You know when you find a great deal on grocery items that you use all the time and you just can’t pass it up? Yes, that was me last week with this package of large boneless chicken breast. I would normally break down the package and freeze the breast individually. It was forecasted to be such a gorgeous day last Sunday that I decided to prep the chicken three ways, all cooked on the grill. This is the first of three recipes I will be sharing with you today. For today’s post I wanted to incorporate some quinoa and blacks beans to prepare a “rice bowl” but with quinoa instead. The combination of grilled vegetables and the raw, crispy vegetables wa tasty! Choose you favorite dressing to garnish with. No dressing? Drizzle on a little olive oil after the lime, salt and pepper and you are all set. Foods that are good for you and delicious!
Fresh Mex ~Grilled Chicken Black Beans and Quinoa Bowls
You Will Need 4 grilled chicken cutlets, sliced thin 1 recipe for Black Beans and Quinoa 1 cup zucchini, grilled and diced 6 to 8 grilled sweet peppers and hot pepper mixed of your choice 1 cup carrots, shredded 1/2 cup tomatoes, diced 1/2 cup radishes, sliced Cilantro, chopped Lime Hot Sauce Your favorite dressing
Choose some vegetables to be grilled for the quinoa bowls and keep some vegetables raw for their crispiness.
Build Your Fresh Mex Quinoa Bowls
To each bowl add some quinoa in the center. Then you could let your guest build their own bowls with the ingredients available. Garnish with cilantro, lime juice, hot sauce or dressing. Recipes yield 4 to 6 servings.
*I was out of avocados on this day, but that really would have made this bowl awesome!
Dry Rub Grilled Chicken Breast
Dry Rub Grilled Chicken Breast
4 cutlet style chicken breast (1 1/2 pounds more or less) salt and pepper 1 1/2 tablespoons dry rub for chicken, homemade or store bought Olive oil
Tips~ If you can’t find the chicken sliced thin, cutlet style, buy 2 large chicken breast and butterfly them in half. Cover with plastic and pound out to 1/3 inch so they are thin.
1. Season chicken with salt and pepper, then add all of the dry rub to coat evenly. Cover and marinate for a 2 hours.
2. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling. Prepare outdoor grill for direct cooking at medium/high heat. Brush grates with oil and grill on high for about 3 minutes per side, let rest before slicing. If cooking indoors, cook in preheated skillet for 3 minutes per side, adding 2 tablespoons of olive oil while it preheats.
For Black Beans and Quinoa
1/2 cup red or white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 serrano, minced
1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped fine
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
Juice of 1 lime
1 3/4 cup chicken stock/broth
14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1. Rinse the quinoa, drain and set aside. In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, serrano and sun dried tomato. Season lightly with salt and pepper and saute for 6 to 7 minutes.
2. Add the oregano and cumin seeds and saute for 2 minutes. Add in the quinoa, lime juice and chicken broth. Stir gently to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until liquid has evaporated. Add the beans, cover and let set for 15 minutes. Use a fork to fold in the beans, add cilantro. Yields 6 servings.
After many years of cooking rice dishes, I have to admit that both my husband and I are hooked on jasmine rice. I will also admit that I have tried every boxed, pre- mixed, par boiled and rice o roni that was ever made, lol!! I am not sure why I was so intimidated when it came to preparing my Mom’s recipe for Mexican Red Rice. It may be that I knew my version would never be as wonderful as hers. Or so I thought…. I can finally say that I am happy with my rice making skills now. I don’t fuss too much when it come to preparing rice recipes. Every cook has a method that works for them, whether it’s soaking, rinsing, steaming or toasting the rice. This is a collection of some of my favorites I have experimented with. Most all prepared with jasmine rice and a few with brown rice or quinoa. The first recipe was from my most recent cooking class where we prepared a fresh batch of Mexican chorizo and added it to the rice! My new favorite…for now.
from the cooking class….. picture by Celeste
Ingredients: 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 cup of long-grain rice (I like to use Jasmine rice)
1 small white onion, diced
1 to cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup uncooked Mexican chorizo
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon black pepper
Salt to taste
2 cups of chicken broth
1/4 cup of tomato sauce or 2 fresh Roma tomatoes, blended
1/2 cup of peas and carrots mixed, fresh or frozen. We used a vegetable mix this time
Chopped cilantro, optional
1. In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil to medium heat. Add the rice and saute for a few minutes or until the rice becomes aromatic and slightly opaque. Add the onions and the garlic and cook for just 2 minutes. Move the rice mixture to the outer edges of the pan and add the chorizo to the center of the pan. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, breaking apart with wooden spoon until crumbly.
