Saturday, June 14, 2014

Rosemary Ranch Chicken

It's Father's Day weekend! What are your plans to celebrate the special dad in your life?

This year my parents and I had a combined Mother's Day and Father’s Day celebration in mid May when they came out to visit me in Boston. We went out to dinner and then to Blue Man Group, which was a blast. The day was filled with great food, hilarious entertainment, wonderful conversation, and special moments shared with the two greatest parents a girl could ask for.

For those of you celebrating Father's Day this weekend, however, I have a delicious and simple grilled chicken recipe to share with you, which is sure to please everyone at the dinner table. Dad, if we were home together, I'd be making this meal especially for you. The chicken marinades for a few hours in a delicious blend of rosemary, lemon, worcestershire, and ranch, resulting in a juicy, tender piece of chicken that is anything but boring. What’s more, it is incredibly easy to prepare. So if you’re searching for a delicious chicken recipe, look no further. This one is sure to please.

Paula's Notes: I like to make a double batch of the marinade and use half of it to marinate mushrooms, peppers, and onions. I place the marinated vegetables in a packet of aluminum foil and grill them along side the chicken. Delicious!

Rosemary Ranch Chicken
Serves: 3-4
Prep time: 5 minutes
Marinade time: At least 30 minutes
Cook time:
10-15 minutes (depending on thickness of chicken) 

Ingredients:
  • 1 tbls. olive oil
  • 1/3 cup ranch dressing
  • 1 1/2 tbls. worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tbls. finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 lb. chicken breast halves - pounded thin
 Directions:
  1. In a small bowl whisk together the first five ingredients to create marinade.
  2. Pour marinade into a large ziplock bag and add the chicken.
  3. Seal the bag and squish the marinade all around the chicken. 
  4. Place in the refrigerator and allow chicken to marinade at least 30 minutes. (I like to do all day - prep in the morning and prepare after work.)
  5. Preheat grill to medium high heat.
  6. Grill chicken for about 4-5 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the chicken, until chicken is no longer pink in the center, and the juice runs clear.
  7. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Wild Rice Salad

I have been on a major salad fix recently; it must be the summer weather finally making an appearance. From leafy greens topped with juicy chicken and creamy avocado, to quinoa mixed with black beans, baby tomatoes, and sweet corn, I cannot get enough of fresh summer flavors. My most favorite creation to date, however, is this wild rice salad with sauteed spinach, warm tomatoes, and tangy feta cheese.


It is really incredible.


The source of this tasty inspiration was a care package that my mom sent me last week, which was brimming with special gifts (thanks mom!). Among the many treasures was a pound of Minnesota wild rice. Now, it is no secret that I love wild rice in all forms, so I quickly got to work in the kitchen stirring up some new creations. 

 
Enter the wild rice salad. What I especially love about this dish is its simplicity. The flavors balance each other well, with the nutty wild rice enveloped in garlicky spinach, sweet tomatoes, fruity olive oil, and tangy feta. If you want additional protein, you could certainly include chopped chicken as well.



Also hiding within the care package were these great moose (meese?)! Among her many talents, my mom is a creative genius when it comes to crafting things out of leather, and she has made some truly unique creations. If you love her moose, check out her Etsy and Facebook pages, they are filled with countless fun items.

What do you like to make with wild rice? Let me know below!

Wild Rice Salad
Yield: 2 main dish or 4 side dish servings
Cook time: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup (80 grams) dry wild rice, cooked
  • 1 tbls. olive oil
  • 12 oz. baby spinach - rinsed well
  • a few shakes of ground nutmeg
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced (I use two, but I like things garlicky)
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • a couple handfuls of grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
  1. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.
  2. Add spinach and saute until it wilts down. 
    • It will seem like A LOT of spinach at first, but it cooks down considerably, I promise! 
  3. Once the spinach is primarily wilted, add the garlic, onion powder, and nutmeg. Cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the tomatoes and cooked wild rice, mixing together. Saute until heated through.
  5. Stir in feta cheese and immediately transfer to a serving dish.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (Due to the saltiness of the feta, salt gradually)
  7. Enjoy!
Recipe by Paula's Plate

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

We have all had those mornings when staying in bed and sleeping an extra five, ten, fifteen minutes sounds way more appealing than starting the day. Unfortunately for me it has been happening more often than not, which results in a scramble to get a good breakfast in the morning. 



Enter the smoothie.



I have recently discovered the wonders of the smoothie. (Yes, I realize I'm a bit late in the game...) You get your fruit, protein, whole grain, and fiber all whirled together in a deliciously cold drink; best of all, this happens in less than five minutes. Yes please! Currently my favorite creation consists of frozen banana, strawberries, Greek yogurt, milk, and rolled oats (Yes, oats!) With the sweet flavor of strawberry-banana combined with satiating protein and fiber, this smoothie is the perfect fuel to get you through your morning, especially as the hot summer months creep in.

What is your favorite grab and go breakfast? Let me know below!

Strawberry Banana Smoothie
Yields: 1 big or 2 small smoothies
Time: 3 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 3/4-1 cup milk of choice, depending on desired thickness (I use 1 cup of vanilla almond milk)
  • 1 5-6 oz. container strawberry Greek yogurt. (You may also use plain, if desired)
    • If you use plain, you may need to add sweetener to taste.
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup strawberries - tops removed
  • 1 banana - frozen and broken into chunks (you may also use fresh, but frozen yields a great texture) Also, remember, the riper the banana the sweeter your smoothie!
  • 1/4 cup oats (rolled or quick cooking)
Directions: 
  1. Combine ingredients into a blender in order listed above.
  2. Blend on high until smooth and creamy.
  3. Pour into a tall glass and enjoy!