Cilantro Lime Chicken and Rice

cilantro-lime-chicken-and-rice-platedI love a one pot dish. Less mess, less to clean. So keep it simple and stop there I tell myself. But alas, I always have to go an extra step. Why not make an avocado cilantro dressing to garnish this chicken with? You could make a double batch of the dressing and save the extra for your salads. If you are going to give yourself extra things to clean, might as well make it worth your while. Plus you have half an avocado left to use. Just saying….

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chicken stock (or broth)
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro, reserve a teaspoon for garnish
  • juice of 2 limes

DRESSING INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves and stems
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Be sure to use a covered skillet for this recipe. Melt butter over medium high heat. Once butter is melted, add chicken and cook 2 minutes on each side until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  2. Add rice and garlic to skillet and stir for 1-2 minutes until garlic is fragrant.
  3. Add chicken stock, cilantro and lime juice. Stir until combined. cilantro-lime-chicken-and-rice-1
  4. Place chicken breasts on top of the rice mixture. Cover skillet with lid and reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 25 minutes until chicken and rice is fully cooked and liquid is absorbed. cilantro-lime-chicken-and-rice-2
  5. While the chicken breasts and rice are cooking, prepare your dressing.
  6. Add all dressing ingredients to your food processor or blender. cilantro-lime-chicken-and-rice-3
  7. Pulse until smooth. Add more water or lime juice if needed. cilantro-lime-chicken-and-rice-4
  8. When chicken and rice are ready, drizzle dressing over chicken and sprinkle with reserved cilantro. Dress with sliced limes for more flair.

cilantro-lime-chicken-and-rice-pot

Chicken Zoodle Soup

chicken-zoodle-soupHere in Northern California, our September weather has been exceptionally warm. We were in the low 90’s the last few weeks. But today we were only in the 70’s. And being the typical weather spoiled Californian, it felt cold to me. I wanted soup. Actually, it gave me an excuse to try out my new vegetable spiralizer and make zucchini noodle soup. Or “zoodles” as the foodies call them. For my vegetarian friends, like Sue T., omit the chicken breasts and substitute with vegetable stock.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • handful of baby carrots (about 6-8) sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 8 ounces of sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 tablespoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley, reserve some for garnish
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2-3 zucchinis, spiralized into noodle shapes and cut into desired length
  • salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add olive oil to large pot over medium high heat. When oil begins to ripple, add onions, celery, carrots and mushrooms. Stir for 2-3 minutes until vegetables soften.
  2. Add minced garlic to vegetables. Stir for 1 minute, until garlic become fragrant.
  3. Next add the chicken stock, poultry seasoning and most of the chopped parsley. Stir until combined.
  4. Add chicken breasts. Once liquid begins to boil, lower heat to simmer for 1 hour or until chicken is cooked through and tender.
  5. Remove chicken and carefully shred into bite sized pieces. Return shredded chicken to pot. Stir to combine.
  6. Meanwhile, spiralize the zucchini. Cut into smaller noodle lengths, unless you want extra long noodles.
  7. Turn heat back up to medium high.  Add zucchini noodles (zoodles) to soup. Stir and let zoodles cook for 1-2 minutes.
  8. Serve with reserved parsley. Salt and pepper to taste.

chicken-zoodle-soup-pot

Shredded Chicken Tacos

chicken-tacos-flour-tortillasTaco Tuesday? It’s taco any day in my house. And when I have all the ingredients in my refrigerator, then I like to go all out and make it taco fiesta night. I like using warmed flour tortillas, but my son likes the corn tortillas. So I always have both types on hand. This recipe makes enough for 12 well packed tacos. Which tortilla type do you like to use to make your tacos?

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup your favorite salsa
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 red or white onion, diced
  • 1 cup cilantro, diced
  • 2-3 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded Romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • Mexican Crema to garnish (you can substitute with sour cream)
  • Cotija cheese to garnish
  • 12 flour or corn fajita sized (or smaller)  tortillas

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a covered skillet or pot, add chicken breasts, salsa and water. Turn heat on high until liquid begins to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45-50 minutes, or until chicken breasts become tender and shred easily. Shred chicken using two forks and set aside in a bowl.
  2. In another bowl, make a pico de gallo, by adding diced onions, cilantro, tomatoes and jalapenos. Then squeeze half of a lime into the pico de gallo and mix well.
  3. Add shredded cabbage and lettuce together in yet another bowl.
  4. Place Mexican blend cheese in a final bowl.
  5. Warm up tortillas. For the flour ones, I just wrap in damp paper towels and microwave for 30-45 seconds. For the corn tortillas, I heat up over my stove gas burners about 10 seconds per side and flip a few rotations until they bubble up a little and get char marks.
  6. Build your tacos. Lay down the tortilla. Add shredded chicken. Then add pico de gallo. Then some cabbage and lettuce mix. Then the Mexican blend cheese. Then drizzle some crema. And finally grate some Cotija cheese over the entire taco. Serve with refried beans and Mexican rice. Muy delicioso!

