Tag Archives: feta

Grilled Chicken with FETA + BASIL SAUCE

FETA + BASIL SAUCE

♥  2 C. FETA CHEESE, crumbled
♥  2 T. FRESH BASIL, chopped
♥  1 HEAPING T. GARLIC, fresh and minced
♥  ½ C. MILK
♥  ½ TSP. CHILI POWDER
♥  ½ TSP. SUGAR
♥  ½ TSP. PEPPER

Boil a couple inches of water in a double boiler, reduce to med-high.

(or set up a small pot with water and bring it to a boil and have all your ingredients in a heatproof glass bowl larger than the pot.  Place the bowl over the pot.  Make sure it doesn’t touch the water, needs to be above the water)

Combine all the ingredients to the upper pot of your double boiler or into your glass bowl.  Mixing and stirring until creamy and fairly smooth.

You may need more milk if it’s too thick.  This is a thicker type of sauce so it’s not going to be thin and runny…  You want to dollop it on top of your grilled chicken.

Who doesn’t love a dollop of anything?  LOL

I have a large square cast iron dutch oven and the lid for it has grills on the underside so lately I’ve been using this heavy duty thing for everything.  I flipped the lid over and heated up the grills and grilled the chicken.

My go to staple is frozen boneless skinless chicken breast.  I buy them in 4 kg boxes or bags whenever they go on sale and usually have 4-5 packs in my deep freeze at any one time.  Chicken breast is high in protein and low in fat.

Season them with a little olive oil and some salt and pepper and grill to perfection.

When cooking chicken without skin, I always baste with a brushing of olive oil.  This will help seal in the natural juices of the meat and keep your dinner from going dry.  Have the grills or your pan preheated to med-high before adding the chicken.  Avoiding moving the chicken once you place it on the grills.  It will stick at first and you know you’ll be tempted to try and move it and “un-stuck it” but don’t!  It will pull away from the heat source on it’s own when it’s ready.  Well for the most part… just be patient alright.  This way you’ll get the perfect sear and grill marks.  Also, avoid turning and turning pieces of meat.  The raw juices cook on one side and then when you flip the piece of meat you allow the cook juices to run down through the rest of the meat helping cook that side through.  Flipping prematurely and back and forth might withhold some of those raw chicken juices and leave the center raw.  RAW!!!!  Don’t want that.

I heard this along time ago.  I only assume it’s true but it makes sense.  So I try to be as patient as I can and cook evenly and properly per side.

The image above includes salt. However my recipe does not.  When I made this, I added salt and found it to be incredibly too salty.  The feta gives this creamy topping enough salt…
Yum!  Look at it in all it’s feta and basil goodness.  I find I don’t cook with a lot of cheese, but feta can be used in so many ways!  I’m loving it.
Now #getinmybelly!

Give this one a whirl guys, it’s super easy and delicious too!

 


 

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Marianne’s Fancy Chicken Salad

My first post in 2015!😮 Hello!!!!!  Oh wow it’s been soooo long since i did a blog post.  I’m sorry!   I was recently back home visiting my family and my wonderful creative mother made me this scrumptious salad for dinner!  I loved it so much that I asked for all the recipies so I could try it for myself.  I’m very glad I did as it’s now one of my favourite dishes ever.  If you like grilled chicken and fresh wholesome salads, then this is something you should try.  😋

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MARINATED RED ONIONS

• 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

• ½ cup apple cider vinegar

• 1 cup warm water

• 1 tablespoon sugar

• 1½ teaspoons Kosher salt

• Red pepper flakes

• Garlic

PREPARATION

1. Combine Ingredients and bring to a bowl. 

2. Remove from heat and refrigerate for 6 hours.

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MARINATED CHICKEN BREASTS

• 1 to 2 tablespoons vinegar, like cider, balsamic, or red wine

• 2 to 3 teaspoons dried herbs, like thyme, oregano, rosemary, or crumbled bay leaf

