because what is life without good food?

Posts tagged “Cilantro

New Recipes at SumptuousSpoonfuls.com

I know I promised I would post the recipes here every time I post a new recipe on my blog’s new home … but it’s getting away from me … so much to do with the transfer of domains and all the other things going on in my life … I did export and import all of the email subscribers from here over to there … are you getting emails from my new blog? If not, please go add your email address on my new blog: www.SumptuousSpoonfuls.com  … seriously, please, go now! I don’t want to lose you.

Okay, now let’s talk new recipes … here’s what’s new on my blog: click on the pic or the title to see the recipe … I hope you’ll visit me at my new site!

Tropical Kiwi Monster Protein Kale Smoothie

Tropical Kiwi Monster Protein Kale Smoothie

Apple Pie Wontons

Apple Pie Wontons

Curried Chicken Salad in Crispy Wonton Cups

Curried Chicken Salad with Grapes in Crispy Wonton Cups

Havarti Cheddar Kale Omelet with Bacon

Havarti Cheddar Kale Omelet with Bacon


Fire-Roasted Salsa Sisters

Fire Roasted Salsa Sisters

I’ve had some really good salsas lately that were fire roasted, so I decided to try making some. The key to making a fire roasted salsa is to roast the vegetables on the grill. The “fire” from the grill gives the salsa a delectable smoky flavor. (Okay, it’s really smoke from the coals that adds the smoky flavor, not fire, but “smoke roasted salsa” just doesn’t have the right ring to it …)

It’s very simple to do, really, but it makes for such a delightful-tasting salsa. So the next time you fire up the grill, I suggest tossing some peppers, tomatoes and onions on there and make up a fire roasted salsa. It’s the perfect healthy, delicious condiment to go with a good quesadilla (like this chipotle black bean quesadilla with avocado cream I made the other day), tacos, eggs, and so much more … I really love a good salsa and always have some homemade salsa in my fridge. This fire roasted salsa has totally won my heart. Strangely, it’s the simpler red one that I love the most, although the hearty Adobo salsa with cilantro and white beans is also lovely in its own chunky way. They each have their own personality, so to speak, just like sisters.

Fire Roasted Salsas: Two Variations

Rojo Fuego Salsa (Red Fire Salsa)

For this salsa, I peeled the tomatoes and peppers after grilling them, resulting in a brilliant fire-red colored salsa.

  • 4 whole hot chili peppers (use more or less depending on how hot your peppers are and how hot you like your salsa. Mine were super-hot and a brilliant red color!)
  • 4 large garden fresh tomatoes
  • 1 onion, cut in fourths (skin on!)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Heat up the grill and put the chili peppers, tomatoes, and onion directly over the heat to roast. Turn as they cook so all sides are roasted. The skins on the peppers should turn black and charred on all sides, the tomatoes should be soft with the skins cracked, and the onion should be lightly brown.
  2. Once they are cooked on all sides, remove from the grill and let the vegies cool off until they are cool enough to touch. Pull the skins off the tomato and peppers and onion and discard the skins.
  3. Put the peeled vegies into a blender or food processor and pulse till everything is very finely chopped and mixed well. If you want a smoother salsa, puree in the blender/food processor to your liking. Store in a covered container in the fridge.

Rojo Fuego Salsa (Red Fire Salsa)

Adobo Fuego Salsa (Adobo Fire Salsa)

When I made this salsa, I didn’t peel the peppers after roasting. The charred bits of skin add a bit of extra smoky flavor to the salsa.

  • 2 large garden tomatoes
  • 2 – 7 jalapeno peppers (adjust the number of peppers for how hot you want your salsa … if you want a very mild salsa, use bell pepper in place of the jalapeno)
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 -3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup cooked white beans
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon adobo seasoning
  • A few sprigs of cilantro (just the leaves, not the stems)

Directions:

  1. Heat up the grill and put the jalapenos, onion and tomato directly over the heat to roast. Turn as they cook so all sides are roasted. The skins on the peppers should turn black and charred on all sides, the tomatoes should be soft with the skins cracked, and the onion should be lightly brown.
  2. Once they are cooked on all sides, remove from the grill. Do NOT peel the peppers, but do pull the peel off the tomato and onion.
  3. Put the tomato, jalapeno, and onion into a blender or food processor with the rest of the ingredients and pulse till everything is very finely chopped and mixed well. Store in a covered container in the fridge.

Copioso Fuego Salsa (Hearty Fire Salsa)

This recipe was shared at Fit & Fabulous FridaysFriday Food Fight, and Scrumptious Sunday.


Simply Spicy Tortilla Soup

Simply Spicy Tortilla Soup

Tortilla soup is one of the most marvelous things in life. It’s got everything going for it: the lovely crunch of the tortilla chips, the oozy melted cheese, tasty Mexican flavors, the soothing comfort of a hot bowl of soup. Plus it’s great for your sinuses and your health and it’s so easy to make. It’s such a versatile soup too: it can be a nice vegetarian meal or starter, or you can add meat or seafood to it for a heartier soup. The other thing I like about tortilla soup is it helps use up those chips on the bottom of the bag that aren’t big enough for other uses (like dipping).

I made this simple soup without any meat, allowing the flavors of the tomato and the peppers to really shine through, but you can add meat if you like. I listed a whole bunch of things you could add to this soup if you want to change things up a bit.

Simply Spicy Tortilla Soup

Simply Spicy Tortilla Soup

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 of a large onion, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 fresh garden tomatoes, peeled and cored (about 1 lb or 2 cups after they are pureed) … canned tomatoes work too
  • 3 jalapenos, chopped (use more or less depending on how spicy you want your soup … you can substitute other peppers for the jalapenos too … use bell pepper for a milder soup, or a different hot chile pepper to vary the flavor)
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Robin Seasoning (or your favorite seasoned salt)
  • Baked or fried tortilla chips (or strips)
  • Shredded Mexican and/or queso fresco crumbles
  • Cilantro leaves
  • Optional add-ins:
    • sautee with the onion/garlic: celery, carrots, zucchini or other veggies
    • add with the tomatoes/peppers: chicken, pork, shrimp, crab, avocado, lime juice, cooked corn, cooked beans, hominy

Directions:

  1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the olive oil and swirl it around, then the chopped onion and garlic. Sautee until the onion is very soft and translucent.
  2. Pour the tomatoes (with juices) into a blender and blend till smooth. Add them to the pot along with the jalapenos, broth, tomato sauce, and seasonings. Reduce heat slightly and allow the soup to simmer for about 15 – 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow the peppers to cook and the flavors to meld.
  3. To serve: pour the hot soup into bowls, sprinkle with tortilla chips and cheese, then cilantro and avocado (if you like).

Simply Spicy Tortilla Soup

This recipe was shared at Totally Tasty TuesdaysNewlyweds Recipe LinkyCast Party WednesdayFull Plate Thursday, Kitchen Fun Friday, Weekend Potluck, Lifeologia’s Birthday Party Potluck, Fit & Fabulous Fridays and All my Bloggy Friends.


Bulgur Black Bean Salad with Tomato & Avocado

Bulgur Black Bean & Fresh Tomato Salad with Avocado & Jalapeno

My friend gave me some cooked bulgur when we went camping together … in a way, I wonder if she gave it to me just so she could see what I would do with it. I brought it home. It sat in the fridge till I was nearly sure it must have gone bad already … and then, suddenly, I was craving Mexican food. Something with black beans and jalapenos and tomatoes and cilantro and onions. And then it occurred to me what to do with the bulgur: give it a KICK! I made this salad one day last week and munched, munched, munched all afternoon.

Last weekend my friend came up to my parents’ place for the first time EVER, with her hubby and youngest son. We ate antelope & venison that my dad cooked on the grill, dad’s garden potatoes mixed with peppers, spices and cheese and my tarragon roasted vegetables. Then the next day we munched on Dad’s fabulous fresh garden melons. I fed them caramel peach bread pudding, chocolate zucchini cake, and sandwiches made from the roasted veggies and grilled meat (yes, in that order).

And after we had eaten all of that, I remembered  the bulgur salad. Everyone was stuffed, but I made my friend taste a bite of it anyway, since she had given me the bulgur. She loved it, so I sent it home with her.

Bulgur Black Bean Salad with Avocado & Fresh Tomato

I played around a little with stuffing a couple tomatoes with the salad for a pretty presentation … what do you think? (Vegies in the background are stray bounty from my mom & dad’s garden … it’s everywhere!)

