Categories

Baked Balsamic Chicken | alidaskitchen.com

Baked Balsamic Chicken

Tracking Pixel

Baked Balsamic Chicken is wholesome, easy and delicious!  This dish can be customized to use whatever herbs you like (or have on hand) and is perfectly paired with Minute® Multi-Grain Medley! Thank you Minute® Rice for sponsoring this post.
 This Baked Balsamic Chicken recipe has been a family favorite for years. The recipe was created when Greta was first born over 3 years ago and has been a regular feature on the dinner rotation ever since. The marinade takes minutes to prepare and then is poured in a zip-top bag with the chicken.  Let that sit in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake.  Then you just pour the chicken and marinade in a baking dish and bake.  Simple!

Read more

Chipotle-Glazed Roast Chicken with Sweet Potatoes


I found this recipe for Chipotle-Glazed Roast Chicken with Sweet Potatoes during a sleepless night over the summer.  While it sounded absolutely delicious, it didn’t quite scream “summer” to me…so I saved it for a more seasonably appropriate time.  After many months of anticipation, I am happy to report this recipe was definitely worth the wait!

First you give the potatoes a head start by cooking them until they start to get tender.  The timing on this may vary based on the size you cut your potatoes or your oven, but unless you like crunchy potatoes, this step is key to the success of the recipe.  Meanwhile, you can whip up the sauce/rub and prepare the chicken.  Then you just put the chicken on top of the potatoes and pop it in the oven to bake until the chicken is done.  This recipe really could not be any simpler.  The result is a light and healthy dish that is sweet, spicy and delicious!

Chipotle-Glazed Roast Chicken with Sweet Potatoes
 
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 sweet potatoes (10 ounces each) cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus additional to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 4 4-ounce portions
  • 2-3 green onions, chopped (optional, for garnish)
  • Cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a roasting or baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss sweet potatoes with olive oil and pour in the bottom of roasting/baking pan. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes (tossing after 10 minutes), until potatoes being to get tender.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine chiles, garlic, honey, vinegar, salt, cumin, and cinnamon. Rub mixture over chicken breasts.
  4. Place chicken breasts on top of sweet potatoes and roast until chicken is cooked thoroughly, about 25 to 30 minutes. Serve garnished with green onions.

Adapted from Fitness Magazine

Ginger Chicken Satay

Chicken Satay is one of my favorite chicken dishes.  While I doubt there will ever be anything that comes close my favorite recipe, I enjoy experimenting with different versions from time to time.  The thing that caught my eye in this particular version was the interesting use of pineapple juice.

The result was a subtle yet delicious Ginger Chicken Satay.  The flavors are mild yet interesting.  The pineapple juice isn’t obvious, but was indeed a tasty addition.  The heat can obviously be adjusted to taste with the crushed red pepper.   I’m not really a skewer fan, so I just grill the chicken directly instead of threading it on skewers.  If you want to do skewers, then cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces before marinating.  Then thread the chicken on the skewers once you are ready to fire up the grill.

Ginger Chicken Satay
 
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 6 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Crushed red pepper, adjust to taste
Instructions
  1. Put the chicken in Ziploc bag.
  2. In medium bowl, combine pineapple juice, peanut butter, sugar, vinegar, ginger, garlic and crushed red pepper. Pour the marinade over chicken in the Ziploc bag. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to overnight.
  3. Preheat grill (or grill pan) to medium high. Cook chicken 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with additional crushed red pepper, if desired.

 

Adapted from Fitness, May, 2011

Grilled Lemon Chicken with Parsley Sauce

Grilled Lemon Chicken with Parsley Sauce is a light and healthy dish that tastes like summer.  Plus it’s a great way to use some of the parsley that may be taking over your herb garden!  The lemon in the chicken is subtle and fresh tasting, which serves as a nice contrast to the tangy parsley sauce.  The marinade is quick and easy to make, using simple ingredients, and then pop the chicken in the refrigerator until you’re ready to grill.  As with any citrus marinade, it acts quickly so can be grilled within 15 minutes.  I’ve also let the chicken marinate overnight, and that works fine too.  For the parsley sauce, I just toss everything in my Magic Bullet (which I love any excuse to use!), and it’s done in a minute.  Easy! 

Grilled Lemon Chicken with Parsley Sauce
 
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • Chicken:
  • zest of 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenders or breasts (4 4-ounce breasts)
  • Sauce:
  • ⅔ cup parsley
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Prepare marinade: In a bowl, whisk together zest, juice, oil, garlic, salt, pepper and sugar until combined.
  2. Put chicken in a Ziploc bag and pour marinade over chicken. Shake to coat and put in the refrigerator to marinate until ready to use (at least 15 minutes to overnight).
  3. Prepare sauce: In a blender, add parsley, oil, shallot, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, and juice. Blend until smooth (about 1 minute).
  4. Preheat grill. Place chicken on grill (discard marinade) and cook chicken on 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until thoroughly cooked.
  5. Serve chicken with a drizzle of sauce and garnish as desired. (Store any leftover marinade in the refrigerator).

