Smoked Paprika Chicken Tacos with Spicy Goat Cheese

Smoked Paprika Chicken Tacos  (22) WM

I love tacos.  I love smoke paprika and I really, really love goat cheese!  This recipe combines all of these wonderful ingredients into an amazing taco (another one of my favorites – I could eat tacos all of the time!).

Serves 4

Time: 1 hour + a little extra

Chicken Ingredients:

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1.5  teaspoons smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1-2 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 limes, sliced into wedges
1 sweet onion, sliced thickly into 8 slices
Spicy Goat Cheese Queso
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 jalapeño pepper, diced
2garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup milk
6 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Taco Additions
corn tortillas for serving
chopped tomatoes
sliced avocado
cilantro, de-stemed

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and spray a baking dish with nonstick spray.

2. Combine the smoked paprika, salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder and garlic powder in a small bowl.

3. Place the sliced onion all over the bottom of the baking dish, rub the chicken with the spices and then place the chicken on top of the onions.  Set the lime wedges in between the chicken. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove chicken and let cool slightly, then shred.

4.  For the spicy goat cheese queso, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and add the diced jalapeño and garlic.  Simmer, without burning, for about 1 – 2 minutes.  Once the butter mixture is slightly boiling whisk in flour to create a roux.   Turn to low and let simmer for another 1-2 minutes until the roux is golden brown and bubbly.  Then, pour the milk in whisking until smooth and combined (keeping heat on low).   Once the roux has slightly thickened add the goat cheese and stir until the cheese melts and is creamy. Taste and season with salt and pepper to your liking.

5. Slice the tomatoes and avocado and tear off the cilantro leaves from the steam.

6. Once the chicken has cooked shred into bite sized pieces.  Heat up the tacos until soft, scoop out some chicken onto each taco and add the vegetables and place a dollop of the goat cheese queso on top.

 

Smoked Paprika Chicken Tacos  (12) WM

Smoked Paprika Chicken Tacos  (5) WM

Millet Salad

Millet Salad (4) WM

Millet is a grass, it has a sort-of corn taste.  I found that it required a tad bit more water than stated in the cooking directions, which I account for here.  1 cup dry, raw millet yields about 3 ½ cups cooked millet.

 

Ingredients:

1 cup dry millet

2 1/4 cups water

salt

pepper

olive oil

balsamic vinegar

can black beans, drained and rinsed

avacado

tomato

bell pepper

feta or goat cheese

 

Directions:

1) Boil the water, add a pinch of salt & millet – cover and cook on low for about 20 minutes without opening the lid.

2) When the millet is cooked it will be soft; remove the cooked millet from the stove, leave covered and let stand for about 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes take the lid off and let cool completely.

3) While the millet is cooking, drain/rinse the black beans and chop the avocado, tomato and bell pepper.

4) After the millet has cooled add olive oil & balsamic vinegar – roughly 2 tablespoon of olive oil to 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar – add salt & pepper to taste.  Stir to combine.

5) Add the chopped black beans, avocado, tomato, and bell pepper  – stir to combine.  Crumble the feta or goat cheese on top of the mixed salad.

6) Serve chilled.

 

Millet Salad (1) WM

 

millet salad x (3) WM

Kale Salad with Peaches and Balsamic Vinegar Mustard Dressing

Kale Salad with Peaches (3) WM

ok, ok.  I know that it’s snowing in Colorado and is cold pretty much every where in the country, but I wanted to post this recipe that I made in the summer.  You can still get kale, so that’s good.  Maybe add fall fruit like an apple?

Serves 2

time: 10 minutes or so

 

Salad Ingredients:

handful of kale per person, washed and torn into small pieces

2 peaches, pitted and sliced into bite sized pieces

goat cheese (or feta), sprinkle for each person

 

Dressing Ingredients:

2 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic binegar

1 tablespoon whole grain mustard

1 tablespoon honey

salt & pepper to taste

 

Directions:

1) Wash / tear the kale.  Wash / cut the peaches.

