Categories
Chicken/Turkey

Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Boats

For me, buffalo chicken with the fixins is a craving that I can’t always control. Once I think about that taste, I NEED to eat some kind of buffalo chicken-something. When I’m trying to eat healthy foods, this craving can rear its head and be problematic for reigning in my overindulging. Too bad calories actually do count.

With this recipe for buffalo chicken zucchini boats, I have found a meal that I can justify (and actually enjoy) eating when I’m craving buffalo chicken AND trying to live a healthy-ish lifestyle. The saucy, tangy chicken, creamy cheese, crunchy veggies, and yummy dressing work together so well to make sure I’m satisfied and happy. Score one point for the angel on my shoulder. 

Ingredients:

4 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise

2 c. shredded chicken, rotisserie works great

Buffalo sauce 

4 oz. cream cheese

½ c. shredded cheddar cheese

Green onions

Blue cheese or ranch dressing (for topping) 

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil spray

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 

Cut the zucchini lengthwise and scoop out the fleshy part in the middle. Spray with olive oil on all sides and place onto a lined baking sheet. 

Combine the chicken, buffalo sauce, and cream cheese in a large skillet and heat through while stirring to combine.  Season with salt and pepper. 

Scoop the chicken mixture into the zucchini boats and top with shredded cheddar cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender and the cheese is melted and lightly browned. 

Top with green onions and drizzle with blue cheese or ranch dressing. Enjoy!

Categories
Chicken/Turkey

Turkey Gołąbki (Polish Stuffed Cabbage Rolls) with Tomato Sauce

Golabki, or stuffed cabbage rolls, is a traditional Polish dish that is comforting, delicious, and healthy. The ingredients are common and readily-available, and the dish takes a while to cook, but is very easy to prepare. 

For me, this is an ideal meal to prepare for the family on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Golabki is one of those meals that smells amazing as it cooks, so you’ll be looking forward to eating it when it comes out of the oven. I might be a bit odd, but I love smelling a good meal cooking long before it is finished. It gets me excited to eat. 

While the traditional version of golbaki usually contains ground beef and/or pork, this version is made with ground turkey just to lighten it up a bit. None of the deliciousness of the original version is missing, and since I don’t feel as guilty eating this version I can definitely eat an extra roll or two. Right?

Ingredients:

1.33 lb package of ground turkey 

1 large head of cabbage

¾ c. uncooked rice

1 ½ c. water (for the rice)

1 Tbsp. olive oil 

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

1 egg, beaten

3 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional, but yummy)

Salt and pepper

Sauce:

2 15 oz. cans of diced tomatoes, undrained

1 15 oz. can of tomato sauce

2 bay leaves

Salt and pepper

Cook rice according to package directions and cool. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Remove 10-12 large leaves from the outside of the cabbage. Chop the remaining cabbage roughly. Set chopped cabbage aside. 

Boil the large leaves for about 5 minutes, or until they are pliable.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat and cook about half of the chopped onions until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped bacon (if using) and cook until crispy. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and bay leaves. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

While the sauce is cooking , combine the ground turkey, the other half of the chopped onions, cooked rice, egg,  salt and pepper in a large bowl. Mix together thoroughly with your hands until all of the ingredients are equally dispersed. 

Place about ¼ c of the turkey/rice mixture into the center of each cabbage leaf and roll like a burrito, tucking in the leaves toward the middle and then rolling. 

Place the chopped cabbage on the button of a large casserole dish. Then, lay the cabbage rolls on top of them, seam side down. Pour the sauce over the top and bake for 60-75 minutes. Enjoy!

Categories
Chicken/Turkey

Lighter Mexican Chicken Salad

Your struggle to find a lunch that is protein-packed, low in calories (and carbs if you’re watching those), tastes delicious, and is satisfying is over. Meet this lighter version of chicken salad that flaunts its Mexican flavors in every bite. 

In this version of Mexican chicken salad, Greek yogurt is used in place of mayo. No taste is sacrificed because of the deep cuts to the calories and fat, people. This spicy, savory chicken salad is oh-so-yummy, filling, and is wonderful on a sandwich, with crackers or tortilla chips, with a salad, or just all alone in its glory.  

Ingredients:

3 c. shredded chicken – rotisserie works best!

⅔ c. Greek yogurt

¼ c cilantro, chopped

¼ c. green onions, chopped

1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, seeded and diced

2 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients (except for salt and pepper) into a large bowl and mix together. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. 

Serve on sandwiches, with salads or all alone! 

Categories
Chicken/Turkey

Chicken Pancit Bihon

Pancit bihon is a classic Filipino dish that is a combination of bihon (rice stick) noodles, meat or seafood (or none of that ), and vegetables. As you can see by the parentheses, this dish is versatile, customizable, and likely unique to every cook’s interpretation and execution.

