Tag Archives: peppers

Chicken Bites with Tomato Mint Salsa

I was in Atlanta last week for work and every time I travel, I look forward to getting home and cooking. I know several people who just don’t understand that but it’s something that puts me at ease. Also, after eating restaurant food for five days, I just want to eat something that I cooked. Anyone else like that? So, of course, I decided to make chicken. You know, something (not so) new and different. Boring chicken these Chicken Bites with Tomato Mint Salsa aren’t. I’m wowed.

Tomatoes, onion, and jalapeño are broiled in the oven giving them a deep rich, sweetness and then whirled together with chipotles in adobo sauce, cumin and fresh mint and cilantro. The chicken is seasoned with cilantro and cumin giving it a warm, comforting flavor that mixes so well with the bold salsa. This salsa though…my gosh. Even if you don’t want to make the chicken, make this salsa. It’s bold, it’s vivid, and it’s alive. It makes the salsa from my hotel happy hour last week look like sad, pathetic, lame, boring nothingness.

DSC05225

Preheat broiler with a rack set about 4 in. from heat. Set tomatoes, onion, and jalapeño on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Broil, turning as needed, until blackened, 15 to 25 minutes; as done, transfer to a bowl and let cool.

DSC05212

Peel, stem, and seed chile. In a food processor, pulse vegetables (including blackened parts from tomatoes and onion) and their juices until chopped. Add remaining salsa ingredients and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl.

DSC05217

DSC05218

Cut chicken into 1- to 1 1/2-in. chunks. In a bowl, combine 2 tbsp. oil, the cumin, salt, chopped cilantro, and chicken.

DSC05214

Heat a 12-in. frying pan (not nonstick) over high heat. Add remaining 1 tbsp. oil; swirl to coat. Cook chicken, stirring and turning once, until lightly browned but still moist, 5 minutes.

DSC05216

Stir cilantro leaves into chicken; transfer with a slotted spoon to a platter. Serve with salsa and skewers.

DSC05227

Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Sunset magazine

Advertisements

Asparagus with Red Pepper and Manchego

I might as well chalk my diet up to a lost cause this week. I only have two more days at my current job and I can’t help but take advantage of my favorite Philadelphia eats (like the obsessive chicken over rice from the Halal food truck on the corner, the peanut butter cup popcorn at Go Popcorn, and the chicken tinga tacos at El Vez) while I still work downtown. Since I’ll be moving to Atlanta, I’m trying to get this great food in while I still can (luckily Go Popcorn ships nationwide!). While my taste buds are in heaven, my belly is feeling like a fat puffy gray cloud. Since I honestly can’t remember the last time I had a bite of anything green, it’s time to make some veggies. Both asparagus and red peppers were on sale at the grocery store this past weekend so this Asparagus with Red Pepper and Manchego seemed like the perfect recipe to make in between my not-so-healthy meals.

Asparagus is cooked with red pepper slices, smoked paprika, salt and pepper before being topped with thin shavings of buttery Manchego cheese. Amazing! The asparagus is perfectly crisp, the red pepper is slightly sweet and the smoked paprika is a smoky little cherry on top. Smoked paprika is my favorite thing in my kitchen but I’d never considered using it to jazz up some vegetables. I knew I would like this recipe because what’s not to like but I seriously didn’t expect to inhale it the way I did. This doesn’t feel like a side dish but a healthy little meal in itself. It may not be Halal’s chicken over rice but I think it’s a new obsession.

dsc92

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add canola oil; swirl to coat. Add asparagus; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

dsc90

Add bell pepper, paprika, black pepper, and salt; cook 2 minutes.

dsc91

Top with Manchego cheese.

dsc94

Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Stuffed Baby Bell Peppers

I’m in a fruit and veggies state of mind (sorry I just saw Billy Joel in concert over the weekend). I used to be diligent about going to the local produce stand (which isn’t all that close to me) each weekend and stocking up on fresh fruits and veggies. Up until this past weekend, I don’t think I’ve been there all year. Pathetic. And then when I go to my sad grocery store, I complain each and every time because the produce section is inevitably out of something I specifically went there to get and I wonder why I didn’t go the extra few miles to the produce stand. The peppers in these Stuffed Baby Bell Peppers were one such missing item from my grocery store after having seen bags of them for weeks. Then poof! They were gone.  Along with the purple cauliflower and the bags of cherries the store had advertised as being a special price in their circular. But I had my heart set on making these little snacks so I hopped in Zelda (my car) and drove to another grocery store farther away which I knew had a better produce department. The store stinks (literally, P.U.) …but the produce is good. And I walked away, satisfied, with a huge bag of these baby bells.

