Creamy Cilantro Chicken

Creamy Cilantro Chicken 5
Remember how I told you last week about the gorgeous weather we were having? Well, we got pummeled with snow this past weekend and ended up having a snow day Monday. And we have another storm heading our way any minute now. Wahhhh. Can’t it be Spring yet? I really shouldn’t complain because we’ve had a gorgeous winter so far but it’s just such a pain carting the kids around in the snow. I predict I will not be going anywhere unless absolutely necessary.
Creamy Cilantro Chicken 4
While the weather was nice, we had this delicious creamy cilantro chicken straight from the grill. I always love Italian dressing as a marinade so when I saw this recipe I knew it was something we had to try. Italian dressing is mixed with lime juice and cilantro for a zesty chicken marinade. Some of it is reserved to mix with the sour cream for a delicious sauce to drizzle over the finished dish. It so tasty and a very easy weeknight dinner alongside some cilantro lime rice and black beans. And don’t worry if you’re having frigid weather like us, this would be equally delicious on a countertop grill or sautéed on the stovetop.
Creamy Cilantro Chicken 2
Creamy Cilantro Chicken
recipe adapted from Mom’s Test Kitchen

1 1/4 pounds chicken tenderloins
1 cup Italian dressing
1 small lime, juiced
1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
1/4 cup sour cream
Cilantro Lime Rice
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed

1. Combine Italian dressing, lime juice and 2 tablespoons cilantro. Reserve 1/4 cup for use later. Place chicken in a ziplock bag and pour remaining marinade over the chicken. Seal and refrigerate for at least an hour, or up to overnight.

2. Combine the sour cream, remaining 1/4 cup marinade and remaining cilantro together and refrigerate until ready for use.

3. Preheat grill to medium-high heat and cook chicken until cooked through and juices run clear. Serve chicken over cilantro lime rice and black beans, drizzled with the zesty sour cream sauce.
Creamy Cilantro Chicken 1

Grilled Buffalo Chicken + My 500th Post

Grilled Buffalo Chicken 4
500 posts? Say what? It’s hard to believe that I have been around for that long. To all my followers new and old, thank you! I love this little space of mine and truly hope that you all do too. I’ve learned so much, gained confidence and tried so many new techniques that I never would have without this blog. I love love love hearing from you, so keep the comments coming. What recipes have you tried? Which ones are your favorites?
Grilled Buffalo Chicken 1
I thought I would celebrate by sharing one of my new favorite (and healthy) meals. You all know that I love grilling so I like to extend the season as long as possible. Seeing that it’s projected to be in the 90’s and low 100’s around here this week, I’m pretty sure grilling will be the only thing going on.
Grilled Buffalo Chicken 2
Well, chicken wings are pretty much one of my favorite foods (as evidenced here, here and here) but they definitely aren’t the healthiest or cleanest food to eat so I don’t indulge in them often. But now I can and not have any guilt about it. I would normally use boneless, skinless breasts but this time I chose thighs to lend some extra flavor. Since we are cutting out so much fat by grilling the chicken, I figured it was ok to bring a little with the thighs. But, either would be great so choose what you prefer or have on hand. While the chicken is grilled, it is basted with a homemade buffalo sauce to enhance the traditional wing flavor.
Grilled Buffalo Chicken 3
I served this alongside a delish dill cucumber slaw that was cool and creamy, balancing out the hot, spiciness of the chicken. It was pretty much perfection in every bite. I must put it on the menu again. Maybe for tomorrow.

Grilled Buffalo Chicken

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup hot pepper sauce, divided
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1. Place chicken thighs in a zip top bag and pour in 1/4 cup hot pepper sauce. Seal and marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours, or up to overnight.

2. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Meanwhile, combine butter, remaining 1/2 cup hot pepper sauce and garlic powder in a sauce pan over medium-low heat. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Pour half into a small bowl and keep remaining sauce in pan over low heat.

3. Place chicken on grill and baste with bowl of sauce each time you flip. Grill until cooked through and juices run clear. Serve grilled chicken with reserved sauce for dipping.

Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce 1
I love cookbooks. Seriously. LOVE. I have a ton and am running out of room to store them in my kitchen. I’m starting to consider a bookshelf or wire baskets hung on the wall so that I can continue my obsession collection. Wouldn’t three of those baskets hung vertically on the wall be really cute! I think I’m going to do it in my dining room since I don’t have any real wall space in my kitchen.
Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce 2
But in the meantime I should probably stop purchasing them. The addiction still calls my name so when I take Noah to the library every couple weeks, I always hit the cookbook section and borrow a few. When I recently spotted Michael Symon’s 5 in 5, I snatched it up since I’m a big fan of The Chew and his 5 in 5 segments.
Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce 3
Let me start off by saying this recipe is delicious but it definitely took me more than 5 minutes to make. Maybe it was because I move too slow or perhaps because my sous chef is 3 years old rather than a culinary trained celebrity chef. Either way, it was still a quick weeknight meal that was packed with bright flavors.
Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce 4
Citrus, jalapeno, peanuts and cilantro all combine to create a zippy Thai flavor profile. And have I told you that I love chicken thighs. I’ve always been a white meat kind of girl (and still would usually choose it) but it’s a nice change every once and awhile. So much more flavor and juiciness. To make it a bit healthier, you could switch to boneless, skinless breasts but I think the extra fat is totally worth it here.

Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce
recipe from Michael Symon’s 5 in 5

2 Tbsp. peanut butter
Grated zest and juice of 2 oranges
1 jalapeno, minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
8 (4 oz.) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, halved
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro

1. Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together peanut butter, orange zest, orange juice, jalapeno, soy sauce and olive oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with half the peanut sauce.

3. Thread 2 pieces of chicken onto skewers (I skipped the skewers but it would make it easier). Grill for 3 minutes, flip and cook another 2 minutes.

4. Remove chicken from grill and drizzle with some reserved peanut sauce and top with cilantro.

Sweet and Spicy Grilled Smoked Pork Chops

Grilled Smoked Pork Chops
Long time, no see huh? I decided to take some time off from this little space of mine to truly enjoy Christmas with my family. Not that I don’t enjoy my blog, but life has been crazy and hectic and stressful lately and I needed some time to focus without my computer calling my name. We are still trying to figure out our new normal as a family of four and with the craziness of the holidays and a death in the family, it was nice to unplug. Those of you that have added a new baby to your family, do you ever figure out a new routine? I feel like it’s never going to happen.

I have to admit, it’s been a hard few months. And I haven’t been able to find much time to get into the kitchen so I haven’t had much to share with you all lately. Cooking is hard when you have a sweet, but demanding 3 year old and a new baby to keep happy. Luckily, Hannah is adjusting and is now ok with being put down for a little while.
Grilled Smoked Pork Chops
But I still find more times than not that I only have a short little window to get something on the table that isn’t a dang frozen pizza. Did you ever think a food blogger would admit to that? Sometimes it’s just easier than dealing with two screaming babies. And I have to admit too, that Joel is usually pretty happy when said frozen pizza is dinner. He has always enjoyed them and pre-Hannah, only got them when I wouldn’t be home for dinner which wasn’t often. And sometimes he just enjoys something “normal” instead of our constantly ever-changing menu. Gah, whatever.
Grilled Smoked Pork Chops
Anyway, these pork chops are incredibly simple to throw together when you just don’t have the time or energy to cook a detailed meal. Since the chops are smoked, all you have to do is soak them in the sweet and spicy marinade for 20 minutes then heat them through on the grill. So easy. You could even throw them in the marinade earlier in the day so all you have to do at dinner time is grill them for a few minutes while you steam some veggies or whip up a quick salad. And with the new year upon us, these can still keep everyone with weight loss resolutions (me included) on track.
Grilled Smoked Pork Chops
Sweet and Spicy Grilled Smoked Pork Chops
recipe from Sunny Anderson

1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus extra for grill
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
8 thinly cut (about 1/2-inch thick) smoked pork chops

1. Preheat a grill pan to medium-high.

2. In a plastic resealable bag, big enough to fit the chops, mix together the sugar, honey, oil, lime juice, and red pepper flakes. Add the pork chops and let marinate for at least 20 minutes.

3. Remove the pork from the marinade. Lightly brush the grill with oil. Put the chops on the grill and cook until grill marks form, about 2 minutes. Rotate the chops 90 degrees, and grill for 2 minutes more, to create diamond grill marks. Flip and cook another 2 minutes. Remove from grill to a serving platter and serve.

Cilantro Lime Rice and Seasoned Black Beans with Chicken

Cilantro Lime Rice and Seasoned Black Beans with Chicken 3
This is officially my new favorite dinner. I could literally eat it every week. That’s saying something since I usually make a new recipe then don’t make it again for months because I keep trying new things to share with you guys. But this…
Cilantro Lime Rice and Seasoned Black Beans with Chicken 2
This happens a lot around here. It’s easy, healthy and fills you up!

I have to admit that I have never been a huge fan of cilantro but it has slowly been growing on me and this recipe is one of the reasons. I still don’t love a ton of it as I find it overpowering but a little really brightens up any dish it is in.
Cilantro Lime Rice and Seasoned Black Beans with Chicken 4
And just an FYI, this is really yummy with steak too! It’s like making your own rice bowls at home but way cheaper and healthier!

