Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Weeknight Wonder: Cashew Chicken and Simple Vegetable Stir Fry

I love easy 20 minutes meals, don't you?

I work hard and really don't want to cook a major dinner during the week. Something quick, tasty, and hearty sounds good so I often turn to stir frys. My blog is full of stir fry recipes so be sure to search for them. I just love that I can throw together a quick meal in 20 minutes. A little help from a convenience item once in a while doesn't hurt either! In this case I used Kikkoman's stir fry sauce, which is very good.

This keeps the meal down to 20 minutes, and you can get a hot, healthy dish on the table in no time.  

The vegetables used are simple everyday veggies from your refrigerator.  Carrots, celery, and green beans.  Items I usually have on hand all the time, but you can use whatever veggies you have.  No fancy veggies this time, which should save you a trip to the store.  Meals like this are great for leftover items you need to use up so grab what you have!

Try this delicious meal soon.  It's the perfect weeknight meal, and better than takeout!


Cashew Chicken and Simple Vegetable Stir Fry

1/4 c stir fry sauce
1/4 c water
½ 1b boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
¼ c. cornstarch
2 T. canola oil
1/2 c shredded carrots
2 stalks of celery, sliced
8 oz. green beans, trimmed
1/3 c roasted, unsalted cashews
White or brown rice, cooked

Combine stir fry sauce, and water in a small bowl. Set aside.

Place the cornstarch on a plate and dredge the chicken in it to coat.

Heat oil in a wok or skillet. Add chicken and stir fry over medium high heat about 5-7 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Remove from skillet to a plate. Add carrots, celery, and green beans. Stirring until crisp tender, about 8 minutes. Add chicken and cashews and stir until cashews are toasted. Add stir fry sauce and toss until ingredients are covered.

Serve over hot cooked rice.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Best Grilled Corn Ever!

I have to share a secret recipe with you....I've been keeping it hidden and I just feel guilty about it cause this is the BEST grilled corn you will ever eat!  Seriously!

I'm eating up all the summer corn I can get because the season is almost over.  If you are like me you love corn, and there's nothing better than sweet summer corn grilled on the cob!  

I know that there is a holiday coming up, so if you have a craving to serve grilled corn at your Labor Day cookout then this is the recipe/method for you!  This is my go to method and it has everyone that tries it salivating for more.  It's that good.

So simple, yet the corn ends up roasted, but steamed, and buttery as heck.  To die for!

Make sure to make this before the corn is all gone....the end is near  :(


The Best Grilled Corn Ever

serves 6

6 ears of white or yellow corn on the cob, husks removed and cleaned
1/4 c butter
2 T chives chopped

Heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium.  Place corn on a piece of heavy duty foil, large enough to cover the corn in a package.  (2 pieces of regular foil maybe be used.)  In a small microwavable bowl place butter and melt on high 15-30 seconds until butter is melted.  Add the chives to the butter.

Brush butter over each ear of corn.  Pour any remaining butter over the corn.  Bring up the sides of the foil over to meet each other.  Make a tight 1/2 inch fold.  Keep folding down foil but allow some space for circulation.  Fold other sides to seal.  

Place packet on the grill over low heat.  Cover and cook 12-18 minutes, rotating and turning packet half way through. When ready to serve cut the foil and allow the steam to escape.  Serve.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Bruschetta Chicken Rice Bowl

Italian Food is a favorite of mine.  Always has been.

It was a given that one day I would travel to Italy as I love the food, the people, the culture, and the history of this wonderful country.  I was blessed to be able to visit Italy with my mom quite a few years ago.  One of the best trips ever!

We stayed in Rome for a week and then we were off to Venice.  Rome is a wonderful city full of history and excellent food.  We were dying over all the food we ate.  We found a quaint restaurant near our hotel that we visited just about every day for either lunch, a snack, or dinner.  It was a family owned restaurant and we became quick friends with the owner, Giuseppe.  His son was living in California at the time, for college, which he was so proud of.  This commonality brought us together quickly and he became a wonderful friend during our stay.

Giuseppe made us feel so welcome in his restaurant, as if we were coming into his home.  The food was heavenly.  He usually had a special made entree which he would recommend and we greedily ate up.  However, every meal started out with a piece of Bruschetta.  Oh the flavors were to die for, the plump, juicy tomatoes, with pungent garlic mixed in, with a drizzle of olive oil and maybe some basil over a toasted baguette!  Oh my!  My mouth is watering just remembering that one delicious piece that opened your appetite.

My love of Bruschetta started there and has never left me. So today I wanted to take those flavors and adding some chicken for protein recreate them in the ever so popular rice bowl.  Everyone loves a rice bowl right?  So why not mix it up and create an Italian one with the outstanding flavors of Brushetta.  Simple, yet tasty.   I made a rice pilaf which provides you with more flavor, however, feel free to use brown rice, long grain white rice, or instant rice.  Anything will do really.  Enjoy this dish as the perfect lunch or dinner in 30 minutes.

Here's to you Giuseppe!

Bruschetta Chicken Rice Bowl

serves 4 

Rice Pilaf:

    1/4 c orzo pasta
    1 T unsalted butter
    3/4 c yellow onion, finely chopped
    Pinch of kosher salt
    1 c long-grain white rice
    1 1/2 c low-sodium chicken broth

    2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
    salt & pepper
    1 tsp garlic powder
    2 T olive oil
    3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and sliced
    2 cloves of garlic, minced
    4 tsp fresh parsley, minced

    For the rice:  heat a small saucepan over high heat until hot. Add the pasta, and cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add butter and stir until melted.   Add onion and salt, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 2 minutes. Add rice, and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

    Add broth to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 15 minutes. Remove from heat; let pilaf stand, covered, 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Meanwhile pound your chicken between two pieces of plastic wrap to an even thickness about 1/4-1/2".  Sprinkle both sides with salt, pepper, and the garlic powder.  Heat a medium skillet of medium-high heat.  Add the olive oil and allow to heat.  Add the chicken breasts and cook about 4-5 minutes total until cooked through and golden brown. Remove from the skillet and keep warm.  Add the tomatoes and garlic to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally for 2 minutes until fragrant and heated through.  Slice the chicken in to strips or bite sized chunks.

To assemble the bowls:  Take 4 small individual bowls and place rice in the bottom filling up about 3/4 way up the bowl. Add chicken and tomato/garlic mixture.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve.


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