If you’re like me, sometimes you find yourself staring into your pantry or fridge and see something that inspires the heck out of your next meal. Today’s entrée was inspired by a can of artichoke hearts leftover from Mister’s Vegan Baked Ziti dish. I originally saw this recipe on Kate’s Framed Cooks blog and mentally bookmarked it.
The artichokes in this recipe soak up the lemon juice like little flavor-packed sponges. Who knew artichokes could hold so much bright citrus? They really freshen up otherwise dull chicken breasts. The hint of fresh thyme is a nice touch too – mostly because it gave me an excuse to go to the local greenhouse and buy myself a thyme plant. Double win.
No, you’re not dreaming, you didn’t miss the apocalypse and you aren’t still tipsy from last night’s festivities. You read that right – a healthy chicken pot pie recipe!
Comfort food is definitely my food sin. I am a sucker for baked mac and cheese or homemade deep dish pizza. It is a rare occasion to see this Foodie craving a salad or skipping a meal. I am a mid-west, meat and potato kind of gal – dontchyaknow? Any recipe that caters to both my tastebuds and my health is alright by me!
I had to use this picture from Eat Better America because I was impatient and hit the broiler button. I couldn’t resist – the smells were driving me nutty! I don’t recommend doing this unless you enjoy bits of burnt crust!
1 box refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
Cook and drain vegetables as directed on bag. Set aside.
Heat oven to 375°F. In 2-quart saucepan, mix flour, salt, poultry seasoning, pepper and milk with wire whisk until blended. Stir in the onion. Cook over medium heat 4 to 6 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened.
Add the soup and sour cream. Add chicken and cooked vegetables and combine. Pour into an ungreased 2-quart round casserole (your filling should be about two inches lower than the edge of the casserole dish to allow room to bubble). Unroll one pie crust and place over hot filling. Seal edge and flute as desired. Cut slits in several places in crust to allow for steam.
Place the casserole dish on a cookie sheet and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown and mixture is bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
For this recipe I cooked the chicken breasts in a hot pan. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a pan and set it to medium - medium/high heat. Pat the chicken dry and add the breasts to the hot pan. You want to hear sizzling! Adjust temperature as needed and sprinkle a bit of salt, pepper and poultry seasoning on the chicken. Cover the chicken with a lid and leave it until all of the chicken has turned white on the outside, about 3-5 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken. Flip the breasts over, adding a bit of olive oil if the pan looks dry. Re-season and cover with a lid. Let these finish for another 2-3 minutes. Remove the chicken and let the breasts rest for 10 minutes before cutting into bite-sized pieces.
Note: You do not need to FULLY cook the chicken for the recipe. Cook them to 90% or so. The chicken will finish cooking as it bakes in the pie.
I wanted to make him something really special to make him feel welcome. I looked in my All About Roasting cookbook for some ideas. I like this book because it breaks down the science behind roasting everything and includes a million delicious recipes. In regards to chicken, the writer, Molly Stevens, describes how you can prep chicken two different ways: in a wet brine or dry salted. I used the brine method this time to create my tender and juicy chicken. This recipe is a take on my Lemon-Tarragon Chicken recipe.
For the brine, I used:
1 gallon cold water
3/4 cup kosher salt
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 lemons and their juice, quartered
1 bunch tarragon leaves (this is optional, but I love this flavor with chicken)
Bring all the ingredients to a boil and cool (or add ice cubes if you’re in a hurry). Remove the giblets from the chicken, put the chicken in a large ziplock bag and add the brine. Remove as much air as possible, seal and refrigerate for 8 to 24 hours. This brine will leave your meat nice and moist while the skin crisps up in the hot oven.
For the chicken, we put our veggies (chopped in inch or so chunks) and red potatoes (quartered) in the pan first, then topped it with the dressed chicken. This way the veggies simmer in the flavorful chicken drippings. Yum!
I like to believe that Follow had the best meal of his life tonight. Welcome to Colorado little guy!
1 bunch tarragon leaves (this is optional, but I love this flavor with chicken)
For the chicken:
One 3-1/2 to 4-pound chicken
2 teaspoons olive oil or unsalted butter, softened
salt and pepper
1 lemon, reserved from brine
Vegetables, roughly chopped (optional - carrots, red potatoes, onion, etc.)
For the brine:
Bring all the ingredients to a boil and cool (or add ice cubes if you're in a hurry). Remove the giblets from the chicken, put the chicken in a large ziplock bag and add the brine. Remove as much air as possible, seal and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours.
