Sweet & Spicy Citrus Marinade

I don’t make seafood enough.  Call this my attempt to rectify that fact.  I make salmon a lot, but it’s normally broiled or grilled with the same spicy Asian teriyaki mix.  I’m over it.  It’s time for some change (cue Peter Brady… when it’s time to change you’ve got to rearrange!!!!) in my seafood repertoire; I’m going to put some Tilapia in the mix today.

I made this marinade the other day and used it with the Tilapia.  It turned out really well, and I would absolutely use it again!  The original recipe says it would be good on chicken, but I thought the citrus worked really well with the fish.  I think it would be really great on the grill in the summer!

Sweet & Spicy Citrus Marinade

Recipe from:  Cooking Light

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice (1 Orange) 
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice (2 Limes)
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar 
  • 1 Tablespoon EVOO
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Directions:  For the Tilapia, I took 4 fillets and placed them in a cooking-spray coated pyrex dish.  Combine the marinade ingredients (except paprika) and pour over the fish.  Let sit for 15-20 minutes.  Broil in the oven for 15 minutes or until the fish is done.  Top with Paprika and some fresh Black Pepper.

Before

Before

and After!

and After!

Purple Pesto Chicken w/ Tomatoes

Present Beth would like to give a big shoutout to Past Beth for freezing lots of leftover Purple Pesto.  Back when I brought home this pretty Purple Basil from the farmers market in Baltimore, I decided to freeze the leftover Pesto I made using it into little individual Tablespoon packages.  I wrapped them separately with some Plastic Wrap and kept them all together in a Sandwich Bag.  This was a great thing to use to make a normal, boring chicken dinner into something fabulous!

Purple Pesto Chicken w/ Tomatoes

Ingredients:

2 Chicken Breasts, sliced in half to make thinner and then into half again to make into smaller strips

Salt, Pepper

2 Tablespoons Purple Pesto (recipe below, or store bought pesto sauce)

1 Large, Ripe Tomato

1/2 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (I used reduced fat Cheddar, that was all we had)

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 400.  Coat a baking dish with cooking spray.  Place the raw chicken into the baking dish in one layer.  Sprinkle with Sea Salt and Black Pepper.  Put the baking dish in the oven.  Let cook for 8 minutes.

2.  Place the frozen pesto in a small saucepan with a few drops of Olive Oil.  Heat, or open up your store-bought pesto.  Slice your tomatoes to make 8 pieces or more if you’d like.

3.  Remove the chicken from the oven, flip and cook for another 5-8 minutes depending on thickness of chicken.  Take the baking dish out of the oven, add a little bit of Pesto to the top of each piece… then add tomato… and a sprinkle of cheese.  Put back in the oven for another 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is melty.

Purple Pesto Recipe:
Ingredients:
2 Cups Purple Basil Leaves, stems removed, rinsed, dried.
1 Tablespoon Garlic, minced
¼ Cup – ½ Cup Grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano (what I used) Cheese
¼ Cup – ½ Cup Sunflower Seed Oil (or other oil)
½ Cup Toasted Sunflower Seeds
Salt, Pepper
 Directions: 
Put the basil and sunflower seeds in the food processor.  Blend for 30 seconds or until the basil no longer takes up most of the space.  Add ¼ cup of Oil to start (you can always add more) and ¼ Cup of Cheese (again, you can always add more).  Blend in the food processor until smooth, scraping down the sides if necessary.  Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper, more cheese or oil if you need to.

Check out those Tomatoes… perfect.

We ate this dinner with a small salad on the side.  It would go great with pasta if you’d like, but I really liked how light the meal was with just the chicken.  What else should I make with my leftover Pesto?!  Yum, yum, yum!

 

Sunflower Seed Purple Pesto

It’s that Meatless Monday time again!

So, forever ago now… we bought a ton of yummy stuff at the Baltimore Farmer’s Market.  One of my interesting purchases (of many, duh) was Purple Basil.  I’ve never seen this stuff before and immediately thought it would be a cool thing to buy for the blog.  Of course life happened and I’ve been so busy and haven’t even had a chance to tell you about it yet!

