• Apricot Chicken

    Recipe adapted from Carlsbad Cravings.

    Santana do Ipanema Ingredients:

    Chicken

    • 1 ½ lbs. chicken breasts cut into 1″ pieces
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 c. flour
    • 1/4 c. cornstarch
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1 tsp. garlic powder
    • 1 tsp. onion powder
    • ½ tsp. ginger powder
    • ½ tsp. smoked paprika
    • ½ tsp. pepper
    • 3 TBSP olive oil plus more as needed
    • Serve over rice

    Apricot Sauce

    • 2/3 c. apricot preserves/jam
    • 3 TBSP Asian sweet chili sauce
    • 1-2 TBSP hot sauce (I used Frank’s Original Hot Sauce) more or less to taste
    • 2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
    • 2 TBSP soy sauce
    • 1 tsp. cornstarch

    Directions:

    • Bread Chicken: Combine chicken and eggs in a freezer bag and turn to coat. In a separate large freezer bag, combine flour, cornstarch, and seasonings. Remove chicken and dab off excess egg with paper towels and add to flour bag. (To quickly remove excess egg, I plop the chicken on a wad of paper towels using a slotted spoon.) Shake chicken until well coated, pressing coating into chicken from outside of the bag.
    • Cook: Heat oil over medium-high heat in a nonstick skillet (medium if your stove runs hot). Working in two batches, shake off excess breading from chicken and add to the skillet in a single layer. Cook for about 4-6 minutes, or until cooked through, flipping halfway. Remove chicken to a paper towel lined plate. Add another drizzle of oil to the skillet if needed and repeat with remaining chicken. Remove chicken and wipe out skillet.
    • Add Sauce: Whisk the cornstarch with the soy sauce until completely smooth. Add to the skillet along with all of the Apricot Sauce ingredients. Bring to a simmer, stirring often until thickened, about 2 minutes.
    • Combine: Add the chicken and toss to coat. Serve over rice.

    Apricot Chicken:

  • Mediterranean Smothered Chicken

    Recipe adapted from Iowa Girl Eats.

    Ingredients:

    • Olive oil
    • 4 small chicken breasts, pounded to an even thickness
    • Garlic salt and pepper, to taste
    • 8 oz. angel hair pasta
    • 2 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 large shallot, chopped
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 c. marinated roasted (or sundried) tomatoes, chopped
    • 1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
    • 2 TBSP capers, drained
    • 1 tsp. lemon zest
    • 1/2 c. chicken broth or water
    • 1/4 c. half & half (or heavy cream)
    • Juice from 1 lemon
    • 1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
    • 1/4 c. chopped basil
    • Salt and pepper, to taste

    Directions:

    1. Heat olive oil in a large, nonstick sprayed skillet over medium-high heat; season the chicken with garlic salt and pepper and add to hot skillet. Saute for 3-4 minutes a side, or until no longer pink in the center. Remove to a plate then set aside.
    2. Cook pasta in a pot of salted, boiling water then cook until al dente. Drain then set aside.
    3. Let chicken skillet cool off the heat for a few minutes, then return to burner and reduce heat to medium. Add olive oil and shallots and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic then saute for 30 more seconds, stirring constantly.
    4. Add roasted tomatoes, artichoke hearts, capers, and lemon zest then saute until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add chicken broth/water, half & half, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, and basil then reduce sauce slightly, about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, as necessary.
    5. Divide pasta among plates then top with a chicken breast. Smother with tomato and artichoke mixture.

    Mediterranean Smothered Chicken:

  • Jennifer Aniston’s Salad aka The Rachel Salad

    Israeli couscous has become a family favorite, so I subbed the quinoa for the Israeli couscous. You could also use bulgar, farro, couscous, etc.

    Recipe adapted from Iowa Girl Eats.

    Ingredients:

    Couscous Salad

    • 1 1/2 c. water
    • 1 c. Israeli couscous
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1 tsp. olive oil
    • 15oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    • 1 English cucumber, diced
    • 1/2 small red onion, minced
    • 1/2 c. packed fresh parsley, finely chopped
    • 1/2 c. loosely-packed fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
    • 1/2 c. roasted salted pistachios, chopped
    • 1/2 c. (2oz) crumbled feta cheese
    • Salt and pepper, to taste
    • Mixed lettuce

    Lemon Dressing

    • 1/2 c. lemon juice (about 2-4 lemons)
    • 1/2 c. olive oil
    • 1 TBSP honey
    • Salt and pepper, to taste

    Directions:

