When the temperatures are soaring on the outskirts, I’ve no time to be spending extended time on top of my stove. I often seek out quick, easy, and delicious meals. After all, I want to secure much-needed time to enjoy the summer.
Went with that in mind this afternoon and oh, look what I managed to turn out. Grabbed hold of my grill pan and made me a few grilled shrimp and chicken tenderloins. I needed to take them to another level.
So, I made a quick kale/parsley pesto and slathered some on my grilled chicken (lime flavored). Decided to reach for some of summer’s favorites in the form of mini bell peppers. Finely chopped up those assorted hues along with diced onions, a squeeze of honey, pinch of salt and a splash of vinegar and slowly simmered.
I couldn’t resist. If I’m indulging in shrimp, I’ve to have that ‘kick’. Thus, I added finely chopped scotch bonnet peppers to the mix. Oh, those dear shrimp were super-excited. With a squeeze of fresh lime, I layered those juicy shrimp on a bed of Jasmine rice. And, of course, I added that spicy side dish of assorted mini bell peppers.
I had a rather challenging and super-busy day. Lunch was a jerk chicken dish with spinach rice, steamed cabbage and of course, plantain. I grabbed this bite at a popular Jamaican restaurant called Golden Crust. It’s like a fast food eatery with home-cooked Jamaican meals. I made sure to get extra jerk sauce on the side. As expected, the food was very tasty. I was quite satisfied.
Later on, returning to my nest, to tell you the truth, I was in no mood to sweat over a range. However, my palate nudged me and requested something else. Being the pleaser that I am, I granted its wish. You see, I had a few pieces of chicken tenderloin already defrosted at the bottom shelf of the fridge. Pan-seared tenderloin strips were on my mind along with salad. So, I went to work.
I made sure to further slice my tenderloin a little thinner. With a dash of salt and black pepper along with crushed garlic, my tenderloins were seasoned. Instead of all-purpose flour, I lightly dusted my chicken in a little whole wheat flour. Then, they were placed in beaten egg solution in order to have the panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) adhere to chicken.
Chicken tenderloins were browned for approximately four to five minutes in a combination of olive and canola oil. Excess oil from chicken was drained on paper towel. I still have a portion of cilantro. A few sprigs were finely chopped and added to a store-bought ranch dressing along with a squeeze of lemon to freshen dressing.
I served my chicken tenderloins with a garnish of cilantro and placed same on a refreshing bed of garden salad. This was made up of avocado, iceberg lettuce, tomato slices, scallion, and shredded carrot.
Guys, my palate and I were super-happy and well satiated.
We all have extremely busy lives. Hours are spent commuting back and forth to the ‘Grind’. We depart in the wee hours of the morn and arrive home at dark. Therefore, it’s not surprising that we often grab prepared meals at the neighborhood eateries. They are fairly inexpensive, quick, let’s confess, tasty. We can’t avoid these fast food joints. They are at every nook and cranny within our neighborhoods.
But, lets face it, a diet that consist of these fast foods overtime can cause havoc on our cardio vascular health. A large percentage of these meals are loaded with saturated fats, high sodium and sugar. Moreover, overtime, these amounts put a dent into the food budget.
One great way to combat this is to cook your own food. It takes virtually minutes to prepare the pictured meal (stir-fried chicken/assorted veggies). Chicken tenderloin pieces were purchased. These were further sliced into strips and seasoned with salt, pepper and crushed garlic.
In a hot skillet, a drizzle of olive oil was added along with chicken strips. A little grated ginger and teriyaki left-over sauce was added. Within a few minutes, chicken pieces were thoroughly cooked. This was set aside on a plate.
Next, an added drizzle of oil was placed in skillet. Then, assorted vegetables were added. On medium to high heat, a quick stir-fry was done, making sure to season along with salt, pepper, a slash of soy sauce, and dried basil. Cooked stir-fried chicken was added back to skillet and all the ingredients were combined.
A few minutes to towards the end, linguine pasta (took minutes to cook) was added and folded into stir-fried chicken and veggies. Meal was completed faster than it would take to place order and pick up at the drive through.
