Archive - April 2015

First Spring Grill

This first grilled meal was supposed to have our garden’s kale in the picture, but unfortunately I lost track of time/the heat of the grill and they charred to oblivion (Jason still ate them?!). The recipe is simple though, just mix the kale leaves with a dash of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, and chopped garlic and cook on the top rack of the grill for a few minutes until wilted and the edges are crisp. It’s super simple and absolutely delicious, should you not completely burn them ūüôā The meal was great regardless of greens, however!

Grilled Chicken with Lemon
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
4 tablespoons garlic, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
8 boneless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat
2 lemons, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
Salt and pepper

1. Whisk together lemon juice, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl and add oil in a slow stream, whisking.
2. Discard excess fat from chicken and season with salt and pepper then place in large baking dish.
3. Pour marinade over chicken and let sit in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
4. Heat grill on medium flame and let it warm up to around 350 degrees.
5. Cook chicken for 15 minutes on one side, then place lemon slices on the grill for a couple of minutes. Flip the chicken to cook on the other side and place lemon slices on top of the chicken for the remaining 10 minutes of cooking.

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Grilled Rosemary Potatoes
6 medium sized red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium white onion, quartered
1/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper

1. In a large pot, place potatoes in cold water and heat until boiled. Potatoes should cook approximately 7 minutes until beginning to become tender.
2. In a small bowl, mix onions, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper. Put onions into grill basket and cook until softened.
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3. Add potatoes to a bowl and mix with remaining olive oil and spices. Place into grill basket with semi-cooked onions. Heat for 35 minutes until potatoes are fully cooked and browned, tossing a few times in between.

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Grilled Corn-on-the-Cob
1. Peel back husks on each ear of corn, and remove silks. Place husks back over corn. Cover the corn in cold, salted water, for approximately 10 minutes.

2. Put corn on top rack of grill and heat for 25 minutes, turning every 5 minutes.

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Note: The chicken is quite crowded in this last picture. I removed the potatoes soon after and spaced it out a bit more once I flipped them over. I also removed the corn in order to cook (and destroy) the kale. I kept the corn and potatoes in a oven set to 170 degrees to keep warm until everything else finished cooking.

First Harvest in California

Our garden is coming along very nicely! Our beets are looking good, just waiting for the greens to get a little bigger before we pluck those out.

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The herbs are doing¬†great too — basil and dill look delicious!

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The only trouble we’ve had so far is a mushroom eating away at our swiss chard, so we’re going to try spinach in that spot this time around.¬†We just had our first harvest this weekend; ¬†butter lettuce, kale, and arugula. We decided to slowly take leaves off each so that they can continue to grow. The other way to do it is to wait for full heads to form and chop the entire thing off. I’d rather have greens for a few more months to come! Here’s some before/after pics from the yield.

Butter Lettuce

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Kale

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Arugula 

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Beet Salad and Chicken Fajitas

Food Prep Sundays yielded great results this week. This is what everything looked like after prepping: carrots/celery, cheese cubes, veggie frittatas, hardboiled eggs, tangos, sweet potatoes, chicken, broccoli, peppers and onions, beets, and black beans with garlic and chili.

Tuesday¬†night dinner was chicken and beet salad with gorgonzola and walnuts. Pre-cooking the beets on the weekend was such a time saver. It’s not ideal to come home from a long day of work and have to wait on beets cooking in the oven for almost an hour before you can eat dinner. Just had to heat everything up, cook the chicken, and devour.

Chicken and Beet Salads
4 beets, medium sized
2 chicken breasts
6 cups mixed greens
1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese
1/4 cup chopped red onions
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

1. Skin beets, chop off tops and bottoms and wrap in tin foil. Cook in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.
2. Season chicken breasts with salt, pepper, paprika, thyme. Place them in a greased baking dish and cover with tinfoil. Cook for 30 minutes, untouched.
3. Place mixed greens in a bowl and top with chicken, quartered beets, cheese, onions, and walnuts.
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Wednesday night dinner was chicken fajitas with corn on the cob. I used the pre-chopped veggies from Sunday and cooked them Tuesday night while we were eating our salads. Again, great time saver so that when we’re both ravenously hungry when we get home from work dinner isn’t that far away. Just had to heat everything up, cook the corn, and assemble!

