Posts tagged ‘chicken’

Chorizo Ragu over Spaghetti Squash

Weeknight dinners can be a chore when you’re in a time-crunch, especially if you’re hungry and ready to eat. While the idea of meal planning is fantastic and I try to schedule out meals for the work-week, yet sometimes I “live on the edge”….or that’s what I tell myself when I’m forced to wing it and try to whip up something different with ingredients I have on hand.

Thus, this chorizo ragu was born. Quick, simple and tasty…yay for spontaneous dinners! Plus, add some bonus points since you can make this ahead; the leftovers are deeeelicious! If you prefer to prep meals on the weekend to get a jumpstart to your busy week, this dish might be on your next to-make list. If you want a filling grain-free meal packed with veggies and nutrition, give this one a go as well :)

Slightly spicy and loaded with smoky flavor from the cumin and paprika, this Mexican-inspired ragu packed with protein, fiber, veggies to keep you full AND satisfied. The squeeze of fresh lime really makes the spices and flavors pop and brightens the dish so I’d advise not the leave that out :)

If you don’t have spaghetti squash, serve this ragu over fresh greens for a spin on a warm taco salad or even your favorite cooked grain (like quinoa or brown rice) for a burrito bowl type meal. I had a little bit of the ragu leftover and served it over a baked sweet potato for lunch…YUM. Yep, I’ll be doing that again soon!

Chorizo Ragu over Spaghetti Squash
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Paleo-friendly, Vegetarian/Vegan option, Nut-free, Soy-free, Dairy-free

Ingredients

1 medium spaghetti squash, halved and deseeded
2/3 lb gluten free chorizo (can use chicken chorizo or vegetarian chorizo)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 jalapeno, deseeded and deveined, minced OR several shakes of ground cayenne pepper (omit if you don’t want added heat)
1/2 small onion, sliced or chopped (about 2/3 cup)
1 bell pepper, diced (red, yellow or orange)
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
2 cups cooked black or pinto beans
2-4 cups of spinach or swiss chard, collards or kale, de-stemmed, deveined and chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
squeeze of fresh lime
sea salt and pepper to taste

Garnish/serving ideas
shredded cheddar or monterrey jack cheese, optional (omit for vegan and/or dairy free)

fresh cilantro for serving, optional

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly drizzle olive oil over squash and season with salt and pepper. Place squash cut side down onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake until tender, roughly 30-35 minutes based on size. Once cooked, let cool slightly then scrape with a fork to create strands and set aside for serving.

2. While squash cooks, prepare the “ragu”. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and add chorizo and onion. If using a really lean chorizo or a vegetarian substitute, saute in 1 Tbsp of oil. Saute until cooked through and no longer pink and lightly browned.

3. Add garlic, cumin, paprika and jalapeno or red pepper (if using) and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds to one minute.

4. Add bell pepper, tomato and beans and cook for 3-4 minutes. Toss in spinach/greens and cook another minute or two until wilted.

5. Add cilantro the the skillet along with fresh squeezed lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

6. Serve ragu over cooked spaghetti squash. Sprinkle with grated cheese, diced avocado and/or additional cilantro if desired and enjoy!

Serves 4

Timesaver: You can cook the spaghetti squash a couple of days ahead or the night before to speed up prep time. Just reheat in the oven or in the skillet.

April 24, 2015 at 12:50 pm Leave a comment

Creamy “Zoodles” with Chicken and Broccoli

I purchased a Spiralizer a year ago, and wow has that little tool come in handy! Apple “noodles”, super-quick sweet potato fries and spiralized zucchini are just a few of my favorites. For some, zucchini noodles and spiralized ingredients might be old news but if this concept is new, I encourage you to give them a go. Plus, it’s fun…and who couldn’t use some extra fun?!