2) Make the salad dressing in a small bowl stirring vigorously to combine all of the ingredients.

3) Add the kale & peaches to the salad dressing, mix to coat the produce.

4) Place salad on each plate and sprinkle the crumbled goat or feta cheese on top.

 

Kale Salad with Peaches (11) 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

 

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

Balsamic Vinegar & Honey Chicken Skewers

Balsamic and Honey Chicken Skewers (9) WM

My car needed new front brakes so I took it to the mechanic today, and brought my bike to ride the 6 miles home.  The guy at the front desk asked if I needed a ride, I said ‘no, I’m going to ride my bike’ – he replied with, ‘next time you can use one of ours!’.  How very cool (and very Boulder) that my mechanic has several bikes that their customers can use!!

Onto this recipe.  As I’ve been saying in post after post, it’s summer so I have been grilling & using summer fruits and veggies – this recipe is no exception.  The balsamic vinegar & honey added a nice light touch of flavor to the chicken, and the quinoa & strawberry, goat cheese and nut salad were both a perfect compliment.

Balsamic and Honey Chicken Skewers (4) WM

serves 4

time: about 1 hour (marinade the night before)

Chicken Marinade Ingredients:

2.5 good sized boneless & skinless chicken breasts
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced, plus more for garnish
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Salad Ingredients:
strawberries
spinach
goat cheese
mixed seasoned/sugared nuts
I also used a cup of dried quinoa, cook according to package directions.

Directions:

  1. The night before.  Cut off any extra fat from the chicken breasts and then cut into 1 inch chunks and place in a gallon ziplock bag.
  2. Mix all of the remaining ingredients together and pour into the gallon bag with the chicken.  Mush around and refrigerate overnight.
  3. The day of.  Soak 3-4 wooden skewers in a shallow dish filled with water while getting the grill, quinoa and salad ready.
  4. Right before the grill is ready, thread the chicken pieces onto the water-soaked wooden skewers.
  5. Place the chicken skewers on the grill and cook until no longer pink, turning over so all sides get charred.
  6. Wash and slice a good few handfuls of ripe strawberries, place on top of washed spinach.  Crumble goat cheese and throw a handful of mixed seasoned/sugared nuts on top
  7. Eat with your favorite beer, because it’ll make it that much better!

 

Balsamic and Honey Chicken Skewers (18) WM

Artichoke & Asparagus Chicken Skewers

Artichoke & Asparagus Chicken Skewers  (22) WM

My husband and I really, really, really liked this dish!  We made it a second time with a pork tenderloin for a friend that can’t eat chicken and it’s equally as yummy!  The lemon herb vinaigrette is a little over kill / way too much oil for this dish so we skipped it the second time – I would highly recommend doing that.  The asparagus  that we get here in Colorado are way too skinny to put on the wood kabob stick, so I simply put them in the bag of marinade after I took the chicken / pork out of the bag, rolled the asparagus around a bit to coat them and then grilled them separately.

Serves: 4

Time: Refrigerate overnight, then 1 hour, approximately

Moroccan Chicken
1 1/2 – 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken, cut into bite size pieces
2 cloves garlic
1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1/2 -1 teaspoon cayenne pepper)
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
Artichoke & Asparagus Chicken Skewers  (14) WM Artichoke & Asparagus Chicken Skewers  (5) WM

Lemon Herb vinaigrette

2 small to medium lemons, grated + juiced
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 a lime, juiced

 

Minted Goat Cheese Yogurt
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper, to taste
3 ounces soft goat cheese
Artichoke & Asparagus Chicken Skewers  (47) WM
Kabob Veggies
1 (6 ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts
1 bunch asparagus
 