Chicken Fajitas
2 chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
2 Tablespoons canola oil
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper

1 red pepper, julienned
1 green pepper, julienned
1 onion, 1/4 inch thick rounds
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and pepper

1 can black beans
3 garlic cloves
1 Tablespoon choice hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Lime juice

Hot sauce
Sour Cream
Corn tortillas
Corn on the cob

1. Combine canola oil, lemon juice, salt, oregano, cumin, chili powder, paprika, pepper flakes, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Place cut chicken in a resealable bag and pour in marinade. Let sit overnight.
2. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap each corn on the cob in tin foil, with a dash of olive oil inside. Place on a cooking sheet and cook for 30 minutes.
3. Place can of beans in a saucepan and heat with sliced garlic and spices. Add a dash of hot sauce for more heat if desired.
4.  Heat a large skillet with 1 Tablespoon of oil, on medium high heat, cook peppers and onions until they begin to soften. Sprinkle cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper and continue heating until slightly charred and cooked through.

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5. Heat oil in another skillet and cook chicken until done, should only be approximately 5-6 minutes.

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5. Place corn tortillas on the cooking sheet with the corn on the cob. Heat for a couple minutes on each side. Plate with the fajitas with peppers, beans, chicken, and top with sour cream and hot sauce!

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Food Prep Sundays

The farmers markets in Oakland really are lovely, it’s been nice going to them every weekend to get produce¬†to prep meals for the week. This Sunday was a big prep day and I got a ton of food. I’m making a valiant effort to only buy what we’re going to eat. I feel too guilty throwing out fresh food that goes bad, so I’m doing my best to plan out meals¬†well.

The first meal I prepped for the week was¬†Honey Garlic Chicken with broccoli and sweet potatoes.¬†The nice part is that this recipe doesn’t really need overnight marinating, it came out perfectly fine just sitting in the fridge for a couple hours while I continued prepping other meals for the week. If you’re looking for a new chicken recipe, this is a good one!

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Honey Garlic Chicken
(Recipe credit to Tori Avey)
4 chicken thighs
4 chicken drumsticks
1/3 cup honey, divided
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
2 Tablespoons garlic, chopped
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup white wine
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Salt and pepper

1. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, honey, sugar, garlic, lemon, cayenne pepper and set aside.

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2. Prep the bottom of a casserole baking dish with cooking oil. Place the chicken pieces on top and season with salt and pepper.

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3. Pour marinade over chicken and ensure that it’s evenly distributed. Place in the refrigerator for two hours (can be overnight if desired).

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4. After the chicken has marinated, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover the dish with foil and poke a couple holes in the top to ensure ventilation.

5. Roast the chicken for one hour, turning the chicken a couple times in between. After an hour, remove the foil and roast for an additional 20-30 minutes to brown on top. Some blackening is fine because of the sugar in the marinade.
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6. Transfer chicken to serving platter, once empty, tip the dish and carefully remove the oil from the top with a spoon. The drippings remaining will be used to make the gravy.

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7. Strain the drippings through a mesh strainer to remove the garlic pieces or crispy chicken bits leftover.

8. Heat the sauce over medium heat. In a separate, small bowl, combine the cornstarch with 1/4 cup cold water until it’s dissolved. Add the starch mixture, honey, and wine to the saucepan and heat on medium until it begins to thicken and bubble around the edges. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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9. Serve and eat!

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Herb Scalloped Potatoes

In addition to the Pizzagaina, the Easter menu also included lamb steak, garlic broccolini, and some delicious potatoes.

Herb Scalloped Potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup gluten free breadcrumbs
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 Tablespoon minced fresh chives
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
1 cup gruyere cheese, shredded
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, chopped thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the garlic and onion are slightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until mostly evaporated, about 2 minutes.

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2. Meanwhile, combine the breadcrumbs, parsley, chives, the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and salt and pepper in a bowl.

3. Arrange the onions on the bottom of a casserole dish.

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4. Evenly layer one-third of the potatoes over the onions. Sprinkle with one third of the crumb mixture and one third of the cheese. Repeat twice more and pour remaining crumbs and cheese on top.

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5. Pour the broth and cream on top. Place dabs of butter all over top.

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6. Cook in the oven and bake until the potatoes are golden brown and crisp on top, about 45 minutes. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

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