Posts tagged ‘fresh’

October 31, 2011

Slow-Cooker Chipotle Turkey with Cilantro-Lime Wild Rice & Simple Guacamole

Another slow-cooker recipe? Yes, I am obsessed! I love using my slow cooker for poultry, it keeps it moist, is an easy clean-up and you can set-it and forget-it! (does anyone remember that 90’s infomercial?) Anyways, a slow-cooker is a key item for the kitchen (and they’re pretty inexpensive). I have been getting a little bored with chicken lately, but like the lightness of poultry, so my next choice is turkey. Turkey breast is a great ingredient throughout the colder months, not just for Thanksgiving. By slow-cooking the breast you can ensure that the meat will remain moist. I wanted to create a smokey, spicy, mexican-inspired Turkey breast, so here ya go!

Slow-Cooker Turkey:

2 lb Turkey Breast (organic or kosher always tastes better to me)

1 can chipotle peppers in adobo (can be found in Mexican or speciality markets)

2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

1 sweet onion, roughly chopped

2 vine tomatoes, cut into 6ths

1/2 bunch cilantro

1/2 lime, squeezed

sea salt and pepper

Method: Place chopped onions and carrots in bottom. Salt. Add turkey breast. Season turkey with salt and pepper. Add cut tomatoes on top of turkey. Add 3 chipotle peppers and most of the adobe sauce to the slow cooker. Lightly toss so adobe sauce can spread. Juice 1/2 lime over slow-cooker. Add salt and chopped cilantro. Cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 3-4 hours. May sit at “warm” setting for a couple of hours. 

Slow-Cooker Turkey, "set it and forget it"

Cilantro-Lime Wild Rice:

wild rice

1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

1/2 lime

sea salt

Method: Cook rice to directions on package (you may also use frozen or microwave wild rice bags). I usually cook my rice in the rice cooker, as it’s easier if you cannot watch rice on stove. Once the rice is done, toss with cilantro, sea salt and lime juice. 

Simple Guacamole:

2 avacados

3/4 cup pico de gallo

lime juice

sea salt

Method: Spoon meat of avocado into a bowl, mash with fork. Add pico, squirt of lime juice and sprinkle of sea salt. Mix until combined.  

Serve Turkey over Wild-Rice, spoon simple Guac on top. Add a dollup of sour cream to add creaminess.

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September 22, 2011

Rick Bayless’s Pollo Pulquero (Slow- Cooked Chicken with Tomatillos, Potatoes, and Jalapenos) with Corn Salsa

As a chicagoan, anthropologist, and foodie, I have mad respect for Rick Bayless.  With his educational background in Anthropology, Rick Bayless really gets the importance of connecting ingredients with culture, incorporating new ideas, and making home-style Mexican cooking accessible. I got this recipe from Rick Bayless’s “Mexican Everyday”. This recipe for Pollo Pulquero stood out to me for a few reasons: Slow cooked meat is one of my favorite ways to have meat, the flavors sounded simple and delicious, and it was a recipe that I could easily make around my schedule. This is a great recipe to make before you leave for work, or prep the night before. And let me tell you, the aromatics from this will make your home smell amazing. Of course I had to add my own personality to the recipe, and decided to add some lime to the slow-cooker to bring a citrus flavor. I also decided to serve this with some corn salsa, as it adds a nice sweetness and texture to the meal. I promise if you give this a try, you will not be disappointed!

Pollo Pulquero:

1 medium white onion, cut into 1/4 inch think rounds

2 medium baking potatoes (Bayless calls for red skin, or yukon gold potatoes but I had some baking potatoes and they worked great, you could even use something like purple potatoes, which would work great as well)

4 (or around one pound) skinned chicken thighs*

1 cup cilantro leaves

8-12 Medium Tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and slices 1/4 inch thick

2 tablespoons jalapeno pickling juice

2 diced pickled jalapenos

Half of a lime

Sea salt

This slow-cooker recipe is all about layering. I started with the potatoes on the bottom, then chicken (skin down), cilantro, onions, and tomatillos. Once layered, I poured the pickling juice on top, squeezed lime juice and added the diced jalapenos on top. Be sure to salt between each layer, as this is the only salt in the dish. I set my slow-cooker on low for 8 hours, but Bayless calls for 6 hours on high. Once cooked, I spooned out the extra juice and decided to put it in a small pot and simmer it down a little. The juice is mostly the fat from the chicken skin, but adds some more flavor. Utilizing this juice is purely optional.

Ingredients layered in Slow Cooker

*Bayless’s recipe calls for skinless thighs but my store only had skinned and I thought it would add some great flavor. You can also use pork shoulder  or beef chuck, but Bayless suggests staying away from leaner cuts as they’ll dry out.

Cooked Pollo Pulquero (before excess juice has been removed)

Quick Corn Salsa:

3 ears fresh corn

1/2 jalapeno, seeded and diced

7 grape tomatoes, quartered

Fresh cilantro.

Fresh lime juice.

Sea salt.

