Easy Peasy Turkey Meatballs

Sometimes you are just not really sure what to make for dinner. I had a pound of ground turkey at home. What to do with it was the question. Felt like meatballs and spaghetti kind of night, but I didn’t feel like frying or turning the oven on. I decided to just make it super easy on myself, and make my sauce which is so easy and already on my website (weeknight red sauce).  I made the sauce, made the turkey meatballs, and put the turkey meatballs raw into the sauce. The finished product was amazing. In under an hour, the turkey meatballs were done, moist, and cheesy. The cheese sort of oozed out into the sauce a bit which was just perfect. This only required one pot, and I actually used dry bread crumbs. For my real deal meatballs I make my own breadcrumbs, but tonite I just wanted easy. Easy won out! Try it. Also, I didn’t have whole milk but I had heavy cream; so I used that and it was divine.

* and just a little note about sauce if you’re not into making your own sauce try Raos marinara or arrabbiata they’re both delicious and will work out perfectly — my Weeknight Red Sauce is an easy recipe which you might want to try as well –totally up to you –no judgements here.

Ingredients:

1 pound ground turkey (dark meat is best, just try not to use the superlean)

1/4 cup plain, dried bread crumbs

2 tablespoons heavy cream or whole milk

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

3/4 cup Romano or any Parmesan cheese, grated

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix bread crumbs and milk until well combined. Mix in beaten eggs and 1/2 cup cheese and mix well. Add turkey and gently combine (be careful not to over mix the meat). Season with salt and pepper. Shape into golf sized balls. When sauce is bubbling , drop each ball in, don’t futz with them, just leave them for about 20 minutes, lower heat to a simmer. I did cover them but not necessary. After 20 minutes you can gently nudge them and move them around, to make sure they are cooked. Some of the cheese seeps through to the sauce adding to the flavor and thickness of the sauce. These were really really good. Boiled up some pasta and there was dinner, with plenty of meatballs left over for at least another dinner. Joel will be on his own for a few days, so he’ll be able to defrost and reheat on his own!

Pasta e Fagioli ( Pasta and Bean Soup) Weekend Cooking

019I have been making this soup forever and it’s a most perfect soup to make during the weekend when you have a little time to cook and gather ingredients. I make a big pot and freeze some for later and keep some in the fridge for lunch the next day. This is really just a tomato base soup with beans and pasta. How bad can that be? unless you hate beans and pasta that is. I usually have ingredients in the pantry and it is a wonderful warm experience, with a nice salad this is a perfect meal. I used to only make this with dry beans but in the name of time and taste I used canned beans and have now always made this with canned.  I must admit this makes it a whole lot easier  and honestly no one knows the difference! It is a wonderful hearty soup halfway between a soup and a pasta no matter how you do the beans!

Enjoy this amazingly delicious comforting soup and did I mention super easy????

Ingredients:

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 28 oz. can chopped tomatoes ( San Marzano)

10 – 12 fresh basil leaves

red pepper flakes

handful of italian parsley, chopped

2 cans rinsed and drained Cannellini Beans

5 cups water or chicken broth or vegetable broth to keep it vegetarian — water works just fine but you’ll have to check your salt and pepper if using broth especially boxed broth which contains salt. Your call– super easy recipe.

app. 1 cup pasta, elbows, tubetti, ditalini, or broken spaghetti

Kosher Salt — to taste

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Directions:

In a large , heavy stockpot ( Le Creuset) saute onion in olive oil. When onion is golden and transparent, add garlic. Cook for a few more minutes. Add tomatoes and herbs. Add some kosher salt about 1/2 Tablespoon and some grinds of the pepper mill now and you’ll be tasting all along for salt and pepper

Add the beans and the 5 cups of water  and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes – until the beans begin to break down and the soup begins to thicken. Lower heat to a slow simmer, as low as you can.  Stir frequently to prevent it from sticking and burning bottom of the pot. Taste for salt and pepper again.  I always like it to simmer for a long time, an hour would probably do it, but if I have the time I let it sit for as long as I can.  Sometimes after it’s been simmering for a while ,  I turn off the heat and right before serving just bring to a boil and add pasta. Just be careful not to let it burn, stir frequently . If you need more liquid add water a little at a time, I showed a picture of my pot filler which is the greatest thing to have in a kitchen, makes it super easy to fill a pot.

