Yum Peaceful Cooking: Salubrious Sunday #6 - It was a HIT!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Salubrious Sunday #6 - It was a HIT!

Finally! I salubrious meal I have no complaints about, whatsoever. Great flavor, simple...and everyone loved it. (in this household, thats saying an awful lot). Wooo Hooooo Photobucket

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!) Photobucket

She chose.........

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.
Such a waste of good smokey cumin Photobucket )

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!)
him: "No, I'll leave the cheese on it." (omg! then what was this all about? Photobucket )

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)
Cholesterol: 80mg
Sodium: 430mg
Total Carbs: 4g

Honey-Lime Berries and Greens:
Calories: 120 (Calories from fat 60)
Total Fat: 7g (Saturated Fat 0.5g, Trans Fat 0g)
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 25mg
Total Carbs: 13g


  1. Yum! You can come cook chicken (or anything for that matter)for me anytime. My husband would ask why didn't you put more cheese on it?LOL

  2. That chicken looks great! I know you prefer the thighs but if you really want it to be healthy.....lol. The color is gorgeous!

    Oh and the cheese in the meatloaf...romano.

  3. Okay, now you've gone and made me drool!! This looks perfect...(cheese or not cheese, LOL)!!! And that's totally what gives cookbooks the cooked-from/loved look ;P

  4. Nice. I think the chicken looks great with the cheese, I think it totally needed it. :D

  5. Everyhting looks amazing! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Love how you made the taco seasoning. I have got to try it. Your tattered cookbook is the coolest!! Well-loved!

  7. hey Dajana, nice to see you again. hope you had a nice vacation. From your food pics in BakeSpace, it looks like you did!

    Cathy...how bout you come cook for me :)

    Michele - I know...chicken breast are better (fat wise) but those thighs are what I like best LOL

    girlichef - I thought of you while I posted this knowing your love of mexican food

    Bob - more cheese, I know, right? cant have too much melted gooey cheese.

    Karine - so nice of you to stop by. I love visitors...especially when they drop a line :)

    Donna - that cookbook has been my cooking lifeline since forever. I did most of my beginning cooking from it. The only thing I have bad to say about it is it doesnt have peanut butter crisscross cookies in it LOL. Hope you get a chance to try the taco seasoning...it really rocks!!

  8. Dani that chicken looks sooooo frickin good!!!!


I apologize for having to use the word verification but you know how spammers are. All comments with links will be treated as spam. Thank you for visiting. I will do my best to return the visit.