Peanut Chicken Broccoli Salad

By Katherine

I have a love-hate relationship with using Pinterest to find new recipes. I find it's a great way to flag recipes that interest me on a variety of sites, and I occasionally find something that looks good just by trolling Pinterest's food and drink section, but there is also a heck of a lot of unhealthy garbage on there. I'm happy to say that this salad is one of my Pinterest success stories. I found it during one of my browsing sessions, and I made only a couple of minor modifications to the original recipe. I love that it is super simple to pull together (especially if you have leftover cooked chicken), and it is equally great for dinner or to pack for lunch the next day.  Do you use Pinterest? If so, connect with me here!

Peanut Chicken Broccoli Salad

Adapted from Sunset

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1 lime's worth)
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • garlic clove, minced
  • 1-2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 1 pound broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

In a large bowl, whisk the first eight ingredients together until smooth. Taste and see if you think it needs some added sweetness (if you use natural peanut butter, this may be the case). If so, add the sugar and whisk. Add the remaining ingredients and toss until the dressing is evenly incorporated. 

Cilantro Lime Gluten Free Chicken Marinade

by Laura

If you know me well - or if you have ever shared a meal with me - you probably know that I am a big fan of gluten (or rather all the delicious things that happen to contain it). A number of friends have recently either been diagnosed with Celiac disease or have gluten sensitivity or are trying to be skinnier and blame gluten.

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I tend to have anxiety when I am in charge of cooking and there is a gluten free person in the mix, which is never really necessary since there are plenty of delicious meals that don't have it. I found this recipe by Googling "gluten free chicken marinade"  when a big group of college friends rented a house in Calistoga, one of whom has been recently diagnosed with Celiac disease. (For the record, this friend has a legitimate Gluten allergy as evidenced by her giving up beer - no one used to love Coors Light like J. Gal!)

This recipe is so simple and really delicious--I have already made it again for a non-gluten free people (but with a side of toast this time, obviously). It is great as tacos, over a salad or just on its own.

Adapted from Gluten Free Anna

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders

1/3 cup olive oil

Juice of 4 limes

1 tsp. minced garlic

1/2 red onion sliced in wedges (that are big enough to not fall through the grill grates if you're grilling)

1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro

Salt and Pepper

Place all ingredients into a large ziplock bag and kind of massage the marinade into the chicken breasts and let sit for 30 minutes to several hours. Preheat grill over medium-high heat and grill until cooked through (about 6 minutes per side depending on how thick your chicken breasts are).


Chicken Parmesan

by Laura

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If you have ever caught an episode of The Pioneer Woman on Food Network....well, just don't. In fact, her blog kind of bothers me too but she does have some great recipes and instructive photos. So, I'm sorry, Ree, for the mean thoughts I've had about you while taking advantage of your hard work in the kitchen. Most recently, with this recipe for Chicken Parmigiana.

The only things I changed were that I added some thyme to the flour mixture that you dredge the chicken in and I put it under the broiler for about 5 minutes at the end to get a crispier parmesan crust. Oh and I only had 28 oz. crushed tomato and it was still delicious! So I will continue to visit Pioneer Woman and encourage you to do the same. However, if I ever come up with an obnoxious nickname for John like the Marlboro Man, please stage an intervention!

I had to cook my chicken in batches.

I had to cook my chicken in batches.

I used a zinfandel for the wine to deglaze the pan (this is also a good one for drinking along the way!)

I used a zinfandel for the wine to deglaze the pan (this is also a good one for drinking along the way!)

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Served with whole wheat pasta and spinach sautéed in olive oil with some onions, lemon juice, pine nuts and feta cheese

Served with whole wheat pasta and spinach sautéed in olive oil with some onions, lemon juice, pine nuts and feta cheese

How to feed a (wonderful) lactose intolerant person

by Laura

Although it is hard for me to believe, there are ways to survive without 30% of your calories coming from dairy products. In fact, there are a lot of really nice people out there who cannot eat cheese, butter, ice cream, etc. It is very sad. But actually, as I learned tonight, it can make you try new recipes that are really delicious and usually a whole lot healthier.