Cilantro Lime Rice and Seasoned Black Beans with Chicken

For the Cilantro Lime Rice:
recipe from Sarah’s Cucina Bella

1 cup uncooked rice (I used brown rice)
1 lime, zested
1/3 cup cilantro, finely minced

For the Seasoned Black Beans:
recipe from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures

2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained (or use cooked dried beans)
2 teaspoons oil
1 clove garlic minced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 chicken breasts
4 Tbsp. Mexican Spice Rub
1 Tbsp. olive oil

salsa/pico for garnish

1. Cook rice according to package directions. Preheat grill to medium high heat.

2. Meanwhile, in a pan cook onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add oregano and cumin, cooking over low heat for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add black beans and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring often, to allow flavors to blend. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped cilantro and 1 Tbsp. lime juice right before serving.

3. While beans are cooking, rub chicken with olive oil and Mexican spice rub. Grill until juices run clear. Once rice has cooked, stir in lime zest and 1/3 cup cilantro.

4. To serve, spoon rice on plate then top with seasoned black beans. Top with a few slices of chicken and enjoy!
Cilantro Lime Rice and Seasoned Black Beans with Chicken 1

Roasted Garlic Ribeyes

Roasted Garlic RIbeyes 2
It is just plain bloody hot here. That means I pretty much refuse to turn the oven on past 10 am so we have been doing a lot of grilling. And when I think of the grill, steaks immediately pop into my head. We are usually boring and just throw them on the grill with some salt and pepper but when I came across this recipe, I knew it had to happen.

Roasted garlic smashed over grilled steak? Um, yes please. Roasting garlic creates a mildly sweet, buttery, nutty garlic flavor that I absolutely adore. If you haven’t ever tried it, you must…immediately.
Roasted Garlic RIbeyes 1
This recipe is made even better for summer by “roasting” the garlic on the grill. You get the same delicious result without heating up your house. Score.

Roasted Garlic Ribeyes
recipe from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook

2 whole garlic bulbs
3-4 tsp. fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried basil
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary or 1 tsp. dried rosemary
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 ribeye steaks, 1 inch thick
1-2 tsp. cracked black pepper

1. Preheat grill to medium heat. Meanwhile, with a sharp knife, cut 1/2 inch off the top of the garlic bulbs. Remove the loose, papery outer layers but leave the bulbs intact. Place each on a square of foil and drizzle with 1 Tbsp. each of olive oil then sprinkle each with basil and rosemary. Seal the foil tightly around the bulbs. Place on the grill for 30 minutes, or until soft when squeezed, turning occasionally.

2. While garlic is grilling, trim excess fat from the steaks and allow them to come to room temperature. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill steaks to desired doneness.

3. Remove garlic from the foil, reserving the oil. Squeeze the garlic cloves onto the steaks and mash and smooth over them. Drizzle with the reserved oil mixture.

Yogurt Lime Black Pepper Chicken

Yogurt Lime Black Pepper Chicken 2
Sometimes there are days, even as a food blogger, that I just don’t want to cook. Days when I really just want to throw a stupid frozen pizza in the oven and call it good (if only I kept them in the house…). And I used to do that and still occasionally do, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But I try my hardest to provide home cooked meals every night to my family. Yep, the only time we go out to eat is for lunch on Sundays after church. So you can understand how cooking could get old every once and awhile.

This recipe is for those nights when you have no motivation but need to get something easy and healthy on the table. The chicken in marinated in a combination of Greek yogurt, lime juice and zest, black pepper, cumin and a few other pantry staples for a quick weeknight dinner. It can soak up the goodness for as little as a half hour or you could put it together the night before. Then all you have to do is throw it on the grill. I kept with the lazy theme here and served it alongside some of those frozen broccoli and cauliflower in the steamer bags from the freezer section. They aren’t quite as delicious as fresh but they are super easy and just as good for you.
Yogurt Lime Black Pepper Chicken 2
So, keep this one in mind when the “I don’t feel like cooking” mood strikes. It’s healthy, flavorful (the cumin and lime really shine through) and really simple.

Yogurt Lime Black Pepper Chicken
recipe adapted from Food.com

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts*
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
zest of one lime
1 Tbsp. canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. kosher salt

Combine all ingredients, except the chicken, in a medium mixing bowl. Place chicken in a ziplock bag and pour marinade over. Let out any excess air and seal the bag. Marinate for 30 minutes or up to overnight. Grill over medium-high heat (about 6 minutes per side at 400 degrees F) or until juices run clear.

*You could use this marinade for any kind of poultry or meat so don’t feel limited to just chicken