Right before you’re ready to serve bring to a low boil and add the pasta and cook until pasta is al dente, about 5 – 10 minutes depending on type of pasta you’re using. I used ditalini.

Serve immediately in large soup bowls.

Guests can drizzle some good olive oil and grate some Parmesan Cheese over.  Should serve 8 – 10 depending on appetites. I froze remainder for another time.

Apple Pear Crisp

It’s Fall and this is the most perfect dessert while apples and pears are abundant . Baked with brown sugar and oat topping served warm with vanilla ice cream and it’s perfection on a plate. This is what I did and it really is pretty easy and not very technical for those of you who want to bake a great dessert but don’t want to fuss with cakes and frosting etc. and special equipment. Most perfect!!! Can be made ahead of time and even frozen .

Can easily be cut in 1/2 for a much smaller gathering. You can even put into small ramekins and bake like that for individual servings.

Delicious Dessert.

Ingredients:

Fruit Mixture:

3 ripe firm pears peeled, cored and thinly sliced

3 apples peeled, cored and thinly sliced

3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 Tablespoons flour

3/4 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Topping:

1 cup old fashioned rolled oats

2/3 cup all purpose flour

2/3 cup light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

*Vanilla ice cream for serving — obviously optional but in our house it’s a must

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. I spray a 9 – 10 inch deep dish pyrex type of dish or any baking dish you like — set aside

In a large bowl combine pears, apples, orange juice, sugar , flour , cinnamon and vanilla — All the fruit mixture ingredients

Dump all the ingredients into your prepared baking dish.

Make the topping in a separate bowl . Combine oats, flour, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Add in the melted butter and stir until combined, using your clean fingers crumble the mixture over the fruit. You’ll want to press some of it together to form clumps.

Bake for 45-60 minutes until topping is golden brown, and fruit is tender and it is bubbling all around the edges.

Serve warm with ice cream.

*I put into oven when we sat down to dinner and let it cook so it was ready for dessert. Let it sit for awhile to set.

You can also make ahead and then just re-heat for 45 minutes to an hour . I cover with aluminum when re-heating.

Enjoy!!

Bucatini al’Amatriciana

Amatrice is a small town in Italy outside of Rome and this dish is named for it. This dish is intended to be made with guanciale , which is a pig jowl and it tastes like a porkier version of bacon or pancetta. I use pancetta, which now comes pre-diced in packages making for a very easy time. I also keep packages of the diced pancetta in my freezer, they defrost very quickly which makes them a perfect dinner ingredient.  I also use bucatini pasta which is thick and ropey with a hole like a straw. I wouldn’t wear white while eating this it’s a messy one. Super easy and delicious. I made it tonite with my marinated flank steak. I also used 2 containers of grape tomatoes, but you can easily substitute with 1 large  can of San Marzano tomatoes ( crushed )The cherry/grape tomatoes give it a lighter sauce, and I prefer it especially in the summer months.

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons olive oil

4 – 6 oz. diced pancetta ( or 1/4 lb. glacial)

1/2 yellow onion chopped finely

2 garlic cloves , minced

2 containers of tomatoes halved ( I used grape tomatoes , I love them ) or 1 large can crushed tomatoes 28 oz. size

*1 teaspoon red pepper flakes ( we like spicy) use your own discretion , can always add at the table

1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste

Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese, or any kind of Parmesan Cheese

1 lb. bucatini ( you can obviously use 1/2 pound and save any leftover sauce to freeze for another time) any thick spaghetti will do but I love this one in this recipe. Perciatelli is another good choice. Of course feel free to sub any pasta .

Directions:

In a large heavy skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring constantly. I like my pancetta crispy, but just get it golden brown, about 5 – 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon remove pancetta into a separate bowl. Add onions to olive oil till translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes , I do this off the heat. I then add all the tomatoes, some kosher salt ( to taste) and some black pepper and add back in the pancetta. I also add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook the tomatoes till they start to break down and form a sauce. Taste for salt and pepper. Simmer uncovered for at least 45 minutes , up to an hour for perfect sauce.

