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Posts Tagged ‘chicken’

I just got back from camping. I love camping but I hate how I eat when I’m camping. I always end up eating horribly, then feel like crap for several days afterwards. I think this has something to do with the “I’m on vacation so I’m going to eat whatever I want to eat…because it’s vacation!” mentality. I’ll be honest, all I wanted this entire weekend was a large bag of gummy worms BUT I fought these urges and ate oodles and oodles  of Chocolate Chip Cookies instead. At least the cookies had flax in them…that justifies my binge eating, right?

Now that I am back to reality, I feel like I need to detox a bit. This week: no flour, no pasta, no sugars, no alcohol. Just veggies, berries, miso soup, grains…and a bit of lean protein. Last night I ate a whole bunch of Kale chips and a BIG tasty salad…and guess what: I didn’t wake up feeling like death! Hooray!

This week I’m going to be focusing on bright and fresh summer salads! I always crave salads in the summer (and soups in the winter..is that normal). I think it’s because everything is so FRESH! Truth be told, this whole CSA thing has ruined bagged salads for me! I doubt I’ll ever be satisfied with slightly rusty lettuce or “limp” greens again.

To kick things off with my “back to health” diet this week I made a Cilantro and Lime Grilled Chicken Salad for dinner…YUM!

Here’s what you’ll need: 

For the marinade:

-the juice of 2 limes

-2 tbs olive oil

-4 cloves of garlic; chopped

-one handful of cilantro; chopped

-one uncooked chicken breast

-salt and pepper

For the Salad:

-one head of leafy lettuce (I used red lettuce); rinsed and chopped

-alfalfa sprouts

-cucumbers; rinsed, peeled and thinly sliced

-red onion; chopped

-cherry tomatoes; halved

-freshly made guacamole (truth be told I used Wholly Guacamole…because my avocados weren’t ripe yet…stupid avocados)

(serves 2)

First things first: combine the ingredients for the marinade. Whisk together.  Add marinade and chicken to an airtight container, shake it up, then let it sit in the fridge overnight (ideally 24 hours or longer…but 8-12 hours will do in a pinch).

24 hours later: Heat up a grill! I was too lazy to wait for charcoal to heat up on our ACTUAL grill…so I used my cast iron grill griddle instead. Man, I love that thing. Once it’s nice and hot add your chicken. Cook for about 15-20 minutes; flipping once (around the 7 minute mark). I actually flip mine twice…b/c I like to make criss-crossed grill marks in my chicken. It’s the little things that make me happy.

While your chicken is sizzling away, start prepping your veggies. Give your lettuce a cold water rinse, chop it up and throw it in a salad spinner. Rinse and peel your cucumber, slice it up and toss that in the salad spinner too. If I were using any other washable veggies (carrots, peppers, tomatoes, etc) I would wash, chop and toss these bad boys into the salad spinner as well.

*I used a salad spinner because: A) it was a wedding gift and I’d hate to see it go to waste and B) because I am extremely lazy.* 

Spin, Spin, Spin and VOILA…excess water is removed and everything is tossed together. Brilliant!

Once your chicken is done, slice it into strips. Set aside.

Now for the fun part, assembling your salad! I like to do a “Lettuce/Cucumber/Tomato-Chopped Onion-Sprouts-Chicken-Gucamole” kind of pattern…but that’s just me.

The lime juice gives the chicken a nice tangy taste, while the cilantro makes everything taste so bright! Such a great flavor combo!

Salads for dinner are my absolute favorite because they take NO TIME whatsoever to throw together! Plus, no pre-heating an oven on a hot day! Double bonus!

**Not a big fan of guacamole? Try making your own Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette! That would be a superb compliment to this salad!**

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I love when two amazingly delicious things are combined into one spectacular culinary delight.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate

Bacon and Anything

Chicken Carbonara and Lasagna?….say what?!

My friend Riley shared this recipe with me a few weeks back; it literally blew my mind.

*I’ve tweaked things just a bit to make them more “feelgoodfoodie friendly”…however, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results


Chicken Carbonara Lasagna

You will need:

-10-12 no-boil lasagna noodles

-1 16oz bag of frozen peas (or 2 cups of fresh peas!)

-2 uncooked boneless chicken breasts; seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder

-1/2 c of low sodium chicken stock

– 1/2 a pound of all natural uncured bacon (or a full pound if you’re feeling extra daring); cooked and crumbled

-1 c. shredded mozzarella (I like to use the fresh stuff)

-1  c. shredded cheddar (I like to used aged cheddar)

For the Sauce:

-1 16oz container of organic half and half

-1 cup low sodium chicken stock

-1/2 c freshly grated parmesan cheese

-2-3 gloves of garlic; chopped

– fresh basil; a handful, chopped

-salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375°.
In a large skillet, fry up the bacon! (mmm..bacon). Once your bacon is cooked to your liking, set aside. Let the “drippings” cool, then pour into a bowl. DO NOT clean your pan…all that residual bacon-y goodness is your friend.(everyone has different ways of discarding of bacon grease…I’m sure you do too..do so…now!) *

Place un-clean bacon skillet back onto the burner. Once it’s nice and hot, add your seasoned chicken breasts. Cover and let cook on high for 2-3 minutes. Add the 1/2 cup of chicken stock, flip the chicken, turn the heat down to medium and cover again. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes. **the extra splash of chicken stock acts to break up the cooked on bacon-y goodness. It also keeps moisture in the chicken while it simmers…and it’s pretty darn tasty too**

