Monthly Archives: July 2011

Asparagus with Balsamic Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

I have a confession to make—I don’t really like side dishes all that much.  Sure, I like to eat vegetables, salads, macaroni and cheese, but when it comes to preparing an extra dish, I don’t always have the time and energy for cooking something else each night.

In an effort to eat more balanced meals each night, I’m trying to find easy (yet delicious) side dishes.  My first side dish experiment turned out great—almost.  The main dish, Honey Garlic Balsamic chicken, was not very good.  I’m not sure what happened, but there will most definitely not be a blog post on that…

But, the asparagus stole the show anyway.  The chicken didn’t stand a chance.  Asparagus, tomatoes, and goat cheese?  Yes, please.  Who am I kidding?  Add goat cheese to anything and I am a happy camper.  Plus, the dish didn’t take long to prepare.  Maybe this whole balanced meal thing isn’t so bad after all.  I just need to work on the main dish part for next time.

A photo of asparagus with balsamic tomatoes and goat cheese.

1 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups halved grape tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons soft goat cheese, crumbled
Freshly ground black pepper

Bring large pot of water to a boil.  Add asparagus and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.  Drain the asparagus and set aside.

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet.  Add garlic and tomatoes to skillet.  Cook for 3 to 5 minutes until tomatoes soften.

Add the balsamic vinegar to the skillet.  Cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes.  Tomato mixture should be thick and slightly syrupy.  Stir in salt.

Place asparagus on serving dish and top with tomato mixture and goat cheese.  Season with pepper and serve.

Source: The Well-Fed Newlyweds, originally from Cooking Light

Leave a comment

Posted by on July 25, 2011 in Side Dish


Tags: , , ,

Mexican Grilled Chicken Bowl with Cilantro Lime Rice

Happy Fourth of July!  Once the outdoor grilling is complete and your guests have gone back home, here’s an easy dinner to put together during the work week.  And it is oh so good.

Chipotle is pretty big in Colorado.  After moving out here for grad school, it didn’t take long to discover the joys of a Chipotle burrito in the middle of a paper writing session.  And now, there’s a delicious Chipotle very, very close to where I work.  When I go into Chipotle, I don’t hold back.  Sour cream?  Yes.  Guacamole?  Yes.  Chips with your guacamole?  Duh.  Yes.

As we continue to struggle with the eating out vs. eating in issue (okay, okay, my struggle more than Tim’s), what better way to convince yourself to cook when you have a recipe that’s just as good, if not better, than the out to eat option!

The Mexican Grilled Chicken Bowl with Cilantro Lime Rice is delicious.  I think I’m officially obsessed with chipotle chiles in adobe sauce – you might have to try a couple of grocery stores to find a can (usually around the cans of diced jalapenos), but it is worth the search.  Now, we can make our own Chipotle Burrito Bowls at home, and I don’t have quite the urge to top it off with all that unhealthiness.

Also, we don’t have a grill.  I know, you should all feel sorry for us since it is currently perfect grilling weather.  We cooked the chicken on the stove, but grill if you have the resources!

A photo of a burrito bowl with chicken, avocado, tomatoes, rice, and black beans.

2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice

2 medium Hass avocados, diced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup green onions, sliced thin
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed
1 cup queso fresco
2 limes, cut into wedges
Tortilla chips

Whisk the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl. Place the chicken breasts in a freezer-size plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Seal tightly and turn bag several time to make sure marinade covers entire chicken breast.  Refrigerate.

Combine the rice, broth, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cover the saucepan with lid. Cook until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Move saucepan from the heat and keep covered for an additional 10 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Keep lid on saucepan until ready to use rice.

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add chicken breasts and discard additional marinade.  Cook chicken about 4-5 minutes per side.  Transfer chicken to cutting board and let rest for several minutes.  Cut chicken in 1/2 inch pieces.  (You can also cook chicken breasts on grill)

Divide rice between small bowls.  Top the rice with chicken and additional toppings – avocado, tomatoes, green onions, black beans, and queso fresco.  Serve with tortilla chips and lime wedges.

Source: Heat Oven to 350, Originally from Weber’s On The Grill: Chicken and Sides

Leave a comment

Posted by on July 4, 2011 in Main Dish


Tags: , ,