Tag Archives: rice

Best Ever Weeknight Chicken Recipes

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Welcome to 2016, Radishes Are Pink style!  :)I was just reflecting a little bit {don’t we all at this time of year?!} and was thinking about my goals for this here blog this year. I started the blog at the very end of 2014/beginning of 2015 when I was 7 months pregnant. Pregnant brains are weird and some days I think my lactating brain is even weirder! Needless to say it was not easy to keep up with the blog in 2015 and I am committed to doing better at it this year. Right after our sweet Chloe was born we learned we were moving to Germany and then the steamroller of an overseas move took hold of our life for most of the year. We found an awesome house but were without internet and television for five months! That seems insane thinking about it now. I guess my lack of sleep made it seem like it wasn’t quite so long.

My littlest sous chef has grown so much this year!

My littlest sous chef has grown so much this year!

Now that I am back to blogging I figured the best way to kick of the blogs in 2016 is with our favorite chicken recipes. Everyone {okay, maybe not everyone, but LOTS of people} love chicken. I think it is fair to say it is a weekly staple in most households. We are always trying out new recipes and I promise to give you my real take on them so you know which to try and which are just not worth your time. Here is a list (with links to the recipes) of five of the best weeknight chicken recipes we have ever tried. Cheers to puttin’ a little pizzazz in your chicken game in 2016!

Arroz Con Pollo: This is a Food and Wine recipe and is one of our favorites. It is from their Best From Scratch Chicken Cook Book. We love this one because you can really use whatever chicken you have on hand to make it and it comes together really quickly. This recipe is almost a formula for a chicken and rice and not just a recipe. You can riff with whatever peppers you have on hand and can add extra veggies (we usually do). The best part is that as long as you are willing to wait 45 minutes for dinner to be ready you can prep for twenty minutes then sit back and relax for the 25 minutes while it simmers…soaking in all of the delicious aromas.

Chicken Tikka Pizzas: It may sound a little odd at first, but trust me, this one just works! The chicken quickly broils in a yogurt mixture while you make an Indian-spiced tomato sauce. You mix this all together then spread on a pita with some onion and cheese and you are left with one of the best fusion recipes of all time. All in under thirty minutes!

Korean-Style Chicken Wraps: Every Asian chain seems to have a version of lettuce wraps and I had never found one to make at home to do them justice until we made these. These are sweet and salty (but not too salty) and with a squeeze of lime and some cool cucumber they are the perfect homemade lettuce wrap. I love the ones with some grated daikon which would be super good in these, but the daikons at our store are always enormous so the cucumber is a nice substitute. This is probably the best “take out, fake out” you’ll ever make. Trust me.

Our move to Germany moved us far away from some family and much closer to others! We are so happy to be able to see Auntie Anouk and Auntie Nienke more often!

Our move to Germany moved us far away from some family and much closer to others! We are so happy to be able to see Auntie Anouk and Auntie Nienke more often!

Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken Breasts with Thyme Gremolata: This one sounds fancy but don’t let that fool you. This recipe has six ingredients. Six! It takes a wee bit over thirty minutes, but that is because you marinate it for thirty minutes which is the perfect amount of time to settle in after work. The lemon juice makes the chicken tender and juicy. We usually serve this with some microwaveable rice and a tossed salad. This is definitely worth standing on your patio in a parka to grill in the Winter.

My sweet Hannah is always such a great helper and eater. She loves any kind of chicken!

My sweet Hannah is always such a great helper and eater. She loves any kind of chicken!

Cumin-Rubbed Chicken with Guacamole Sauce: We love Chipotle. A lot. The closest Chipotle to where we now live is almost two hours away. The horrors! The guacamole sauce is really what makes this recipe. It is creamy and tangy and takes only a few minutes to make it. Especially if you are lazy like me and roughly chop {ahem, okay so maybe I dared my blender to blend the halved tomatillos and giant chunks of avocado} the ingredients.

Stay tuned for more of our favorite ever recipes and weekly meal plans! Follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook so you never miss our take on a recipe we’ve tried. Happy New Year!

Life with this kiddo is always an adventure. A little Nutella on your face, Ry?

Life with this kiddo is always an adventure. A little Nutella on your face, Ry?

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Strange Week Ahead

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I think the kiddos and I will hit up a farmer's market (or several) this week for some locally grown greens and fruit.

I think the kiddos and I will hit up a farmer’s market (or several) this week for some locally grown greens and fruit.

This will be an interesting week.   Family and friends are heading back to their homes so it will just be us for most of the week.  We ended up with a ton of leftovers from the weekend (woohoooooooo!) and I had already started to prep a meal for Sunday evening so we’ll have to have that in the beginning of the week.  Made for a very inexpensive grocery shopping trip.  As Heather of RHONY would say, “Holla!” 🙂

Monday: Leftovers.  Kiddos had Dewey’s pizza leftovers since they had Shish Wraps leftovers for lunch and hubs and I had Shish Wraps leftovers.  I am going to mourn the loss of Shish Wraps.  Maybe Simon will let us franchise a Shish Wraps in Germany.  A girl can dream, right?  Luckily I do have a great tabbouleh recipe…the quinoa tabbouleh on my Favorite Healthy Recipes Pinterest page is the perfect balance of veggies to grains to lemony goodness.

Dark and stormy will have to be added to the menu this week.  We need to use up our ginger beer.  Aww, shucks.

Dark and stormy will have to be added to the menu this week. We need to use up our ginger beer. Aww, shucks.

