Beer and Lime Marinated Chicken Fajitas

Tonight’s dinner was these delicious marinated chicken fajitas. To be honest I did not measure my ingredients for my marinade, this allows you to season according to your flavor preferences. A quick stir-fry for the meat and veggies allows these fajitas to be done in a matter of minutes. I served my fajitas without a tortilla (to save some calories), black beans and yellow rice. It was a very filling meal with less than 245 calories! As a bonus, this entire meal comes together in less than 30 minutes.

BEER AND LIME MARINATED CHICKEN FAJITAS
123 calories per serving (Serves 4)

1 whole chicken boneless skinless chicken breast
cumin
seasoning salt
coriander
onion powder
garlic powder
lime juice
1/2 bottled beer

1 T vegetable oil, divided
1 medium size orange pepper
1/2 medium red onion

Trim chicken breasts of any fat and slice thinly. Put into a dish to marinate. Add seasonings, lime juice and beer. Stir. Allow to marinade 15 minutes. Thinly slice onion and pepper, set aside.

Heat wok over high heat. Add 1/2 T oil to wok, stir-fry onion and pepper for 5 minutes. Remove to separate dish. Add 1/2 T oil to wok, stir-fry chicken for 5 minutes. Discard marinade. Add onions and peppers to chicken and combine for 1-2 minutes. Serve as you wish. ENJOY!

Italian Chicken Stir-Fry

No need to order take-out tonight. If you think you don’t have time to make a home cooked meal, you are wrong. This meal comes together in less than 30 minutes, with only a few ingredients that you probably already have on hand. Plus you control what you put into this meal, thus controlling the fat and calories. Serve it with a salad and breadsticks and you have a big dinner.

The original recipe came from my mom. This is something she would make when my dad was gone fishing (he really doesn’t care for it). This isn’t a traditional stir-fry; I thinly sliced the chicken and stir-fried it in order to speed up the cooking time. I have also used rotisserie chicken, which you can pick up in the hot case at your local grocery store. We were out of pasta, so being “oh so resourceful” I used the pasta from a box of Velveeta Shells & Cheese and now the mystery cheese sauce packet is laying in my cupboard (what am I going to do with that?).

This recipe is easy to personalize. Use whatever pasta shape you have on hand. Don’t like chicken? Try turkey or tuna. Use fire-roasted tomatoes; my mom prefers Rotel over regular diced tomatoes. Food is meant to be enjoyed!

ITALIAN CHICKEN STIR-FRY
1-1 1/2 lb chicken breast (I used boneless, skinless)
1 T Vegetable oil
2 c pasta
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, juice drained
4 T Lite Italian salad dressing

Cook your pasta til al dente. Thinly slice chicken breast. Heat oil in wok over high heat. Quickly sti-fry chicken until no longer pink. Once chicken is cooked thoroughly, add tomatoes, pasta and salad dressing. Cook for 3-5 minutes so flavors combine.

Plate your pasta, and top with shredded Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

TORTA or Taco on a Bun

A co-worker of mine introduced me to this delicious sandwich. Her husband brought it for her to enjoy on break, and she was nice enough to give me a taste. One word. DELICIOSO! The next week Alex and I went to this little Mexican restaurant downtown and had one of our own. I wish we would have gotten enough for seconds. Tonight I attempted to make Torta on my own. It was pretty good, I think my co-worker would have enjoyed it. A torta, is basically a taco on a bun. Thanks for introducing me to something new, Martha!

EL TORTA de JAMIE

2 chicken breasts, poached and shredded (recipe follows)
1 lb chorizo
hamburger buns, or fresh rolls *FRESH BREAD IS A MUST*
lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, avocado, jalapeños

POACHED CHICKEN RECIPE
2 chicken breasts seasoned with salt, chili pepper, and cumin.
Put chicken into pot, add enough water to cover chicken. Bring chicken up to boil. Once boiling put lid on pot, take off heat. Let sit 7-10 minutes. Take chicken out, reserve 1 c of cooking liquid.

Once chicken is cool enough to handle, shredded it with two forks. Add cooking liquid, chicken, 1 T cumin, and 1 1/2 T chili powder, simmer for 5 minutes.

Take chorizo out of casing, brown in pot until done. Drain grease.

Butter buns and toast in frying pan until brown.

TO ASSEMBLE TORTA
Add meat, and desired toppings to the bun. Enjoy with your favorite Mexican beer!

HINT: Jalapeños are a must for this sandwich! Also it is not necessary to have cheese on the torta, the restaurant did not serve their tortas with cheese.

QUICK TIP: Don’t have time to poach your chicken? Pick up a precooked rotisserie chicken from your local market. Shred the chicken with two forks, add a little canned chicken stock or water and spices. Simmer for 5 minutes. The precooked chicken allows you to have this meal from stove to plate in less than 30 minutes.

