New Favorite

Chicken Tikka Masala…Trader Joe’s Style

Chicken Tikka Masala is made easy using Trader Joe’s delicious Masala sauce.  The first time I made it, I followed the recipe below.  The second time I made the recipe, I used strips of red, yellow and green pepper, carrots and chopped onions.  Both were delicious and easy, peasy.  We were so excited when a Trader Joe’s was built fairly close to my house. There are always new products to try and enjoy!

During the pandemic, I went to Trader Joe’s only a couple of times.  Hat’s off to Trader Joe’s and how they managed shopper entry, masks, and cleanliness.  By far, the best job of any grocery store I ventured into.

CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA…TRADER JOE’S STYLE

1 (15-ounce) jar Trader Joe’s Masala Simmer Sauce
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds total), cut into bite-sized pieces
1 (14.5-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup frozen pearl onions
1 cup sliced baby carrots
Coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
Cooked rice, for serving (optional)

  • Pour half of the sauce into the bottom of a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Nestle the chicken into the sauce in a single layer. Pour the drained tomatoes evenly over the chicken.
  • Add onions and carrots
  • Pour the remaining sauce on top.
  • Cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through.  (I cooked for 4 hours) 
  • Sprinkle with cilantro and serve over rice, if desired.

Recipe adapted from thekitchn.com

New Favorite

Pork Poblano Stew – Savory Goodness

Savory Pork Poblano Stew was the second version I tried.  Last week I posted Pork Poblano Stew with Citrus Notes.  My girls asked me which Pork Poblano Stew I liked best and the answer is a resounding ‘Both’.   They are different and the flavors are incredible in both versions.    I called this one savory as opposed to a more citrus version shared last week.Next time I work add some fresh cilantro to the stew as well as sprinkling cilantro on top when serving.  

PORK POBLANO STEW

4 to 5 poblano chile peppers (about 3/4 pound)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed, cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces
Salt
1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 teaspoon cumin
3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
1 chipotle chili in adobo, minced (I used 1/2 of one–to keep it milder)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 quart chicken stock (use gluten-free stock for gluten-free option)
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn (no need to defrost if frozen)
1 large (about 1/2 pound) sweet potato, peeled and diced (about 1/2 to 3/4-inch cubes)
Sour cream or Greek Yogurt
Cilantro
Toasted shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas) Optional

  • Char, peel, and chop the poblano chiles: Char the chile peppers on all sides, directly over a gas flame, or broil, turning every minute or so until the chiles are blackened on all sides.
  • Place in a bowl and cover with a clean dish towel. Let sit for 10 minutes or so, then rub off the blackened charred skin.
  • Cut away and discard the stem, seeds, and internal veins. Roughly chop the chiles into 1 to 2 inch pieces. Set aside.
  • Sear the cubed pork: Heat the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven on medium high heat. Pat dry the pork pieces with a paper towel and brown them, working in batches as to not crowd the pan. Sprinkle salt generously over the pork while they brown.
  • Sauté the onions and garlic: Remove the pork from the pan and set aside. Add the chopped onion and cumin to the pan and cook about 5 minutes, until translucent.
  • Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan while the onions cook. Add garlic and cook for a minute more.
  • Add the chipotle, poblanos, pork, chicken stock and oregano, simmer: Add the chopped chipotle to the onions and garlic. Return the browned pork to the pan. Add the chopped poblano chiles to the pan. Add the chicken stock and oregano. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and let cook for 1 hour.
  • Add sweet potato, corn: After an hour, add the diced sweet potato and corn to the stew. Cook for another half hour to 45 minutes, until the pork is tender and the sweet potatoes are cooked through.
  • To serve, spoon out the stew into bowls. Swirl in a spoonful of sour cream to each bowl. Top with chopped fresh cilantro and toasted shelled pumpkin seeds.

Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes.

Garden · New Favorite

Chicken Pozole with Tomatillos

Tomatillos are plentiful this year so I’m always up for trying a new recipe. I love my standard Posole recipe with pork, but liked this idea with chicken and tomatillos. Tomatillos have almost a citrus-like taste to them so it pairs well with chicken and pozole.

The soup was great fresh and I’ve frozen a large batch for a cold winter’s night!

CHICKEN POSOLE WITH TOMATILLOS

1 pound tomatillos
6 cups chicken stock
2 cups chopped onion
1 pounds chicken, skinned (I used 2 cups of cooked, chopped chicken vs. raw)
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and quartered
1 (30-ounce) can white hominy, drained
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or more to taste)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream (optional)
8 lime wedges (optional)
Gluten Free · New Favorite · Vegan · Vegetarian

Mango and Avocado Black Rice Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to prepare meals primarily from my pantry and freezer until I had whittled down the food on hand. A large bag of black rice, from Costco, has been sitting there with no great recipes, until now.  I swear I hear Angels sing when I read this recipe.  It is a great salad, side dish and good enough for dessert, too. Black rice has a nutty flavor and texture which pairs beautifully with the other ingredients.  Also check out the history of black rice.