Cook Pasta according to package directions, tender but still firm to the bite. Before draining pasta take out about 1 cup of pasta water and set aside. Drain the pasta and place in a large serving bowl, I add a little of the pasta water and then I add the sauce. Toss gently and serve. I served with Parmesan Cheese .

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner-Mustard and Balsamic

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Chicken in Marinade for 1/2 hour

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Chicken finished cooking


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plated chicken


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Lemon and chopped Rosemary

IMG_7545 I made this for dinner the other night and I have to say it was very delicious. I used boneless skinless chicken thighs, of course you can use any cut of chicken you’d like.  All I needed was the chicken and the fresh rosemary.  I had all the other ingredients on hand. You will need to marinate for about 1/2 hour and cooking time is about an hour, no need to marinate over night which is part of what I loved about this recipe.  Balsamic Vinegar and Dijon Mustard and a few other easily obtainable ingredients make this a no fuss recipe.  This recipe is for 8 boneless skinless thighs but feel free to double it up, I used about 10 thighs . It would be perfect on the grill as well. I used my oven and I have to say we both loved this recipe.

The chicken would also be wonderful on day 2 as a leftover in a salad!

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

8 boneless chicken thighs or 1 package of thighs about 1 – 1 1/2 lbs. you can double recipe but you probably don’t need to double olive oil — maybe 3/4 cup for double but double down on everything else if you’re doubling

1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard ( make it heaping)

1/4 cup of Balsamic Vinegar

1/4  cup of Olive Oil 

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice ( I average lemon)

2 Tbsp. Fresh Rosemary chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

app.  1/4 tsp. of kosher salt, I just sprinkled lightly over the chicken and about 6 grinds on the pepper mill. If you’re doubling recipe you will obviously need more salt and pepper

Directions:

In a bowl, combine the mustard, vinegar, garlic, rosemary and lemon juice. Slowly add in the olive oil with the mixture while you whisk–to emulsify.

Place the chicken in a container or Pyrex  (don’t use metal). I sprinkled about 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt over the chicken tops.  Pour the marinade over the chicken and mix around so chicken gets a good covering on all sides.  I left it out for 1/2 hour and let it marinate, you can refrigerate it.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Transfer the chicken to a sprayed ( cooking spray ) baking dish and empty any remaining sauce on top of it.

Place in the oven and bake for 50 minutes  or until the chicken is cooked through. It got a nice crust without drying out the chicken after one hour. If you’d like for maybe 2 minutes you can put under the broiler but watch it carefully so it doesn’t char too much, I do this sometimes if it doesn’t have a nice crust from baking it.  Depending on your oven and the size of your chicken 1 hour should do it. If you’re working with breasts you’ll have to cut into chicken after 50 minutes to check for doneness depending on the size of your breasts. Haven’t tried it on the grill yet but I can’t imagine this would be anything but delicious, just don’t burn it up!!!!!

Once cooked I spooned a little cooked marinade over the chicken and rice! and served with burnt brussels this time out or any vegetable will do.

Yummy!

Bolognese Sauce — Turkey or Beef

I must say Pasta is probably my most favorite food to eat. Bolognese sauce is one of my most favorites and this is my easy version.  There are different variations of this recipe that I use. One is with beef and pork sausage, another is dark meat turkey with turkey or chicken sausage. I do use dark meat turkey because I think it is much more flavorful, it is ideal but if you really don’t want to use the dark meat use 1/2 white and 1/2 dark or all white meat it’s up to you . The only negative to this sauce is that it really needs 3- 4 hours for the sauce to cook down and if you want to shorten the simmer use crushed tomatoes and probably 2 hours would be fine. The longer the sauce cooks the more flavorful it will be.  This sauce would probably serve 4 nicely with 1 lb. of pasta. You can easily double it and freeze the leftover sauce. So nice to have it in the freezer and just have to make the pasta and you have a wonderful homemade meal. I have now started serving the sauce over shredded zucchini as well.  It is so delicious and you may feel a little bit better eating it over zucchini or spaghetti squash than noodles.  Pasta or Vegetable it’s pretty awesome. Look on my blog for Zucchini  Bolognese.  And  it  freezes  beautifully.

