Chicken and Corn Enchiladas

I have made quite a lot of dishes in my time, so when I realized that I’d never made enchiladas, I smacked myself in the face. How could I have waited this long to make them? It’s pretty much the easiest mexican dish you could ever make. Enchiladas to Mexican cuisine is like lasagna to Italian cuisine. You put whatever filling you want inside the carb and top it all with whatever sauce you want and sprinkle on your cheese of choice.

Even my pickiest of pickiest-eater friends love to eat and make enchiladas. They just don’t add much spice and cover it in cheese. As delicious as that can be, it wreaks havoc on my tummy with all that dairy, so I wanted to fill my enchiladas with lots of different flavors and ingredients that wouldn’t make me a personal methane gas distributor.

When I took these out of the oven and gave some to Jess, she started singing praises by the second bite! That’s usually a sure sign of success around here :) So, cook these up, eat em, and let me know how much you love them!

Some for now, some for later!

Chicken and Corn Enchiladas
Servings: 5 (or 10 if you count each enchilada separately)
PointsPlus Per Serving: 9 (or 4 if you count them individually)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups red enchilada sauce, 4 PP (I used Trader Joe’s Enchilada Sauce)
  • 10 four-inch corn tortillas, 8 PP (I used La Tortilla Extra Thin ones that are 40 calories each)
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, 4 PP
  • 1/2 cup black beans, 2 PP
  • 1/4 medium onion, diced
  • 2 small red peppers, diced
  • 1 medium jalapeno, diced
  • 7 oz reduced-fat colby cheese, 15 PP
  • 1 chicken breast, 6 PP
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander (or 1 tbsp fresh cilantro)
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro (optional)
  • 2 tsp olive oil, 2 PP

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375. Slice the chicken into 1/2 inch thick slices, put into a bag or bowl and cover with all the spices from cumin through black pepper and one tsp of olive oil. Mix it all up and let it marinate while you get the veggies ready.

2. Next, heat a medium sized skillet over medium heat with the other tsp of olive oil. Cut up the red peppers, jalapeno and onion and put into a mixing bowl with the corn. Pour into pan and cook for about 5-7 minutes or until veggies are just barely tender. Put back into the bowl and mix in black beans. Add a little salt and pepper and the cilantro if you are using it. Mix up.

3. Now, cook up the chicken slices in the same pan until thoroughly cooked (around 5 minutes). Dice up and pour into the bowl with the veggies. Stir everything up.

4. Take a 9×13 glass dish, coat with cooking spray and set to the side. Get out the enchilada sauce and pour about half of it into that same skillet along with around 1-2 tbsp water. Mix it in. Then, take each tortilla and dip it into the sauce so that both sides are coated. Then, put it in the pan, put in around 1 tbsp cheese and 2 tbsp chicken/veggie mix. Roll up and position it with the overlapped edges on the bottom. Repeat with other 9 tortillas.

5. Pour any remaining mixture into the sides of the dish, then pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over top of the whole pan. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the enchiladas. Bake for 30 minutes and enjoy!

Sweet and Sour Balti Chicken and a Giveaway! CLOSED

What better way to start off a weekend than a giveaway?!?!?  My good friends over at Chobani have come out with a new product – 16 and 32 oz containers of their greek yogurt!  So, they sent me three of the 32 oz ones to test out – vanilla, plain 2% and plain 0%.  Let me tell you, I’ve been enjoying them since the middle of December and not a single dollop has gone to waste!

I ate all of the vanilla yogurt for breakfasts and snacks instead of cooking with it, but I definitely would have made more of the zucchini muffins or black and white cake cookies if I’d been in a baking mood.  It was right around the holidays, though, and I spent more time packing and unpacking for all our holiday travels than cooking up tasty foods.  Luckily, these containers stay fresh in the fridge for long periods of time, so I was able to use the plain yogurt for a bunch of new dishes once the holidays were over.

A lot of the plain yogurt was used as a topping for burritos and chili, but most of it was used in Indian dishes.  I’ve been on an Indian cuisine rampage!  I bought this wonderful book called the Best Ever Indian Cookbook and I’ve tried about seven different recipes from it so far.  A lot of the recipes call for “strained yogurt”, which essentially IS greek yogurt, so having two tubs of the stuff came in quite handy!

