IMG_0438

This year, I’m trying to make a new meal every week. I’ve had some winners, so I thought I’d share some of the results of a few awesome chicken meals and side dishes with you!

IMG_0441

I subscribe to Rachel Ray Everyday magazine and I always try a few recipes out of every issue. Usually they’re approachable and budget friendly, but I also don’t see the point of getting a food magazine if I’m not going to make anything from it!

The Rachel Ray recipe I’ve tried most recently is curry chutney chicken salad, which has raisins and sliced apples in addition to the ingredients obvious from the title. The harmony of the ingredients was fantastic and the mix of textures was pretty much perfect. The only alteration I’m going to test next time is trying yogurt as a base rather than mayonnaise.

I served it on warm naan from Trader Joe’s (their frozen naan is surprisingly delicious).

IMG_0500

In a quest to find a way to like beets (They’re good for you! And cheap! And the farmers that sell them are nice! And they’re so pretty and fuchsia!), I found this recipe for beet roesti. Don’t ask me how to pronounce that, but it’s basically a beet, potato, and green onion hashbrown. And it was delicious: I had my dinner guests going back for seconds (and thirds). Try it out if you’re a beet hater and let me know what you think.

I paired it with roasted chicken, because in the event that the roesti went wrong, it’s hard to screw that up.

IMG_0522

If you’re looking for a crunchy crusted chicken tender without resorting to deep frying, you might want to give almond rosemary crusted chicken a go. This was actually my second time trying this recipe, and this time I doubled the rosemary called for because my first try at it was a bit bland.

I don’t recommend the orzo recipe that is linked with the chicken. Jake made fettuccine alfredo to go with this instead. (That’s one of those add stuff until it looks and tastes right recipes around here. We don’t really measure, it’s just a roux with a quarter cup each of butter and flour + milk + heavy cream + toasted garlic + shaved parmesan cheese + salt and pepper.)

IMG_0654

This chicken souvlaki with cucumber tzatziki and pasta salad doesn’t look very fancy, but there were some crazy flavor explosions going on there.

I love Mediterranean food and thought that the yogurt, lemon, and herb marinade for this chicken sounded fantastic. IT WAS. (I skipped skewering the chicken and just sautéed it instead and went with fresh oregano instead of dried.) The fresh and bright cucumber tzatziki sauce paired perfectly. These are fantastic for summer.

Because these two complemented each other so well, I wanted a simple side dish that could easily be slathered in the tzatziki. I made bowtie pasta, chilled it by rinsing it several times in cold water, and added a bit of olive oil, feta, black olives, and diced bell pepper. This is a mixture commonly served up at Jerusalem Cafe and Bakery, our local Mediterranean buffet.

If this all sounds good to you, it’s a good time to start an herb garden. This recipe was super cheap for me to make because I could snip bits of oregano, rosemary, thyme, and mint from my front yard, but buying cut herbs at a grocer’s can be way more expensive than just buying herb starter plants. If you need convincing, here are some of my favorite herbs and how to use them.

IMG_0403

Here’s another simple chicken meal created because I wanted to test out a new side dish! It can be hard to get Jake to eat his veggies, so when he ate fresh green beans with lemon and garlic at a local restaurant, I knew that I had to try to recreate them at home. The green beans were quickly sautéed in a bit of olive oil with a squeeze of lemon, a bit of lemon zest, salt, pepper, and chopped garlic. It was good, but wasn’t quite right. Next time I’ll roast and mash the garlic instead.

We pared this with bacon wrapped honey dijon chicken and roasted rosemary potatoes. I marinaded the chicken in the honey dijon mustard for about a half an hour, wrapped each chicken tender in a half a strip of thick cut bacon, then cooked them over medium heat until cooked through, about 4 to 6 minutes on each side. I had to drain off some bacon grease halfway through.

For the rosemary roasted potatoes, I used baby potatoes tossed in olive oil, about a tablespoon of chopped rosemary, sea salt and course ground pepper, baked for about 20 minutes at 450 degrees F.

I hope you try out some of these recipes and like them as much as I did!

What awesome recipes have you found lately?