All the noms right now!

Shawarma Chicken Bowls with Basil-Lemon Vinaigrette

Shawarma Chicken Bowls with Basil-Lemon Vinaigrette

Ingredients
Serves 4

Chicken Shawarma

1 lb / 453 gr free-range organic chicken breast, cut into 3-inch strips
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¾ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground coriander

Salad

6 cups / 3.5 oz / 100 gr spring greens
1 cup / 5.3 oz / 150 gr cherry tomatoes, halved
2 handfuls torn fresh basil leaves
1 avocado, sliced

Basil-Lemon Vinaigrette

2 large handfuls fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic, smashed
½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
5 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

In a bowl whisk olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, curry powder, cumin and coriander until combined.
In a shallow sealable container or in a large Ziploc bag, combine chicken strips and marinade.
Cover or seal and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes (marinate overnight for fullest flavor.)
When you’re ready to make the meal, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Add a tiny bit of olive oil, add the chicken and cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 6 to 8 minutes turning regularly, until juices run clear.
In the meantime make the vinaigrette. In a food processor (or small blender), process the basil, garlic, salt, and lemon juice until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the oil. Blend until combined. Set aside.
To make the salads, add the greens in a large bowl and toss them with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Add the chicken on top along with the tomatoes, basil, and avocado.
Drizzle the bowl with the basil-lemon vinaigrette.
Serve!

Found here:

http://www.theironyou.com/2014/08/shawarma-chicken-bowls-with-basil-lemon.html

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I make chicken noodle soup better than your grandmother

I’m sorry, but somebody had to say it.

Because my soup is really damn good. And I think I’ve pin pointed exactly what separates it from most other soups. Stock. Stock is what’s key. Most soups are broth based, but I’ve always thought they were a little weak. With veggie soups, it can be a little different, since you’re aiming for a more delicate flavor. Using broth with that makes sense. But a good, hearty noodle or grain soup needs a strong foundation. That is stock, not broth. I will forgive those who disagree and prefer a milder flavor, but I still think you should try making soup with a stock base at least once.

For those of you interested in trying a stock based Chicken Noodle Soup, below is how I do mine, step by step.

Rebecca’s Chicken Noodle Soup (Stew)

I have to put (stew) because when I cook this, it comes out pretty thick, and the leftovers end up even thicker. You can adjust the liquid if you like a thinner soup. Also, as with all of my other recipes, I’m cooking for 5 people with intention of leftovers.

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(Oregon love)

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 small precooked chicken breasts (I use leftover rotisserie chicken meat), chopped into bite size pieces
  • 3 thick carrots, sliced
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1/2-3/4 large onion, chopped
  • 1 lb uncooked pasta (I use rotini or penne)
  • 3 32 oz cans/boxes of chicken stock
  • Italian herb seasoning, salt & pepper
  • butter and olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp chicken broth granules (optional)

I start out by sauteing the onion and carrots in a large stock pot with a pat of butter and some olive oil. I let them brown a little before adding the celery. The brown bits on the pan season the soup nicely once the stock is added, like when making pan gravy. Don’t forget to season with s&p to taste as you go, as well as a pinch of Italian herb seasoning to the veg. Once those three, also known as mirepoix (my small bit of French knowledge), are softened, add the diced chicken and heat through for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.

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Whether you chose to season the chicken will depend on what seasons were used when it was cooked. If you cook it, you can use the Italian herb seasoning and maybe a pinch of allspice. Otherwise, unless it looks very plain, leave it with its own seasoning. Those added to the soup later will be enough.

With the chicken warming, add the chicken stock and seasonings. I don’t add too much s&p at this point because the stock should be well seasoned. You’re going to add more Italian herb seasoning than you think is right. But think of the other soups you’ve had. Did you notice the flecks of seasoning floating around? You’re aiming for at least enough to achieve full seasoning of the stock. It’s like seasoning the pasta sauce I posted before.