I continue to be amazed at the versatility of zucchini: what an incredible veggie. You can use zucchini noodles aka “zoodles” as a grain-free or light pasta replacement OR you can bulk up your pasta dishes so you can have half zoodles and half noodles…that way you can load up on veggies and still have your pasta without a carb-induced coma :) I’ve pureed zucchini for a bean-free hummus, used grated zucchini in a sweet quick bread and added it to smoothies to thicken and add some veg without affecting flavor.

avocado chicken broccoli zoodles 1

Since Spring has sprung, lighter dishes have been on the menu. This dish is quick, crazy easy and packed with fresh and bright flavor! Plus, you can make it vegan by swapping out the chicken for an extra roasted veggie (think roasted marinated portabella mushrooms or roasted asparagus..mmmm). The creamy avocado sauce adds a punch of flavor from the fresh basil, garlic and bright lime or lemon juice, and the roasted broccoli lends a nutty flavor to this meal. This dish is packed with protein, healthy fats, fiber and nutrition and can be served as a power lunch or dinner…and if you manage to have leftovers, those are tasty right from the fridge :) avocado chicken broccoli zoodles 2

Creamy Zoodles with Chicken and Broccoli
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Egg-free, Dairy-free, Vegan Option, Vegetarian Option, Soy-free, Paleo-friendly, Nut-free 

Ingredients

3 medium zucchini, spiralized
1 large or two small chicken breast, cooked & cubed* (For vegan/vegetarian option, use 2 cups sauteed mushrooms and/or roasted asparagus)
1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets
2 small avocado 1 large avocado, pit removed and rough diced (will be pureed)
handful of fresh basil, chopped (roughly 1/2 cup) or cilantro
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 garlic clove, minced
2 limes, juiced or 1 lemon, juiced (roughly 2 Tbsp or to taste)
1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
freshly ground black pepper
1-2 Tbsp water or as needed

Optional garnish/serving ideas
hemp seed or pinenuts or slivered almonds (if adding nuts, will not be nut-free)
fresh basil, chiffonade
slices of fresh lemon or lime

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or grease with olive oil. Add broccoli florets to the pan, drizzle with 1 Tbsp of olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Cook for approximately 10-12 minutes or until broccoli is tender and lightly browned.

2. While broccoli is cooking, prepare the avocado lime sauce. Add avocado, lime/lemon juice, basil, minced garlic, salt and 1 Tbsp olive oil and pureed until smooth. Add a couple tablespoons of water to thin out the sauce as needed.

3. If you prefer a less crunchy and softer zucchini noodle, either steam or saute the noodles for a couple minutes until your desired texture.

4. Add chicken, broccoli and zucchini noodles to a mixing bowl or pot. Pour/spoon the avocado sauce over the ingredients and toss to combine. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper and lime/lemon juice.

5. Divide into serving dishes and top with more basil, pinenuts/hemp seeds/almonds if desired and serve!

*I baked two small chicken breasts simply seasoned with lemon pepper, salt and olive oil at 350F for 20 minutes. I let them cool off and then cut into bite-size pieces. You could also use 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken for a super quick lunch or dinner tossed with a little lemon.

**If you prefer to steam your broccoli, that’s ok too. I enjoy the depth of flavor from roasting them.

Serves approximately 3-4 people

avocado chicken broccoli zoodles bite

April 10, 2015 at 1:36 pm Leave a comment

Lightened up Chicken N’ Veggie Alfredo Pizza (Dairy-free)

If I were stranded on an island with the option to live on ONE food for the rest of my life…pizza would be my choice hands-down. Not only can you cover all the food groups in one slice, there are options for every course from breakfast, lunch and dinner to a sweet dessert. With essentially unlimited combinations and flavor profiles, pizza is a versatile dish that I can eat cold, warm, room temp or straight from the oven :)

Cold pizza for breakfast? Yep, I could eat that everyday. No judging please!

alfredo pizza chicken veggie 1The debate continues between pizza purists (my Italian friends) and myself on what constitutes a real pizza “pie”. While a traditionalist wants one or two toppings on a pizza, a good crust and a flavorful base, I say pile on the toppings, switch up the sauce and experiment with alternative crusts…you know, to make it interesting :) Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a good simplistic pizza with tomatoes, basil and mozzarella but I do not deny my affinity for the alternative flavor combos!

Yet when I have a “homemade pizza extravaganza” for a get together or girls’ night, we get the best of both worlds– we made the gluten free pizza dough together and then chose our toppings for our individual pizzas. Win-Win situation. It’s such a blast that I think I should make pizza night to be a bi-monthly or monthly occurence!

alfredo vs traditional

For the dough, we settled on Bob’s Red Mill whole grain crust mix and loved it! This was the first time I’d made this mix and was very satisfied with the results — Great texture and taste, plus it made enough for two 12-inch pizzas. Feel free to use your favorite pizza crust recipe here but this mix is a flavorful option that even has an egg-free instructions if needed.

