Red Chile Chicken, Rice and Beans

I love one-pot meals. Less dishes? Yes, please! This chicken with rice and beans was really yummy served with salsa and sour cream on top as suggested, but we especially enjoyed the leftovers. This made the best burrito filling. Add shredded cheese and roll in a tortilla, warm in the microwave and voila! Perfect, hearty burritos! My only change to the recipe was to add a diced green pepper, I thought it was a great addition, adding a little more veggie power and some color variation.

Red Chile Chicken, Rice and Beans

2 tablespoons oil, divided (I used olive oil)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1.5 pounds), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 ½ tablespoons chili powder, divided
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
1 ½ cups rice
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 ½ cups chicken broth
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chopped green onions OR 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
Salsa and sour cream for serving

Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a medium-large heavy pot over medium heat. Sprinkle the diced chicken breast with salt and ½ tablespoon of the chili powder. Place the chicken in the hot oil and brown, stirring and flipping occasionally, until browned, 2-3 minutes (the chicken doesn’t need to be cooked all the way through because it will finish cooking later). Remove the chicken to a plate.

Add the second tablespoon of oil to the pot and add the onion, bell pepper and rice. Cook on medium-low, stirring for several minutes, until the rice turns from translucent to opaque. Add the garlic and the remaining 1 tablespoon chili powder. Cook one minute, and then add the broth and salt (1/2 to 1 teaspoon) to taste. Stir well. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook 10 minutes.

Add the chicken to the pot along with the beans, give it all a good stir. Recover the pot and cook on low for 10-12 minutes longer, taking care that the mixture isn’t cooking too hot or it will burn on the bottom.

Sprinkle the green onions (or cilantro) and test a kernel of rice. It should be tender, in which case you place the cover back on, remove it from the heat and let it stand 5-10 minutes. If it’s not cooked, cook for another 5 minutes or so, stirring and checking often to make sure the mixture doesn’t burn.

Fluff the mixture with a fork and serve with salsa and sour cream.

Serves 6-8. (My only complaint about My Kitchen Cafe is that her serving sizes are always grossly overestimated. This is a big recipe and she says it only serves four! I don't know if you could gather four people at one table who could eat that much.)

Recipe adapted from My Kitchen Cafe.


Strawberry Lemonade Bars

I love lemon bars, so when I saw this recipe on Kathryn's blog, I was so excited I made it that same day. These strawberry lemon bars are a fun twist on a favorite treat. They taste light and fresh and they're perfect for spring and summer! Mine would have turned out prettier if I had a blender to puree the strawberries; I just mashed them up as well as I could with a fork. However, I have a blender coming in the mail, so next time I might try swirling the strawberry puree into the rest of the mixture after it's poured over the crust, it might make for a prettier presentation. Either way these are delicious.

Strawberry Lemonade Bars

1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter - room temperature
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 5-6 lemons, I'd say)
2-3 teaspoons lemon zest
1/2 cups pureed strawberries (about 3/4 cups of strawberries)
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350˚. Lightly grease 9x13. Cream butter and sugar together, slowly add flour & salt until crumbly. Press into pan. Bake for about 17 minutes until edges are golden.

Combine juice, zest, strawberry puree, sugar & eggs in food processor. Puree until smooth. Add flour, baking powder & salt. Pulse until smooth. Pour over hot crust. Bake for 23-26 minutes, or until set. Let cool, then store in fridge.

Recipe from Kathryn's recipe blog, Wire Whisk.


Creamy Orzo with Mushrooms, Asparagus and Red Pepper

Another great recipe from a friend's blog! Sarah is a great cook with an awesome recipe blog. I always know her recipes will be tasty and easy to follow. (For this reason I copied and pasted her directions exactly.) This creamy pasta is light and fresh and perfect for Spring. It tasted healthy but still so flavorful. We loved this and will definitely be making it again!