Bring the stock up to a rolling boil. Here is where you can add the chicken granules. I do occasionally if I feel like the stock is weak (some brands are as flavorful as others). This is also the time to add the pasta. I add mine uncooked and let it absorb the stock as it cooks. It also releases some starch, which is part of why the soup ends up so thick. Stirring occasionally, let the soup (medium)boil for 20-25 minutes (depending on how soft you want the pasta to be). Then it’s ready to eat! Enjoy!

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My favorite little Thai place

If you live near Forest Grove, OR, you should make the drive out to Pac Thai. I was lucky enough to be introduced to Pac Thai by a good friend in 2012. Since, it’s become an addiction. A delicious, delicious addiction.

One of the things that I love most about Pac Thai is the staff. It’s a family owned restaurant in the truest sense. Besides the owners, the others who work there are warm and friendly, remembering regulars and very helpful to newbies. PT is actually the first place that I feel I have achieved regular status. There is one girl who, in the nicest way, gives me a hard time when I order the same thing every time she waits my table. What’s my usual?

Pad Thai

Amazing on a plate. My mouth is watering just looking at this photo. Not kidding.

Pad Thai. Does that not look delicious? Aren’t you hungry now? I go back and forth between wanting it with shrimp or chicken. I have also enjoyed the ginger lover (first a little tongue-in-cheek after telling one of my best friends–who happens to be ginger–about the dish), and broccoli with oyster sauce. The one thing that I have yet to try is the curry. I have heard nothing but raves about it, but for some reason (okay, I’m a little scared of how spicy it might be) I haven’t brought myself to do it yet. Part of it is that I am a huge sucker for noodle dishes. It is what I love most about Asian cuisines. Noodles in so many sauces, and almost none of them dairy based! Worry free eating! But I digress.

What also makes PT a fun place to eat is the local community. If you don’t know, Forest Grove is a small place. It has that lovely small town feel. So every time you go in, it’s a little like stopping into a local diner, seeing familiar faces (even if you don’t know their names) and for most of the year, students of the nearby Pacific University (my alma mater–a little aside: I love that I can say that now! I graduated! Ok, I’m done.). It just a fun place to go with friends and hang out, chat over some really good food.

One of my favorite fall dishes

I guess it’s not so much a fall dish, considering it relies on some great summer veg, but I like to make it in fall when it’s just starting to get cold out. I don’t really have a name for the dish either. When I want to make it, or others ask me to make it, it’s just “the orzo dish.” Anyways, I thought I’d share it with you guys. It’s full of veg and the chicken and orzo can easily be substituted for your own dietary needs or preferences. Also, I’m cooking for 4-5 people when I make this, so it’s a lot, but even if it’s just for 1 or 2, it’s great as leftovers.

veggie medley

Ingredients (for the veggie portion):

  • 1-2 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow squash, chopped
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed of woody ends and cut into thirds lengthwise
  • 1 medium onion, quartered and sliced in 1/4-1/2 inch wide slices
  • 1-2 red bell peppers, seeds and ribs removed, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • pat butter and 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt, pepper, granulated garlic, oregano, thyme, basil, rosemary, and savory (enough of the herbs for the veg to be obviously flecked with seasoning)

I start out by sauteing the onion and pepper together in the butter and olive oil until they are slightly softened. I then add all of the other veg, with seasoning, and continue cooking until they are tender but not mushy.

While I cook the veg, in another pan I boil a box of orzo pasta. When it’s al dente, I drain it and cook it for another few minutes in about 3/4 cups of chicken stock or broth, until it is mostly absorbed.

In addition to the veg and orzo, I like to add chicken. I cut up enough skinless, boneless chicken thighs for each person to have two thighs worth of meat. I cut the thighs into meatball size chunks and cook in the same seasoning, plus poultry seasoning, until cooked through.

When all of the components are finished, I combine all three in one pan and stir. It’s a big pot. If you can, let the mix simmer for a couple of minutes to meld the flavors.

What I love most about this is its one-pot feel. While it certainly isn’t cooked that way, it’s a complete meal in one dish, which is always appealing to me. It’s also fairly easy to cook. Most of the work is prepping the veg and that doesn’t take too long or much effort.

Happy cooking!