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.

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!!

Mexican Creamed Corn

Mexican Creamed Corn

Meatless is the name of a newer cookbook from the Kitchens of Martha Stewart Living.  I recently enjoyed opening this book for the fist time and flagged several recipes to try.  This is the first one and it was fabulous!  I love that it uses non-fat yogurt instead of the mayonnaise that is typically used in this dish.  YUMMY!  Sweet corn is abundant this time of year and this is a terrific way to enjoy that sweetness!

Mexican Creamed Corn (serves 4) Adapted from Meatless

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 jalapeño, finely chopped (seeds and ribs removed)

1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped

4 ears corn, kernels and pulp scraped

1 cup water

1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt, plain

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoons crumbled feta or queso fresco

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium.  Cook jalapeño and onion, stirring until softened, 2 to 3 minutes.  Add corn and pulp and water.  Cook, stirring until corn is tender and most of the water evaporates, 5-7 minutes.

Remove from heat, stir in yogurt and season with salt and pepper.  If more heat desired, sprinkle with ground cayenne pepper.  Serve immediately, top with feta and cilantro.  Enjoy!!

Meatless Monday: Sweet Butternut Squash and Chick Pea Curry

Sweet Butternut Squash and Chick Pea CurryYou’ll enjoy the heartiness of this meatless recipe with its slightly sweet and savory flavor.  The sweetness in this curry dish originates from a small butternut squash and a pinch of cinnamon. Prep time and cook time both require 15-20 minutes.  You can save some prep time by purchasing squash that is already peeled and diced (only 12-16 ounces needed).  You may just need to adjust the dice to make smaller.  Enjoy this delicious dinner!

Sweet Butternut Squash and Chick Pea Curry (serves 6)

1-1/2 pound butternut squash, peeled and diced (1/2 inch)

1 tablespoon coconut oil (or vegetable oil)

1-14 ounce can ‘lite’ coconut milk (unsweetened)

1 medium sweet onion, diced (about 1 cup)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons minced ginger

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 tablespoon tomato paste

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1- 15 ounce can chick peas, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup sweet green peas (fresh or frozen)

Basmati rice or Naan bread

In a large skillet, heat oil and sauté onion, ginger and garlic for about 3 minutes until onion becomes translucent. Add coconut milk, curry, tomato paste, and cinnamon. When mixture boils, add squash and sweet green peas. Cover and simmer on low until squash is tender, 10-15 minutes. Uncover skillet and add chick peas. Heat through and taste. Adjust flavor with a sprinkle of curry powder, salt, and/or a pinch of sugar. Serve on a platter surrounded by triangles of toasted naan bread or over basmati rice. Enjoy!

Roasted Asparagus with Creamy Yogurt Ranch Dressing

Roasted Asparagus with Creamy Yogurt Ranch

Springtime means asparagus is in season.  My family always enjoys roasted asparagus for a quick side dish.  We eat it right from the oven or drizzled with balsamic glaze.  And now, thanks to Midwest Dairy, we are also enjoying our roasted asparagus topped with delicious Chive Yogurt Ranch Dressing.   This dressing is very versatile.  Just last night, we enjoyed it in a cucumber and tomato salad (Combine 1 peeled and sliced cucumber with 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes in a medium bowl.  Top with desired amount of dressing.)

Back to asparagus…here is the recipe!

Roasted Asparagus with Creamy Yogurt Ranch Dressing (serves 4-6)

Dressing:

3/4 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt

1 cup low-fat buttermilk

1/4 teaspoon each: garlic powder, onion powder, ground pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup fresh chives, finely chopped

Combine yogurt with garlic and onion powder, ground pepper, and salt in a medium bowl.  With a whisk, slowly blend in buttermilk.  Mix in chives.  Chill or use immediately.

Asparagus:

1-1/2 pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed and cleaned

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Toss asparagus spears with olive oil and place on baking sheet.  Grind salt and pepper over the spears and roast for 5-7 minutes until the spears are bright green and tender crisp.  Remove immediately from oven and allow to cool.