This recipe for Sweet and Sour Balti Chicken is our favorite one so far.  Bella isn’t a huge fan of onions, which is difficult when you’re cooking Indian cuisine because it’s FULL of onions, but this one doesn’t have any onion at all.  She was ecstatic.  I loved it because it was sweet, sour AND I was able to make it spicier by adding in extra chiles.  We put it over brown rice and topped it off with a little extra Chobani and finished off our bowls in mere minutes.  I tweaked the recipe a bit to make it more WWF and it doesn’t ruin the integrity of the dish.  In fact, I think it makes it more appealing because it’s less oily.  So, here it is!  (Don’t forget to go to the bottom on details on how to win all that Cho!)

Sweet and Sour Balti Chicken
Servings: 4
PointsPlus Per Serving: 5 (10 if you put it over 1 cup of brown rice)

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp organic tomato paste, 1 PP
  • 4 tbsp Chobani 0% plain greek yogurt, divided, 1 PP
  • 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tbsp mango chutney, 1 PP
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp canola oil, 5 PP
  • 2 chicken breasts, cubed, 12 PP
  • 2/3 cups water
  • 2-4 hot green chiles
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro

Directions
1. Mix the tomato paste, 2 tbsp yogurt, garam masala, chili powder, garlic, mango chutney, salt and sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Stir well.

2. Heat the oil in a wok or deep pan (or if you have it, a karahi!). Lower the heat slightly and pour in the spice mixture. Bring to a boil and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add the chicken pieces and stir until they are well coated.

4. Stir in the water to thin the sauce slightly. Continue cooking for 5-7 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked and tender.

5. Finally, add the fresh chiles, cilantro and the other 2 tbsp of the yogurt, cook for another two minutes over a low heat, then serve!

Now, for the giveaway….

Chobani is letting me give away the same three tubs that they sent to me!  You’ll get your own pack of vanilla, plain 2% and plain 0%.  How can you win, you ask? Why, there are multiple ways to enter. Just make sure to leave a separate comment for each one! The winner will be chosen on Tuesday, January 24th using www.random.org, so all entries MUST be recieved by Monday, January 23rd at MIDNIGHT!

1. “Like” Chobani on Facebook and leave a comment on their wall telling them how you found their page and what product you’re trying to win and then leave a comment on this blog post telling me that you did.  (if you already like them, pop on over and say hi on their wall again!)

2. Follow @ReluctantFoodie on Twitter and leave a comment on this blog telling me that you did or already do.

3. Subscribe to my blog through RSS feed or through email and leave a comment telling me that you did or already do.

4. Share my blog post link on Facebook with the following in the comment box, “Win a free case of flavored Chobani ‘gurt on The Reluctant WW Foodie blog!” and leave a comment on this blog telling me that you did.

5. Tweet the following message “Win three 32-oz tubs of Chobani ‘gurt from @ReluctantFoodie! Enter here – http://wp.me/p1cn3Q-qs” and leave a comment on this blog telling me that you did.

6. Go to Klout.com (sign up if you haven’t!) and give me some “klout” in whatever category you choose and leave a comment on this blog telling me that you did (you can do this multiple times!)

7. Leave a comment on this blog telling me what new dish you’d like to try with the ‘gurt!

Healthy Microwave Cooking: Cheesy Chicken BBQ

Boy, that title doesn’t sound the least bit healthy, does it!?!?  Good thing this recipe is :)

I was scouring my fridge during a lunch break attempting to make a decent meal out of insanely random leftovers when I was hit with a little inspiration.  Barbeque sauce!  Usually a summer/fall condiment, I didn’t really think about it, but the leftover rice and chicken was calling my name and I didn’t feel like loading it up with my usual El Picante Green Habanero Sauce (the sodium content is OUTRAGEOUS).  Here’s what I came up with and boy was it good!

