What did I make you wonder? Well, have a seat, help yourself to the margaritas and I'll tell ya all about it.
I'll start at the beginning. It was late, I was tired and hungry and shopping for frozen dinners on Friday night after work. I wasn't real happy about it either. So when I found myself in the magazine and book section, my eyes wandered to the few cookbooks that Ralphs so grudgingly displays (how many months has it been since The FoodNetwork Magazine was published? ya, well, they STILL don't carry it). And what does my tiny little eye spy? Something green.....
And the keywords...Fast & Healthy Cookbook. It was a weak moment and I was irritated and therefore decided I deserved this book.
I needed this book.
I wanted this book.
A quick thumb through, a flick of the wrist...and I was committed.
That Pillsbury cookbook was in my shopping cart.
Nothing could stop me now.
When I got home, I handed the book to my youngest daughter and asked her to pick out Sunday's meal. For a 17 year old, she has a great eye for ingredients. One of the dishes she chose didn't even have a photo. Photos are often the first thing that catches my eye when looking for a recipe. (Shit! No wonder I've gained so much weight. I'm eating twice. Once with my eyes...and then again from my plate!)
Santa Fe Grilled Chicken
Honey-Lime Berries and Greens
I added grilled corn on the cob
If someone could please refill my margarita glass, I think its time to cook....
8 boneless skinless chicken thighs (the recipe called for breasts but I prefer thighs)
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix (I used my own...recipe to follow)
3 oz mozzarella cheese sliced into 8 pieces
1 cup of your favorite chunky-style salsa
When I can, I prefer to use homemade stuff. I'm referring to the taco seasoning in this case. My handy-dandy, trusty Betty Crocker cookbook has a great recipe for seasoning taco meat.
Look at how ooold this book is....
and what a mess it has become over the years.
Anyways...you only need 4 common ingredients for taco seasoning
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Thats it and its really good. Much better than that packaged crap.
(I think its little accidents like this that have made my book such a mess.
Heat up your grill.
Brush both sides of the chicken with the oil and sprinkle with taco seasoning.
Hold your horses!!! What a pain that is. That chicken went into a bowl along with the oil. Then I added the taco seasoning and tossed everything around until the chicken was evenly coated....
oh ya...and I didn't measure the amount of taco seasoning I used...I just threw it all it.
Place chicken over medium heat. Cover grill and cook until done, turning once. During the last minute of cooking, top each piece of chicken with a slice of cheese, to melt.
While thats going on, lets get started on the salad.
6 cups of mixed salad greens
3/4 cup fresh strawberries, sliced (raspberries were also a suggestion but they're too damned expensive!)
4 thin red onion slices, separated into rings
2 tablespoons sliced almonds (I only had whole)
Combine in a bowl and gently toss (duh)
And the star in this little recipe is the fabulous dressing!!!
1/4 cup lime juice (FRESH...trust me, it makes a huge difference)
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon poppy seed
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard (one of the few things I don't mind having mustard in)
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together...
By now your chicken is probably just about done. The corn is grilled and everything is ready to serve.
Here's the conversation that went on as my husband was bringing the plate in from the grill:
him: "Why did we put the cheese on this?"
me: "umm...because I thought it would be good?" (how do I answer that?)
him: "But the chicken was fine without it"
me: "hm" (hoping my indifference will shut him up, but noooOOOooo)
him: "It has good flavor without the cheese". (I think he tried not to look perplexed and chance possibly offending me)
me: "well, it will be good with the cheese too."
him: "I just don't understand why." (as he snags a small cheese-less morsel from the plate and pops it into his mouth)
me: "If you don't want the cheese, just take it off yours!" (good lord, leave it alone already!)
Well, in the end he ate his chicken with the cheese, and the salsa (which was deemed unnecessary as well prior to serving.) without a single complaint and he even went back for seconds.
The chicken was tender. The cheese and the salsa were a great balance to the taco seasoning.
The salad was tangy and sweet. The citrus flavor from the dressing complimented the chicken. If you could have a green salad as a dessert, this one could almost do it. It would also be great with sliced oranges and avocados.
Oh ya...I almost forgot. You wanna know the dietary info?
Santa Fe Chicken:
Calories: 210 (Calories from fat 80)
Total Fat: 9g (Saturated Fat 3g, Trans Fat 0g)
Total Carbs: 4g
Honey-Lime Berries and Greens:
Calories: 120 (Calories from fat 60)
Total Fat: 7g (Saturated Fat 0.5g, Trans Fat 0g)
Total Carbs: 13g