Bulgur Black Bean Salad with Fresh Tomato & Avocado

This is a hearty, spicy, flavorful salad that you could serve as a meal all by itself.

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked bulgur
  • 3/4 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1 cup cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 or 2 medium fresh garden tomatoes, chopped

Dressing:

  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped jalapeno (use more or less jalapeno according to how hot & spicy you like it)
  • 1/2 – 1 whole avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped (I only had about 1/2 an avocado, but I think the salad would be tastier with more!)
  • Garnish: cilantro or parsley leaves and a slice of fresh lime

Directions:

  1. Toss together the cooked bulgur, onion, black beans, and tomatoes in a bowl and set aside.
  2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, cumin, honey, and cilantro (or parsley) until well blended. Gently fold the avocado pieces into the dressing to coat. (This will help keep the avocado from turning black.)
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently to mix. Garnish with a twisted slice of lime and some cilantro (or parsley) just before serving.

Bulgur Black Bean Salad with Fresh Tomato, Sweet Onion & Avocado

This recipe was shared at Fit & Fabulous Friday.


Sesame Noodles with Cucumber

Sesame Noodles with Cucumber

Brianne at Cupcakes & Kale Chips is a great source of food inspiration for me. When she posted a recipe for sesame noodles, I wanted them right away … it was a simple, quick recipe, so I went into the kitchen and made them straight away. I have veggies galore in my kitchen right now, so I had to throw some of those in. So I sliced up some cucumber in thin noodle-like strips and tossed in some shredded carrot and sweet onion.

I also replaced the peanut butter in the recipe with PB2 … it’s a powdered form of peanut butter that has most of the oil removed. And I left out some of the oil to cut down the amount of fat. It was still quite delicious. I looove this sauce!

You could add in cooked chicken or shrimp or scallops to dress this dish up, use other vegetables or even replace the noodles with zucchini noodles (have you seen that? zucchini cut up in long thin strips like noodles? I want to try that one of these days!) Anyway, I used brown rice Pad Thai noodles and that worked wonderfully. My cucumber strips weren’t quite straight or thin enough to really act like noodles, but they added a refreshing crunch to the dish.

Sesame Noodles with Cucumber

Sesame Noodles with Cucumber

Adapted from Cupcakes & Kale Chips (who got the recipe from The Mom 100 Cookbook by Katie Workman)

There is enough sauce to cover about twice this much noodles/vegies, so go ahead and make more if you have more mouths to feed. I was just cooking for me … I’m lucky, though. Making this amount means I have some of that scrumptious sauce left for another day.

Sauce:

  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • A 2-inch hunk of ginger root, peeled
  • 2 Tablespoons white or rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha or other hot pepper sauce (use more or less to taste)
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 – 2 Tablespoons dark sesame oil (I used 1 Tablespoon, but I think it could use a little more)
  • 4 Tablespoons PB2
  • 3 Tablespoons water

Noodles and vegies:

  • 4 – oz. of noodles (I used brown rice pad thai noodles, but any long skinny noodle will work …)
  • 1/2 cup of cucumber, cut in long thin strips like the noodles
  • 1/4 cup of shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced bell pepper
  • Garnish: fresh cilantro, chopped peanuts, sesame seeds (or chia seeds if you can’t find your sesame seeds … like me)

Directions:

  1. Make the sesame sauce: whir all of the sauce ingredients in a handi chopper, food processor or a blender until smooth. Set the sauce aside.
  2. Prepare the noodles according to the package directions, reserving 1/2 cup of the noodle cooking water (or 1 cup if you are making a full batch), then drain the noodles.
  3. Add the reserved cooking water to half of the sesame sauce and blend. Place the warm drained noodles in a large bowl and toss them with the sauce and vegies until everything is coated.
  4. I skipped this step because I was starving but the recipe says to let the noodles cool to room temperature because they will absorb more sauce as they sit. This might be true … I have yet to try it.
  5. Garnish with cilantro leaves and peanuts or sesame seeds and serve. Try not to inhale them like I did.

Sesame Noodles with Cucumber

This recipe was shared at: Foodie Friends FridayFit & Fabulous Fridays, Serendipity & Spice, Weekend Potluck, Summer Salad Sundays, Recipe of the Week and Manic Monday.


Smashed Chickpea & Avocado Salad Sandwich

Smashed Chickpea & Avocado Sandwich

Why does the idea of smashing a chickpea sound so appealing?

I think it’s for the same reason that hitting something hard at TaeKwonDo feels good. It’s all those little things in life that just make you angry that you will never mention to the person that is bugging you because you’re just too nice to say it or you don’t want to make waves. It’s often better left unsaid … so much better to walk away, not say anything, or let that person find their own truth, their own karma. But still there are these little bits of anger that build up inside of you and you need to let it out somehow.

For me, yoga helps, but it’s not enough. I need to really smash something, something that isn’t going to care if I hurt it. Ah, and even better if I get to eat it in the end!

Come here, little chickpeas! I will smash you into a sandwich … oh and you too, little avocado!

… but seriously, though, this is quite a delicious sandwich. And if you can relieve a few frustrations in the process, that’s even better.

Smashed Chickpea & Avocado Sandwich

Smashed Chickpea & Avocado Salad Sandwich

Adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod. Makes 2 – 3 sandwiches.

  • 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 2 Tablespoons sundried tomato ranch dressing (recipe here - or use regular ranch and add a couple finely chopped sundried tomatoes to the mixture)
  • 1 tablespoon sweet onion, chopped fine
  • Cilantro (a few sprigs if you can gather it … mine is so pathetic all I can get is a few leaves … sigh. )
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • juice of a wedge of lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha
  • lettuce leaves, onion, tomato, whatever you like to put on a sandwich

Directions:

  1. In a  bowl, using a fork or potato masher, smash the chickpeas and avocado together. Let out your frustrations … really, it’s ok.
  2. Add in the cilantro, onion, and squeeze the lime over top. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Toast your bread, spread both sides with the smashed chickpea/avocado mixture, then put your favorite sandwich toppings inside.
  4. Enjoy every bite!
You can use the smashed chickpea/avocado mixture as a dip, too. ;)

Smashed Chickpea and Avocado Sandwich

This recipe was shared at Totally Tasty TuesdaysHearth & Soul Bloghop, Foodie FridaysSummer Salad Sundays, Weekend Potluck and Manic Monday.


Shrimp Pad Thai

Shrimp Pad Thai

I came home from yoga last night wanting noodles. Badly. It was a power yoga class and she worked us hard … I could tell because my legs were sore already. So it was clearly time to make the Pad Thai I’ve been wanting to make. A while ago I had found these beautiful brown rice noodles with a Pad Thai recipe on the back. I THOUGHT I had also picked up some bean sprouts, but discovered rather quickly that I hadn’t. I had already shredded a bunch of carrots and chopped up the greens, though, so I thought to just add in some onion.

I do not claim this to be truly authentic Pad Thai (the Pad Thai police would surely come and get me!), but oh it was delicious. This Pad Thai soothed my craving for noodles and Thai food all in one fell swoop.

Shrimp Pad Thai: noodles with shrimp, carrots, onion, spinach topped with cilantro & peanuts

Shrimp Pad Thai

This recipe serves 2 – 3 people. If you have bean sprouts, just cut down the amount of other veggies to add in some sprouts. Pad Thai does usually have bean sprouts in it … I was just out of them!

For the sauce:

  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 – 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Hoison sauce
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon Sriracha
The rest:
  • 4 oz. brown rice noodles (1/2 the package)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 Tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 cup medium shrimp
  • a splash of white wine

For the top:

  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Chopped peanuts
  • Chopped green onions

Directions:

  1. Mix up the sauce ingredients in a bowl, adjusting the amount of sugar and Sriracha to your liking. The spicy heat will get soaked up by the noodles, so I would recommend making it a tad hotter than you think it should be. Set the sauce aside.
  2. Put some water on to boil for cooking up the noodles.
  3. While the water is cooking for the noodles, whisk the egg in a bowl and add a teaspoon of water. Scramble it in a frying pan or wok sprayed with cooking spray very briefly … take it out of the pan while it’s still wet. It will finish cooking when you add it back into the hot noodles. Speaking of noodles: are they done? Drain and set them aside.
  4. Clean out the egg from the frying pan (unless you are a neat scrambler … I always have some egg residue when I scramble), heat the  pan to medium heat, and add the oil. Add the garlic, onion, carrots and spinach and sautee for a minute or two, then add the shrimp and sautee until the onion is limp and the shrimp turns pink. If the pan gets a little dry, add a splash of white wine and cook till the wine evaporates. Add the noodles and the sauce and stir to mix everything up. The noodles might not want to mix in too well, but that’s okay. You can put the “extras” on top of the noodles when you serve it.
  5. Serve hot, garnished with fresh cilantro, chopped peanuts, and chopped green onion.