Cheesy Chicken BBQ
Servings: 1
PointsPlus Per Serving: 14 (which seems like a lot, but it’s SUPER filling)
Calories Per Serving: 599

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice, 5 PP
  • 4 oz cooked chicken breast, 5 PP
  • 1 oz reduced-fat shredded colby jack cheese, 2 PP
  • 2 tbsp Sweet Baby Ray’s Original BBQ Sauce, 2 PP

Directions
1. Mix together all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for around 3 minutes and enjoy!

Now, I was really hungry, so I ate a larger portion of chicken and rice than usual. If you want to cut down on the PP, use 3 oz of chicken for 3 PP and 3/4 cup of rice for 4 PP. That cuts it down to just 11 PP so far. You can also choose a different BBQ sauce, since I’m sure there are ones out there for 1 PP per 2 tbsps…. That would bring the meal down to 10 PP! Or you could just split the whole thing in half for 7 PP and add a vegetable as your side for much less PP. We just happened to have like NO fresh veggies in the house. These are hard times people. Sometimes a quick microwave meal makes more sense than making something completely new from fresh ingredients that get more expensive when the weather turns cold.

And even with the higher amount of points, the actual calorie count isn’t too bad. It’s a perfectly reasonable amount for a substantial healthy meal. If I’d thought ahead, I would have taken a picture, but I scarfed it down before I figured out I’d be putting it on the blog! Next time, people. Next time.

Hoisin BBQ Chicken

Succulent and juicy hoisin bbq chicken thighs!

Sometimes you just feel like making something special.  Last night was one of those nights.  I’d spent the day working from home since I was waiting for my internet guy to call me back (which didn’t happen until 5:30pm….) and I had the freedom to move around and catch up on various tasks in between projects.  I originally thought I’d try the Tequila Lime Chicken Thighs recipe I saw in the Cooking Light magazine I bought at the train station, but it called for pineapple juice and I didn’t feel like getting it!  So, I looked through my trusty cookbooks and found a recipe for Hoisin BBQ Chicken in The Complete Cooking Light Cookbook.

It looked delicious and I knew I had the hoisin sauce from a recent day trip to a neighboring town!  I knew I’d be using it in recipes soon!  I mixed in all the ingredients (with a few substitutions) and decided to grill it rather than broil it.  I paired it with lightly sauteed broccoli and berry couscous salad.  It was AWESOME.  The perfect blend of flavors!  The slight spice from the garlic went perfectly with the broccoli and the slight sweet from the hoisin went perfectly with the berry couscous salad.

I would make this meal again in a heartbeat.  I guarantee it will be a huge success at any party!  Try this sauce over any part of the chicken.  Try it over pork tenderloin.  Try it over grilled tofu.  Just try it.  You’ll love it.  I promise!

A beautiful, tasty dinner out on the patio!

Hoisin BBQ Chicken (adapted from Cooking Light)
Servings: 5
PointsPlus Per Serving: 4

Ingredients

  • 5 chicken thighs (or 3 halved chicken breasts), 10 PP
  • 1/3 cup soy vay hoisin garlic sauce (not even a full PP!), 6 PP
  • 1 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ketchup, 1 PP
  • 1 tbsp mirin (or another japanese wine), 1 PP
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 PP
  • 1/2 tbsp minced garlic

Directions
1.  Mix together all ingredients except chicken.

2.  Cut a couple lines into each of the chicken thighs to ensure that the marinade soaks in.  Put chicken into a large ziploc bag.  Pour in 1/4 cup of mixture and let marinade for 30 minutes to overnight.  Place the rest of the marinade in a container until ready to grill.

3. Get grill to a medium hot heat (can hold your hand over it for about 3 seconds).  Place chicken directly onto grill and brush marinade on.  Leave half of it to brush on when you flip the chicken.

4. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, making sure to check for desired done-ness.  Serve immediately and enjoy!

Hungry Girl’s Paella

If you all haven’t heard of Hungry Girl, you need to check her site out. She started off small, but now she’s got a great site, a handful of cookbooks out, and even her own cooking show! I signed up for her email list about a month ago and now I get awesome recipes sent right to my inbox. This paella one came through recently and I knew I had to share! As a seafood fanatic, how could I not?? I’m extremely pumped to try out this recipe!

