Blue Ribbon Chicken

Blue Ribbon Chicken

Blue Ribbon Chicken

This recipe is my super-basic take on the ever-so-delicous Chicken Cordon Bleu, which is typically breaded and fried.  I am trying to lighten up recipes and cut down on bad fats and carbs, so I got creative and simply increased the flavors and baked it!  You will fall in love with this recipe not only because it hits all the flavor notes: creamy, salty, and tangy; but also it does not take long to prep in the kitchen, as the ingredient list is short and sweet!  I lighten up the normally breaded chicken and throw in a flavor boost by substituting Dijon Mustard for the panko or breadcrumbs.  This adds a zippy coating to the outside of the chicken that is absolutely divine.  I also use Smoked Ham instead of regular to increase the flavor depth.  I considered using proscuitto instead of ham, but didn’t want to overpower the chicken with the saltiness of the proscuitto since I was using Swiss and Brie cheese.  This recipe should be easy to change up by trying a different type of meat and experimenting with various cheeses.  I knew I wanted to use the Swiss, because it pairs so well with Dijon, and I just happened to have some leftover brie I needed to use up, so I thought, Why the heck not?!?!  And the results were FANTASTIC!

I thought the most difficult part of this recipe was going to be butterflying the chicken.  I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out not to be as messy and disastrous as I had imagined.  The most important part when butterflying is to be sure you are using a nice, clean dry chicken breast and you have a well sharpened knife.  A good knife will slice through the chicken easily, and not tear or rip the meat apart.  So, just take your time and be careful and I’m sure you will be just as successful as I was!  Now I can’t wait to butterfly more chicken and stuff it with all types of different ingrendients and bake it!  Perfect for a Healthy Dinner!

Tomato, Basil, Mozzarella

Roasted Red Pepper & Goat Cheese

Spinach, Garlic & Feta

Artichoke, Sundried Tomato & Olive

Pepperocini, Salami & Provolone

All of these options sound like they need to be taste tested… But I digress…….those will have to be tried at a later date.  Now, back to my Blue Ribbon Chicken.

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Yummmmmm, looks amazing, doesn’t it???  Ok, here’s how you make it!

First you grab these basic ingredients out of your fridge:

Smoked Ham, Sliced Brie, Sliced Swiss, Dijon Mustard and Black Pepper

 

Pretty Simple,  just as I promised!  Next, make sure your chicken breasts are clean and dry and give them a quick butterfly then season the inside with Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper.

 

Butterflied Chicken Breasts with Ingredients Ready!

EATDRINKBE TIP:

How To Butterfly a Chicken Breast

Place your chicken breast on a cutting board and (with your hand flat on top of it) use a sharp knife to slice halfway into one side of the breast….starting at the thicker end and ending at the thin point. Be very careful not to cut all the way through to the other side! Then open the breast up so that it resembles a butterfly.  And voilà, a perfectly gorgeous butterflied chicken breast.  You can also pound it out a little bit now between wax paper to allow the chicken to cook evenly.

Layer the Ingredients inside the butterflied chicken breast.

Now, the chicken breasts are butterflied, opened and seasoned.  Next you start to layer.  First put a small dollop of Dijon Mustard on each breast.  Then layer a Slice of Swiss Cheese, 2 Slices of Smoked Ham and 2 Slices of Brie Cheese.

Coat the Chicken Breast Dijon Mustard and Fresh Ground Black Pepper

 

Lastly, close up the now stuffed chicken and coat the outside in Dijon Mustard and Fresh Ground Black Pepper.  You can use a bamboo toothpick to help keep the fillings in, but I was OK with some of it leaking out to help create a “sauce” so I actually skipped this step.  Depending on the ingredients,  you might need to use one to help with the seal.  Just be sure to SOAK WOODEN TOOTHPICKS IN WATER for 15 minutes before you use them so they won’t burn in the oven!

 

This isn’t a gorgeous picture, but here it is, fresh out of the oven. You can see the gorgeous juices  it made and allowed the chicken to stay nice and moist.

 

Bake 385º for 25-30 minutes or until chicken is done (the juices run clear or 160º) and the cheese is all melty and bubbly.  Serve with any green veggie!  I made  Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Mushrooms and Peppers with a little EVOO, Garlic Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper.

 

Blue Ribbon Chicken

 

Seriously, it doesn’t get much easier or tastier than this!  I hope you try it and fall in love.  This one with definitely be making its rounds in my weekly recipe rotation.  You can even make and stuff the chicken ahead of time and just pop it in the oven when you are ready!

INGREDIENTS

Heat Oven to 385º.  Spray Casserole Dish or Pyrex  with nonstick spray.  Butterfly Chicken Breasts and season with salt and pepper.  Dollop a teaspoon of Dijon Mustard on each opened breast and smear.  Layer Swiss, Ham and Brie into butterflied chicken.  Close Chicken tightly keeping all ingredients inside and seal with a few toothpicks, if using.  Season outside of stuffed chicken with fresh pepper & salt.   Then coat entire outside of each chicken breast with 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard.  Put in preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is done!

 

The salty, smokey, creamy chicken is just oozing with flavor.

