Saturday, July 26, 2014

Zucchini Recipe Round Up

This is my favorite time of year - when the zucchini starts growing out of control in my garden and I try to cook it in as many ways as I can come up with.  Thankfully, I have quite a few recipes using zucchini already posted on the blog so I am sharing them with you here in one post in case you have zucchini in abundance!

Crispy Baked Zucchini Sticks - one of my favorite ways to eat zucchini.  These are a healthy alternative to the pan fried zucchini sticks but still have that crispy outside.


Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bake - casserole style dish that can be customized to your liking, using your favorite herbs and cheese.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread - one of my most popular recipes, featured on Cooking Channel TV's blog!  Makes 3 loaves.

Fried Zucchini Rounds with Aioli Sauce - a great appetizer, snack or side dish to accompany dinner.  Your kids will love zucchini served this way.

Grilled Prosciutto Zucchini Sticks - a grown up way to serve zucchini.  The grilled prosciutto is a wonderful pairing to zucchini.


Cowboy Hash - a one dish dinner featuring zucchini, squash, tomatoes, ground beef and rice.  This dish can be made ahead.

Lemon Sage Marinade and Chicken Zucchini Kabobs - a fresh and flavorful way to enjoy zucchini along side chicken.  


I know there are several more great zucchini recipes out there but I hope you enjoy trying some of my  favorite recipes.  Happy Summer!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Moroccan Chicken with Citrus Carrot and Raisin Slaw

Last night for dinner I made a fabulous grilled Moroccan Chicken with a Carrot & Raisin slaw, dressed with an orange vinaigrette.  We chowed it down, even my 8 year old son.  It was easy to make, full of flavor and GOOD for you!  My friend Bekki told me about this recipe, which comes from Once Upon a Chef.
My camera broke a few months ago so I'm limited with pictures unless I use my phone, which is why I haven't blogged much at all this past year.  This dinner was too good not to share though, so despite the lack of step by step pictures please give it a try and see if you agree.  FYI, this dish is not hot or spicy, so your kiddos will like it too.

Grilled Moroccan Chicken

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon honey
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions:
1. Slice chicken breasts in half, lengthwise, to make thin chicken cutlets.  You can also pound chicken breasts into 1/2 inch thickness.  Place chicken cutlets into a large ziplock bag.
2. Mix the olive oil, garlic and spices together in a small bowl or measuring cup. Pour the marinade over the chicken in the ziplock bag.
3. Place ziplock bag for at least 4 hours, the longer the better.
4. Grill chicken on outside grill, or inside on a grill pan, for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.  Do not overcook the chicken!
5. Serve with Citrus Carrot & Raisin Slaw and enjoy!

Citrus Carrot & Raisin Slaw
recipe adapted from Once Upon a Chef

Ingredients:
1 bag (10 oz) shredded carrots
1/3 cup raisins (or cranberries)
3 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/3 cup toasted walnuts (optional)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
zest of one orange
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice, from one orange
1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar (can use apple cider vinegar instead)
1-2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:
1. In a large bowl, mix shredded carrots, raisins, scallions and parsley (and walnuts, if using).
2. Mix the remaining ingredients together in a small jar and shake until well combined.
3. Pour over the carrot slaw and let the flavors meld together for 15 to 30 minutes before serving for best flavor.

    Wednesday, November 13, 2013

    Oven Baked Chicken Fajitas

    Oven Baked Chicken Fajitas are one of my new go to dinners when I need something easy, fast and healthy.
     
    I love that it is a one pan dinner and that you can prep everything that morning and then just throw it in the pan and cook it that night.  Everyone in my family enjoys this meal too, which isn't always the case.  I did make a couple changes from the original recipe found here since the canned Rotel tomatoes they called for make the dish too soupy and too spicy for my kids.
    Oven Baked Chicken Fajitas
    recipe adapted slightly from Real Mom Kitchen
    Ingredients:
    1 1/2 to 2 pounds boneless, skinless all natural chicken
    2 bell peppers, any color
    1/2 - 1 medium sweet yellow onion
    1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
    2-3 Tbsp olive oil
    1 Tbsp taco or chili seasoning (I used homemade - click here for recipe)
    Optional toppings: tortillas, shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado
     
