Citrus Marinated Grilled Chicken

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Today two recipes we’ve enjoyed repeatedly this summer. (I just posted the yellow rice you see pictured here.) Summer might be officially over, but grilling season never ends around here. When it turns cold we’re still grilling indoors (with what is probably my favorite kitchen item), but this dish would also work in the oven (instructions found here- note that they used bone-in thighs so adjust accordingly). This chicken (or turkey, I bet pork would as well) is bursting with citrus juice and zest and just the right balance of salty and sweet. Our new favorite.

Citrus Marinated Grilled Chicken

INGREDIENTS

2 lbs. chicken breast (I’ve also used turkey tenderloin), cut into tenders or cubed for kabobs
small bunch green onions
handful cilantro
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp. lime or lemon zest
1 tsp. orange zest
1/4 cup lime or lemon juice
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp. canola or grapeseed oil
2 tsp. sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
pinch red pepper flakes
2 tsp. honey

DIRECTIONS

1. Pulse onions, cilantro, garlic, citrus zests, citrus juices, soy sauce, oil, salt, peppers, and honey in a food processor or blender until a coarse purée forms. Place marinade in a large resealable plastic bag. Add chicken, seal bag, and turn to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator at least 20 minutes, up to 8 hours.

2. Remove chicken from marinade and discard marinade. Grill until juices run clear (reaches an internal temperature of 165 F). Serve immediately.

Serves 6.

(Adapted from Bon Appetit)

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Yellow Rice

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This is the best recipe I’ve found for basic yellow rice. Pairs well with Mexican, Mediterranean, Indian, or any Middle Eastern cuisine. Or with anything off of the grill. (Citrus-Marinated Chicken- or actually turkey- pictured above.) For a simple variation, throw in a handful of frozen peas to steam with the rice during the last 5 or so minutes of cooking.

Yellow Rice

INGREDIENTS

2 tsp. canola or grapeseed oil
1 medium shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups white or brown jasmine or basmati rice, well-rinsed (brown rice will take much longer to cook, check package for directions)
2 1/2 cup low-sodium or homemade chicken broth
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. turmeric

DIRECTIONS

1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallot and garlic; saute until just beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add rice, broth, salt, and turmeric. Bring rice to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 18 minutes (adjust cooking time accordingly for brown rice). Fluff with a fork and serve warm.

Serves 6.

(Adapted from Bon Appetit)

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Puxa Vida Tilapia

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I’m finally back with a recipe! And now coming to you from Colorado! The last few months of moving and traveling and new everything have exhausted me. And I’ve been cooking, but just not in the mood to blog. I hope to be back more regularly. I have a few recipes I found and fell in love with over the last few months that deserve attention here. So here we go…

In Colorado Springs we’re at an elevation of ~7000 feet so the high altitude tends to screw up recipes. Luckily, cooking is mostly the same. Water takes longer to boil and foods dries out quicker and can take longer to cook. But that’s about it. Baking is another story though and I’ll go into more detail on the few tricks I’ve learned as I share future recipes. (Although I’ve yet to bake a cake. And my first batch of cookies was a disaster. I’m making progress- slowly.)

This dinner was an easy success. I had no idea what “puxa vida” meant. The original source claimed it was Brazilian. So I asked my husband (who spent 2 years in Brazil on a mission) what it means and he translated: “Holy cow!” So there you have it. Holy Cow Tilapia! Weird name. But worthy of the excitement as this is some delicious fish.

A few notes: First, stick as close as you can to the original ingredient list. Use fire-roasted tomatoes and full-fat coconut milk and fresh lime juice, etc. if you want this to turn out as wonderful and flavorful as expected. Second, this recipe serves a ton. I halved it and it fed the 3 of us twice! And, last I upped the baking temperature which resulted in half the cooking time. No reason to wait twice as long for your dinner. Enjoy!

