Cook Once, Eat Twice: Baked Honey Chicken

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Thank you Kelly Swartz Photography for this photo!

It’s only August but the start of school is upon us!  This return may mean more routine to your week and more regularly-scheduled meals at home. Are you wondering where you’ll find the extra time for everything?  Hopefully I can help you with an easy dinner recipe or two!

This Baked Honey Chicken is a recipe for success: cook once, eat twice.  First, the chicken marinates before it’s baked in the oven.  Half of this cooked chicken is then saved in the refrigerator for the next night’s dinner, Key West Chicken Salad Wraps. The remaining half of the Baked Honey Chicken is served for tonight’s yummy Honey Chicken Rice Bowls with Steamed Broccoli.    

Photos of these recipes are the ones featured on my new website.  This new website is launching in just 4 days!  Watch for my big announcement later this week!

Baked Honey Chicken (makes double 4-serving portions)

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs

1/3 cup honey

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 teaspoon ground ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup sliced scallions

Spray a 9×13 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Arrange the chicken thighs in a single layer.  Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl and pour over chicken.  Cover dish with foil and marinade in the refrigerator for 1-4 hours.  Turn chicken once midway through marinating time.

When ready to cook, preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Place chicken, covered, in oven for 20 minutes.  Remove chicken from oven, uncover and turn chicken pieces over, and bake for another 15 minutes, until internal temperature is 165 degrees.

Remove half of the chicken to a covered storage dish.  Refrigerate and save for Key West Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps.

Use remaining chicken and sauce for the Honey Chicken Rice Bowls with Steamed Broccoli.

Honey Chicken Rice Bowls with Steamed Broccoli (serves 4)

1 pound Honey Baked Chicken, sliced

Honey Baked chicken sauce, about 1 cup

2 cups cooked brown rice

1 head broccoli, cut into florets and steamed

1/4 cup shredded carrots

1 scallion, sliced thin

Divide rice into each of four serving bowls. Top with equal portions of broccoli and sliced chicken.  Spoon generous amounts of sauce on top of bowl contents. Garnish with shredded carrots and scallions.  Serve and enjoy!

Key West Chicken Salad Wraps (serves 4)

(these wraps can be served in lettuce leaves- as pictured- for a lighter meal or in heartier whole grain tortillas)

1 pound Honey Baked Chicken, diced

1 ripe mango, diced

1 avocado, diced

1 small jalapeño, minced

1/2 jicama, peeled and diced

1 head Boston leaf lettuce, separate and clean and dry leaves (or 4 soft whole grain tortillas)

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

Dressing ingredients:

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon honey

1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon white ground pepper

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

For the dressing: combine lime juice, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper.  Whisk in olive oil.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine avocado, mango, jicama, and jalapeño. Add dressing to taste.  Fold in chicken.  Season, as needed, with more dressing.

When ready to serve, arrange lettuce leaves or whole grain tortillas on a platter.  Divide Key West Chicken Salad amongst leaves or tortillas.  Garnish with cilantro and serve.  Enjoy!

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Spinach Artichoke Quinoa Egg Bake

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Try the traditional pairing of spinach and artichokes with the ancient grain quinoa baked together with eggs and cheese.  The result?  Deliciousness!!

This is a great brunch recipe.  To prep this ahead of time, simply follow the recipe through until the step”Preheat the oven”.  The contents of the 9 x 13 pan can be covered and placed in the refrigerator.  When ready to cook, remove the dish from the refrigerator, uncover and finish the recipe.  Enjoy!

Spinach, Artichoke, Quinoa Egg Bake (serves 8-10)

1-1/2 cups quinoa, uncooked

1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups milk

4 eggs

1-14 ounce can artichokes, drained and chopped and drained again

10 ounce package of spinach

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1-1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/2 teaspoon each:  salt and freshly ground pepper

In a medium pot, heat 3 cups water until boiling. Add quinoa, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 12 minutes until water absorbed and quinoa unravels. Prepare 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Pour cooked quinoa into baking dish.

Preheat large skillet on medium heat and add olive oil. Sauté onion and garlic until onion is translucent. Add artichoke and spinach. Add contents of skillet to quinoa in baking dish. Season with salt and pepper. Mix to combine.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together milk and eggs. Mix in Parmesan and 1 cup mozzarella. Pour into baking dish and gently mix into contents. Sprinkle casserole with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella. Bake for 30 minutes and serve hot.

