Cachaça Grilled Chicken

Cachaça chicken (2) WM

 

Cachaça, according to Wikipedia, is a distilled spirit made from sugarcane juice. Also known as aguardente, pinga, caninha or other names, it is the most popular distilled alcoholic beverage in Brazil. Outside Brazil, cachaça is used almost exclusively as an ingredient in tropical drinks, with the caipirinha being the most famous cocktail.  In this recipe cachaça is used in the chicken marinade.

Serves: 4

Time: marinade overnight / 1 hour for prep & cooking

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Ingredients:
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon oregano (chopped if fresh)
4 tablespoons Cachaça
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
few sprigs of parsley, chopped finely
lime wedges, to serve
Directions:

1) Combine the garlic, oregano, Cachaça, olive oil, salt & pepper in a small bowl.
2) Place the chicken in a gallon sized zip-lock bag, pour in the marinade and squish around the chicken to coat all of the pieces.  Chill for at least 4 hours, but preferably over night.
3) Remove the bag of chicken from the refrigerator 1/2 hour before you start cooking so it comes to room temperature.
4) Fire up your grill (light the barbecue and let the flames die down before starting to cook – the charcoal will be gray/ashy when ready).
5) Once the grill is ready cook evenly on both sides until the chicken is cooked through.
6) Serve with broccoli rice.

 

Cachaça chicken (41) WM

Sauteed Zucchini

Sauteed Zucchini  (36) WM

Zucchini is pretty dang good.  I love sauteing the veggie, and this recipe added a little extra something to my normal olive oil, salt & pepper “recipe”.  My husband thought there were too many capers, I thought the amount was perfect – so I would use a little to start and then add some more if needed.

 

ServesSauteed Zucchini  (12) WM

Sauteed Zucchini  (16) WM

serves 4

time: about 20 minutes

 

Ingredients:

3 zucchini, cut into thick-ish round slices

olive oil

3 garlic gloves, smashed

small handful of mint leaves, chopped

1 tablespoon capers, chopped

pine nuts, lightly toasted

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

salt

pepper

feta or goat cheese

 

Directions:

1) Slice the zucchini into thick-ish rounds.

2) Heat a skillet on medium-high heat; drizzle in some olive oil. When the pan/oil is hot place the zucchini in the pan in one layer.  Continue cooking the zucchini until both sides are brown and the zucchini is soft.

3) Meanwhile, chop the rest of the ingredients and brown the pine nuts lightly.

4) Remove the cooked zucchini from the skillet, add in the chopped veggies & browned pine nuts, drizzle in a bit of balsamic vinegar, add salt & pepper to taste.  Stir to coat the  zucchini. Sprinkle the feta or goat cheese on top.  Serve immediately.

 

Sauteed Zucchini  (20) WM

 

Sauteed Zucchini  (28) WM

 

Spicy Plum Pork Chops

Spicy Plum Pork Chops (4) WM

 serves 4

time: approximately 1 hour

 

This dish is pretty simple – just use some red plum jam and add a few spices and you have a marinade.  You could BBQ, oven bake, or pan fry the chops – just make sure that you don’t over cook the chops so that they are nice and juicy.  Serve with some rice and green beans, link to the recipe is below.

 

Ingredients:

4 pork chops

1 cup red plum jam

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon Sriracha

3 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon fish sauce

2 teaspoons reduced sodium soy sauce

coconut oil

 

Directions:

1) Mix together all of the ingredients after the pork chops; place the rinsed pork chops in a gallon sized zip-lock bag, pour in the plum sauce.

2) Let the pork chops and plum sauce marinade for 20 – 30 minutes.

3) Heat up a skillet and scoop out some coconut oil, once the oil is hot (sizzles when water is splashed into the skillet) place each of the chops in the hot skillet.  Cook the chops on high for about 5 minutes each side, until the sides are a little caramelized.  Turn the head down to medium-low and continue to cook the pork chops until cooked through, rotating sides.

4) Serve with Asian style green beans here and a starch like rice if you wish.

 

Spicy Plum Pork Chops (1) WM

Spicy Plum Pork Chops (20) WM

Spicy Plum Pork Chops (16) WM

Asian Style Green beans

Spicy Plum Pork Chops (20) WM

These green beans are quite simple & tasty – remember not to over cook them, you want them to still be crunchy.

 

Ingredients:

fresh green beans, a handful for each person

coconut oil

garlic

salt

pepper

peanut oil

toasted sesame seeds

 

Directions

1) Wash the green beans and snap off each end.