Enjoy!

Shrimp Pad Thai: noodles with shrimp, carrots, onion, spinach topped with cilantro & peanuts

This recipe was shared at Cast Party WednesdayIt’s a Keeper ThursdayFull Plate ThursdayTastetastic Thursday, and Fit & Fabulous Fridays.


Spinach Avocado Quesadillas

Spinach Avocado Quesadillas

It was the big day, the day the dancers prepare for all year. My girl is in competition dance so she gets so many opportunities to perform, but it all leads up to THIS. The day of the big end-of-the-year dance recital.

I thought I was being clever, but really, in hindsight, perhaps it wasn’t such a good idea to plan a vacation right after recital. That meant I was scrambling at work today to finish up all the loose ends … and on top of that, I had to make sure she got fed and drank enough water and run her to rehearsal and back. And find her lost costumes and the missing jazz shoe (that never did turn up … she had to borrow a shoe from a friend!) … and help her with her hair … and then my family was coming for the recital so I was bugging my son to clean up and wash all the bedding. My mom, dad, and sis showed up at 4 and I hadn’t even showered yet! I quickly cleaned myself up and we rushed off to find some food before the recital …

It all added up to a lot of craziness and stress that really didn’t need to be QUITE that crazy. The show went really well, but I could tell at the beginning of the show that my dancer didn’t quite have her head in the game. I feel a little pang of “mom guilt”, like could I maybe have been a little less stressed and rushed today and had more patience with her?

So you know I had NO time to cook today. But still after scrambling with everything all morning, I really really needed to eat! I found some of the cheese mixture I’d used for my fish quesadillas in the fridge and threw together this quesadilla for lunch today in a few minutes … and it turned out really good. I’m glad I took a short break to make this … I’m wishing now that I had taken the time to make my sweetie girl the waffles that she wanted this morning. Ah well. There is always tomorrow. Finally, some time to just unwind and do as we please …

Spinach Avocado Quesadillas

Spinach Avocado Quesadillas

For the cheese mixture:

  • 1 cup cooked white beans (Great Northern or Cannellini)
  • 1/4 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon of liquid from the beans
  • 1 Tablespoon goat cheese
  • Green onion (I used two)
  • Garlic scapes (I used two)
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno (use more or less according to how spicy you want it)
  • A few cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup finely shredded Mexican blend of cheeses

For the quesadilla:

  • 2 whole-grain flour tortillas
  • A handful of baby spinach leaves
  • Chopped tomato (I used 1/2 of a medium tomato for one quesadilla)
  • Chopped red onion (just a bit)
  • Avocado, part sliced, part chopped (I used half an avocado for my quesadilla)
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Salsa (I used my dad’s simple salsa fresca)

Directions:

  1. In a food processor or handi chopper, blend the white beans, yogurt, goat cheese, and a bit of cooking liquid from the beans till smooth. Add snipped green onion, garlic scapes, jalapeno, and cilantro and stir (or chop if you like), then blend in the shredded cheese. (You can make the cheese mixture ahead of time and store it in a covered container in the fridge.)
  2. Spread both tortillas with a thin layer of the cheese mixture. On one of the tortillas, arrange the spinach leaves, tomato, red onion, chopped avocado and cilantro. Top with the 2nd tortilla.
  3. Heat a frying pan or cast iron skillet to medium low heat and spray with cooking spray. Put the quesadilla in the pan, cover and cook briefly. Check often and when it is brown on the bottom, slide it onto a plate, then flip it over and slide back into the pan and cover to brown the other side. When both sides are brown and the cheese is nicely melted, slide the quesadilla out of the pan onto a cutting board, cut into pieces, and serve immediately topped with avocado slices with salsa on the side.

Spinach Avocado Quesadillas

This recipe was shared at Fit & Fabulous Fridays and Weekend Potluck.


Flippin’ Amazing Barbecue Chicken Salad

with Jalapeno Cilantro Ranch Dressing

Flippin' Amazing BBQ Chicken Salad

There was this barbecue restaurant in California we used to go to for lunch … I can’t remember the name of it, but I could drive right to it if I were there … I know right where it is. They made the most amazing barbecue chicken salad. I think I ordered that salad every time we went there because I can’t recall eating anything else there.

I haven’t had that salad in years … and I”m not really quite sure why not. I’ve been back to that area several times. I’ve certainly had many, many opportunities to MAKE a barbecue chicken salad. I mean, barbecued chicken is one of my daughter’s all-time favorite meals!

But today, I am trying to use up things in my fridge. We barbecued chicken last night and this salad just popped into my mind. I actually went to the store and bought an avocado and tomato to make it (and I’m supposed to using up things? hello? what are you thinking?)

Anyway, I took one taste of this salad and I started asking myself why the HELL did I wait so long to make it?

Barbecue Chicken Salad with Jalapeno Cilantro Ranch dressing

So this is really a two-meal kinda deal: the first night you grill up some mighty fine barbecue chicken. And maybe some asparagus (or corn on the cob!) and grilled cornbread to go with it. Make extra chicken for the next day’s meal. Your first meal might look something like this:

Chicken, Asparagus & Cornbread on the Grill

The Moistest Barbecue Chicken Ever

  • Plain yogurt (I used about a cup for 3 chicken breasts)
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon or so of your favorite seasoning mix (I tried some of the Mystic Blue Tandoori Masala Spice mix … ooh that stuff is NICE!)
  • Uncooked pieces of chicken (last night it was chicken breasts)
  • Your favorite barbecue sauce (we used Famous Dave’s Rich & Sassy BBQ sauce because that’s my kids’ favorite)

At least an hour or up to a day before you want to cook the chicken, mix enough of the plain yogurt with some garlic and seasonings to completely cover the chicken. Put the chicken in a bowl, pour the spiced yogurt mixture over it and let it marinade in the fridge for an hour or overnight, turning once or twice to make sure you evenly coat all the chicken.

Fire up the grill and put the chicken on. I like to start my chicken over the hot, hot coals and sear it on both sides, “Paint” it with barbecue sauce on both sides, then move it to the side and let it cook till it’s done while I cook other things (like the asparagus and the cornbread). The chicken is done if when you cut into it with a knife, the juices run clear and there’s no pink flesh left inside. I usually paint the chicken with sauce a couple more times during this process.

Refrigerate your leftover chicken and then on the second day, you can make this amazing salad …

Flippin’ Amazing Barbecue Chicken Salad

  • Mixed greens (or Romaine is nice)
  • Leftover barbecued chicken, sliced or shredded and heated
  • Sweet corn, cooked
  • Beans, cooked (I would usually use black beans, but I had white beans to use up)
  • Red onion, sliced thin or chopped
  • Tomato, cut into chunks or wedges
  • Avocado slices
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Shredded Mexican cheese (cheddar, monterey jack, or other … I used a Fiesta blend)
  • Jalapeno Cilantro Ranch Dressing (recipe below)
  • A bit of barbecue sauce for drizzling

Directions:

Make the salad dressing and set it aside. Fill your salad bowl or your plate with lots of greens. Heat the beans and sweet corn. Arrange the chicken, red onion, tomato, and avocado over the greens, then add the beans and corn (or make a mound of beans and corn in the center). Sprinkle with cilantro and a bit of shredded cheese. Drizzle with the jalapeno cilantro dressing and a bit of barbecue sauce.

The above pictures were the “civilized version” before I added the shredded cheese and the dressing drizzles. Things get a little messy once you do that … then you dig into the salad and it gets even messier … that’s part of the joy of it. Just like any good barbecue, right?