For the chicken:
Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry. Reserve one lemon from the brine and discard the rest. Let the chicken stand at room temperature for at least an hour. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 400 degrees F (375 degrees convection).
Arrange vegetables in a single layer in the bottom of a large ovenproof skillet or roasting pan. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables, breast side up, and tuck the wing tips back so they are secure under the neck bone. Place the lemon quarters in the chicken cavity. Rub the olive oil or butter evenly over the breast and legs, season heavily with salt and pepper. With a sharp knife, cut slits into each leg to ensure the legs cook evenly with the breast. Tie the chicken legs together tightly if you have some butcher's twine (or stab them with a soaked skewer like we did). This will plump the breast up and not only make your chicken more attractive, but help the breast cook evenly as well.
Roast the chicken with the legs facing the rear of the oven (the back of the oven is usually hotter, so this helps the legs cook more quickly than the breast). Continue roasting until the juices run clear with only a trace of pink when you prick the thigh and an instant thermometer insterted in the thickest part of the thigh (without touching bone) registers 170 degrees, 1 to 1-1/4 hours. If the chicken is not fully cooked, place it back in the oven. I've found that 15 minutes of cooking averages an increase of 10 degrees F internal temperature. Once the chicken is cooked, lift the chicken with a meat fork or sturdy tongs inserted in the cavity and carefully tilt to pour the juice from the cavity into the roasting pan.
Transfer the chicken to a carving board with a trough and let it rest for 20 minutes before carving and serving.
Reserve the chicken drippings to make chicken gravy if desired. Reserve the chicken bones and boil with various vegetables (onion, carrot, celery) and spices to make a delicious homemade broth.
Last night I fell asleep thinking about my grandma. Mostly about how I miss those innocent moments where I went through my grandma’s jewelry as a little girl, delicately picking up each bracelet or pin and imagining myself wearing each piece like royalty.
I still have a very close relationship with my grandparents who have lived in Wisconsin all of their lives. I only mention this because they like to remind me every single time I talk to them, always asking me how I could move away from them (as if things weren’t hard enough). There is always a hint of guilt in their “hellos” and “goodbyes” and although I hate to admit it, it gets me every single time.
I miss them terribly. They are now both in their 90’s and still kicking. My grandmother is a cancer survivor. My grandfather has survived not one, but two strokes. I can only hope that I will be a fraction as strong as they have been as I grow older.
This recipe reminds me of them, in an uncanny way. My grandparents are creatures of habit – always going to the same restaurants and splitting the same meals. When I still lived in Wisconsin, I would invite them over from time to time and challenge them to try something new. This is one of those recipes I would cook for them if I could.
I kind of threw this recipe together on the fly after previously seeing this recipe on Pinch of Yum …from whom I borrowed this photo because her photography is gorgeous. Thank you!
Lite sour cream, watered down until smooth and drizzle-able
Fresh cilantro, for topping
Warm the olive oil in a medium sauce pan. Add the chicken and water, cover, and simmer at a medium low temperature. Do not turn the chicken and resist every urge to lift the cover. Once the tops of the chicken breasts are no longer pink, give them a couple more minutes then take the cover off and prick with a fork. Your chicken should be 90%-100% cooked. Shred the chicken, add the taco seasoning and add enough water to cover the shredded chicken. Simmer on low, covered, to let the chicken stew in the taco seasoning and soak up all of those flavors.
In the mean time, spray a cake pan with loads of non-stick spray and prep your veggies. Warm your tortillas by wetting a couple paper towels and putting your tortillas between them. Nuke the tortillas in the microwave for 45 seconds.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Divide the chicken (reserving the juices) and tomato chunks between the tortillas, add about a tablespoon of black beans, tablespoon of corn and a sprinkle of onion to each. Roll the tortillas up and place in the cake pan. Drizzle the reserved chicken water and taco spices on the rolled tortillas, sprinkle the enchiladas with cheese and sprinkle the remaining onion on top. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and the enchiladas are warmed.
Add your avocado chunks, sour cream drizzle and cilantro. Devour!!
If you have more time, slow cook the chicken, spices, water, tomatoes, onion, black beans and corn in a crock pot. Simmer on high for 3 hours (or longer on low). Use two forks to shred the chicken and mix everything together.
With Mardi Gras just around the corner I figured it was time to dust off the ol’ beads and bring out the andouille. Now, I haven’t been to New Orleans myself but it’s definitely on my list of places to visit … mostly to eat all of the food I can get my hands on!