Adapted from Health, July, 2006

Chicken and Potatoes with Mustard Vinaigrette

Chicken and Potatoes with Mustard Vinaigrette | alidaskitchen.com
 With temperatures hitting record highs this summer, I am always happy to be able to cook a quick and healthy dinner that does require turning on the oven.  This Chicken and Potatoes with Mustard Vinaigrette can be made on the stovetop in less than 30 minutes.  It’s served over a bed of fresh baby spinach, making it healthy and delicious.  I’d say this dish fits the bill of quick and healthy, making it a perfect dinner!

I actually found this recipe in a magazine at least 10 years ago and gave it to my mom.  She has made it regularly ever since, and everybody is happy when she has it on the menu.  This salad became an instant family favorite!  While the original recipe calls for rotisserie chicken, my mom bakes chicken breasts and shreds them.  In this recipe, I poached the chicken.   The original recipe calls for watercress, but the spinach gives the salad a bit more substance.  Arugula would also be a tasty substitution.  Basically what I’m telling you is that this recipe is flexible.  Go with what works for you to make this a family favorite of your own.

Chicken and Potatoes with Mustard Vinaigrette
 
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 pound small red potatoes
  • salt
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 10 ounces fresh baby spinach
Instructions
  1. Put chicken in a large sauce pan and then add enough water to cover the chicken. Add a couple pinches of salt. Bring liquid to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 5 minutes. Then cover, remove from heat and let sit for 12 to 15 minutes, or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
  2. While the chicken is cooking, put potatoes and 1 tablespoon salt in a medium sauce pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
  3. While chicken and potatoes are cooking, whisk together mustard, vinegar, garlic, honey, and pepper in a small bowl. Gradually add oil, whisking constantly until incorporated. (Note: I then pour vinaigrette into a cruet for ease of pouring).
  4. Once chicken is cooked, transfer to a separate bowl. Drizzle 2 tablespoons vinaigrette over warm chicken and let sit for a minute to soak in. Then use 2 forks to shred chicken.
  5. Cut cooked potatoes into quarters (or halves, depending on size).
  6. Place spinach in a large serving bowl. Add potatoes and chicken, and toss to combine. Serve immediately, drizzling with additional vinaigrette as desired.
Notes
You can add the vinaigrette to the serving bowl and toss, but I prefer to let others control the amount of dressing on their salad. For me, a little goes a long way!

Adapted from Real Simple

healthy grilled barbecue chicken with DIY barbeque sauce

Grilled BBQ Chicken

I can’t believe I haven’t posted this recipe for Grilled BBQ Chicken already!  It’s been almost 2 months since I posted teaser pictures on my Drumstick Party post.  Oops!  Fortunately there is still plenty of summer time left to fire up that grill and enjoy some tasty Grilled BBQ Chicken.

Homemade barbecue sauce is one of the easiest things to make using simple pantry ingredients.  I have several homemade versions that I love.  Each one is a little different and each one has its time and place.  This recipe below is based on the sauce from my Pulled Chicken Sandwiches.  I absolutely love the spice combination in that recipe and thought it would translate nicely to the grill.  We were so pleased with the result, this is now my go-to recipe for any time we want a classic Grilled BBQ Chicken!

Grilled BBQ Chicken
 
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 4-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Cooking spray or oil, for grill
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, mix ketchup and next 8 ingredients (through cumin) until sauce is combined. Set aside.
  2. Put chicken in a Ziploc bag and pour half of the sauce in the bag, making sure chicken get coated. Put in refrigerator for at least an hour (to overnight).
  3. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Spray the grates with grill cooking spray (or rub with oil), if needed.
  4. Put chicken on grill and discard the bag with marinade. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked thoroughly. Serve with additional sauce, as desired.
healthy baked buffalo chicken breast tenders

Baked Buffalo Chicken Tenders

Baked Buffalo Chicken Tenders are made with simple pantry ingredients, and because they are so delicious and easy, they have become a fixture in our dinner rotation.  The seasoned flour gives an interesting boost of flavor to these otherwise basic baked chicken tenders.  It also is a nice complement to the hot and spicy buffalo sauce.  While either buttermilk or egg whites work great for moistening the chicken before breading, I tend to prefer the tang from the buttermilk.  The buffalo sauce makes a modest amount to contribute the spicy  buffalo flavor without excess, thus making it a bit lighter.  The result is a spicy buffalo baked chicken dish that is as delicious as it is easy.  The recipe also halves easily, making a simple dinner for 2.  I enjoy my buffalo chicken plain, but it is also delicious served with your favorite side of blue cheese dressing for dipping.