Barbecue Chicken Salad with Beans, Avocado, Tomato, Onion & Jalapeno Cilantro Ranch Dressing

Jalapeno Cilantro Ranch Salad Dressing

Makes about 1 cup of dressing (8 servings/2 Tablespoons per serving)

  • 1/3 c. light mayonnaise
  • 1/3 c. 1% milk
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • About 1/2 a handful of fresh basil leaves
  • Several fresh parsley leaves or ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • A few fresh dill twigs or ½ teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Several chives
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • A sprig of fresh rosemary leaves
  • 3 green onions (tops only)
  • A handful of cilantro leaves
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons of finely chopped jalapeno
  • 1/4 of a ripe avocado (you could probably even add more avocado if you want …)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (Leave out the salt altogether if you want less sodium … I made sure to taste it before I added salt, and it was delicious.)
  • 1/3 c. nonfat greek yogurt

Whir all the ingredients except the yogurt in a handy chopper or food processor until smooth. Stir in the yogurt. Adjust seasonings to taste. Store any leftovers in a covered container in the fridge.

This recipe was shared at Cast Party Wednesdays, Thursday’s TreasuresTastetastic Thursdays, Fit & Fabulous Fridays, and Summer Salad Sundays.


Fish Quesadillas with Pineapple Salsa

Next Generation Fish & White Bean Quesadillas with Pineapple Salsa

My dad gave me some fresh fish he had caught when I visited last weekend, and he told me I must either cook them up by Monday or freeze them. Fish is SO much better when it’s fresh, so I cooked it up. My daughter loooooves fresh fish, but she wasn’t very hungry Monday night and we ended up with quite a stack of leftover cooked fish, part catfish, part Northern Pike.

Next Generation Fish & White Bean Quesadillas with Pineapple Salsa

So what do you do with a stack of leftover fish? Well, I often make fish tacos, but this time I wanted to do something a little different … why not a fish quesadilla? I tried it once. Pretty good, but not great. So I tried it a different slant on it … much better! … you are going to be so glad I waited to blog this because these Fish Quesadillas are SO good!  The white beans and greek yogurt take them to a level beyond tasty. (That’s my own personal opinion.) I’m wanting another one already … gonna have to get some more tortillas!

Next Generation Fish & White Bean Quesadillas with Pineapple Salsa

Fish & White Bean Quesadillas with Pineapple Salsa

  • 1 cup cooked white beans (Great Northern or Cannellini)
  • 1/4 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon of liquid from the beans
  • 1 Tablespoon goat cheese
  • Green onion (I used two)
  • Garlic scapes (I used two)
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno (use more or less according to how spicy you want it)
  • A few cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup finely shredded Mexican blend of cheeses
  • Cooked fish fillets
  • Flour tortillas (whole grain is good!)
  • Pineapple salsa (recipe below)

Directions:

  1. First, make the pineapple salsa and set aside to allow the flavors to blend.
  2. In a food processor or handi chopper, blend the white beans, yogurt, goat cheese, and a bit of cooking liquid from the beans till smooth. Add snipped green onion, garlic scapes, jalapeno, and cilantro and stir (or chop if you like), then blend in the shredded cheese.
  3. Heat a skillet pan to medium low heat and spray with cooking spray. While it’s warming, spread a tortilla with the cheese/bean mixture, then put flakes of fish all over half the tortilla. Fold it in half so the cheesy mixture completely covers the fish flakes. (If you want to make a big full round quesadilla, spread two tortillas with a thin layer of the cheesy mixture, top one of them with flaked fish, then carefully put the other tortilla on top (cheesy mixture down).)
  4. Put the tortilla in the pan, cover and cook briefly. Check often and when it is brown on the bottom, flip the tortilla over to brown the other side. When both sides are brown and the cheese is nicely melted, slide the quesadilla out of the pan onto a cutting board, cut into pieces, and serve immediately with the fresh pineapple salsa.

Fresh Pineapple Salsa

  • 2/3 cup pineapple cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped, peeled orange
  • 1/2 cup chopped green & red bell pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled & chopped fine
  • 3 teaspoons finely chopped jalapeno (use more or less depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons tequila
  • Juice of 1/4 of a lime
  • A small bunch of cilantro leaves, chopped

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Let sit for a bit to allow the flavors to blend. Store any remaining salsa in a covered container in the fridge.

Next Generation Fish & White Bean Quesadillas with Pineapple Salsa

This recipe was shared at Potluck PartyFit & Fabulous FridaysWeekend Potluck, Everyday Mom’s MealsManic Mondays,  Totally Tasty Tuesdays and KM’s Seafood Bloghop.


Delicious Thai Peanut Noodles in Minutes

Thai Peanut Noodles with Shrimp, Carrots & Broccoli

Yes, you DO have time to cook! This is faster than fast food and WAY healthier. You can have it on the table in under 15 minutes.

The “magic” in this recipe is the Super Simple Thai Peanut Sauce. If you make some of this up and keep it in your fridge, you can have delicious meals in minutes … if you haven’t made it yet, go do it! Click the sauce picture for the recipe … the sauce itself will take you maybe five minutes to make. It’s super simple.

I don’t claim that it is truly “authentic” Thai food, but it tastes amazing … and if you are a busy working mom who’s starved for Thai food like I am, with no Thai restaurants anywhere within hundreds of miles, well, then I think it’s okay to take some shortcuts.

Super Simple Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce

Okay, now that you’ve got the sauce done, all you have to do is …

1. Cook up some noodles. I used Angel hair pasta. Angel hair is beautiful and fast, and I love the delicate-ness of the noodles! You can use whatever noodles you like, though. (For SUPER expedient gourmet meals, have some noodles pre-cooked in your fridge, then just warm them up when you need a quick delicious meal.)

2. While the noodles are cooking, steam some veggies. You can use whatever vegies you think would go well with Thai peanut noodles. I used broccoli and carrots. Here’s my quickie tricky method for doing that in the microwave. Put your fresh or frozen veggies in a bowl. Add a bit of water to the bowl. Just a splash; you don’t need a lot. Sprinkle the vegies with a little salt and pepper if you want. Cover it with a plate. Stick it in the microwave. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Take the veggies out and check them. Are they crisp tender? If not, stir, cover, and microwave a bit longer until they are crisp tender. Strain the vegies, or use a fork to remove them from the bowl.

Faster than fast food!  Thai Peanut Noodles with Broccoli, Shrimp and Carrots

3. Optional! Heat up (or cook up) some shrimp or leftover meat. I’ve tried this with leftover grilled chicken and also with tiny frozen (thawed) shrimp, but I also think it is just wonderful without meat at all.

4. Toss the noodles and vegies (and meat or shrimp, if you’re using them) with the noodles and about 2 tablespoons of the sauce per serving. Top with chopped roasted peanuts and fresh cilantro leaves and serve.

Faster than fast food! Simple Thai Peanut Noodles in minutes

This recipe was shared at Weekend Potluck,  South Asian BlogHop and Everyday Mom’s Meals.


Garlic Cilantro Buttermilk Chicken

Grilled Garlic Cilantro Buttermilk Chicken

My daughter really, really loves chicken. And she loves grilling. Usually I grill chicken with barbecue sauce for her, but I wanted to try something a little different this time. She loves cilantro and garlic. And that yogurt/buttermilk marinade worked SO well last time, well, we just had to do that again. I thought the yogurt/buttermilk mixture should be more than just a marinade though, it ought to be a sauce …

Garlic Cilantro Buttermilk Chicken on the Grill

We both loved the chicken. Really really loved it. It turned out so moist and flavorful. There is something about yogurt and buttermilk that soaks into the chicken. Your chicken will never be dry if you use a yogurt or buttermilk marinade. It’s the most amazing chicken trick ever …

Garlic Cilantro Buttermilk Chicken

  • A big handful of cilantro leaves
  • 5 – 7 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of Red Robin Seasoning (recipe here)
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2/3 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 – 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or other chicken parts, skinned)

Directions:

  1. Reserve a few cilantro leaves for garnish, then in a handi chopper or food processor, blend up most of the cilantro with the garlic, the seasonings and 1/3 cup of the yogurt. Place in a medium bowl and stir in the rest of the yogurt and buttermilk.
  2. Before you add the chicken, take out about 2/3 cup of the buttermilk sauce and set it in the fridge in a separate container. This reserved sauce will be the sauce to pour over the chicken after it’s done.
  3. Add the chicken to the remaining sauce in the bowl, tossing to make sure all sides are covered. Cover the bowl and let it marinade for at least an hour or overnight. Turn the chicken pieces over a few times to make sure all sides of the chicken get a chance to soak up that lovely sauce.
  4. Heat up the grill and remove the chicken from the marinade, discarding the marinade. (Unless you cook the marinade long enough to kill the germs from the raw chicken, it would not be safe to eat.)
  5. Grill the chicken, flipping it when it’s slightly browned on one side, then cooking on the other side until it’s done completely through. When you slice a knife into it, the juices should run clear.
  6. Serve alongside your favorite vegetable over basmati rice, drizzled with the reserved garlicky buttermilk sauce, and garnished with a few cilantro leaves. We had some raw sliced mushrooms and cucumber with ours, but I think it also would go great with asparagus, broccoli, spinach or green beans. I would have put some other veggies in the pictures if my daughter wasn’t in such a rush to eat it! She was very impatient for me to get done with the pictures …

Garlic Cilantro Buttermilk Chicken on the Grill

This recipe was shared with Totally Tasty TuesdaysCast Party Wednesday, Tastetastic Thursday and Fit & Fabulous Friday.


