Some might say that grilling season ended yesterday (at least in the States), but quite frankly it’s hotter than hell here at the moment. I have no intention of turning on the stove or oven until this heat wave and gross humidity are over and done. There is something more bearable about standing in front of a 400 degree grill on a hot day than dealing with a 400 degree oven.
I usually don’t buy bratwurst because it’s generally made with meats I don’t care to eat, but I’ve found a delicious chicken bratwurst at Von’s/Safeway. It is gluten-free, no strange meats I don’t like, and it’s extremely tasty. It’s Von’s/Safeway’s own Open Nature brand, which is their store brand of healthy/organic/natural/etc foods.
The grilled mango and red onion really stood out and brought so much extra flavor to the bratwurst. I combined the mango and onion with a teaspoon of oil, a generous dash of cayenne powder and garlic powder and a dash of lime juice. I think this ‘relish’ would have been delicious by itself, but grilling the mango and onion brought out so much flavor and the spice really complemented that.
I made gluten-free buns from Chebe and then toasted them on the grill before topping them with the brats and grilled mango and onions. I have used Chebe for sandwiches and many other things before, but I never as buns. I was pretty impressed by how they held up to both the brat and to the grill.
Chicken Bratwurst with Grilled Mango & Red Onion
- 1 large fresh mango, seeded, peeled, and halved
- 1 small red onion, cut in 1/2-inch slices
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 package of bratwurst links
- Heat grill to 400 degrees.
- Toss mango and onion with oil, cayenne, garlic, and lime juice.
- On grill rack place mango halves, onion, and brats directly over flames. Grill for 8-10 minutes, or until mango and brats are browned and cooked through and onion is crisp-tender, turning once halfway through cooking. Lightly toast buns for 1 to 2 minutes on grill. Set aside mango, onion, and brats.
- For relish, chop grilled mango and onion. Serve brats in buns with mango and onion.
A couple of years ago I went to my friend Nancy’s Super Bowl party. We spent the weekend coming up with all kinds of delicious ideas. She decided to make one of the day’s main bites to eat (BBQ pulled pork sandwiches) in the crock pot and just let people serve themselves when they wanted. Genius! I don’t eat pork like that, so I didn’t try any, but I liked the idea. I easily could have done BBQ chicken sandwiches here, but tacos are more my style. It would be really easy to prep a taco bar with all the fixings before the big game and allow your and your guests to eat at leisure.
I totally had delicious salsa to put on the tacos, but I totally got distracted by the amazing guacamole. The avocados in these parts are pretty phenomenal at the moment (that and I make delicious guac). Fear not, the salsa will find a home in the leftovers, if it doesn’t meet some tortilla chips first.
Another slow cooker recipe that would be perfect for Super Bowl Sunday, or any day really, I would also recommend my Tri-Tip tacos! They are delicious.
If a taco bar seems like a bit too much work, this recipe could easily be turned into a real chili recipe. You would just have add some more tomatoes/salsa. I would recommend a 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes (look for fire-roasted or chiles) and their juice and a second can of pinto beans (also drained and rinsed).
Slow-Cooker Chicken Chili Tacos
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs (or a mix)
- 6-8 garlic cloves, minced
- 16 ounce jar prepared tomato salsa, plus more for serving
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1-16 ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1-2 Tablespoons canned chipotle chiles in adobo, chopped
- 1/2 Tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 Tablespoon Chipotle powder
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- Kosher salt and ground pepper
- hard corn taco shells
- Cilantro, shredded cheese, guacamole, lime wedges, and sour cream, for serving (optional)
- In slow cooker, combine chicken, garlic, salsa, onion, chiles, pinto beans, chili/chipotle powder, paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, and teaspoon pepper. Cover; cook on high, 4 hours (or on low, 6 hours).
- Transfer chicken to a cutting board, and shred, using two forks. Return shredded chicken to crock pot and stir with juices. Serve in taco shells, with toppings, if desired.
Posted in Cooking, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes, Slow Cooker
Tagged chicken, food, gluten free, mexican, recipes, slow cooker, tacos
This is pretty much Chicken Alfredo without any noodles involved. I’m not a pasta fan, so it was pretty much perfect to me. I was a bit hesitant to use evaporated milk. I know it’s real milk with some of the water removed, but shelf stable dairy products just weird me out. Once I got over the canned milk thing, I was really, really impressed by this dish. It was so easy to make and super flavorful. I did add some extra spices by sprinkling the chicken with Kosher salt, black pepper and garlic powder. That definitely helped the dish. Next time, I think the only other thing I would add would be some Dijon mustard. I really think that would have enhanced the flavor even more. And I might add broccoli as well just to add some extra color and vegetables. The spinach was really good in this dish. I thought it might be kind of gross since it was added at the last-minute before baking. This recipe is great as is, but a few easy additions
A quick note about serving: I think it would be easier to do this in one large casserole dish or in 1 cup ramekins. I followed the directions and a 2 cup serving dish was the size of a cereal bowl, which is a lot of food. I think a 1 cup ramekin would be the perfect size accompanied with some extra veggies or a salad.
Chicken Spinach & Cauliflower Cheese Pots
- 1 small (800g) cauliflower, cut into florets
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 pound/500g boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced
- Kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, for seasoning
- 3 Tablespoons/40g butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (I used Better Batter.)
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
- 375ml can evaporated milk
- 3 ounces/80g baby spinach
- 1/3 cup grated tasty cheese (I used a sharp English Cheddar)
- Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C/180°C fan-forced. Steam over or cook cauliflower in a saucepan of boiling water for 5 minutes or until just tender. Drain.
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Season diced chicken breast with Kosher salt, black pepper and garlic powder. Add the chicken. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a bowl. Cover to keep warm.
- Add butter to pan. Cook for 1 minute or until melted and bubbling. Add flour. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until bubbling. Gradually add stock, stirring until smooth. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Add milk. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in chicken, cauliflower, spinach and 2 tablespoons tasty cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
- Spoon mixture into four 2 cup-capacity ovenproof dishes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Serve.
Posted in Cooking, Dinner, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes
Tagged cauliflower, cheese, chicken, cooking, dinner, food, gluten free, recipes, spinach
This has quickly become one of my go to recipes. I’ve made it several times now and I like it more and more every time. Then again, you could add tomatoes, olives and capers to pretty much anything and I would find it delicious, so I might be a bit biased. I also have to admit I really enjoy the fact that this recipe requires using a mallet. There is something about bash about chicken that is quite therapeutic.
It’s perfect for a quick and easy dinner (like 15 minutes and it’s ready, easy). I’ve made it both with canned diced tomatoes and fresh tomatoes and I hate to say it, but I might have liked the canned tomatoes more… The fresh tomatoes did not break down as well and the skins were kind of tough. I also found that I had to add a little more liquid to get a sauce going with the fresh tomatoes. I am a very saucy person, so when a dish has a sauce, I like a lot of it. If you happen to have super ripe and juicy fresh tomatoes, I wouldn’t worry about it, but if your tomatoes are kind of under ripe and sad, canned would probably be your best bet.
Flattened Chicken with Tomatoes, Olives & Capers
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1/2 cup seasoned flour (I used garlic powder, paprika and black pepper to season)
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 large ripe tomato, chopped or 1/2-15 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained.
- 2 Tablespoons capers
- large handful Kalamata olives, chopped
- splash white wine/dry vermouth or broth
- Place the chicken breast on to a flat surface and cover with plastic wrap. Bash with a rolling pin or mallet to flatten, then lightly coat in the seasoned flour. Heat the oil and butter in a pan, add the chicken and cook for 3-4 mins on each side until crisp, browned and cooked through. Remove from the pan and keep warm.
- Add the tomato, capers, olives and wine to the pan, season to taste, then bring to the boil. Bubble the sauce for 2-3 mins until the tomatoes are starting to break down, then spoon over the chicken.
Posted in Cooking, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes
Tagged capers, chicken, cooking, food, gluten free, olives, recipes, tomato
Yes, I am aware it’s Halloween and I should be sharing something themed, but to be quite honest I am not really into Halloween. It’s one day, I don’t get why it now gets a month+ ‘season’ (this also my complaint about christmas). The closest I’m coming to the Halloween spirit is drinking bourbon and reading ‘Helter Skelter‘ (it’s for my book club) all while pretending we aren’t home when trick-or-treaters come by. If that doesn’t say ‘Happy Halloween’, I’m not sure what does…
Enough about things I don’t like, let’s talk about things that I so like: Mexican food. Even in the vaguest sense, Mexican food always makes me happy. This dish is very vaguely Mexican, but tasty enough that we can overlook authenticity. It’s also super easy to throw together. Tasty and easy is definitely a double bonus in my book. I thought about adding in some more vegetables (zucchini or mushrooms maybe), but to cut down on prep/chopping time I decided not to. I thought the end result was very tasty and definitely didn’t seem like it was missing anything, but if I add more time, I would definitely add in some extra veggies as well.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into strips
- 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 1-7 ounce can diced green chiles
- 1-10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 1 1/2 cups salsa
- 4-6 inches corn tortillas, coarsely torn
- 3 ounces Monterey Jack or Sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered or chopped
- 3 green onions, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an unheated large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Preheat skillet over medium-high heat. In a medium bowl toss together chicken, garlic, and chili powder. Add to hot skillet. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, stirring frequently. Remove chicken from skillet; set aside.
- Add canola oil to skillet. Add onion and green chiles. Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in spinach.