And here is a quick pic of my side!

Before Roasting:

Brussel Sprouts, Mushrooms and Peppers heading to the oven to roast!

 

After:

We like a little bit of char on our Roasted Veggies!

 

And, I forgot I added a few torn pieces of leftover bacon that we had cooked that morning for breakfast.  I added it to the veggies the last 3-5 minutes of cooking.  The bacon was already cooked, so I just wanted to warm it up and let some of the grease get in those veggies for another pop of flavor!

 

ENJOY!!!!

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Skinny Baked Chicken Fajitas

Skinny Baked Chicken Fajitas

Skinny Baked Chicken Fajitas

Skinny Baked Chicken Fajitas

 

Ok, we’ve all seen this recipe floating around.  I’ve personally seen it so many different places, I can’t give proper credit to the original.  For that, I apologize.  As for you, dear readers, I decided to try it out!  I made up my spice mixture, and the results were DELICIOUS!!!! I couldn’t wait to share it with y’all!  Try it, you’ll love it.  Skinny, delicious, and easy clean-up!  The perfect recipe for a Weeknight supper!  These are the ingredients I had onhand, so this is what I used!  Feel free to add or omit as needed! For example, if you don’t like mushrooms or tomatoes…leave them out! Only like red bell peppers and not green….no problem, double up on the red or add an orange or yellow.  The recipe is basic and pretty much foolproof.  Make it like you like it!!!

Gather Your Ingredients

Gather Your Ingredients

Slice Ingredients

Add Sliced Ingredients into Greased Dish

 

Coat with Spice Mixture

Coat with Spice Mixture & Oil.  Mix to Combine.

 

Bake in Oven

Bake in Oven…it smells YUMMY!!!

 

It's Taco Time!!! Top with fresh Cilantro and a squeeze of fresh Lime!

It’s Taco Time!!! Top with fresh Cilantro and a squeeze of fresh Lime!

Skinny Baked Chicken Fajitas

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Organic boneless, skinless Chicken (Breasts or Strips), cut into strips
  • 2 T Organic Grapeseed Oil (or light Oil)
  • 1 Organic Red Bell Pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 Organic Green Bell Pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 Organic Red Onion, cut into half moons
  • 1 Organic Yellow or White Onion, cut into half moons
  • 1 Package Organic Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 Cup Organic Grape or Cherry Tomatoes, whole
  • 3-5 Cloves Organic Garlic, chopped

Seasonings:

  • 2 T Organic Chili Powder
  • 1 T Ancho Chile Powder
  • 1 T (Roasted) Ground Cumin
  • 2 tsp Organic Oregano
  • 1 tsp Organic Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Organic Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Organic Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Organic (Smoked) Paprika
  • 1/8 tsp Organic Cayenne
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper

Garnish:

  • Tortillas of Choice (La Tortilla Factory)
  • Organic Greek Yogurt or Light Sour Cream
  • Organic Cilantro
  • 1 Organic Lime
  • Organic Lime Wedges

*Preheat Oven 400.  Combine all Seasonings into small bowl and mix to combine.  Lightly grease a 9 x 13 Baking Dish.  Add all Ingredients to the dish.  Sprinkle Seasoning over Chicken and Veggies.  Drizzle Oil.  Mix with your hands to combine and evenly distribute the Seasoning.  Bake 30-45 minutes, stirring once.  Enjoy!

 

TIPS:

* Pop chicken in the freezer for 15 mins before slicing.

* Like it spicy?  Substitute Poblano Peppers or add in a few Jalapeños.

* Have some Leftover?  Make a Fajita Taco Salad or a Fajita Wrap, or add some chicken broth and have a nice Soup the next day for lunch or dinner!!!

 

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Skinny Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

Skinny Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

Skinny Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

Skinny Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

Under the weather?  Feeling a little blah? Or just need some soup to help you warm up?  The normal “go to” recipe would be basic Chicken Noodle Soup.  But, I am not a huge fan.  So I created a new “go to” soup for the sick soul.  A Thai version of Chicken Noodle Soup that packs a little heat to help open up my stuffy nose.  I’ve also cut the fat and calories down as much as possible to create a “skinny” version.  This soup is packed full of so much flavor, you don’t even miss it!  The onions, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and fresh lime juice add some serious health benefits to get me back on the road to recovery!

Warm and Comforting with a little KICK!

Warm and Comforting with a little KICK!

Skinny Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

  • 1 TBS Grapeseed Oil
  • 1 Large Onion, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Stalk Lemongrass, cut into 2 inch pieces and smashed
  • 2 tsp Grated Ginger, plus a disc size to sauté in soup
  • 3 Kaffir Lime Leaves
  • 2-3 Limes, zest & juice
  • 2 TBS Green Curry Paste
  • 2 32 oz Boxes Low Sodium Chicken Stock
  • 1 15 oz can LITE Coconut Milk
  • 2 TBS Fish Sauce
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, thinly sliced
  • 4 oz Rice Noodles, broken into thirds
  • 2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 Cup Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt & Pepper