Smoked Gouda Avocado Breakfast Bruschetta

Smoked Gouda Avocado Breakfast Toast

It’s one of those mornings when I can’t get my daughter out of bed. And she’s feeling dizzy this morning, so dizzy she doesn’t want to go to school. I hate it when I have to tell her to go to school when she’s feeling this way. But she’s not sick, and she’s missed too many days of school already.

The cat is whining incessantly and won’t leave me alone and I don’t know what he wants. He has food, he has water, he has been fed, but he won’t quit swirling around me and meowing.

Anybody want a fat, fuzzy, affectionate, slightly annoying cat? He’s really cute … see?

Jupie, our fuzzy cat

Naw, I’m just kidding. I wouldn’t trade him for the world. He’s just driving me crazy this morning, and I know what he wants. He wants me to drop everything and just hold him and pet him and rub his belly. He loves it when you rub his fat, furry belly.

I think I need some toast. A really good toast. Something like this … not that my dang cat is going to give me time to cook this morning. I’ll probably end up eating cereal. Except we’re out of milk. Yeah, it’s one of THOSE kind of mornings.

Smoked Gouda Avocado Breakfast Toast

Smoked Gouda Avocado Breakfast Bruschetta

  • French bread, sliced (I used this recipe)
  • Smoked Gouda cheese, sliced thin
  • Thinly sliced red onion
  • Slices of tomato
  • Scrambled egg
  • Slices of ripe avocado
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Toast the bread lightly, then arrange the cheese on it. Top with slices of onion and tomato.
  2. Broil or bake at 350 until the cheese is melted.
  3. Top with egg, avocado and cilantro and enjoy. It’s a little messy to eat, but it tastes SO delicious.

Smoked Gouda Avocado Breakfast Toast

This recipe was shared at Trick or Treat Tuesdays, Totally Tasty TuesdaysMidweek FiestaThis Week’s Cravings: Eggs and Cast Party Wednesday.


Thai-Style Barbecued Chicken Salad

Thai Style Barbecue Chicken Salad

Even as I was eating my Thai Chicken Pizza the other night, I began dreaming of this salad. The flavors on that pizza were just screaming to be thrown over some pretty greens and doused in that amazing Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce. Add some pineapple, a bit of celery, and some chopped peanuts and ooh what a beautiful summer salad. I forgot I was actually going to throw in some carrots, but didn’t miss them until after I inhaled the salad, but if I did this again I would …

Thai Style Barbecued Chicken Salad

Thai-Style Barbecued Chicken Salad

For the chicken:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 per person)
  • Plain nonfat yogurt and/or buttermilk for marinading the chicken
  • Red Robin Seasoning (or your favorite seasoned salt)
  • Granulated garlic (or chopped garlic cloves)

For the salad:

  • Mixed organic greens
  • Chopped fresh pineapple
  • Chopped fresh celery
  • Red onion, thinly sliced
  • Carrot, thinly sliced (if desired) or carrot “ribbons” would be lovely too
  • Peanuts, toasted and roughly chopped
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Thai Peanut Sauce (super simple recipe here!)

Marinade the chicken in yogurt or buttermilk. I used about half yogurt, half buttermilk. (No, I didn’t measure it, just poured it into a bowl till it looked like about the right amount to cover my chicken.) Then I added some granulated garlic and Red Robin seasoning until it tasted good. Then I added the chicken and let it marinade for an hour. Or two. I don’t know exactly how long …

Heat up your grill and put the chicken on there and cook it up till the juices run clear when you pierce the chicken with a knife.

Slice up that lovely hot chicken.

Barbecued Chicken Marinaded in Yogurt and Buttermilk

Pile the greens on your salad plate(s), then top with pineapple, celery, onion, carrots and cilantro leaves. Arrange the chicken on the greens and drizzle with the Thai Peanut Sauce, then sprinkle with nuts and a few more cilantro leaves.

Enjoy!

Thai Style Barbecued Chicken Salad

This recipe was shared at Fit & Fabulous FridaysWeekend PotluckStrut your Stuff Saturday, Recipe Lion Spring Blog Hop, and Real Housewives Recipe Roundup.


Grilled Thai Chicken Pizza

Grilled Thai Chicken Pizza

This recipe was inspired by ChinDeep’s grilled Thai Chicken Pizza, except I used the Super Simple Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce (recipe here) and a Beer Pizza Crust (recipe below).

For the chicken: I marinaded chicken breasts in a mixture of half yogurt/half buttermilk seasoned with a little garlic powder and Red Robin seasoning. I rinsed the marinade off of one of them and brushed it with barbecue sauce for my daughter. Then I grilled them. The yogurt/buttermilk marinade was awesome! It made the chicken so nice and tender and moist.

While the chicken breasts were cooking, I assembled all my pizza ingredients and rolled out the dough, covering it with a towel. Melissa tells me the trick to grilled pizza is to have all the toppings ready to go, so I assembled them all and arranged them right next to the grill.

Have your pizza toppings ready to go ...

Once the chicken was partly done, I removed them so I could rearrange the coals and make a hot spot for the pizza crusts to cook. I piled the coals up on one side of the grill, leaving the other side empty to make a cooler spot for the toppings to melt.

Piling the coals up on one side of the grill to make a hotspot

Then I put the grate back on, along with the chicken, leaving a spot right over the hot hot coals to make the pizza. I placed a crust on the grill over the hot coals, covered and let it cook for 5-10 minutes, checking it periodically.

Grilling Pizza: set the crust on the "hot" side of the grill to cook

It started to bubble up a little and get brown on the bottom, then I flipped it over onto the cool side of the grill, added the toppings and covered the grill again till the cheese was melted.

The first one was my daughter’s pizza: simple cheese pizza, with barbecue chicken.

My Daughter's Dinner: Barbecue Chicken and Grilled Cheese Pizza

The second pizza was my Thai pizza. For this one, once I flipped the crust over onto the cool side of the grill, I slathered it with the spicy thai peanut sauce, then topped with thin slices of the grilled chicken, green onions, carrots, red onions, sunflower seeds and cheese. Then I covered the grill and let the pizza cook till the cheese was melted.

Grilled Thai Chicken Pizza

I pulled it off the grill and sprinkled with cilantro and sat down with my sweet daughter and had dinner on the patio.

Heaven!

Grilled Thai Chicken Pizza

Beer Pizza Crust

  • 1 cup beer (I used Leinenkugel Fireside Nut Brown Ale)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup unbleached white whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
  • 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Put all ingredients into the bread machine and put it on the dough setting. When the dough is done, divide it into four balls. Shape each ball into a disc shape, cover with a towel and let rest about 5 – 10 minutes. On a clean, flat surface sprinkled with cornmeal, roll out the dough for your crust with a rolling pin. Wrap any extra balls of dough you aren’t going to use with plastic wrap (or put them in a ziploc) and stick them in the freezer. When you’re ready to use them, let the balls of dough thaw out on the counter for about an hour. I’m told they will keep for up to a month.

This recipe was shared at Strut your Stuff Saturday, South Asian BlogHop and Gooseberry Patch Trip Around the World.


Cashew Salmon with Apricot Cranberry Quinoa

with a ginger, cumin & cilantro scented yogurt sauce

Cashew Salmon with Apricot Cranberry Quinoa and a Cumin Cilantro Ginger Yogurt Sauce

One of the most romantic meals of my life was on a Friday night when my date and I cooked this together. We drank wine as we cooked, I chopped the apricots & garlic & ginger and mixed up the sauce, he made the quinoa and broiled the salmon. When the salmon was done, he plated the salmon and quinoa in front of me, drizzled that heavenly sauce over it, and sprinkled on the toasted cashews … then refilled my wine glass before he plated his own. Just the way he did that totally melted my heart. Later I asked him for the recipe … and he gladly gave me the printout. I loved this meal so much I just had to make this again, wanted to share it with all of you here on the blog, and so I decided I would try making it for my children for a special Valentine’s meal. They both love salmon (my daughter moreso than my son, but he will eat salmon). I wasn’t so sure about the quinoa or the yogurt ginger sauce, but I thought I would give it a shot.

