Quickie Meals: Honey Sriracha Chicken with Jasmine Rice, Sweet Corn and Spinach

wpid-20140428_190831.jpg

Honey-Sriracha Chicken with Jasmine Rice, Sweet Corn and Spinach

While Ms. Foodie loves to mount elaborate meals from time-to-time, for the most part, I depend a great deal on Kitchen Cabinet Cooking: what’s in the Store (my cabinet/fridge), and what can be made quickly.

This meal has several quick and dirty components:

  • Chicken Thighs: The easiest part of the Chicken to grill and bake, because thighs they require so little maintenance, while still retaining their moisture and flavor. You can cook eight chicken thighs in a 400 degree oven in as little as 45 minutes.
  • Frozen Vegetables: Look, I grew up in the Midwest, and fresh vegetables were only possible in the late Spring and the Summer—or you paid a lot of money for shipped produce which didn’t retain half the nutrients. Frozen vegetables, especially the flash frozen variety we find today, retain much of the nutrients of their fresh counterpart, and they make for an easy meal accompaniment.
  • Pre-cooked sides: Ms. Foodie adores her Rice Cooker, and when I cook rice, I always make an extra cup or two. Cooked rice refrigerates for up to five days; so that means you can focus on the meat or veggie part of your meal, and simply heat up or nuke the rice to go along with it.

Thanks to this extremely easy recipe from Healthy. Delicious., frozen Spinach and Sweet Corn, and pre-cooked Jasmine Rice, Ms. Foodie was able to crank out dinner in less than an hour.

When you have so many things to do, wherever you can save time makes a huge difference.

Honey + Sriracha Chicken.

 

Advertisements

Soup is Good Food: Green Soup, with a few variations…

Mr. Foodie had a bit of a relapse with this cold/flu creeping crud that’s floating around, So, Ms. Foodie needed to go back to the antioxidant-rich fare that helped to get him back on his feet a few weeks ago.

I asked my fellow Yogi mini-Milena Sarian what she does when she has a cold, and she told me about a Green Soup she makes with LOTS of garlic. She had Ms. Foodie at “hello”…

The Mr. and I are carnivores, so even though we love the veggies, protein is what gives us the best energy. Along with antioxidant and vitamin C-rich Cabbage, Kale, and Zucchini, I boiled a chicken breast with some red Chile flakes, Sea Salt, and a bit of Black Pepper. Once it was fully cooked, I chopped it up, and added it to the mix.

Using a base of two cups chicken broth (including the broth from the boiled chicken breast), and a cup of water, I added an entire Garlic bulb (she did say LOTS), chopped fresh Ginger root, added two Bay leaves, and a medley of wild dried Porcini, Shitake, Black, and Oyster Mushrooms.

Sprinkled generously with Sea Salt, Black Pepper, and Basil, and polished with two eggs stirred into the hot broth, this soup is definitely the hit!

Ms. Foodie approves this message.

Chicken and Rice Soup

Ms. Foodie combined chicken soup for the soul with powerful, cold-busting, antioxidant lemon and garlic. With the additions of celery, carrots, Jasmine rice and spices, this made a hearty and warm meal for a Fall evening.

Rainy Day Cookies and Stew–necessarily, in that order!

"Raining" courtesy of Peter Griffin/Public Domain Pictures.net

So we are experiencing our first rain of the season here in Los Angeles. Save for venturing out for a Yoga class, Ms. Foodie is fortunate enough to be ensconced at home with her two furry babies, with visions of culinary delights dancing in her head.

The afternoon started with test-driving a recipe for Almond Butter Cookies from a blog called Good Life Eats. Author Katie Goodman does some killer desserts, and she has some great Holiday offerings that Ms. Foodie plans to try as that Season draws near.

Ms. Goodman gives some great information about an Almond Butter called “Barney Butter“, that is Peanut free. Many nut butter manufacturers still use the same processing plant to do Peanut products along with the others, so if you have a Peanut allergy, even trace amounts can be dangerous. Thankfully, me and Mr. Foodie do not–we just enjoy the smooth taste of Almond Butter. Almond Butter is also easier on the digestion.

Ms. Foodie’s personal choice is Trader Joe’s Almond Butter with Flaxseed Oil. It made the cookie mixture a bit less firm when forming it into balls, but oh, what melt-in-your-mouth delight! Chased with a glass of cold milk, it was a perfect slice of yummy!

And what’s a rainy day without some nice, hearty stew? After finding uninspiring offerings on the food blogs, Ms. Foodie did her own thing with stuff in the Store. Kitchen-Cabinet Cooking at it’s finest! Two leftover lemon Chicken Breasts, a cup of mixed vegetables, Potato Gnocchi, one can of Cream of Mushroom and Garlic soup, a half cup of Sour Cream, and a tablespoon of Coconut Oil.

I threw it all in a Crock Pot, set it to low, and left the ingredients to meld.  Stews and soups always bring such lovely smells to the home!

Didn’t cancel out the Almond Butter cookies though… good thing the batch made three dozen! Mr. Foodie is doing the Happy Dance.

Hot Wings for a Hot Day

Yeah, it’s really hot, but Ms. Foodie was in the mood for Buffalo Hot Wings. There’s a recipe on AllRecipes.com that I just love, and it doesn’t require turning on an oven. Praise the Lord, and pass the chicken wings!

