Tag Archives: chicken

Craisin Almond Chicken Salad

3 Sep

I like to make a big chicken salad at the beginning of the week so I can A) make lunches off of it, and B) eat it cold while standing in front of the fridge looking for real food to eat. I typically will make between 4-8 chicken thighs if I’m doing it this way, or if I’m just making it for one meal I’ll just use one breast. This recipe is just my best guesstimate – I change it up every time I make it. Just a heads up – this makes a large amount of food! You can always scale it down to be a more… manageable? appropriate? not-so-ridiculous amount? Whatever. Have fun.

 

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What I used:
8 chicken thighs
2 green apples, cored/seeded and chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
4 oz craisins
4 oz slivered almonds (any nuts will do, but I like almonds)
¼ cup greek yogurt
¼ spicy mustard (or regular… but I like to live adventurously)
salt, pepper, basil – I tend to do it to taste

Cook the chicken thighs in slow cooker until cooked through – usually 3-4 hours or so. Pull off the bone and discard any remnants of fat or bone. Pop in the fridge until it’s cool. You can really cook it any way to your liking – especially if you’re scaling down. I think it’s a little ridiculous to slow cook one thigh!

Combine chicken, apples, celery, craisins, and almonds. In a separate bowl, combine yogurt, mustard, and spices. Pour over the chicken and mix in. If you find that you do not have enough sauce for your liking, you can always add more! That’s just the amount I like to start with.

I like putting this chicken salad on wraps or on a sandwich (especially if the bread is toasted… yum).

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

14 May

I know it’s been a while since I posted – life has been pretty nuts over here. I finished my clinical, somehow managed to graduate (ha-ha), have been studying for the boards, AND have been preparing for a couple vacations. But don’t worry, I still have enough free time to concoct a delicious dinner or two a week for my ever-appreciative roommates.

A few months ago Nick’s Aunt Marianne came to visit and made a delicious Pad Thai. Between that and the increasing stack of Chinese/Thai cookbooks in our kitchen, we have developed a constant hankering for any type of asian food. We decided to make our own “alternative” pad thai, which uses spaghetti squash instead of asian noodles.

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I really thought that everyone knew what spaghetti squash was, but it recently became clear to me that it’s apparently not as common as I thought. For those of you who don’t know, when you bake this kind of squash, it pulls apart into strands (much like spaghetti). The best part is that it’s healthier than regular pasta – weighing in at around 30 calories a cup it’s a guilt-free substitution to any meal.

This is kind of a long one, so hang in with me here.

What we used:
1 spaghetti squash, whole
½ white onion, diced into big chunks
3 stalks of celery, diced into chunks (or slivered)
about 7 baby carrots, slivered
1 orange pepper, sliced thin
2 scallions, chopped
2 eggs, whisked
½ cup peanuts
olive oil

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For the sauce:
¼ cup fish sauce
¼ cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoon peanut butter
½ lime, juiced

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Optional:
I served with chicken and shrimp, but you can easily sub out for other meats/tofu/ whatever
2 raw chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
2 handfuls of shrimp, de-tailed

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Alright, here we go:
Preheat the oven to 350. Using a large fork, poke some holes in the squash. Wrap it up in a wet paper towel, and microwave for five minutes – make sure that you let it sit for a while when it’s done, it’ll be super hot. Once it’s cool enough to handle, put it in the oven whole for about 10 minutes or so. (I did my microwaving before I prepped my veggies and meat, and then threw it in the oven right after my chicken hit the pan.)

Coat a large frying pan in olive oil. Turn the heat to medium and add the celery, carrots, onion, and pepper. Fry for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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While that was going, I started my sauce – using a small saucepan, I combined the fish sauce, juice of ½ a lime, and vinegar together, and brought to a high heat. (I also added some scallions into the sauce, but that’s optional). Once it was warm, I added the peanut butter and let simmer, stirring occasionally until combined. I left it on simmer while the rest of my food was cooking, which was probably about 5 or so minutes.

At this point I recommend starting whatever meat you’re gonna use – I used a medium sized frying pan, some oil, medium heat, and cooked the chicken. I heated the shrimp in my veggie pan once they were done cooking. Nothing crazy.

(Now is the time to put the squash in, if you hadn’t already)

After the veggies have been frying for about 5 minutes, push them to the sides of the frying pan (see picture). Slowly pour in the eggs, and let sit for about 30 seconds. Proceed to cook as if they were scrambled eggs with a bunch of stuff in them – stir, when the eggs are cooked the veggies are done.

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The squash will be VERY HOT. I held it with a towel during these steps – cut in half, remove the seeds with a fork, and then gently scrape the walls of the squash to pull all the stringy stuff off. I put it in the (now empty) large frying pan on HOT with some oil and fried for a minute or two, just to make them a little less tender.