Ingredients:

6 Tablespoons Olive Oil, plus more if necessary

1- 1 1/2 lbs. Italian style Turkey or Chicken Sausage, removed from casings. You can also mix in hot or sweet Italian pork sausage if you don’t mind using the pork. I think the pork has the best flavor — just saying

1 1/2 pounds ground Turkey ( I used dark meat ) or 1 lb. ground beef — I don’t love to cook with the lean version because it’s very dry so if using any ground meat use 85/15 at least.

Kosher Salt

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

2 medium yellow onions, peeled and finely diced ( app. 2 cups)

3 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced

2 28 oz. cans whole peeled tomatoes with their juice or you can used diced tomatoes which break down much quicker but you’ll definitely be adding liquid to that. Just keep an eye on it. If you’re in a real hurry and don’t have time for a 4 hour simmer use 2 cans of crushed tomatoes.

1/3 cup tomato paste

1 box. Rigatoni ( or any other macaroni you like ) or spaghetti or if you like use *shredded zucchini or *spaghetti squash

Grated Parmesan Cheese for serving

Directions:

Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large heavy pan over medium high heat. ( I use my Le Creuset ) Add the sausage meat and break it up as it cooks, turning now and then, until browned all over, about 10 minutes. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon to a bowl and set aside, add the ground turkey to the pan along with a good pinch of salt and a few fresh grind of pepper. Cook the meat stirring here and there, for 10 minutes as well, till meat is nicely browned. I remove and put in bowl with the sausage which was set aside. Add another 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and add the onions and garlic. Cook until onion breaks down and gets soft, another good 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juice along with 1/2 cup of water. ( You may need more water as you go) Add the sausage and ground turkey, stir the sauce well. Bring the sauce to a boil, season to taste with salt and pepper and turn the heat to low. Cover almost completely with a lid (allowing a little steam to escape) and gently simmer for 4 hours. You may want to add splashes of water if sauce is drying out. After 2 hours I added the 1/3 cup of Tomato Paste, and replace lid and continue simmering for 2 more hours. I added water as it cooked, you’ll have to judge for yourself how much water you add. I added 1/4 cup at a time. The longer this sauce cooks for the better it is.  You will have to continually stir and check for water which I do at least once an hour if not more often. Also a splash of red wine works well here too if you have an open bottle of a medium dry red wine — chianti or malbec or pinot — you know what I mean.

When the sauce is ready for serving, bring a large pot of water and prepare pasta according to package directions. You may want to reserve a little pasta water if you still need to thin it out.

serve with sauce over the rigatoni ( or any pasta you like) with a nice grating of Parmesan.

Yum!

*so many stores now sell zucchini already shredded and it’s dry and ready to go.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

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This soup has always been a favorite of mine and I usually try to order it when it’s offered on a menu. I am a big fan of Mexican Food and have always wanted to try to make my own Chicken Tortilla Soup .This is a super easy version using a store-bought rotisserie chicken and a packet of Taco Seasoning.  Now that the weather has turned super cold it’s a perfect time for heart warming meals. I started cooking soup in the afternoon, prep was pretty quick and I let it simmer for an hour and then turned off stove while we went out. When we got home I turned on the stove and continued cooking soup. I cut up avocado, chopped up some cilantro, put sour cream and cheese into some little bowls and in less than 1/2 hour we were sitting eating this delicious and tasty soup! Joel even ate the avocado!!!!  He loved the soup and it’s very filling. 

I use crispy tortillas if that’s what I have in the house. It is delicious with soft corn tortillas sliced up and added into the soup at the end also. I love when the crunchy chips go soft in the soup with the melted cheese– I could go on and on about this soup. Tonite I used soft tortillas.

If you have the time I suggest making this soup, it is so easy with a prepared chicken or you can make your own chicken .  The prep is about 15 minutes using store-bought chicken and cooking is about 1 1/2 to 2 hours for soup.  I just think soup tastes better the longer it sits. I prefer making it in the early part of the day and letting it sit on the stove for a while.

This is a big soup and will probably serve 6-8 nicely. I have a container in my freezer and 4 of us ate this soup.