Click here for this 7 PP Paella recipe from Shannon’s Kitchen Creations!

Hungry Girl’s Paella
Servings: 6
PointsPlus Per Serving: 8
Calories Per Serving: 319

Ingredients

  • – 8 oz. raw boneless skinless lean chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces, 8 PP
  • – 1/2 tsp. each salt and black pepper, divided
  • – 2 cups sliced onions
  • – 2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • – 1 tbsp. chopped garlic
  • – 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • – 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • – 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • – 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • – 1/4 tsp. ground thyme
  • – 1 cup uncooked brown rice, 18 PP
  • – 3/4 cup fat-free chicken broth

Directions
1. Spray a large pot (with a lid) with nonstick spray and bring to medium-high heat on the stove. Add chicken and season with 1/8 tsp. each salt and black pepper. Stirring occasionally, cook for 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Transfer chicken to a bowl and set aside.

2. Remove pot from heat, re-spray, and return to medium-high heat. Add onions, bell peppers, and garlic. Stirring occasionally, cook until softened, about 6 minutes.

Click here for this Easy Paella recipe from Just One Cookbook!

3. Add mushrooms, tomatoes, turmeric, paprika, thyme, and 1/4 tsp. each salt and black pepper to the pot. Cook until mushrooms have softened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Add rice and mix well. Add broth, peas, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 35 – 40 minutes, until rice is fully cooked.

5. Add all of the seafood, the cooked chicken, and the parsley. Stirring often, cook for 5 minutes, or until seafood is fully cooked.

6. Add lemon juice and stir. Remove from heat and re-cover. Let stand for 10 minutes.

7. Remove bay leaves. Add remaining 1/8 tsp. each salt and black pepper. If you like, garnish with lemon wedges and season to taste with additional salt and black pepper. Enjoy!

Chicken with Amber Lager and Honey

Here’s the recipe I promised you! I didn’t get it up on Saturday, but life happens, ya know? We were busy people this weekend! The weather was absolutely beautiful and we took advantage. The girlfriend and I took Max on a 4-mile walk on Saturday! We can definitely do this 5K. Max (along with the both of us) were pretty tired, but quite content, for the rest of the day.  And on Sunday we did a bunch of gardening – planted tomatoes and strawberries and extended our patio a bit with some of those rubber stepping stone thingies (sorry for the bad description, lol).  I also had my first official softball practice since 5th grade!  Two hours out in the sun having fun.  We’ve got some amazing hitters on our team!  I still need a LOT of practice, but I totally enjoyed myself.  Our games are every Sunday evening starting next week until the end of August.  Woot Woot!

Before we went on our walk on Saturday, we grilled. Seriously, what else do we do food-wise when the weather is nice?? We went all out and made a few different things – shrimp skewers with the leftover Savory Marinade, boca burgers with half a slice of provolone cheese, pita pizzas with fresh mozzarella and turkey pepperoni (SO GOOD GRILLED) and salads with mozzarella and tomato.  OhMyGod.  It was pure deliciousness.  The pita pizzas were perfectly crisp on the bottom and the cheese was perfectly melted on top.  The leftover marinade was INCREDIBLE on the shrimp.  WOW!  See all the capitalization?  I ain’t lying, people!  It was awesome!  So we ate all that, relaxed for about 40 minutes and then went on our walk.

So the food was great this weekend.  This chicken recipe was quite good!  Not as good as the Savory Marinade, but still good.  It’s a very oniony dish, so if you like onions, you’ll like this dish.  Personally, I thought it needed just a little more beer and honey to balance out the onions, so you’ll see that reflected below.  We grilled the chicken and did grilled zucchini and sliced red potatoes on the side.  We even cooked the potatoes on the grill in a little bean pot we bought, lol.  Tasty.  Okay, enjoy!

Photo Courtesy of: Jess Costantini from Beautiful Orange Productions

Chicken with Amber Lager and Honey
Servings: 2
PointsPlus Per Serving: 7 (since the bagged marinade is discarded)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 tbsp (I’d use 4) Amber Bock (I used Dundee Pack Bock Lager)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil, 3 PP
  • 1 tbsp (i’d use 2) honey, 2 PP
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 chicken breasts, raw, 11 PP

Directions
1. In a small bowl, combine the onion, beer, lemon juice, oil, honey, and soy sauce, stirring well.