*Heat Grapeseed Oil in large soup pot over Med-High.  Add Onion, season with Salt and Pepper, and cook about 8 mins, stirring occasionally, until softened and starting to brown.  Turn Heat to Med add Garlic, LemonGrass, Ginger & Kaffir Lime Leaves.  Sauté 2-3 mins until fragrant, stirring occasionally so the garlic doesn’t burn!  Add Green Curry Paste & Lime Zest and sauté another minute or so.  Add Chicken Broth, Coconut Milk & Fish Sauce.  Turn up heat and bring to a slight boil.  Add Red Bell Peppers & Rice Noodles and simmer about 3 mins until noodles are al dente.  Add uncooked sliced chicken and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 3 mins.  Turn down heat.  Add Crushed Red Pepper, Lime Juice and Cilantro.  Taste.  Adjust Seasonings as needed; fish sauce, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, etc. Serve with a sprinkle of Cilantro and a Fresh Lime Wedge!

A great "go to" Feel-Better Soup!

A great “go to” Feel-Better Soup!

Onions, Ginger, Garlic, Lemongrass & Kaffir Lime Leaves

Onions, Ginger, Garlic, Lemongrass & Kaffir Lime Leaves

TIPS:

*The heat of this soup is easily adjusted.  Cut the Green Curry Paste in half, and leave out the Crushed Red Pepper Flakes if you don’t care for too much spice.  The garlic and ginger gives it a natural heat!

*Lemongrass.  Amazing flavor.  I used a whole stalk.  If you don’t grow your own, or can’t find it, you can use 2 tsp dried lemongrass.  For the stalk, I simply cut it into 2 inch pieces, sliced it lengthwise, then smashed it with my knife.  That was the soup can absorb all that amazing flavor.  I also took about a 1/2 inch and THINLY THINLY THINLY chopped it up into the soup.  It is very woody, so you really need to get it chopped up as fine as you can!

*Kaffir Lime Leaves.  You should be able to find these in the International section of your grocery store.  They are not usually in the regular herbs and spices section.  I hope you can find these.  It will change and intensify the flavor of the soup!

*UNCOOKED CHICKEN!?!? What??? Is this OK??? Yes.  My tip here is to pop 2 cleaned chicken breasts into the freezer when you start to prep for the soup (15 mins).  If it is slightly frozen, it is MUCH easier to slice crosswise into small “shaved” pieces.  They really do cook up superquick in the soup.  Literally, like 3 mins if you have the soup hot enough and chicken thin enough.  Just don’t overcook the chicken…it will become rubbery and a tad chewy.  This soup is best served right when finished.  If you need to have is simmer for a bit, do so after you added the Broth.  The Veggies and Broth are fine to simmer, just wait to add the Coconut Milk, Red Peppers and Chicken as you don’t want to overcook them!

*I used 2 Limes.  One for zest, added to the soup.  1 1/2 added for juice.  And 1/2 cut up into wedges for serving.  I was only making this for the hubby and I last night, so we have some serious leftovers for lunch today!!!! Yippiee!!!  But you need at least the juice of one whole lime to really brighten up this soup!

*If you don’t like Cilantro, try replacing it with Thai Basil!

A healthy, satisfying spoonful!

A healthy, satisfying spoonful!

ENJOY!

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Baked Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken

Baked Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken

Crispy, Moist & Delicious Baked Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken

Crispy, Moist & Delicious Baked Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken

OMG.  A crispy baked chicken dish that isn’t dry and the flavor punch is out of this world?!?!? Ummm….Yes Please!

I made this and my husband absolutely devoured it.  Holy Moly.  It is Knock-Your-Socks-Off…. Slap-Yo-Mama Good!!!

And, best of all, simple!  I promise…make it once and you’ll never miss fried chicken.

Here’s how ya do it:

Season Your Chicken

Season Your Chicken

You can use a package of chicken tenders, but since I didn’t have any, I used 3 Chicken Breasts (organic & grass-fed).  Then I took my kitchen shears and cut each breast into 3 similar sized pieces (you could use a knife as well).  Sprinkle them with a little bit of seasonings, and you’re good to go.  You can keep it simple and just salt and pepper them.  I also used Onion Powder, Garlic Powder and Dry Mustard.  You could also throw in some herbage and use Italian Seasoning.  I just wanted to keep the seasonings pretty simple and let the flavor of the chicken and jalapeño take front stage.

Crispy, Crunchy Cracker Breading

Crispy, Crunchy Cracker Breading

Prepare your Cracker Breading.  Just crush a couple of handful of buttery crackers.  Then season them with a dash of salt, a bit of fresh ground pepper, and some dried jalapeños. I might have added a little bit of garlic powder and onion powder to the cracker mixture as well. TIP: I used Late July Organic Classic Rich Butter Crackers in lieu of Ritz.  They are freakin’ delicious.  I absolutely ADORE these organic crackers!

Cheese & Buttermilk Stations

Cheese & Buttermilk Stations

Grate some Sharp Cheddar Cheese into a bowl and set aside. (Use REAL CHEDDAR CHEESE AND GRATE YOUR OWN!!! Don’t skip out and use that pre-grated crap!! Trust Me on this!)  Pour a bit of Buttermilk into a bowl add a few tsp of your favorite hot sauce, mix and set aside.  (EDB TIP: Whole milk will work as well! Simply Add a tsp or so of lemon juice or vinegar to the milk and let it sit for a few minutes. Easy Peasy!)