MANGO & BLACK RICE SALAD WITH CILANTRO LIME VINAIGRETTE

1 1/2 cups organic black rice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large ripe mango, diced
1 small ripe avocado, diced or sliced
1/4 cup roasted almonds (I used chopped pecans)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup diced red onion
For the Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 3 limes)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon honey (agave nectar if vegan)
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
lime wedges, to garnish
  • Rinse rice in mesh strainer. Add to medium saucepan. Add 2 3/4 cups water and a pinch of salt; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to a low simmer, and cook until rice is tender and water is absorbed about 30-40 minutes. When rice is done cooking, remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Cool for 10 minutes before adding dressing.
  • While rice is cooking prepare the dressing: Combine lime juice, olive oil, garlic, honey (or agave), cilantro, and salt in a food processor. Process for 15-30 seconds or until dressing is combined. Once rice is done cooking and has cooled a bit, stir in dressing. Cover bowl and place in fridge for an hour or until cool and you are ready to add in the rest of the salad ingredients.
  • Before serving, toss salad again with dressing and fold in cilantro, mango, and red onion. Pour into cold salad bowls and top with roasted almonds and avocado. Garnish with a lime wedge or extra cilantro if desired. Enjoy!

Recipe by AmbitousKitchen.com

Family Favorites · Vegan · Vegetarian

Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette for Quinoa Salad, Green Salad or Marinade

Cilantro is an herb that people either LOVE or HATE.  I’m on the love side of Cilantro. It brings such a fresh, aromatic addition to select dishes, including this Vinaigrette and Salad. This Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette was a discovery a few years ago and I love it, especially on a summer Quinoa Salad, enjoying the salad throughout the week.

CILANTRO LIME VINAIGRETTE

3 T extra virgin olive oil
3 T red wine vinegar
2 T freshly squeezed lime juice
1 small jalapeno pepper (or less) chopped
1 clove garlic, halved
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1.5-2 tablespoons fresh cilantro

  • Put all ingredients in food processor or blender. Pulse until ingredients are blended. Shake before serving.

QUINOA SALAD

  • To prepare the quinoa, cook 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups liquid (water or chicken broth) for 15-20 minutes. Drain. Cool.
  • Then I throw in whatever I have on hand: onion, peppers, beans (garbanzo or black beans), carrots, celery, tomatoes, etc.  I’ve never had a combination I didn’t like.  You can use it as a side dish or add a protein to make it an entrée.
Family Favorites

Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup

My earliest recollection of Chicken Tortilla Soup was at Tijuana Tilly’s in the ’80s.  The soup was flavorful and came with a bevy of accoutrements.  During weekend trips from Scottsdale to San Diego, we always tried to fit in a trip to Tijuana Tilly’s and take in a game of Jai Alai.  Sadly, the days of Jai Alai at the Fronton Palace are gone, but Tijuana Tilly’s survives.  We visited again, with our girls, in the 90s and it was equally as yummy.

On cold winter days, I long for a yummy soup and Chicken Tortilla Soup was on my mind.  I adapted a few recipes to come up with this version and it hit the spot!

CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP

1 can black beans
1 can chili beans
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can Rotel tomatoes
4 ounces diced green chiles
16 oz. can tomato sauce
1 cup salsa
4 cups water
1 teaspoon cilantro
1 pound boneless chicken breasts (halved)

  • Place all ingredients in the crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours.
  • About an hour before serving, remove chicken and chop or shred into smaller pieces and return to crockpot.  Stir.
  • If soup is too thick, add additional water and simmer for another 30 minutes.

Serve in bowls with sides of shredded cheddar cheese and tortilla chips. You can also try sides of chopped green onions, radishes, avocado, fresh cilantro, and sour cream.

Garden · New Favorite · Vegan · Vegetarian

Raspberry Salsa

Raspberries have always been my favorite fruit.  My Mother grew red and black raspberries on the farm.  When we moved into our home in 1988 we, too, planted red raspberries in our yard.  Very few raspberries make their way into the house, instead being consumed right there on the spot.

Through the years I’ve tasted several wonderful commercial raspberry salsas and it was time to make one from scratch.  Several recipes call for tomatoes but I’m a raspberry purist and didn’t want to ruin the tart, tangy goodness of fresh raspberries.