2. Place the chicken in a ziploc bag. Pour about 1/4 cup of the beer mixture over the chicken and rub it in well. Marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours. Cover the remaining beer mixture and set aside.

3. Prepare a grill for cooking over medium-high heat. First, oil the grill rack. If using a charcoal grill, prepare a solid bed of medium-hot coals. If using a gas grill, pre-heat to high and close the lid, then open the lid and lower the heat to medium-high (you can hold your hand 1 to 2 inches above grill level only 3-4 seconds).

4. Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the remaining beer mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced and thickened to a glaze, 5-6 minutes. Set aside.

5. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Pat chicken dry with a paper towel. Discard remaining marinade. Lay the chicken on the grill rack. Cover and cook for 3 or 4 minutes, then brush with the glaze, re-cover, and cook for 4 minutes longer. Turn the chicken and repeat the same steps, cooking until the chicken is cooked through (cut to test) and the juices run clear. Transfer to a platter, pour the remaining glaze over the chicken and serve.

Sweet Chili Chicken and Veggies

Such a wonderful, tasty meal!

If I had to choose one place to live for the rest of my life purely based on my culinary preferences, it would be Thailand. The food is SOOOO GOOOOOD! Thai cuisine is subtle about it’s sweetness and bold with it’s spices! Fresh veggies are a staple as well since the quality of the food is so important. It’s these things that drive me back to my favorite Thai place every week and it’s these things that make me want to learn how to cook Thai food in my own kitchen. I’ve already mastered curry; noodle dishes are my next step!

This noodle dish was inspired by my “Stir Fry” cookbook. It’s all things stir fried and all things wonderful. First, I had to think about what was in my fridge and how many points I wanted to use for lunch and this recipe fit my requirements. Then I changed up the veggies and altered the amounts of the sweet chili sauce, lime juice and fish sauce so that the flavor popped a little more. The broccoli and carrot was good in it, but those veggies lend themselves better to brown sauces like teriyaki and hoisin. If you have baby corn and snow peas, use those instead. Either way, it’s going to be an awesome dish!

Calorie break-down: 14% fat, 62% carbs, 24% protein.

Sweet Chili Chicken with Veggies
Servings: 2 (2 full cups, so if you want less points, split into 4 servings and eat more veggies on the side!)
PointsPlus Per Serving: 16
Calories Per Serving: 614

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken breast, cubed, 6 PP
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli florets (or another green veggie like snow peas)
  • 1 medium carrot, julienned (or another light veggie like baby corn or red capsicum)
  • 2 tsp fish sauce, divided
  • 4 tbsp sweet chili sauce, divided, 3 PP
  • 6 oz rice stick noodles, 16 PP
  • 1 tbsp canola oil, 4 PP
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lime juice

Directions
1. Soften rice sticks by placing them in a shallow dish and covering with boiling water. Move around to separate the noodles; let sit for about 30 minutes. If they still need more time after the first half hour, drain and re-cover with more boiling water for another 10 minutes before draining again.

2. Cut up chicken and mix in a bowl with 2 tbsp sweet chili sauce and 1 tsp fish sauce. Set aside.

3. Julienne carrots if you haven’t already and get broccoli florets ready. Set aside.

4. Pour canola oil into a large wok (or a deep non-stick pan) and heat on high. Once a drop of water sizzles in the wok it’ll be hot enough. Put in chicken mixture. Careful! It sizzles and pops so you should wear and apron. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until fully cooked.

5. Put in veggies and stir. Cook for another 3 minutes or so. Then put in noodles, lime juice, 2 tbsp sweet chili sauce and 1 tsp fish sauce. Stir constantly for a few minutes. Take out and serve immediately!

One more image for the road! Is your mouth watering?

If you want to check out more awesome Thai recipes, check out the Eating Bangkok blog. This guy posts ALL Thai recipes and they all look wonderful! His link is also on my Foodie Blog Shoutouts page.