2. Add all the dry spices and stir well to combine. Add the tomato sauce and broth, stir well and taste for salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes without disturbing the rice.
3. Add the peas and carrots evenly to the top of the rice. Cover and continue cooking until all of the liquid has evaporated. Total cooking time is about 18 to 20 minutes or so. (If rice doesn’t look like it is cooking evenly, gently stir with a fork and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of broth or water, cover and continue cooking.)
4. Remove from heat once liquid has evaporated and let stand for 10 minutes. When ready to serve, fluff with a fork and fold in the fresh cilantro if using. Yields up to 6 servings.
Savory Chicken Rice with Toasted Cumin Seeds and Lime
2 tablespoons olive oil 1 cup jasmine rice 1/3 cup red onion, diced
1/3 cup red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, crushed
1 packet of Knorr brand Sazon with annatto
1 packet of Goya brand chicken bouillon granules (always use homemade stock if available, but this works in a pinch)
2 cups water
1 red fresno pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup fresh green beans, chopped fine
1 medium carrot, diced
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1. Add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a skillet. Heat to medium and add the rice. Toast the rice until it become aromatic and begins to brown slightly.
2. Add the onions, bell pepper, jalapeno and garlic and saute for another 5 minutes. Push the rice to the outer edges of the pan. Add the crushed cumin seeds to the center and toast for a few minutes.
3. Add the Sazon, chicken bouillon, water and fresno pepper. Stir gently and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to low, cover and continue cooking for 10 minutes. Add the fresh veggies to the rice and spreed out evenly over the top. Cover and continue cooking for another 8 to 10 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Before serving, add the zest and juice of the lime and fluff with a fork. Yields 6 servings.
Mexican Style Red Rice with Quinoa
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup red onion, diced
1 serrano pepper, sliced in half (lengthwise)
1/3 cup red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste or 1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt to taste
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 tabespoons lemon fresh juice
1/4 cup green onions, sliced
1. Preheat the olive oil on medium heat for a minute. Add the onions, serrano, bell pepper and garlic. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
2. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste or sauce. Season lightly with salt and pepper and let cook for 5 minutes.
3. Add in the broth, cumin, pepper, smoked paprika and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, add in the quinoa, making sure you spread it out evenly. Push it down slightly so it is covered with broth. Reduce heat, cover and continue cooking for 13 to 18 minutes or until most of the broth has evaporated. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Add fresh lemon juice, green onions and fluff with a fork before serving. Yields up to 6 servings.
Savory Mango Rice
Cilantro Chile Rice
Arroz Huerfano~ Orphan Rice, my Tia Minerva’s Recipe
Thought I would start this blog post with a few things that I don’t cook often. Don’t you dislike when you finally splurge on your favorite restaurant and are not only gasping at the prices, then only to be disappointed by that starter salad that taste like it came straight out of a plastic bag?? I believe that many of us ovelook the fact on how simple it is to prepare some great tasting salads at home without caving to that salad bar at the super center. I am going to share a few of my recent salads and maybe dig up some oldies, but goodies from my archives, lol!
Black Beans and Rice Salad~ August 8, 2014
2 cups steamed rice 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed 1 cup corn
3 green onions, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, diced
1 red fresno pepper, diced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon crushed oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all of the ingredients, taste for salt. Cover and chill for 1 hour. Stir before serving. Best when left to marinate overnight. Yields 6 servings.
Grilled Mushrooms over a Zesty Quinoa Salad! Cooking quinoa is something new I just tried a few months back. It’s all the rage right now for a healthier alternative as a side dish. I had only prepared it as a warm side dish a couple of times, but for this quinoa recipe, I decided to treat it like a pasta salad. Spring is here, even though I still see snow outside, lol!! My mind is set on spring and summer cooking with grilled recipes and chilled salads, tall drinks! I am ready!
I have really tried to make the effort to prepare a few meatless meals a week. This meal is great for meatless Monday and is also Lent friendly. I am happy to say, that my husband Richard does not miss the meat like I thought he would. I will say though, that he has become quite the food critic, ha, ha, ha!! I still cannot get over how he loves the spicy food now, just like me. Makes cooking our meals alot easier for me these days….confessions of a diehard chilihead…loving every moment!
Grilled Mushrooms over Zesty Qiunoa Salad
For Quinoa Salad
2 cups cooked quinoa
1/3 cup diced red onions 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced 1 red fresno pepper, finely diced 1 jalapeño, finely diced 2 stalks of celery, just top halves with the leaves, chopped fine 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped 1/4 cup red wine vinegar Juice of half a lemon juice 1/4 cup olive oil 1 teaspoon crushed oregano Salt and pepper to taste
For Grilled Mushrooms 1/4 cup red wine vinegar 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for grilling 2 tablespoons of hot sauce 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika 1/2 teaspoon pepper Salt to taste 8 to 10 ounces baby bellas, sliced in half *wooden skewers is optional, they are not always easy to skewer because they are delicate.