None the less, I wanted to do something in the spirit of Mardi Gras while still keeping things light. This is my healthier version of Jambalaya – my tip of the hat to New Orleans!
I cut the fat by substituting this wonderful chicken andouille sausage instead of using traditional andouille sausage (made out of pork and pork fat). I also used brown rice instead of white rice to raise the fiber content.
I thought the dish was delicious with the mingling of spices from the andouille and the fresh shrimp, but if you’re feeling extra inventive you should throw in other lean proteins like chicken breast, turkey sausage, or heck, even some tofu (although not a protein, per se). Just remember that anything labeled “andouille” means that there are a lot of spices (and some heat) in the sausage already. Anything you add outside of that will not contain that well-loved heat that is so characteristic of Cajun food. i.e. taste test and customize!
Here is how you make this surprisingly tasty Jambalaya. This recipe is loosely based on this Pasta Jambalaya recipe and Running Love. Thank you!
First, brown your delicious little sausages.
Then chop your veggies and add those to the pan too. Let those soften a bit before…
…adding your spices, rice and wet ingredients.
Once your rice is cooked, add the shrimp and cook until pink (or until your cooked shrimp is hot). Really easy!
Serve and imagine yourself people watching on a balcony in the French Quarter (that’s what I do).
12 to 16-ounces of chicken andouille sausage, casings removed and sliced into coins (sliced in half again if the coins are large)
4 to 5 scallions, chopped, reserve a couple tablespoons for garnish
1 green bell pepper, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced petite tomatoes, with juice
2 cups low sodium chicken broth (you may need more for simmering)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup brown rice
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning, or to taste
1/2 to 1-pound of uncooked shrimp, cleaned and tails removed (jumbo preferred)
Tabasco, to taste
Lemon wedge, optional
Heat the oil in a very large skillet or large saucepan over medium to medium high heat. Add in your chicken sausage pieces and let them sizzle until they are brown, stirring occasionally. Add the scallions, green pepper, and minced garlic and cook for another 4 or 5 minutes, until the veggies have softened.
Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, rice, thyme, paprika and 1 teaspoon (or less) of Cajun seasoning (remember, you can always add more later). Bring to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the rice is cooked. Add more broth if the contents start to look too dry. Stir this mix occasionally so your sauce doesn't stick to your pan.
After the rice is cooked, add the shrimp and cook for a couple more minutes, covered, until the shrimp is pink. Taste test to see if there is enough heat for your liking. If not, add more Cajun seasoning. Remove from heat, garnish and serve with Tabasco for heat and a lemon wedge for brightness.
Need more Mardi Gras ideas? Take your andouille sausage leftovers (if you have any!) and make a hash out of it! Try out this Framed Cooks recipe.
Now that the holidays are over, everything is coasting back to normal. I still enjoy pajama time on the weekends, I still refuse to go to the store because they are too busy (I’m an avid online shopper), and finally I still enjoy time spent in front of a grill.
I absolutely love this marinade recipe for BBQ chicken. The ingredients are fairly typical of your average pantry and it only take an hour for this baby to do its thing (although the longer it sits the better it is).
On a side note, my pantry is hardly average. I just thought I’d include it so it didn’t feel so left out.
The result is nothing short of tender, juicy chicken that is sweet, sour, tangy and a bit exotic in flavor. There is nothing overpowering here, just simple BBQ folks, cuz that’s the way we like ‘er here in Coloradee.
Whisk all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Pour into a gallon ziplock baggie (double bag it if you're afraid of leakage). Drop your chicken in and poke the meat with a fork so the marinade can really penetrate the meat. Toss to coat, place the bag in a small dish (again, just in case of leakage) then store in the fridge for at least an hour, overnight is best, tossing occasionally.
When you're ready to grill, take the chicken out of the marinade, rinse and pat dry. Grill as desired.
Now, there are recipes and then there are RE-CI-PES! Man, this one is out of the ballpark. I don’t know what it is — the creaminess of the pasta and cheese or the heat from the sausage, but boy this is a winner in my book.
One thing I love about this recipe is how quick and easy it is to make. Plus it’s super versatile too. You can use just about any kind of sausage and replace Pecorino or Grana Padano in place of the Parmesan. Heck, I even replaced the orzo with tiny star-shaped pasta. Okay, I named more than one thing that I love about this recipe… but who’s counting?
I like to think that because you can substitute just about everything in here, this dish could be a healthier version of an Italian meal. Substitute turkey Italian sausage for a lower fat content and low-sodium broth for the pasta water. You shouldn’t lose much flavor because of all of the spices that are waltzing around on your taste buds.
