Category Archives: Chicken

Mango Chipotle BBQ Burrito Bowl

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If you are still reading my blog, you are great. Work and busy weekends have taken over my life, leaving little time for blogging. Recently I’ve had a couple friends tell me they keep checking my blog but are disappointed when they find no new posts. That of course made me want to update, and because I miss it!

So it’s August already. Summer always has a way of getting away from you, doesn’t it? Having only been out of school for a couple of years, I’m still getting used to having no formal vacations, deadlines, or breaks built into my schedule. It makes the seasons kind of seem like a blur and sometimes I find myself having no idea what day or even month it is (like a few months ago when I started to write “September” as the date… what?)

Today’s post is inspired by a recipe that I’ve been eyeing forever: Chipotle-Mango BBQ Chicken Salad on Iowa Girl Eats. I’ve been following IGE for a couple years now and it’s one of my favorite food blogs, as well as one of the few I subscribe to. I’ve had this particular recipe saved for a long time and decided it was time to try out this miraculous-sounding BBQ sauce. I decided to take a slightly different take on the recipe and make mine into a burrito bowl instead, because who doesn’t love a good burrito bowl?

This Mango Chipotle BBQ Burrito Bowl is filled with chicken marinated in a sweet and spicy semi-homemade barbecue sauce, rice, and some of my favorite veggies like bell peppers, fresh corn, and avocado! It’s a great summer recipe because most of the ingredients are in season right now and is light enough that you won’t feel guilty eating it. To make the sauce quicker and easier, I added pureed mangoes and chipotle peppers to store-bought BBQ sauce. My favorite thing about recipes like this is that you can completely customize it to your taste and you get a bit of each flavor in every bite!

Mango Chipotle BBQ Burrito Bowl
adapted from Chipotle-Mango BBQ Chicken Salad on Iowa Girl Eats

Ingredients:
makes about 3 burrito bowls

  • For the sauce:
    – 1/2 cup fresh diced mango
    – 1/3 cup barbecue sauce
    – 1/4 cup tomato sauce
    – 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeds removed and diced
  • 1 lb. boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch strips (I used tenderloins)
  • 1.5 – 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • Assorted toppings of your choice (about 1/3 cup of each):
    – Diced bell peppers
    – Diced tomato
    – Corn
    – Beans
    – Avocado
  • Optional: cheese, sour cream, scallions, cilantro
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Ingredients for the sauce, plus tomato sauce! Always forget to picture at least one ingredient…

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Your delicious toppings!

Directions:

  1. In a food processor or blender, combine ingredients for the sauce. Blend until smooth. Place chicken in a medium bowl and pour 2/3 of the sauce over it, making sure each piece is thoroughly coated. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours or up to 6.
  2. Cook your chicken on the grill or in a frying pan over medium-high heat until cooked throughout. Let rest for about 5 minutes and then cut into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Start to assemble your burrito bowls: First rice, then chicken, your toppings, and then drizzle with the remaining mango chipotle sauce and enjoy!
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Start by preparing your mango chipotle BBQ sauce: combine diced mango, bbq sauce, chipotle peppers, and tomato sauce, and blend until smooth.

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Pour 2/3 of the sauce over your chicken and stir, making sure each piece is thoroughly coated. Marinate for at least 2 or up to 6 hours in the refrigerator.

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Cook up your chicken, either on the grill on in a frying pan.

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Assemble your delicious burrito bowl! Start with rice, chicken, and your favorite toppings.

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Finish off with the remaining mango chipotle sauce, and optional cheese and sour cream. Enjoy!

Chicken & White Bean Chili

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Ah, it’s good to be back in the old blogging world. As you may have noticed, I haven’t been around much lately. I feel bad I haven’t kept up with this blog as much as I’d like, but I honestly haven’t had the time. The only time I’m able to photograph and write recipes for HH is on the weekends, and if my weekends are busy, then unfortunately blogging gets pushed to the back burner. I’ve photographed a couple recipes over the past few weeks, but I wasn’t particularly excited about them, so I wanted to wait until I had a post I thought was worth sharing.

Chicken & White Bean Chili is a fun twist on the traditional. It’s made with shredded chicken breast, green chiles, classic chili spices, and uses a chicken broth instead of tomatoes. It has all the wonderful flavor of tomato chili, but with a slightly lighter taste and is lighter on the calories, too. A combination of cornmeal and milk is used to thicken up the soup a bit, though it tastes delicious just with the broth if you want to save further calories. It’s a simple one-pot meal that comes together in under an hour and makes for great leftovers during the week.

This is a recipe I originally wrote a post for about a year ago, and have made a few times, but my photos were less than impressive. It’s not the most photogenic soup, but it sure is tasty. Last time I made it, I used cornstarch to thicken the soup, but I didn’t like the consistency. After reading a few similar recipes, it seemed like cornmeal and milk was the way to go, and I definitely liked the results better.