2) Heat a skillet with a bit of coconut oil.

3) Once the oil is hot throw in the green beans and crush a few garlic cloves.  Sprinkle in salt & pepper.

4) Saute for a few minutes until the green beans are tender but still crisp.

5) Remove from the heat and sprinkle a little bit of peanut oil on the green beans; stir to coat.  Sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds on top of the green beans.  Serve hot.

Emergency Ingredient Substitutions

I just found this on pinterest and thought that I’d share it with you! (I promise I’ll have some more recipes coming soon – I’ve been SO busy with work and life in general)

 

Allspice: cinnamon; dash nutmeg; or dash cloves

Aniseed: fennel seed or a few drops anise extract

Apple pie spice: for 1 teaspoon, substitute 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice, and dash ground cloves or ginger

Basil: oregano or thyme

Cardamom: ginger

Chervil: tarragon or parsley

Chili powder: dash bottled hot pepper sauce plus a combination of oregano and cumin

Chives: green onions; onion; or leek

Cilantro: parsley

Cinnamon: nutmeg or allspice (use only 1/4 of the amount)

Cloves: allspice; cinnamon; or nutmeg

Cumin: chili powder

Ginger: allspice; cinnamon; mace; or nutmeg

Italian seasoning: blend of any of these: basil, oregano, rosemary, and ground red pepper

Mace: allspice; cinnamon; ginger; or nutmeg

Marjoram: basil; thyme; or savory

Mint: basil; marjoram; or rosemary

Nutmeg: cinnamon; ginger; or mace

Oregano: thyme or basil

Parsley: chervil or cilantro

Poultry seasoning: for 1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning, substitute 3/4 teaspoon sage plus a 1/4 teaspoon blend of any of these: thyme, marjoram, savory, black pepper, and rosemary

Pumpkin pie spice: for 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, substitute 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice, and 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Red pepper: dash bottled hot pepper sauce or black pepper

Rosemary: thyme; tarragon; or savory

Saffron: dash turmeric (for color)

Sage: poultry seasoning; savory; marjoram; or rosemary

Savory: thyme; marjoram; or sage

Tarragon: chervil; dash fennel seed; or dash aniseed

Thyme: basil; marjoram; oregano; or savory

For best results, use the ingredient called for in the recipe. In a pinch, these substitutes will produce acceptable results.

Baking powder: for 1 teaspoon, substitute 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar plus 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Bread crumbs, fine, dry: for 1/4 cup, substitute 3/4 cup soft bread crumbs, or 1/4 cup cracker crumbs, or 1/4 cup cornflake crumbs, or 2/3 cup rolled oats

Buttermilk: for 1 cup, substitute sour milk: 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar plus enough milk to make 1 cup (let stand 5 minutes before using); or 1 cup plain yogurt

Chocolate, semisweet: for 1 ounce, substitute 3 tablespoons semisweet chocolate pieces; or 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate plus 1 tablespoon sugar

Chocolate, sweet baking (such as German’s Sweet chocolate): for 4 ounces, substitute 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder plus 1/3 cup sugar and 3 tablespoons shortening

Chocolate, unsweetened: for 1 ounce, substitute 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder plus 1 tablespoon cooking oil or shortening, melted

Cornstarch (for thickening): for 1 tablespoon, substitute 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Corn syrup: for 1 cup, substitute 1 cup granulated sugar plus 1/4 cup water.

Egg: for 1 whole egg, substitute 2 egg whites, or 2 egg yolks, or 1/4 cup frozen egg product, thawed

Flour, cake: for 1 cup, substitute 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Flour, self-rising: for 1 cup, substitute 1 cup all-purpose flour plus 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Fruit liqueur: for 1 tablespoon, substitute 1 tablespoon fruit juice

Gingerroot, grated: for 1 teaspoon, substitute 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Half-and-half or light cream: for 1 cup, substitute 1 tablespoon melted butter plus enough whole milk to make 1 cup

Heavy cream, whipped: for 1 cup, substitute 2 cups whipped dessert topping

Honey: for 1 cup, substitute 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar plus 1/4 cup water.