Artichoke & Asparagus Chicken Skewers  (17) WM
1) Add the ingredients for the chicken marinade to a food processor and blend until smooth, add to a gallon sized zip-lock bag with the chicken pieces and massage the marinade over the chicken.  Refrigerate overnight.
2) The day of:  Mix all of the ingredients of the minted goat cheese yogurt together, cover and set aside in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
3) Pour the lemon juice and add the lemon zest into a small sauce pan over low heat; bring to a simmer and simmer for about 1 minute or until the zest absorbs the juice.  You do not want the zest burn and get stuck to the pan.  Add this mixture to the olive oil, parsley, salt, honey and lime juice. Whisk to combine and set aside.
4) Get the coals of your BBQ ready. Soak the wood kabob skewers for about 5 minutes.
5) Thread the chicken and artichoke hearts on the wood kabob artichoke .  Place the asparagus in the bag of marinade and move around to coat.  Place the chicken/artichoke kabob artichoke plus asparagus on the grill and grill until the chicken is cooked through and the asparagus are tender but aren’t overcooked.
6) Serve the chicken with the the lemon herb vinaigrette, the minted goat cheese yogurt and couscous on the side.

 

Artichoke & Asparagus Chicken Skewers  (25) WM Artichoke & Asparagus Chicken Skewers  (36) WM

 

Beet and Citrus Salad

beet & citrus salad (2) WM

I love salads, and I love getting creative with salads.

Ingredients:

lettuce (I used baby arugula, but any mixture will do)

canned beets, drained – amount depends on your preference

mandarin oranges, drained – amount depends on your preference

grapefruit cup (or fresh), drained – amount depends on your preference

1 orange, peeled and divided into sections

pistachios, shelled – amount depends on your preference

goat cheese, crumbled- amount depends on your preference

1.5 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

pepper, to taste

Lawry’s seasoned salt, to taste

beet & citrus salad (3) WM

Directions:

1. Wash and drain lettuce, place a portion on each plate.

2. Place a portion of the remaining ingredients through goat cheese on top of the lettuce.

3. Mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pepper, and Lawry’s seasoned salt in a bowl and pour over each citrus salad (I forgot to put the dressing on my salad and I didn’t even notice!)

Serve with your favorite summer main dish!

beet & citrus salad (1) WM

Watermelon Goat Cheese Bites

watermelon goat cheese (2) WM

Ingredients:

seedless watermelon

goat cheese

mint

balsamic vinegar

total time: about 20 minutes

Directions:

1. Cube the watermelon.  Place on a place.

2. Place a bit of goat cheese on each watermelon cube.

3. Place a mint leaf (or you can chop them up) on every other watermelon cube.

4. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over each watermelon cube.

serve cold.

watermelon goat cheese (1) WM

Tomato & Feta Toasts

tomato and feta toasts (1) WM

I cannot believe how amazing this salad / toast was.  In fact, I want one right now.  I’m pretty much drooling.  This recipe will be a go-to summer salad recipe.  See, there are so many amazing ways to eat your veggies!

prep/total time: approximately 20-25 minutes

 tomato and feta toasts (2) WM

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme

handful basil leaves, chopped

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

sliced tomato or cherry tomatoes

1 English cucumber, thinly sliced

1 bell pepper, diced

1 lemon, juiced

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

freshly ground black pepper

pinch of kosher salt

feta cheese, crumbled

goat cheese, crumbled

toasted French bread, 2 slices each person

handful pine nuts, toasted

handful of arugula per person

Directions:

1. Chop, slice, and grate all needed ingredients.

2. Mix the olive oil, pepper and salt together, stir in the chopped, sliced, grated ingredients.  Gently fold in the crumbled cheeses.  Let stand for 10 minutes.

3. Slice and toast the bread.

4. Toast a handful of pine nuts – careful not to burn, you only want them golden brown.

5. Place a handful of washed arugula on each plate.

6. Place the toast on the sides of the plate.  Arrange the cucumber on the bed of arugula, and scoop out the cheese and olive oil mixture on top of the toasts and arugula.  Enjoy!

tomato and feta toasts (3) WM