Tuesday: Asian Chicken and Cabbage Salad.  I already prepped the chicken and just need to prep the rest of the ingredients.  I think I’ll get this ready early in the day so I can have it for lunch and the rest of the fam can have it for dinner since Chloe and I are headed to P.F. Chang’s for a hot date with local dietitians. 

Wednesday: Leftovers.  I am praying we have enough leftovers otherwise we’ll have Ree Drummond’s pantry pasta.  I think she is my Woman Crush Wednesday this week.  What is not to love?  She is a city girl that is doin’ her thing in the middle of nowhere, making money, having a successful home and making delicious food. This is exactly what I aspire to do now that we are moving away from my dream job…maybe not quite the middle of nowhere.  Maybe more the middle of Miami or the outskirts of Washington, DC, but still.  Love and respect and admire her like woah.

Red beans and rice is one of my absolute favorite meals.  One of the many recipes hubs wooed me with.  Such a hunk!

Red beans and rice is one of my absolute favorite meals. One of the many recipes hubs wooed me with. Such a hunk!

Thursday:  Red beans and rice. Have I ever mentioned that I love beans and sausage and rice?  And that this is likely a meal we’ll have two times a week when Ryan is a teenager? That boy can EAT!  Luckily he would survive well in a developing nation due to his love of beans and rice.  He could subsist on rice, luckily.   I am skeptical of Paleo diets simply for their exclusion of beans.  Can you really have a healthy diet without beans?  I’m still trying to figure that out.  What do you think?  I just don’t know how to live without them!

Friday: Wingin’ it!  Chloe and I will be heading back from our road trip to drop the car off and send it on its way to Germany and hubs will have the kids to himself after our AMAZING friends watch them for the day.  He should totally bring dinner to them and some of his home brews, right? 

Saturday: Chorizo burgers with sweet corn guacamole.  Only Rachael Ray could come up with such a divine sounding burger.  This sounds like the perfect recipe for us to use up the rest of the chorizo in our freezer AND having some AMAZING Ohio sweet corn.  Ohio may not have great drivers (my Dad is still talking about the not yielding), but they sure do know how to grow some amazing vegetables.  The closer we get to CSA season the sadder I get.  I just keep reminding myself that I will be able to walk to a bakery from my future house.  Hope I can get some veggies straight from a farmer’s hands in Germany, too.

Gotta make another batch of these oatmeal bars this week to thank the kiddos teachers for being so wonderful.  Can't believe they are done with school!  This move is really happening!

Gotta make another batch of these oatmeal bars this week to thank the kiddos teachers for being so wonderful. Can’t believe they are done with school! This move is really happening!

What is your favorite Spring or Summer produce?  Strawberries? Rhubarb? Asparagus?  Peas?  Sweet corn?  I can’t decide!  Thanks for reading.  I hope you have a great week!

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Stocking Up: Pantry Style

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With only about six (hopefully at least four!) weeks left until baby #3 arrives it is time for us to start stocking up for our new addition.  We have most things we need for a baby with two other kiddos around, but need to prep the rest of the house for those days when we don’t have the energy to run to the store and just want a quick home-cooked meal.  Here are the things I’ll be grabbing over the next few weeks to stock up our pantry:

  • Dried beans and cans of reduced sodium or no salt added beans.  We try to keep kidney beans, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), black beans, cannellini or navy (something white) and pintos on-hand.
  • Pasta.  We really like the whole grain, whole grain white or pasta with added fiber and protein.  We keep a variety of shapes with favorites being angel hair, linguine, penne, orzo (for soups and sides) and elbows.

    Dried pasta, rices and quinoa.

    Dried pasta, rices and quinoa.

  • Canned tomatoes. For diced tomatoes we opt for the no salt added variety.  We also keep tomato paste, whole peeled tomatoes and crushed tomatoes handy.
  • Rice and grains.  We consume lots of rice.  Even more now that Ryan has stopped sticking it in his ears (we don’t need any more trips to the ENT!).  We use the packages of par-cooked brown rice that are unflavored.  The flavored varieties, while tasty, often have 700+ milligrams of sodium per serving.  I would usually consume more than 1 serving (usually listed as 1/3 cup) so this would mean about 1/3 to 1/2 of my daily intake of sodium from just one small portion of food.  Eek!  We also keep long grain, jasmine and basmati rices.  And no dietitian’s pantry is complete without some quinoa.  Although, quinoa is really tugging at my heart strings these days.  More on this soon.

    Simmer sauces, marinara and salsas.

    Simmer sauces, marinara and salsas.

  • Sauces.  We opt for the reduced sodium options when available.  Our favorites are marinara sauce (we like to fancy this up in a variety of ways), Indian simmer sauces (my favorite are Maya Kaimal brand), a variety of vinegars and Mexican sauces.  There are so many of the Mexican and Tex Mex sauces on the shelves that we have options for the meat seasonings (the Frontera are our favorites) and both mild and spicy salsas.
  • Onions, potatoes and winter squash.  This includes sweet onions and red onions, shallots (which are truly Hannah’s favorite color since they are “pinkish-purplish”), russet potatoes, mini Yukon golds, sweet potatoes and butternut squash.
  • Bananas and apples.   We try to keep these along with any seasonal fruit that can stay out in the pantry or on the counter.  My absolute favorite apples are Jazz apples and Empire apples (the New Yorkers will understand).
Think I may have a vinegar addiction!

Think I may have a vinegar addiction!

What do you keep on-hand at all times?  What are your favorite pantry staples?  Thanks for reading!  Come back soon!

 

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