Chicken Caprese Pasta

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken cubed
1 box whole wheat spaghetti cooked
2 14.5 oz cans of petite diced tomatoes garlic and onion flavor (low sodium is best because of the mozzarella)
1 package whole mozzarella cubed
1/2 white onion diced
3/4 red onion diced
5 cloves garlic diced
1 small can tomato paste
Salt & pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
fresh basil

Start pasta. In LARGE sauté pan heat olive oil over low. Toss in onions and saute 3 minutes, tossing or stirring often. Add in garlic and cook for 1 minute. Cube up chicken while the onions and garlic cook. Add too the pan and toss it together to cook. Season with salt & pepper. Turn heat to medium high and cook about 7-8 minutes until chicken is still a little pink. Add in tomatoes and cook 3-4 minutes to combine. Stir in half a can of tomato paste, cover and simmer on low for 4 minutes. If sauce is too thick add in 1/4 cup of your pasta water. Strain pasta and portion into bowls. Add sauce and toss to combine. Add in mozzarella and toss to combine. You don't want to do this first or it will melt too much. Top generously with fresh basil.

Using a very sharp knife helps with cutting the mozzarella. Also leave it in the fridge until you are ready to cut it. I've heard people say put it in the freezer but last time I did that I forgot it for a month. I used the red onions in here to get a sweeter flavor. Also, buy good tomatoes. I use the Muir Glen ones. They are about .80 more, but really they add a gazillion times more flavor and actually taste tomatoey, vs, SHITTY. Trust me on this. You can spare the .80 to make this meal pop.


Fresh spanish brown rice

2 cups dry brown rice
5 cups water
1 vegetable bullion cube
1-14 can fire roasted tomatoes
1-6 oz can of tomato sauce
2 ears fresh white corn, kernels cut off
4 sweet peppers fine diced
1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 cloves garlic finely diced
2 green onions diced for color
1 cup water
pinch salt & pepper

Cook rice according to package instructions. Add bullion cube to water while cooking. In large non stick skilled add corn, coriander, salt and pepper. Cook on low until corn begins to brown. Add sweet peppers and cook an additional 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Do not allow garlic to burn. Add in both cans of tomatoes and sauté on low for 15 minutes, sauce will reduce. Add water and stir to combine. Add in cooked rice, stir and coat in sauce. Simmer on low for 10 minutes. Top with diced green onions and serve.

Printable Version

Grilled chicken tacos with roasted sweet peppers

My husband and I have a beautiful plasma TV in our bedroom. It is mounted on the wall and everything. Problem is, it won't turn on. You see, in order for it to turn on my dad had to run electricity to it. I've been begging him to do it, and finally we cut a deal. He would make my TV work if I made him dinner. Cool right? WRONG! My parents like to eat healthy, organic food, which is easy until you start getting into the low calorie and low fat meals. Oy. Oh yeah, my husband also had to like it and find it flavorful, and my son had to eat it too. Shit. Here is what I came up with on a whim.

I picked up some good organic chicken, fresh tomatoes, and all the stuff for a good pico de gallo. Instead of using a jalapeno this time I grabbed a red Fresno so it would have a sweeter flavor. While I was buying the pepper I looked up and saw some gorgeous sweet peppers. I couldn't resist and tossed them in the cart. Then I saw the corn and thought, ooo a nice Spanish rice. I grabbed some black beans for me and away I went. I'll post this in two recipes, the chicken tacos, and then the rice.

Grilled chicken tacos

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken
1 tbsp ground coriander seed
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 lemon
1 lime
1 shallot sliced into 1/8" rings
1/2 cup olive oil
fresh cilantro chopped
2 green onions 1/2" diced
1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Roasted sweet peppers
8-9 sweet peppers diced into rings
1 tbsp olive oil
pinch salt & pepper
1 tsp ground coriander seed

In large bowl combine all of the above ingredients reserving chicken.
Whisk until fully combined. Place half the marinade in the bottom of a large dish. Add chicken and cover with remaining marinade. Using tongs coat chicken, cover and marinate for at least an hour. I left mine in the fridge for about 5 hours.

Preheat grill to low. Remove chicken from refrigerator and place on grill. Because of the balsamic  you want to grill on low so the chicken doesn't burn. This way the it can get a nice caramel color. So low and slow, and patience grasshopper.

While chicken is cooking, toss together ingredients for sweet peppers. Place them on foil and put them at the back of the grill, or if you have a lid rack place them up there. Allow them to roast until chicken is done.

Flip chicken once and remove when it is cooked through. Allow chicken to rest and then cut it into 1" pieces.

Serve on corn tortillas with fresh salsa and sliced avocado. Top with sweet peppers and enjoy.

My beautiful organic finds. Do you know how much it drives me nuts I didn't take the stickers off the tomatoes first.

I love coriander. It is my most favorite spice. Next time you are feeling sad, go to your spice cabinet, grab some of this and inhale. I shit you not INSTANT HAPPINESS! I took a cooking class this weekend and when the instructor said she sometimes wanted to dab a little behind her ears like perfume I felt like shouting "me too sister ME TOO!"

Cumin is a good spicy scent. I like it, but in small quantities. I like it to be an undertone in a dish not the shining star.

Add in some pepper. No I didn't fresh grind it...call the food cops on me.

Good kosher salt

I only used half the lemon because this one was soooo juicy.
This little fucker had hardly any juice. I would have liked to have two limes but instead I gouged the inside of the lime so I could get as much pulp as I could into it.

This was a pretty large shallot so I only used half of it. I didn't want it to overpower the marinade.

Drizzle in some good olive oil

And add some cilantro. I used to hate cilantro. Then, I started using it more, and lo I love the shit now. I can't be live how much flavor it adds. I can't eat pico de gallo with out it now. It is an acquired taste. Kinda like wine. One day you hate it and the next day you find yourself alone in your room with a bottle of the good stuff.

I like a nice aged balsamic. You don't have to buy anything too pricey but please don't go buy some 1 year old bullshit that is going to be bitter and taste like garbage. I invested in one really nice bottle of balsamic aged 25 years and it doesn't take much to add a bold rich taste to your meals.
The sweetest sweet peppers ever

Yeah so. I got my gorgeous red fresno pepper home for my salsa and look

Thank Gosh I had a back up pepper. Oh sweet pico de gallo goodness. Bring me some chips and a bowl of this and leave me alone don't talk to me I'm eating.