5-Spice Glazed Chicken and Rice Bowl

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Sometimes I want a meal that boasts big flavor.  This one does!  If you have ever cooked with Chinese Five Spice (typically a blend of cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise, and Szechwan peppercorns), you know it is a culinary treat.  I learned that a few years ago with one of my slow cooker recipes, Chinese Five Spice Pork.  This will be a great recipe to reference if you like the flavor of 5-Spice Glazed Chicken and Rice Bowl.  The ingredient list may look long in this new recipe, but I’ve bolded the ones that get repeated in both the marinade and the glaze.  It’s really very manageable… I made it again for dinner this past weekend!  Enjoy!

5-Spice Glazed Chicken and Rice Bowl (serves 4)

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs (at least 4 pieces)

Marinade ingredients:

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon mirin*

1 teaspoon GF soy sauce

1-1/2 teaspoons sugar

Glaze ingredients:

1/4 cup mirin*

1/2 cup GF soy sauce

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup chicken stock

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice

 

2 cups cooked brown rice

1 cup shredded carrots

1/2 cup shredded scallions

1 cup frozen, shelled edamame, thawed

Sesame seeds, for garnish

In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, mix the marinade ingredients. Place chicken in a ziplock bag and coat with the marinade. Place in fridge to marinade for 15 minutes, up to one hour.

To make the glaze, combine the first four ingredients in a small saucepan. Gently heat to dissolve the sugar. Mix cornstarch with 3 tablespoons water. Add to the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer. Add the rice vinegar and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon 5-spice and cook for 5 minutes or until the mixture is thickened, stirring occasionally.

In a 10 inch skillet with medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Pan fry the chicken, 5 minutes on both sides. Baste chicken with sauce before turning and again on other side. Cook until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

To assemble bowls, spoon rice into the bottom of each serving bowl and drizzle sauce on top. Stripe with shredded carrots, green onion and edamame. Slice chicken and place on top and drizzle with more sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.  YUMMY!!!

*Mirin is a Japanese rice wine that provides a mildly sweet acidity to a recipe. It’s used in many Asian-inspired dishes. Mirin is easy to find in the Asian food section of conventional grocery stores.  But if you need a substitute, you can use dry sherry, dry white wine, and rice vinegar by adding 1/2 teaspoon sugar for every tablespoon needed.

Pork Medallions with Mushrooms

IMG_3189Today’s recipe is simple enough for any weeknight dinner but it’s presentation and wine glaze is fancy enough for a dinner party.  And, I’ve paired this deliciousness with Parsnip Mash.

Parsnips are root vegetables resembling cream colored carrots.  They are available year round but their growing season is fall to spring.  When cooked and ‘mashed’, they develop a creamy, sweet flavor and deliver a good source of fiber, vitamin C and some B-vitamins.  Savor the flavor of eating right!  Enjoy!

Pork Medallions with Mushrooms and Madeira Glaze (serves 6)

1-1/2 pounds pork tenderloin

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 shallots, finely diced

1 pound white mushrooms, sliced

1 tablespoon flour

1/2 cup Madeira wine (dry port, sherry or Marsala wines can be substituted)

1 cup chicken stock

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Parsley, for garnish

Cut tenderloin into generous1 inch medallions. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large sauce pan over high heat. Sear meat until browned, about 2 minutes. Flip and repeat browning on other side. Transfer pork to a plate.

Add remaining oil to pan and heat. Add shallots and sauté until golden while scraping any browned bits from pan. Add the mushrooms and sauté until most of liquid evaporates. Sprinkle with flour and add the Madeira. Once the wine has reduced by half, add the stock and bring to a simmer. Add pork and any accumulated juices to the pan. Cook in simmering sauce for 5-8 minutes, flipping once, until internal temperature is 145 degrees. Serve medallions on top of parsnip mash* and garnish with parsley.

*Parsnip Mash

3 pounds* parsnips, peeled, cored and cut into 1 inch pieces

Salt and ground white pepper

2 teaspoons butter or Earth Balance

2 tablespoons milk (more, if needed, for desired consistency)

Place parsnips in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Turn down heat to a gentle boil until parsnips are easily pierced with a fork, about 8-10 minutes. Drain well.

Put parsnips in a food processor and puree until smooth. Add butter and milk.  Season to taste with salt and white pepper.

*If purchasing young parsnips, only 2 pounds needed since they have tender cores and do not need to be cored.

Chicken Fricassée with Fennel and Artichoke

Chicken Fricassee

FRANCE!!!! Ever since my time in Paris and the west of France this past autumn, my cooking has been influenced by the flavors of this luscious cuisine.  I even worked on a chocolate soufflé recipe I’ll have to share with you very soon!

