Friday, September 28, 2012

The Best Fried Chicken

Nope, not a post about fried chicken! But if you're wondering, Havana in Houston is supposed to have one of the best fried chicken meals. After having a weak moment and giving in to some fried chicken the other night (all because I read an article about the best fried chicken in Houston and began craving), I needed something fresh and clean to eat for lunch the next day.  So I am sharing with you a salad recipe that is very filling for being what some call "bird food."

This is literally things I had in my fridge that I threw in to the mixed greens left over from the crispy citrus-y chicken I made, and made extra balsamic dressing from the same recipe.  Feel free to make it your own!

Mixed Green Super Salad:

2 cups mixed greens (I used spinach and arugula)
4 strawberries hulled and cut in half
handful of grapes
1 tbsp feta crumbles
1 tbsp walnuts
1 tbsp cranberries
2 slices deli turkey chopped (or any other protein, or none, your call)
balsamic dressing

 Throw everything in with your greens and toss! Dressing on the side if you are going to eat it later to prevent the greens from wilting, or toss with the dressing and eat up!

A quick sidebar, I went to St. Genevieve's for a girls dinner last night, and I highly recommend you trying it out.  The food and atmosphere were great!  However, service had little to be desired with our waitress and her dry attitude serving us cokes and waters instead of what I'm sure is her normal table of fancy cocktails and martinis.  Nevertheless, I would go back.  The food is small plates, so you can pick a few things and share, the music is fun (they played Theophilus London, awesome), and the ambiance is trendy and young. Other great things about this place is the fact HH lasts until 8! That means you can actually get to a HH after work! Also, the desserts are AWESOME.  As a baker, that is high praise from me. Table side smores with vanilla and strawberry dipping sauces?  Two of the biggest, softest, and warmest chocolate chip cookies you have ever seen?  Yeah, that's a pretty freaking great dessert.  I plan to visit soon to enjoy some HH refreshments and cookies :)

Have a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Crispy Citrus-y Chicken

WHOA, two posts in a row?! And alliteration?!? That's a pretty big deal! I've realized that when work is slow it's the perfect time to update this here blog.

I have been on a cooking spree since coming back from vacation.  We escaped to Miami and on to a cruise to Cozumel for a week...where we went parasailing, did touristy things, lounged around, ate, drank, slept in, shopped, ate some more, slept some get it.  I LOVE the beach, I never get enough of it.  This trip was my 3rd beach vacation this summer.  You can understand why we might be going through some post vacation blues.  My legs are finally a pretty brown color and my husband has lost his farmer's tan.  This means I only have a couple weeks to enjoy the tan before I'm back to my normal pasty white leg self and covering them up with tights and boots.

Now that you know all about my legs, let's get down to the reason we are here...a recipe! My husband and I have had our fill of take out and dining out.  Nothing beats a home cooked meal! As of late, I have been (obsessively) reading blogs about people who have inspiring and motivating stories about how they lost weight by eating better and working out.  I ran across this great blog that includes recipes, two of which I have already made, that makes eating better easy and delicious!  Last night I made her Crispy Citrus Chicken, and this morning I made her Green Eggs and Ham (substituting the ham for turkey bacon and serving it on a slice of whole wheat toast) after a really great morning work out.  Both were pretty looking, filling, healthy, and so so so good.

I of course made a few minor adjustments to the recipe to make it more personal, but you can always go back to the original recipe on her blog to get her directions and other great recipes.

Crispy Citrus-y Chicken:

- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied
- 1/2 cup plain whole wheat bread crumbs
- 1/2 tbsp orange zest
- 1/2 tbsp lemon zest
- sea salt
- black pepper
- garlic powder
- 1 egg
- a splash of milk
- olive oil

Salad topping and dressing:

- balsamic vinaigrette
- olive oil
- honey - 2 cups leafy greens (I used a mix of spinah and arugula)
- 2 tbsp walnuts
- 2 tbsp crumbled feta
- 1 tbsp dried cranberries

Place chicken breasts between 2 pieces of parchment paper and pound down with a kitchen mallet, heavy skillet, your head (no, not your head, i'm kidding), or anything else that has some weight to it, until the chicken breasts have thinned out a bit.  Salt and pepper them up.

In a plate or pie dish, throw in the bread crumbs, zests, sea salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Give it a good mix.

In a separate dish, whisk the egg and splash of milk.

Heat up your skillet to about medium/medium-high and pour in a bit of olive oil, just enough to coat the pan.

Make a mini assembly line, and dip the chicken in the egg wash and then coat in the bread crumbs.  Place the chicken in the skillet and let it pan fry for about 5 minutes on each side.  They should cook up pretty quickly since the chicken has been pounded thin.

As the chicken is cooking, you can start on the dressing.  Combine a 1/2 tbsp olive oil with 1 tsp honey and 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Whisk dressing, add greens, and toss.  Throw in the walnuts, cranberries, and feta.

Plate the chicken with the salad on top.  I served the chicken with some roasted asparagus and cherry yellow tomatoes.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tostada Tuesdays

Hello again.  Slow day at work means I get a chance to share a recipe! Yay!!

Usually it's Taco Tuesday in my world, but to step out the box a bit, I made tostadas one Tuesday night (adventurous, I know).

If you are looking for something healthy, fresh, and simply delicious, make these tostadas tonight! You can use any ingredients you have on hand, these tostadas can be done up in a variety of ways!

As a side dish, I made Mexican street corn, which reminds me of the days when my dad used to drag me to flea markets on hot summer days where the only silver lining was having the best corn in Houston.  Anyone else have this same experience? No? It's just me then...


- 4 corn tortillas
- cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and lay out your tortillas swirling the bottoms on the cookie sheet to get them oiled up and then spray the tops the tortillas with spray.

Stick them in the oven and check on them periodically until the bottoms looks they are browning, flip them and let them crisp up until golden, about 10-12 minutes total.

To top them off:

- 1 marinated chicken breast, chopped
- organic, no fat, refried black beans
- shredded monterrey jack cheese
- salsa
- shredded lettuce
- chopped avocado
- pico de gallo (chopped yellow sunburst tomatoes, diced jalapeno, diced sweet onion, chopped cilantro, squeeze of lime, sea salt, and black pepper)

To assemble:

Spread a layer of beans on the tostada (carefully, so you don't crack the shell). Top with some salsa and a sprinkling of cheese. Pop back in the oven to melt the cheese.

Add lettuce, chicken, avocado, and the pico on top and a sprinkling of some more cheese if you want and a squeeze of lime! That's it!

*Serves 2 

Mexican Street Corn:

- 3 grilled corn on the cobs
- Mayonnaise (olive oil)
- Lime
- 1 tbs. butter, melted
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- Chili powder
- Garlic powder

Slice off the kernels from the grilled cobs into a bowl.  Add melted butter and a little less than a tablespoon of mayonnaise. Squeeze in the lime, add sea salt, pepper, chili powder, and garlic powder to taste.  Mix it up and enjoy!