Boil corn ears until tender but not too soft. While corn is boiling, chop jalapeno, tomatoes, and cilantro and place in bowl.  Once corn is cooked and cooled, cut corn off of the ear and add to bowl. Add lime juice and salt. Toss mixture.

Plate a chicken thigh and scoop of potato, onion, tomatillo. Add sauce reduction (optional). Top with fresh corn salsa.

Pollo Pulquero with Corn Salsa

The great thing about this recipe is that it’s flexible. If you only have sweet potatoes and chicken legs, you can still give this a try and it’d come out great! There is no easy way to fail at this. If you’re looking for more easy, delicious, flexible Mexican recipes, I encourage you to get some of Rick Bayless’s books and start testing things out.

Gnash On! 🙂

September 4, 2011

Browned Chicken Legs and Feta Orzo with Roasted Red Pepper Salsa

Hey All,

I have spent the last couple of weeks out of the kitchen and traveling around the U.S. The break from the kitchen has been nice, especially with the summer heat, but I am happy to be back! Within the last week or so, I have been trying to do a lot of brainstorming for recipes. This one, yet to be refined, is one of my recent creations. I started with the Roasted Red Pepper salsa and worked from there. Chicken legs are delicious and fairly inexpensive (even organic chicken legs), making for a great source of protein to add to your meal. I had some orzo and feta cheese in the house and I just thought I’d throw together a dish with light fresh flavors.

Browned Chicken Legs:

1-1.5 lb Organic chicken legs

Onion powder, garlic power, sea salt and pepper.

0.5 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup white wine

3 Tbs balsamic vinegar

Method: Cover chicken legs with spices.  Heat pan on high. Once pan is completely hot add chicken beasts. Brown each side. Add white wine and let simmer. Once wine has simmered add chicken broth and brush chicken with balsamic vinegar. Cook throughly until internal temp reaches 170.

Feta Orzo:

1 cup Orzo or Arborio Rice

1.5 cups water or chicken broth

1 tsp butter

1 tsp sea salt

1/3 cup crumbled feta

1/4 squeezed lemon

Chopped Fresh Basil.

pepper.

Method: Combine orzo, broth/water, and butter. Bring to a boil. After boiling turn down to simmer for 15 minutes or until tender. Bring off of heat and add lemon, feta, salt and pepper. Top with fresh basil.

Roasted Red Pepper Salsa:

0.5 can Roasted Red Peppers

1 small roma tomato

2 garlic cloves

hand full of cilantro

sea salt

pepper

1 tbs olive oil

Blended Salsa

Method: Add half jar Roasted Red Pepper to small processor. Chop. Add roughly chopped tomato and garlic cloves. Chop. Add oil, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Chop.

Plate orzo on bottom, add greens if desired (I tried mustard greens with this but they were simply too bitter), place leg on top, spoon salsa over chicken. Enjoy!

Finished Product

July 20, 2011

Lox and Cream Cheese…Refined!

Lately I’ve kind of been obsessed with lox. I wanted to share with you a great breakfast to start off your day. So here we go, Lox and Cream Cheese …refined.

What you’ll need:

1 slice sprouted bread (such as ezekiel bread)*

2 oz. Smoked Salmon

2 tsp. Neufchatel Cheese (or reduced fat cream cheese)

1/2 avocado, diced

1 diced plum tomato

1/2 diced jalapeno

Garlic, Lime, Cilantro, Red Onion, Salt and Pepper to taste.

Mix avocado, tomato, jalapeno, garlic, lime, cilantro, red onion, salt and pepper. Put to the side. Toast bread to your liking. Spread cream cheese on bread, place salmon on top. Garnish with avocado mix and serve.

*I use Ezekiel bread because it processes as a grain, instead of a carb ,in your system and provides more nutrients. You can usually find Sprouted bread in the freezer section of your grocery store.*

This meal is great for breakfast, lunch or even a appetizer, if you scale down the size. Full of Omega-3’s, fiber and protein, this is a dish is sure to keep you full and going strong! Gnash On!

July 20, 2011

Quinoa Turkey Meatloaf

I know I know, Meatloaf isn’t a very summery dish, but this recipe is sure to please your summer senses. Meatloaf tends to be dry and sort of bland, but all that has changed here. I decided to use turkey, as it’s a bit lighter than beef, but still stays moist. The real key in here is the quinoa. For those who are on a diet, staying away from carbs, or follow a gluten free diet, quinoa is a great supplement to the traditional breadcrumbs. Hope you’re ready for one satisfying meal!

 

What you’ll need:

1/4 cup Quinoa

1/2 cup water

1 tsp oil

1lb ground turkey

1 small carrot, shredded (I use my peeler and then cut the strips down)

1 small red onion chopped finely

1 tbs ketchup

2 tsp mustard

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 can diced tomatoes

salt and pepper to taste.

 

Preheat oven at 350 (if it’s too hot to heat the oven try a toaster oven or the microwave).

Bring quinoa, half cup water and teaspoon of oil to a boil. Turn to low simmer until quinoa is fluffy. In a large bowl mix turkey, carrot, onion, ketchup, mustard, chili powder, salt and pepper. Add cooked quinoa and mix. Place mixture into bread sized pan and add canned tomatoes to the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until it reaches an internal temp of 165 degrees. Let cool for 5 minutes, plate and gnash!