The basic ingredients are the same, but there are all sorts of fun changes you can make each time you make pancit. You could use Chinese sausage and/or shrimp, add green beans instead of snow peas, or experiment a bit with the level of heat by adding thai chilis or serrano peppers. It’s not traditional for pancit to be spicy, but who says we always have to follow the rules? It’s your pancit, after all. 

Ingredients:

1 8 oz. package of bihon noodles or rice sticks 

1 lb. chicken breasts

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 onion, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 c. shredded cabbage

1 c. snap peas or snow peas

½ c. shredded carrots

3 green onions, chopped

Salt and pepper

Lemon wedges

Sauce: 

3 c. chicken broth

1 Tbsp. dark soy sauce

3 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 Tbsp. oyster sauce

2 tsp. sugar

Mix together all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Heat the oil over medium high heat in a wok or large skillet. Cook the chicken until it is lightly browned and cooked through. Season with salt and pepper. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the cabbage, peas, and carrots and cook until they’re a little bit tender, about 3 minutes. 

Add the sauce and dried noodles to the wok. Allow the noodles to cook in the sauce, stirring frequently, until they are cooked. This will take about 3-5 minutes. Feel free to add more broth if there’s not enough liquid to cook the noodles. Continue cooking until the noodles are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. The noodles should be a bit saucy, but not soupy or dry. Season with additional soy sauce, if desired, and serve with lemon wedges and topped with green onions.

Categories
Chicken/Turkey

Chipotle Pepper Chicken Skewers

June is traditionally the month in Colorado when the weather is absolutely perfect – not too hot, not too cold. Things have been different this year (and why wouldn’t this year continue to be weird), because it has been SO hot. Like late July hot. Anyway, the point of all of this rambling about the heat is that it’s way too hot to cook inside, so grilling is happening on a much more frequent basis. And I’m not mad about it because our dinners around here have been pretty amazing lately.

These chipotle pepper chicken skewers are honestly some of the best little morsels I have ever had the pleasure of devouring. The smoky, spicy, super flavorful marinade makes the chicken taste so indescribably delicious. In fact, I’m actually having a hard time conveying just how yummy these are. You need to try them to believe it, seriously. 

Ingredients:

Skewers:

2 lb. chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 green bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 yellow onion, cut into bite-sized pieces

Marinade:

¼ olive oil

4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, plus 1 Tbsp. adobo sauce

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 large shallot

1 Tbsp. cumin

2 tsp. chili powder

2 tsp. oregano 

2 Tbsp. cilantro

Juice from one lime

2 tsp. salt

Place all marinade ingredients into a food processor and process until a paste is formed. Combine the chicken pieces and marinade in a glass container and marinade overnight or for at least 4 hours. 

Thread the chicken, bell pepper, and onion pieces onto skewers and preheat the grill to medium high heat. 

Grill the skewers for 6-8 minutes on each side, or until cooked through and browned. Serve with extra lime and cilantro. 

Categories
Chicken/Turkey

Yogurt-Marinated Saffron Chicken Skewers

It’s officially grilling season, and we’re off to a great start at my house. We’re making all kinds of delicious things on the grill, and this yogurt-marinated saffron chicken is one of my favorites. 

Saffron is the power ingredient in these tasty chicken skewers, but they are also full of other wonderful spices, like turmeric, cayenne, and paprika. Of course, I can’t forget to mention that putting yogurt in the marinade is truly a secret weapon for adding deliciousness because the lactic acid in it really helps to tenderize the chicken and bring a special tang to the flavor profile. Speaking of tang, don’t forget the lemon zest in these babies. It makes all the difference. 

Summer food, I love you.

Ingredients:

2 lb. chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

¾ c. plain Greek yogurt

¼ c. olive oil 

One lemon, juice and zest

3 cloves of garlic, minced

½ tsp. saffron threads

1 tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. paprika

½ tsp. cayenne 

2 Tbsp. fresh thyme

2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped

Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a glass container and mix together thoroughly. Marinade overnight.

When you’re ready to cook the skewers, heat the grill to medium high heat. Put the chicken pieces onto skewers and season with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken for 7-8 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. 

Enjoy immediately!

Categories
Chicken/Turkey Sandwiches

Reina Pepiada Arepas

If you’re tired of the same old sandwich, it’s time to try this delicious Venezuelan version of a chicken salad sandwich on freshly-baked arepas. This fresh, flavorful chicken salad is amazing on its own, but when it is served on a warm, homemade arepa . . .  wow is all I can say. Swoon worthy. 