I started out with cauliflower soup* from Smitten Kitchen (only thing I changed was to add bacon!) , followed by rice with Dijon chicken breasts and asparagus baked in the oven with olive oil, garlic and salt. I would recommend both recipes linked above almost exactly as they are and it was doable on a weeknight!

Worried about unadventurous eaters being enthusiastic about cauliflower? Top it with bacon!

Worried about unadventurous eaters being enthusiastic about cauliflower? Top it with bacon!

*Technically, this is not dairy free as there is some Parmesan cheese, but I was told it is dry and most lactose sensitive people can handle a little. You could always remove one or two servings before adding the cheese.

Dijon chicken breasts.

Dijon chicken breasts.

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Easiest Baked Chicken

by Laura

I don't frequent Pinterest that often but one of my go-to weeknight dinners came from a recipe I found there. On Pinterest it was titled, "Melt in your Mouth Chicken" and I have never been able to make it look quite as appealing as it does there, BUT it is easy, healthy and delicious. 

Final product

Final product

I seasoned the chicken with a little salt and pepper before putting the yogurt on.

I seasoned the chicken with a little salt and pepper before putting the yogurt on.

2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 cup Greek yogurt (I've used both 2% and fat free)

1/2 cup Parmesan (plus extra to sprinkle on top) 

1 tablespoon Lawry's seasoning salt

Preheat oven to 400

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Place chicken in glass baking dish. Mix together yogurt, seasoning salt and Parmesan in a medium bowl. Spread over chicken evenly and sprinkle with Parmesan. Place dish in oven and bake for 45-55 minutes until top is golden brown.

 

 

Chile Lime Chicken

by Laura

After indulging for about 10 days nonstop, first in Martha's Vineyard (yay Katherine and Sean!) and then at the 2nd Annual Murray Aronson Labor day weekend at the Desert Ridge Estate, I was excited to make some healthy-ish home-cooked meals. This chile lime chicken was easy, tasty and great as leftovers. I also made a large batch of Mark Bittman's quinoa with corn and black beans.

Adapted from Aida Mollenkamp:

Wash hands thoroughly after this! 

Wash hands thoroughly after this! 

2 1/2 lbs bone-in skin-on chicken breasts

4 serrano chile peppers, diced

1 tbsp minced garlic

Fresh lime juice of 2 limes

Zest of 1 lime

1 tsp vegetable oil

2 tbsp kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400. In a small bowl, mix together peppers, garlic, lime juice, oil and salt. Place chicken in a baking dish and using your hands put half of the marinade under the skin. Pour the remainder over chicken and let it sit for 30 minutes. Roast in oven for about 50 minutes.

Before

Before

After

After

Indonesian Ginger Chicken (aka glorified teriyaki)

by Laura

I was out of town for the fourth of July weekend and after a long weekend of eating out and drinking too much I really felt like I should cook something. But I was also feeling very lazy. This recipe was a good compromise. The recipe called to marinate it overnight but I did for only about two hours and it worked fine.

Ina Garten describes this as Indonesian ginger chicken, but my trusted food taster took a couple bites and said, "Good teriyaki!" I agree and it would be an easy dish to cook for a crowd without too much trouble.

Could you buy similar chicken at SanSai Japanese grill for $4.95 and no dishes to clean? Probably but whatever! 

Could you buy similar chicken at SanSai Japanese grill for $4.95 and no dishes to clean? Probably but whatever! 

Indonesian Ginger (Teriyaki) Chicken

adapted from Ina Garten

3.5 lbs chicken breasts (I used bone-in skin on but any variation would work)

3/4 cups honey

2/3 cups soy sauce

1/3 cup peeled and chopped fresh ginger

4 tsp chopped garlic

Heat the soy sauce, ginger, garlic and honey over low heat until the honey thins. Place chicken in a baking pan skin side down and pour sauce over. Cover pan with aluminum foil and refrigerate for as many hours as you have, up to overnight.