Baby bell peppers are blistered in a skillet before being halved and stuffed with a mixture of cooked ground meat (I used turkey but the recipe calls for pork), poblano pepper, onion, garlic, spices, fresh cilantro and Muenster cheese. After a quick trip to the oven, the cheese melts and these guys are ready to go. Sure, stuffing the peppers is the most time consuming part but when it’s all said and done, these peppers are the perfect one or two bites. The poblano gives a subtle kick and the ancho and chile powders add a punch of flavor. Make these as an appetizer or as a unique little lunch. People will walk by and wonder what colorful lunch you are having.

If you like these, definitely try Sausage-and-Feta Cheese-Stuffed Peppers.

DSC05164

Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the baby bell peppers in a single layer and cook, turning, until the skins blister and start browning, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

DSC05160

Add the onion, poblano, garlic, cumin, oregano, ancho and chipotle chile powders and 1 teaspoon salt to the skillet. Cook, stirring, until the onion and poblano are tender, about 8 minutes. Increase the heat to medium high and add the turkey. Cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink and thoroughly cooked. Remove from the heat; let cool.

DSC05161

DSC05162

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Make a slit in each baby bell pepper with a paring knife, cutting from stem to tip. Crumble the meat mixture into small bits, then stir in the cilantro and cheese. Stuff 2 to 3 teaspoons of the meat mixture into each pepper using your fingers or a small spoon; transfer to a baking sheet.

DSC05163

Bake until the peppers are hot and the cheese melts, about 10 minutes. Season with salt.

DSC05165

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Ground turkey

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Food Network magazine

Sloppy Turkey and Chili Joes

I had a nice long 4-day weekend this weekend and I didn’t do much but read, relax and sleep. No, I wasn’t at the beach, or the lake, or the park, or the pool. I was home. I found myself going to Target two or three times just because I was bored and wanted someone to talk to. See, here in the Philadelphia area, people disappear in the summer. People either have a shore house or know someone who does. Or people go on their summer vacation, something I’ve been used to since growing up in Illinois (my birthday is in July and friends were always on vacation). Going into the weekend, I took a deep breath and resigned myself to the fact that I’d be riding solo all weekend. My only plans were to read and eat a turkey burger. Done and done. But once that was accomplished, I got bored again. So I started cooking these Sloppy Turkey and Chili Joes.

Ground turkey is cooked with onion and poblano pepper (one of my faves) until meat is browned and veggies are softened. Next, canned tomato sauce, a little brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, and garlic powder are added and brought to a simmer. This is such a quick and simple sloppy joe recipe that I honestly think this is my new go-to. It doesn’t require a slow-cooker or an electric skillet (what my mom used make her sloppy joes in) or a bunch of ingredients. The poblano pepper gives it a subtle bit of heat without it being too much (you can use green pepper here if you prefer) and the brown sugar gives it a mild sweetness that I like from my sloppy joes. These are messy, just the way you want them to be, so keep a lot of napkins on hand. I liked this so much that I might make another batch and eat it on some baby spinach or roasted veggies. It’s just as good when eaten with a fork.

If you like this, also check out Sweet Chili Rolls.

DSC05142

In a large nonstick skillet cook ground turkey, onion, and poblano pepper until turkey is no longer pink, stirring to break up turkey as it cooks.

DSC05139

Stir in tomato sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, and garlic powder. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

DSC05140

Place bun bottoms on serving plates; add cheese slices. Top each with turkey mixture. If desired, top with basil leaves. Add bun tops.

DSC05141

Additions:  None

Omissions:

  • Monterey Jack cheese

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Better Homes & Gardens magazine

Sweet BBQ Chicken Salad

Happy May Day! Summer will be here before we know it so if you find yourself craving a salad, isn’t it good to embrace it? Craving salad doesn’t happen to me often but when it does, I appreciate salad so much.  I was in Tampa visiting friends last weekend and even though we didn’t go crazy with what we ate, we did manage to eat lots of Bombay chicken salad, crackers and cheese.  Oh and wine.  Lots and lots of wine.  Since I’ve been pretty much depriving my body of the food I’ve been craving lately, why not give in to the craving for a salad? This Sweet BBQ Chicken Salad satisfied my craving for salad without being too salad-y or too bad for me (like most salads are these days).

Bright green leaf lettuce, fruit, red peppers, and rotisserie chicken are tossed together for a bright dish.  A dressing made of bottled barbecue sauce, fresh orange juice, tangy mustard and red wine vinegar is drizzled to taste, making this the lightest and freshest barbecue chicken salad I’ve ever had.  My grocery store isn’t carrying peaches or nectarines just yet so I used a crisp Macintosh apple instead (use any fruit you like).  A little dusting of reduced-fat cheddar cheese tops the whole salad but you could leave it off (or load it on) if you like. The barbecue isn’t too sweet, despite the title of the recipe, and a little goes a long way. The combination of the sauce, chicken and fresh fruit and vegetables provides everything I like in a salad so I was happy this made a lot.  I ate it for days.