Puxa Vida Tilapia

INGREDIENTS

1 red bell pepper
1/2 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeds removed
5 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 (13.5 oz.) can coconut milk
2 (15 oz.) cans fire roasted crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp. honey
juice of 1 lime
2 lbs. tilapia
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped, for serving
brown or white rice, cooked for serving

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.. Finely chop the red bell pepper, onion, jalapeno, and garlic in a food processor (or by hand). Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat and cook the chopped vegetable mixture in the oil until softened, about 4-5 minutes. Add the coconut milk, diced tomatoes, and honey to the mixture. Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce heat and allow the sauce to simmer until it thickens, about 8-10 minutes. Add lime juice to the sauce and remove from heat. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

2. Place the tilapia in a deep baking dish. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour the sauce over the fish, making sure it’s all well coated. Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily when pulled with a fork. Serve over rice. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Serves 8.

(Adapted from Cheeky Kitchen)

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Cherry Almond Dutch Baby

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One last post coming to you from Chicago. Tomorrow we pack a truck and depart the city. Bittersweet, for sure. Sad to leave so many friends and favorite places behind, but ready to discover somewhere new. Before all the packing began and mountains of cardboard took over my kitchen, I made breakfast. I made two versions of puffed pancakes- one with vanilla, fresh blueberries, and cinnamon, and this one with cherries and toasted almonds. Dutch baby’s (same thing, different name) are even easier than traditional pancakes. You just whisk everything together and pour it into a skillet- no flipping required. Plus, one recipe makes just the right amount for us 2 + toddler (with some browned chicken sausage, hash browns, and fruit on the side).

You can use fresh or frozen cherries here. Since I had a bowl of ripe cherries on my counter, I went with fresh. But a little secret: frozen cherries are often cheaper and usually come pre-pitted!! As usual, I made the batter with half whole wheat flour. When it comes to the almonds, it doesn’t matter how you do it (I opted for the dry skillet on the stove method), just make sure you toast them. They taste and smell so much more amazing toasted than raw. Last of all, serve hot with lemon wedges,  powdered sugar, and a drizzle of warm maple syrup or honey.

Cherry Almond Dutch Baby

INGREDIENTS

3 large eggs
2 Tbsp. sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (or half white flour and half whole wheat)
3/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp. almond extract
pinch salt
4 Tbsp. butter
1- 2 cups pitted sweet cherries, halved
1/3- 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted (toast in a dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until golden and fragrant)
powdered sugar, lemon wedges, honey and/or maple syrup, all for serving

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Whisk eggs, sugar, flour, milk, almond extract and salt together until the batter is blended but lumpy; you can also do this in a blender. In a 12-inch ovenproof frying pan or cast iron skillet, melt butter. Add cherries and cook until warmed, about 2 minutes. Pour in batter and transfer to heated oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until puffed and golden brown.

2. Remove pancake from oven and quickly scatter with toasted almonds, dust with powdered sugar and squeeze lemon juice over. Serve in wedges, piping hot.

Serves 2-4.

(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

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Zucchini Banana Flaxseed Muffins

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I’m hoping to post a last recipe or two before we move, but life has already gotten crazy and, honestly, I might not be back for some time. Dustin graduated from his residency and master’s program this weekend. We’ve had family coming and going and week move in a week and a half (to Colorado) and have yet to pack a thing. But I did reserve a rental truck this morning, so progress! I’ve been cooking on and off. Mostly old favorites and a few new recipes that will eventually be published. These muffins I’ve already made 2 3? times and could totally go for another batch right now. We’re trying to eat everything left in the fridge and freezer all of my frozen bananas are becoming muffins.

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Add this to the list of muffins I feel good about feeding my toddler. They’re made with whole wheat, flaxseed, zucchini, and a bit of honey. There’s some Greek yogurt and coconut oil in there, too. And if you’re feeling indulgent, a few chocolate chips. I just sprinkled a few on top to make them extra alluring.

Zucchini Banana Flaxseed Muffins

INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed (optional- add another 1/4 cup flour if not using)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
2 medium bananas, mashed
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional- I put a few on top of each muffin)

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line 12-cup muffin tin with liners and/or generously grease with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In medium bowl combine flour, flaxseed (if using), baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon; set aside.

3. In a large bow mix together mashed banana, oil, honey, vanilla and egg until smooth. Add in zucchini (if very moist, squeeze extra moisture out first) and yogurt and beat again until well combined. Slowly mix in dry ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix. Gently fold in chocolate chips, if using.

4. Evenly divide batter into muffin cups. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.

Makes 12 muffins.

(Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen)

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