    Directions:
    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
    Slice your chicken into thin strips and place in a large glass pan.
    Drizzle a couple tablespoons of olive oil over the chicken.
    Sprinkle your taco or chili seasoning over the chicken.
    Use a pair of tongs to coat the chicken strips completely with the olive oil and seasoning.
    Add your sliced peppers, onions and tomatoes to the pan.
    Mix well, using the oil in the pan to help coat the veggies.
    Cook for 30 to 35 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and veggies are tender.
    Serve with desired toppings - I like cheese.
    My kids liked these in tortillas, which I warmed slightly over a open flame on my gas stove.
     
    Enjoy!

    Friday, August 30, 2013

    Greek Chicken Salad

    I love eating salads in the summatime when all the cukes and tomatoes are ripe for the pickin' in my garden.  But we had flooding in our side yard this summer and I lost my sweet little garden.  It was sad, but I was so grateful the damage was minimal to our yard and basement.  It could have been worse.
    This salad is a great to make anytime of year because you use English cucumbers (the ones that you don't have to peel) and little grape tomatoes which are always available.
    This grilled chicken salad was inspired and the recipe adapted from Our Best Bites.  They did a pasta Greek salad but I wanted to make it more clean, so I switched it up a bit.  Our Best Bites has great salad dressing recipes, and this Greek dressing is delish.  It is white and creamy from the feta and coats the chicken and veggies well.
    Greek Chicken Salad
    recipe adapted from Our Best Bites
     
    Ingredients:
    1 lb chicken breasts, cut into thinner cutlets
    1/2 lemon
    grill seasoning
    1 English cucumber, with a couple strips peeled for show, and sliced down the middle and the seeds scooped out
    1 cup grape tomatoes
    1 cup of quartered artichoke hearts (I buy the cans of hearts in water, but you can use the marinated ones or frozen ones if you want)
    1/4 - 1/3 cup feta cheese, cut into chunks
    1/2 cup Kalamata olives
    1/4 red onion, very thinly sliced
    Dressing:
    1/4 cup feta cheese
    juice of 1/2 lemon
    1/4 cup white wine vinegar
    1/2 cup light olive oil (or canola oil)
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp pepper
    1/4 tsp dried oregano
    1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
     
    Directions:
    Slice your chicken in half, making thinner cutlets.  Season with lemon juice and sprinkle with grill seasoning. 
    Grill on outdoor grill, or inside on a grill pan, until cooked through.  While the chicken is cooking, mix together all the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
    Make your dressing by mixing your dressing ingredients together in a mini food processor or blender.
    I have a ninja pulse blender that I love.  It has single size serving cups that you can blend right in - perfect for making salad dressings.
    Pour the dressing over the salad, making sure to fully coat everything.  You may not need the entire amount.
    Once your chicken is cooked, place on a cutting board to cool slightly.
    Slice the chicken into thin strips, and then add to the salad.
    The dressing really pumps up the flavor value in this dish.  Doesn't that look great?  My husband and I loved it.
    This salad was a great summer dinner, but really you can make it anytime of year with all these ingredients available year round.
    Enjoy!

    Monday, August 26, 2013

    Cherry Chicken Salad

    I really love cherries.  Fresh juicy ripe cherries.  They are still in season and a tasty snack, but they are divine in this chicken salad.  The perfect complement to the nutty walnut and the crunchy celery.  You can make this chicken salad with leftover chicken from dinner the night before, or you can purchase a rotisserie chicken for the sole purpose of making this delicious chicken salad.  I've done both and its perfect either way.
     
