Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Baked Chicken Fajitas

I usually don't stray from the chicken fajita recipe I grew up on.  But this looked so good all cooked in one dish, that I had to try it.  So glad I did.  The flavors are so great and the peppers and onions cook up really well.

Baked Chicken Fajitas

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chiles (I used Rotel)
1 medium onion, sliced in rings
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and sliced

Preheat oven to 400F.  Prepare a 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray.  In a small bowl, combine oil, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano and salt.  Put the chicken in the dish and drizzle the oil and spice mixture over.  Stir to coat.  Add tomatoes, peppers and onions and stir it all together to spread the sauce around the vegetables.  Bake uncovered 20-25 minutes, until chicken is cooked and vegetables are tender.

You can serve it in tortillas, or like I did - "open face" on some shredded lettuce with my favorite fajita toppings.  It was very, very tasty and we had plenty of leftovers.  I'll make this again for company since it's an all-in-one dish.

Bangin' Shrimp

I love a good copycat recipe.  And I REALLY love Bang Bang Shrimp at Bonefish Grill.  It's my second favorite recipe from Bonefish after the White Cranberry Cosmo, and I shook down the bartender for that recipe many years ago.  Even better, the calories are so low!  And the ingredients are so basic!  A win all the way around.

Bangin' Shrimp
from Skinnytaste

5 tbsp light mayonnaise
3 tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce
1 tsp sriracha
1 lb large shrimp, shelled & deveined
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp canola oil

Combine the mayo, sweet chili sauce and sriracha in a medium bowl (enough to hold the cooked shrimp).  Set aside.  In another bowl, add the cornstarch to the shrimp and toss with your hands.  Heat a skillet or wok to high heat with the oil.  Add shrimp and toss a few times to cook through.  Remove to bowl with sauce and coat the shrimp well. 

Sorry, as usual, for the crappy pictures.  It was almost 8:30 pm and I was starving.  And to be honest with you, this was the worst batch of this I've ever made.  I think there was too much sauce for how many shrimp I had, the shrimp were too big, and I didn't use enough sriracha.  Always use more sriracha!  This recipe is so easy, but perhaps next time I'll try a more involved one, since this was kind of a bust this time.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Coriander Chicken Kebabs

I love recipes that make me call my mom right after I make them.  Right after I made this, I knew it would be a flavor my parents would love and called them immediately.  They made it a couple days later.  It's SO tasty!  This is going into more frequent rotation.

Coriander Chicken Kebabs
from Cooking Classy

1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest (I used dried)
2 gloves garlic, finely minced
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp group cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces

Cilantro Yogurt Sauce:
1/2 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 garlic clove, finely minced
1 pinch dried ginger
salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, 1/2 tsp lemon juice, 2 cloves garlic, coriander, cumin, paprika, cayenne, cinnamon, salt and pepper.  Place chicken pieces in a large Ziploc bag and pour the marinade in.  Seal the bag and let it sit for about 30 minutes at room temperature.  Thread the chicken onto skewers.  Preheat grill to medium-high heat.  Spray grill with cooking spray and grill the chicken, flipping halfway through grilling, about 9 minutes total.  Serve warm.

For Cilantro Yogurt Sauce - combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl.  Store in fridge until ready to use.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Salad with Avocado Ranch Dressing

I LOVE buffalo chicken, especially on a salad.  I'm a blue cheese dressing devotee, but this avocado ranch dressing was awesome.  It was a really nice treat to have some left over for other salads!

Buffalo Chicken Salad with Avocado Ranch Dressing
adapted from Smells Like Home

2 cups panko
2 tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3 large egg whites
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp dried thyme
Cooking spray
2 chicken breasts, sliced into 3/4 inch strips
1/2 cup hot sauce
1 1/2 tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 475F.  In a large skillet, toss panko with oil.  Toast over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.  Transfer to a shallow dish.  In a second dish, combine flour, garlic powder, salt and cayenne.  In a third dish, whisk together egg whites, water, Dijon and thyme.  Spray a wire rack with cooking spray and place on a baking sheet.  Dredge each chicken piece in flour, then eggs, then the breadcrumbs.  Lay the coated pieces on the wire rack and do the same with the rest of the chicken.  Spray the tops of the chicken pieces with cooking spray.  Bake until the chicken is cooked through - about 10-12 minutes.  While chicken cooks, melt the butter in the hot sauce in a small sauce pan.  When the chicken is finished baking, gently roll each piece in hot sauce mix to coat.

1/2 an avocado, scooped from skin and roughly diced
1/3 cup light mayonnaise
1/3 cup light sour cream
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tsp dried parsley
1 small clove of garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
a few cranks of freshly ground black pepper

While the chicken bakes, place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and combine completely until avocado is completely pureed.

Salad options:
Shredded cheddar
Blue cheese crumbles
Hard-boiled eggs
Crumbled bacon

Make your salad with whatever components you like, then top with buffalo chicken strips and drizzle with dressing.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Kung Pao Chicken Meatballs

I guess it's pretty clear at this point that we eat a lot of foods in meatball form.  I think it has something to do with portion control and a big burst of flavor in little pieces.  I first made this recipe to the letter and made burgers.  But as I was planning my menu this week, I decided that this would also be delicious in a meatball and I went for it.  So glad I did!  Really, really tasty and so easy!

Kung Pao Chicken Meatballs
adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

1 lb ground chicken
2 green onions, chopped
3/4 cup panko
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1 egg white
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin
4 tsp sriracha
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 tsp cornstarch
1/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 400F.  In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, mirin, sriracha, brown sugar, sesame oil and ginger.  In a larger bowl, combine chicken, onions, panko, peanuts, egg whites, garlic and 2 tbsp of sauce mixture.  Create 8 meatballs and place them in a greased baking pan.  Bake 25 minutes or until 165F inside.  While the meatballs are baking, whisk together cornstarch and water and whisk into sauce mixture.  Pour into a small sauce pan and reduce over medium heat until it is thick enough to coat a spoon.  Spoon sauce over meatballs when plated.

Broccoli Bites

A healthy snack has almost never been so tasty.  As soon as I found this I knew it had to be done.  This was a great Sunday afternoon snack with ranch dressing for dipping!

Broccoli Bites
adapted from Kim's Healthy Eats

1 12 oz bag Broccoli Wokly, crowns only, cut into small pieces
1 small carrot, peeled and shredded
1 garlic clove, pressed
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cup panko
1 tbsp Italian seasonings
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Steam broccoli for a few minutes, until it's all a bright green color.  Drain and set aside to cool.  In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.  Ball up the mixture in balls slightly smaller than your palms and squeeze hard to combine.  Place on parchment and bake 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

OH. my. goodness.  This chicken is awesome.  It's filled with oozy, gooey, hot cheese and the flavor is spot on to an actual jalapeno popper.  I can't wait to make it again!

Jalapeno Popper Chicken
adapted from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice

2 jalapeno peppers, minced
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded cheddar
3 strips cooked bacon, crumbled
1 tsp green tabasco
2 eggs
2 tbsp milk
3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
3/4 cup panko
1/2 cup flour
2 chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4 inch

Preheat oven to 400F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Blend cheeses, peppers, bacon and tabasco with a hand mixer.  Lay the chicken on your work space upside down.  Spread cheese on the chicken in a thin layer, but thick enough to not see the chicken.  Repeat with the second breast.  Roll chicken and tuck in any cheese that squeezes out.  In 3 shallow dishes, set out panko and breadcrumbs mixed in one, eggs and milk mixed in the second, and flour in the third.  Dredge chicken in flour, egg mix, bread crumb mix and set on parchment.  Bake 25 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.