Spicy Southwestern Salad

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spicy southwestern salad with avocado dressing


  • creds: pinch of yum
  • prep time: 15 mins
  • cook time: 20 mins
  • total time: 35 minutes
  • yield: 4 large salads

DESCRIPTION

This easy to prepare Spicy Southwestern Salad recipe has roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, corn, lettuce, and creamy avocado dressing!


INGREDIENTS

FOR THE SALAD

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 heaping teaspoon each cumin and chili powder (plus a sprinkle of cayenne if you like it hot)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 14-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 14-ounce can sweet corn, rinsed and drained
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 avocado (optional)
  • 1/2 a head of romaine lettuce, chopped

FOR THE CILANTRO DRESSING:

  • half an avocado
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves and stems
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • a squeeze of lime juice

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel the sweet potatoes and chop into bite-sized pieces. Mix the olive oil, cumin, and chili powder together in a small bowl. Brush mixture on sweet potatoes. Roast for 10 minutes. Stir or shake the pan. Turn heat up to 425, and roast for another 10-15 minutes. The sweet potatoes should be just barely roasty-brown on the outside.  cook another minute or two if needed.  Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Meanwhile, pulse all the dressing ingredients in a food processor until mostly smooth.
  3. Toss the beans, corn, lettuce, and sweet potatoes with the dressing. Serve with the other half of the avocado!

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Favorite Salsa Verde Chicken

This 30-Minute One-Pan Salsa Verde Chicken is perfect for a busy weeknight.  It’s healthy, tasty, and super easy.

This Salsa Verde Chicken needs only a few basic ingredients and a casserole dish.

I always keep a jar of my favorite salsa verde from Sprouts in my pantry.  Trader Joe’s has a yummy version too, but I prefer the Sprouts version as it has a little more kick (from Jalapenos).

You can use either bone-in chicken thighs (my favorite) or boneless skinless chicken thighs works too.

Perfect over rice, tortillas, or chips.

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PREP TIME 10 minutes
COOK TIME 20-30 minutes
TOTAL TIME 30-40 minutes
Serves: 4
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 lbs.  chicken thighs (bone in or skinless & boneless)
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin’
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 jar (16oz) salsa verde
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • Garnish: fresh cilantro leaves and lime wedges
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Wash and chop the garlic, onion and red pepper.
  3. Wash and towel dry the chicken and then season with salt, pepper, cumin and oregano. Lightly brush the top of each piece with olive oil and sprinkle with the minced garlic. Set aside.
  4. Pour the jar of salsa verde in a casserole dish.
  5. Place the chicken pieces in the casserole dish next and add the onion and peppers to the dish and position around the chicken pieces.
  6. Roast for 20-30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center. Do not overcook.
  7. Serve over rice (or with tortillas) and garnish with cilantro and lime.

Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken

DFTSI - Lemongrass Chicken - 9533

Vietnamese food is full of mouth watering flavors and this recipe is sure not to disappoint.  I found it while browsing on Pinterest.  I adapted the recipe from an original post in October 2007 from Food and Wine Magazine.

Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken

Serves 4
Dinner is ready in 20-30 minutes (don’t forget to marinate chicken before)

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon curry powder ( I use madras)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (thighs work too)
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 fresh lemongrass stalks, tender inner white bulbs only, minced finely
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
3 red chilies, seeded and minced
1 scallion thinly sliced for garnishing (optional)
cilantro sprigs for garnishing (optional)

 Directions:
  1.  Marinate the chicken: In a bowl, combine the fish sauce, garlic, curry powder, salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the sugar. Add the chicken meat to coat. Marinade for at least two hours.
  2. Make the caramel: In a small skillet, mix the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar with 1 tablespoon of the water and cook over high heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Cook without stirring until a deep amber caramel forms about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of water. Transfer to a small bowl.
  3. Cook the chicken: Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add the coconut oil and heat until shimmering. Add the lemongrass, shallot, and chilies and stir-fry until fragrant about 1 minute. Add the chicken and caramel and stir-fry until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is slightly thickened about 8 minutes.  Transfer to a serving dish and top with the scallions and cilantro. Serve with steamed white rice.