- Coat a 2-quart square baking dish with cooking spray. Spread about 1/2 cup of the salsa in the baking dish. Top with half of the tortilla pieces, half of the chicken mixture, and half of the vegetable mixture. Pour half of the remaining salsa over the vegetables and top with half of the cheese. Repeat layers once, except do not top with the remaining cheese.
- Bake, covered, for 30 to 35 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. If desired, garnish with cherry tomatoes and green onions.
The other day I got a craving for chicken salad, which is rather strange considering I have never had it before. The reason I’ve never had it before is that it normally has celery in it. Celery makes me want to cry. I hate it. With a passion. I could probably write you a short novel on my hatred of celery, but I will refrain. The abridged version can be summed up like this: I think celery is pure evil and disgusting and I hate it and it is so gross and will act like a 3-year-old and refuse to eat anything with it in it, on it, or touching it. Ewwwww. Since I am making this chicken salad there will be no celery. Anywhere. Ever.
Once I was able to get the thought of celery out of my mind, I was able to really get into this chicken salad. I am fairly certain using greek yogurt made it a lot better than using all mayonnaise. mayonnaise has a time and a place, but I really enjoyed the tanginess the yogurt had. I did include a bit a mayo to give it a little bit of extra creaminess. The one thing I forgot is that greek yogurt is a lot thicker than mayo. I probably should have added in more lemon juice to thin it out a bit more. Other that that everything was perfect. I really liked the sweetness and texture the grapes and cherries added. The cherries were a last second impulsive add-in. They were just sitting right in front of me when opened the cupboard. They seemed like a good idea at the time and they were. I really liked this as a salad with lettuce. They extra creamy yogurt meant I didn’t need any extra dressing. It made a refreshing and filling lunch. I will say the thing I think that made this salad was the chicken. I used the leftover baked chicken I shared last week. I know I went on and on about how great the fresh herbs were on that chicken. The fresh herbs really, really made this salad taste amazing.
- 2 cups diced chicken
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 cup seedless green grapes, sliced
- 3 green onions, with some green, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces, chopped
- 1/4 cup dried cherries
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Dash pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Salad greens
- Sliced avocado
- Combine the diced chicken with 1/3 cup yogurt, sour cream, sliced grapes, sliced green onions, walnuts, cherries, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and lemon juice. Stir in the lemon juice. Serve the chicken salad mixture on salad greens and garnish with sliced avocado.
This is an embarrassingly simple dish. It’s fast and delicious. I was actually kind of shocked by how good the finished product was. The ingredients are very basic, so I was imagining something a bit bland, but that is not at all how it turned out.
Definitely make sure to use fresh herbs! They really make the dish. I used herbs from my garden. I think thyme and sage would also work really well in this dish. It’s pretty much endlessly adaptable. I served this with the delicious roasted onions and mushrooms I shared yesterday. Both dishes require very little preparation and cook for around the same time at the same temperature, so they work perfectly together.
Simple Baked Chicken with Fresh Herbs
- cooking spray
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
- 2 teaspoons rosemary, fresh, chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup(s) low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. Coat a small, shallow roasting pan with cooking spray.
- Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper. Transfer chicken to prepared pan and drizzle with oil; sprinkle with lemon juice, rosemary and parsley. Pour broth around chicken to coat bottom of pan.
- Bake until chicken is cooked through, about 30 to 35 minutes. Garnish with fresh lemon and serve.
I think that this is the perfect fast and easy fall meal. It comes together quickly, so you can definitely make it after a busy day with very little effort. I was a bit wary of the grapes combined with everything else, but they worked very well with the dish and gave a nice sweetness that was balanced out by the onions and balsamic vinegar. I served mine with
burnt extra crispy, roasted brussels sprouts and roasted sweet potatoes. I think goat cheese polenta or mashed sweet potatoes would also be a great accompaniment to the main dish. Any type of sausage can be used, I just happen to prefer chicken. I definitely recommend using pre-cooked sausages to cut down on cooking time. I used chicken sausages and I feel like most of the brands I buy, the chicken sausages are usually pre-cooked.
Sautéed Sausages with Grapes and Balsamic Glazed Onions
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 8 links cooked sweet Italian chicken sausage (about 1-3/4 lb.), pricked with a fork
- 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
- Kosher salt
- 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 20 seedless red grapes, halved
- Heat 1 Tablespoon of the oil in a large (12-inch) sauté pan over medium heat until it’s shimmering. Add the sausages and cook, turning every couple minutes, until they’re browned all over, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a large plate.
- Add the remaining 2 Tablespoons oil and the onion to the pot, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens completely and starts to turn light brown, about 7 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and chicken broth, and scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to incorporate any browned bits.
- Reduce to a gentle simmer (medium-low or low depending on your stovetop). Add the sausages and grapes, cover the pot with the lid ajar, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausages are heated through. Serve immediately.