The salsa was good with tortilla chips (I’m thinking a cinnamon chip would be great with it!) and as a side to fresh grilled salmon.  The salsa would be wonderful with a grilled or broiled chicken breast as well.

Our summer bounty will fast come to a close so enjoy while you can! Also try the fresh peach or tomato salsas:

Peach Salsa
Fresh Tomato Salsa

English: Raspberries Français : Framboises Deu...

FRESH RASPBERRY SALSA

2 cups fresh raspberries
1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
3 tsp.  finely chopped jalapeno chile peppers
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp. sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • Combine raspberries, sweet onion, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro, white sugar and lime juice.
  • Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 1 hour before serving.
  • Optional: Mash berries slightly before chilling and garnish with whole raspberries.
New Favorite

Yogurt Marinated Grilled Chicken

Grilled chicken is a summer favorite.  The key is to assure that the chicken is moist and tender.  I’ve always wanted to try a yogurt marinade and when I found this recipe, it fit the bill!  I marinated the chicken for about 4 hours and it was delicious. Next time I’ll try marinating overnight to see if the flavors are even better.

I served with another new recipe for Mediterranean Edamame Salad (post and recipe on Friday) and loved the combination.  The leftover chicken was great afterwards on green salad.

Another new favorite for my recipe collection.

The original recipe called for pounding each piece of chicken between 2 sheets of waxed paper, pounding to 1/2 inch thickness. Instead, I cut each chicken breast in half to achieve the same thickness.

YOGURT-MARINATED GRILLED CHICKEN

8 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 3 lbs.)
2 cups plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for topping
1/2 large onion, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for grill grate
6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon garam masala
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 (2″) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

  • Cut each piece of chicken breast in half to achieve 1/2″ thickness.  Place chicken breasts in plastic ziplock bag.
  • Puree remaining ingredients in a food processor.

  • Pour yogurt mixture over chicken, seal bag, and turn to coat.  Marinate chicken in refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat grill to medium-high direct heat.  Brush grill grate with oil.  Scape excess marinade off chicken; season with salt.  Grill until browned and cooked thoroughly, turning once.

  • Top with more cilantro and serve.

Compliments of dashrecipes.com

For Mediterranean Edamame Salad recipe, check my blog on Friday, August 2.

Family Favorites · New Favorite · Skinny · Vegan · Vegetarian

Fresh Peach Salsa…Oh my!

Peach Salsa was a new discovery a few years ago.  We’re lucky to live in the great state of Colorado which produces some of the finest peaches in the world.  I love salsa, but fresh peach salsa is my favorite.  My family has grown very fond of it and we can’t wait to have the first peach salsa of the season.

Peach Salsa was served last year as one of the dishes at daughter Megan’s bridal shower and included in the favor of three of her favorite dips.  Today we’ll savor it and enjoy the last few days of summer in Colorado.

PEACH SALSA

2 cups diced fresh peaches
1/2 cup sweet onion
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 jalapeno, finely diced
fresh lime juice
salt

Mix all ingredients together. Fantastic with chips; also great with grilled fish or chicken.

Family Favorites

Mexican Quiche…easy, tasty, wonderful!

Mexican Quiche hit my recipe box via Sunset Magazine circa early 1980s. Over the years, I have made with it with chorizo or more often with a savory sausage.  Topped with a fresh slice of yummy avocado and tomato, it presents beautifully.

Recently I served Mexican Quiche at my annual Mother’s Day Coffee.  There were a few pieces left over and were equally tasty the next day.

When serving a crowd, I often make the Quiche the night before and have it ready to pop in the oven the next morning.  Enjoy!

MEXICAN QUICHE

1 pound chorizo (or savory) sausage
2 medium-size onions, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons diced green chiles
10 eggs
2 cups half and half or milk
1 can sliced ripe olives, drained (2.5 oz.)
1 can whole kernel corn, drained (8.75 oz.)
3 cups shredded Jack cheese
Avocado and Tomato Slices
Fresh cilantro sprigs

  • Remove casings (if necessary) from chorizo. Crumble or finely chop meat and place in a wide frying pan; cook, stirring over medium-high heat until browned. Add onions and saute until tender. Drain off excess fat. Stir in salt, pepper, and chilies. Remove from heat.
  • In a large bowl, beat eggs and half-and-half just until blended. Stir in chorizo mixture, olives, corn and cheese. Evenly spread in a greased 10×15″ jelly roll pan.
    3. Bake in 375F oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes. Garnish with avocado, tomato, and cilantro.

Adapted from Sunset Magazine, Circa early 1980s

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