Get ready to start dunking & coating!

Get ready to start dunking & coating!

Get a baking sheet ready and place your ingredients in this order: Chicken, Buttermilk, Cheese, Cracker Crumbs.

For this method, I first dipped the chicken into the buttermilk, then into the cheese and tried to press the cheese into the chicken with my fingers before rolling it in the cracker crumbs.  I have to admit, this wasn’t 100% successful.  If this method works for you; Great!  If not, and you are having a difficult time getting the cheese to stick to the chicken and the getting the cracker crumbs to stick as well….do what I did:

Cheese & Cracker Crumbs

Cheese & Cracker Crumbs

Just dump the damn cheese in with the stupid cracker crumbs and mix to combine!  Let me tell you, this was WAY better!!!!  Finally could get the chicken coating to stick!!!

 So, now I change the recipe to:

Dip the Chicken in the Buttermilk, Press the Cheese & Cracker Mixture onto the Chicken firmly with your hands.

Wow.  Much better and a bit simplified.  I’d just to it this way if I were you.  Hey, when you create, you gotta roll with the punches and improvise.  Best part of cooking!!!  I could have left this part out and just put the cheese and crackers together in the first place, but I like to show you, my faithful readers, that sometimes you gotta change things up to make it work.  Cooking is an ever-changing art and there is no one right way to do it.  (Baking is another story!!!!)

On the Baking Sheet

On the Baking Sheet

Line a 9 x 13 with foil and spray with non-stick cooking oil.  Arrange Chicken on pan so they are not touching.  Sprinkle with a bit of parsley. This is what your chicken pieces should look like.

Pop 'em in the Oven!

Pop ’em in the Oven!

The coating does NOT have to be perfect.  Just do the best you can!  It will still come out crispy, moist & delicious!

Cover & Bake

Cover & Bake

Lightly cover with foil and bake for a bit first.  Then, remove the foil the last 10-15 mins to make the chicken get a nice brown, crispy coating.

Perfection.

Perfection.

It already looks absolutely divine.  Now, plate it up!

Served with Horseradish Cheddar Mashed Potatoes

Served with Horseradish Cheddar Mashed Potatoes

I made some seriously good mashed taters to compliment this.  It was a perfect combination.  I had a nice fresh salad on the side as well!

A little saucy drizzle on top!

A little saucy drizzle on top!

I had some of my Top Secret White BBQ Sauce that I drizzled on top.  Killer.  It was honestly killer on this.

I wish I could eat this right NOW!!!

I wish I could eat this right NOW!!!

I will for SURE be making this again soon.  You are going to fall in love….and so will the people you serve it to!

Baked Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken

*Preheat Oven to 375.  Take out 9 x 13 baking sheet, cover with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

*Cut each Chicken Breast into 3 equal portions, or use Chicken Tenders.  Season Chicken with Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Dry Mustard, Salt & Pepper.  Now get 2 bowls.  One for your Cracker/Cheese Mixture and one for your Buttermilk.  Crush Crackers.  (I put them in a plastic ziplock baggie and crush them up with my hands and then pour that into a bowl.  Works pretty good!)  Season Crushed Cracker Crumbs with Salt & Pepper and add a dash of Garlic and Onion Powder if desired.  Add dried diced jalapeños to crumb mixture and toss to combine.  Add a little parsley if desired!  Add Grated Cheddar to Cracker Crumb Mixture and stir to combine.  (or keep the cheese and cracker mixture separate if you want…but I find combining them worked better).  Pour Buttermilk into separate bowl, add a bit of Hot Sauce and stir to combine.

*Take Chicken and dip into Buttermilk.  Then roll into Cracker Crumb/Cheese Mixture.  With you hands, press mixture firmly into the chicken to make a nice layer of coating.  Lay on baking sheet so they are not touching and sprinkle with Parsley.  Then, cover baking sheet with foil and place them in the preheated oven.  Cook for about 30 mins.  After 30 mins, remove the foil and cook another 10-15 mins or until the chicken in brown and crispy!

*DEVOUR!  

Serve with Sauce of choice:  Alabama White Sauce is Perfection with it! And you can never go wrong with Ranch!

From My Creations to Your Kitchen!

Eat, Drink &  Be Kari

@eatdrinkbeKari

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*COPYCAT* Homemade Japanese Hibachi

*Copycat* Homemade Japanese Hibachi

Copy Cat Japanese Steakhouse

So. Darn. Good.