Chicken & White Bean Chili
adapted from White Chicken Chili on AmyBites and Pinch of Yum

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Ingredients:serves 5 -6

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil + 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 – 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Spices:
    • 1 tsp cumin
    • 1 tsp chili powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper
    • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 32 oz. container low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 raw chicken breasts (about 1 1/3 lb)
  • 2 14 oz. cans white beans, rinsed and drained (Cannellini, Northern White – any kind will work!)
  • 1 4 oz. can of diced chiles
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • juice from 1 lime
  • Optional toppings: chopped scallions, cilantro, shredded cheese, avocado, sour cream

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together cornmeal and milk until combined and set aside. Let it sit while cooking the chili so the cornmeal can soak up the milk and thicken up.
  2. In a large cooking pot, heat olive oil and begin sauteing diced onions. After about 10 minutes, add diced bell pepper and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until veggies are softened. Add butter and garlic and saute for an additional 3 – 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in spices and let them toast for a minute or two. Pour in chicken broth and can of diced chiles and bring to a boil. Place chicken breasts in pot and cook over a medium simmer for about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove chicken breasts from broth and let them sit on a cutting board for a few minutes before shredding it. Add shredded chicken back to the broth, along with beans. Simmer for 10 – 15 minutes, covered loosely.
  5. Pour in the cornmeal and milk mixture and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Finish off with lime juice and any spices or salt as you see fit. Serve with optional toppings and enjoy! πŸ™‚

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Begin by whisking the cornmeal and milk together to let it thicken while your soup is cooking

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Saute up your onion, pepper, and garlic

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Stir in spices and then pour chicken broth in, along with diced chiles. Bring to a boil and add raw chicken breasts right into the broth. Let them cook for about 10 minutes and then remove to a cutting board.

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Shred your chicken using forks (or your hands if it’s cooled off enough!)

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Add chicken back to the pot, along with the drained beans. Simmer for 10 – 15 minutes, loosely covered.

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Stir in your thickened cornstarch/milk mixture and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Finish off with lime juice for an extra bite.

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The finished product!

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Add your favorite toppings

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Nom nom nom

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And what chili is complete without avocado? πŸ™‚

Creamy Chicken Sausage & Spinach Pasta

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I’m back from another two week hiatus. Last weekend I moved into my new apartment and was too tired to even entertain the thought of creating a recipe for this blog, let alone cook it. I’m glad I had Labor Day off from work because I definitely needed it. Each time I move I come to the realization that I have too much stuff. Then I slowly forget and when it’s time to move again I’m reminded of all the junk I own. My roommates thought it was a little ridiculous that about half the stuff I own is kitchen supplies… oops. I guess it’s about time I sort through my belongings and give unused things away.

I’m slowly settling into my new apartment but occasionally have to go searching for something I misplaced. I’ve mostly been making lazy meals like pasta or freezer meals but Sundays are a good time to prepare meals for the work week, so today I gathered my motivation and made this pasta.

This Creamy Chicken Sausage & Spinach Pasta is a light and delicious meal perfect for weeknights. It combines flavorful chicken sausage with sauteed spinach, veggies, and a light ricotta cream sauce. It heats up nicely and will keep you full for hours. I like that it’s simple enough to throw together during a busy work week, but also nice enough to make for guests.

Creamy Chicken Sausage & Spinach Pasta
makes 3 – 4 servings

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced
  • 3 – 4 baby bella or white mushrooms, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 – 5 cups fresh spinach
  • 6 – 7 oz. pasta (roughly half of one 13.25 box of rotini or penne)
  • 2 chicken sausage links, cut into half moons
  • For the sauce:
    • 2 tsp butter or olive oil
    • 1 small clove garlic, minced
    • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
    • 1/4 cup skim milk
    • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
    • 1/2 tsp basil
    • salt, to taste

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    Your ingredients

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This is the chicken sausage I used. So good!

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over low heat and add sliced onions. Cook for about 10 minutes, until softened, and add red pepper and zucchini. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted, and remove from heat.
    *Alternatively, you can steam the spinach in the microwave. Place spinach in a large bowl with about 1 tsp of water and microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute, or until spinach is wilted. Stir into cooked veggies.
  2. Cook your pasta according to box directions. While pasta is cooking, fry up your chicken sausages until lightly browned on each side. After pasta is cooked and drained, and the sausages are finished cooking, stir them to the pan with the veggies.
  3. To prepare the ricotta cream sauce, begin by sauteing the garlic in the butter or olive oil for 1 – 2 minutes in a small saucepan. Add in remaining ingredients for the sauce and stir until cheese begins to melt, simmering over low heat. The sauce will look lumpy at first, but will become smooth and thick. Once sauce is done, after 3 – 5 minutes, pour over the pasta, sausage and veggies. Stir to combine and serve with some extra parmesan cheese πŸ™‚
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Saute up those veggies

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Cook your spinach until wilted

Frizzle up some chicken sausages

Frizzle up some chicken sausages and also begin to cook your pasta. Once pasta and chicken sausages are done, stir them in with the veggies.