I served mine with some fresh midwestern corn! So good!

 

June 23, 2011

Cool cucumber salad

This salad is a great treat during these hot summer months. Whether you need a cool snack or a nice side dish for a smokey meal, this side will be sure to keep you in touch with the summer.

What you’ll need:

2 cucumbers
1 small white onion
2 tsp dill
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 tbs white sugar
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Chop and mix ingredients in a resealable container. I like to use a mandolin for me cucumbers so they turn out thin and evenly sliced. After combining ingredients put container in fridge to pickle for at least two hours. This is also a great side to use throughout the week or bring to a BBQ.

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Gnash On!

June 17, 2011

Thoughts, Updates, and more!

Hello Friends,

I know it has been quiet some time since I have updated, and I apologize. Like many, corporate world life has taken me in and eaten my energy to work on my goals. I have been working at an immigration law firm the past few weeks, and have decided to leave the firm to live my life. I have decided  to begin graduate school next winter and pursue a degree in Nutrition or Public Health. I know that giving up my stable job in this economy is a risk, but it is one I am willing to take to pursue happiness and fulfillment. I am working on some long term plans, getting my seeds in order to bloom. I have been teetering on the idea of graduate school, and have decided to commit after reading “In Defense of Food” by Michael Pollan.

Pollan’s book discusses the transition from our ancestors diets to the so-called Western diet. He focuses on where food regulation has brought us, and the faults of marketing certain things to be “nutritious” (i.e. omega-6s, antioxidants, high fiber, low-fat, etc.), missing the importance of balance and getting  those nutrients from the source. In a sense, Pollan talks a lot about how our diets have been replaced by processed foods that have to be fortified with extra nutrients, which can be harmful to our bodies. Pollan emphasizes the importance of questioning what is food and defending those things that people have been surviving on for thousands of years. I know when I look at a can of Cheese-Wiz, a frozen dinner, or even a granola bar, I myself often question if this is food. It seems that the Western diet is completely missing something (which I have be thinking about for quiet some time), a connection to the earth, to nature, and to culture. The food that has become most accessible and standard in the U.S. is also the food that is simply A LOT of empty calories. What I mean by that is its not nutritious, nourishing, digestible, or absorbable (all of which is essential to how our bodies run). “In Defense of Food” was able to bring together so many ideas, thoughts, and frustrations I have had with the Western diet for years. This book brought to light the importance of knowing your food, and feeling that connection with the earth. When you think about it, it’s pretty amazing that our earth nourishes our bodies. Towards the end of his book Pollan discusses a few rules he tries to live by, and I think they are some pretty important rules.

Eat food, Mostly Plants, Not too much!

  • Eat Food: as in, don’t eat anything your great grandma wouldn’t recognize, avoid products containing ingredients that are unfamiliar, you cant pronounce, have more than five ingredients or that include High-Fructose Corn Syrup. He also suggest to avoid foods that make health claims and to shop the peripheries of the supermarket and avoid the middle, (or stay out of the supermarket all together).
  • Mostly Plants: Eat plants, mostly leaves. Leaves are full of so much fiber, Omega-3s, water and nutrients. Eat well grown food from healthy soils, because the food is going to be directly impacted by what’s in its soil. Eat wild foods when possible. And lastly, eat more like the French, Italians, Japanese, Indians or the Greeks (basically people who eat to the rules of any traditional food culture are generally not consuming the same creepy stuff that our food does).
  • Not too much: Lastly, Pollan talks about portion and eating habits. He discusses the importance of eating with others, sharing a meal, eating at a table (not a desk!), and slowing down the meal. Enjoying every bite and enjoying the company your with. There is nothing better than knowing that YOU are powering yourself to exist.
This book was everything I needed and re-iterated the importance of my long-term goals, my health, and how to take back the power of feeding our bodies. So, get in your kitchen and start empowering your body!
Gnash On,
Michelle
April 17, 2011

Lemon Chickpea Dip

Snacks are a vital part of my day-to-day eating. It is good to snack, especially when you’re dieting. Snacking curbs your appetite and regulates glucose levels. If you allow your glucose levels to fluctuate between extreme ups and downs, losing weight is going to be more difficult. So I have a great snack that pairs nicely with crackers, veggies, or toast, Lemon Chickpea Dip. This is a great snack because it has fiber, protein, and fills you up.

 What you’ll need:

* 1 can Chickpeas

* 3 TBS Olive Oil

* 1 Lemon

* 3 Garlic Cloves

* Bunch of Cilantro

* 1/4 Spanish Onion

*1 TBS Parsley

* Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

Blend chickpeas, onion, garlic and olive oil in food processor until smooth but with some texture.  Add lemon juice, cilantro, salt and pepper and finish blending. Let sit in fridge for 30 minutes to allow flavors to develop. Serve with raw veggies, chips, crackers, or toast. Also a great on sandwiches and burgers. Enjoy!