Margarine: for 1 cup, substitute 1 cup butter or 1 cup shortening plus 1/4 teaspoon salt

Mascarpone cheese: for 8 ounces, substitute 8 ounces regular cream cheese

Milk: for 1 cup, substitute 1/2 cup evaporated milk plus 1/2 cup water, or 1 cup water plus 1/3 cup nonfat dry milk powder

Molasses: for 1 cup, substitute 1 cup honey

Sour cream, dairy: for 1 cup, substitute 1 cup plain yogurt

Sugar, granulated: for 1 cup, substitute 1 cup packed brown sugar or 2 cups stirred powdered sugar

Whipping cream See Heavy cream, above

Yeast: for 1.06-ounce compressed cake, substitute 1/4-ounce envelope active dry yeast

Chocolate Quinoa Cake

Chocolate Quinoa Cake (16) WM

You’d never guess what’s in this amazing chocolate cake (except if you read the title of this recipe 🙂 ).  Yep, it’s quinoa.  You can’t even tell at all.  It’s probably one of the most moist chocolate cakes that I have had.  My sister is celiac and came into town so I made this cake so that she’d have dessert at my friend’s birthday party.  For some reason the cake came out of the pan in two pieces, so I made what was supposed to be a two-layer cake into a “dirt cake” (I’m not sure what else to call it, but it’s like the “dirt cake” I had as a kid minus the gummy worms).

I am going to try making this recipe again and hope that I have better luck with the cake coming out of the pans so that I can actually have a beautiful looking layered cake 🙂  I added the whipped cream that was supposed to be the frosting into the mess of cake and also made vanilla pudding.  This doesn’t keep that well so eat it the day you make it (and refrigerate covered until you do).

Chocolate Quinoa Cake (6) WM

Chocolate Quinoa Cake Ingredients:

1/2 cup dried quinoa, cooked to package directions (plus a tad bit more water) & cooled

1/3 cup milk

4 large eggs

1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla

3/4 cup butter, melted

1 1/2 cups white sugar

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

 

Cake Directions:

1) Cook the quinoa, make sure that it is completely cooked and not crunchy at all.  Set aside to cool.

2) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grease two 8-inch round pans, line the bottom with parchment paper (I think I skipped this step because I used Wilton’s cake release, don’t skip this step).

3) Blend together the milk, eggs & vanilla in a food processor.

4) Add the cooked & cooled quinoa and butter to the milk, eggs & vanilla mixture in the food processor.  Blend until completely smooth – you do not want chunks of quinoa.

5) Wisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.  Then stir in the quinoa mixture from the food processor.

6) Pour the cake mixture evenly into your two pans.

7) Bake the cake for about 30 minutes / until it is cooked through.

8) If the cake comes out of the pan in one pieces (!! I hope yours does !!) skip the vanilla pudding step.  Or, break your cake up in a decorative dish if you want to add the vanilla pudding.

 

Vanilla Pudding Ingredients:

2 cups milk

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon butter

 

Vanilla Pudding Directions:

1) While the cake is baking, heat the milk in a saucepan over medium heat until it bubbles – be sure that you don’t over cook or burn the milk!  Turn down to low.

2) Stir together the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a bowl.  Pour the mixture into the heated milk a little bit at a time, stirring during each addition.

3) Continue to cook the pudding until it thickens just enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Do not boil!!

4) Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and butter.

5) Pour into a bowl and let cool in your refrigerator.

 

Whipped Cream Ingredients:

small container of heavy whipping cream

sugar

vanilla

 

Whipped Cream Directions:

1) With the wisk attachment beat the heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form.

2) Gently stir in the sugar & vanilla to taste – don’t add too much sugar as this will be going into the already sweet chocolate cake with the vanilla pudding.

 

Cake Assembly:

1) Pour the cooled vanilla pudding and whipped cream into the dish with the crumbled chocolate quinoa cake.

2) Gently stir together until it’s all combined; serve chilled the same day.

Chocolate Quinoa Cake (8) WM

Sweet Potato & Pork Tacos

sweet pot tacos (27) WM sweet pot tacos (1) WM

I really dug this recipe.  I had sweet potato tacos at a local food truck, but decided that they needed a little something else, so I added pork and red quinoa.  Amazing.  Add the sharp white cheddar cheese and I had a hard time stopping myself from eating them!!

 

serves 4

time: about half hour

 

Ingredients for the pork & sweet potatoes (this amount for each, so double the ingredients below)

pork tenderloin, cubed

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon chipotle powder

1 teaspoon brown sugar

pepper

salt

coconut oil

 

Everything else

1 cup uncooked red quinoa (you can use white, but I like the color that the red quinoa adds)

avacado

sharp white cheddar cheese (or cheese of your choice)

corn tacos, about 2-3 for each person or double if you use two taco shells per taco

 

Directions

1.Cook the quinoa according to the package directions.