Look for my slow cooker version also on my blog.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 Rotisserie Chicken from your favorite supermarket

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 Packet of Taco Seasoning — this is really easy , use whatever brand you like

1 cup diced onion

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 diced green pepper

1 diced yellow, red or orange pepper

1 10 oz. can  Rotel brand Tomatoes and Green Chiles–just a suggestion

1 can enchilada sauce– green or red ( in Mexican Food section of your supermarket) its a small sized can

1 15 oz. can of whole-kernel corn  – drained

32 ounces Chicken Broth

3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste

4 cups hot water

2 cans Black Beans , drained and rinsed unless they’re organic and then you don’t have to rinse but I always do anyway

3 Tablespoons Cornmeal –mixed with water ( see instructions)

5 Soft Corn Tortillas (I use the small ones) cut into uniform strips or crunchy tortilla chips–use as many or as little as you like–or skip all together for a lighter version.

Toppings:

*optional and use whatever you like — these are just some suggestions

Sour Cream

Cilantro

Grated Cheese –Monterey Jack is a good choice here or Mexican Blend Grated Cheese

Cut-Up Avocado

Salsa or Pico De Gallo

Diced Red Onion

Diced Fresh Jalapeno

Hot Sauce like Cholula is my favorite go to sauce

Directions:

I took skin off chicken and shredded most of the chicken meat.

Heat 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil in a large Pot –dutch oven is great here (Le Creuset) add onions, peppers, and minced garlic. Stir and begin cooking, then add the packet of Taco Seasonings if it’s very dry and hard to stir you can add a little more olive oil. Add in the shredded chicken and stir it all up.

Pour in Rotel, chicken stock, tomato paste, enchilada sauce, water , black beans and corn. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for app. 45 minutes to an hour, uncovered.

In a little bowl mix 3 cornmeal with a small amount of water , just enough to mix it into a paste like consistency. Pour into the soup, then simmer for an additional 30 minutes at least, I cooked for another hour. I always believe the soup is best when it sits for a long time.

Check seasonings, adding more salt if you need it , I added kosher salt because I felt it needed it. Taste has to be your guide but be sure not to undersalt, you don’t want this to be bland. Turn off heat and allow to sit for about 20 minutes.

Five minutes before serving, gently stir in the tortilla strips if you’re using them.

Ladle into bowls, then top with your favorite toppings and there you go! I think the chips/tortillas make this soup along with the cilantro and avocado. Let your taste be your guide here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cauliflower Fried Rice

I picked up a couple of bags of cauliflower rice last time I was in the supermarket and I made a cauliflower pizza one night and then I made this rice last night. The original recipe was posted back in October 2018. I have to admit that since you can now find  cauliflower already chopped up and ready to use there is no excuse not to make this. I used to have to chop the cauliflower in my processor which was time consuming and I would have to dry it on towels as it was always slightly watery. Now it’s available in pre-prepared cauliflower rice packages and this is a “game changer”.  Green Giant chopped cauliflower in a bag as well as at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods and almost every supermarket now has pre-chopped cauliflower rice.  The pre-chopped bags come in 16 ounce size bags which is what I used for this recipe.  You can buy extra bags and keep them frozen!  It’s wildly popular so grab it while you can and get a few extra bags while you’re at it. Of course you can always chop your own if you don’t have access to any of these products.

This was so delicious I have added chicken and shrimp but you can certainly leave it vegetarian and add more vegetables or tofu.  There are so very many variations on this theme, feel free to go wild with it. It’s a low carb alternative to regular rice and a delicious healthy way to do so. I served it up in a large bowl and it was really a filling delicious dinner. 

Leftovers for lunch are the best part of any good recipe and this is so good the next day with a quick heat-up.

Follow me @cookingwithcandi on Instagram and if you do make one of my recipes please post and tag me .

Ingredients:

1 bag chopped cauliflower rice ( I found Green Giant brand and used it) I used a 16 oz. bag  you can use up to 24 oz. Or 1 medium head of cauliflower.

