Search This Blog

Monday, May 2, 2011

Recipe Review - end April

Been an interesting week weather wise; we've bounced between 60* and sun, and 30* and snow.  In between, rain.  I think I saw a headline in our local paper that called this season "sprinter" not spring, not winter but a strange combo of both.  All I know is it been interfering with my ability to get out on my bike! 

Also makes recipe planning interesting - do I plan for cool weather meals, or something lighter for a warm evening?  Well, since it is currently 30* as I type this with 20mph winds, we're going to stick with cold weather meals...
Ancho Chicken Tacos (Ckng Lght, May 2011)
These were simple and quick to pull together. I subbed broccoli slaw for the angel hair slaw because I have never seen such a product on my LGS shelves and I think broccoli has a bit more umph vitamin-wise.  I also used chicken thighs instead of breasts, cheaper and the thighs have a tich more iron (my last blood donation had me borderline for iron! That was as shocker.).  Avocado sauce was a nice change of pace from traditional salsa.  I made up my favorite cornbread recipe as a side (from Cooks Illustrated). These would be great done on the grill for a hot summer day with a frosty beer or margarita to accompany them. 

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 tacos)

Time: 20 minutes
photo from

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4-inch strips
3/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Cooking spray
1/8 teaspoon grated lime rind
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
1/4 cup light sour cream
2 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk
1/2 ripe peeled avocado, diced
2 cups packaged angel hair slaw
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas

1. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Sprinkle chicken evenly with chile powder, garlic salt, and cumin. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove chicken from pan.

2. Combine rind, 1 tablespoon juice, and next 3 ingredients (through avocado) in a blender or food processor; process until smooth.

3. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon juice, slaw, onions, cilantro, oil, and salt, tossing to coat.

4. Heat tortillas according to directions. Divide chicken mixture evenly among tortillas. Top each tortilla with about 1 tablespoon avocado mixture and 1/4 cup slaw mixture.

Orzo Salad with Spicy Buttermilk Dressing  (Ckng Lght, May 2011)
As this recipe notes, it is indeed quick and easy.  Also note, the dressing is spicy and may not be suitable for little tastebuds (or Norwegian tastebuds...)!  ;)  If need to feed some kiddies, either tone down the chili powders or omit altogether.   I upped the corn and added some cooked salmon I had on hand for a bit of extra protein.  Salmon is purely optional, but did add a nice bit of flavor and color.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 3/4 cups orzo mixture, 2 avocado wedges, 3/4 teaspoon cilantro, and 3/4 teaspoon parsley)

Total: 30 minutes

Photo from
1 cup uncooked orzo
1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed and drained
12 cherry tomatoes, quartered
3 green onions, sliced
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons light sour cream
2 tablespoons canola mayonnaise
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 peeled avocado, cut into 8 wedges
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1. Cook orzo according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and rinse; drain well. Place orzo, corn, and next 3 ingredients (through beans) in a large bowl; toss.

2. Combine buttermilk, 2 tablespoons cilantro, and next 8 ingredients (through garlic) in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Drizzle over orzo mixture; toss. Top with avocado; garnish with remaining cilantro and parsley.

Creamy Chicken Salad (Ckng Lght, May 2011)
This dish became lunches for the week.  Super simple to toss together - I ignored the whole "poaching" bit (it's fine, I'm sure) because I was baking something in the oven and just tossed the chicken in at the same time.  Rotisserie chicken would also work fine.  Flavor is good, I liked the dried cranberries with the celery, though I think the Husband found it a bit odd.  I also omitted the almonds since these were getting made into sandwiches instead of salads.  Made 8 lunches as sandwiches. 
Photo from
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries
7 tablespoons (about 2 ounces) coarsely chopped smoked almonds
6 cups mixed salad greens

1. Fill a Dutch oven two-thirds full of water; bring to a boil.

2. Wrap each chicken breast half completely and tightly in heavy-duty plastic wrap. Add the chicken to boiling water. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165°. Remove from pan, and let stand for 5 minutes. Unwrap chicken and shred; refrigerate for 30 minutes or until cold.

(1a)  Or bake for 20 minutes. Let cool. Shred. 

3. Combine mayonnaise and the next 7 ingredients (through black pepper) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk until combined. Add chicken, 1/3 cup celery, cranberries, and almonds; toss well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve over salad greens.

1 comment:

Dee said...

They ALL sound good. I will definitely be trying the chicken salad one.

Popular Posts