Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Mediterranean Chicken Salad


If you have been following my blog long enough, you know that I'm all about the quick and easy recipes because ain't nobody got time time consuming recipes. Am I right or am I right? It should come as no surprise that this Mediterranean Chicken Salad is an easy recipe to throw together that is packed with so much flavor. I originally saw this on PaleOMG's Snapchat and I figured I would give it a whirl. I'm so glad I did because now it's a staple in my recipe line up.

The beauty of this recipe is that it's versatile. You can add/take away whatever ingredients that you want, and it will still be a mouf party! This is also a great dish to eat if you are doing low carb or watching what you eat. Whatever your current dietary needs may be, this salad can accommodate it all!

Let's get cooking!

Mediterranean Chicken Salad

Prep Time: 20
Cooking Time: 0
Servings: varies

Ingredients:
  • Shredded chicken (I use a rotisserie chicken)
  • Cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
  • Persian cucumbers, cut into halves
  • 1 jar of sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 jar of marinaded artichoke hearts
  • 1 jar of roasted bell peppers
  • Lemon juice (1/2 lemon) OR red wine vinegar
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil - EVOO
  • Fresh basil
  • Feta cheese (optional)
  • Red onion (optional)
Individual Ingredient Servings:
  • 1/2 cup of shredded chicken
  • 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
  • 1 Persian cucumber, cut into halves
  • 1/8-1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/8-1/4 cup marinaded artichoke hearts
  • 2 tbsp roasted bell peppers
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced OR 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 3-4 basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 oz. crumbled feta cheese (optional)
  • 2 tbsp red onion, chopped (optional)
Method:
  1. Veggie prep: Rinse Persian cucumbers, basil and tomatoes. Cut cucumbers and tomatoes in halves. Thinly slice the basil leaves.
  2. In a serving bowl combine: shredded chicken, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, roasted bell peppers, basil, EVOO, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly to combine the flavors.
  3. Prepare for a mouf party.
The best part of this salad? It's not your average salad. It's hearty and filling for hours. You can also prep several ahead of time and then grab & go during the week for lunches or dinner. Until next time my friends!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Ground Beef Ragout


I don't know about you, but I LOVE having actual books in house. I have a whole book shelf dedicated to my books. I even have a special place in my kitchen for my cook books. Sometimes it's easier to flip through a book than going on the internet and searching for ideas for recipes. I also love seeing the pictures of the recipes. When I was in college my mom got me a cook book called American Heart Association Low-Fat, Low-Cholestrol 3rd Edition which has a recipe called Ground Beef Ragout. The worst thing about this book is there are NO PICTURES. Who in their right mind makes a cook book WITHOUT pictures?! Are you kidding me?! Luckily I have a good imagination and decent picture taking skills and was able to take some pictures to share.

Anyway, why I have a low-fat, low cholesterol book is beyond me. I think I liked the recipes in the book and decided it would be a good idea to get. Or maybe my mom was trying to tell me something when she got it for me. I dunno. But that's besides the point as I have the book and tested various recipes from there that were tasty.

This ragout is a hearty stew that is great for cold winter months or if you are looking to make something quick and easy. I've been known to make this in the dead of summer in Phoenix so it's always a good time to make this. Let's get cooking!

Ground Beef Ragout

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (I use 90/10)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1-2 zucchini, chopped (optional)
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 - 8 oz. can of tomato sauce
  • 1 - 15 oz can of kidney beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 - 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 3/4 cup red wine (can be non-alcoholic if needed)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp red chili pepper flakes (or less depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano (or 1 tbsp fresh oregano)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp chervil (or parsley) 
Method:
  1. Veggie Prep: Chop onions, tomatoes and zucchini.Set aside the onion in a separate container. 
  2. Beans: Drain and rinse the beans. Set aside
  3. Ground beef: Warm a pot over medium high. Once hot enough, add ground beef. Once the beef starts browning, add the chopped onions and minced garlic. Cook until there's no pink.
  4. Once the ground beef has been browned, you will add the red wine, water, tomato sauce and spices. Mix thoroughly. Then add the beans, tomatoes and zucchini. Gently stir one last time before turning the heat down to a simmer. Cover pot and let simmer for 45 minutes.
  5. Serve in a bowl with your favorite glass of red wine or beverage.
  6. Prepare yourself for a mouf party!
I made this recipe on one of my Cooking with Timo episodes last summer. If you really want to be entertained, check out Cooking with Timo on Snapchat. You will not be disappointed. Until next time friends!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Easy Chicken Pesto


Part of my research as a food blogger comes from scouring Pinterest for ideas for recipes. I stumbled upon a blog that has become one of my favorites - Pinch of Yum. It was here where I found the original recipe for this easy chicken pesto post. I tried their Crockpot Quinoa Chicken Primavera recipe and failed miserably. I should've known it was going to be disastrous since it was a crockpot recipe. Me and crockpots don't get along well. Not sure why this is a thing, but I can't seem to make a crockpot recipe work. I'm sure the recipe is fantastic the way that they make it, however, mine turned out mushy which made me sad. The flavor was great but the texture was not. I am huge on textures and I ended up throwing it away because I couldn't handle the texture.

I saw this as a challenge and decided to take matters into my own hands and create my own version. After multiple attempts, I believe that I have mastered what this chicken pesto should taste like. So here's my version of the Quinoa Chicken Primavera that Pinch of Yum originally created. Hope you enjoy my version!