Baked Buffalo Chicken Tenders
 
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup buttermilk OR 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 pound chicken tenders OR boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • Cooking spray
  • ½ cup hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Place a wire rack on rimmed baking sheet (optional). Set aside.
  2. In a shallow bowl, combine flour, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder and salt.
  3. Put buttermilk (or egg whites) and breadcrumbs, each in separate shallow bowls.
  4. Working with one tender at a time, dredge chicken in flour mixture, then dip in buttermilk and then toss with bread crumbs, making sure chicken is coated, and then place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tenders.
  5. Spray tops of chicken with olive oil cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes, or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
  6. Meanwhile, whisk the hot sauce and butter until combined. Once chicken is done, remove from oven and drizzle with hot sauce mixture, making sure to flip to get both sides.. Serve immediately.

Adapted from Food.com

healthy lighter chicken parmesan

Light Chicken Parmesan

This Light Chicken Parmesan is a delicious and healthy spin on a classic favorite.  There are a few tricks that helped with the lightening up of this dish.  Baking the chicken results in moist meat without having to use any extra fat.  By breading only one side of the chicken, you get the benefit of the delicious breadcrumb/cheese mixture without the excess.  Using part-skim mozzarella cheese helps keep the fat and calories down without sacrificing taste.

The sauce can easily be substituted with your favorite marinara (use jarred for a time saver) – simply skip to step 5.  We enjoyed Light Chicken Parmesan with a mixed green side salad for a light, healthy dinner.  Spaghetti tossed a little olive oil, herbs and red pepper flakes would also be a delicious accompaniment to this dish.

Light Chicken Parmesan
 
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, adjust to taste
  • ½ teaspoon Italian herb seasoning
  • 14 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread, torn into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg white
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4 to 6 ounces each)
  • ¾ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (3 ounces)
Instructions
  1. Make Sauce: Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until tender (about 8 minutes). Add garlic, pepper flakes, and Italian herb seasoning. Cook, stirring frequently for 2 minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste. Cover, increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Uncover and reduce heat to medium low and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and flavors combine (about 30 minutes).
  3. Add vinegar and simmer for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and set aside until slightly cooled.
  4. Using an immersion blender, blender, or food processor, puree sauce until smooth.
  5. Make Chicken: Preheat oven to 425 degrees, with rack in upper third. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil and set aside.
  6. In a food processor, combine bread, Parmesan, oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pulse until mixture becomes coarse crumbs; transfer to a shallow bowl.
  7. Place flour in a separate shallow bowl, season with salt and pepper. Place egg white in a third shallow bowl, and beat with fork until frothy.
  8. Dip top side of chicken breast in flour, shaking off excess. Dip same side in egg white, letting excess drip off. Then dip in breadcrumbs, pressing to adhere. Place on prepared baking sheet, breaded side up (Note: you only bread one side). Repeat with remaining chicken.
  9. Bake until breadcrumbs are browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with mozzarella. Continue baking until chicken is cooked through and cheese is melted and slightly browned, about 2 to 4 minutes.
  10. Serve chicken with a generous amount of sauce.

Light Chicken Parmesan

Source:  Chicken from Everyday Food Light; Sauce adapted slightly from Clean Eating, March, 2012

healthy lighter cajun chicken pasta with evaporated milk

Lighter Cajun Chicken Pasta

Lighter Cajun Chicken Pasta is a one-pot, easy recipe with a cajun twist made healthier!
  Lighter Cajun Chicken Pasta | alidaskitchen.com
This Cajun Chicken Pasta is an easy, one-pot stovetop dinner made with lots of vegetables and spicy chicken in a creamy sauce.  The hands-on cooking time is around 20 minutes, which means with a little advance prep (chopping vegetables and chicken), this can easily be a weeknight dinner, or a quick dinner any time.  The recipe is also easily halved to make dinner for 2.
healthy lighter cajun chicken pasta
 I used this recipe from Southern Living for my inspiration, but made several modifications to lighten up the dish.  For the cream sauce, I used fat free evaporated milk instead of half-and-half, and the result was great.  It had a creamy texture without being heavy.  I also eliminated the butter in favor of cooking spray and a small amount of olive oil for the vegetables.   I reduced the amount of pasta and added more vegetables.  There is a lot of flexibility with the vegetables to add more or change it up to use up what you have on hand.  The result is a lighter version of Cajun Chicken Pasta that is simply delicious!