2. Mix together the seasonings for the pork tenderloin, place the cubed pork in a bowl and coat with the seasoning.

3. Mix together the seasonings for the sweet potatoes, place the cubed sweet potatoes in a bowl and coat with the seasoning.

4. Heat up two skillets (or do the pork / sweet potatoes one after the other) with a scoop of coconut oil.  Once the coconut oil sizzles if you splash a little water in the skillet saute the pork until it is cooked through and the sweet potato cubes until they are soft.  After they are cooked place on a plate and cover until all of the rest of the goodies are ready.

5. Cut up your produce, grate the cheese.

6. Heat your tacos in a skillet until they are hot, then place all of the ingredients on top and enjoy!

 

 

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Orzo, Arugula and Tomato Salad

Orzo, Arugula and Tomato Salad (8) WM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked orzo

baby arugula (or spinach)

cherry tomatoes

goat or feta cheese

balsamic vinegar

olive oil

salt

pepper

 

 

Directions:

1) Boil orzo according to package directions.  Rinse in cold water and let cool.

2) Wash the arugula and cherry tomatoes; slice the tomatoes in half.

3) In a large boil mix together about 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar (more/less of each depending on preference).  Add a pinch of salt & pepper (again, more if you want).  Mix the dressing up.

4) Put the cooked/cooled orzo, wash arugula, tomatoes and a handful of goat or feta cheese in the dressing.  Stir to coat.  Serve immediately.

 

Orzo, Arugula and Tomato Salad (5) WM

Orzo, Arugula and Tomato Salad

Orzo, Arugula and Tomato Salad (8) WM

I love salad, and I like interesting salads.  This one combines arugula (though I’m sure it would be just as yummy with spinach!), orzo pasta, goat (or feta) cheese and tomatoes.  Super simple and full of flavor – how can you go wrong!??

 

serves: about 6

time: 20 minutes

 

Ingredients:

baby arugula

1/2 cup dry orzo, cooked

tomatoes (I used cherry), sliced

goat or feta cheese

5 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

salt

pepper

 

Directions:

1. Boil the dry orzo according to package directions.  After it has cooked let it cool.

2. Wash and chop the tomatoes.  Wash the baby arugula

3. Mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt & pepper (to taste) together in a large bowl.  Throw in the baby arugula, cooked & cooled orzo, cut tomatoes and a handful or so of goat or feta cheese (the amount of cheese is to taste).

4. Gently stir the salad to combine all ingredients, serve immediately.

 

 

Orzo, Arugula and Tomato Salad (5) WM

Grilled Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Chicken (2)WM

My husband has really wanted to make tandoori chicken in our Green Egg ever since we got it, so about 2 years.  We finally did and it was awesome!  Our homemade tandoori chicken isn’t as read as what you get in most restaurants, my husband said that’s because they add red food coloring.  I’m ok with our less red tandoori chicken! Raita is a Greek yogurt based sauce that is fantastic to eat with spicy Indian food!

 

Tandoori Chicken (22) WM

time: overnight + 2 hours

Chicken Ingredients:

small container of plain Greek yogurt
fresh ginger, roughly one inch, peeled and chopped finely
2 tablespoons paprika
one lime, squeezed
1 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
3 cloves garlic, chopped
mix of chicken pieces, about 2-3 a person
Veggie Ingredients:
broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
onion, sliced thickly
bell pepper, sliced thickly
Chicken Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients except for chicken in a food processor and blend until smooth.

2. Place the chicken in a ziplock plastic bag, add the marinade mix the marinade around the chicken and refrigerate overnight.

3. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and leave on the counter for 30 minutes.

4. Get your grill ready.  For charcoal arrange the coals on either side of the grate, leaving a space in the middle.  Light and let sit for about 1/2 hour until the charcoal turns gray/black. For gas grills, heat one side to medium-high heat and leave one side without any heat.

5. Remove the chicken from the marinade; place the sliced side veggies in the bag with marinade after you remove the chicken.

6. Place the chicken on the unheated part of the grill.

5. Close the grill lid and grill the chicken for about 90 minutes until cooked through; turn the chicken every 20 minutes.

6. Serve the tandoori chicken with the chilled raita, veggies, and rice.

 

Raita Ingredients:

small container of plain Greek yogurt
one lemon, squeezed
garlic, crushed
1/8 white onion, chopped
tomato, diced
cucumber, peeled and diced
mint, chopped
salt
pepper
cumin seeds
Raita Directions:

1. Squeeze lemon, chop up veggies.

2. Stir into the Greek yogurt, season to taste.

3. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

 

Tandoori Chicken (20) WM

Tandoori Chicken (3) WM