One of the teachers at my Yoga studio brought in some Summer squash from her garden, so I chopped this up and sauteed it, along with Kale, Mushrooms, andVine-Ripened Tomatoes, in Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar.

A cool meal makes the weather more bearable!

Succulent and Spicy Chicken Breast

Summer has finally come to Los Angeles–can you tell Ms. Foodie is thrilled? Not. But, it does give the opportunity to be ingenious about using the stove top or the crock pot, instead of turning on an oven–God forbid.

So instead of roasting the two breasts I had defrosted for dinner, I rubbed them down with a combination of Olive Oil, Thyme, Rosemary, Cilantro, Pepper and Celery Salt, then slapped on a bit of Tapatio for good measure. I placed them in my lovely covered Calphalon skillet over medium-low heat for 30 minutes, andVoila! Chicken breast that are succulent, spicy, and pretty darned delicious!

With leftover rice in the store, I re-heated it, chopped some Kale, and mixed it all together with Trader Joe’s Three-Cheese Blend. A hearty–yet healthy meal in less than 45-minutes.

Summertime, and the living is easy!

Adventures with Coconut Milk…

It’s always an adventure when I’m in the kitchen! Ms. Foodie had a senior moment (yes, I’m near that age…) and tried to drink Coconut Milk, assuming it was the same as Coconut Water. Hmm…. right. I’m sure you know how well that went.

So what else does one do but find a recipe in which to use it? Coconut Milk doesn’ t have a long shelf-life once opened; so I combed the Internet to find a recipe to my liking.

The closest I came to this was a Brazilian Chicken with Coconut recipe on AllRecipes.com, but in Ms. Foodie fashion, I followed the parts I wanted and modified the rest.

I wasn’t interested in the overabundance of heat, so I kept the Cayenne and skipped the Jalapenos. I also wanted to lower the acidity, thus, the Tomatoes were discarded. Then I increased the Tumeric, Cumin, Coriander and Cayenne to two teaspoons, and added in equal parts of Cilantro. This wonderful potpourri of spices was used to coat the Chicken Breasts (I used six), which were then cooked in Olive Oil.

Finally, the recipe calls for sauteing chopped Onions, Garlic, Ginger, and Tomatoes (which I eliminated), in Olive Oil, combine the Coconut Milk with these, and pour this mix over the Chicken. This dish is way too flavorful to waste dipping sauce over it–Ms. Foodie prefers her chicken saturated. So, I placed the chicken pieces on top of the Onions, Garlic, and Ginger, then poured the Coconut Milk over everything.

I also had some Green Beans in the store, so I chopped those up and sprinkled them on top of the mix.

After simmering for 15 minutes (no longer, otherwise the cream separates from the water and it’s not pretty), my Coconut Milk dish was served up over Basmati Rice.

Any ideas for a name for this Patootie modification?

What’s for Dinner?: Chicken Loaf

So for Ms. Foodie’s reemergence back into the kitchen, I decided that meat and potatoes was in order–but I skipped the meat.

Ground chicken makes a wonderful substitute, and instead of the typical tomato-based loaf, I lavished the poultry with French Onions, bread crumbs, egg, sour cream, and mushrooms. Then, I spiced it up with Cumin, Tumeric, Garlic, Pepper, Fresh Basil, Sage, Cilantro and Tarragon.

After 45-minutes at 350 degrees, you have a flavor extravaganza that is savory, and yummy to the tummy!

And what’s a loaf without a baked potato? I generously spread the butter and sour cream–but you can be as healthy as you want to be… or not!

 

More fun with Chobani!

So Ms. Foodie made good on her promise to whip up a recipe using Chobani Greek Yogurt. I took 6 oz. of the plain flavor and made a zesty marinade for our chicken breasts last night!

It’s only me and Mr. Foodie, so I used the six ounce size of the yogurt to cover two breasts, and even had some leftover marinade after coating the chicken. But, if you use more breasts, you can double, triple, quadruple the recipe–you decide…

I threw in three teaspoons of Olive Oil, 3/4 teaspoon of Ground Ginger and Cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of Thyme, 1/2 teaspoon of Garlic Powder, 1/2 teaspoon of Minced Onion, 1/4 teaspoon of Rosemary, and a 1/2 cup of Lime Juice.  After mixing all the ingredients into the yogurt, I used it to coat the breasts on both sides, then let them sit in the fridge for 20 minutes while warming up the broiler.

At 500 degrees, the chicken flash cooks, but the lovely yogurt coating holds in all the flavor–no dry breasts on this watch.  Lots of taste with a bit of zing!

But here’s the best part: I refrigerated the leftover yogurt marinade and stirred it into eggs this morning to make myself a Ms. Foodie Omelette.

This is back to pure Kitchen Cabinet Cooking, because everything was already in the store: two eggs, some leftover roasted turkey breast, and Roma tomatoes.  And with all the flavors packed into the yogurt, who has to season?

I also had some potato salad with dill in the fridge, so it accompanied the Omelette, along with Sourdough toast.

Mmmm Good!

What’s for Dinner?

Ms. Foodie was missing Christmas, so I decided to whip up some of the flavors of December in March–with a bit of a twist.

Braised Chicken basted with the mellow tones of Tolosa “1772” Pinot Noir, accompanied by Cranberry-Kale Stuffing. With a lovely glass of that same Pinot, it’s a combination whose time has come…