Chicken and Rice

We seem to eat a lot of rice in this house.  I am totally not sure how this happened??  I LOVE all things starch, to be sure, but honestly, I prefer potatoes to rice.  The hubby will take rice over any other starch – every single time.   I have been trying to limit the amount of carbs I eat so I have been making it more and more often – basically so I am not tempted.

chx and rice

Marinated boneless skinless chicken, grilled outside with a HUGE batch of white rice.  Honestly, I have to limit the amount of rice I make, John has been known to eat three cups of rice at dinner.  That just isn’t normal…..is it?  Anyway, I have been craving fresh and green so I made a BIG salad as our other side dish.

salad

My husband isn’t a fan of vegetables, so his salad is lettuce with croutons and dressing.  I on the other hand, LOVE veggies so this is a picture of my plate.  The onions are pickled red onions that I have in my fridge.  I made a batch a week or so ago and I have been putting them on everything.   I absolutely love that the days are getting warmer and longer, we have been able to eat outside quite a bit lately.  Summer is ALMOST here and I for one, CAN’T WAIT!

Pork Tenderloin

Pork, it’s whats for dinner!  We love pork, especially pork tenderloin, and I make it year round.  When I am in a hurry, I pick up one of packages of pre marinated loins for dinner.

pork and pots

I especially like this time of year, when we can do the whole meal outside on the grill –  well – OK – almost the entire meal!  I paired the pork with some pan roasted potatoes.  I peeled and cut the potatoes, tossed them with some olive oil and Montreal Steak Seasoning and cooked them in a disposable aluminum pan on the grill.

To finish out our meal, I made a spinach salad.  I boiled the eggs the day.  After putting the meat and potatoes on the grill, I fried up a bit of bacon, whipped up a quick honey mustard dressing and assembled the salad plates.

spinach salad

I looked almost too pretty to eat!   We were able to sit outside, eat dinner and were treated to a lovely sunset.

sunset

You just can’t ask for a better way to end the day….unless you make cake, then that is TOTALLY the best way to end the day.   I made a Raspberry Buttermilk cake for dessert.  It is a recipe I found a few years back and it is perfect.  Not too sweet, a little tart from the berries, and incredibly moist.  It makes a great breakfast cake.  Sometimes I add a bit of sweetened whip cream, but tonight, was straight up cake – and it was fantastic!

raspberry cake

Grilled Chicken

Oh my goodness, the weather has been gorgeous the last few days, whoo hoooo!  Sunshine and warm temperatures.  I am one very happy girl.  To celebrate, I marinated some boneless, skinless chicken in a lemon garlic marinade and we grilled them for dinner.

chx and orzo

I paired the chicken with a roasted carrot and orzo salad.  My husband LOVES this salad.  It is super easy to make, roast carrots and garlic in the oven, make a dressing of lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar, the roasted garlic, and olive oil.  Add in a bunch of sliced scallions and a generous handful of minced dill.   John prefers this dish hot, as soon as I add the cooked orzo to the dressing and carrots, he digs in.  I actually like it room temperature and it can be served cold, it really is incredibly versatile. A few years back, I felt like we were in a summer salad rut – coleslaw, macaroni salad, and potato salad – were all I was making.  I put a moratorium on those three salads and started pulling out cookbooks and scouring the internet for other ideas.  We had some great dishes that summer, but this one had endured, year after year.  It makes a great leftover cold lunch – just slice some chicken, put it on a bed of the salad, and take it to the office.

I really wanted broccoli again, but settled for cauliflower instead.  It made for a very vanilla looking dinner, but it tasted good so who cares!

Egg Salad Sandwich

Ever since Easter I have been craving an Egg Salad Sandwich.  For the first time in a long time, I didn’t dye eggs for Easter.  We didn’t have anyone coming, my work schedule has been insane, and I just didn’t take the time to make it happen.  BIG MISTAKE – what is it about Easter that has me craving egg salad? Well, a week after Easter, I found myself boiling up some eggs…..

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A little egg, a little mayo, a bit of diced onion, and a squirt of yellow mustard.  Voila!  Egg salad, easy, inexpensive, and YUMMY!  I toasted up a bit of bread, added a generous amount of lettuce and dinner was served.  Very easy dinner for one, if I do say so myself! This absolutely hit the spot and satisfied my craving, plus it just looks so pretty, don’t ya think?

Chicken Salad

I have been experimenting with my chicken salad.  I have never been one for a salad with a TON of mayo, and in an effort to be healthy, I have been looking for ways to cut back on fat.

With that in mind, I have been trying to find a substitute for the mayo in my chicken salad.

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I started by replacing all of the mayo with fat free plain greek yogurt.  It wasn’t bad….but it wasn’t good either.  I ate it, but I can’t say I was looking forward to ever eating that again.  Sigh….I figured I would play with the ratio of mayo to yogurt and FINALLY came across the perfect combination – 2/3 yogurt to 1/3 mayo.   Low fat, delicious, and as an added bonus – extra protein from the yogurt.  Now I just need to eat it on greens and not in a roll….baby steps people, baby steps!

Pork Tenderloin

The other white meat! Anyone else remember those idiotic commercials?

pork-and-potatoes

Anyway, I picked up a pork tenderloin and a bag of baby potatoes.   I roasted the pork and potatoes in the oven and made a batch of coleslaw.   Things are work have been hectic and I just don’t seem to have enough hours in the day.  It was nice to be able to make the coleslaw, put it in the fridge while the meat and potatoes cooked.  It gave me time to read three of the over 100 reports that I need to read, score, and rank as part of our program review process at work.  I got picked to be task force chair so in addition to reading, scoring, and ranking, I also need to keep my team on track, book rooms, order supplies, etc in addition to my day job.   This is going to be a very long winter, wish me luck!

Babies, lots, and lots of babies

Holy cow, in the last few weeks there have been no less than five babies born.   Four girls and one lovely, little boy.

One of those beautiful baby girls was born to my friend Cat and her hubby.  I promised I would make them dinner after she was born and I always  keep my promises.

So many folks in our area bring pasta dishes to new parents, which is lovely, but by the second week you are tired of looking at another pan of baked ziti.  I on the other hand, go in the complete opposite direction and make something with absolutely no cheese or tomatoes.   I make a Hawaiian Pork dish.  You start by dicing and browning pork tenderloin.  After the pork is browned, I put it in a bowl, and brown the peppers and onions.  I like to use red, orange, yellow, AND green peppers because they look so darn pretty.   Once the veggies are tender, put them in the bowl with the meat.  Add one can of pineapple chunks and a mixture of soy sauce and cornstarch to the frying pan.   Whisk until thickened, toss with the meat and veggies and bake for approximately 35 minutes until hot and bubbly.  I serve it over rice.  It transports easily once cooled, and it re heats beautifully.  More importantly, since everything is cut into bite sized pieced, it is really easy to eat while holding a new born baby!

Since I was stopping over in the morning, I also made a batch of chicken salad for lunch.  I served that over a bed of greens with a loaf of ciabatta bread.  Healthy, quick and easy to eat, everything you need to feed lunch to a new Mommy.  Congratulations Cat!  Your daughter is beautiful, thanks for letting me stop by and hold your bundle of joy.