Menu Planning

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Homemade Chipotle/Qdoba Burritos July 27, 2010

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


Just go to Annie’s Eats April 27, 2010

Filed under: Main Dish,Seafood,Sides — bhrastich @ 1:24 am

Seriously, just go there, don’t bother coming here. It’s It’s amazing. She has great pictures too. Let’s see, I just did the Brazilian Shrimp Soup. Perfect for the weather we’ve been having. It calls for unsweetened coconut milk, not sure if mine was or not, the can just said “coconut milk”. After adding it I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it or not. Sometimes coconut is so unappealing to me. I carried on, and truth be told it was yet another winner. I also couldn’t find crushed tomatoes, so I just used sliced stewed ones and tried to mash them a bit. I am a fan of tomato chunks, so I enjoyed it. I had some leftover french bread and toasted it. It was so yummy dipped in the soup.  Zane had two bowls full.

I also made the Roasted Salmon with Cilantro Pesto a while back. It was fantastic again. Most of my salmon meals are very similar and consist of a soy sauce marinade, which gets boring after a while. I do have a few others that don’t have a soy sauce marinade, but nothing like this. I wasn’t sure what to serve with this and didn’t plan ahead too well, as is usually the case in regards to sides. I came up with a delightful creation! Boiled some orzo, my favorite pasta, added some frozen peas at the end, drained and added some freshly grated swiss cheese. Yum yum!

I’ll be back later this week with a recipe that isn’t from Annie’s Eats.


Great meal for a beautiful day April 12, 2010

Filed under: Chicken,Main Dish,Sides — bhrastich @ 11:43 pm

This is another meal idea from Annies Eats. Tequila Lime Grilled Chicken  with Beans. It was easy and yummy.

Tequila Lime Grilled Chicken over Black Beans
For the chicken:
1/4 cup tequila
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (2 limes)
1/4 cup freshly squeeze orange juice (half an orange)
1 tsp. chili powder
1 jalapeno pepper, ribbed, seeded and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I did 4 chicken breasts and there was still plenty of marinade to cover)

For the beans:
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
Cumin, fajita seasoning and cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper 
Dash of hot sauce 
1/2-3/4 cup frozen corn (I used from a can since I was out of frozen)

Combine the tequila, lime juice, orange juice, chili powder, jalapeno, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl or zippered plastic bag.  Mix well; add the chicken breasts to the container.  Cover and refrigerate overnight, or at least 8 hours.   

When you are ready to cook the chicken, heat a grill to medium-high heat.  Oil the grates to prevent the meat from sticking.  Once the grill is heated, cook the chicken until nicely browned and cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.  (Alternatively, you can sear the chicken in a grill pan and then bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 10 minutes or until cooked through.  This is my preferred method for cooking chicken when I don’t feel like firing up the grill, or the weather is bad.)  Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the beans.  Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and saute until translucent, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the garlic and jalapeno to the pan and saute for 1 minute more.  Add the black beans to the pan and cook for a few minutes until warmed through.  Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a simmer.  Season with cumin, fajita seasoning, and cayenne pepper to taste.  Adjust salt and pepper as needed.  Allow the mixture to simmer until most of the liquid has reduced.  Stir in the hot sauce and frozen corn, and cook 2-3 minutes more.  Divide the bean mixture between two serving plates and top with grilled chicken.  Garnish with lime wedges, if desired.

Source: chicken adapted from Ina Garten via Food Network

I don’t do the grilling in my family, but this one turned out a little dry due to the internal temp not registering to 180 degrees. The chicken never got up to 180, but it was clear that it was done. Wonder if we need a new meat thermometer? Anybody have a recommendation? Maybe that would be a good Father’s Day gift…. I still really liked the taste of the chicken and will try it again.

While at the grocery store today I found a package of mini yellow, orange and red sweet pepppers. I figured I would try them along with this meal as my sister had prepared them for us when we visited her in February. Seriously so easy and so good. 

No exact measurements:

After washing the peppers drizzle them with some Olive Oil, Coarse Kosher Salt, Pepper (I like Jane’s krazy mixed up seasonings- Original Mixed Up Pepper) and Balsamic Vinegar.  Place in a grill basket and grill till the skin is wrinkley and even a little (or a lot) blackened if you like .   So yummy! Zane cleared his plate which included 4 of these babies since he asked for seconds!