For my pizza, I opted for a veggie-filled white pizza with chicken. Caramelized onions with sauteed mushrooms and broccoli with grilled chicken and a cauliflower-alfredo pizza base. I’ve been eying various versions of a dairy-free Alfredo sauce and decided to make my own version by combining Leanne’s rockin’ recipe at Healthful Pursuit and Melissa’s Paleo-Alfredo recipe over at Cupcakes OMG! This sauce can be used with pasta, rice bowls, drizzled over veggies/meat or as a base and topping for pizza…yum!

alfredo pizza chicken veggie 2

Lightened up Chicken N’ Veggie Alfredo Pizza (Dairy-Free)
Gluten-free, Egg-free, Nut-free, Dairy-free, Vegan/Vegetarian Option, Soy-free
Makes 1 12-inch pizza (8 slices)

Ingredients

1 recipe of prepared pizza dough or crust of choice (I used Bob’s Red Mill Pizza Mix and used 1/2 dough)
1 1/2 tsp olive oil, divided (or butter or ghee but is not dairy-free)
1/3 of an onion, sliced into thin rings
a couple shakes of dried parsley, oregano and garlic powder (can use 1-2 fresh garlic cloves, and fresh herbs if desired)
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup broccoli florets
1 small cooked chicken breast, diced (I grilled one 4 oz breast that was seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder and olive oil) – omit for vegetarian
3/4 cup creamy Dairy-free “Alfredo Sauce” plus more for serving/drizzling (recipe below)
1/2- 1 cup Dairy-free shredded cheese – mozzarella or cheddar (I Daiya cheddar shreds since that’s what I had on hand but if you aren’t dairy-free feel free to use regular cheese)
sea salt and pepper

Directions

1. Prepare dough pizza crust according to directions on package (or for your favorite or homemade crust). If using Bob Red Mills crust, have oven set to 425F.
2. Meanwhile heat 1 tsp oil/butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and saute 5 minutes until soft. Add seasonings, garlic, mushrooms and broccoli and saute for another 2-3 minutes until mostly cooked through (will cook a bit more in oven).  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Once crust has “pre-baked”, spread the Cauliflower Alfredo sauce over the crust leaving about 1/2 to 1 inch edge around the outside. Brush the remaining 1/2 tsp of olive oil over the edges of the crust.
4. Top pizza with sauteed  veggie and diced chicken and evenly sprinkle with shredded cheese.
5. Bake pizza for another 13-16 minutes or until crust is cooked through and cheese is melted. Slice, drizzle with additional Alfredo sauce and enjoy!

Notes
If you are using a prepared pizza crust, skip the first step or bake according to your crust directions.
For vegetarian, omit the chicken and increase the mushrooms and broccoli to 1 cup each.
If using Bob’s Red Mill pizza crust and want a vegan egg-free option, view package for flax egg directions.

alfredo pizza chicken veggie

Creamy Dairy-free “Alfredo Sauce” (inspired by Leanne’s recipe and Melissa’s recipe)
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy-free, Nut-free, Egg-free, Paleo-friendly, Soy-free, Quick 

Ingredients
1 small head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
1/3 cup white or yellow onion, diced
1 Tbsp olive oil (can use Earth Balance or butter as well but stick with EB/oil for dairy-free & vegan)
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup veggie broth (or chicken broth if not vegetarian, could probably use dairy-free milk if desired)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup coconut milk (from can)
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
2-3 tsp lemon juice
sea salt (helps bring out the flavor since cheese isn’t used)
freshly ground black pepper to taste (I used about 3/4 tsp but I like pepper)

Directions

1. In a large pot, steam cauliflower until tender and can easily be pierced with a fork. (I used a steamer basket and cooked the cauliflower for about 5-6 minutes).
2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium low heat in a medium skillet or saucepan. Add onion and saute for a few minutes, then add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
3. Stir in broth and heat through.
4. Add cooked cauliflower, onion/garlic/broth mixture, and remaining ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add more coconut milk if needed. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
5. Serve over ANYTHING!!!!

alfredo pizza chicken veggie bite

March 1, 2014 at 12:07 pm 2 comments

Better-for-You Butter Chicken (SRC)

Wow, I’m not sure where to start…. except thanks goodness I made it on-time for the Secret Recipe Club this month!

What follows is a “Cliff Note” recap of my recent cooking saga: I fully prepared in advance for my recipe and post, almost a week and a half to be exact. You see, my dearest friend’s birthday is in October and I wanted to make her some homemade goodies for her special day. I was assigned Asiya’s beautiful blog, Chocolate and Chillie’s, and had carefully picked out her Maple Granola to try and send as a gift to my friend.

granola homemade

iPhone photo…the only photo I have left!