Once your chicken is cooked all the way through, remove it from the pan, shred it up with a fork, and set aside for the time being. Don’t clean the pan. All those tasty brown bits will make your sauce AWESOME. Put the pan back onto your stove. Here comes the fun part…

Heat the pan to medium-high heat (which shouldn’t take long since you JUST cooked your chicken in this pan). Add 1/2 cup of the chicken stock to the pan. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pan to break all the cooked on chicken/bacon remnants free. After your pan has been deglazed, add the chopped up garlic, basil and half & half. Give it a good stir, cover and let simmer for 5-10 minutes; stirring occasionally. Now, add the parmesan cheese and remaining 1/2 cup of chicken stock. Stir and cover for another 10 minutes; stirring occasionally so the sauce doesn’t burn. That would be a big bummer.

Once your sauce starts to bubble, add the peas and chicken to the skillet. Mix everything together until well combined; then turn the burner off.

In a small bowl, combine the shredded cheeses (this step isn’t necessary but will make “layering” your lasagna easier)

In a greased 9×13 baking dish, spoon out a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the pan. Add a layer of noodles. Top the noodles with another layer of sauce. Sprinkle with a third of your crumbled bacon; then add half of your cheese mixture. Cover with another layer of noodles and spoon out the rest of your sauce. Take another third of your bacon and sprinkle it over the sauce; add the rest of your cheese. Now, sprinkle the rest of your bacon on top of the cheese. Have I mentioned that I love bacon?

Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5-15 minutes; or until the cheese is browned and ooey-gooey.

Remove from oven and let sit for 5-10 minutes

Cut. Serve. Devour. (Pairs great with a large salad of fresh greens and a light vinaigrette…and a big ol’ class of wine)

Makes 10-12 servings

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I’d like to think I’m cool. There are many reasons why. One reason: I’m part of a CSA (for a complete list of reasons why I’m cool…just send me an email. There are 67).

CSA’s (or Community Sustained Agriculture) are these awesome buy-in programs that few people know about. Heck, I had never heard of one until about 2 years ago.

What you do is this: find a local farm (that is a participating CSA), pay anywhere from $200-$600 at the beginning of the growing season (Feb-April) to buy a “share” of what they produce, then receive 20 some-odd weeks’ worth of farm fresh produce (this ends up only costing you about $10-$30 a week in produce…which is a SWEET bargain). We bought a half-share from our local CSA and barely finish all our produce in a weeks time.

They’re fantastic. Everyone should join one. Want to know if there are CSA’s near you? Click Here!

I absolutely love being a part of a CSA. Every week we pick up a small bin FULL of farm fresh produce. It’s pretty much the greatest thing ever!

What you’ll need:

-Broccoli, Turnips, Snap Peas, Carrots, Bok Choy, Kholrabi, Radishes, Zucchini, Summer Squash or whatever produce you find in your CSA bin (Usually I use 3 different types of veggies)

– approx. 1/2 c Udon Noodles*; uncooked

-3 cloves of garlic; chopped

-1 uncooked chicken breast: chopped up

-1 tbs corn starch

-1/2 c warm water

-1 tsp ground ginger

-1 tsp black pepper

-1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

-1 tsp ground garlic powder; plus additional teaspoon to use in stir fry sauce

-1/4 tsp salt

-3 tbs soy sauce

-1 tbs teriyaki; plus additional tablespoon to use when frying

-1 tbs honey

-2 tsp wok oil; plus additional wok oil for frying

-1/4 tsp better than bouillon: of the low sodium chicken variety

First things first, do you own a wok? If not, go buy on. They are an absolute essential in any kitchen; plus, they really aren’t that pricey. You can definitely find a great one for around $20. Ok…go buy one.

In a medium bowl: combine the cornstarch, water, ginger, salt, garlic powder, pepper flakes, teriyaki and chicken. Set aside and let “mingle” for about 10-15 minutes. Use this time to wash and chop up your CSA produce. (I like to chop up everything to relatively uniform pieces; they cook faster this way)

Now, put about 1 tablespoon wok oil (oil infused with garlic and ginger) into your *cool* wok with the chopped up garlic; turn the burner to high heat. While the wok is heating up, add water to a medium sauce pan and turn to medium-high heat. Also, mix your sauce ingredients together in a small bowl (soy sauce, honey, better than bouillon, garlic powder, teriyaki, oil and a few grinds of black pepper). Set aside.

Once the oil is heated (and your garlic is popping), add the chicken (but not the left over cornstarch liquid).

Using a large wooden spoon (or wooden spatula) frequently stir the chicken as it fries in the oil (Stir Fry…get it?!). Cook until the chicken is browned; about 5-7 minutes.

Add your chopped up veggies. Add another drizzle of oil and a dash of teriyaki. Continue to stir everything frequently; cook for an additional 3-5 minutes.

While the veggies and chicken continue to “fry” together; add your Udon noodles to your (hopefully no boiling) water. Cook the noodles for 5 minutes.

(Turn your heat down to low) Once the noodles are done, drain and add to the wok. Add your sauce to the wok now too. Stir everything together. Let sit for 1-2 minutes. This helps the noodles and sauce to heat up.

Spoon into 2 large bowls. Add Chopsticks. Enjoy.

(Serves 2)

*Don’t have Udon noodles? You can also use whole wheat thin spaghetti or penne!

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