• 1 to 2 tablespoons mustard, whole grain or Dijon

• 1 to 2 teaspoon garlic or onion powder, optional

• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast, each about 6 ounces

PREPARATION

1. Put the vinegar, herbs, mustard, powders if using and oil in a large re-sealable plastic bag. 

2. Close the bag and shake to combine all the ingredients. 

3. Open the bag, drop in the chicken breast in the bag. 

4. Close and shake the bag to coat evenly. 

5. Freeze for up to 2 weeks.

I love to bbq and the flavour that grilling gives these marinated chicken breasts is so perfect, and just in time for summer.  I bbq year round because I have a covered patio off the kitchen.  So although the rain was coming down hard it didn’t stop me from getting these gorgeous cross grill marks on the chicken.   Slice each breast in 1/2 inch slices to add to your bed of greens and veggies.

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APPLE CIDER VINAGRETTE

• 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

• 1/4 cup white wine vinegar

• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

• 2 tablespoons agave syrup

• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

• 1/2 cup canola oil 

• 1 1/2 tablespoons minced shallots

PREPARATION

1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. 

2. Gradually add oil, stirring constantly with a whisk; stir in shallots.

I kinda splurged and purchased some Jamie Oliver Pinot White Wine Vinegar because… well… I’m a fan!  It was very pricy but I’ve learned my mistake in the past by buying cheap vinegars….  I definetly recommend you buy good vinegars for your food.  You’ll notice the quality of the flavour for sure.  Well I do anyways.

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FERNIE SALAD

• Greens/ romaine

• Carrot sticks

• Red cabbage

• Cukes

• Marinated red onions

• Toasted Pumpkin seeds

• Feta

• Grilled chicken breast

• Apple cider vinagrette

• Fresh Dill

PREPARATION

1. Place romaine and greens on a plate. 

2. Add shredded red cabbage, carrots and cucumbers. 

3. Sprinkle with salad dressing. 

4. Top with sliced grilled chicken breast. 

5. Add marinated red onions, feta and pumpkin seeds.

 

Once this salad is plated it’s a vibrant flavourful delight!

I had some leftover toasted sunflower seeds and slivered almonds so I added those too and topped it off with a sprinkle of chopped fresh dill. ________________________________________

And there you have it My Lovelies, Marianne’s Fernie Chicken Salad.  Named after a similar salad that she had tried in Fernie, British Columbia.  Awesomesauce!  I hope you give it a try and if you do, I hope you enjoy it.  Please let me know what you think guys!

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QUINOA STUFFED BELL PEPPERS

Have any of you made these before? I’ve seen them around for a few years now I think, but I had yet to try them. Or try quinoa for that matter. I wasn’t sure if I would like it or not or how to cook it so that I would like it. I came across this on one of my boards and immediately decided it was time. If you are a big quinoa fan please leave me a comment below this blog post or comment on the facebook post please. Turns out I do really like it and want to find more ways to make it.
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QUINOA STUFFED BELL PEPPERS
20 minutes to cook the quinoa
30 minutes to bake the stuffed peppers
Makes 6
Done in less than an hour! OH Yeah!

HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
3 CUPS QUINOA, cooked
1 SMALL CAN DICED GREEN CHILIES
1 CUP CORN
1 CAN BLACK BEANS, drained and rinsed
1/2 CUP FINE DICED TOMATOES, remove the seeds,
1/2 CUP MONTERAY JACK CHEESE, grated
1/4 CUP LIGHT FETA CHEESE, crumbled
3 TBSP. FRESH CILANTRO, chopped
1 TSP. CUMIN
1 TSP. GARLIC POWDER
1/2 TSP. ONION POWDER
1/2 TSP. CHILI POWDER, or more to taste
GROUND SEA SALT to taste
GROUND FRESH PEPPER to taste

6 BELL PEPPERS, tops cut, stemmed and seeded

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
1. Place parchment paper on the bottom of a shallow baking dish.
2. Mix all the ingredients gently in a big bowl, except for the peppers obviously.
3. Spoon the filling into the pepper bowls. Tap them on the counter to get everything to the bottom.
4. Gently stuff.
5. Place them in the parchment lined baking dish.
6. Bake for about 40 minutes. I baked mine with the “tops” on but as you can see in the pics, they wrinkled. Bake them without the tops until the filling is hot inside.
7. Eat em up right away!