One more thing…. don’t let the amount of points scare you. Any kind of noodle dish is going to devour your daily points. But if you fill it up with protein and veggies, you’ll be oh-so-satisfied!

Eating Healthy on a Budget: Teriyaki Chicken and Broccoli

A big pot of the good stuff! This is not two servings, by the way ;) Photo Courtesy of: Jess Costantini from Beautiful Orange Productions

I’ve been wanting to put this recipe up here for a while now, but every time I made it we ate it too fast for me to take a picture!  Whenever my girlfriend and I are tired from a long day, but don’t feel like going out to eat, this is what we make.  It’s tasty, filling, easy to make and it won’t take a huge chunk out of your pocket!

Teriyaki Chicken and Broccoli
Servings: 2
PointsPlus Per Serving: 10

Ingredients

  • 1 raw chicken breast, 6 PP
  • 1 head fresh broccoli, (4 PP when cooked)
  • 4 tbsp of your favorite teriyaki sauce (we like Island Soyaki from Trader Joes), 5 PP
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice, 5 PP

Directions
1. If you aren’t using already-made rice, get the rice cooking at this point.

2. Cut up chicken into bite-sized pieces and heat up a non-stick stir-fry pan or non-stick pot to medium-high heat.  Spray pan with a little Pam.  Once hot, pour in the chicken and one tbsp teriyaki sauce.  Once thoroughly cooked, put in a bowl and set aside.

3. Cut up broccoli (florets and stems) and rinse (if you haven’t already).  Re-spray pan with Pam and pour broccoli in.  Add remaining teriyaki sauce.  Cook for about 10 minutes or so until desired tenderness is reached.

4.  Put chicken back in with broccoli and cook just a minute to re-heat.

5.  Split rice into two bowls and split broccoli/chicken mixture on top.  Enjoy!

If you want to add another tbsp of teriyaki, go ahead, but count the extra point.  Since we use all organic food for this dish, the breakdown of this meal cost-wise is:

– Chicken breast, $2.00
– Broccoli, $1.00 (usually we get three heads in a pack for around $1.99 or so)
– Brown rice (educated guess here!), 50 cents
– Teriyaki sauce, around 30 cents

TOTAL COST PER SERVING: $1.90! How awesome is that? And that’s for organic, too! Don’t be afraid of the higher points value too, all of the foods involved (other than the sauce) are filling foods in Weight Watcher land and you’ll definitely feel full and satisfied after this meal. This is a great meal for leftovers too since it re-heats really nicely… if you can keep it around that long!

Grill, Brine and Sunshine

Sunshine!  It’s here!  It might not stay too long, so we MUST take advantage of it now.  How am I going to do that?  GRILLING!!!  (Am I too excited about this?  I’ve noticed my intense use of exclamation points lately.)

Click here to go to this recipe from a fellow Cinci girl!

I love grilling.  I grill from the beginning of Spring to the end of Autumn with our cute red charcoal grill.  Charcoal is the only way to go in my opinion.  You just can’t get that awesome smokey flavor when using a gas grill (although they try to imitate that with fake briquettes).  It wasn’t until last Spring that I had my own grill and a patio to use it on, so I took full advantage.  I can’t even count how many times I grilled!  But I can list off what all I grilled…. burgers, roasts, hot dogs, chicken, brats, sausages, zucchini, corn, peppers, bread, shrimp, chicken wings, onions, snap peas and green beans, etc.  Anything that was in my fridge was grilled, really.  We even bought some hickory chips to add extra flavor.

Click here to go to this recipe from Sara’s Kitchen!

Out of all the things I grilled, my brined chicken breasts were absolutely the best.  I spent a good hour searching through BBQ chicken recipes until I figured out what I wanted to do.  I wrote it down, tried it out and was shocked at how delicious it actually was!  In fact, the first time I made it I used 3 whole chicken breasts instead of one (my girlfriend and I usually just split one since that’s all the meat we need for a day) and we ate all three.  It was just SOOO GOOD!  So juicy, flavorful and succulent… It seriously doesn’t get much better than this.