Easy Chicken Pesto

Prep Time: 10
Cook Time: 40
Serving size: 1-1/2 cup
Servings: 6

Ingredients:
  • 1 package of chicken thighs
  • Seasoning for chicken (I like to use Mrs. Dash Herb)
  • 1 jar of pesto (6-8 oz.)
  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 1 tsp. cooking oil
  • 1 cup of shelled edamame (I use frozen)
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish
  • 1 lemon
Method:
  1. Quinoa - Prepare quinoa according to package. You will first want to rinse the quinoa before cooking. I will boil 2 cups of chicken stock in a sauce pan. Once the broth is boiling, add quinoa. Lower heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until all of the liquid has evaporated. Set aside.
  2. Chicken - I will use my George Foreman because it's convenient for me and ridiculously easy. I'm all about the easy way out when cooking. You can use an outdoor grill or the stove top to cook your chicken. Pre-heat your grill/George Foreman/stove. Sprinkle an all purpose chicken seasoning and salt (if needed) liberally on each side of the chicken thighs. If using a George Foreman, place Chicken on grill and set timer for 10 minutes. If using a grill/stove, you can probably get away with 10-12 minutes depending on heat. You want to make sure there is no pink in center of chicken. Dice chicken into bite size pieces.
  3. Asparagus -  Rinse the asparagus and then cut into 4 sections. Heat a saute pan to medium with 1 tsp. of cooking oil. Once the pan is hot enough, add asparagus. Stir the asparagus every few minutes as it's cooking. 8-10 minutes should be plenty of time to soften it just enough that there's still a crunch to it. Set aside.
  4. Edamame - If using frozen edamame, defrost according to instructions.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, combine the quinoa, asparagus, edamame, pesto and chicken. Mix thoroughly. Serve in bowls and top with shredded Parmesan and fresh lemon juice.
  6. Prepare for a mouf party!
Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did. It's a tasty and easy meal to make that is great as leftovers.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Chicken Burrito Bowls


Alright folks. It's been way too long since I posted about anything up in this joint. I apologize profusely. Time flies when you're having fun and living life to the fullest. This post will not be about "New Year, New Me" crap. Yes, it is a new year and I do have new goals, but the real star of this post is Chicken Burrito Bowls. If you have been following me on Instagram or Facebook, you know that I am obsessed with Chipotle. God only knows why, but yes, it's true. It's healthy(ish) and easy for on-the-go meals which basically every meal for me nowadays AND most importantly, tasty. Like mouf party delicious.

Chipotle is pretty reasonably priced too...if you don't go there all the time like I used to. I've tried to become more frugal and started budgeting (before the new year...) with a fantastic app called YNAB (You Need a Budget). More on that later. Anyway, becoming more frugal has caused me to become more creative with food options. I mean I was always creative with food to begin with, but this encouraged it even more. So I wanted to figure out a way to eat more Chipotle but not spend as much money. Enter in the Chicken Burrito Bowls.

To test this recipe out, I had to go to Chipotle to savor the flavors and see what I could pull out of the taste test for this recipe. Once I had a full belly and ideas swarming through my head, it was time to get to cookin'! Not only is this recipe really easy to make, it's also very inexpensive. Two of my favorite things when cooking! 😀 Every time I post a picture of this on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, people are always asking for the recipe so I figured it was about time to get it up on the blog. The key is portion control. So here you go. You're welcome. 😉

Chicken Burrito Bowls

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4-5

Ingredients:
  • 1 package of chicken thighs (or breasts)
  • 1 package of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 can of corn (can be fresh or frozen)
  • 1 can of black beans (I like Trader Joe's Cuban style beans)
  • 1 cup of rice (white or brown - I prefer white rice)
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 jar of your favorite salsa
  • Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle seasoning
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Optional Ingredients:
 Method:
  1. Rice - I usually start the rice first so it's cooking in the background while I'm prepping everything else. For brown rice, follow package instructions. For white rice - bring 2 cups of chicken stock to a boil in a sauce pan. Once liquid comes to a boil, reduce heat to low, add 1 cup of rice and cover with a lid. Set timer for 15 minutes. Once the timer goes off at 15 minutes, remove from heat and let sit for another 10 minutes. DO NOT REMOVE the lid. Just don't.
  2. Chicken - While the rice is cooking, it's time to prep the chicken. I will use my George Foreman because it's convenient for me and ridiculously easy. I'm all about the easy way out when cooking. You can use an outdoor grill or the stove top to cook your chicken. Pre-heat your grill/George Foreman/stove. Sprinkle Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle seasoning and salt liberally on each side of the chicken thighs. If using a George Foreman, place Chicken on grill and set timer for 10 minutes. If using a grill/stove, you can probably get away with 10-12 minutes depending on heat. You want to make sure there is no pink in center of chicken. Salmonella is no bueno. Once chicken is cooked, put on a plate and set aside.
  3. Burrito Bowl fixings - If you are using canned corn, drain and rinse the corn. Set aside. If using flavored black beans, do not drain. If using plain black beans, rinse and drain. Rinse and drain cherry tomatoes. Cut them in half if you so choose. 
  4. Putting the burrito bowls together - This is how I will typically layer my burrito bowls, but feel free to it your way! In a serving bowl, start with 1/2-1 cup cup of cooked rice, add 1 chicken thigh diced, 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes, 1/4 cup black beans, 1/4 cup corn, 1/4 cup salsa, 1/2 an avocado sliced and if I'm feeling up to making it, 2 tbsp of my cilantro salad dressing.
  5. Proceed to mix ingredients and then let the mouf party begin!
Tag me if you make this as I'd love to see you try this recipe out! I'm on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Pinterest under TheHungryLatina. Until next time!