Creamy Orzo with Mushrooms, Asparagus and Red Pepper

1 lb. orzo pasta
1 cup reserved pasta water
1 T. olive oil
2 medium chicken breasts (1-1.5 lbs.), cut into chunks
8 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/2 lb. asparagus, cut into 1" pieces
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
8 ounces cream cheese, softened (can use 1/3 less fat cream cheese or Neufchatel)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
juice of 1 lemon (don't skip this! soo good)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook according to package directions until tender. When the orzo is ready, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and then drain the orzo and set aside.

While the orzo cooks, in a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the hot oil and brown on all sides. When nicely browned (but not quite all the way cooked through), add the peppers, mushrooms, asparagus and thyme. Stir and let cook for about 5 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the mushrooms and peppers have softened and browned and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

In the skillet over medium heat, add the softened cream cheese (I didn't soften; no big deal) in bite sized chunks and stir so that the cream cheese melts and coats the chicken and vegetables. Add the reserved pasta water and bring to a simmer. Add ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Stir. Add the orzo, Parmesan, lemon juice and fresh parsley. Stir to combine and heat through. Garnish with additional Parmesan and parsley.

It will be very creamy, so I found it best to serve this in bowls. Serves 6-8.

Recipe from friend and amazing cook Sarah. Check out her recipe blog, she is seriously an amazing cook!

Honey Glazed Salmon

I've been getting great ideas from friends blogs lately. When I run out of ideas I start making less healthy meals, which usually include a lot of cheese. Abbie is great at fixing healthful meals for her family (with lots of veggies!), so I love when she shares recipes. This salmon, served with broiled asparagus and yellow squash, made the perfect light, spring meal. Yum! Thanks Abbie! i loved her directions so I'm posting this exactly as she did.

Honey Glazed Salmon

1 lb Salmon
cover in honey (yeah, squeeze that honey on the salmon like you're makin' a PBH)
add some salt (sprinkle as much as you want).
drizzle some olive oil over the top.
bake on 425 for 15 minutes. {Angie's note: when baking salmon, bake 5 minutes for every 1/2 inch thickness of salmon. We baked ours for 20 and it was perfect.}

Recipe from NY BFF Abbie.


Southern Living Chicken Enchiladas

This enchilada recipe was so great! The mixture of spicy pepper jack cheese, cilantro, sour cream and olives was really delicious. We couldn't find salsa verde in any grocery stores nearby (the curse of living in Harlem), so served it the first time without. I got some the next day and we had the leftovers with the Salsa Verde sauce, and let me tell you - it is a MUST! Tastes so so good with the sauce. These are just divine. Make them!

Southern Living Chicken Enchiladas

For the filling:
3 cups cooked, chopped chicken
2 cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese
½ cup sour cream
1 can chopped green chilies, drained
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 can sliced olives

Salsa Verde Sauce:
4 oz. Sour cream
4 oz. Salsa verde

8 (8 inch) flour tortillas

Suggested toppings:
Diced tomato
Chopped avocado
Sliced black olives
Chopped Cilantro
Salsa Verde sauce

Stir filling ingredients together. Spoon chicken mixture evenly over tortillas & roll up. Arrange in a lightly greased 13x9 inch baking dish. Coat with vegetable cooking spray. Bake at 350˚ for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Top with sauce & toppings.

Recipe from Kathryn at Wire Whisk.

Cilantro Lime Rice

Mmmm... I made this rice to go with Southern Living Chicken Enchiladas, and i'm sure it would go great with Cafe Rio Sweet Pork or any other mexican meal. It was so easy and so delicious.

Cilantro Lime Rice

1 cup uncooked Jasmine rice
1 teaspoon butter or margarine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 cup chicken broth
1 ¼ cup water
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 teaspoons sugar
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

In a saucepan combine rice, butter, garlic, lime peel, chicken broth & water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook 15 – 20 minutes until rice is tender. Remove from heat. In a small bowl combine lime juice, sugar & cilantro. Pour over hot cooked rice.

Double or triple the recipe as appropriate.

Recipe from Kathryn at Wire Whisk.