And FENNEL!!!!! This fragrant vegetable has many culinary uses from the seeds to the bulb.  This recipe uses the bulb, sliced thin and sautéed with onions until soft.  Please don’t let the fancy name of this recipe hinder you from trying it!  It is basically a one-pot meal with straightforward prep.  And it’s OH, SO DELICIOUS!  ENJOY!

Chicken Fricassée with Fennel and Artichoke (serves 6)

6-8 pieces from a 2-3 pound chicken

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, halved and sliced thin

1 fennel bulb, trimmed, halved and sliced thin

1 cup dry white wine

1, 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

1-1/2 cups pitted mixed, green and black olives (in the original recipe, Picholine is the recommended green olive as is brine-cured black olives)

1/4 cup capers in vinegar, drained

12 artichoke hearts marinated in olive oil, drained

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Cooked thin pasta or rice, for serving

Generously season chicken on all sides with salt and pepper. In a large skillet (with a lid) or Dutch oven, heat olive oil. Add the chicken pieces skin side down and brown until they are golden in color, about 5 minutes. Flip carefully with tongs and cook another 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.

Reduce heat to low, add the onions and fennel. Cook, covered until softened but not browned, about 10 minutes. Return the chicken to pan. Add the wine, tomatoes, olives, capers and artichokes. Cover and simmer over low heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust, as needed. Serve over hot cooked pasta or rice. Bon Apetit!

Adapted from Patricia Wells, The French Kitchen Cookbook

Italian Chicken and Orzo Soup

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It’s soup season!  Think of this one as a spin on traditional chicken noodle, loaded with veggies and some orzo pasta. Start to finish, it will be ready in just under an hour.  I do hope this recipe helps you stay warm and healthy this winter!

Italian Chicken and Orzo Soup (serves 6)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound skinless chicken breast

1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped

1 small onion, diced

2 stalks celery, sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 quart chicken stock

2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper

1 (15 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

1 cup orzo pasta

3 cups baby spinach

parmesan cheese, shredded

In a large pot, heat oil. Sauté onion and celery until onion is translucent. Add oregano, garlic and mushrooms and cook for a few minutes, until fragrant. Sprinkle in salt and several grinds of fresh pepper. Add chicken, stock, water, and tomatoes. When brought to a boil, reduce heat and simmer (partially covered) for 30 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate and shred with fork. In the meantime, add the orzo and simmer aggressively for 10 minutes. When pasta is done, return chicken to pot and add parsley and spinach. Cook until spinach is wilted. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve into bowls and top with shredded parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Ancho Pork and Hominy Stew

Ancho Pork and Hominy Stew

When the weather gets cold, I love to make soups and stews. Typically, stew takes a few hours to cook because moist heat is needed to tenderize the meat traditionally used in stew.  But start to finish, Ancho Pork and Hominy Stew from Cooking Light, cooks in less than one hour.  This is because this stew starts with an already tender cut of meat, a pork tenderloin.  The pork is seasoned with spices resembling Mexican pork stew, Posole, with ancho chile powder at center stage.

Ancho chile powder can be found in many grocery stores but can also be made at home.  For DIY ancho chile powder, purchase dried whole ancho chiles (2 ounce package yields 1/4 cup powder). Slit peppers with a paring knife, and shake out seeds. Remove stem. Tear skin into 1 inch pieces. Using a coffee grinder, place pieces into a coffee grinder and process until finely ground (you may have to process in batches). Store in airtight container until ready to use.

Ancho Pork and Hominy Stew (serves 4-6)

2 tablespoons ancho chile powder

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1-1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 large onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2-1/2 cups chicken stock

1-28 ounce can hominy, drained

1-15 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes

Chopped cilantro, for garnish

Shredded Mexican cheese, as desired

Combine chile powder, oregano, paprika, cumin and salt in a bowl. Set 1-1/2 teaspoons aside. Toss pork pieces into spice mix. Coat evenly.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add pork and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the meat is browned and fragrant. Remove pork from pan. Add remaining olive oil. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Sauté 5 minutes until tender. Return pork to pan. Add broth, hominy, tomatoes and reserved spices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and partially cover to simmer for 25 minutes. Serve with cheese, if desired, and garnish with cilantro. Enjoy!

Adapted from www.CookingLight.com

 

Thanksgiving Sides

Thanksgiving is upon us!  Time with family, a break from work and school, and great food all mean that there is so much to look forward to!  Here are two new sides you may want to try for Thanksgiving:  Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad and Oven Baked Butternut Squash Risotto.  What’s unique about both of these is that they can meet the special dietary needs- gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, and nut free- of anyone coming to dinner. If you are looking for something easy, yummy and good for everyone, try these!