1. Cook the quinoa according to package directions. I like to cook mine in chicken broth instead of just water. I add a drizzle of olive oil as well. Set the quinoa aside while you prep the other ingredients.
2. In a large bowl, combine the quinoa with all of the vegetables. Whisk the vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper. Pour over salad, stir well to combine, cover and set aside. Stir before serving and taste for salt.
3. In a large bowl, combine the ingredients to make the marinade for mushrooms. Toss in the mushrooms and stir gently to coat evenly. Preheat stove top grill pan to medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil. You can use 8 inch wooden skewers and skewer 3 to 4 mushrooms. Or you could just grill the mushrooms directly if that is easier for you. Grill for a few minutes per side or until they start to soften and caramelize slightly. Serve over quinoa salad. Yields 4 servings.
Tips~I served mine with warm flour tortillas, avocado slices and pickled red jalapeño slices. They were some of the tastiest meatless tacos I have had.
Jicama Corn Salad
1 1/2 cups jicama 1 large carrot 1 small red bell 1/2 red onion *Julienne all of the above vegetables 1 1/2 cups corn I serrano or jalapeño pepper, minced 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped Juice of 1 lemon 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon chile limon powder 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper Salt to taste
Combine all of the ingredients, taste for salt. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes before serving or cover and chill until ready to serve. Stir before serving. Yields 6 servings.
Tips~ I used 3 ears of fresh corn. Remove kernals and transfer onto plate. Season lightly with salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and steam in the microwave for 3 minutes. Cool completely before adding to salad.
Tomato, Red Onion, Cilantro and Serrano Slaw
1 medium red onion, julienned
2 to 3 large, firm roma tomatoes, seeded and julienned
2 serrano peppers, sliced into thin rings
1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped
Juice of 4 to 5 key limes or 2 regular limes
3 tabblespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon Mexican oregano, crushed
Fresh cracked pepper to taste
Salt to taste
Combine all ingredients, taste for salt, cover and let sit for 30 minutes before servings. Yields 4 to 6 servings.
Grilled Vegetable and Black Bean Salad with Cilantro Dressing
For the Cilantro Dressing: 2 cups Greek yogurt (nonfat plain) or light sour cream Juice of 1 lime 1 jalapeño or serrano pepper (seeds removed) 1 clove garlic, minced 1 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped Salt to taste
For the Salad: 1 large ear of corn, cleaned 1 medium zucchini 1 red bell pepper 1 poblano pepper 1 small red onion 1 tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning ½ teaspoon salt 1½ tablespoons olive oil 1½ cups black beans, rinsed and drained 6 ounces corn tortilla chips, slightly crushed 1 avocado, diced 1 head of romaine lettuce, washed and torn into pieces
1. Combine all of the ingredients to make the dressing into the blender. Blend on high until smooth, taste for salt. Keep chilled until ready to use. Chop all the veggies, except for corn and red onion, into 1-inch pieces. Slice the onion into thin strips and lay the corn whole onto the hot grill. In a large bowl, toss the vegetables with lemon pepper seasoning, salt and 1½ tablespoons of olive oil.
2. Preheat a large indoor grill pan to medium/high heat for 5 to 6 minutes. Line the pan with “easy release” foil paper. This will make cleanup a lot easier, believe me. Spread all of the vegetables out onto hot grill. Grill for a few minutes on each side, turning as needed.
3. Remove veggies from grill and let cool slightly. With a sharp knife, cut the kernels off from the cob. Divide the romaine onto 4 large salad plates, add grilled vegetables, corn, black beans, avocado, crushed chips, and dressing. Toss lightly to combine, serve right away. Yields 4 large salads or 6 smaller salads. For a complete meal, add some grilled chicken or shrimp!
Notes: The vegetables can most certainly be grilled on an outdoor grill as well. If you have a hard time getting the dressing to blend, you could drizzle in a little water.
Chickpea and Cucumber Salad
2 cups chickpeas 2 roma tomatoes, seeded and sliced into thin strips 1 cup chayote or jicama, julienned 1/2 cup red onion, julienned 3 baby cucumbers, sliced 1 jalapeño, diced or sliced 1 red fresno, diced or sliced
For Dressing 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar Zest and juice of 1 lemon 1 tablespoon dijon mustard 1/2 tablespooon dried Italian herb mix 2 cloves of garlic, grated alt and pepper to taste 1/4 cup olive oil
1. Toss all of the ingredients for salad in a bowl or serving dish. If using canned chickpeas, drain and rinse well before using.
