Tag Archives: spring

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-Cucumber-Rhubarb-Salsa

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.

Cucumber-Rhubarb-Salsa

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.

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

Seasonal-Eats-Spring-Edition

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

9 Apr

Everything is in transition right now it seems.  No complaints here, I can’t stand when things are stagnant.

The weather has finally turned towards spring, enough that I can run outside and enjoy being indoors with the windows open.  Man, I swear there is no better sleep than being warm under the blankets with a cool breeze and city sounds coming through my window.  We sat on the porch for hours the other day and it was heavenly!  This is what I felt like after 1-2 beers:

BeerGoggles

I’ve been doing a lot of hanging out at the laundromat lately too:

HangingOut

Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs ain’t gonna watch itself people!

My 5K is this Saturdayyyyyy!!!!!  I felt so prepared the week before Easter and now…not so much.  I missed about 4 days of training due to my own laziness and I sure am kicking myself for that now.  They say that with running, you will only ever get out of it what you put in.  Lesson.  Learned.  I’m going to stay positive and committed to running my own race.  The only failure is not finishing.

I have noticed a lack of energy in myself lately, and I know its my eating habits.  Food is fuel and I’ve been running on empty calories.  When I hit the grocery store, I committed to eating as clean as we possibly can.  She♥ is having a harder time giving up a lot of our carb-loaded staples (chips, crackers, bagels, etc.), but we are getting there!

I’m thinking of certain things as “transition foods.”  You know, better than we were eating, but not quite there yet.  Like this:

Tortillas

What other changes have we been a part of this week, you ask?  Well, one of Liberty & Chief’s first puppies drove by the house and luckily spotted us outside!  It was AWESOME to see how big Luca got.  He is bigger than Chief and definitely takes after his grand-daddy (Chief is 88 lbs., but his dad was closer to 100).

LucaUpdate

The top left photo was a picture of Luca during his last week with us, and the top right is one that his parents sent us a few months later.  Now, he is a man!!!  He’s doing so well and his family adores him.  He’s smart and was easily trained, but still has a lot of energy.  I don’t even think he’s done growing yet and he’s weighing in at a solid 90 lbs.!  Seeing him made my heart very happy!!

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