Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Sweet Chili Chicken and Pineapple Salsa

Summer-themed cooking continues!  To me, nothing says summer better than some slightly sweet, slightly spicy chicken with a fresh salsa.  This dinner is fairly quick to make, and there aren't too many steps to get a yummy end result that doesn't have your typical flavors!

Summer Sweet Chili Chicken:

Chicken Breast- slice in half, so the thickness is reduced
Sweet Red Chili Sauce (I like to use the one by A Taste of Thai)

Pour oil in sautee pan, heat on low heat.  Slice chicken breat to reduce the thickness of each piece so the pieces don't get overcooked and tough.  If necessary, pound pieces to make them even thinner. Brush each piece of the chicken with Chili Sauce- then salt/pepper each side of chicken.  Place in pan and cover.  Add more chili sauce as necessary while cooking- cooking should take about 7-10 minutes, depending on thickness of the chicken.  Cook until chicken is no longer pink in the middle.

Pineapple Salsa:

Fresh pineapple chunks (or you can use canned, to save time)
Cilantro, chopped
1 Lime, juiced (or lime juice)
Red onion, very thinly sliced, and cut in half

Separate the onion slices so you have individual pieces, and not rings.  Place in bowl, add a handful of chopped cilantro and mix to combine.  Add fresh pineapple chunks (if you are using canned, be sure to drain the juice out first) and squeeze lime juice on top.  Stir, and place in fridge for 10-20 minutes for flavors to meld.

Serve chicken with the pineapple salsa, and if desired, more Chili Sauce for dipping.  Alongside this I just made a quick package of Near East cous cous- they are my favorite brand of packaged cous cous to use- they have amazing flavors and a package takes only 5 minutes to cook up!

See- easy, quick and flavorful!  You don't need a ton of ingredients or a lot of time to create a dinner that's healthy, summery, and pleasing to the eye!

Happy Cooking, and even Happier Eating!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

First Post- Summer Tilapia with Corn & Black Bean Salad

Hey all!  I've been meaning to start a cooking blog for a long time now, and summer seems like the perfect time to do it..days are a little less hectic, so hopefully I can keep up with posting consistently.

Anyone who knows me at all will say that I love to cook- and hopefully they would also say that I'm excellent at it!  I cook by feel mostly- I love reading recipes to get ideas, but when it comes down to it (unless I'm baking) I rarely measure.  I think it's important to be able to tweak and improvise, and the best way to do this is by just going for it..so that's what I do!  And my boyfriend is excellent about giving me feedback- he might not be a cook himself, but he definitely knows what tastes good!

So for my first post- here's a quick and simple dinner that I made last night.  It's perfect for summer because it comes out nice and light, but still has great flavor.  And it's extremely healthy too!

Ingredients for Summer Tilapia:
- 2 tilapia filets (or other light, white fish)
- 1/2 red onion, sliced
- red wine vinegar
- tequila
- sea salt/pepper
- 1 tbsp white sugar
- 2 limes, juiced (or lime juice)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- oregano (dried or fresh)

Swirl large pan with olive oil (approx 2 tbsp), and heat until oil is warm.  Put in red onions, allow to cook down a bit, add minced garlic (be careful not to let garlic burn).  Cook until onions have softened- about 5 minutes.  Nestle tilapia filets on top of onions/garlic.  Drizzle fish with red wine vinegar (enough to get the bottom of the pan wet).  Add the lime juice, then the tequila- don't go crazy with the tequila, a simple glug from the bottle will do it!  Sprinkle fish with sugar- use about 1/2 tbsp on each filet of fish.  Then sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, and oregano.  If you are using dried oregano, you don't need that much, since flavors of dried herbs are more concentrated. 

Cover pan and let cook through on low heat- about 10-12 minutes.  Fish should flake easily when done.

Ingredients for Corn & Black Bean Salad:
- 2 ears of corn, cooked (also possible to use frozen corn)
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- sea salt/pepper
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 squeeze of Fat Free Italian dressing
- cilantro, chopped
- grape tomatoes, quartered

Pour the drained and rinsed black beans into a shallow bowl.  Add a handful of chopped cilantro- I like to use quite a bit, but it does have a strong flavor, so start off with a little less and you can always add!  Cook 2 ears of fresh corn in boiling water for 12 minutes, or until cooked through.  Rinse the cobs in cold water so they're easier to handle, then slice the corn off the cob.  Add corn kernels to the black bean/cilantro mixture.  Add tomatoes to the bowl as well, and mix,  Sprinkle liberally with sea salt and pepper, add lime juice and a squeeze of Italian dressing- mix to coat everything evenly.

Note- you can also use frozen corn- just make sure to rinse it under cold water in a colander to thaw it first!

Serve the Corn & Black Bean Salad alongside the Tilapia- make sure when you're serving the Tilapia to scrape up some of the red onions from the pan- they will have softened and will have a terrific flavor.

Happy Cooking, and even Happier Eating!