Tuesday, April 16, 2013

recipes: chopped salad & easy healthy chicken

I don't know what to say or think about what happened in Boston yesterday. My feelings change by the minute; from despairing when I think of how Newtown was only in December and now it's April and yet another horrific act of inhumanity has ruined more lives.....to feeling hope and inspiration from all the reminders that the good, empathetic, compassionate people far outnumber the cruel and terrible ones. All I can do is try to be an example of hope, love, and empathy in honor of the innocent people who were hurt or killed yesterday. Sending my love and support to Boston.

The Husband and I are quite experienced with making compromises with each other, especially when it comes to food. I'm the ex-vegetarian health food freak who won't cook meat and is disgusted by anything greasy (except fish and chips. those are the best). He's the fancy cook who loves a good steak and thinks fat is a wonderful source of flavor in a dish. Both positions are valid, but since my POV has a more positive impact on our waistlines, we generally eat meatless, one-pot meals loaded with vegetables and healthy legumes. 

(mise en place for veggie stir fry)

Every so often, we decide to indulge with a meat entree for dinner, and one of our favorite easy, healthy, weeknight meal options is chicken with a honey-beer glaze and a wannabe tabbouli chopped salad. Click through for the recipes!

(honey-beer glazed chicken & israeli chopped salad....and blood orange soda)

Chicken with Honey & Beer Glaze
Serves 4
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (slightly less than 1/2 lb per breast) 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut in half (sorry guys, I really no nothing about cooking meat!)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
black pepper and kosher salt to taste
1/4 cut diced onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dark or wheat beer (we love Firestone Brewery's 805 beer, but that's local to SB County. Great White and Blue Moon are also great choices. Just don't go with super cheap beer.)
2 tablespoons Tamari or low-sodium soy sauce
1-2 tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
Italian parsley for garnish

1. Beat the chicken to tenderize it. The Husband covers our cutting board with plastic wrap, places the chicken on top of that, and covers the chicken with another layer of wrap. Then he beats the poor chicken with a mallet until each breast is about 1 inch thick.

2. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add coconut oil to pan and coat. 

3. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper to taste on both sides and add to pan. Saute for 5-6 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Remove chicken from pan, place on a plate, and cover with foil to keep hot.

4. Add onions and garlic to pan and cook until translucent. While those are cooking, combine the beer, soy sauce, mustard, and honey in a bowl and whisk. Pour liquid into pan and bring to a boil. Scrape the pan to loosen browned pieces. Cook until liquid has been reduced to about 2/3 cup. 

5. Return chicken to pan and coat with the liquid. Transfer chicken to dinner plates and drizzle a small amount of sauce on each chicken breast. Sprinkle with parsley for flavor and color.

Wannabe Tabbouli Salad (or as it's really called, Kimberly Snyder's Israeli Chopped Salad)
Makes 10-12 cups of salad, depending on how big your veggies are
1 large cucumber, diced (if you get organic, which I wholeheartedly support, don't peel the skin)
3 large tomatoes, diced (I use heirloom when available and it's soooo good)
1 large zucchini, diced
1.5 cups chopped white onion
1.5 cups chopped Italian parsley
3 tablespoons chopped mint
2 tablespoons olive oil
4-5 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon each black pepper and kosher salt

Mix the diced cucumber, tomatoes, zucchini, and onion in a large bowl. Add the chopped parsley and mint and mix well. Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, black pepper, and kosher salt in a bowl and pour onto the veggies. 


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