Lighter Cajun Chicken Pasta
 
Author:
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces whole wheat linguine or fettucine
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into small strips
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (divided), adjust to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 large bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 (8 ounce) package sliced mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (12 ounces) fat free evaporated milk
  • chopped green onions, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, sprinkle chicken evenly with 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning and salt.
  3. Spray a large saute pan with cooking spray and heat oven medium-high heat. Add chicken, and saute for 5 to 6 minutes or until done. Remove chicken to a plate, tented with foil.
  4. In the same saute pan, add olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add red onion, peppers, mushrooms and garlic to pan and saute for 9 to 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and liquid evaporates.
  5. Return chicken to skillet and mix with vegetables. Add evaporated milk and 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 3 minutes. Add linquine, toss to coat
  6. Garnish with green onions, as desired, and serve immediately.

Lighter Cajun Chicken Pasta | alidaskitchen.com

Baked Cayenne-Rubbed Chicken with Avocado Salsa

Baked Cayenne-Rubbed Chicken with Avocado Salsa is one of those dishes that combines very simple ingredients to make something versatile, classic and delicious.  The spice rub is an easy way to add flavor to the chicken without any added fat or calories, keeping things nice and light.

The avocado salsa topping is also a combination of simple, fresh ingredients.  The creamy avocado cools the spicy chicken, and the red onion complements everything quite nicely.  While delicious as-is, I can also envision adding some black beans or corn to the salsa or served as a simple side.

The chicken can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake, and the recipe halves easily to serve dinner for two.

 

Baked Cayenne-Rubbed Chicken with Avocado Salsa
 
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus additional for salsa
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper, plus additional for salsa
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, adjust to taste
  • 4 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless (4 to 6 ounces each)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided (approximately from 1 lime)
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mix salt, pepper and cayenne pepper (adjust amounts to taste preference). Rub all over chicken and place in prepared baking dish.
  3. Squeeze 2 tablespoons of lime juice over chicken. Bake uncovered for approxmiately 30 minutes, or chicken is cooked thoroughly.
  4. In the meantime, prepare the salsa. Put red onion and remaining lime juice in a medium bowl and let sit. Just before serving, mix in avocado and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve salsa over chicken.

Adapted from Everyday Food Light

Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

Our weather has been all over the place lately. We had a stretch of 80-degree days in March, yet just awe got some snow. It’s all a bit confusing, but we know summer is near.  This has me thinking about summertime eats, which led me to these Pulled Chicken Sandwiches.  These healthy sandwiches taste like a summer barbeque, but can easily be enjoyed all year long.

Inspired from my Chicken Tostada Salad, I decided to poach the chicken breasts and then used 2 forks to shred the chicken. Actually, Mike shredded the chicken while I wiped out the pan and heated up the sauce. At that point, it’s just a matter of minutes until dinner is served.  The original recipe calls for shredded rotisserie chicken, which would be a great time saver (just skip to step 3).  Either way, these Pulled Chicken Sandwiches can be made in less than 30 minutes, making them a great weeknight dinner, or any time!

Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
 
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound chicken breast, boneless, skinless
  • Salt
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce (or regular hot sauce), adjust to taste
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 whole wheat buns, toasted
  • 1 cup broccoli slaw (optional, for topping)
Instructions
  1. Put chicken in a large sauce pan and then add enough water to cover the chicken. Add a couple pinches of salt. Bring liquid to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 5 minutes. Then cover, remove from heat and let sit for 12 to 15 minutes, or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
  2. Put cooked chicken in a separate bowl and, using 2 forks, shred chicken. Wipe out sauce pan to use for sauce.
  3. In sauce pan, whisk the ketchup, mustard, vinegar, sugar, hot sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and cumin until combined. Put over medium heat to bring the sauce to a simmer until slightly thickened (about 3 minutes).
  4. Add chicken to the sauce, tossing to coat and to warm up the chicken (about 1 to 2 minutes).
  5. Divide chicken evenly among buns and top with slaw, as desired. Serve immediately.
Notes
For a lighter alternative, use a low-carb tortilla instead of a bun and call it a taco!

Nutrition Info per serving of chicken/sauce
Calories: 200
Fat: 1.2g
Carbs:  21g
Fiber: 0g
Protein:  26.2g

Amounts for your bun or tortilla will be in addition to the above.  The whole wheat bun I used was 160 calories, which was average-sized.

Adapted from Cooking Light

Chicken Tostada Salad

This Chicken Tostada Salad recipe uses a technique for chicken that simply doesn’t cross my mind often enough – poaching!  Poaching is an easy and healthy way to cook chicken, without any added fat, in about 20 minutes.  In this recipe, the poached chicken is shredded and serves as a perfect blank slate for the salad, which combines simple but flavorful ingredients, such as red onions, chili powder, garlic, and lime juice.