When asparagus has cooled to warm or room temperature, serve the asparagus on a platter topped with the desired amount of dressing.  Enjoy!

Meatless Monday: Tuscan Quinoa Casserole

 

VEGGIES!

What I love about this dish is the hefty load of veggies that are nicely and flavorfully incorporated into this casserole.  Serve it as a main dish or a side.  It works well in both roles!

Tuscan Bean and Vegetable Quinoa Casserole (serves 6)

1-1/2 cups quinoa, dry

2 tablespoons olive oilTuscan Quinoa Casserole

2 cloves garlic, minced

15 ounce can chick peas, rinsed and drained

1 zucchini, diced

2 bell peppers, 1 red/1 yellow, diced

1 large carrot, diced (or 1 cup baby carrots, sliced)

1/2 cup diced red onion (1/2 large)

juice from 1/2 lemon

3/4 cup parsley, chopped

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

1/2 cup skim milk

1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped

1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Red pepper flakes, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook quinoa as directed per package, undercook by 5 minutes.

In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté garlic and vegetables (zucchini, bell peppers, carrots, red onion) in olive oil until vegetables are tender. Season with salt, pepper and oregano. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, sautéed vegetables, lemon juice, and parsley. Stir in milk and cheese. Add red pepper flakes, to taste. Transfer to a prepared 9×13 baking sheet. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Bake 30 minutes uncovered. Serve warm. Enjoy!

Meatless Monday: Vegetable Pancakes with Cilantro Cream

 

Vegetable Pancakes

This week, with the introduction of Summer Vegetable Pancakes,  I am formally introducing ‘Meatless Monday’ to my blog.  I will regularly post meatless main dishes on select Mondays to help encourage all of us to eat at least one meatless meal each week.

Meatless MondaysGoing meatless once a week can protect our health.  It may reduce our risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. Meatless meals can also help our environment by reducing our carbon footprint and saving precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.  For both of these reasons and for great taste, check out Meatless Mondays and look to Myplate2yours for delicious meatless recipes!

Vegetable Pancakes with Cilantro Cream (serves 3)

1 medium zucchini, grated (about 2 cups)

1 cup shredded carrots

1/2 sweet onion, fine dice (1/2 cup)

1/2 small yellow bell pepper (1/4 cup)

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 large eggs

1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

1/4 teaspoon celery seed

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

1/8 teaspoon cumin

1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped

For Cilantro Cream, mix to combine yogurt, garlic salt, cumin and cilantro in a small bowl.  Cover and chill until ready to use.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Sauté zucchini, carrots, onion, and bell pepper until tender, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, use a whisk to beat eggs.  Add breadcrumbs and celery seed, combine well.  Add vegetable mixture, stir to combine.  Heat 1 tablespoon oil in skillet.  Measure 1/4 cup batter for each of 6 pancake (cooking 3 at a time). Press down to make 1/4 inch thick pancake.  Cook for 2-3 minutes until pancake sets and golden when flipped.  Cook for another 2-3 minutes on other side.  Repeat with remaining batter.  Serve pancakes with a dollop of Cilantro Cream.  Enjoy!

The recipe was inspired by Fine Cooking’s Fresh & Quick 2013

Potato au Gratin with Sun Dried Tomato

Potatoes au Gratin

There were two pounds of leftover cooked potatoes in my fridge.  Every few months, I set aside a day to develop new recipes and yesterday’s work on a potato salad left me with extra.  What to do with 2 pounds of leftover cooked potatoes in June?  Think ‘dairy’ and use fat-free milk and cheese to make potato au gratin!

June is dairy month.  Most of us only get 2 of the 3 servings of dairy that are recommended daily.  Unfortunately, this causes us to miss out on milk’s powerful nutrient package of calcium and eight other essential nutrients which nourishes our body and promotes bone health.  Check out ‘30 days of dairy‘, a tip sheet developed by the National Dairy Council with great ideas for adding that extra serving in your family’s diet.  You can also try some Myplate2yours dairy favorites like Chocolate Monkey Smoothies, Barley & Apple Breakfast Bake, and Cheddar Chicken and Potato Packets.  Here’s the new favorite- Potato au Gratin with Sun Dried Tomato- adapted from Cooking Light 2000.  Happy Dairy Month!