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Lemon Zest (serves 6)IMG_3114

1-1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts

1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds

1/4 cup yellow raisins

2 peeled hard boiled eggs, diced (optional)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Prepare Brussels sprouts by trimming bottoms and removing discolored or tough outer leaves. In a food processor with a grating attachment (or with a box grater), grate sprouts. Collect into a medium bowl (about 10 ounces total). Toss with sunflower seeds, raisins, and eggs (if using). In a separate small bowl, whisk lemon juice, vinegar and mustard. Drizzle in olive oil, whisking to combine. Add zest and shallots. Toss salad with dressing.

This salad can be served immediately or place in fridge for up to an hour. Toss again before serving and season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Adapted from www.chow.com

Oven Baked Butternut Squash Risotto (serves 6)IMG_3115

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup finely chopped shallots

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped

1-1/2 cups Arborio rice

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled and diced (4 cups)

4 cups vegetable stock

1 bunch curly kale (or Lacinato/Tuscan kale), tough stems removed and cut into ½ inch strips (about 4 cups loosely packed)

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium Dutch oven or oven proof pot with a lid, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Sauté shallots until soft, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add rice and cook, stirring frequently, until edges of rice are translucent, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and add wine. Stir and cook until wine is absorbed. Add squash and stock, bring mixture to a boil. Stir in kale. Cover and transfer to oven. Bake for 20 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Serve hot and garnish with parmesan. Enjoy!

Adapted from Meatless by Martha Stewart

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!

Baked Apple French Toast

Baked Apple French Toast

Here in the Midwest, our fall season is quickly approaching.  And with that, cooler mornings are upon us!  What a perfect time to introduce this easy, yummy breakfast.  It is made the night before and stored in the fridge.  Just bake it for an hour the next morning.  You’ll be filling your kitchen with a wonderful aroma and serving a  nutritionally balanced breakfast to your family!  Let’s welcome Fall together!

Baked Apple French Toast (serves 12)

3 cups nonfat milk

10 large eggs, slightly beaten

1/4 cup honey

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 pound sliced whole grain oatmeal bread

2 large apples, chopped (2 cups)

1/2 cup golden raisins

1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1-1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Maple syrup (as desired)

Whisk milk, egg, honey, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl. Trim crusts from 8 slices of bread. Reserve ‘crustless’ slices. Cut crusts and remaining bread into 1-inch pieces. Toss with apples, raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg. Coat a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Transfer bread mixture into pan. Lay the reserved ‘crustless’ bread on top (trim to fit, if needed). Whisk the milk mixture and pour over the bread, to get evenly moist. Cover with parchment and then foil and refrigerate for at least 8 hours (up to 24 hours).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake, covered, for 40 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until puffed, set and slightly browned (about 20 minutes more). Let stand out of oven for 10 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with maple syrup. ENJOY!

Recipe adapted from www.eatingwell.com

Easy Chicken Stir Fry with Veggies

IMG_2979Cooking with MU Women's Soccer

This week I had the privilege of teaching a cooking class to 16 upperclassman at Marquette University.  They are members of Marquette’s Women’s soccer team.  I brought my ‘Kitchen Simple’ recipes: 10 easy recipes from 15 main ingredients (the ones promoted for Myplate2yours 3rd Birthday!)  This Easy Chicken Stir Fry was one of the recipes we made.  What makes this ‘easy’ is the simple prep of the ingredients (using already shredded carrots and pre washed baby spinach leaves).

It was enjoyed by all of these rising chefs!

MU Soccer cooks!Easy Chicken Stir Fry with Veggies (serves 4)

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch strips

2 tablespoon oil, separated

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large red or yellow bell pepper, cut into strips (the size of matchsticks)

1/2 cup shredded carrots

1/4 cup sliced onion

1 handful baby spinach

1/2 cup soy sauce mixed with 2 teaspoons sugar and 1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 cup brown rice, cooked to package directions

Heat oil in skillet with medium-high heat. Quickly stir in garlic to lightly brown. Add chicken strips. Cook until lightly brown on all sides and no pink remains in middle. Remove from pan. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan. When hot, add onions, peppers, and carrots. Stir fry until tender crisp, about 3-5 minutes. Return chicken to pan and add spinach. Stir fry until spinach wilts. Stir the soy sauce mixture and add to pan. Stir fry until sauce heats and thickens. Serve over rice and enjoy!