The base of the salad is a crispy, toasted tortilla, with cheese baked right on it.  I have used both romaine lettuce and mixed greens.  It is good either way, but since I have mixed greens on hand at all times, that is what I tend to use.  Go with what you like best!  We enjoyed this tostada salad so much for dinner, I decided to make it for lunch again the next day.  It was that good!

Chicken Tostada Salad
 
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound chicken breast, boneless, skinless (or rotisserie chicken breast)
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • Cooking spray
  • ¾ cup Monterey Jack cheese, plus additional for topping (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup red onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup water
  • Coarse salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • ½ head of romaine lettuce, shredded OR 5 ounces of your favorite mixed greens
  • 1 tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Fresh cilantro, for serving (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken in medium pot, and add enough water to cover chicken. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer; cook for 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let chicken stand, covered until cooked through (about 12 to 14 minutes). Remove chicken from liquid and shred with 2 forks.
  2. Spray corn tortillas with cooking spray and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Baked until golden and crisp (about 8 to 10 minutes).
  3. While tortillas are in the oven, in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add half of the onion and cook until softened (about 5 minutes). Add chili powder and garlic and cook, stirring until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add chicken and the water and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is warmed through and water has evaporated (about 2 to 3 minutes). Stir in 1 teaspoon lime juice and remove from heat.
  4. After tortillas are toasted, sprinkle each tortillas evenly with cheese and bake until cheese is bubbling (about 3 minutes). Remove from oven.
  5. In a large bowl, combine lettuce and remaining lime juice, season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss well to coat and divide evenly among tortillas; top each with chicken mixture, tomato, avocado, remaining onion, and cilantro or cheese (optional, for topping).

Slightly adapted from Everyday Food Light

Oven-Baked Sriracha Chicken

It seems sriracha sauce is everywhere these days.  I was excited to find a baked chicken recipe using sriracha, but based on my preference, wanted to use chicken breast instead of drumsticks and thighs.  Of course when cooking with leaner, boneless/skinless cuts, such as chicken breast, modifications are required in order to achieve tender and juicy meat.  Well, the first time I made this with chicken breast, I intentionally did not adjust for this to see what would happen and guess what…it was dry!  But the flavor was amazing, so I knew it was worth further experimentation.  With a few simple tweaks, the result was exactly what I was hoping for ~ moist and tender, spicy sriracha chicken breast baked in the oven.  Keep in mind, the sriracha sauce has some heat, so adjust the amount accordingly.  We enjoyed this with edamame brown rice.

Oven-Baked Sriracha Chicken
 
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch green onions (greens (thinly sliced) and whites (minced) separated)
  • ¼ cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced (or grated)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced (or grated)
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha sauce (adjust to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon Chinese five star seasoning
  • 4 4-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (for serving)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the minced whites of the green onions, hoisin sauce, ginger, garlic, salt, lime juice, sriracha sauce, and seasoning.
  3. Working with once piece at a time, place chicken breast in the bowl and coat with sauce (note: the sauce is pretty thick). Place chicken breast in baking dish and repeat with remaining pieces of chicken. Pour any remaining sauce over the chicken.
  4. Cover baking dish with with foil. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Place chicken on serving dish(es) and top with green onion greens and sesame seeds.
Notes
Make ahead tip: Prepare chicken and sauce per the above and refrigerate until ready. Take chicken out of the refrigerator and then preheat the oven. Bake as usual.

Adapted from Eating Well

lighter healthy pretzel-crusted mustard chicken breast

Lighter Pretzel-Crusted Chicken

Like most people it seems, I am always on the look out for healthy, easy and delicious ways to cook chicken.  This Lighter Pretzel-Crusted Chicken is all of the above, is figure-friendly, family-friendly, and also easily halved to yield 2 servings.

No oil or butter helps make this a lighter and healthier version of a breaded chicken.  Chicken breast cutlets, or tenders, are dipped in an egg white and honey mustard mixture and then “breaded” with crushed pretzels.  A little cheese helps the pretzels adhere, and some seasoning rounds out the flavors quite nicely.  Served with a side salad or crudites, Lighter Pretzel-Crusted Chicken is as good, and good for you, as it is easy, and comes in around 200 calories.  Enjoy!