The beautiful thing about this dish is that I had control over the input of the ingredients which were wholesome and healthy. Moreover, I had left-over for next day and more time on my hand to do something with loved ones.
One way to wake up a mundane dish is to go green. And, that’s what I did. I had a little left-over thinly chopped chicken tenderloin from a few days ago. On the onset, I attempted to forego and do a new dish. But, on second thoughts I decided to transform this humble left-over into something quite delicious and interesting.
I grabbed my food processor and decided to make yours truly a quick pesto sauce. Instead of basil which I didn’t have, I reached for my beautiful bouquet of parsley and pulled off a generous portion.
I placed same in my processor along with a couple of cloves of roasted garlic (did a quick steam/roast in the microwave), a few slivered almonds, salt, cracked black pepper and olive oil. I pulsed and married all the ingredients. It tasted so great I even added it a few spoons to some scrabbled eggs.
My mission was to make me dinner so I cooked me some whole wheat angel hair pasta. In the oven I did a quick roast of zucchini and tomatoes. In a skillet, I sautéed roughly chopped onions and a few pieces of bell peppers in a combination of coconut/olive oil. I made sure to season along with salt and pepper and a dash of dried basil.
I then drained my angel hair pasta making sure to reserve a little of the liquid in case I needed to build or liquefy my sauce. It was time; I added my delicious parsley/almond pesto to the pasta and carefully folded all the ingredients. I retrieved my left-over chicken and cut the pieces in thinner strips and tossed them in. As for the roasted veggies, they too became part of the mouth-watering dish.
Guys, that’s what beautiful things are made of. I garnished with a little chopped parsley and dived right in the amazing dish. Thanks to a bouquet of parsley.
After a long holiday, it’s amazing how much left-overs one can have on hand. If you are like me, I hate to toss perfectly good food. Moreover, I detest it when my perishables go to waste. It irks me when I see wilted carrots and other wholesome veggies begging to be rescued. It’s like hard-earned money going down the drain.
So, with that said, I ventured to the veggie tray and retrieved what I had in same. I managed to grab and salvage a couple of carrots and a few florets of broccoli that still had their beautiful green hue. On my way out I fetched a half of an onion that I had wrapped in a piece of plastic along with a few grape tomatoes I got on sale. With a quick reach in the freezer, I snatched the left-over asparagus/brown rice from a week ago. All I needed was the pack of chicken tenderloin that I had previously cut in strips. These were seasoned with salt, pepper, and crushed garlic.
I was on a mission. I was going make a home-made Chinese dish. A few days before I had purchased a bottle of the hoisin sauce for a little over $3.00. This sweet and salty sauce is like a plum sauce in Chinese cooking. It’s main contents are: peanut sauce, soy, molasses, honey, etc. It’s excellent for a great dip and for marinating meats, fish or poultry.
Once in a while I like to order a meal at my neighborhood Chinese eatery. But, not today. Thus, I went to work. The cooking was a breeze because half the work was already done. Therefore, all I did was to cut up my veggies. I blanched the veggies so as to retain and bring out the natural colors.
After veggies were dried I did a quick stir-fry on medium to high heat. I made sure to season along with pinch of salt and pepper. And because it was a hoisin sauce dish, I drizzled a teaspoon or two of the sauce with a splash of red wine vinegar I had on hand. In less than five minutes I had a crunchy stir-fry dish of veggies ready.
Chicken tenderloin pieces were lightly dredged in a mix of bread crumbs and whole-wheat flour. Then in a hot skillet, with a drizzle of olive oil, chicken was fried for approximately two to three minutes on each side until brown in color.
After placing chicken on paper towel to remove excess oil, chicken strips and grape tomatoes were placed on skewers. I made sure to soak skewers for at least 15 minutes so as to prevent burning under broiler. Skewered chicken and tomatoes were then brushed with hoisin sauce and placed on foiled tin sheet. This was then placed under broiler for a couple of minutes.
I served my hoisin chicken and assorted veggies with left-over steamed asparagus/brown rice along with extra dipping hoisin sauce. Now, all I need is my fortune cookie! I’ll pass.