chicken-tacos-corn-tortillas

Chinese Barbecue Chicken Wings

Chinese BBQ WingsIf you have been following my blog, you know I love chicken wings. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, because my son loves them too. However, we do differ when it comes to flavors. He prefers the sweet and tangy chicken wings, I prefer the savory with a spicy kick. This time around, he wins. As much as I was tempted to spice up this recipe, I refrained so I wouldn’t get that disappointed shake of the head that my son gives me when I make something too spicy for him. So for all those who like sweet, sticky and tangy wings, this recipe is for you. Don’t forget the extra napkins!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 pounds chicken wings (about 20 pieces)

BARBECUE SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/3 cup hoisin sauce (found in your international grocery aisle)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup minced green onions, set aside a tablespoon for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F degrees.
  2. Line baking pan with foil, and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray. Add melted butter to pan.
  3. Next mix flour, paprika, black pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper in a plastic resealable bag.
  4. Add in the chicken wings to the bag with the flour mixture. Shake well. Be sure each wing gets covered.
  5. Place all wings on baking pan with melted butter.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes.
  7. Turn over wings and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until skin is crispy and golden brown.
  8. Meanwhile in a saucepan over medium high heat, add all barbecue sauce ingredients (hoisin sauce, butter, honey, ginger and sesame oil) and stir to combine. If sauce is a little too thick, add 1/4 cup of water to thin out sauce. Reduce heat to low while waiting on chicken wings to finish cooking.
  9. When chicken wings are done cooking add them to a large mixing bowl and toss with barbecue sauce.
  10. Serve on a platter and garnish with the green onions you set aside earlier.

Chinese BBQ Wings 2

Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip CookiesToday I took my mom grocery shopping. On an empty stomach. Bad decision. Whatever delicious smelling concoction they were making in the bakery department left an everlasting craving for something sweet in me all day. Good thing I was shopping with my mom and not alone. My growling stomach would have led me to load up the cart with all sorts of goodies!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 3/4 cups rolled oats (I used quick cooking oats)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
  2. Prepare your baking pans with parchment paper or silicone baking sheets.
  3. Add hot water to cover your 1 cup of raisins to plump them up. Drain any excess water after 5 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add vanilla extract and stir until fluffy.
  5. In a small bowl stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture. ( About 1/3 of the flour mixture at a time.)
  6. Continue stirring until all the flour mixture is incorporated.
  7. Next stir in the oatmeal, raisins and chocolate chips.
  8. Roll dough into tablespoon sized balls onto prepared baking pans.
  9. Bake 8 to 9 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown. Let cool for 2-3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to completely cool.
  10. This cookie dough made 3 dozen plus cookies for me. You can probably get 4 dozen out of it because you make your cookies uniform.

Oatmeal Raisin Choc Chip Cookies

What’s In My Refrigerator Salad

Salad 9Sometimes, not often mind you, I want to eat a great big salad for dinner. Not your little foo foo salad. I mean something that is so delicious and satisfying that you won’t be hungry 4 hours later type of salad. I like to use whatever fruits, nuts and vegetables I have on hand. And of course, I always have an extra cooked chicken breast in my refrigerator that I can add as well. Feel free to make as much or as little as you like. And also feel free to add or substitute more/less ingredients to suit your tastes. I know this is just salad and not much of a recipe, but sometimes you just need to see how simple everyday items you have on hand can make a delicious meal.

INGREDIENTS:

  • romaine lettuce cut into ribbons
  • grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • red grapes, sliced in half
  • toasted almond slices
  • dried cranberries
  • strawberries, sliced into quarters
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
  • your favorite salad dressing

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cut romaine lettuce into ribbons and add to bowl. Salad 1
  2. Add grape tomatoes.Salad 2
  3. Add grapes.Salad 3
  4. Add almond slices for extra crunchiness. Salad 4
  5. Add dried cranberries for extra sweetness.Salad 5
  6. Wait, I found some strawberries. Add those in too.Salad 6
  7. Add some grated Parmesan cheese.Salad 7
  8. Add sliced chicken breast pieces. (I know Sue, you will skip this part.)Salad 8
  9. Mix up your ingredients so you get a little bite of everything. And serve with your favorite salad dressing. (And maybe some extra shredded cheese…)Salad 9

Easy Cookie Bars

M&M Cookie Bar 2Do you need  a quick dessert or treat you can bake? Do you need something easy to make with the kids? Or perhaps, you just want something sweet to eat?  I wasn’t going to publish this recipe because it’s so simple and there’s probably hundreds of variations of it. But I haven’t made anything new to blog about this week. And I know I always like to find quick, semi-homemade recipes like this. So why not share?

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups M&M’s  (I used 1 cup regular plain M&M’s and 1 cup dark chocolate M&M’s)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F degrees.
  2. Line a 9×9 baking pan with aluminum foil and coat the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl combine cake mix, eggs, melted butter and oil. Stir until smooth.
  4. Stir in M&M’s and spread batter into prepared baking pan.
  5. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until lightly golden at the edges.
  6. Allow to completely cool before cutting into squares.

From five ingredients to tasty cookie bars!