It was as I thought … while I was photographing the meal, my kids got in a fight. My daughter ran into her room. Our cat persistently tried to eat the salmon I was “shooting” and I had to push her out of the picture several times …

Cashew Salmon with Apricot Cranberry Quinoa and a Cumin Cilantro Ginger Yogurt Sauce and our CAT

We managed to coax my daughter out of her room to join the meal. They both tried the salmon. My son immediately asked for garlic toast, saying “don’t we have some bread?” So I ended up cooking up some quick garlic toast for both of them. My daughter gobbled her salmon up before I could even glance over at her. My son inhaled the garlic toast, ate a few bites of the salmon, and then declared that his sister could have the rest of his. She said, “I can’t eat all of this …”, but she did eat some of his. Neither of them touched the quinoa or would even taste the sauce.

But they were happy that I had Valentine’s chocolates for them. My son said he would have been happier with smaller pieces of chocolate since I got him the BIG Reese’s peanut butter hearts (honestly, I would too … I like my chocolates in little bites!) So he’s trading in his chocolate for some licorice. LOL. My daughter was totally entranced with her heart-shaped Dove truffles in the fancy swirly tin. At least I got one thing right!

All in all, I would say this meal is probably much better suited for a romantic dinner with your sweetheart or for a fancy dinner party than for a Valentine’s lunch with a couple picky eating teenagers. But hey, I have some delicious leftovers. And now I can share the recipe with you … frankly, I think my kids are crazy. The tastes in this meal are phenomenal.

Cashew Salmon with Apricot Cranberry Quinoa and a Cumin Cilantro Ginger Yogurt Sauce

Cashew Salmon with Apricot Cranberry Quinoa

Adapted from Eating Well

You could shortcut the prep time by making up the sauce ahead of time, toasting the cashews and pre-chopping the garlic and apricot and things. Salmon cooks in a matter of minutes, so in the time it takes you to cook the quinoa, you could have dinner on the table.

Sauce ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1 5-oz. container plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped fine
  • 2  cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or less … I don’t think it needs quite this much salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon of honey
  • 1 Tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime (or lemon)

Quinoa ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries (or add an extra 1/4 cup of apricots … I only used cranberries because I ran out of apricots! But they did add a pretty splash of red color … and I liked the taste too)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup quinoa

Salmon ingredients:

  • Salmon, cut into portions of 1/4 lb for each person. (You should have plenty of sauce and quinoa for up to 4 people. If you’re serving more, increase the recipe.)
  • Old Bay seasoning (I used this seasoning only because I expected my kids would skip the sauce and thought the fish could use a little flavor on its own … you really don’t need it at all.)
  • Salt & pepper

For garnish:

  • Roasted, salted cashews, toasted and chopped
  • Extra cilantro leaves

To prepare:

  1. First, make the sauce: Stir together all the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Don’t use your handi chopper to whir it all together–it destroys the thickness of the yogurt. You could use all plain yogurt instead of the greek yogurt if you actually STIR the sauce rather than whirring it like I did.
  2.  Next, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the apricots, garlic, onion, ginger, and salt and sautee until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil, then stir in the quinoa. Cover, lower the heat to low, and cook until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile rub the salmon with salt and pepper, sprinkle with seasoning (if using) and broil or grill until the salmon is lightly brown and just cooked through, about 3 minutes on each side.
  4. Serve the salmon drizzled with sauce, topped with cashews and a sprinkle of cilantro leaves, with the quinoa on the side.

Cashew Salmon with Apricot Cranberry Quinoa

This recipe was shared at Totally Tasty TuesdaysLove your Heart MonthCast Party WednesdayThese Chicks Cooked Recipe SwapMidweek Fiesta, Newlyweds Recipe Linky, Thursday’s Treasures, Fit and Fabulous Fridays, Katherine Martinelli’s Nut Bloghop and Freaky Friday.


Rainbow Teriyaki Chicken Pizza

Teriyaki Chicken Pizza with Broccoli, Cucumber, Carrot, & Red Onion

Leftover Teriyaki chicken is fantabulous on pizza … especially when you add a medley of colorful vegetables and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.

All these colorful veggies kinda reminds me of a rainbow … and something a good friend said to me not so long ago when I was feeling down:

“To find your rainbow, you have to have rain. After the rain there is Beauty and a promise of riches … in every aspect. You had a shower … and when that rainbow begins to grow … you will know.”

~ Debi from Recipes for my Boys

I have such wise, wonderful friends.

Rainbow Teriyaki Chicken Pizza with Broccoli, Cucumber, Red Onion, Carrot and fresh Cilantro

Rainbow Teriyaki Chicken Pizza

Of course you can adjust the vegies to whatever you prefer. This is just what I happened to have on hand …

  • 1 pizza crust (I make my own with part whole wheat flour/part white, pre-bake them till light brown, then freeze for later …)
  • Teriyaki chicken, heated, sliced and diced into small hunks (here’s my recipe for Teriyaki chicken)
  • Teriyaki sauce
  • Carrot, cut into thin slivers
  • Broccoli, steamed till crisp-tender
  • Red onion slices
  • Cucumber, sliced
  • Shredded mozzarella and a bit of cheddar cheese (for color!)
  • Fresh cilantro leaves

Directions:

Take your pizza crust and spread it with a light coat of teriyaki sauce, then cover it with hunks of teriyaki chicken. Arrange the carrot slivers randomly over the chicken.

making Rainbow Teriyaki Chicken Pizza

Now arrange the pieces of cucumber, red onions, and broccoli about on the pizza, then cover with mozzarella, adding a few sprinkles of cheddar on top.

Bake at 425 for about 10 – 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly and everything is nice and hot. Sprinkle the top of the pizza with cilantro leaves just before serving.

Rainbow Teriyaki Chicken Pizza with Broccoli, Cucumber, Carrot, & Red Onion

This recipe was shared at Everyday Mom’s Church Supper, Weekend Potluck, Cast Party Wednesday, Old Fashioned Recipe ExchangeThese Chicks Cooked Recipe Swap, Foodie Friday, and Fit and Fabulous Fridays.


Black Bean, Feta and Avocado Couscous Citrus Salad

with cilantro, cucumber, and toasted pinons

Couscous, Black Bean, Kumquat and Avocado Salad with Feta, Cucumber, and Toasted Pine Nuts

I couldn’t stop eating this salad. It was one of those find-things-in-your-fridge-and-toss-them-together kind of meals … but once I got it all together, I could not believe how good it tasted.

I was telling my yoga friend about this salad and she asked how it is that I have all these strange things “on hand”  in my kitchen …  I think what I do is I just collect interesting ingredients and let them flow together. Oh, yes, there are times when I buy things specifically to make a particular dish, but it quite often doesn’t work out that way. Life gets in the way. My plans get thrown out the window. I have learned along the way that plans are only a point of departure, and you have to be ready at any point in life to make new ones. I find myself doing a lot of that.

In any case, this was a very happy accident.

Couscous, Black Bean, Kumquat and Avocado Salad with Feta, Cucumber, and Toasted Pine Nuts

Black Bean, Feta and Avocado Couscous Citrus Salad

with Cilantro, Cucumber, and Toasted Pine Nuts

If you haven’t got any kumquats, you could try substituting other citrus fruits.

  • 2/3 cup uncooked whole wheat couscous
  • 1/2 of a large cucumber, sliced and cut into small chunks
  • 3/4 cup cooked black beans
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
  • Roughly 1/3 cup feta cheese crumbles
  • 2 kumquats (about 2 inches in diameter, add more to taste depending on how large your kumquats are), sliced thin and chopped (reserving a few slices for garnish)
  • About 2 cups of green leaf or romaine lettuce, chopped fine
  • About 3/4 cup of fresh cilantro leaves
  • About 1/3 cup of toasted pinon nuts
  • 1/2 of an avocado, peeled, pitted, chopped

Directions:

  1. Prepare the uncooked couscous according to the package directions and make the dressing.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss everything but the avocado until mixed.
  3. Toss the avocado in the dressing to coat (the kumquat juice in the dressing will help the avocado from turning brown), then toss the avocado and the dressing into the salad and stir gently to combine.
  4. Garnish the top of the salad with extra feta crumbles, slices of kumquat, cilantro leaves and a few pinons.