Italian Marinated Chicken

This moist and delicious chicken is marinated in yummy Italian flavors and is perfect for both grilling on the BBQ or pan roasting on the stove.
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ITALIAN MARINATED CHICKEN 

PREP TIME: 10 mins
COOK TIME: 10 mins
TOTAL TIME: 20 mins
SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1.5 lb. (around 6 pieces) chicken thigh fillets, skinless and boneless
  • 4 1/2 Tbsp. grapefruit balsamic vinegar  (I like 41 Olive)*
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2½ tsp mixed Italian dried herbs (either a packet mix or mix herbs like basil, parsley, oregano, rosemary and thyme)
  • 1 tsp dried red chili flakes (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Place all ingredients except for the chicken, in a small jar and shake well to combine.
  • Put the chicken in a ziplock bag and add the Dressing Marinade. Massage / mix to coat the chicken. Set aside to marinate for at least 20 minutes. Ideally it should marinate for 3 hours or overnight.
  • Grill/BBQ Method: You shouldn’t need any oil, but if you are concerned, brush your grill with oil. Heat the grill on medium high and cook the chicken for around 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
  • Stove Method:  Preheat ½ tbsp oil in a large non stick fry pan over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook each side for around 4 to 5 minutes, or until dark golden brown and cooked through.
  • When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the grill/fry pan onto a plate, loosely cover with foil and set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Serve the chicken with your favorite tossed salad and toasted bread.
* You can substitute with chardonnay or apple cider vinegar, or even lemon juice if you prefer.

Note: This can be made with breast fillets too, but just be careful with the cooking time as you don’t want to overcook it.

 

Best Macaroni and Cheese Ever

mac n cheese

My daughter says, “There is nothing like coming home to Mom’s Macaroni and Cheese on a chilly day.  Comfort food like this warms up the soul as well as the belly.   I like to add a little variety by using different cheeses.  We used french gruyere this time.  Enjoy!

Mom’s Macaroni and Cheese

Yield: 4 servings

 

 

½ cup butter (divided)
4 T. flour
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
2 cups milk
1 ½ cups of your favorite hard cheese, sharp cheddar, gruyere, etc (shredded or cut into ½ inch cubes)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 ¼ tsp. prepared mustard
1 T. onion (chopped)
8 saltine crackers, crushed (optional)
2 cups elbow macaroni (cooked and drained)

Directions Continue reading

Spicy Mexican White Chicken Chili

mexican chicken chiliGrowing up as a kid, the definition of chili was both a  small pepper with a very hot flavor and a spicy stew of ground beef usually with beans too. Both meant yummy goodness.  Now chili in our family seems to be synonymous with Monday Night Football.  Our version is a chicken variety with savory mexican spices.  It’s always a hit, even when our team doesn’t win.

Spicy Mexican White Chicken Chili

Ingredients:

2-3 cups shredded chicken (I use rotisserie chicken from the deli section at Sprouts)
2 (15 ounce) cans great northern beans or 2 (15 ounce) cans navy beans
2 cups roasted corn (I use frozen from Trader Joe’s)
1-2 ounces taco seasoning mix (I use part of the envelope from Trader Joe’s)
1 (7 1/2 ounce) can of chopped green chilies (use less if you like a milder chili)
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 (14 ounce) can low sodium chicken broth

TOPPINGS

1/2 cup sour cream
chopped green onion (optional)
Monterey jack cheese (optional)

Directions:

Pour beans, corn and chicken in large pot.

In a medium bowl, combine taco seasoning, chiles, condensed soup, and chicken broth.

Pour over top of ingredients and stir together over medium heat.

Simmer for 15-30 minutes.

Serve topped with green onions, sour cream, and jack cheese, if desired.

Spicy Korean Chicken Wings

We like heat in our meat and I recently discovered a new kick it up ingredient  called Gochujang that is a chile paste used in many spicy Korean dishes.   I think you’ll like it.  My family does.

Spicy Korean Chicken Wings

Ingredients

  • Pounds Chicken Wings
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Scallion (top green portion)
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Glaze
  • 1 1-Inch Piece of Ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon Gochujang (I like Mother In Law’s found at World Market)
  • 1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Black & White Sesame Seeds

Instructions

2. Prepare the ingredients:

Thinly slice the top green part of the scallion (Save the white part  for the bok choy side dish). Peel and mince the garlic and ginger.  To make the sauce, in a medium bowl, combine the soy glaze, vinegar, sesame oil,  garlic, ginger and as much of the gochujang as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be.

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3. Glaze & finish the chicken wings:

Remove the roasted chicken wings from the oven and evenly brush or drizzle with the sauce. Return to the oven and roast 6 to 8 minutes, or until browned on top. Remove from the oven.

4. Plate your dish (if preparing as main course):

Divide the finished chicken wings between 2-3 dishes. Garnish with the sesame seeds and green top of the scallion. Serve with the seared baby bok choy on the side if you like.  Enjoy!

PSST!  This is a tasty appetizer too.  Don’t forget the napkins though!