Lighter Pretzel-Crusted Chicken
 
This is one of our frequent go-to dinners for when we need something quick, easy and healthy.
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 4-ounce chicken breast cutlets (about ¼" thickness) or 1 pound chicken breast tenders
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons honey mustard or Dijon mustard
  • 1½ cups pretzels, crushed (yields approx. 1 cup)
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • Olive oil cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and set aside.
  2. In a shallow bowl, whisk egg whites and honey mustard.
  3. In another shallow bowl, mix pretzels, cheese, onion powder, and garlic powder.
  4. Dip a chicken breast in egg mixture. Then dip the chicken in the pretzel mixture, pressing the coating to help it adhere and making sure both sides get well-coated. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken.
  5. Spray tops of chicken lightly with cooking spray. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until pretzel coating is browned and chicken is thoroughly cooked. Serve immediately.
Notes
Adapted from Eat Better America

Lighter Sesame Chicken

This Lighter Sesame Chicken recipe is an easy-to-make, healthier version of a take-out favorite. Lean chicken breast is coated with a light sesame and honey sauce, and served over rice and steamed broccoli. 
  Lighter Sesame Chicken | alidaskitchen.com

This Lighter Sesame Chicken dish has been a staple around our house for years and is truly one of our favorite chicken dishes.  It is easy to make, using ingredients you most likely already have at home.  The recipe also halves easily, making a nice dinner for 2….

Read more

The Best Chicken Sate with Peanut Sauce

I am very excited to share this recipe with you.  It is my most requested dish, a family favorite, and it’s healthy too.  It is without a doubt The Best Chicken Sate with Peanut Sauce ever!

 
As you’ll notice, the marinade and sauce use many of the same ingredients.  For ease, I place the prep bowls side by side and prepare them in tandem.  I measure brown sugar for each, put it away; soy sauce for each, put it away, etc.  They end up like this (marinade on left, sauce on right).

This Chicken Sate with Peanut Sauce is definitely worthy of a special occasion, but with some advance prep work it can also be a nice weeknight dinner.  The chicken is best when given ample time to marinate (overnight works well).  I typically use chicken breast tenders and do not thread them on skewers to save myself the extra step.  The result is a delicious Asian-inspired dish with a little spicy kick.  

The Best Chicken Sate with Peanut Sauce
Yields 4 servings

1 pound boneless/skinless chicken tenders (or chicken breast cut into strips)

Sate/Marinade:
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
3-4 garlic cloves, grated or finely minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
1 tablepoon lime juice

Peanut Sauce:
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, grated or finely minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
zest of 1 lime
2 tablespoons natural peanut butter (chunky or smooth)

skewers (optional)
cooking spray

Note: if using wooden skewers, soak for at least 30 minutes prior to grilling.

  1. Put chicken in a Ziploc bag.
  2. Prepare sate: In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, red pepper flakes, ginger, and lime juice. 
  3. Add sate to chicken in bag, making sure chicken is well coated.  Place in refrigerator to marinate (4 hours up to 2 days; ideal time is around 10-15 hours)
  4. Prepare sauce:  In a separate dish, mix together brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, red pepper flakes, lime zest and peanut butter.  Stir until combined.  Refrigerate until within 30 minutes of serving.
  5. Cooking:  Preheat grill.  Thread chicken on skewers, if using. 
  6. Place chicken on grill coated with cooking spray (or foil tray).  Cook for 4-5 minutes per side, or until chicken is done.  Serve with sauce.

Adapted from Cooking Light

Rosemary Parmesan Dipping Oil & Crisco Olive Oils

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, I got the opportunity to sample three olive oils from Crisco: Light Tasting, Pure and 100% Extra Virgin.  Since I use olive oil often, I was excited to give them a try.  But then I wondered…what would I possible do with these three olive oils?  What’s the difference? 

Well, thanks to the handy little labels on each bottle, Crisco answered that very question for me and then some.  Light Tasting is best for frying, baking and as an everyday cooking oil.  Pure is best for grilling, sauteing and marinades.  100% Extra Virgin is best for dipping, dressing and sauces.  To give a true test, I decided to remake a couple of old favorite recipes using Light Tasting and Pure, and to make a new recipe for you using 100% Extra Virgin.

Light Tasting

Since Crisco’s Light Tasting olive oil is great for baked goods, I decided to remake my Rosemary Cornbread, but this time as muffins.  The oil had little to no fragrance and was otherwise very nice to use.  The result?  These muffins were fantastic!  This was the best batch of Rosemary Cornbread yet, so I’m very pleased with the Light Tasting olive oil. 


Pure

Given that Crisco’s Pure olive oil is ideal for marinating and grilling, it will definitely be popular around this house.  I decided to remake Mustard Rosemary Chicken, but this time we grilled the marinated chicken breasts (i.e. not on skewers).  The result?  Delicious!  We both remarked about how this chicken was one of the best we’ve had.  Another score using Crisco’s Pure olive oil!


100% Extra Virgin

Crisco’s 100% Extra Virgin olive oil is best for dipping, so what better way to test this than by making a dipping oil.  This recipe was inspired by a little pamphlet that came with the oils.  Rosemary Parmesan Dipping Oil is simple, quick and easy to make, and tastes incredible!  Three for three…thanks Crisco!