    Cherry & Walnut Chicken Salad
    Ingredients:
    2 cups shredded cooked chicken
    1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and cut into halves or quarters
    2 stalks celery, chopped into small pieces
    1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
    fresh herbs - chives or parsley work well
    1/4 cup mayonnaise
    juice of 1/2 lemon
    salt, pepper
     
    Directions:
    Shred your chicken and place in a large bowl.
    Slice your celery stalks into small little moons.  The celery adds a nice fresh crunch to the salad.  Add it the bowl.
    Chop your walnuts.  I like to leave some pieces bigger.  Add the nuts to your bowl.
    Wash your cherries and remove the stems.  Now cut the cherries in half using a little paring knife and remove the pit.  This can be kind of messy.  If you would rather, you can do it the lazy way and just cut on both sides of the pit and discard the middle.
    You can cut your cherries into smaller pieces or leave them in halves.  Add 'em to the bowl.
    I've made this with both parsley and chives, or just one or the other.  You really need the color and freshness from the herbs in this salad.  I like the mild onion taste of the chives and they are growing in my herb garden so that is what I used today.  I also like to add a little citrus to brighten the flavors.  The juice of half a lemon is perfect.  Add these to the bowl with everything else.
    This salad is an art, is it not?
    Add the mayo and salt and pepper and mix everything together.  You can feel free to use plain Greek yogurt in place of the mayo if you want.  This makes about 4 generous servings, so the mayo works out to be about 1 tablespoon per serving.
    Serve on your favorite sandwich bread or roll.  My hubby had his on pumpernickel bread.
    Yum.
    I enjoyed mine sans bread and it was so good. This is the type of fancy chicken salad you savor each bite you take.  I always make plenty because it stays good for a couple days in the fridge.  The cherries add a great burst of flavor that I can't get enough of.  I am going to be sad when cherry season is over!  I am thinking this might taste good with dried cherries in the off-season.
    This would be a great salad to entertain with too on little crescent rolls.
    Enjoy!

    Friday, August 16, 2013

    Chicken Saltimbocca

    I am frequent visitor at our local library.  Usually, I have a list of books on my to read list and I stick to that list, but occasionally a new release on display will catch my eye, as was the case with this cookbook, "Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner?"
    I love my Italian food loving family that gathers round my mom's dining room table each Sunday so this book was right up my alley.  It seriously doesn't feel like a Sunday if we aren't eating a big midday meal at my parent's house.  My siblings and their spouses and kids all come and it is a good loud time with good food.  Today's recipe comes from this book.  It is listed in the cookbook as Veal Saltimbocca, but I prefer chicken. Feel free to choose your preference. 
    It is a perfect summer meal for me since I have a huge sage plant growing in my herb garden.

    Chicken or Veal Saltimbocca
    recipe from Lisa Caponigri

    Ingredients:
    4 boneless chicken breast halves, cut into cutlets - giving you about 8 pieces total
    8 pieces of prosciutto
    8 sage leaves
    4 tbsp butter
    1/2 cup all purpose flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
    1/2 to 3/4 cup of white wine or chicken broth

    Directions:
    Prepare the chicken.
    Cut your chicken breasts into thinner pieces by using the method shown in this post.
    Place each piece of chicken in a big ziplock bag (or between two wax paper).
    And pound it lightly.
    This makes the piece thinner and easier to roll, as well as tenderizing the meat.
    Set up your pounded chicken pieces on a cutting board, assembly style.
    Place one slice of prosciutto on each chicken cutlet.
    Add a sage leaf in the center
    And roll it up, jelly roll style.
    Secure the roll with a toothpick.
    Perfect.
    Now melt the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.
    In a bowl, salt and pepper about a cup of all purpose flour.  Coat each rolled chicken piece in the flour.
    Brown lightly on all sides, until chicken is cooked through.
    Remove the chicken from the pan once cooked and place on a brown bag or paper towels.
    In the skillet, add your wine or broth to the hot pan. Use a spatula to scrape up all the little bits on the bottom of the pan. This is where all the flavor is!   And now you have a delicious sauce to serve over your saltimbocca.
    Plate your saltimbocca, removing the toothpicks if you would like.
    Pour the pan sauce over the saltimbocca.
    Serve while hot!
    See that lovely spiral of prosciutto, chicken and sage?  It was a delicious Sunday dinner meal (but we actually ate it on a Monday, don't tell).  I loved the ease of preparing, and the pretty presentation. You can also make the chicken roll ups (don't roll them in flour though) earlier in the day and leave covered in the fridge until you are ready to cook them.

    Did you know that Saltimbocca means "jumps in mouth?"  This tasty dish certainly will! 

    Happy Eating!

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