Thursday, March 26, 2009

Chili Coconut Chicken

This recipe came from one of many "Quick and Easy" recipe books that I have acquired over the years. And it definitely was quick and easy...and very yummy! I got to enjoy this dish with my girlfriend Andrea who happened to be in my neighborhood this convenient! She gave this recipe rave reviews...thanks Andrea!


2/3 cups chicken stock

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 Tb. vegetable oil

8 skinless, boneless chicken strips, cut into long, thin pieces

1 small red chili, thinly sliced

4 scallions, thinly sliced

1 red pepper, thinly sliced

1 yellow pepper

1 cup sugar snap peas

4 Tb. smooth or crunchy peanut butter

finely grated rind and juice of 1 lime

2 cups cooked rice

red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste


1. Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottom skillet or pre-heated wok. Season chicken with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Add chicken to skillet and cook, stirring, until golden.

2. Add red chili, peppers, and sugar snap peas and cook gently for few minutes.

3. Add warm chicken stock, coconut milk, peanut butter, lime rind and juice and simmer uncovered, stirring for 5 minutes.

4. Serve with rice and garnish with scallions.

G's Side notes:

The original recipe didn't call for any of the vegetables that I added. I love all these flavors in this recipe and I think you could add any veggies you have on hand. Next time, I think I will add pineapple too!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Fish Tacos with Chili Lime Cream

Fish tacos are one of my favs to order at a good Mexican restaurant. I did not have fresh fish on hand but I had frozen cod fillets in the freezer that I wanted to use. This was such a quick and easy recipe, not to mention a light and healthy dinner! It was ALMOST as good as any Mexican restaurant!


1 lb. fresh cod or any fresh white fish

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1 lime, halved

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

8 6-inch corn tortillas

2 cups shredded cabbage mix

1 avocado, sliced

Dash of salt

Hot sauce (optional)


1. Preheat broiler. Sprinkle fish with 1/4 tsp of the chili powder and dash of salt.

2. For chili-lime cream, in bowl squeeze 2 tsp. juice from half the lime. Stir in sour cream, garlic powder, and remaining chili powder. Set aside.

3. Place fish on unheated greased broiler rack. Broil fish 4 to 6 minutes per 1/2-inch thickness, until fish flakes with fork. Break into chunks.

4. Assemble tacos with chunks of fish, cabbage, chili-lime cream, avocado, pepper sauce, and squeeze of lime.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sunday Dinner: Rigatoni in Creamy Mushroom Sauce

I got this recipe out of an Italian recipe book that I had, but have not used yet. I was craving a hearty pasta with lots of different tastes. This did the trick! The original recipe called for port, but I didn't have port, and I really don't care for it. So, substitute a fruitier red wine and added a little sugar.


4 Tb. butter
1 Tb. olive oil
6 shallots, sliced
1 lb button mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper
1 tsp. all-purpose flour
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 Tb. red wine
1 Tb. white sugar
4 oz. sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained, chopped
pinch of nutmeg
12 oz dried rigatoni
2 Tb. chopped fresh parsley

1. Melt butter with the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the shallots and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes, or until softened. Add mushrooms and cook over low heat for an additional 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute.

2. Remove the skillet from the heat and gradually stir in the cream, red wine, and sugar.Return tot he heat, add the sun-dried tomatoes, and grated nutmeg, and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, bring large pan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes or until tender but still firm to the bite. Drain the pasta well, and add to mushroom sauce. Cook for 3 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and Parmesan cheese (optional).

G's side notes:
I have probably mentioned before that I love a lot and extra sauce. Sometimes in cream sauces like this one, I reserve some pasta water and add it to the sauce. Not only does this extend the sauce, but adds another layer of flavor because of the starch and salt in the water.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Curry Chicken Salad

I love when I can use my leftovers and use them for lunch options. A couple of days ago I got a roasted chicken from the grocery store. Obviously too much chicken for just me in one night, so I made this curry chicken salad the next day for lunch! I got this recipe from my Big Book of 30-Minute Dinners, but since I already had the roasted chicken, it only took like 10 minutes!
3 cups roasted chicken
2 cups green grapes
1 8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1/3 cup light mayo
1/3 cup lemon-flavored low-fat yogurt
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp curry powder
2 Tb sliced almonds
1. In a large bowl, combine chicken, grapes, water chestnuts, and celery.
2. For salad dressing, stir together mayo, yogurt, soy sauce, and curry powder. Pour dressing over chicken mixture, and toss. Season with salt and pepper.
G's side notes:
This was such a good twist on the normal everyday chicken salad! The original recipe called for Mandarin oranges, but I thought that was fruit over kill. I might try the oranges next time and omit the grapes!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Veggie Bean Burgers

