15 minutes.  Stir it now and then until the vegetables have softened.   The first time i used leeks, was with this recipe so if you need some instruction on how to clean/cut/prepare them, here is a YouTube video i watched:  VIDEO
  • Okay, next add the tomatoes, potato, chick peas, and veggie broth.  Cover with a lid, bring to a slow boil.  Simmer for 30 minutes then check to see if your potato is soft.  Again, i forgot to buy a potato, so i just didn't use it, and the soup still came out great!
  • After that add the kale and pasta, and cook for 10 more minutes, until the pasta is cooked.   I also use more Kale then instructed, it's up to you!
  • If the soup looks too thick after the pasta is cooked, you can add more water or broth to thin it out.
  • Finish by seasoning with a little salt and black pepper and don't forget to remove the bay leaf - no one wants to eat that!
  • Also, I always add a little Parmesan cheese on the top when serving.
That's it -  This soup is great for lunch leftovers the next day too!