Rosemary Parmesan Dipping Oil
Yields 4 servings

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, such as Crisco® 100 % Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1-2 garlic cloves, finely minced (or grated)
Pinch salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1-2 tablespoons grated or finely shredded Parmesan cheese
Crusty French or Italian Bread

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper.
  2. Pour into serving saucer(s) and add Parmesan cheese. 
  3. Serve with crusty bread. 

Adapted from Crisco pamphlet

Disclaimer: As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, I was provided with a bottle of each of the above named Crisco olive oils for free.  The details of my experience are exclusively my opinion, and I was not otherwise influenced or compensated.

Grilled Chicken Caprese

Happy Friday everyone!   I hate to the be the bearer of bad news, but can you believe the end of July is upon us?   Summer is whizzing by in the blink of an eye.  We are trying to take advantage of all that summer has to offer, though a few activities still remain on our ‘to do’ list.  On the other hand, we certainly are taking every opportunity to grill (something we did not do once last summer, back when I was still working, and we were stuck in our pizza/pasta/p’eggs routine).   

In any case, we are having a great summer here at Alida’s Kitchen, and I hope you are too!

After making Herbed-Grilled Tomatoes, I developed an appreciation for the delicious flavor of grilled tomatoes. So when I saw a Caprese Chicken recipe that grilled the chicken AND the tomatoes, it went on my ‘must make’ list immediately!   

Grilled Chicken Caprese is a simple weeknight (or quick weekend meal) that takes little effort and yields an impressive result.  First you make the marinade.  Then marinate slices of the fresh mozzarella (yum!).  While the cheese is marinating, you grill the tomato slices and chicken cutlets, which takes about 5 minutes.  Last, simply put everything together, let it sit a little bit if you can, and then eat!

The result is a delicious Caprese-inspired grilled chicken dish that is quick and easy to make. The original recipe states it takes 30 minutes, which sounds about right…but that includes eating time! 🙂  Enjoy!

Have a great weekend!

Grilled Chicken Caprese
Yields 4 servings

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons red wine or balsamic vingar
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
4 slices of fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4-inch slices, halved and patted
4 chicken breast cutlets (or butterflied chicken breast halves)
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
8 tomato slices (2-3 tomatoes), cored and cut into 1/2-inch slices

  1. Make marinade/dressing: whisk together basil, vinegar, garlic and olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper to your taste preference.
  2. Take 2 tablespoons of the marinade and pour over mozzarella slices, turning the slices to make sure cheese is coated.  Set aside.
  3. Pat chicken dry and then drizzle about a 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil on each side of chicken cutlet and season with pepper.
  4. Preheat grill to medium-high heat and spray grates with cooking spray or rub with oil. 
  5. Grill chicken and tomatoes until chicken is thoroughly cooked and browned and tomatoes are slighly charred (about 2 minutes per side).
  6. Transfer chicken to platter and top each cutlet with 2 tomato slices.  Drizzle with remaining vinaigrette and top with mozzarella.  Cover with an inverted plate or tented foil and let sit for 5 minutes (up to 10 minutes, if you can wait that long).  Serve.  

Adapted from Cook’s Country, August/September, 2011

Herbed Balsamic Grilled Chicken

I love cooking marinated chicken on the grill. It is such a quick and easy way to make a delicious dinner.  Mix the marinade, pour it in a Ziploc bag, put chicken in the bag and let is sit.  Easy.

So when I saw this recipe for Herbed Balsamic Grilled Chicken, it was calling my name.  I made a few changes to the recipe, which are reflected in the recipe written below.  I reduced the oil, added garlic and substituted Italian herbs seasoning for the herbes de Provence.  Combined with the balsamic vinegar, I dare say the combination resulted in the best grilled chicken ever!

Herbed Balsamic Grilled Chicken is a light, healthy and versatile dish that can easily go with any vegetable, starch or salad.

Herbed Balsamic Grilled Chicken
Yields 4 servings

1 pound chicken breast or breast tenders
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian herb seasoning
2 cloves garlic, minced
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Pinch of kosher flake salt

  1. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, olive oil, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper until combined.
  2. Put chicken in a Ziploc bag.  Pour vinegar mixture in bag with chicken, making sure chicken gets coated.  Refrigerate for at least two hours, turning the bag occasionally.
  3. Grill chicken over medium-high heat until cooked thoroughly (approximately 4-5 minutes per side).

Adapted from Cooking with Chrissy, originally from Bon Apétit, June 2009

Grilled Peanut Butter Chicken

If I had to pick my all time favorite food, it would be peanut butter (although cheese is a very close second).   I love peanut butter sandwiches, cookies, bars, on apples, plain, ice cream…*sigh*  I could go on and on.

