Whole Roasted Chicken Tacos with Avocado Corn and Cucumber Salsa


Ingredients:

Chicken

3 pound whole chicken- gizzards removed
3 limes- 2 loose chopped; 1 juiced
1/4 red onion- loose chopped
1/4 cup cilantro- loose chopped
1 tablespoon Canola Oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Coriander
Garlic powder
Chili powder
Cumin
Directions:
Place the chicken in a 9×9 dish, season the interior with salt and pepper then stuff with chopped limes and onion and cilantro. Rub in the Canola oil on the outside ok the chicken, then season well with the remaining ingredients. Using twine, tie the two legs of the bird together to close off the stuffing from falling out. Cook on a hot grill over indirect heat for 1 hour, or unill the temp reads 165 degrees. Allow the bird to rest in foil for 10 minutes before shredding the meat for the tacos!
Avacado Corn and Cucumber Salsa
Ingredients:
2 avocados- diced
2 limes- juiced
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 small cucumber, seeded and diced
3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 ears of corn, cooked and removed from cob
Directions:
Toss everything together in a medium bowl. Serve with chicken.
You’ll also need taco toppings:
We used,
Corn Tortillas
Shredded Red Cabbage
Greek Nonfat plain yogurt
More chopped cilantro
Fresh lime juice
For the tacos, char fresh corn tortillas over an open flame ( on your stove or grill), then load up some shredded chicken, fresh avocado salsa, shredded red cabbage and fresh chopped cilantro. You can also top that with plain non-fat Greek yogurt and more fresh squeezed lime juice. Fold in over and enjoy!!!!!!!

Fresh Tomato, Cucumber and Apple Salad


:

1 medium sized Cucumber
8 Compari tomatoes
1 Gala Apple
1 Lemon, juiced
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
Cracked black pepper to taste
Directions:
Cube the Cucumber and the Apple, and quarter the tomatoes, Combine in a mixing bowl followed by the juice of 1 whole lemon, 1/2 tsp kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste. Toss ingredients together gently and serve chilled.

One of the best parts of summer is the freshness and availability of local fruits and vegetables. We love eating fresh salads with lots of flavor and this extremely simple, yet very tasty recipe is no exception.

Ingredients

Asparagus for Breakfast- yes that is what we said



Ingredients:

1 pound trimmed and washed asparagus, pat dry
1 teaspoon EVOO
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh grated Nutmeg
4 eggs, over easy or sunny side up
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet, jelly roll pan is the best, with aluminum foil. Place the asparagus in the same direction on a single layer, drizzle the olive oil over them to coat and then sprinkle with salt. Bake for 5 minutes. Then toss them to their other side with tongs. If the tops are getting browned, just fold the foil over the top part. Continue to bake for 3-5 minutes until desired doneness. We like them a little firm still, so 3 minutes more does the trick. Remove from the oven and grate the nutmeg and lemon zest over the hot spears. Serve with eggs over easy or sunny side up, and some whole wheat Italian toast!

Garden Herb Lentil Salad


Need ideas for an easy salad to take to work with you? This one travels and keeps well, it is also packed with great benefits like fiber, protein, and vitamins A & C. It’s also a great way to use all those herbs taking over your garden- fresh mint, basil and parsley make this a refreshing and delicious meal (or side dish) serve warm or cold!

1 cup lentils
3 cups water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
3 cups baby spinach
1 cup tomatoes (cherry of plum), halved of diced
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/8 cup fresh chocolate mint leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the lentils by put the them in a pot with the water, bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer with the lid on an angle for about 20 minutes. You want them to be tender but keep there shape and no be exploding all over. Drain the extra water from the pot and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, medium/ high heat. Toss in the red onion, cook for 3 minutes. Turn off the flame and then add in the spinach, toss for about 2 minutes, then add the tomatoes and herbs. toss to combine. Then add in the lime juice, and season with salt and pepper.

We divided this up in to 4 servings in to-go containers to bring for lunches or use as a side later in the week. It keeps well for about 3-4 days.

photos coming soon

Vegetable and Chicken Stir Fry



Stir fry is an easy and healthy dinner for any night of the week. After long days of working, hitting the gym, and all the other daily responsibilities, there is always time to throw together some veggies with some Ginger and Soy Sauce over a bed of warm rice and call it a meal.