Tonight we’re going shopping for more chicken because we’re grilling tomorrow, but I had to give you the recipe today just in case any of you were planning on enjoying the warmer weather too!

Saucy Italian Chicken
Servings: 3 (1 breast per person) or 6 (if you cut each breast in half)
PointsPlus Per Serving: 8 for three servings, 4 for six servings

Ingredients

  • 3 chicken breasts, 17 PP
  • 1/2 cup your favorite BBQ sauce (I like Trader Joe’s All-Natural), 5 pp

Brine (No points for this because you drain the water and not even a points worth soaks into the chicken)

  • 1 bowl big enough to cover the chicken with water
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Marinade

  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil (optional)
  • 6-8 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (only about 1 tsp will actually stay on each breast so it’s only 3 PP)
  • 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes (less if you want, but I like more!)

Click here to go to this recipe from The Bitten Word!

Directions
1. Mix brine ingredients in bowl. Put chicken breasts in, cover with saran wrap and let soak in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours. While it’s brining, mix together your marinade!

2. Once done brining, drain brine from bowl, leaving chicken in (or put it in a gallon ziploc bag). Pour marinade over chicken. Let marinate anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours. You can marinate it all the way up to 6 hrs if you want, but any more than that and the enzymes in the meat will start to break down (chicken = goo).

3. Get your grill ready during the last 20 minutes of the marinating. Once it’s nice and hot, pour the 1/2 cup BBQ sauce into a bowl and grab a marinade brush. Put each chicken breast on the nice, hot grill and generously spread BBQ over top. Leave lid down to get flavors soak into meat (make sure your vent is open!). After about 5 minutes, flip chicken and brush on the rest of the marinade. Close lid again and check every couple minutes until it’s reached desired done-ness (should be another 5 minutes).

4. Once it’s done, eat immediately! Your taste buds will thank you! This is fantastic paired with grilled vegetables of any kind and a potato dish! Personally, I’d recommend grilled zucchini and mashed potatoes for an out-of-this-world culinary experience.

Everyday Adobo Chicken

This is what it should look like after you flip it!

Ohhhh life has been busy. I love the weekends, but DANG! They are TOO SHORT! I feel like I can either get a little bit of everything done (but nothing done completely), or only one or two things done completely. Of course, it was even harder to get things done because of all this snow and slush everywhere! I had to spend time shoveling if I wanted to go anywhere in the car. Our apartment complex has not been doing a very good job of moving the snowpocalypse slush off the streets. Boo.

When life is so busy, it’s hard to find time to cook a really nice tasty meal. You can either do a crockpot meal (which I highly recommend!) or you can whip up something quick! One of my tastiest quick meals is Everyday Adobo Chicken. It’s an incredibly simple dish and since you only have to flip chicken once, you can make up a side during your down time. I tend to pair this dish with seasoned corn or brussels sprouts and my Tip Top Taters (I do them in the microwave). As long as you don’t overcook the chicken, it’ll come out perfectly succulent and delicious!

Everyday Adobo Chicken
Servings: 2
PointsPlus Per Serving: 5

Ingredients

Cooking in the pan, letting the spices relax into the meat.

Directions
1. Put 1/2 tbsp olive oil in a smaller pan on medium heat to warm.

2. Take chicken and cut in half (if you haven’t already). Sprinkle both sides with a good amount of both spices and put in pan to cook.

3. Once chicken starts to turn white (cooked) around the edges, it’s time to flip. Flip them and pour the other 1/2 tbsp olive oil into the pan. Move around to coat chicken. Cook for another 5 minutes or so. Cut into chicken to check for doneness. If it’s slightly pink, cook it just a minute longer. If there’s no pink, but it’s still juicy, then it’s done! Serve hot and enjoy!

You can make this chicken with any combination of spices, really. If you want to do a more italian flavor, use PBO (parsley, basil, oregano), sea salt and pepper and maybe some freshly grated parmesan too. Or try one of those McCormick Rubs! I love the Montreal Steak and the Montreal Chicken rubs. Try different combinations. It’s really all based on personal preference. Just don’t overcook the chicken!