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I threw some peanuts in the oven on broil and pulled out when they started to roast – just a few minutes. I then put the veggie combo (top with the scallions), chicken, shrimp, sauce, and peanuts in a separate bowl and let everyone serve themselves. Use the spaghetti squash as your noodle base and dig in!

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Tequila Lime Chicken

9 Apr

No special background story for this one – we just had a bunch of leftover cilantro, limes, and jalapenos, and I needed to figure out a way to use them all up. I was thinking about making this into a pasta, but we’re trying to “eat healthy” so that wasn’t going to happen. I served the chicken breasts along with some avocados and a side salad, which served for a pretty filling meal.

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Just a warning, this ended up being a pretty spicy dish – if you’re spice-sensitive I would only use ½ a jalapeno, and de-seed/de-rib it before blending. I did make a pretty kick-ass barbecue sauce last week, so we threw some of that on here.

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What I used:
For the marinade:
⅓ cup tequila (the cheap stuff)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp cilantro, chopped (or a couple tbsp if still whole)
2 cloves of garlic
1 jalapeno, stem removed
The juice of one lime

3 chicken breasts
½ cup white wine
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 avocado, sliced
BBQ sauce
Side salad – greens, onions, bacon, cheese, sour cream….

Using a food processor, combine the tequila, olive oil, cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, lime and blend until well combined. Place the chicken breast in a ziploc bag (butterfly it if you’d like, I didn’t), and dump the marinade in. Put it in the fridge for a few hours before eating – I refrigerated mine for about 4 hours.

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When you’re ready to cook, set a large frying pan on medium heat. Pour in the chicken and all of the marinade from the bag. Cover, and cook on medium until done all the way through – it was about 8 minutes each side.

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While that’s cooking, combine the white wine and cornstarch. Pull the chicken out of the pan when it’s finished cooking, a pour the wine/cornstarch mixture in, and turn the pan to low. Whisk for a minute or so, until the sauce starts to thicken. In the meantime, slice or cut up the chicken so it’s in easier to manage pieces. Serve on top of a salad along with avocado, bbq sauce, and plenty of sour cream.

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Pretty easy and fast meal if you have the time to set the marinade up!

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Lentil Soup

29 Jan

In case people haven’t heard, January is a really really cold month in the northeast. When it isn’t actively snowing outside, it is cold enough to literally freeze you to the bone… which just makes me crave something warm to eat. I have been craving a good soup for a while and finally decided to make it tonight.

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I knew that I wanted to make some kind of lentil soup, but I had no idea what else I wanted to put into it. I ended up just raiding my kitchen and using all of the leftover food I had, which ended up working out pretty well in the end. It could be made with a variety of veggies and spices, but the combination I used worked out well. I don’t really know much about lentils (except that there are different kinds), but I used the green type … I guess.

What I used:
1 bag dried lentils
2 lbs chicken breast, fat trimmed
2 chorizo sausages, de-cased
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups water
1 ½ cups chopped carrots
1 ½ cups chopped celery
½ red pepper, chopped
½ white onion, chopped
1 small tomato, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
salt, cumin, oregano, thyme, oregano – all to taste

How:
In a large pot, cook chorizo on medium high for a few minutes until it is lightly browned on the outside. Add the chicken, broth, water, and lentils to the pot and bring to a boil. Cover and turn down to medium-low for about 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked.

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I used this time to pull out all my veggies and chop them. When the chicken is fully cooked, pull it out and shred it.

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Put the chicken back in the pot, and add in the veggies and a few dashes of each spice. Cook covered for another 25-30 minutes. The lentils might absorb a lot of the liquid, so you can add water as you need.

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Crockpot Sweet and Spicy Chicken

18 Dec

It’s been snowing an awful lot around here lately. What’s better on a snowy day than a crockpot meal? It’s an easy hot meal that you get to smell all day long. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me! This weekend I made sweet and spicy chicken for my parents and myself, and they loved it.

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What I Used:
About 2 lbs of chicken breast (it was three big pieces)
½ tsp pepper
½ cup honey
¾ cup chicken broth, split into ¼ and ½ cups
½ cup tomato sauce
1 ½ tsps of sriracha
¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
1 ½ tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp sesame seeds
scallions, chopped

What I Did:
I started by putting the chicken in the crockpot on low and covered with pepper (no salt, there’s plenty in the other ingredients). I mixed the honey, ¼ cup chicken broth, tomato sauce, sriracha, soy sauce, and red wine vinegar together and poured over the chicken.

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I let that sit for about three hours before I shredded the chicken. When I went to shred it, it fell apart easily which was a good sign that it was done.