2. In a separate bowl whisk all of the ingredients for dressing in the order listed. Taste for salt and pepper. Add to salad 20 minutes before serving, toss to combine. Yields up to 6 servings.
Tips~ I removed the pulp from tomato to avoid salad from being watered down, but I think I should have removed seeds from cucumbers as well…lol! Next time.
4 cups jicama, sliced into thin strips 3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and sliced into thin strips 2 jalapeños, seeded, sliced into thin strips
1 small white onion, sliced into thin strips
¼ cup chopped cilantro
Juice of 3 keylimes or 1 large lime
1/2 tablespoon chlie limon powder
* if not available add 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
Combine all of the ingredients listed 30 minutes before serving. Stir well to combine, taste for salt. Yields up to 4 servings.
Frutas Frescas Con Chile y Limon~Freh Fruit Cups with Chile Limon!
A Refreshing Cauliflower Tabouli Salad is adapted from the lastest issue of Food Network magazine. Love tabouli, love cauliflower!
1 head of cauliflower, grated 6 green onions, sliced thin 2 cloves garlic, minced
2 red cherry peppers, seeded and diced finely
3 firm roma tomatoes, seeded and diced finely
1 small bunch of parsley, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons ried Greek basil or 2 teaspoons of fresh mint
Juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
Salt to taste
Combine all of the ingredients listed. Stir well to combine, cover and chill for a few hours before serving. The flavors will get better the longer in marinates. Great as is or serve with flat bread or pita chips. Yields up to 8 servings.
Corn, Black Bean and Chayote Succotash. I was never crazy about lima beans when my mom would serve up a side of succotash. So I decided to change it up a little, adding some of my favorites, like black beans, chayote squash and tomatillos! Great warm or at room temperature.
2 ears of corn olive oil 1/2 white onion, diced 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 jalapeño or serrano, mnced 2 chile de abol, optional 1 poblano, diced 1 cup red or orange bell pepper, diced (I had a mix of both) 1 chayote, diced 2 stalks celery, diced 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds 1/2 teaspoon mexican oregano Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste 4 tomatillos, diced 1 cup black beans, drained an rinsed 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 1/2 cup chicken broth
1. Remove corn kernals from the cob and set aside.
2. Preheat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat for a few minutes. Add the onions, garlic, chiles, bell pepper, chayote, celery, cumin seeds and oregano. Season with salt and pepper and saute for 6 to 8 minutes.
3. Add all of the remaining ingredients. Stir well to combine. Reduce heat and continue cooking until most of the liquid has evaporated. Taste for salt and pepper. Yields up to 8 servings. Great warm or at room temperature.
Caprese Salad~Tomato Basil Mozzarella. The fresh herbs are in full bloom and I am loving all the fresh basil! June 20, 2014
8 thick tomato slices Balsamic vinegar Olive oil Kosher salt
fresh cracked pepper
6 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced into 8
1/3 cup fresh basil, sliced into ribbons
Chile pepper flakes
Layer the salad in the order listed. Season to taste. I like to top the salad with a little more balsamic and olive oil to finish. Yields 4 servings
Caprese Salad, a quick and tasty salad that can be served as an appetizer or light meal with some crostini bread. A trick I learned a while back is when dressing your salads directly, drizzle on the vinegar first before the olive oil. If you drizzle the olive oil first, it may not take to the vinegar as well.
Fresh Herb Tomato Cucumber Pasta Salad . The fresh herbs in my garden are in full bloom and I can’t get enough of them. Fresh basil, oregano, parsley and cilantro are all added to this zesty pasta salad. It’s great on it’s own or as a side for your favorite grilled recipes like chicken or shrimp. Light and full of flavor! June 30, 2014
5 cups cooked pasta 1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced 2 roma tomatoes, sliced into strips * I like to seed both my tomatoes and cucumber when preparing salads 2 tablespoons fresh basil 2 tablespoons fresh parsley 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro 1/2 tablespoon fresh oregano *finely chop all of your fresh herbs 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar Zest of 1 lemon Juice of 1/2 lemon 6 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon dijon mustard Fresh cracked pepper, to taste Kosher salt, to taste
Combine all of the ingredients, stir well to combine. Cover and chill for 30 minutes before serving. Stir well before serving. Yields 6 servings.
Embracing my Mexican heritage and sharing all the wonderful flavors, colors and foods I grew up with. Join me on this journey as I also learn new foods and cooking techniques. Dedicated to my parents Ramiro and Blanca.