3 Tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce- you may want to add more at the end , you’ll wait and taste–add to your own liking and you can even leave it on the table and have everyone add to their own liking

1 1/2 Tablespoon Sesame Oil

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil, plus a little bit for eggs as well. You can cut the oil down on eggs if you’d like. I felt like I needed the 2 tbsp. of oil for onions , etc. You can start 1 tbsp. and add as you need.

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger– you can use fresh if you prefer

2 large eggs-beaten

1 – 1 1/2 cup frozen peas and carrots –I had it in the house and how easy was this? you can use broccoli or corn or all. Or just plain frozen peas which works well when that’s all you have.

1 onion diced

3 cloves garlic -minced

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper , about 6 grinds on the pepper mill will do

*pinch of crushed red pepper

*chicken, shrimp whatever protein you like . I used thin chicken cutlets that I  cooked in a pan ( sprinkle with salt and pepper first) and in a little vegetable oil just cook till ready. if I were making for more people I would probably add about 1/2 lb. of cutlets diced up.  I use 1 – 1 1/2 lbs. of thin chicken cutlets .

2 green onions (scallions) thinly sliced

*salt and pepper to taste — you may want to add a little but don’t add till the end and you’ve tasted it. I added a little sprinkling of salt and pepper.

Directions:

If you must make the cauliflower rice, take out the processor, pulse cauliflower in the large bowl of a food processor until it resembles rice, about 3 minutes, set aside. If you bought the bag–you’re ready.

In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger and a little black pepper

Heat about 1/2 Tbsp. of vegetable oil in a medium skillet over low heat , add beaten eggs and scramble them and then I set them aside .

I put chicken cutlets in a bowl and give them a light glaze of olive oil and lightly salt and pepper. Heat up a grill pan or any pan and pan fry the chicken. A grill pan gives it nice marks but it really doesn’t matter. Cook chicken till just cooked remove and cover with aluminum foil. I start  cooking everything else and while onions are cooking and chicken has cooled down a bit I cut it up into small pieces and return to bowl.

Heat 1- 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion to the skillet and cook, stirring often, until onions become translucent, at least 5 minutes. I like my onions translucent for this recipe. Lower the heat and stir in peas and carrots (and any other veggies you’d like) and cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. I ended up using the 2 Tablespoons of oil, do what works best for you.

Stir in the cauliflower, diced up eggs, green onions and soy sauce mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until heated through and the cauliflower is tender, about 5 minutes . Taste for soy sauce and add if necessary. I didn’t add any salt because the soy sauce was salty enough. After the first five minutes of cooking I throw in the cooked protein that I am using and continue to heat it all up stirring as I go. If you ‘d like you can also add more soy sauce at this point. Just heat till hot and serve.

Taste for Salt and Pepper and Soy Sauce.

This is a very loose recipe so feel free to experiment. As you can see from photos I have made it with peas and carrots and just peas and if I have kale in the house I throw it in as well.

Fried Rice with Chicken

This recipe has a lot of ingredients but it really is pretty easy to execute. I have to say this just tasted down right delicious and pretty healthy as well. The chicken was yummy along with all the other ingredients. I used 2 pouches of Basmati Rice from Uncle Ben’s ( they’re the 8.5 oz. bags) you can also make your own rice but I opted for the easy route. I like a long grain rice and you can use brown rice if you’d like. The pouches save time and I made a few hours ahead and let it sit out to cool off. Of course you can add any vegetables you like. This really was delicious.

Ingredients:

4 cups cooked rice — like I said I used 2 pouches of Basmati Rice made it a few hours ahead and let it sit in pouch on counter . You’ll want the rice completely cooled off. Leftover rice works well here too. Or use white, long grain or brown rice.

2 Tablespoons canola or vegetable oil or peanut oil

2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil

1 cup chopped onions — yellow or white onions

3 green onions, trimmed and sliced into thin rounds

1 cup frozen peas and carrots — I don’t thaw I use straight from freezer

3 garlic cloves, finely minced

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into small pieces — cut up and sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Sauce:

1/4 cup Hoisin Sauce

1/4 cup Oyster Sauce– if no oyster sauce use soy sauce

2 tsp. garlic/chili paste– worth buying Sambal Delek ground fresh chili paste — available in most supermarkets or specialty stores you can omit if you can’t find but it adds a wonderful layer of flavor

1 1/2 tsp. Sesame Oil

Mix all the ingredients with a whisk or a fork and set aside.