Dressing:

  • 2 Tablespoons of kumquat juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • 2 teaspoons of rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil

Whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl.

Black Bean, Feta, and Avocado Couscous Salad with Kumquat, Cucumber, Toasted Pinons

This recipe was shared on Fit & Fabulous Fridays, Everyday Mom’s Church Supper, Weekend Potluck, Love your Hearth MonthMidnight Maniac Meatless Mondays, and Freaky Friday.


Cheesy Rice & Black Bean Burritos

… and a game of “tag” … I was tagged twice, first by Good Cooks and then Chef in Disguise tagged me again

I don’t know that I even think of this as a recipe … it is one of those throw-it-together kind of lunches, something I could almost do in my sleep. You could add a sauce over the top if you like. My sister has a great recipe for homemade red sauce that would be awesome on these.

I was making my burrito for lunch, so I just wrapped my burrito in a napkin and munched away on it while I worked … but it’s a great quick meal to throw together for a hearty Meatless Monday meal, or if you have some meat you want to toss in, chop it up and add it with the beans and rice.

Cheesy Rice & Black Bean Burritos

Add in other stuff as you please … or leave out anything you don’t like. This is a very forgiving recipe.

  • Black beans, cooked and drained
  • Cooked rice (I used basmati rice)
  • Large flour tortillas (whole wheat or regular … )
  • Your favorite salsa (I used my funky kiwi, kumquat, and mango salsa … the salsa you choose is going to really impact the flavor so pick a good one!)
  • Optional: chopped jalapenos or green chile
  • Chopped onion & avocado
  • Shredded cheese (I used a Mexican blend + some shredded sharp cheddar)
  • Fresh cilantro leaves

Directions:

First, make sure the black beans and rice are good and hot.

For each burrito, heat a large tortilla in the microwave briefly until it’s warm. (Warm tortillas fold better.) Put a couple spoonfuls of beans in the center of the tortilla in a rectangular-ish shape and mash them roughly with a fork. (You could use refried beans too in place of the black beans … that works well too …) Top with a few spoonfuls of salsa and the rice.

Cheesy Black Bean & Rice Burritos

Sprinkle with the shredded cheese and microwave on high for a minute or two until the cheese melts, then toss on some cilantro.

Cheesy Black Bean & Rice Burritos

Now fold over the short edges of the burrito and then fold over the long end.

Cheesy Black Bean & Rice Burritos

and then just roll it up …

Cheesy Black Bean & Rice Burritos

If you were going to add sauce, this would be where you would pour the hot sauce over top, maybe add a little more cheese, then microwave it a bit more to get that cheese on top all melty.

(Instead of microwave-melting the cheese, you could make a bunch of these, put them in a baking pan, cover with sauce and a bit more cheese and bake for 20 – 30 minutes or so or until everything is all hot and bubbly.)

Cheesy Rice & Black Bean Burrito

Now for the tag game … I’ve been tagged, so I have to answer the following questions, then tag 5 other bloggers who are supposed to do the same.

Describe yourself in 7 words…

Foodie, Tree Hugger, Geek, Empath, Mother, Dreamer, Friend

What keeps you up at night?

Usually I sleep well, but sometimes I worry. Sometimes I stay up too late talking to my best friend … or out on a date. I’m divorced, yes, so I worry about men and love and where things are going in my life. My mind can also get busy wondering, pondering, fearing for my childrens’ future. Sometimes I can’t sleep because I think of a really good idea for a recipe and I’m so excited to make it. Sometimes I stay up late to finish writing up a blog post. Sometimes I stress over stupid things like how to make an ugly food look good. Once in a while I stress over work.

Who would you like to be?

I want to just be me and not let anybody get in the way of that. Being an empath, that’s hard to do because I feel what other people feel and I care so much about my friends and family. I guess, though, that is who I am.

What scares you?

Global warming and how people take our earth for granted. What’s going to happen in my children’s lifetime … and their childrens’ lifetime. Will our earth be able to recover from what we are doing to it?

Sometimes the thought of being alone scares me too. But since I started this blog, really, I never am alone …

What are the best and worst things about blogging?

The very best thing about blogging is the wonderful friends I have made along the way. I cannot even begin to describe how amazing it feels to wake up every morning to this fantastic group of caring, loving people. Foodies are the most generous, sweet, kind people you will ever meet, and having a food blog has brought me friends from all over the world I would never have met or even known of if I didn’t have this blog.

The worst thing about blogging … I suppose it is the time, because it does take a lot of time. But every moment I’m blogging or cooking for the blog is pure joy. I blog because I love it.

What is the last website you looked at?

I went to my sister’s food blog: She Eats Pork and Fishes … to find the recipe for the burrito sauce.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

To love and respect myself more. To be kinder and more forgiving to myself. To stand up for myself and say no sometimes, rather than trying to please so many people. To be a stronger, better mother.

Slankets, yes or no?

Seriously? You want to know that? No, really, you don’t care. This is not important … (um, what’s a slanket anyway?)

Tell us something about the person who tagged you…

Samah (Good Cooks) is a mother from Palestine who lives here in the US now. Her photographs and recipes are just phenomenal. She is adventurous and brave in the kitchen and tackles all sorts of different recipes, and although I’ve not met her in person, I am sure that is how she is in real life too. Everything she cooks makes me drool …

Sawsan (Chef in Disguise) is a wonderful cook, a talented photographer and a sweet, sweet person. She is a mother and a doctor, but she is also my friend. She has so many good things to say. I love the variety of foods that she makes–she teaches me about foods I had never heard of. She has a heart of gold.

Tag, you’re it!

Now to pass on this game to five other bloggers … it’s so hard to choose … but I pick:

  1. Bobbi’s Cozy Kitchen
  2. Cooking with Mel
  3. Debi at Recipes for my Boys
  4. Bia at Rich and Sweet
  5. Melissa at ChinDeep

This recipe was shared at Meatless MondaysTotally Tasty Tuesdays, Midweek FiestaNewlyweds Recipe LinkyCast Party Wednesday, and Fit & Fabulous Fridays.


Funky Bejeweled Kiwi, Mango & Kumquat Salsa

Pomegranate, Kiwi, Kumquat, & Mango Salsa

I love salsa. The heat of it. The variety. The fun ways you can use it. You can put so many things in a salsa.  I had some tomatoes that were begging me to make them into salsa, but I wanted to do something a little different this time …

I’ve heard of mango salsa, but I’ve never seen or tried kiwi in a salsa. Or pomegranate seeds. I threw those in just for fun … I don’t know that the pomegranate seeds added a lot to the flavor or even the look because the background of the salsa is already red … but they are so pretty. Like little jewels. Why not have jewels in your salsa?

So I put the kiwis and the pomegranate in and still it needed something. There were three mangoes sitting there in my fruit bowl, so I decided to toss one of them in the salsa too. And then I thought: this needs something … so I added some of the flavors of a jerk seasoning. There! That is it. That is exactly what my funky fruity salsa needed. Honestly I think I might add some more jalapeno now because I am craving something so hot it almost hurts but really, this version is quite awesome just like it is. Add more jalapeno if you want it to hurt. Use less if you like a milder salsa.

Kiwi, Kumquat, Mango, and Pomegranate Salsa ... Caribbean style

Funky Bejeweled Kiwi, Mango, and Kumquat Salsa

  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 2 cups canned tomatoes (or 1 15-oz. can)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped jalapeno (adjust this amount to more or less, depending on how hot you like your salsa)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • about 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 kumquats (my kumquats were about 2 inches long, but I have seen some that are MUCH smaller … if you have smaller kumquats, use more!) … one goes into the blender, chop the other one into little chunks.
  • 2 kiwis, peeled & chopped into small pieces
  • 1 mango, peeled & chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

Directions:

  1. In a blender or food processor, blend the tomatoes, onion, garlic, jalapeno, 1 of the kumquats and the salt and other spices.
  2. You can pour the salsa into a bowl or just stir in the rest of the ingredients right in the blender. Don’t blend it up, though, because it will ruin those beautiful hunks of fruit!