In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth and 3 cups of water to a boil. Add the pasta and bring back to a boil. Cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally. This will depend on your pasta so read the directions on the box, approximate 8 minutes or so. Drain your pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the sausage links, cover and saute until cooked through. You will need to turn these over after a couple of minutes to brown each side. Remove the sausage once they are cooked and cut them into coins. You may want to cut the coins in half to disperse the sausage throughout the pasta more. Place the sausage back into the pan and add the garlic, peppers, tomatoes and red pepper flakes. Stir for about two minutes, or until the tomatoes begin to form a bit of a watery sauce.
Add your cooked pasta into the pan. Add 1 tablespoon of parsley, most of your Parmesan and toss well to combine. Add the reserved pasta liquid to loosen the pasta if necessary. Top with Parmesan and sprinkle with remaining parsley before serving.
Happy belated Turkey Day everybody! I hope this post finds you (full and) well. At our celebration this year, we gorged on THREE different kinds of turkeys — smoked, deep-fried and traditional roasted. The holy trinity of turkey!
On top of that we had enough fixin’s to choke a horse (mind the expression). Even after everybody took their share of goodies home with them for leftovers, there is STILL a fridge full of food.
It’s been one turkey-filled weekend! I have had turkey for just about every meal this weekend… and that includes breakfast. I must add that pie is probably my favorite breakfast food. Don’t tell Aunt Jemima.
I am finding myself on the edge of full turkey saturation. I don’t know how much more I can take. It has been a fun adventure coming up with different ways to dress the leftovers to trick your brain into thinking you’re eating something different. Here’s a great breakfast to toss some of your leftover turkey into and an excuse to make Hollandaise Sauce too.
Thinking outside of the box: Instead of using English Muffins, make potato patties out of your leftover mashed potatoes. Take your cold potatoes and form them into patties. Dredge in flour, then egg, then flour again, and pan fry them in a little oil until crisp.
Bacon or parsley, for decoration (bacon is awesome but this dish is already very rich so I omitted using it in the actual dish)
Butter and toast your bread, cut side down, in a frying pan on medium heat (be sure to check these once in a while because if you're anything like me, they'll burn before you know it). Set these on your serving plates, cut side up, once they're toasted.
In a non-stick skillet, spray with non-stick spray and saute your spinach over medium heat. Add your turkey next to the spinach in the same pan to warm. Remove from heat and set aside after the spinach is wilty and the turkey is hot.
Fill a 10-inch non-stick skillet half full of water. Add vinegar to the cooking water (this will help the egg white cook fast so it does not spread). Bring water to a slow boil. Gently break 1 of the eggs into the water taking care not to break it. Repeat with remaining eggs. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook 3 minutes until the egg white is set and the yolk remains soft. Removed with slotted spoon, allowing the egg to drain.
To assemble, add the spinach first, turkey then egg on top of your bread. Spoon hollandaise sauce over the eggs and garnish. Serve with crispy hash browns or a mixed green salad.
There are two words that will always make my heart flutter: ITALIAN and HEALTHY. I recently discovered this great food site called Julia’s Healthy Italian and was immediately inspired to try out one of her recipes. The thing I liked most about her recipes is that they were so simple. I don’t mean any disrespect to simplicity here, because simple can be a very beautiful thing. And in this case, this recipe was just that — beautifully simple.
What really makes this dish stellar is the fresh pasta. Now folks, I have never owned a pasta machine in my life and to be frank, I don’t know if I ever will own one. We made this pasta by using good ol’ fashioned elbow grease. It didn’t take long to prepare and the fresh pasta turned out even better than we had hoped! Thin and chewy in all of the right places. Yummy.
Because the pasta does not take long to cook, I had Mister prep the noodles while I started the chicken side of things. If I were cooking this dish alone, I would still prepare the noodles first, just in case my dough needed to rest at all. I recommend tossing your fresh pasta into a pot of salted, boiling water as soon as you turn your chicken over.
3 beefsteak tomatoes, chunked or one 28-ounce can plum tomatoes cut in half, juice discarded
2 tablespoons capers
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley or 2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/4 cup dry white or Marsala cooking wine
pepper to taste
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes (if you like a little heat)
For the pasta:
2 cups flour (I used 1 cup all-purpose and 1 cup wheat flour)
1/4 teaspoon salt
water, as needed
For the pasta:
Blend together flour, eggs and salt. Add water, one tablespoon at a time, until dough comes together but is not sticky. Check after each tablespoon to see if dough has firmed. I used about 5 or 6 tablespoons. You'll need more if your flour is older.