Ingredients:

1 cup brown rice, cooked= 4 cups
1 pound chicken breast tenders, sliced in to thin strips
1 TBSP Canola oil
1 TSP Sesame oil
3 TBSP low sodium Soy Sauce
1/2 TSP salt
1/2 TSP pepper
1 TBSP fresh Ginger ( about 1.5″), trimmed and chopped fine
3 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
2 cups steamed broccoli
1.5 cups steamed sugar snap peas
1/2 cup red onion, sliced
3/4 cup red Bell Pepper, sliced
1.5 cups water
1 TBSP corn starch

Directions:

In a wok or large frying pan, heat up the Canola oil over medium/ high heat. Season the chicken with a little salt and pepper, then toss into the pan with a teaspoon each of the chopped garlic and ginger, the Sesame oil, and 1 TBSP of the Soy Sauce. Cook for 5 minutes until there is no pink color left on the chicken. Then add in the rest of the ingredients (save the rice, corn starch and water) toss together for 3 minutes, then add in the corn starch and water. Stir to thicken the sauce, 2-3 more minutes. taste for seasonings, adjust with salt and pepper or Soy. Divide the mixture on to four plates over 1 cup of the brown rice. Enjoy

(photos coming)

Chicken Tonight

CHICKEN
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon EVOO, to coat
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Marinate the breasts with the above items, set aside
Heat a non stick pan over high heat (large enough for both breasts) for 2 minutes, spray with a little Pam, then place both breasts in the pan to sear, turn the flame to medium, cook about 7 minutes per side. Check for doneness, tent with foil to rest- 5 minutes before serving
ZUCCHINI:
1 large zucchini cut in to 3/4″ chunks
1 teaspoon EVOO, to coat
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat over to 400 degrees
Toss the zuccs with the above items in a bowl and spread on to a baking sheet in a single layer.
Place on the middle rack in your oven for 7-10 minutes until they are slightly browned.
Mashed Potatoes:
4 medium Russet potatoes, peeled and chopped in to 1/2″ cubes
2 tablespoons butter, cubed
1/2 teaspoon chives, chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper, to taste
1/4 cup warm milk
Cover the potatoes with water in a pot, bring to a boil, and continue to cook for another 20-25 minutes until they are fork tender. Drain them, and place back in the cooking pot. Turn the flame on your burner and heat the drained potatoes to get rid of excess water, this makes the potatoes fluffy. Add the butter, chives, garlic, salt/ pepper and mash with a fork or masher until smooth. Slowly add in the milk to desired whippy-ness, taste and adjust your seasonings. Serve with a small pat of butter on top for added indulgence!
Garlic Bread:
1″ thick slices of Italian bread
spread with butter, thin layer
sprinkle with garlic powder
top with freshly grated parmesan cheese
toast in the oven about 5 minutes at 400 degrees
Serve warm!

Dinner Out- Osaka2 on Taylor Street


SUSHI!


On Thursday night we checked out the Little Italy market going on down Taylor Street between Ashland and Loomis. They had a lot of vendors selling all the neighborhood favorites… Pompei Meatball Subs… Rosebuds Oregano Chicken wings… Leona’s breaded ravioli…. but we were craving something a little less heavy and right down the block- SUSHI! We really love the new Osaka 2, there is another location in the loop but this is just minutes from our door step (and they deliver!). They are BYOB, inexpensive, and the sushi is always hand made, fresh and delicious. Our top favs to order there include Hawaii Roll, Spicy Tuna Roll, Philadelphia Roll, and of course California Rolls are always a good choice. They make tremendous smoothies- Peach Mango anyone? And if you aren’t a raw fish lover, they offer a few other great choices like Teriyaki Chicken and miso soup! Check them out, we’re sure you’ll love em. http://osaka2go.com/menu/

UPDATE 2011: Sadly Osaka 2 Go location on Taylor has closed, you can find them at their other location in the Loop still.