Speaking of swoon, reina pepiada translates to “curvy queen” and was apparently named after a famous Venezuelan beauty queen. From what I can gather, a local arepa stand named this sandwich in her honor because it was a thing of beauty and yeah, it lives up to its moniker. I’m not sure if she ever had the privilege of tasting this creation, but I hope she did. Otherwise, she really missed out.

Ingredients:  

Chicken/Avocado Filling:

2 c. shredded chicken (rotisserie works great!)

1 avocado, mashed

2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped

2 green onions, chopped

Juice from one lime

½ serrano pepper, chopped (if you like spice)

Salt and pepper

Freshly-baked Arepas

Mix all ingredients for the chicken/avocado filling in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Serve inside freshly-baked arepas.

Categories
Chicken/Turkey

Super Fancy Tarragon Chicken Salad

Tarragon has this magical unicorn-like power of making anything it adorns taste fancy. I can’t exactly put my finger on it, but I always feel like I’m at high tea with the Queen when I’m eating it. Maybe it’s just me, but I doubt it.

This tarragon chicken salad is so fresh, unique, and satisfying. It would be so perfect for a romantic hillside picnic or a fancy wine date with girlfriends on the beach. Heck, I’d even serve it at high tea – you know, because it’s fancy.

Ingredients:

2 c. shredded or diced chicken (rotisserie chicken works great!)

½ c. mayonnaise

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

2 green onions, sliced

2 Tbsp. fresh tarragon, chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients (except for salt and pepper) into a large bowl and mix together. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. 

Serve on sandwiches, with salads or all alone! 

Categories
Chicken/Turkey

Weeknight Chicken Fajitas

Weeknights are crazy, especially if you are a parent. It’s really difficult sometimes to make a healthy dinner when you’re chauffeuring teenagers all around town to various activities and nobody gets home until 8 or 9 p.m. And by then, everyone is hangry and needs something now. Something good.

These weeknight chicken fajitas can be a lifesaver for those kinds of nights. You can have a truly scrumptious dinner on the table in 30 minutes, from start to finish. If you prep the chicken and veggies in advance, dinner is on in 10 minutes. That’s about the same amount of time you’d spend in a drive-through, and this meal will be so much more enjoyable. 

Ingredients:

3 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 medium onion, sliced

2 bell peppers  (green, red, yellow or orange), sliced

Juice from 1 lime

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. chili powder

2 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. oregano

Salt and pepper

Serve with:

Tortillas

Cheese

Sour cream

Salsa

Guacamole

Cilantro

Green onions

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook chicken until it’s browned and cooked through. Season with salt and pepper. Add the onions, peppers, chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, oregano, and lime juice and cook for another 4-5 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. 

Serve on warm tortillas with all of your favorite toppings.

Categories
Chicken/Turkey Soups

Posole Rojo con Pollo (Chicken Posole with Red Chile)

It’s supposed to be full-on spring at this point, but it has been intermittently rainy and snowy for the past couple of days. And excuse me for saying so, but I am secretly a little happy about the weather because I can use my excuse to make winter food a few more times before the blazing heat rolls in for the summer. 

One of the most comforting and body-warming foods out there is a nice bowl of posole rojo. It’s hearty, warm, and so tasty. It takes quite a while to make, which in my opinion is a bit of a bonus on rainy days like today because it smells glorious while it’s cooking and you can obsess all day about the terrific dinner you’ll get to eat later. 

Ingredients:

Posole:

1 lb. dried hominy 

5-6 garlic cloves, whole

3 bay leaves

2 c. shredded chicken

Red chile sauce:

2 dried ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed

3 dried guajillo chiles, stems and seeds removed

½ white onion

3 garlic cloves

2 tsp. cumin

2 tsp. oregano

3 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. salt

Serve with:

Sliced radishes 

Cilantro

Limes 

Chopped white or green onions

Chopped romaine

Tortilla chips

Soak the hominy in a large bowl overnight. Rinse and drain the next morning.

Place the hominy in a large soup pot and cover with water. Add the garlic cloves and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer until the posole has “bloomed,” or is soft and opened, about 2 hours. You will need to add more water periodically. Remove garlic cloves and bay leaves. Season the posole with salt to taste. Add chicken into the pot. 

In the meantime, make the chile sauce by placing the dried chiles in a small pot of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. 

Place the chiles, along with ¾ c. of their liquid into a food processor. Add ½ white onion, 3 garlic cloves, cumin, oregano, and olive oil. Process until smooth. Press through a mesh strainer, reserving the liquid and discarding the solids. 

Add the sauce to the pot containing the posole and chicken and simmer for 20 minutes. Season with salt to taste. 

Serve with lime, cilantro, radishes, and tortilla chips.