Quinoa is usually found in the same section of the grocery store that the rice is found in.
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1 cup of uncooked quinoa will equal 3 cups after it’s cooked
For every 1 cup of uncooked quinoa use 1.5 cups water or chicken broth
Rinse and drain quinoa in a fine mesh strainer
Bring liquid to a boil, and add in the quinoa, give it a stir and then reduce the heat to a med-low temp. Put the lid on it and let it simmer for 15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.
Put the lid back on it and remove it from the heat. Set it aside for 5 minutes.
Fluff it up with fork
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I recruited Hubby to help me out with the next 3 shots. It gets awfully challenging trying to hold that massive camera and operate a sharp knife. Here you want to cut the top portion of the peppers off to create the ‘tops’
Use a sharp knife and slice down the edge of the ribs of the pepper following down towards the base of the pepper but not cutting through!!
Pop out the seed pack in the middle and knock out any seeds.
Using that handy melon baller {I like it better than a spoon because it has sharper edges} scrape out the remaining bits of the ribs until you have some nice little pepper bowls!
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They are super cute. I think I can find other reasons to use this type of ‘vessel’ for dips and sides in the future.
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Ok mix up all those ingredient, minus the peppers, in a nice big mixing bowl. Toss it all together gently.
I think this is the first time I’m using feta cheese in something other than a greek meal. I find this highly intersting and can’t wait to see what it tastes like.
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Once you have the filling all together you can simply put it in a casserole dish with a lid on it and just bake it that way if you don’t want to go through the effort of the pepper. I think the next time I will omit the pepper bowl if it’s just Hubby and I, and maybe leave the quirky presentation to when I’m preparing it for guests. It’s just alot of pepper for us. I like my peppers much more tender. Too the point of fully softened mush. Mmmmmm nummy yummy
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Here’s where you get to fill the pepper bowls up with that yum yum quinoa filling. I sprayed my baking dish as I ran out of parchment paper at christmas time and never replaced it. This caused my filled pepper bowls to slide around. I’m thinking the parchment would keep them in place better. Scoop and stuff the peppers and put them in the lined dish. The original recipe that I saw did not seem to bake the peppers with the “tops” on. I did and the “tops” came out quite wrinkled. I think for a better presentation, I would bake them without the “tops” and then just pop them on after you take them out of the oven. I also added a few shreds of the monteray cheese to the top of the filling before baking. gives them a nice finished look. Then I meant to sprinkle them with fresh chopped cilantro but I forgot and had already taken the pictures…. LOL #foodbloggerproblems haha.
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I baked these in a preheated 350 F oven for about 40 minutes. Check them at 30 minutes. You want the filling to be hot throughout. I think they look cute with the wrinkled tops, but not that cute, oh well. They were absolutely scrumptious! Even Hubby liked them.
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I served these with butterflied, grilled chicken breast. Seasoned them with sea salt, fresh ground pepper, garlic and a slight sprinkle of chili powder, with a side of a homemade chipotle dip {fat free sour cream, a wee bit of light mayo and as much chipotle puree as you can handle}
Yay for the second bbq this year! I just love the flavour that a bbq or grill can bring to the food and to the table 😉
Now I know it’s not a Green Egg bbq or anything like that or a nice old fashioned one but it does the job. It may actually need to be replaced this year. We’ve been saying this for the last 2 years so we’ll see.
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And since I’m suffering from severe post vacay depression….. I’ve posted a small collection of pics from House Of Haley Photography, from our time in Mexico a few weeks ago. You can find them at the bottom of this post.

