The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery of a star. -- Anthelme Brillat-Savarin --

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Jalapeño-Lime Chicken

HOWDY folks!

I’m back with another simple recipe I found in an My H-E-B Texas Life flier at the local grocery store.  (It’s also available online - click here to find the original recipe.)  It sounded wonderful, so I tried it soon after I came across it.

It’s truly super easy!!!  The first time I made it, I just dumped everything into a gallon-sized zipper bag and stuck it in the fridge on a Sunday night.  When I got home from work on Monday, I just dumped it all into a pan and popped it into the oven while I changed clothes, etc.  It was ready in no time!

It’s very versatile too…I sliced the cooked chicken breasts (although they would also shred very easily) and made soft tacos the first night, adding a little diced tomato and avocado along with a bit of Mexican crumbling cheese.

The next day, I had a yummy salad with the leftovers.  I just added the chicken (along with some of the cooked onions & jalapeños) to some lettuce & grape tomatoes from my garden, along with black beans, diced avocado, seedless cucumber & shredded carrots...oh so good!

The next time I made it was on a busy weekend.  Again, I dumped the zipper bag full of stuff into the fridge one night, and then poured it all into the slow cooker the next morning.  It simmered all day while we stayed busy with multiple projects.  By the time evening came around, we were exhausted, and ready for something to eat.  All we had to do was lift the lid on the slow cooker and eat!

I think it would also be good served over rice.  Just use your imagination.  The possibilities are endless!

Jalapeño Lime Chicken

2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper
8 cloves garlic, chopped (the original recipe calls for 4 cloves, but I’m a garlic fiend…feel free to use as much or as little as you like)
4 jalapeños, halved & seeds removed
2 limes, zested & juiced
1 sweet red onion, quartered (you can use regular red onions if you can’t find the sweet ones)
1 can (14 oz.) low-sodium chicken broth 
Combine all ingredients in a gallon-sized zip-top bag or a large bowl.  (If using the bowl, be sure to cover it with a lid or plastic wrap.)  Marinate over-night (or for at least 6 hours) in the refrigerator.

Oven Version:
Preheat the oven to 450°F.  Place chicken in a lightly greased 9x13 inch pan and top with marinade.  Bake for 35 minutes or until juices run clear when poked with a fork.

Slow-Cooker Version:
Place chicken in a lightly greased slow-cooker, and top with marinade.  Cook on high setting for 6 to 8 hours (until chicken is cooked through & juices run clear when pulled apart with a fork).

I hope you’ll try this one.  It’s really good and easy.  I’ve even made the slow-cooker version for guests…so easy to pull together after a busy day of sight-seeing!  I received rave reviews from all!

HEB has lots of great (and healthy) recipes available on their website, so take a minute to check it out.  Just promise you’ll let me know if you find anything interesting that I haven’t come across yet!


Monday, April 6, 2015

Asparagus, Tomato & Avocado Salad

HOWDY my friends...I hope that everyone enjoyed a blessed Easter weekend.  Our weekend was wonderfully busy hosting our annual family reunion BBQ bash (204 in attendance this year!), but Easter Sunday was much more laid back and relaxed as a much smaller group of us attended church and had lunch together to celebrate the resurrection of our precious Lord Jesus!  Then hubby & I enjoyed a nice, S-L-O-W, afternoon watching old movies, and being determined to put off any major party follow-up tasks (cleaning the house and putting away all the stuff, etc.) until later in the week.

It was a very refreshing, uplifting weekend for me, filled with fun, food, family & friends AND a glorious celebration of the resurrection!  Thanks God...I needed that! that I'm getting back to "real life", I thought I'd share an incredibly yummy recipe I found over on my friend Kathleen's blog last week.  Asparagus and avocado sounded like an interesting combination, so I just had to try it out.  It was so yummy, my hubby didn't even get much (just his initial serving. and he really liked it too), as I promptly cleaned out the entire bowl!  And yes, I even licked out all the good stuff at the end! 

We were busy with our Easter party preparations, so we didn't have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen last week.  This recipe was really quick & easy, so it fit the bill perfectly.  I served it with some simple pan-seared pork chops (just plain pork chops seasoned with little seasoned salt).  YUM!  Kathleen served hers with some broiled salmon, which sounds good too.  I also think it would go well with just about any grilled or broiled meat...or just by itself.

Asparagus, Tomato & Avocado Salad

For salad:
1 bunch of fresh asparagus (I prefer to use the small stemmed asparagus)
1 pint of cherry (or grape) tomatoes (halved)
1 Haas avocado, ripe (I think I used 2 small avocados)
Mexican crumbling cheese - optional (I added this, and we really liked it.  I think Feta cheese would be good too.  Heck, if you really want to go crazy, some crumbled bacon would probably be delish!)

For dressing:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp whole grain mustard
juice of one medium lemon
kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper & granulated garlic to taste (I added the garlic, 'cause I LOVE garlic...feel free to leave it out if you don't.)

Whisk together dressing ingredients, and let stand to allow the flavors to develop while you assemble the salad.

Trim or snap the tough stem ends of asparagus and discard.  Cut the spears into bite-sized pieces.  In a large skillet (with a lid), bring enough water to cover bottom bottom of pan and a pinch of salt to a boil.  Add asparagus, cover and boil for three minutes.  Quickly remove from heat and rinse in cold water to STOP cooking, and keep it crisp.  Drain well.

Cube avocado, and toss with the asparagus and tomatoes in a large bowl. 

Pour dressing over salad and serve.  (NOTE:  I did NOT use all the dressing...just enough to flavor it all, not drown it.  :-)  The leftover dressing is delicious on a regular green salad, or a tomato/cucumber salad too.  I'm going to have to keep that as a separate recipe for future use as well.)

We'll DEFINITELY be having this again...soon!  Be sure to give it a try, I can't recommend it highly enough.

As a side note, I'm a huge fan of avocados...they taste good, AND they're very nutritious.  I came across this website with all kinds of interesting information about avocados, and tons of recipes.  Can't wait to try some of them.

Okay...enough rambling for today.  TRY THIS RECIPE!!!  (Did I already say that?!)  Then let me know what you think.  And don't forget to stop by and say hello to Kathleen, and thank her for passing it along!