DSC05055

In large bowl, whisk together barbecue sauce, orange juice, mustard, vinegar, salt, and black pepper.

DSC05052

To same bowl, add lettuce, chicken, nectarines, and red pepper, tossing to coat and divide among 4 serving plates. Or, layer ingredients onto plates and drizzle with barbecue sauce mixture.

DSC05053

Sprinkle with cheddar.

DSC05054

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Apple for nectarine

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Good Housekeeping magazine

Roast Chicken with Balsamic Bell Peppers

I have a confession to make.  My heart hasn’t really been into my blog lately.  You may have noticed by my lack of posts (or maybe not since I’m very sporadic with my posts anyway). I still love to find new recipes, love to make them and even more, love to eat them but I really feel way out on left field when I look at other food blogs. I don’t understand how people have so much time to dedicate to their blog (I have a full-time office job) or how they are able to make so much unhealthy food without gaining weight (I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life).  It gets frustrating and it’s hard to stay motivated.  But I try to remember that I started this blog not for any other reason than because I like to cook and because I have tons of recipes to make.  So, my kind readers, I’m sorry if I don’t post everyday like I did when I started this blog in 2011.  But it’s too much for me to cook so much food and is another reason why I’m on a serious diet right now.  It stinks but this is real life.  So, shocker, today I bring you even more chicken and vegetables with this recipe for Roast Chicken with Balsamic Bell Peppers.

Chicken is coated with a tasty mixture of salt, fennel seeds, pepper, garlic powder, and dried oregano before being roasted in the oven until tender and juicy.  Meanwhile, a mixture of multi-colored peppers, shallots and fresh rosemary are simmered in some broth and hit with a tangy shot of balsamic vinegar. I love chicken and especially love chicken when it’s baked with herbs (dried or fresh) so the fennel seed, garlic powder and oregano really provide a serious bolt of flavor.  I’ve become slightly obsessed with fennel seed as of late and also have developed a little obsession with peppers so this dish is perfect for me.  I didn’t eat peppers or fennel seeds as a kid so the idea of this dish would have caused me to frown and pout if it would have been put in front of me.  Now, it’s exactly what I look forward too.  Diet and all.

DSC04775

Preheat oven to 450°F.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Combine 1/2 teaspoon salt, fennel seeds, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, garlic powder, and oregano. Brush chicken with 1 1/2 teaspoons oil; sprinkle spice rub over chicken.

DSC04765

Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes or until browned. Turn chicken over; cook 1 minute.

DSC04766

Arrange chicken in an 11 x 7–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450°F for 10 minutes or until done.  Heat remaining olive oil over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers, shallots, and rosemary; sauté 3 minutes.

DSC04767

Stir in broth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high. Stir in vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

DSC04768

Serve bell pepper mixture over chicken.

DSC04774

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light magazine

Slow-Cooker Chicken with Cashews

I had a long and amazing weekend in Mississippi for a wedding and my diet was out the window.  I’m not easily tempted by southern food because most of it can be fried and I really try not to eat fried food (with the exception of French fries of course, which would be one food I would want on a deserted island).  So considering nearly every meal outside of the wedding was eaten in a restaurant or delivered from a pizza place, I have to get back on track.  And that means chicken and vegetables like usual.  This Slow-Cooker Chicken with Cashews is an easy way to get both while I rest and recover from a crazy weekend.

Chunks of boneless, skinless chicken breast and baby carrots cook for a little over three hours on high in a slow-cooker with soy sauce and chicken broth until soft and tender.  Red pepper and pineapple tidbits are added with a little more soy sauce, pineapple juice and cornstarch and cook another twenty minutes until warm.  Cashews are added for the last ten minutes of cooking while the sauce thickens.  My chicken was fork tender and fell apart (in a good way) while cooking and the veggies were all fresh and crisp.  I’m not the biggest lover (at all) of cooked carrots but I really loved the color they added to this dish.  I didn’t eat this with rice and just enjoyed the chicken and veggies by themselves which was a fantastic, hearty dish.  Thank goodness for the slow-cooker because I still need more horizontal time while I recover from Mississippi.

DSC04903

Stir together chicken, carrots, broth and 2 tablespoons soy sauce in slow cooker bowl. Cover and cook for 3 hours on HIGH or 5 hours on LOW.

DSC04888

Remove cover and stir in snow peas, pineapple and red pepper and cook an additional 20 minutes.

DSC04902

In small bowl, stir together remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons pineapple juice and cornstarch. Stir into liquid in slow cooker bowl. Stir in cashews and cook an additional 10 minutes or until liquid has thickened. Serve over rice, if desired.

DSC04904

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Family Circle magazine

%d bloggers like this: