Tag Archives: nutritious

Chicken Tikka

Chicken Tikka (serves 4)
Inspired by a recipe found here.

Finding interesting recipes is getting more difficult as the weeks progress. We still haven’t repeated any since we moved into our apartment at the end of May; and, we really want to continue to make only new dinners each day of the week without any repetition. Though there are endless internet resources for recipes and meal ideas, it’s sometimes difficult to sift through the massive amounts of information a simple Google search can provide… But, what’s that?! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s the Rachel Ray magazine to the rescue! I like paging through old issues that my mom gives me when she’s finished. I posted a recipe of hers before, but then strayed from my magazine inspiration. Now I am back, Rach.

The chicken, when cooked on a grill pan, gets an excellent grilled flavor and beautiful grilling marks, all while keeping the moisture of the chicken in tact. The yogurt sauce reminds me of tzatziki sauce due to the coolness it provides the chicken. Maranading the chicken in the sauce doesn’t give the chicken a distinct creamy taste, but instead provides a gentle nod to the herbs and flavors of the sauce itself. Great dish: looks pretty, tastes good.

Ingredients:

    • 2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
    • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
    • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
    • Salt and pepper
    • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
    • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, parsley and scallions; season with salt and pepper. Measure out 1 cup and transfer to a small serving bowl; refrigerate. Season the chicken with salt and pepper; add to the large bowl with the remaining yogurt mixture and toss to coat. Let marinate for about 30 minutes.

Oil the grill pan and cook the chicken over medium to medium-high heat, turning once, until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve with the refrigerated yogurt sauce, garnish with parsley leaves.

::Ashley

Turkey and Spinach Stuffed Shells

Turkey and Spinach Stuffed Shells (serves 4)
Inspired by a recipe found here.

Italian food is tasty, comforting, and very filling. However, it is not always filled with as much nutritious content as it could be. This recipe puts a spin on the classic cheesy, saucy stuffed shell that is a staple in Italian cuisine. With lean ground turkey and spinach adding protein and flavor, these stuffed shells are sure to leave you not feeling guilty about dishing up seconds. What more could you ask for?

Ingredients:

  • 1 jar marinara sauce
  • 3/4 lbs. ground turkey
  • 1 package frozen spinach
  • 15 oz container of reduced-fat ricotta cheese
  • 4 oz mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh basil (minced)
  • 1 box jumbo shell pasta

Cook the pasta according to directions on the box. Rinse and put in cold water.  Saute the ground turkey until cooked (about 5-10 minutes) and season with salt and pepper.

Thaw the spinach and preheat the oven to 350F. Pour a layer of marina into the bottom of a baking dish. Mix ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, and egg until well combined. Add salt and pepper, basil and parsley and mix well. Add ground turkey and spinach to mixture, mix well.

Fill each shell with a few tablespoons of filling and place in baking dish. Cover your shells with a layer of marinara and cover the baking dish with foil.

Bake at 350F until bubbling at the edges (about 30-40 minutes). Enjoy!

::Ashley

Turkey and Yam Spicy Tacos

Turkey and Yam Spicy Tacos (serves 6-8)
Inspired by a recipe found here.

I swear, Mexican food is an incredible thing. It is agreed among myself and Bryan that our most successful meals are those that incorporate Mexican flavors. This one is no exception. A spicy blend of herbs and spices creates a flavorful base for the turkey. The yams mixed into the turkey creates a subtle sweetness that balances the spiciness of the meat. It is a truly delicious, though unusual, combination.

Ingredients:

  • 1 yam, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • A handful of jalapeno pepper slices, minced
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. Cajun seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup salsa
  • 16 small, warm corn tortillas

Put the diced yam in a microwave-safe bowl; cook in the microwave until cooked through and fork-tender, stirring once, 5 to 7 minutes.

Coat the bottom of a large skillet with olive oil and place over medium heat; cook and stir the turkey until crumbled and evenly brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir the onion, garlic, and jalapeno pepper into the turkey and continue cooking until the onions begin to caramelize, 7 to 10 minutes. Season with the chili powder, cumin, Cajun seasoning, and salt. Pour the salsa over everything; fold the sweet potatoes into the mixture.

Allow the mixture to cook until the excess moisture evaporates. Serve with the warm tortillas, as well with any of your favorite taco fixins.

::Ashley

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Sweet and Sour Chicken (serves 4)
Inspired by a recipe found here.

I’m in love with the Rachel Ray magazine. There are so many great recipes, articles, and general goodness for real people that it’s hard to stand. I’ll admit, I never was a huge fan of Rach’s. I’m not sure why, but something about her shows weren’t very engaging for me. But since the free subscription of her magazine started coming in the mail, I figured I’d give her another chance and my mind is blown. I’ve yet to make a recipe I didn’t like! The recipes Rach includes in her magazine incorporate ingredients that are readily available and easily modified for specific tastes.

When I came across this recipe for Sweet and Sour Chicken, I knew I had to try it. Asian cooking is a little intimidating–at least for me–but this recipe is a great success as it preserves the tastes of restaurant-style Sweet and Sour Chicken in a healthy way. Yes!