1. I made the two batches of granola (Maple Granola pictured on the left)
2. I decorated cute little jars and personalized them
3. Staged and took the photos of the granola
4. Shipped the gift (I ate the small remainder of both after photographing and filling the jars…meaning I have no leftovers!)
5. Uploaded the photos….OOPS…I received an ERROR CODE when trying to upload and all of a sudden they were erased from my camera completely. This has never happened before so I was left with no photos to post and no more granola to re-shoot.
6. Freak out mode sets in…ahhhh I dont have photos for the Secret Recipe Club post in two days!
7. Quickly find another recipe that I can whip up with ingredients I had on hand—BUTTER CHICKEN, take photos and write up a new posting
8. Breathe, relax….I made it!

butter chicken2

With very little time to spare, I wound up making Asiya’s Low-fat Butter Chicken and it was scrumptious! I decided to experiment with a dairy-free option and changed up a few things based on what I had in my pantry and fridge. I increased the amount of ginger-garlic paste, used dried ground fenugreek seeds in place of the kasuri methi, and swapped out coconut sugar for regular white sugar. I typically use coconut oil as my cooking oil (just my preference) but any neutral oil can be used in it’s place. I also opted to add in a squeeze of lemon juice for a little more acidity, puree the sauce and sprinkle the finishing product with coarsely ground black pepper, mmmm.

I’d say that having to make two recipes this month for the Secret Recipe Club turned out to be a win-win situation :) I will be making this chicken again and again!

butter chicken1

Better-for-You Butter Chicken (adapted from Asiya’s recipe)
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free option, Soy-free, Refined Sugar-free, Nut-free option

Ingredients

For the Chicken Tikka:
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast (or 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts)
1 cup yogurt (can use plain dairy-free options such as coconut milk yogurt etc if needed)
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp tandoori masala powder
1 tsp kasuri methi or 1/2 tsp  ground dried fenugreek seeds
2 tbsp canola oil, coconut oil or other neutral oil

For the Butter Sauce:
2 tbsp coconut oil, canola oil or other neutral oil
one medium onion, thinly sliced
2 cups diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp almond flour (if needed to be nut-free, you can omit)
1 Tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp kasuri methi or 1/2 tsp dried ground fenugreek seeds
1/8 tsp sea salt or to taste
2 tsp coconut sugar or sweetener of choice
1/4 cup coconut milk, or greek yogurt or  low-fat sour cream (use coconut milk for dairy-free)
1 tbsp butter, ghee, Earth Balance (use Earth Balance for dairy-free)
squeeze of lemon juice, optional but I like the acidity

Directions

For the Chicken Tikka:

1. In a small bowl mix together cumin, garam masala, salt, cayenne pepper, tandoori masala and fenugreek/kasuri methi.  Rub on both sides of the chicken and refrigerate for at least 30-60 minutes.

2. Line a pan with parchment or foil.  In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, oil and ginger garlic paste.  Dip each chicken breast into the yogurt mixture.  Coat well.  Lay on prepared pan.

3. Heat oven to broil and cookl 10-18 minutes or until cooked through (depending on thickness of chicken), flipping them over halfway through.  When cooked through, let chicken rest for 5 minutes and then cut into 1 inch cubes.

For the Butter Sauce:
1. Heat the oil a medium sauté pan.  Saute onions until soft and translucent.  Add ginger-garlic paste and stir for about 1 minute.

2. Add all the remaining ingredients except for the coconut milk/ yogurt/sour cream and butter.  Cook on medium heat until thick.

3. Puree sauce in a blender (careful it’s hot!) and return to the pan. If you prefer a more chunky sauce, opt out of this step.

4. Add yogurt.coconut milk/sour cream and butter/Earth Balance.  Stir and cook for another 5 minutes.  If you prefer a thinner sauce, add a bit more coconut milk if you would like to thin it out.

5. Add the chicken and simmer for a few more minutes until heated through.  Serve hot with rice or cooked grain of choice and enjoy!

*Note:  If you would like a smooth sauce, puree the onions after they become translucent and then return to the pan.  Puree the tomatoes before adding.
butter chickenFor more recipes from this month’s reveal, click the link below!

October 27, 2013 at 10:00 pm 9 comments

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