Spicy tacos, fresh salsa and Stuffed Banana Pepper



We were really craving some home made tacos so we picked up some fresh ingredients from our local grocery store, La Casa Del Pueblo. Here’s how we made it:

INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 bundle of cilantro, chopped
3 jalepeno peppers, chopped
2 red jalepeno peppers, seeded then chopped
1 banana pepper
1 white onion, chopped
12 corn tortillas
3 small avacados, peeled, seed removed, chopped
6 tomatos, diced
3 Limes
8oz brick of Chihuahua cheese, shredded
2 tsp kosher salt
DIRECTIONS:
Tacos:
Start off by browning your ground beef with one finely chopped jalepeno pepper. While that cooks, chop the rest of the ingredients.
Drain the meat of all fat, then in the pan, add your favorite taco seasonings ( we used McCormick) you can sub that for a combo of garlic powder/ cumin/ coriander/ chili powder etc. and add 3/4 cup water per pound, stir to combine bring to a boil and then simmer on low heat for 15 minutes until the liquid has reduced.
Salsa
To make salsa, start by combining a generous handful of cilantro and 2 garlic cloves in your food processor (get one if you don’t already have one) and process until both ingredients are finely chopped. Take the chopped tomatos, peppers, and 1/2 of the onion and add to the processor. Squeeze 1 whole lime and add salt to taste. Pulse 8 times for a nice and chunky salsa. Be careful to not over process the salsa. Doing so will result in a foamy consistency.
Guacamole
Combine 1/4 cup cilantro, 1 clove of garlic in a food processor till finely chopped. Next add 3 small avacados roughly chopped, 1/4 cup onion chopped, 1 jalepeno seeded and chopped, a squeeze of fresh lime juice and a teaspoon of salt, pulse 8 times or until desired consistency is achieved.
Stuffed Banana Pepper
Chop the top of the pepper and slice only one side of the pepper so that the inside is exposed. Scrape out the inner core of the pepper and its seeds. Mix Chihuahua cheese and cilantro generously and stuff the inside of the pepper. Wrap in tin foil and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Slice for serving.

Easy Homemade Monday night Pasta


Jason is the king of sauces, he also has a hard time following a recipe! This sauce is a classic Jason masterpiece with a few surprises like zucchini and baby bella mushrooms.

Ingredients:
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup baby bella mushrooms, chopped
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup thin sliced zucchini (ours was from Jamie and Chris’ garden- thanks!!)
1/2 cup red wine
2 cans diced tomatoes, low sodium, drained
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
unsalted butter as needed
freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 box of your favorite past- cooked and drained
Directions:
In a small pan, sautee the mushrooms and butter over medium high heat for about 3-4 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, set aside.
In a large dutch oven pan with lid, heat olive oil over medium flame. Add the onion and cook till transparent, not brown. Add in the garlic, stir to combine until fragrant- 1 minute. Slowly add the red wine, turning the flame high, and reduce by half. Add in the zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, sauce, 1/2 the basil, all the oregano, the bay leaf and a little bit of cheese. Reduce heat to medium and let the sauce simmer for 10 minutes. Taste test for salt and pepper, more garlic or more cheese… if you find the sauce is too acidic add in a pat of butter to smooth it out. Cook for 5 more minutes, then remove the bay leaf. Divide the sauce in half, blend 1/2 with an immersion blender, then stir it all back together. Serve over the pasta with fresh grated cheese and the basil divided evenly- serves 4

Breakfast at Jamie’s



Lemon-blueberry muffins, with a sour-sweet glaze…. these muffins were incredible. Jamie spent her birthday camping up in Michigan; while she was there, her and Chris went to pick blueberries….. they brought home LOTS of fresh, peak of the season, blueberries, then she made them in to these delicious treats for our Sunday brunch! Enjoy, Thanks Jamie!!

Yield: 1 dozen (serving size: 1 muffin)

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
dash salt
1/2 cup butter softened
1/2 cups 2% milk
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
2 cups blueberries
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Glaze:
1-1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400°.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in milk, lemon rind and juice.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture just until moistened. Fold in Blueberries.

Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 25-30 minutes or until the muffins spring back when lightly touched. Remove muffins from pans immediately, and place on a wire rack to cool.

For the GLAZE:

In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, butter, vanilla and powdered sugar. Drizzle glaze evenly over cooled muffins.