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Prepare your ricotta cream sauce by sauteing the minced garlic in a bit of butter or olive oil. Stir in ricotta, milk, parmesan cheese, basil, and salt. At first it will look lumpy like the photo on the left. Simmer over a low heat, stirring, until sauce smooths out like the photo on the right.

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Pour the sauce over the veggies, sausage and spinach and stir to combine. Serve with some extra parmesan cheese and enjoy πŸ™‚

Chili Lime Chicken Burgers

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If you’re looking for a healthier burger still packed with flavor for your cookouts this summer, look no further. These chicken burgers are seriously delicious while staying light on calories.

This recipe comes from Iowa Girl Eats, and is inspired by Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Chicken Burgers, which is found in the frozen prepared foods section of TJ stores. I used to eat those burgers all the time in college because they were perfect for a quick meal between classes or before an exam. Making these burgers at home is economical and you can even freeze them to eat at a later time. They’re also super simple and will probably take you no more than 20 minutes from start to finish.

I stayed pretty true to the ingredients in Kristin’s recipe, but tweaked it just a little to suit my taste. These Chili Lime Chicken Burgers are juicy, slightly spicy, and have a hint of lime – perfect for the summer time. They taste amazing with guacamole or salsa – especially pineapple or mango salsa! – and are a great alternative to beef or turkey burgers. They’re probably my favorite burgers to date!

Chili Lime Chicken Burgers
slightly adapted from Copy Cat Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Chicken Burgers on Iowa Girl Eats

Ingredients:
makes 4 burgers

  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 1/3 cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • juice from half of one lime (about 1 – 1.5 Tbsp)
  • 1 Tbsp Sambal Oelek chili paste or 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • optional: 2-3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • to serve: buns/rolls, cheese, sliced avocado, salsa

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Directions:

In a medium mixing bowl, combine all ingredients up to cilantro. Mix together just until combined and form into 4 patties. Fire up your grill or frying pan, and once it’s hot, place your burgers on the heat (don’t forget to lightly grease the grill/pan!). Cook for about 3-5 minutes on each side, or until burgers are lightly browned and cooked throughout. Serve on a bun with optional toppings and enjoy!

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Mix all of the ingredients together and form the burgers into 4 patties.

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Grill up those burgers.

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Cook until browned and no pink remains.

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Serve with cheese, if desired (I used cheddar)…

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… and some sliced avocado and salsa. I used Newman’s Own Pineapple Salsa

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πŸ™‚

Chicken Caprese Salad

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I realized recently I don’t have enough salad recipes on here. Mostly because I don’t eat enough salad, which I’ve been trying to change. I do love a good salad but I often find myself too lazy to get out all the ingredients and chop them up – which is silly because I usually spend 30 minutes preparing most of my meals anyway.

Whenever I see the word “Caprese” on a menu at a restaurant, I get excited. Caprese is the classic Italian combination of fresh mozzerella, fresh basil, and tomatoes. It’s one of my favorite flavor combinations and is always sure to satisfy. A traditional Insalata Caprese doesn’t involve lettuce or greens of any type, but I decided to throw some into this salad for extra heartiness and some crunch, and chicken for protein of course. This salad is so light and fresh tastingΒ  – perfect for summer.

I also threw together a simple homemade creamy balsamic vinaigrette for this salad. You can find balsamic vinegar near the other vinegars or olive oil in your grocery store and it’s relatively inexpensive. I used Greek yogurt (my staple) for the “creamy” aspect of the dressing, but you could alternatively use mayonnaise or heavy cream for a more authentic version.

Chicken Caprese Salad
serves 1

Ingredients:

  • For the dressing:
    • 1 Tbsp olive oil
    • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
    • 2 tsp plain Greek yogurt or mayonnaise
    • 2-3 tsp lemon juice
    • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • one small stalk of romaine lettuce (about 3-4 cups), chopped and rinsed
  • 1 small breast of chicken, grilled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup of cubed fresh mozzerella
  • 3-4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 8-10 cherry tomatoes, halved

Directions:

To prepare the dressing, simply whisk all of the ingredients for it together in a small bowl. Set aside. Place lettuce in a salad bowl, and layer remaining ingredients on top. Drizzle dressing over the salad and enjoy. πŸ™‚

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