Tag Archives: seasonal eating

Spicy Chicken with Cucumber-Rhubarb Salsa

4 Jun

I’ve been trying to suck every last bit out of spring the last few weeks.  I’m not the biggest fan of summer – I don’t love when it’s extremely hot and humid outside.  I’m not looking forward to all the stickiness, the sweat, the sunburn, or the struggle of running in humidity.  I love spring.  Spring’s my thing.  Actually fall is my thing, but spring is a close second!  Anyway, the other day I realized that I haven’t actually had any rhubarb yet this season, so I thought I would find a fun, non-baked good kind of way.  By the way, this chicken would be excellent on the grill.  You know…if you had a grill.  Which I don’t.  Anyway, let me know what you think!


Spicy Chicken with Cucumber-Rhubarb Salsa (original recipe from Bon Appetit)

For the spice rub:  1/2 t. cumin, 1/4 t. smoked paprika, 1/4 t. coriander.  Mix together and rub onto 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts which have been washed and patted dry with paper towels.

For the sauce:

  • 1 habanero pepper, with seeds, stemmed
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced with white and green parts divided
  • 1 T. soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. olive oil

Preheat the oven to 450*F.  Combine first three ingredients in food process and pulse until finely chopped.  Then, add in soy sauce and olive oil and combine until a sauce forms.  Heat up 1 T. olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  After the rub is applied to the chicken, brown on both sides and then transfer to a greased baking pan.  Brush the spicy sauce onto both sides of the chicken evenly, then place in the oven until the internal temp reads 165*F (this will depend on the size of the chicken you are using!) – about 20-25 minutes.  When it is cooked, let it rest for 10 minutes.


For the salsa:

  • 1-1/2 c. rhubarb, cut into 1/4″ cubes
  • 1 c. 1/4″ cubes unpeeled seedless cucumbers
  • 1/2 c. chopped cilantro
  • 1 T. honey
  • 1 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 t. fresh lime juice
  • salt & pepper to taste

While the chicken is cooking, combine all of the ingredients for the salsa PLUS the green parts from the scallions above and toss to coat evenly.  Let this salsa sit for at least 10 minutes before serving it over the chicken.

Baked Turkey Meatballs w/ Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Spinach

10 Apr

It’s time for another round of Seasonal Eats: Spring Edition!  One of my favorite things about spring and eating seasonally?  The greens.  All of the greens.  I can’t get enough!  Spinach, chard, collard greens, kale, broccoli rabe – I want it all.  I had a few cups of leftover spinach this week after stuffing my face with spinach salads.


Baked Turkey  Meatballs w/ Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Spinach (from I Thee Cook)

  • 1/3 c. shredded onion
  • 1/4 c. sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup spinach, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 2. T. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. pepper
  • 1 t. dried basil
  • 1/2 t. dried oregano
  • 1 lb. ground turkey (or chicken – either is fine)
  • marinara sauce
  • 2 slices provolone cheese

Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Place the first nine ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Stir together with a fork.


Then, add the ground turkey and mix gently with your hands.  Ground turkey and chicken tend to turn to mush pretty easily, so be careful not to over-mix.  Roll into the size of your choosing and place on a greased cookie sheet.


I cooked mine for 18 minutes.  When the meatballs are done. let them rest for a few minutes and turn the broiler on high.  I moved mine to another dish for some reason (not sure why), added a bit of sauce to the top of each one and then placed provolone .


Broil until browned to perfection.  🙂


Seasonal Eats: Spring Edition

12 Mar

I’m trying a new series on the blog this year and I’m really excited about it!  Around Western PA, the snow is melting and the daffodils trying their hardest to force spring into existence. I thought it would be an appropriate time to roll out a seasonal recipe spotlight.  I hear the same thing from a lot of people: “I want to eat locally and seasonally.”  Seems simple, right?  Just hit up the local farmer’s market, grab some veggies, and done?  It is and it isn’t…

You might be interested to know that not all the veggies sold at your local farmer’s market are local.  Or seasonal actually!  While I’ve gotten plenty of resistance with this tactic, I don’t ever hesitate to ask my local farmer’s market vendor if they are re-selling produce or if it’s home-grown.  I’ve touched a few nerves over the years, but I don’t see anything wrong with expecting transparency from a grower.  I’m not a snob about it and it doesn’t stop me from purchasing out-of-season food (farmer’s have to make money during he slow seasons, too!), but I like to know as much as I can about the food I buy.  If you want to eat locally, make sure you ask if you’re eating locally.  Either way, you’re supporting a local food producer/grower/vendor – but educate yourself about what you’re buying and why.