Roll dough as thin as you can with a rolling pin. If dough starts to spring back when rolled, let the dough rest for ten minutes and try again.
Roll the flat sheet of dough into a jelly roll. Using a very sharp knife, trim the edges and slice the roll into small rounds (as wide as you want your noodles to be). Unroll the rounds into long noodles and toss them with flour on a baking sheet to dry or cook immediately. Fresh noodles will take about 4 minutes to cook. They are done when they float to the top of the water. Makes two medium-sized portions of pasta.
For the chicken:
In a large pan, sauté the onions in oil on medium for about 8 minutes or until the onions are clear and sweated. Add all the remaining ingredients except for the chicken breast and mix well. Place chicken on top of the tomato mix.
Cook with cover on for 10 minutes or so, until the chicken gets fully white on top. Turn chicken over and cook another 5 minutes.
Place a slice of chicken on each plate and top with tomato mixture and juice. Serve with fresh pasta and enjoy.
Toss your cooked pasta with fresh pesto for some major flavor butt-kicking.
This is something that I first tried at dim sum in Denver and immediately fell in love. Congee is a porridge that is popular in many Asian countries. This recipe is very simple — perfect for those times when you feel under the weather and need something irresistibly warm in your tummy.
Congee can be made on the stove top (which is what I did) or with a rice cooker. Many rice cookers even have a congee setting, which means you can start your congee the night before and wake up the next morning to a congee breakfast.
There are many variations of congee. Most are savory but some recipes are sweetened with sugar and served with fruit. Here is a basic recipe. Take it and make it your own. My recommendation? Make a double batch. Before I knew it, my congee was all gobbled up.
Minced or powdered ginger, to taste (I like a lot, so I usually start with two teaspoons ginger and add more from there)
Chopped green onion, for serving
In a heavy pot, bring the rice, liquid, salt and ginger to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cover loosely with a lid. Cook gently and stir occasionally (literally, every 3-4 minutes to prevent burning) until the rice is thoroughly cooked and the porridge has become thick and creamy, about 1 and a half hours.
Serve hot with chopped green onion.
Boil your ingredients with 1/2 chicken stock and 1/2 water and add a split chicken breast (with bone) into the pot as well. After the chicken is cooked, about an hour, remove the bone from the pot and scrap the meat off of it with a fork. Add the meat back into the porridge and let simmer for another 15 minutes or so.
2 tablespoons finely chopped basil (sweet or thai)
2 teaspoons hot chili sauce (like Sriracha)
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 pound ground turkey
2 egg whites
2 teaspoons oil, for brushing
For the spicy garlic sauce:
1/8 cup soy sauce
1/8 cup water
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion
2 teaspoons hot chili sauce (like Sriracha)
2 teaspoons cornstrach
Make the sauce. Whisk all sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for a minute or two until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (this happened really quickly for me! Don't walk away from your stovetop while you do this). Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix all meatball ingredients except for the oil with your hands (get messy). Roll the mixture into balls roughly 1-inch in diameter. Place them on a baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray, brush the tops with the oil, and bake them for 12 minutes, or until cooked through. Sometimes I put these under a broiler for a couple minutes too, depending on how brown they get.
Serve the meatballs with sauce and additional chopped basil and green onion, if desired.
Stir fry is one of my all time favorite dishes. There’s something about crisp, fresh veggies and a quick cooking method that makes me a happy girl. This stir fry recipe is especially rockin’. As Mary puts it, “The sweet and spicy combo kicks some major ass while the gooey texture of the fresh mango gives this dish a really great flavor and thickness.”
Fresh mangoes really make this dish. I absolutely love when mangoes are in season (and on sale!). I buy boat loads of them, slice and dice them and freeze them to use later on. Easy peasey and always on hand.
Combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of garlic and ginger. Place the chicken in a large ziplock bag and add the corn starch. Toss to coat and add the marinade. Set aside while you prep the veggies
Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to a wok or large frying pan and place over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and stir fry it until it is cooked. Remove the chicken, along with it's delectable juices, and set aside.
Add the remaining oil to your pan and heat it. Add the onion, remaining garlic and ginger, and hot peppers. When the onions are clear, add the rest of your vegetables. Stir fry for a minute or so and add the mango and curry powder. Continue stir frying until the vegetables are cook yet crisp.
Add the cooked chicken and chicken juice and season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. Serve hot over noodles or rice.
If you're not exactly sure how to pick out a sexy mango or how to cut a mango, check this article out.