Directions:

In a large non-stick skillet or wok ( spray with cooking spray) add the Sesame Oil and Canola Oil and heat up ( medium high) and cook chicken. Flip chicken around so all sides get cooked evenly. Cooking time will vary depending on thickness of your chicken. When chicken is finished cooking remove with a slotted spoon allowing oil and cooking juices to remain in skillet. Put chicken in a bowl and set aside.

With pan on medium low to high add the peas, carrots, green onions and onions cook for a few minutes, or until vegetables soften , stirring occasionally.

Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute or so, stirring.

I scrambled eggs in a separate pan but if you’d like to use 1 pan push vegetables aside and add the eggs to the other side and cook to scramble.

Add the chicken and rice mix all ingredients and then add the sauce. I cooked through for another few minutes and didn’t think it needed any additional Salt and Pepper, but everyone has their own taste so taste for S and P. Cook for a few more minutes till chicken is warmed through. Serve it up!

*leftovers will keep for a few days or freeze . Re-heat gently — I think the microwave works best for re-heating.

Cauliflower Chicken Parmesan

Here it is with cheese baked on top --honestly delicious either waycheese on topI came across this recipe a while back and every time I make it and post a picture of it people request recipe again so here it is again. I pretty much followed Jennifer Fisher’s recipe on her site for this recipe. I made a few changes but basically that was it. It’s pretty easy and ingredients are easy to obtain which is so important.

Very delicious and pretty healthy and a good way to get vegetables into everyone.

Thanks to @jenniferfisher.com for this delicious recipe.

This is what I did and I think it’s the kind of recipe you may play around with yourself.

Ingredients:

1 bag Cauliflower Rice– 16 oz.

1 small onion -finely diced

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil for onions

1 cup Tomato Sauce — I actually made my own because I had so much free time but you can use Raos which is my preferred brand if using jarred sauce or any sauce you’d like

1 lb. Chicken Tenders — I happen to have them in my freezer but you can use any chicken you’d like here. I cooked up and cut up into small pieces. *see note below on the chicken

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese — divided

1 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese –plus more if you would like to sprinkle more on top before baking — divided 1/2 into mixture and app. 1/2 on top

Kosher Salt

Directions:

Heat the olive oil – Add the onion and cook for a few minutes till onions start to look translucent. ( app. 5 minutes) Add cauliflower rice and some kosher salt ( app. 1 teaspoon ) and cook stirring often to get this going. I sauteed for approximately 10 minutes until rice was tender (al dente), add cooked cut up chicken and 1/2 cup sauce and continue allowing to cook down. Continue stirring and cooking for a few more minutes. Taste for salt and tenderness of the rice– as I said I like rice to have a little bite not mushy. Add remaining 1/2 cup sauce and cook down a few more minutes. Toss in 1/2 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup parmesan and mix well to combine.

I sprayed a small rectangular baking dish with cooking spray ( this is important) you can use an 8×8 or I think mine was 11 x 7 actually.

I transferred mixture to baking dish and top it off with the rest of the mozzarella and the rest of the parmesan. ( 1/2 cup more of mozzarella you can add more if you feel you need to and 1/4 cup more of the parm)

Bake at 350 degrees until it starts to bubble around edges and mozzarella starts to gets brown and the edges get crunchy . I cooked for app. 20 minutes. All ovens vary and I like it just starting to brown and edges crunchy.

It was more than enough for the two of us and I actually think this was good for 3 people. Maybe 4 if you have a substantial salad .

*pics on top show it both ways with cheese on top and without– obviously if you’re looking for a lower calorie route go without –it’s delicious either way

We had a small simple green salad alongside and it was perfection.

*a little note on what I did with chicken tenders. I put in a bowl and added a little olive oil ( just to give a light glaze to chicken) and kosher salt and freshly ground pepper–mixed around and heated up on a grill pan. If no grill pan any pan will do. I cooked chicken till just done because it’s going back in pan and into oven for more cooking. (but it was fully cooked)