Kabuki, Benihana, Kobe, Makoto, Fuju, Sakura, Ichiba, Genji…..no matter what the name, it’s still your typical Hibachi Style Restaurant.  We all know and love them.  However, as fun as it is to go and sit around the table with a group, it is NOT fun on your wallet.  That’s why I decided to make my own copycat version.  It is delicious and tastes exactly like the restaurant version, albeit, I did not possess the incredible showmanship of the chefs there.  I had no “onion volcanos”, didn’t make a “sesame street”, and couldn’t flip and spin my spatulas about.  However, I did decide next time I could get a handful of shrimp to cook and try to toss them into the open mouths of my family!!!  But, I’m still not convinced that the hefty price tag at the restaurant is worth the show.  Some nights I’d just rather eat in and save the $$$, especially when you have a family of 4 and can’t fill up an entire table.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2-3 Chicken Breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Mushrooms, sliced
  • Onion, sliced
  • Mung Bean Sprouts
  • Long Grain White or Brown Rice
  • 1 Cup Frozen Mixed Veggies
  • 1 Egg
  • Soy Sauce
  • Teriyaki Sauce
  • Ginger Dressing
  • Yum Yum Sauce
  • GrapesSeed Oil

*I use GrapeSeed Oil because it is a lighter oil with a high cooking temp.

And there you have it.  Simple ingredients and easy to change up as you like.  Swap out the Chicken for Steak or Shrimp, or go all out and use all 3!!!  I combined some sliced Onion with both the Chicken and the Mushrooms when sautéing.  You can add this or leave them plain.  I just love the combo together.  I tried to keep it easy by using about a cup of the organic mixed veggies (peas, carrots, green beans & corn).  It worked fabulously.  I used 2 large skillets.  The first skillet I cooked the chicken and onions, plated, then cooked the mung bean sprouts in the leftover yumminess in the pan.  The second skillet I used for the mushroom & onions, plated, then fried up the egg, then added the frozen veggies, then the rice.  This method was GREAT!!!  Just like the Hibachi Restaurants.

Step 1: Cook the Mushrooms in 1 Skillet and the Chicken in the other one!

Mushrooms & Onions

Mushrooms & Onions

The trick to this is to sauté the onions first in a little bit of GrapeSeed Oil.  Season with salt & pepper. When they start to turn translucent, move them over to the side of the pan.  Next, add the Mushrooms (and a little more oil if needed).  DO NOT TURN THE ‘SHROOMS.  Let them sit for a few minutes to get color.  Resist the urge to move them about the pan!!!!!  After one side is nice and brown, flip them over and mix in the onions so they can all finish cooking and caramelizing together.  Plate ’em up!

Chicken & Onions

Chicken & Onions (this pic was taken about 1/2 way through the cooking…as the marinade seeps out, it will continue to brown and caramelize into heavenly hibachi bites)

I know my Ingredients List says Teriyaki Sauce.  If you have that handy, marinade the chicken in that for a time saver!  It doesn’t get much easier than that.  If I had one of my favorites, Trader Joe’s Soyaki Sauce, I would have marinated the chicken all day in that.  Unfortunately, I was all out.  So much for simple.  So I threw a quick marinade together, and it was bursting with flavor!  Here’s what I used:

Kar-aki Marinade:

  • 3 T Low- Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 2 T Ponzu
  • 1 t Fish Sauce
  • 3 Cloves Smashed Garlic
  • 1 t Ginger
  • 1 Green Onion sliced
  • 1 T Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

I chopped the chicken earlier in the day, popped into a tupperware and just drizzled each ingredient over top.  Then I just put the lid on and shook it up.  I let it marinade all day.  I recommend at least 1 hour to get the flavor in the meat.  Every now and then I would go to the fridge and give it a shake to make sure all the chicken on top was getting some of the love bath as well!

Now, while you have the mushrooms going in one pan, you should have the chicken going as well.  Just drizzle a little oil in the skillet and put in the chicken pieces and onions.  I didn’t just dump the chicken in because I didn’t want to excess marinade or the chunks of garlic and scallions going into the pan.  Sauté until cooked.  Plate it up!

Step 2: Cook the Rice in 1 Skillet and the Sprouts in the other!

Rice, Veggies & Egg

Rice, Veggies & Egg

Cook you rice of choice per the instructions. (Usually 1 cup Rice to 2 cups Water).  I used a Local Long Grain White Rice.  Some recipes say to rinse the rice, some say to toast the rice.  I know Rice, at least for me, is extremely difficult to get right.  We usually always use Brown Rice, but I found this Local Rice and wanted to give it a try.  HOLY MOLY… It actually cooked RIGHT!!!  I couldn’t believe it.  I almost hated to fry it up because it was so light and fluffy.  Here’s what I did.  I diced up about a half of a small onion.  I did NOT rinse the Rice first.  I added a T of GrapeSeed Oil and the diced onion, salt and pepper and sautéed for about a minute.  Then I added 1 Cup of Rice and toasted it for about 2-3 minutes.  Be sure to stir it so the rice won’t burn.  Then I added 2 Cups of Water, 1 T butter and a bit more salt.  Brought it to a boil, covered, then turned the heat to low.  Cooked for about 20-25 mins. DO NOT LIFT THE LID!!!  NOT ONCE!!! NO PEEKING!!! Move off the hot burner and let rest for 5 minutes before lifting the lid.  Fluff with Fork.  TIP: I did the rice first before starting the rest of the meal, that way the rice was ready to go when I was ready to make the fried rice!

Fried Rice

Fried Rice

Making the Fried Rice was super easy with the prepared rice.  First, in the same skillet that the Mushroom and Onions were cooked in, I cracked and egg and fried it up.  Then I tossed in a Cup of the Frozen Mixed Veggies.  Cooked them for a min or so to warm them up.  Then, just added the prepared rice on top and fried it up!  Mix it a few times and then take the Low Sodium Soy Sauce a few turns around the pan.  Toss.  Let cook a minute longer.  If you let the bottom get a little crispy it is so so soooo worth the wait!  Plate up!

Mung Bean Sprouts

Mung Bean Sprouts

After plating the Chicken and Onions, you should still have a little ooey gooey caramelized goodness in the pan.  For the love of food, do NOT get rid of it!  Throw your sprouts into the pan and let them soak all that delicious Kar-aki Sauce, or whatever you may have used.  These only take like a minute to warm up.  You don’t want to overcook them and loose the crunch.  OMG.  I could eat an entire plate of these!!!!  TIP: If you don’t have any delicious drippings left in the pan, just toss the sprouts in and add a tsp of Soy Sauce.

Now, dinner should be all plated up and look just like the restaurant.

IMG_7123IMG_7121

I used 2 bottled sauces  to serve it with.  For the White Sauce, my brother bought me Terry Ho’s Yum Yum Sauce.  It was pretty good.  On its own, it wasn’t exactly like the ones in the restaurant, but when you dipped the rice in it….DELISH!!!  Not bad for a copycat bottled sauce.  For the Ginger Sauce I used Whole Foods Organic Ginger Soy Vinaigrette.  Vegan and only 50 calories per serving (2 T).  This worked out wonderfully and was absolutely amazing on the chicken!!!!

Bon Appétit

Bon Appétit

Like I said, this really is simple to make and so delicious and filling.  It tastes exactly like the restaurant, just a lot lighter on your wallet!!!  To make it easier to make at home,  I did a few copycat cop-outs.  The White Sauce and Ginger Sauce.  So, I am going to try and recreate some of these on my own.  I’ll try and make  a homemade Yum-Yum Sauce and a Ginger Dressing to share with y’all.  I already know how to make the delicious soup….but I’m saving that one for another day!

eat.drink.be

Kari

@eatdrinkbeKari

www.eatdrinkbe.com

Parmesan Sriracha Crusted Chicken

 

 

This is SUPER SIMPLE, while still bringing The Heat!!! Big Flavor, Y'all!!!

Parmesan Sriracha Crusted Chicken

Ok, let me simplify your life a little bit with this super quick, few ingredient, BIG FLAVOR dish.  Seriously, when I made this the other night, the Hubs said “This is SO GOOD.  You need to write this one down.”  And I was all like….”Ha!  It was so easy, I don’t even NEED to write it down.  Anyone can remember this!”  That’s why all you working and back to school parents are gonna thank me for this one!  So darn easy.  You don’t even really need to measure anything.  I used 2 chicken breasts, you can use as many as you need if you are feeding a crowd, or just one if you are cooking for yourself!  This would be a great dish to serve at a dinner party!!!  I will give you the general amount for 2 portions. Adjust Ingredients Accordingly.

Ingredients:

2 Organic Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese, Grated

4 tsp Sriracha Sauce, divided

1/3 Cup Mayonnaise

Paula Deen House Seasoning (Salt, Granulated Onion, Granulated Garlic, Pepper)

Mix Together Parm, Mayo & 2 tsp Sriracha (or to taste. It packs a pretty good kick!)

Sprinkle Paula Deen’s House Seasoning (gotta support my girl, Paula!!!!)

Top with Sriracha to taste!

Coat Chicken with Parm, Mayo, Sriracha Mixture.  Should be pretty thick!

Bake 325 for 45 mins.  Or until Juices run clear and Crust is Golden Brown.

Devour.

Season Chicken with Paula Deen's House Seasoning & 1 tsp Sriracha per breast

Season Chicken with Paula Deen’s House Seasoning & 1 tsp Sriracha

If adding the Sriracha onto the Chicken packs too much heat, omit this step and only use the Sriracha in the Crust Mixture!

Smear Sriracha to Coat

Smear Sriracha to Coat

Crust Mixture should be thick enough to stick to the chicken!

Spread Parm Mixture to Coat the Chicken Breast

Spread Parm Mixture to Coat the Chicken Breast

Top with Fresh Parsley

I served mine with a Green Salad and an AWESOME Mustard-Yogurt Potato Salad

Seriously Good

Seriously Good

So Moist!

So Moist!

A simple and delicious meal for a busy weeknight.  I bet you can even prepare the chicken the night before or that mornign and refrigerate until ready to pop in the oven that night!!!!  I’m also thinking this would be good for fish as well!  I’ll do some experimenting and let you know!

eat.drink.be

Kari

www.eatdrinkbe.com

@eatdrinkbeKari

The Simple Indian with Thai Red Curry Sauce

 

 

 

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The Simple Indian with Thai Red Curry Sauce

Gather Ingredients

Organic Cilantro
Organic Red Onion
Organic Carrots
Organic Red Pepper
Organic Snow Peas
Organic Mung Bean Sprouts
Organic Garlic
Organic Lime
Organic Peas

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Secret Ingredient # 1!!! Why I call this dish: The Simple Indian

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Sauté Organic Chicken Thighs in Organic Coconut Oil (or substitute Tofu, etc) Add a Dash of Salt & Pepper. Throw in a garlic clove for good measure! Repeat until all thighs are browned. If cooking more than 3, do in separate batches so chicken will brown evenly. Don’t crowd the pan! Remove from pan and place aside.

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In the pan the Chicken Thighs were cooked in, (so we have all the YUMMY bits in the bottom of the pan!!!!!!!) place the rough chopped onions, red pepper, carrots and lime (cut side down). Sauté a few minutes.

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Remove the Lime! Add minced organic garlic clove, chopped organic cilantro stems and chicken to pan.

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Lime Removed!

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Secret # 1
Add half bottle of TJ’s Thai Red Curry Sauce. Simmer in Secret # 2
Btw. I’ve never used this sauce before. ❤ me some TJ’s…..I’ll let you know what I think!!!

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Secret # 2
The Tagine
Simmer. Simple. Stovetop or Oven. Slow and Low. Will create moist, delicious, tender meat. Seriously. Go buy one, or another type of clay pot. They will change your recipes completely in Indian, African, Middle Eastern, etc cuisine.

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After an hour simmering in the Tagine…

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Remaining Raw Ingredients:
Chopped Organic Cilantro
Sliced Organic Green Onion
Previously Sautéed Limes
MYSTERY PEPPER

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Add a handful of frozen Organic Peas

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Mix in Peas until heated through, just a few minutes.

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I made Organic Whole Wheat Cous Cous to serve with dinner and mixed in about 1/3 cup of the Trader Joes Red Curry Sauce at the end of cooking…right before letting the CousCous sit for a few minutes before serving.

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Top with Fresh Chopped Organic Cilantro before serving. Mix. Serve Immediately. We ❤ cilantro. Use as much or as little as you want.

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Top with more cilantro, scallions and mystery pepper. Squeeze sautéed lime juice overtop….and Dinner Is Served!!!

TIP: You can substitute any protein.  I used Chicken Thighs because they stay moist and meaty!

Eat. Drink. Be

Kari

@eatdrinkbeKari

Baked Rosemary Lemon Chicken with KickAss Kale

Baked Rosemary Lemon Chicken and Veggies with KickAss Kale

One Dish Deliciousness, Skinny Style!

Rosemary Lemon Chicken with KickAss Kale and Veggies

Rosemary Lemon Chicken with KickAss Kale and Veggies

So, it’s been awhile. I’ve been moving into the new house and trying to get my life back organized.  Somewhat organized.  Just a little organized.  Hell, at this point, I’ll take anything.  So, this is what I made the first night I cooked in the new house.  I was exhausted, so simple was key.  One pot to cook, one pot to clean.  Bake in the oven so I can keep on keepin’ on while dinner cooked.  KISS.  Also, was CRAVING Fresh & Simple.  Hence, One Pot Rosemary Lemon Chicken w/ KickAss Karified Kale & Veggies.  It turned out pretty damn good, too!

INGREDIENTS (btw, all are either organic, local or homegrown I’m just too lazy to write it every time!)

2 Chicken Breasts (I sliced one into 2 pieces bc it was larger and I wanted them to cook right….plus it made for great leftovers the next night when the hubs was traveling!!!)

Red Onion

Rosemary

Mushrooms

Lemon Slices leftover

3 Cloves Garlic

Red Pepper

Salt & Pepper

EVOO

Kale

Creeping Rosemary

 

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Slice Red Onion into Rings. Layer on Baking Dish.

 

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Add Red Pepper & Chopped Garlic

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Add Rosemary & Dash of EVOO

Put Chicken on top with Salt, Pepper & Lemon Slices

Put Chicken on top with Salt, Pepper & Lemon Slices

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Sprinkle on some Red Pepper Slices

Layer Mushrooms on top

Layer Mushrooms on top

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Bake 350 about 20 Mins

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Take out of oven @ 20 mins in. Add Kale.  Sprinkle with Salt, Pepper & EVOO. Bake another 8-10 mins

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Kale is ready when ends of leaves are crisping. The greens are absolutely amazing!!!

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Close Up of the Kale for ya!!!

eat.drink.be

Dinner Inspiration, a la CHOPPED

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Ok, so I feel like I am living in a Full Time Episode of “Chopped”.  Since we close on our new house this Mon, I am trying to eat as much as possible from our current food selection at the apartment.  We are running low….seriously low.  I had one Spicy & Smokey Chicken Breast leftover from last night.  And I was going to use leftover Mac & Cheese for the kids.  Problem, we couldn’t find the Mac.  I figured Mark had eaten it for lunch, so I was back to the drawing board for the kids.  (we did find it later…..behind the huge water filter.  Lovely.)  So, pancakes it is!  I whipped up my Maple Pancakes super fast with an Egg for Story and an Amish PB Sammy for Dash, on Raisin Toast, of course!!!  And some fresh fruit. (btw….this local Amish PB is TO DIE FOR!!!!  Holy Yummers, ya’ll!!!!!)  Ok, so now, for our Grown Up Dinner, I have a super flavorful Chicken breast, Maple Pancakes…….Eggs……Feta Cheese.  So, here’s whatcha get out of that.  Chopped-Style.

