Menu Planning

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Features July 27, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — bhrastich @ 8:20 pm

I think I may start featuring some of my favorite ingredients and do some posts on those. Also, I may feature my favorite kitchen gadgets. We’ll see. So hold onto your seats and keep on the look out!


Homemade Chipotle/Qdoba Burritos

Filed under: Chicken,Main Dish,Sides — bhrastich @ 8:17 pm

This is a 3 part recipe and all 3 are essential. I saved this recipe for Saturday since I do my long runs then and I typically have little energy to think about what I plan on making for dinner, let alone make it! These recipes took very little effort and by the taste of the burrito, one would think much more effort was put into it.

First up: Sweet and Spicy Chicken

Use how ever many chicken breasts you think you will need and adjust ingredients accordingly, I used 3 and it was enough for our dinner and leftovers

Place the chicken in the bottom of the crock pot. In a small bowl, combine 1 can diced tomatoes, drained, 1/3 cup brown sugar and red pepper flakes. Pour over the chicken. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 8-9 hours. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and shred with two forks. Return to the slow cooker and mix the chicken with the juices from the tomato/brown sugar sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Next time I think I will omit the red pepper flakes and subsitute a diced chipotle pepper for the spice.

Next up: Cilantro Lime Rice

1 cup long grain rice (I used Basmati and it worked beautifully)
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons water, divided
½ cup fresh cilantro
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped

Combine the rice and 2 cups water  in a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil, stir briefly, cover and reduce the heat to low.  Let cook, covered, until the water is absorbed and rice is fluffy and tender, according to package directions

While the rice is cooking, combine the cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, garlic and 2 tablespoons water in a blender or food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Stir the mixture into the cooked rice and fluff with a fork.  

 And finally: Spicy Citrus Black Beans

2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
pepper, chopped or minced (bell, Anaheim or jalapeno depending on your taste) (I think I used red bell pepper)
½-1 cup reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (I used a full cup and think I would use closer to the 1/2c next time)
1½ tsp. dried oregano
2 bay leaves
½ tsp. salt
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp. pureed chipotles in adobo
1½ tsp. ground cumin
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
Juice of 2 limes (added lime zest – optional)
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar

 Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Sauté the onion and pepper until tender, about 5-7 minutes.   Add the garlic and sauté just until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Stir in the beans.  Mix in broth (more or less depending on how much liquid you would like) and bring to a simmer.  Mix in the oregano, bay leaves, salt, chipotle puree, cumin, orange juice, lime juice and vinegar.  Once simmering, reduce to medium-low or low and let simmer, covered, 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  

So to wrap it up…haha

Take a warm tortilla and layer the rice, then beans, then shredded chicken, a little sour cream if you desire or some shredded cheese. Wrap it up and enjoy. We had a good amount of left overs and they were gobbled up right away. I wonder if I could assemble these, wrap in seran wrap and freeze? Hmmmm. I can’t wait to make them again. Seriously so good. I really think it’s the rice that made them extra special. I love recreating restaurant favorites, maybe it’s because I can control the fat and calories that go into them, and keep my portion size in check, which makes it feel that much healthier, and probably cheaper!

I totally forgot to mention where I got these recipes. The Rice and Beans are from Annie’s of course and the chicken is from Sisters Cafe at


Herb Rubbed Chicken in Creamy Orzo July 12, 2010

Filed under: Chicken,Main Dish,Uncategorized — bhrastich @ 8:03 pm

Here’s another fab recipe from Annie’s Eats. I really need to post some recipes other than ones from Annie’s. Maybe one day I’ll get there. This meal is probably on my top 10. It’s rather easy and other than the Herbes de Provence, uses very basic pantry staples (well, I don’t usually have heavy cream, but it is an easy to find!) This is a great meal for any time of year and pairs well with a nice red wine. I’m making this one tonight, maybe I’ll even remember to take a picture and post later! …..don’t hold your breath!


Herb-Rubbed Grilled Chicken with Creamy OrzoIngredients:
8 oz. orzo pasta, uncooked
2 chicken breasts, butterflied into halves (4 pieces total)
Salt and pepper
2 tsp. Herbes de Provence
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, with juices
2 cups broccoli florets
½ cup heavy cream
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 

Bring a saucepan of salted water to boil.  Add the orzo and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, about 10 minutes.  Drain the pasta, reserving ½ cup of the pasta water. 

Season both sides of the chicken breast halves with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle evenly with the Herbes de Provence.  Heat the olive oil in a 12- or 14-inch skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken breast halves to the pan and cook about 3 minutes per side, until golden brown.  Reduce the heat to medium, add the shallot to the pan and sauté 2-3 minutes.  Add the garlic and sauté an additional minute, until fragrant.  Add the diced tomatoes with juices and the broccoli florets to the pan, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer over medium-low.  Cover and let cook until the broccoli florets are crisp-tender, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the cooked orzo, heavy cream and Parmesan cheese.  Mix until well blended and the cheese has melted.   If necessary, add some of the reserved pasta water to smooth out the sauce.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.