Ingredients:

    • 1 cup brown rice
    • salt and pepper
    • 1 can (20 oz.) pineapple chunks, drained, 1/2 cup juice reserved
    • 2 tbsp. white vinegar
    • 2 tbsp. Bragg’s liquid aminos
    • 3 sprinkles of xanthan gum
    • 1 tbsp. barbeque sauce (I used Annie’s organic)
    • 2 tsp. minced ginger
    • 1 large skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 2-inch pieces
    • 1 tbsp. olive oil
    • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
    • Sesame seeds for garnish

In a medium saucepan, bring 1 3/4 cups water and 1/2 tsp. salt to a boil; stir in the rice. Cover, lower the heat and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the pineapple juice, vinegar, Bragg’s, 1 sprinkle of xanthan gum, barbeque sauce and ginger. In a bowl, toss the chicken with another sprinkle of xanthan gum, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat a bit, add the bell pepper and cook, stirring, until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in the pineapple chunks, then pour the pineapple juice mixture into the chicken mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. If sauce is not thickened to desired consistency, stir in an additional sprinkle of xanthan gum. Garnish with sesame seeds. Serve over the rice.

::Ashley

Cajun Chicken Pasta

Cajun Chicken Pasta
Inspired by a recipe found here.

Pasta, pasta, pasta. So versatile, so comforting, so delicious. I wanted to make a simple pasta dish that incorporated protein in a different way. I had never heard of Cajun Chicken Pasta before stumbling upon this recipe while surfing on AllRecipes. The recipe looked simple, most ingredients were on hand, and the photos looked delicious. I was sold. Again, I modified the recipe to include brown rice pasta to up the nutritional value and substituted heavy cream for light cream, as well as xanthan gum for corn starch.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with xanthan gum, it’s a powdered thickener that works a lot like gelatin, flour, or cornstarch, but is completely vegan and is, in my opinion, a lot easier to work with. While thickening with flour or cornstarch can be tricky and lead to clumps, just a sprinkle of xanthan gum over a sauce works brilliantly to thicken. When substituting xanthan gum for other thickeners in recipes, I do not recommend a 1:1 ratio– you will need far less xanthan gum as a little bit goes a long way. Xanthan gum also stabilizes rather than continues to thicken, unlike other thickeners. This is great because you won’t end up with a gloppy sauce after time has passed. So yay for xanthan gum!

Ingredients:

  • 8oz brown rice pasta shapes
  • 1 skinless, boneless chicken breast, cubed
  • 2-3 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 8oz container of sliced mushrooms
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Dried parsley flakes to garnish

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add salt and pasta, then cook for 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

Place the chicken and the Cajun seasoning in a plastic bag. Shake to coat. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, saute the chicken until almost tender (about 5-7 minutes.) Add the bell peppers, mushrooms and green onion. Saute and stir for 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat.

Add the cream, garlic, salt and ground black pepper. Heat through. Sprinkle xanthan gum over sauce until sauce reaches desired thickness. Add the cooked pasta, toss and heat through. Garnish with dried parsley and serve.

::Ashley

Walnut Rosemary Crusted Chicken

Walnut Rosemary Crusted Chicken (serves 2)
Inspired by a recipe found here.

We had extra walnuts from a recipe Bryan made recently. We also had extra rosemary. Being a novice in the kitchen, I’m not too sure of the shelf-life of half-used things like that, so I like to be on the safe side and use them sooner than later. While I was foodbuzzing, I found this recipe and realized that it is a triple threat: it tastes delicious, uses our surplus of random ingredients, and is low-carb and gluten free. I altered the amount of chicken used, but kept the walnut rub the same. Excuse me if you disagree, but I don’t think you could ever have enough crust in a crusted chicken!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast, halved
  • 2 tbsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, ground fine
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper

To brine the chicken, fill a large bowl with cold water and stir in kosher salt until mostly dissolved. Place chicken in bowl and chill in refrigerator about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a glass or ceramic baking pan (13×9 inches).

In a small bowl, whisk together walnuts, rosemary and garlic. Remove chicken from brine and pat dry with paper towel. Place chicken in single layer in prepared pan and cover each breast in walnut mixture, pressing to adhere. Drizzle with walnut oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Bake until light golden brown and chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes.

::Ashley

Penne with Spicy Vodka Sauce

Penne with Spicy Vodka Sauce ( serves 8 )
Inspired by a recipe found here.

Oh, how I love pasta. Natalie loves it too. But since with live with Anti-white-flour-shudder-to-think-about-wheat-flour Man aka Bryan, all of my pasta recipes I have accumulated had to be put on the back burner… until now! Brown rice pasta saves the day. It’s a great alternative for any pasta dish, is available in a variety of shapes, and is quite easy to make. And if you are worried about the taste, the brown rice pasta tastes just like it’s flour pasta cousin. Even naked, the taste difference is undetectable. The best thing about brown rice pasta is that it is wheat-free, gluten-free, cholesterol-free, and sodium-free. Woo hoo!

This penne recipe is really incredible. While it satisfies the traditional creaminess and richness of penne vodka, there is also a slight spiciness that amplifies the flavors and brings excitement to the dish. While I used two links of organic Italian chicken sausage, I would definitely suggest adding more sausage to create an even hardier meal that’ll leave you rubbing your bellies in joy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound uncooked brown rice penne pasta
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vodka
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 (3.5 ounce) links organic Italian chicken sausage
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente; drain.

In large skillet, heat oil over moderate heat. Remove casing from sausage and add to skillet. Cook, breaking up the meat, until brown. Add garlic and red pepper and cook, stirring until garlic is golden brown. Add tomatoes and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.

Add vodka and cream and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and add pasta, toss for 1 minute. Stir in fresh parsley and parmesan cheese and serve!

::Ashley