Homemade Biscuits

Mmm, mmm, good! Lately I have been feeling very homemakery. The other day I had a successful attempt making homemade sourdough, so I thought I would try to make homemade biscuits. I took out my great grandma’s cookbook and searched the web for a perfect recipe. What I made is a concoction from my great grandma’s recipe and suggestions that I found online.

BISCUITS

2 c AP flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 T shortening
1/2 c sour cream
1/2 c 7-UP
1/2 c butter

Preheat oven to 400 degree Fahrenheit. Melt 1/4 c butter in the bottom of a 9 in round cake pan.

Sift flour, powder and salt into a bowl. Cut in shortening, then sour cream. Add 7-UP and mix until it forms a ball (it will do this quickly). Roll out on a floured surface until 1/2 in. thick. Cut out biscuits, re-rolling and cutting the scraps.

Place biscuits in cake pan. Bake for 7 minutes. Take out, pour 1/4 c butter over top the biscuits and turn over. Bake another 7 minutes. Maked 13 biscuits.

The biscuits were served with creamed chicken over top and a side of roasted asparagus.

Soups On!

Like I said earlier, I would post the recipes for the soups I made last week. Unfortunately I don’t have photos to go along with them. Next time I make the soup I will include a photo. I apologize for not using “real” chicken stock, this was a 30 minute meal day.

CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

3 carrots, pealed and chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 T Olive Oil
salt/pepper to taste
1 hardy pinch of dried thyme
2 – 32 oz boxes Swanson’s chicken broth
3 c cooked chicken, shredded or cubed
1 – 32 oz package Reames frozen noodles

Sautee vegetables in the olive oil until softened. Add salt/pepper and thyme. Add chicken and broth. Bring to boil, add noodles and boil for 20 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

I really enjoy my potato soup made with sauteed onions and crumbled bacon. When I made this soup the bacon was frozen. But feel free to add 4-6 slices cooked and crumbled to your soup.

CHUNKY POTATO SOUP

6 Russet potatoes, pealed and cubed
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 T olive oil
salt/pepper
pinch of dried thyme
1 c chicken stock
1 c cheddar cheese
2 c whole milk

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain. Sautee onions in olive oil over medium-high heat. Add salt/pepper and thyme. Add your liquids and the drained potatoes. Simmer until warmed through. Scoop out 1/2 of the soup with chunky potatoes and puree in the blender until smooth. Add to pot and stir in cheese. Simmer until cheese is melted.

Happy New Year

2008 is here! I hope the new year is off to a great start for you. I am sorry I haven’t written in awhile, things have been busy with the holidays.

Last Thursday, January 3rd was caucus night here in Iowa. I think both the Democrats and Republicans did a great job choosing their first place candidates. To celebrate I made Chicken and Broccoli Obama Stir-Fry with Edamame Fried Rice. It was tasty! We enjoyed our dinner while watching the victory speeches. I did not measure my ingredients, so I do not have an exact working recipe. I will give rough estimates below, adjust according to your seasoning preferences. Basmati rice is the rice I chose to use for my fried rice. I enjoy the softness and flavor of Basmati rice. I hope you enjoy my political dinner!

Chicken and Broccoli Obama Stir-Fry

3 large chicken breasts-thinly sliced
Soy Sauce
Sugar
1 tsp chopped ginger
1 tsp chopped garlic
2 heads of broccoli chopped
1 c chicken broth
1 T corn starch
2 T peanut oil

Use frozen boneless/skinless chicken breasts. Set out to thaw for 30 minutes. While chicken is partially frozen, slice into thin strips. Put in dish to continue thawing. Once chicken is fully thawed, pour soy sauce over top of chicken and sprinkle with sugar. This creates a marinade, marinate for 15 minutes at room temperature. Heat wok over high heat. Pour in 1 T peanut oil. Stir-fry broccoli, garlic and ginger for 1-2 minutes, take out and set aside. Add 1 T peanut oil, add chicken and marinade (may need to work in batches) stir-fry for 2-3 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Add broccoli to chicken mixture. Mix the cornstarch and chicken broth together, pour into wok, and stir until thickened. Serve over rice.

Edamame Fried Rice

1 package pre-shelled edamame
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp chopped ginger
2 c cooked/cooled Basmati rice
1 T soy sauce
2 eggs beaten
2 T peanut oil, plus a slash

Add 1 T oil to hot wok. Add edamame and stir fry until soft 2-3 minutes. Remove from wok. Add 1 T oil to wok, add garlic and ginger; stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add rice, stir-fry for 2-3 minutes. Make a well in the center of the rice, add a slash of oil and the beaten eggs. Incorporate the egg into the rice mixture. Add soy sauce and edamame and mix well. Remove from wok and enjoy.

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