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Another Greek Chicken Recipe

I found a recipe a few weeks ago while searching the interweb for new ideas. I followed it pretty closely but tweaked it just a bit… more garlic, less oil, etc.
I also added a bit more lemon then required and upon taste testing… too much lemon. So stick with this and you can’t go wrong
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GREEK MARINADED CHICKEN

INGREDIENTS:
1 + 1/4 CUPS PLAIN GREEK YOGURT,FAT FREE
1 T OLIVE OIL
5 CLOVES MINCED GARLIC (or a frozen premade homemade garlic ball 😉)
I LEMON (the juice and as well the zest)
1 T OREGANO
1 T PARSLEY
FRESH CRACKED PEPPER (at your discretion)
12 CHICKEN LEGS and/or CHICKEN THIGHS🍗🍖
DIRECTIONS:
Combine everything, except the chicken, in a bowl.
Place chicken pieces in a large ziplock bag.
Pour the marinade over the chicken. 🍗
Mix the chicken around in the bag for a consistent coating
Seal and chill in the fridge for at least an hour. I did 4 hours 😋 YUM
Preheat oven to 375
Line a large baking dish with parchment like I did or grease the pan
Bake chicken in the pan uncovered for about 1 hour or until slightly crispy and golden brown
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We had this along side a super fresh greek salad with light feta cheese and lemon rice pilaf.

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GREEK! A meal without Avocado…. Finally! Too much of a good thing as my mom said.

While chatting with my wonderful mother again last night about the Creamy Potato & Cauliflower Soup and Roasted Garlic as well that I had just made, I thought I should ask her about avocado’s. We eat so many avocado’s because they are just sooo tasty and we really enjoy the meals that include this wonderful stuff. Well she said if you were to eat 1 a day you may start to gain weight…. Yikes, we eat more than 1 a day each… sometimes 3! YIKES again! I told her I really like them tho and she responded with… “too much of a good thing”

True!

It’s time to slow down on the avocado’s and so I decided to go Greek for the night!
Here are some new recipies I’ve managed to find and everything tasted really good.

Just some of the things needed for tonights dinner!
GREEK TONIGHT

LOW FAT GREEK SALAD DRESSING

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fat-free chicken broth

Directions:
Blend all the ingredients and let it sit a couple of hours .

I doubled this recipe to ensure I had enough for everyone for 2 nights.

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GREEK PRAWN & PASTA SALAD

Ingredients:
1 lb of raw prawns (without the shell or tails)
1 tbsp. butter
2 cloves of minced garlic
Salt & pepper
3-4 cups of cooked and cooled pasta (I used rotini noodles)
½ purple onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
½ red pepper, chopped
¼ yellow pepper, chopped
1 cucumber, sliced then quartered
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
I small tub of low fat feta cheese
*feel free to add olives… hubby doesn’t like em….
Low Fat Greek Salad Dressing

Directions:
1. Saute prawns in butter and garlic, season with salt and pepper. Chill in the fridge
2. In a salad bowl add the pasta, feta cheese, onion, peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, prawns and feta cheese. *olives if you choose
3. Gently toss with Low Fat Greek Salad Dressing
4. Garnish with a lemon wedge

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GREEK OVEN BAKED CHICKEN

Ingredients:
4 bone in split chicken breasts (I used chicken legs because I had some in the freezer)
1/2 cup olive oil
juice of 2 lemons
3 -4 cloves of garlic, crushed or minced (I used 5 cloves because we love garlic)
3 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Directions:
1. Mix the olive oil and next 5 ingredients in a 9 X 11 baking dish.
2. Place chicken in the dish, turning them in the marinade a few times. I like to lift the skin and use my hands to spread some of the marinade underneath it. Leave them skin side down in the dish. Cover them and refrigerate overnight.
3. The next day, bake them at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Flip and bake an additional 30-40 minutes.
4. turn the broiler on high during the last 5 minutes to brown up the skins.

  

 

In the end I was very pleased!  A very refreshing juicy meal that made the husband quite pleased.  Success!

I would add a little more lemon to the chicken next time and they didn’t make for nearly as long because I used legs instead of breast piecese smaller than they should have been but hey they were what I had leftover in the freezer.

The best part is I have enough left over so I don’t have to make dinner tomorrow!

Thanks for reading!

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