I have to say that I am a pretty big meat eater. However, I don't NEED to have meat in every meal. I actually love to be creative sometimes, and cut the meat out. I am constantly looking for tasty vegetarian meals, and this bean burger did the trick! The original recipe was taken from a Guy Fieri creation, and I tweaked it just a little bit. (I apologize for this picture of the final product as it does not do the patty justice!)
2 ounces olive oil
3 Tb diced red onions
2 Tb diced black olives
1 tsp diced jalapeno
1 1/2 Tb diced garlic
6 ounces black beans
6 ounces white beans
6 ounces rolled oats
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 Tb fresh parsley
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 celery salt
1/4 ground sage
2 Tb seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg
1. In a large saute pan over medium heat, heat 1 ounce of olive oil and all raw veggies except for beans. Saute until translucent. Set aside to cool.
2. Add veggies to beans and mix thoroughly. Add all dry ingredients, and egg. Mix together thoroughly and make four even patties. Cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. In saute pan, add 1 ounce of olive oil and cook patties for 2 to 3 minutes per side.
G's side notes:
The original recipe called for diced artichokes and another type of bean. This recipe already had so many flavors and ingredients, that I decided to cut out those two. These burgers turned out so flavorful they didn't need the extra ingredients. I did add cheese (of course), and I tried to make a spicy chili mayo spread. However, next time, I think I will try a basil lime mayo as I think the lime will go great with the beans.

Monday, February 16, 2009

For the Co-Workers: Valentine's Cupcakes

I love bringing in treats for my co-workers. Since I don't have a big army to feed at home, sometimes I make them my victims. I don't think they mind all that much, except for my boss thinking I am trying to make him gain weight! These cupcakes weren't anything special, just strawberry cake from a box with confetti frosting. But they were fun to make...and they were gone by the end of the day! One thought of mine was to make them have a tropical twist by adding crushed pineapple and orange zest to the batter and then adding toasted coconut on top the frosting! Next time guys! Happy Valentine's day!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sunday Dinner: Sauteed Pork with Mushroom Mustard Cream Sauce

I spend almost every Sunday at my parent's house. It has been a tradition every since I was little that Sunday nights were a time to relax until the work week started again, and to cook a big nice dinner. This dinner usually consists of a great steak on the grill or my mom's homemade spaghetti sauce. Occasionally though we will mix it up. A couple Sunday's ago, my mom and I cooked this one together. We found the recipe from my mom's BIG binder of recipes. This is a great website for recipes, and I will probably visit here often.


2 Tb vegetable oil

4 Tb unsalted butter

Four 4 to 5 ounce pork cutlets, lightly pounded to an even thickness

Salt to taste

Ground pepper to taste

1/4 cup minced shallots

3 cups thinly sliced fresh white mushrooms

1/4 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup chicken stock

2/3 cup heavy cream

1 Tb Dijon mustard

2 Tb thinly sliced green onion tops


1. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat until hot. Add the oil and heat until almost smoking. Add the butter and when it becomes foamy, add the cutlets.

2. Saute the cutlets just until they are lightly browned on the bottom. Turn and cook on the other side until lightly browned. They will not be completely cooked through. Season with salt and pepper and transfer the cutlets to a platter.

3. Add the shallots to the same pan and saute over medium heat until soft, but not brown, 3-5 minutes.

4. Turn the heat to high and add the mushrooms. Saute stirring frequently, until the mushrooms release all their liquid. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mushrooms to a bowl and set aside.

5. Add the white wine and reduce by half.

6. Add the chicken stock and reduce by half.

7. Add the cream and reduce until sauce coats the back of a spoon.

8. Reduce the heat to low and add the mustard. Whisk until smooth.

9. Return the cutlets and mushrooms to the pan (do not boil) and cook just until the pork is heated through.

G's side notes:

This really was a fantastic recipe. There was a lot of transferring things and reducing of liquids, but the end result was worth it. I am a huge sauce lover, so I next time, I would almost double the sauce ingredients. Also, we served this with mashed potatoes and the gravy went excellent with them!