I tried the salsa with baked vegie and corn tortilla chips, but it would also be lovely with nachos, burritos, or over fish or chicken or pork or … well, salsa is just such a fun thing to have around. Especially a funky salsa like this.

Kiwi, Kumquat, Mango, and Pomegranate Salsa ... Caribbean style

This recipe was shared at Totally Tasty TuesdaysTasty Tuesdays,  Talent Show TuesdaysCast Party Wednesdays, Newlyweds Recipe LinkyTastetastic Thursday, Katherine Martinelli’s Mango Bloghop and Full Plate Thursday.


Fabulous Baked Felafel

Baked Felafel

Felafel is a traditional middle eastern food: usually deep fried little balls of spiced chickpea batter. Crunchy, delicious, and actually healthy for you, even if you fry them.

These felafel are baked, though, so they are even better for you. Packed with protein and vegies and all kinds of good herbs and spices. Don’t even try to fry them. I had a few that didn’t fit on my little baking sheet, so I tried frying them in olive oil and just trust me on this one, the baked ones were SO much better.

I hear there is a lot of controversy over felafel. It seems many Palestinians believe that Israelis have stolen falafel, a traditional Arab food … personally I don’t understand why we need to fight over food.

I am more of a peaceful soul who likes to enjoy good food … I really don’t care who invented it … just as long as it’s good. And these little babies are definitely good.

Baked Felafel: Middle Eastern Chickpea Patties

Fabulous Baked Felafel

Adapted from Shutterbean

Makes 10 – 15 or so felafel

  • 1 1/2 cups of cooked chickpeas (aka, garbanzo beans)
  • 1 small onion
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro (alas, I had no cilantro, so I substituted basil …)
  • Juice of 1 kumquat (or 1 teaspoon of lemon juice)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons feta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Put all the ingredients into a handy chopper or food processor and blend till everything is chopped fine and forms a paste. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Form into small balls, about 1 1/2 – 2 inches diameter and flatten into patties. Place your lovely little felafels onto a baking pan sprayed with cooking spray.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes on each side, until nicely browned (since it’s baked, only the part actually touching the pan will be browned and crispy).

Felafel are typically served in pita bread with lettuce, tomato, and a tahini sauce. I had them for lunch today with a bit of onion, lettuce, tomato,  Mia’s fantastic avocado hummus and some feta cheese. I really wanted some tzatziki to go alongside, but alas, I had no cucumber. They were still pretty dang fabulous.

Baked Felafel

They are quite nice just to munch on as a little appetizer too. Just be careful … they are slightly addictive.

This recipe was shared at Talent Show TuesdayTotally Tasty Tuesdays, and Newlyweds Recipe Linky.


Kiwi & Chicken Salad with Feta, Basil, & Mixed Greens

with Tequila Lime Vinaigrette

Kiwi Chicken Salad with Feta, Basil, and Mixed Greens

Do you see the kiwi in there? It’s a master at hide-and-seek …

Yesterday I walked into my kitchen looking for some lunch … I am trying to eat up that big tub of herb organic salad mix my mom and dad got for me, so I thought I’d make a salad. And I’m trying to clean out some of the things in the freezer, so I added some chicken nuggets. And then I found some feta cheese and a red onion from Dad’s garden. But it sounded boring … what else could I add to my salad? Aha! a bunch of kiwis my daughter hasn’t eaten yet … and some basil …

That’s how this salad came to be. I just kept finding things to put in it. Some of my best recipes are born that way.

I told my daughter that I put Kiwi in my salad today and she said yes, of course, it goes great in fruit salad. I said no, I used it in a green salad with chicken and cheese and red onions. She said that’s just weird.

Well, yes, maybe it is a little weird. But it is also really good. The taste of the crispy chicken, the sweet juicy kiwi, the salty cheese, the greens, and the herbs — it is just a really good flavor combination. You will just have to try it and find out for yourself.

Kiwi & Chicken Salad with Feta, Mixed Greens and Basil

Kiwi & Chicken Salad with Feta, Basil, and Mixed Greens with Tequila Lime Vinaigrette

  • Mixed Organic Herb Mix or Mixed Greens (including fresh dill … if it’s not in the greens I do recommend adding it!)
  • Chicken nuggets or grilled chicken or other chicken (this is a great use for leftover chicken!)
  • Red onion, cut in small chunks
  • Kiwi fruit, peeled and cut into pieces
  • Feta cheese crumbles
  • Fresh basil leaves (and flowers if you have them!)

First make the dressing and let it set to mix the flavors while you prepare the salad.

Fill the salad bowl 3/4 full with the organic herb mix, and sprinkle with remaining ingredients as you please. Drizzle with the Tequila Lime Vinaigrette.

Tequila Lime Vinaigrette (from Cooking Light Magazine)

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons tequila
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • Dash of salt

Directions:

  1. Toss all ingredients into a food processor and whir till blended. Or you can just whisk them all together in a bowl, but the food processor will chop up the cilantro really nicely. I used watermelon-infused tequila (made by soaking watermelon cubes in tequila for several  days). Cover and chill until ready to use.

Kiwi & Chicken Salad with Feta, Mixed Greens, & Tequila Lime Vinaigrette

This recipe was shared at Tastetastic Thursdays.


Janet’s Citrus Salsa

Janet's Citrus Salsa

Janet is here for Thanksgiving this year and she wanted to make citrus salsa. She even brought a can of mandarin oranges just for the occasion. So Janet and I made citrus salsa with some of Mom’s tomatoes and Dad’s jalapenos. The japs are super hot this year!

If you want to tone down the heat of the salsa, just use bell pepper or a smaller amount of jalapeno.

Janet’s Citrus Salsa

  • 3 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 15-oz. can of mandarin oranges in light syrup, drained and chopped, or 2 oranges, peeled and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons of chopped garlic
  • 2 jalapenos, finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  • 2 Tablespoons of lime juice
  • About 3 Tablespoons of fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Let rest for an hour or so to let the flavors blend. Serve with tortilla chips or on nachos, fish, chicken, pork, whatever!

My sister thought this salsa would be good with black beans in it. It certainly went well with the black bean turkey nachos she made.

Janet's Citrus Salsa

This recipe was shared at Fit and Fabulous FridaysRecipe of the Week: Mexican Cuisine, Katherine Martinelli’s Pepper Blog Hop and Recipe of the Week: Hot & Spicy Recipes and Cinco de Mayo Fiesta.


Wild Taco Pizza with Goat Cheese & Herbs

Taco Pizza with Goat Cheese, Cilantro, Parsley and Oregano

I just made the best taco pizza I have ever tasted. This one goes completely over the top. The picture is a little wild and messy I  know … my herbs were all over the place. But that is exactly what I love about it!

Taco pizzas are very basic right? You smear some refried beans on a pizza crust, add some meat and cheese, then bake till the cheese is melted and add chopped lettuce. Simple!

I just discovered if you add a couple more things, you can elevate your taco pizza to the sublime.

I’ve got to stop making pizzas like this … they are too dang good! I ate the whole thing myself.

Here’s a more civilized photo (before I cut it).

Wild Taco Pizza with Goat Cheese & Herbs

Wild Taco Pizza with Goat Cheese, Cilantro, Parsley and Oregano

  • Whole wheat pita bread or pizza crust
  • Refried beans
  • Taco Meat (you could skip the meat if you’re going meatless!)
  • Chopped onion & jalapeno
  • Shredded Mexican blend of cheeses
  • Chopped tomato
  • Goat cheese crumbles
  • Mixed organic greens
  • Fresh cilantro leaves (& flowers if they are starting to go to seed! I think the cilantro flowers made this pizza intensely wild and lovely.)
  • Fresh oregano leaves
  • Fresh parsley leaves

Directions:

  1. I toasted a whole wheat pita for this, but you could certainly use your favorite pizza crust! If you use a pita, toast it a bit in a 400 degree F. oven (or toaster oven) to give it a bit of crunch.
  2. Shmear on the refried beans.
  3. Sprinkle on the taco meat, then the onion and jalapeno.
  4. Now top all that with your shredded Mexican cheese.
  5. Arrange the tomato pieces around on top of the shredded cheese, then sprinkle with goat cheese.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees for about 12 – 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  7. Top with greens and herbs and serve!
Try to share this one. I am not sure I could! (and yes, that is my computer in the background … I was working and eating and couldn’t resist taking one more shot of this wild thing!)
Wild Taco Pizza with Goat Cheese and Fresh Herbs

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