Potato au Gratin with Sun Dried Tomato (serves 6)

2 pounds cooked* red or Yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled and cut into slices

2 ounces sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, chop coarsely

1 tablespoon Earth Balance spread or butter

1 medium onion, diced

1/4 teaspoon each- salt and pepper

3 tablespoons flour (easy to make gluten free, just use brown rice flour instead)

2 cups skim milk

1-1/2 cups shredded parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a 8×8 baking dish with cooking spray.  Layer potatoes on bottom of dish.  Set aside.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan.  Add onion and cook until tender (about 3 minutes).  Add sun-dried tomatoes, salt and pepper and cook 3 minutes. Sprinkle flour over pan and while stirring continuously, cook for one minute. Slowly add milk and stir or whisk until blended and mixture thickens.  Remove from heat and add cheese, stir to combine melted cheese.  Pour sauce over potatoes.  Bake uncovered for 20 minutes until golden.  Enjoy!

*To cook potatoes, place in pot with boiling water and cook until tender 20-30 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta Bowl

Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta

I’ve made this dish several times.  Last night, my kids asked me why I haven’t shared it.  I guess it’s because I never had a picture of the finished recipe…so I snapped this photo right in the middle of dinner!

The butternut squash develops a nice sweetness when roasted which complements the fresh spinach and roasted onions.  The parmesan cheese brings all the flavors together.  It’s so YUMMY!  It’s so EASY!  Enjoy!

Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta Bowl (serves 6)

1 pound pasta (I prefer Barilla Plus Rotini pasta for this dish)

1 medium butternut squash (about 2-1/2 pounds, peeled and diced*  (or 2 pounds packaged/pre-diced)

1 medium onion, large diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups fresh baby spinach

2/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper

*A butternut squash can be intimidating to dice.  My method is to divide and conquer!  Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut off the neck of the squash.  Then cut the squash ‘bowl’ in half.  With a large spoon, carve out the seeds and stringy pulp.  With a vegetable peeler, peel the skin off all three sections.  Dice the peeled squash.  I hope you’ll find that dicing a butternut squash is very manageable when the squash is divided into sections.  Another option is to purchase the squash already peeled and diced!  

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Place diced squash, onion, and garlic on a baking sheet.  Toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast high in oven for 30 minutes.

With 15 minutes remaining, prepare pasta according to package directions.  Place 2 cups of spinach in a large pasta bowl.  Add 2/3 pound of hot pasta.  Add roasted vegetables.  Toss with parmesan cheese.  Add more pasta, if desired.  Season with salt and pepper, if needed.  Enjoy!

Asparagus & National Nutrition Month!

National Nutrition Month

March is a month I definitely enjoy. Besides the coming of spring (although, as I am typing, it is snowing outside), there are many things to celebrate:  St. Patrick’s Day, March Madness and National Nutrition Month.  The theme of this year’s National Nutrition Month is ‘Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right’ and that’s just what we do at Myplate2yours!

Spring Asparagus

Today’s recipe celebrates much of what March has to offer.  Broiled Asparagus with Balsamic Vinegar boasts a taste of spring, a terrific nutritional profile (especially rich in fiber, folate, and vitamin K), and it’s even green for St. Patrick’s Day.  From the time you grab the asparagus from your fridge, this dish will be on the table in less than 10 minutes.  Here’s the recipe:

Broiled Asparagus with Balsamic Vinegar

1 bunch asparagus spears, washed and trimmed of woody end (1-2 inches cut from bottom)

Olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Preheat broiler.  Place asparagus spears on a baking sheet.  Lightly spritz with olive oil (or use a pastry brush).  Season with salt and pepper.  Drizzle balsamic vinegar over spears.  Place under broiler (about 4 inches from heating element) for 3-5 minutes (until asparagus turns bright green and some brown spots just begin to appear).  Immediately remove from heat and place spears on a serving plate.  Enjoy!