When ready to cook, preheat oven to 350 and cook for 30 minutes. Uncover the pan and flip the chicken so skin side is up. Increase temperature to 375 and cook another 35 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. 

I served it with rice and salad and ate it leftovers for the rest of the week as salad, tacos, etc.

 

Pour extra sauce over rice

Pour extra sauce over rice

Chicken Tortilla Soup

By Katherine

Elissa has already blogged about the joys of slow-cookery, and specifically Slow Cooker Revolution from America's Test Kitchen, but I'm here to pile on.  There's something so great about arriving home from work to a great-smelling house and a dinner that's already ready.  One of my favorite recipes in the book is for tortilla soup, which I made earlier this week to stave off some of the gray fogginess we start getting in San Diego this time of year.  Here's how it goes....

Ready to get cooking

Ready to get cooking

Chicken Tortilla Soup (adapted for my taste and laziness from Slow Cooker Revolution)  

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

3 plum tomatoes, chopped

1 onion, minced

2 jalapenos, stemmed, seeded, and minced

6 cloves of garlic, minced

3 chipotle chiles in adobo, with sauce, minced

1 tablespoon tomato paste

8 cups low-sodium chicken broth

Stems from one bunch of cilantro, tied together with twine (about 25 stems) 

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

salt and pepper to taste

Garnishes: crushed tortilla chips, crumbled Cotija cheese, avocado, minced cilantro, lime wedges

Saute tomatoes, onion, and jalapenos in oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  When onion is softened, add garlic, chipotles, and tomato paste and cook briefly (1 minute will do) until everything is a melded together and smelling good. Stir in 1 cup of broth and scrape up all the tasty brown bits on the bottom of the pan, then transfer the mixture to the slow cooker. 

Add the remaining broth and cilantro stems to the slow cooker, then add the chicken thighs (gently so as not to splash the broth all over the kitchen). Set the slow cooker to low and leave it alone for the next 4-6 hours.  I set mine for five hours, but then it sat around for another 2 hours on "keep warm" until I got home from work, and it suffered no ill effects. 

Use tongs to remove the chicken from the soup and shred it using two forks. Fish out the cilantro stems and toss them, then return the chicken to the soup.  Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper, if desired.   Serve by placing crushed tortilla chips in bowls, then ladling soup over the top, and topping with cheese, avocado, cilantro, and lime. 

The garnishes

The garnishes

The finished soup

The finished soup

A few tips. . . this makes a pretty spicy soup.  If you're not a fan of the heat, reduce the amount of chipotle chiles.  While we're on the subject of chipotles in adobo, I never use a whole can at once, and I hate to waste what's leftover.  What I do is portion the remaining chipotles (with their sauce) into ziploc sandwich bags - usually about 2 chiles in each bag - then put them in the freezer.  The chipotles are pretty fragrant, so I usually put the sandwich bags into a large freezer bag to try to keep the whole freezer from smelling like chipotles. You can pull out an individual bag whenever you need a chipotle, and they defrost pretty quickly - about 30 minutes on the counter, or you can speed it up by putting them in lukewarm water.  

Since this recipe calls for sauteing the vegetables before putting them in the slow cooker, it can be a scramble to pull it all together on a weekday morning if you're trying to get out the door to work/school/whatever.  I recommend prepping everything the night before, including doing the saute, then you can put the cooked vegetables in the fridge overnight and just pop them in the slow cooker in the morning. Finally, I used some soy and flax tortilla chips for this batch, because that bag was open and I like to operate under the illusion that there's such a thing as a healthy chip, but their texture in the soup was a little strange.  I would use regular tortilla chips if you have them instead - which is what I've used for the leftover soup, with great results.