    1. Lemon Dressing: Add ingredients to a jar with a tight fitting lid, or small bowl, then shake or whisk to combine.
    2. Couscous: Add water, salt, and olive oil to sauce pan and over medium high heat bring to a boil; once boiling, add the couscous and stir; then cover the sauce pan and lower the heat to simmer; simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer cooked couscous to a bowl.
    3. Add dressing: Add about 1/8 c. of dressing to the slightly warm couscous and toss well to combine. Set aside (or refrigerate) to cool completely.
    4. Salad: Add couscous to a large mixing bowl then add chickpeas through mint, and toss to combine. Add about 1/3 of the dressing and toss to coat. Taste and adjust seasoning.
    5. Serve: Add mixed lettuce greens to a plate, top with a generous scoop of the couscous salad; sprinkle the pistachios and feta on top and drizzle with dressing.

    Jennifer Aniston’s Salad:

  • Israeli Couscous Salad

    If you want a more hearty couscous side (pictured above), double the couscous (olive oil, shallots, lemons, couscous, and water/stock) and the dressing.

    Recipe adapted from No Spoon Necessary.

    Ingredients:

    Couscous

    • 2 ½ TBSP olive oil
    • 2 medium shallots – finely diced (about 1/3 heaping cup)
    • 2 large lemons, zested & juiced (1/4 cup juice) (1 TBSP & ½ tsp zest – DIVIDED)
    • 1 ½ c. Israeli pearl couscous
    • 1 ¾ c. stock or water
    • 1 (8 oz.) jar oil-packed julienne sun-dried tomatoes – drained & 2 TBSP oil reserved
    • 1 (14 oz.) can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
    • 3 oz. baby arugula, or more to taste
    • 3 large green onions, thinly sliced
    • 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
    • ½ c. fresh herbs, chopped (basil, parsley, cilantro, and/or mint)
    • 3 TBSP toasted pine nuts 
    • Salt & pepper

    Dressing

    • ¼ c. olive oil
    • 1 garlic, minced
    • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
    • 1 tsp. honey

    Directions:

    1. Prepare Dressing:  Add the oil, garlic, Dijon and honey to a small bowl or a mason jar. Add in ¼ c. fresh lemon juice, a scant ½ tsp. zest, ¼ tsp salt and generous pinch of pepper. Whisk until well combined. If using a mason jar, add the lid and seal. Shake the jar until well combined.
    2. Infuse Oil: Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and 1 heaping TBSP of lemon zest. Let the flavors infuse and sweat the vegetables, stirring, for 2-3 minutes.
    3. Prepare Couscous: Stir in the couscous and increase the heat to medium. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes or until the couscous is lightly toasted and fragrant. Add in the stock and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a rapid simmer, then immediately reduce heat to a low. Cover the pan tightly with a lid and cook for 10-12 minutes, until the couscous is tender, and liquid is almost all absorbed. Remove from heat.
    4. Stir in sundried tomato oil & cover: Remove cover from couscous. Add the 2 tablespoons of sun-dried tomato oil and stir to combine. Replace cover and set aside (off heat), for about 3-5 minutes, until liquid is completely evaporated. The couscous should be tender, and the mixture should be fluffy, not soupy. Season couscous to taste with salt and pepper; fluff with a fork. Transfer the couscous to a large bowl.
    5. Add dressing: Add half the dressing (about ¼ c.) to the slightly warm couscous and toss well to combine. Set aside to cool completely.
    6. Toss couscous: Once the couscous is cooled, add the chickpeas, arugula, green onions, herbs and half the feta. Toss to combine. Add the remaining dressing. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. (Optional: Cover and refrigerate.)
    7. Serve: Sprinkle couscous with remaining feta and toasted pine nuts. Garnish with lemon wedges if using. 

    Israeli Couscous Salad:

  • Turkey Grinder Sandwich

    Ingredients:

    • 1/2 c. mayonnaise
    • 1 TBSP red wine vinegar
    • 1 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 TBSP pepperoncini juice
    • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
    • 1-3 tsp. sugar, more or less to taste
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 tsp. pepper
    • 1 14oz. bag of shredded lettuce
    • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
    • 1/3 c. pepperoncinis
    • Sub rolls
    • Sliced turkey
    • Sliced cheese of your choice, muenster, provolone, etc.

    Directions:

    1. In a medium bowl add the mayonnaise through pepper, and mix until will combined. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Then add the lettuce, sliced onion, and pepperoncinis and mix to combine.
    2. Slice the rolls and layer with turkey and cheese. You can toast the subs in a 350F oven, if desired. Then add the creamy lettuce mixture.

    Turkey Grinder Sandwich: