Chicken And Mushrooms With Asparagus & Herbed Basmati Rice

While we are slowly but surely changing our eating habits as whole lifestyle change, I don’t necessarily go out looking for specifically ‘diet’ recipes. When I picked the main dish recipe I noticed the name, but figured it would be pretty good when I looked over the ingredient list. So we decided the Dukan Diet Chicken and Mushrooms with Asparagus was something we were game to try. The only substitutions that we made were due to the fact that we couldn’t find button mushrooms; so we made do with the regular white mushrooms quartered. Once all of the chopping was done (and there is a fair amount of chopping) it comes together super easy. We were a little concerned there was no ‘sauce’ other than the melded drippings created when you cook the mushrooms – it was perfect! It wasn’t greasy or bland and the tastes really came together in a comforting way that made our mouths smile! We couldn’t quelch the desire to put this yummy little concoction along with a bed of rice (no surprise here, I seem to be on an infinite rice craving). This time I chose an Herbed Basmati Rice and it was a nice blend of herbs to complete the dinner into a meal that overall wasn’t at all hard to make and was completely satisfying. I started out with the chicken mixture and rice separate, but found when I mixed them together it was an amazing...

Coconut Shrimp With An Unsweetened Coconut Rice

I seem to be on a quest to find the very best coconut rice ever! You will notice from all of the different ones I have blogged about, that I am still apparently on the hunt. Let’s be honest, I just simply LOVE coconut. On meat, in sides, cookies, cakes…hehe, what else could I possibly do with it? I may have just begun another ‘journey’ – sounds like fun… So let’s get to the meal! We started on the Coconut Shrimp as it does require that 30 min. refrigeration time before cooking. Start a little early so that you can lower the temperature of the shrimp. (We also left just one with the batter only – minus coconut – so that we could taste the batter all by itself. The result, it is a pretty decent fry batter – it is tasty and crispy, but really light. May definitely try this on some fish or for a chinese style dish in the future!) At this point we started the rice which I’ll get to in a minute, but for the finish on the shrimp it was really great how quickly they really cook. And my best advice, when they are beginning to brown pull them! That light brown color may look undercooked, but bear in mind that it will continue to cook to perfection after you pull it out of the oil. You don’t want to end up with overcooked batter or overly chewy shrimp. Awesome! We cannot express what an amazing version of coconut shrimp this turned out to be!  Next time I’m thinking I may thinly slice some green onion to top it very lightly! We choose a sweet chili sauce for dipping, but they were good without as well! The Coconut Rice is another Thai version of what is typically a sweet and sticky side. Looking over the recipe, the biggest thing I noticed as the lack of the usual sweeteners – the sugar specifically, and I won’t lie, I was a little nervous as to whether it was going to pass the taste test for everyone. Hubby also mentioned he was scared of this new unsweetened version, but we all came away very impressed with both the flavor and more importantly, the texture of this recipe. The unsweetened coconut lightly throughout the cooked rice was a new and pretty girthy add to the texture – and without all the sugar, the rice was not nearly as sticky as some of the previous versions. The BEST part was the toasted coconut  on top! The recipe indicates it is optional – I’m going to say it, just do it! It doesn’t take long at all and it adds so much nuttiness and texture to the rice that I cannot possibly imagine it without. With our mango (I totally cheated, I used the stuff from the jar–it is quick and easy and we still get fruit (even though it could be better if we got it ripe and in season whenever we wanted to eat it), but this time instead of just some pure cinnamon on top, I decided to use the spice mix that is used in the Honey Spiced Butter. Bingo! It was so much more spiced and sweet and just an explosion of taste this time around. Note: I used very, very little just sprinkled over the top for a persuasion of spice. I feel like this is one of those mixes that can go from perfect to tears with just the smallest amount too much! This dinner turned out so incredibly filling and light and the taste while really subtle, was such an amazing dinner! We all gave it two thumbs...

Carne Bistec & Quinoa Salad With Artichokes And Parsley

Last night was one of those no motivation type nights, but I decided I had better get back to my weekly menus! I really wanted to make something unlike anything we’ve made before – but it had to be exploding with flavor; so I mustered up my will power and got the shopping done 🙂 That really felt like a major task yesterday, but the effort really paid off with a flavor intensive dinner that filled us up and made us happy 🙂 So I’m really not the most efficient person when it comes to chopping – especially when it took so much for me to motivate to begin with. I will say the prep took me a fair amount of chopping and slicing so I did that all ahead of time so that when I was ready to get going it was ready. I started cooking the Quinoa Salad with Artichokes and Parsley first because it overall took more time. This was a first for us! None of us has ever tried quinoa, I figured it would be difficult to prepare or maybe a little more costly and to my delight I was wrong on both accounts! I have to say, we loved it!! I used the sweet onion option and put in just under a cup of parsley. The flavor was so intense and again I remember why I love lemon and artichoke hearts – the two flavors seem to be meant to be – YUM! Once everything was prepped, the cooking was no sweat. We were a little concerned there would not be enough salt (with the light sodium/fat free broth & only a 1/4 teaspoon), but when we got to eat it, we didn’t even notice it was missing! The Carne Bistec (Colombian Steak with Onions and Tomatoes) looked amazing and we really appreciate the taste of latin foods. We use a lot of cumin in our recipes too, but find that we really love the flavor and the versatility of the spice. And I did substitute New York Strip steak for the Sirloin tips just because of the cost of the tips this week. It was really a simple and flavorful steak dish and we opted on the low carb option and put the sunny side up egg on the top. I really like the “to taste” instructions for the spices in this dish, that way you can go as intense or light as you want. We went fairly light so the steak would have a subtle flavor to compliment the intense flavors in the quinoa side. We rounded out the meal with a little fresh cut pineapple and overall it was filling but not too heavy. Well worth the effort and so pleased with the...

Kiddos Loved BBQ Baskets And Cowboy Beans

Not too long ago, I shared a story about a working ranch that was one of my favorite places to visit as a child. The meal brought up memories of The Flying W Ranch because it reminded me of the wagon train dinner they used to serve in the afternoon/evening. I had also mentioned that I really wished we had the kiddos because I just knew they would love ’em. Well I was not disappointed, the kiddos actually asked for seconds and thirds. From the Publix Aprons Recipes, we once again made the Barbecue Baskets with Cowboy Beans. The only real difference to the last time we made them, was simply that I doubled the batch (lucky for the family because everyone ate them up) and I used both shredded pork and shredded chicken. I have to say overall the favorite in our house is the chicken. Also, we made sure to buy the shredded meat without sauce — we used our favorite BBQ sauce, Sweet Baby Ray’s regular sauce. This is a simple and quick meal that the whole family enjoyed. Have you tried making these? If so, what do you think? Did you add anything or do anything...

Greek Style Garlic Chicken Breast With Jasmine Rice

We are in full Christmas swing around here and there seems to hardly be a lull at all in the chaos that is life. We have been doing a mix of some new recipes (which I am finally getting posted), and a lot of easy stuff like spaghetti or pizza — so I am making it my mission today to get some posts up! Along with the craziness it seems we are multi-tasking so much during dinner preparation that we just haven’t been as vigilant as usual with my photos! Hubby actually found and prepared this yummy little recipe and he definitely hit the bulls-eye. He decided to make a Greek Style Garlic Chicken Breast  and it was a nice spiced and savory way to make chicken. The lemon, garlic and paprika really just amped up the flavor without being overwhelming and we ended up serving it on a bed of jasmine rice. They were great paired together. This recipe was followed exactly, and we opted to marinade the chicken overnight in the refrigerator. This was totally a tasty...

December 2013 Comment Contest

Just a reminder! December’s comment contest has started! The winner will be drawn at random from the comments made during the month of December. Find a post you like and let me know what you think! This month’s winner will be drawn on December 30, 2013 and you will win a $10.00 Amazon gift card. Carry on….

King Ranch Mac And Cheese & Pioneer Woman’s Green Beans One Way

We live in a strange household, why you ask? In our house the grown ups love macaroni and cheese but the kids hate it! I think it is so funny that as a kid (and into my adult years) I loved mac and cheese! We decided to look for a yummy sounding mac and cheese dinner for a night we didn’t have the kiddos and what we found made all of us adults fall in love with mac and cheese again! Hubby actually found the King Ranch Mac and Cheese and I for one cannot stop thinking about it! It was incredibly easy – there are several steps but the prep is not a lengthy process and in the end you put it all together and bake it. Delish!! Just a note, the actual recipe calls for cellentani pasta; our store doesn’t carry it; but using the photo as a guide we decided on corkscrew pasta and it was perfect for the dish. And this time we got a really tasty rotisserie chicken from the deli and that really gave the overall a nice flavor. The side I was totally excited about trying and my taste buds did a standing ovation when I ate them 🙂 . I had a friend tell me all about the Pioneer Woman and I was specifically searching google for green bean recipes and landed on her site. These fresh green beans were very tasty (and we used the bacon grease option – I imagine that was a lot of the taste base) and we all really liked them. The longest part of preparing the Green Beans One Way was cutting the tips off of the fresh green beans. Other than that, basic chopping of other ingredients and mix it together and let it cook. Simple! And just a small spin on the pears I was making earlier in the month, I made a Maple Cinnamon Macintosh Apple slices. We cut up the apple(s) depending on how many you want to feed. We usually try to go with no less than a half of an apple for each person. When sliced – skins on; then arrange so you can sprinkle and drizzle the soft inside pieces. Then lightly sprinkle ground cinnamon over all the apple pieces, then take a teaspoon and use it to drizzle a very light amount of pure maple syrup over the apple...