My first idea was to try making Pesto, since I never have before.  I figured it would be awesome since it was purple.  While this Pesto TASTED awesome, it looked awful.  I wasn’t thinking and didn’t realize that after blending everything together, my beautiful purple basil would look more like brown goop.  Oh well!  It was delicious anyways.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been into using my Sunflower Seed Oil from Trader Joe’s, so I went with that theme and also used toasted sunflower seeds instead of pine nuts in my pesto.

 Sunflower Seed Purple Pesto

A Recipe by:  It’s Good to be the Cook

Ingredients:

2 Cups Purple Basil Leaves, stems removed, rinsed, dried.

1 Tablespoon Garlic, minced

¼ Cup – ½ Cup Grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano (what I used) Cheese

¼ Cup – ½ Cup Sunflower Seed Oil (or other oil)

½ Cup Toasted Sunflower Seeds

Salt, Pepper

Pasta, Veggies (I used Squash and Fresh Grape Tomtaoes)

Extra Grated Cheese & Toasted Sunflower Seeds for topping

 Directions: 

1.  Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box.

2.  Put the basil and sunflower seeds in the food processor.  Blend for 30 seconds or until the basil no longer takes up most of the space.  Add ¼ cup of Oil to start (you can always add more) and ¼ Cup of Cheese (again, you can always add more).  Blend in the food processor until smooth, scraping down the sides if necessary.  Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper, more cheese or oil if you need to.

3.  Add to pasta/veggies, or use as a spread for sandwiches!  

I had made so much Purple Pesto that I was able to freeze some to use for later.  I took Tablespoonfuls onto small pieces of saran wrap, wrapped them up, and then stored in a freezer bag.  This way, I don’t have to defrost the entire thing when I want to use it next!

I told ya it was UGLY!

Yummy! My sister and I really liked this one!

Oven “Fried” Chicken Fingers w/ Dipping Sauces

Since I’m always on the hunt for healthier versions of “bad” foods… I was super excited to try out this recipe for Oven-“Fried” Chicken Fingers I found from an old Cooking Light magazine.

 

I will make a few recommendations though:

1.  I did NOT like the simple Honey Mustard Sauce that came along with the recipe.  Either make your own, buy your own, or try out one of the other sauces at the bottom of this recipe.

2.  I would suggest you use more seasoning, mine was a little bland.

 

Besides those two complaints, the recipe was really tasty and a fun change from my normal repertoire!

 

Ingredients:

1 ½ lbs Chicken Breast Tenders (16 pieces)

½ cup Low Fat Buttermilk

½ cup Cornflakes, coarsely crushed (I bought Cornflake bread crumbs!)

¼ cup Seasoned Breadcrumbs

1 Tablespoon Dried Minced Onion

1 teaspoon Paprika

¼ teaspoon Thyme

¼ teaspoon Black Pepper

Cooking Spray

Sauce:  ¼ cup Honey & ¼ Cup Spicy Brown Mustard

 

Directions:

1.  To prepare the sauce- combine honey and mustard in a small bowl.  Cover and chill.

2.  Preheat the oven to 400.  Combine chicken and buttermilk in a shallow dish; cover and chill for 15 minutes.  Drain chicken, discarding liquid.

3.  Combine cornflakes and next five ingredients (through pepper) in a large zip top freezer bag.  Add four pieces of chicken at a time to the bag, seal, and shake to coat.  Repeat procedure with remaining chicken.

4.  Spray a jelly-roll pan or baking dish and arrange chicken in a singer layer.

5.  Bake at 400 for 4 minutes on each side until done.

 

My chicken fingers soaking in the low-fat buttermilk... it really helps the breadcrumbs stick!

Fail on the sauce. Did not like it!

The finished product!

Other sauces I recommend:

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/honey-mustard-dipping-sauce-10000001133865/

http://www.food.com/recipe/chicken-finger-dipping-sauce-391028

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/chicken-nuggets-with-honey-mustard-dipping-sauce-recipe/index.html