So one day when I was opening my lovely jar of peanut butter, this chicken recipe caught my eye. Peanut butter? Chicken? Mmm… I do not often stumble upon many savory peanut butter dishes, so I was eager to give this a try.

As with most of my chicken recipes for the grill, I adapted this recipe to be quick and easy – mix the marinade, put marinade and chicken in Ziploc bag, let sit in the refrigerator for about 2 hours, grill, eat. It’s that simple.

 
The peanut butter, soy sauce and ginger combination give this chicken dish a Thai-inspired flavor. It is really quite tasty AND another way to eat more peanut butter. Yum!

Grilled Peanut Butter Chicken
Yields 4 servings

1/2 cup natural peanut butter
2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ginger, grated or finely chopped
1 pound chicken tenders or chicken breast  cut into 1 1/2 inch strips

  1. In a bowl, prepare the marinade by mixing all of the ingredients except the chicken.   
  2. Put chicken in a Ziploc bag and pour marinade over chicken.  Make sure chicken gets completely coated. Set in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  3. Lightly oil grates on grill OR use a foil tray to cook chicken.
  4. Place chicken on grill (or foil tray) and cook for 3-5 minutes per side, until chicken is cooked thoroughly.

Adapted from Smuckers Peanut Butter Jar Lid

Mustard-Rosemary Chicken Skewers


Happy Summer!  ‘Tis the season for visits to the beach, bike rides, and of course, grilling.  I have several favorite recipes exclusive to the grill, so my anticipation of grilling season rivals that of Christmas.  While I enjoy the reliable stand bys, it is always fun to find new and healthy recipes to add to the favorites.  


So in the spirit of summer, when I saw this recipe for Mustard-Rosemary Chicken Skewers, I could not wait to fire up the grill!   Skewers are such a convenient way to serve your meat and veggies, all threaded on a handy little stick.  Plus there is something fun about having dinner on a stick.    

These tasty skewers did not disappoint.  The rosemary, mustard and balsamic vinegar are an incredible flavor combination with the chicken and veggies.  From the original recipe, I reduced the oil, used chicken breast instead of legs, and increased the balsamic vinegar, scallions, and garlic (can never have enough garlic!).  I have written the recipe below according to these changes. 

These skewers are perfect for entertaining at your next summer celebration and have landed a spot on the grilling favorites list in this house.

Have a great weekend!

Mustard-Rosemary Chicken Skewers
Yields 4 servings

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
pinch salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for grill (or use cooking spray on grill)
1 pounds boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
5 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces

Note: if using wooden skewers, soak for at least 30 minutes prior to grilling…perfect to do while the chicken and vegetables are marinating.

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the mustard, vinegar, rosemary, garlic, salt and black pepper.  Slowly whisk in the oil.
  2. Place chicken, bell pepper and scallions in a Ziploc bag.  Add the marinade, making sure to coat chicken and vegetables. Refrigerate at least 40 minutes.
  3. Heat the grill to medium high and brush with olive oil (or spray with cooking spray).  Thread chicken, peppers and green onions on skewers.  Transfer to grill and cook, turning occasionally, until chicken is charred and no longer pink (approx 8 minutes). 

Adapted from Fitness Magazine

Sweet and Spicy Barbecue Chicken

Sometimes is pays to be picky.  Or at least to be cooking for picky guests.  I was hosting a summer get together and, by request, was making my “Magic Hamburgers.”  However I knew one of my guests would not eat ground beef, so I was on a two-fold mission: find something delicious that she will like and find something with ingredients I already have.

Enter Sweet & Spicy Barbecue Chicken.  Mission accomplished.

I am so thankful for my picky dinner guest.  If not for her, I would not have found this recipe and my life in the kitchen would not be the same.

In all seriousness, this barbecue sauce is incredible.  I love that it is so easily made from basic ingredients commonly found in the pantry.  The hot sauce, along with the black pepper, add the perfect zing which can be altered to your heat tolerance.  I prefer using chicken tenders, though you can easily adapt this recipe to whatever part of the chicken you like to grill.  It also makes for great barbecue chicken sandwiches.

Sweet and Spicy Barbecue Chicken
 
A simple barbecue sauce made with pantry ingredients.
Yields: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Fresh ground pepper (to taste)
  • 1 lb chicken breast tenders
Instructions
  1. Mix first 6 ingredients in bowl.
  2. Place chicken in ziploc bag. Pour ½ sauce in bag, making sure chicken is well coated. Marinate for at least 4 hours.
  3. Grill chicken as usual, about 3-4 minutes per side.
  4. Serve with remaining barbeque sauce for dipping.

Adapted from Food & Wine