I mixed the cornstarch with the other ½ cup of chicken broth (which had been in the fridge so it was cold). When it was fully blended, I added it into the crockpot, and cooked the mixture on high for about a half hour.

When the time was up, I threw sesame seeds and scallions on top. I served with rice noodles and stir fried veggies.

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Spicy Enchiladas

3 Nov

I love love love Mexican food. Something about eating a disgustingly spicy unrecognizable chunk of food just pleases my soul. I made spicy enchiladas with beans, and they were pretty good for a cold Halloween night.

I actually ended up making these the night before and letting them sit overnight. I used pulled chicken that I had made the other night, but it would be just as easy to cut up a chicken breast and use that.

What I used
8 8” tortilla wraps
1 small onion, diced and divided
2 jalapenos, chopped, divided
2 tsps olive oil, divided
2 cups chicken broth, divided
2 cups chicken, shredded
16 oz Cannellini beans, drained
2 tbsp flour
½ cup salsa verde
½ cup pickled long hot peppers
½ cup light sour cream
¾ cup mozz cheese
tsp cumin
tsp garlic powder
chopped cilantro and scallions

I started by making the enchilada filling. I heated 1 tsp olive oil on medium-low and added ½ of the chopped onion. When it became translucent I added 1 chopped jalapeno, the beans, 1 cup chicken broth, cumin and garlic powder. I brought to a boil, and then turned to low and simmered for about 10 minutes. I added the chicken and simmered for another 10 minutes uncovered, which was how long it took the liquid to boil down. While it was simmering, I made the sauce.

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I started with the sauce the same way as the filling. I heated a tsp of olive oil on medium-low, and added the second ½ of the white onion.Then, I added the flour and stirred for about 30 seconds. I slowly added the second cup of chicken broth, stirring constantly. After a few minutes, it became smooth and started to boil. I stirred until thickened up, which took about 5 minutes. I removed from heat, added salsa, peppers, and sour cream. I stirred up and let cool.

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Once it wasn’t scalding hot, I put enough sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 dish to coat it. I put about ½ a cup of the filling into each wrap. I rolled up and lined in the pan. I covered with the rest of the sauce, shredded cheese, and some aluminum foil. I baked at 350 for about 25 minutes covered, and then took the foil off for a few minutes to brown up the cheese, and added the cilantro and scallions.

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Easy Paella

28 Oct

I love love paella. I can clearly remember the first time I had authentic paella in Spain… it was wonderful. My parents came up and I decided to make it for a dinner. It was harder than I thought, mostly because I was feeding picky people. My Dad is questionably allergic to lobster, Nick doesn’t like mussles or scallops… I had to make some serious adjustments to how I was going to make it.

This was also supposed to be a fairly easy, low-key dish, so I omitted some of the “for show” ingredients (the clams and mussles, giant shrimp etc). I got the safflower from a spice shop in Cambridge. It’s comparable to saffron (which I just cannot bring myself to purchase).

What I used:
½ cup olive oil
½ lb frozen cocktail shrimp, thawed with tails and shells removed
3 cups mixed seafood: squid, octopus, crabmeat (and I snuck some mussles in).
1 ½ lb chicken thighs
3 hot italian sausages
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
½ large sweet onion
½ green pepper, diced
½ red pepper, diced
½ yellow pepper, diced
½ orange pepper, diced
1 cup frozen peas
3 garlic cloves, diced
3 cups long grain rice
6 cups water
1 tbsp safflower threads
Dash red pepper flakes
Dash Salt, Pepper
1 lemon, cut into wedges
½ bunch parsley

I began by grabbing literally the biggest frying pan I could find, and I cooked the sausages with a little bit of olive oil on medium. Once they were cooked all the way through, I pulled them out and let them cool. After that, I heated the rest of the oil to medium and cooked the chicken thighs until they were browning on both sides. I pulled them out and set aside. In the leftover oil, I added the onion and garlic and sauteed until the onion was translucent. I added the peppers and let them soften, which only took a few minutes. I added my mixed seafood (not the shrimp) at this point, and let it heat through.

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I stirred in salt, red pepper flakes, pepper, safflower, can of tomatoes, peas, rice and water. I added the chicken thighs back in and let cook for about 20 minutes. I cut the sausage into pieces, and added back into the mix.

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I had to make sure that I kept stirring during those 20 minutes because the rice was starting to stick to the bottom of the pan. I pulled the chicken thigh bones out (the meat should fall right off), added the cocktail shrimp, added in the parsley, and let simmer for another 10 minutes on low to reduce some of the liquid that was left.

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I served with lemon wedges while we watched the Red Sox – it was hard to tell if it was good because people were so fixated on the game, but no one complained!

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