If you’ve ever grown your own food, you know that some things don’t just spring up year round.  In Western PA, there is a very limited amount of seasonal product that’s available from March-April.  It’s still early spring and that means LOTS of greens, but it also means some staples like broccoli, carrots, beets, mushrooms, rutabagas, and turnips.  There are some things I usually pass over because they seem a little intimidating – like artichokes, kohlrabi, even endive is a mystery to me.  Well not this year.  This year I’m embracing all the things I’ve never embraced before.  That’s what 2015 is about, remember?  So this year, I’m not only embracing local, seasonal eating – I’m going to try as much of the produce that my region has to offer!

March-April in Western PA:

Artichoke, Arugula, Asparagus, Beets, Beet Greens, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Broccoli Rape, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cardoons (not sure I’m this adventurous yet!), Carrots, Cauliflower, Chard, Chicory, Collards, Cress, Dandelion Greens, Endive, Fava Beans/Greens, Fennel, Garlic, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Mustard Greens, Onions, Parsnips, Pea Shoots, Radishes, Rutabagas, Scallions, Spinach, Sprouts, Sunchokes, Tatsoi, Turnips

If you have been curious about how to work with any of the ingredients found in this list, shoot me a comment and I will make sure I find a great way for us to get comfortable with them.

Keep an eye out for the new series on Twitter and Instagram, I will be posting under the hashtag: #springeatsSFTS


Some bunny’s exhausted…

7 Apr

Ahhh, the day before Easter.  Being currently childless, I can enjoy myself in ways that other people can’t.  For example, I don’t have to dye eggs, nor do I have to hard boil any.  Yet, I will be able to indulge in deviled eggs all day tomorrow.  Why?  Because everyone else’s children have done the work for me.  Score one for the ladies who are waiting until they are ready to have kids, to have kids!

So how did I chose to enjoy my egg-free day?  By baking and cooking all day long, of course!  I’m saving my Easter goodies to post with my Easter recap, but today I thought I would leave you with a yummy, healthy, springy dinner recipe ♥

Caprise-Inspired Chicken with Creamed Leeks & Red Potatoes

Definitely start the potatoes & leeks first.  You could even braise the leeks the NIGHT before and refrigerate them.

First, boil some salted water and quarter 1 1/4 lb. of red potatoes.  Boil the potatoes until they are fork tender.

In the meantime, work on your 5 cups of sliced leeks:

For this side, I only used the white and light green part of the leek, which I sliced super duper thin.

As shown above, I tossed them into a frying pan with 1 cup of chicken broth, 2 T. butter, some salt and pepper and a pinch of saffron.

I love saffron ♥  I need to use it more, I think.

Keep those leeks on a gentle boil until the liquid is almost gone; if you’ve prepped the leeks before you started then it will take about as long as your potatoes take to cook.

Drain the potatoes and keep them in the pot with the lid on.

Add 1/3 c. heavy cream to the leeks and bring it to a simmer.  Then, you can toss the creamed leeks into the potatoes and mix it up.

Caprise-Inspired Chicken

I love the idea of caprise salads, but I cannot stand cherry tomatoes.  Everything in me wants to like them, but I just can’t get past the texture.  So, I made a caprise chicken without the cherry tomatoes 🙂

This dinner is nice and quick – perfect for tonight since I’ve been so busy making things for tomorrow!

You will need boneless, skinless chicken breasts; some fresh basil; and as many slices of deli mozzarella as you have chicken.  (I made 3 chicken breasts).

Cut a slit in the chicken breast to make a pocket.  Fold a piece of deli cheese in half and sandwich it between 2 fresh basil leaves.  Stuff the chicken with this and then use toothpicks of a bamboo skewer to hold closed.  I sprinkled salt and pepper on one side of the chicken and then moved it to a medium-hot pan with olive oil.

Make sure you put the salted/peppered side DOWN (I didn’t do this and regretted it.)

Cook for 6 minutes, uncovered and then flip the chicken over.  Turn the heat down to low, salt and pepper the remaining side of the chicken and put the lid on.  Cook until the chicken isn’t pink anymore!

I let mine sit extra long so that by the time we were ready to eat, the cheese was literally oozing out of the chicken.  So yummy, so light, so low cal.  Which is perfect, because I’m sure I will have more than my share tomorrow ♥

♥Hope you all enjoy your Easter (or Passover!)

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