Worcherstirshire Sauce & Coffee

Worcestershire Sauce & Coffee

I knew I had to change up the flavor of the chicken a bit to compliment the Maple Pancakes.  So, first I sliced the chicken and onions and popped them in my cast iron skillet.  This Spicy & Smokey Chicken was packed with so much flavor that I knew I had to enhance it with something pretty strong.  My first thought was worcestershire sauce.  So, some of that went into the skillet.  Then, I thought a bit more….needed something even stronger.  Hummmm…..do I have any leftover coffee in the pot from this morning?  Why yes, yes I do!  Leftover coffee can be utilized in SO MANY WAY!!!  Don’t forget this hidden gem when making sauces, marinades or even baking with chocolate!!!  Amazing enhancer with Chocolate!!!!

3 T Worcestershire Sauce

1/4 Cup Coffee

Then, the Hubby was running late.  I had it thickened and ready to go.  Ok, time for another improvisation!  I thought the flavor of the chicken simmering down was just about perfect with the Maple Pancakes.  So, I hit it with a little bit of the Kona Beer I was drinking!  PERFECT!!!  Won’t let the chicken dry out, but will also compliment the flavors!

Gettin' Happy!!!

Gettin’ Happy!!!

Alright, Alright.  Lookin Good Now!

All I did was Put a Maple Pancake  on the Bottom, Chicken Over, Fried Egg on Top.  Then sprinkled with a little Spicy & Smokey Rub, Feta Cheese & Sunflower Seeds.

Layered it lengthwise so you could see the layers

Plated this one lengthwise so you could see the layers

Plated Normal

Plated Normal

ENJOY!!!

After First Bite.  Egg is PERFECT!!!

After First Bite. Egg is PERFECT!!!

I couldn’t believe how incredibly delicious this turned out!  Mark LOVED it!

Wow!!!  See, sometimes getting creative in the kitchen leads to an amazing meal.

CHOPPED Ain’t Got Nothin’ on This Girl!!!

Spicy & Smokey Chicken Sammy

Spicy & Smokey Chicken Sammy

Caesar w/ Homemade Salt & Pepper Croutons 

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LAST WEEK LIVING IN THE APARTMENT!!! Hopefully the food and pics will get better when we get moved in and settled!  I’ve been using my iPhone for pics and cooking with very little equipment.  Man, I can’t WAIT to move in!!!!  Anywho, this sammy was pretty darn good, and VERY easy to make!  You can also do the chicken and onions on the grill.  Enjoy!

Ingredients Ready!!!

Ingredients Ready!!!

Ingredients:

2 Organic Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, Seasoned with Rub

1 Organic Vidalia Onion, Sliced

4 Organic Garlic Cloves, Whole

Organic EVOO, S&P

Spicy & Smokey Rub:

2 T Organic Chili Powder

1 T Organic Smoked Spanish Paprika

1 T Organic Ground Cumin

1 T Organic Ground Black Pepper

1 T Organic Salt

1/2 T Organic Ground Coriander

1/2 T Organic Garlic Powder

1/4 T Organic Ground Cinnamon

1/4 T Organic Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Go ahead and season your meat a few hours before cooking.  Add a dash of EVOO and REALLY GET IN THERE!!! Give it a GOOD RUB and don’t be scared to use your hands!!! You can always wash them when your’e done!  Be sure to let the chicken come to room temp (30 mins or so) before cooking.

Lay O

Lay Onions in Skillet, Top with Garlic Clove, EVOO, S&P

Preheat Oven 300 or 325

Place Rubbed Chicken on Onions & Garlic to Roast

Place Rubbed Chicken on Onions & Garlic to Slow Roast

We are going to cook slow and low for a hour, hour and a half or so

MEANWHILE…….Get your bread leftover from last nights supper!

Chop

Cube Local Rustic Wheat Sourdough to make Croutons!

Toss with EVOO and Seasoning of Choice.  I used a combo of:

ORGANIC: Salt, Granulated Garlic, Granulated Onion, Black Pepper, Thyme, Savory, Mustard Powder & White Pepper

Put in Oven and Bake until Crisp.  Turn & Toss Once.  Takes about 15 mins…

Sooooo Good!!!

Sooooo Good!!!

Now, Let’s Check on the Chicken!

Done & DONE!!!

Done & DONE!!!

Nice Blacked Coating and Ridic Onion Jus

Nice Blacked Coating and Ridic Smokey Onion Jus

TIP: Let the Spicy Smokey Chicken Rest for about 5 mins BEFROE slicing!

Slice

Slice

Put on Onion Bun with Lettuce and a Nice Grainy Mustard!

Put on Onion Bun with Lettuce and a Nice Grainy Mustard!

Garlicy Onion & Jus

Garlicy Onion Jus

Top with Organic Munster & Onion Round

Top with Organic Munster & Onion Round

Side View looks DELISH!!!!

Side View looks DELISH!!!!

Enjoy!

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 eat.drink.be Kari

@eatdrinkbeKari