Savvy Spork: Curried Honey Mustard Chicken

In another life, if I had better stress management and some better upper body strength, I’d like to think I would have gone to culinary school. I love food. The science of it, the art of it… all of it. But you know, the lack of professional training isn’t going to keep me from having some fun in the kitchen.

A while ago, I attempted to create a food blog… But well, managing a handful of sites on top of dealing with my life just didn’t work out. So, I figured, until I think I can dedicate the appropriate time for the site, why not bring the Savvy Spork over here as a feature of AdorkableMe.

savvyspork_banner

My sort of pseudo cooking philosophy will sort of be the same: amazing taste for little effort. I have a studio-sized kitchen, not much room for prep or really any work. Also, I’ve made it a goal of mine to debunk this myth I have that certain foods are too complicated or intimidating to make on my own.

While I love food blogs that show the steps of preparing the meal… I’m just not that type of person. Mainly because I just don’t have the space to stage images like that. Also, a lot of what I make just isn’t that complicated.

Oh. I should also mention I am also terrible at measuring things. I prefer to go on taste and estimations. So there’s a little leeway with some of the measurements you’ll see with these recipes. For me, anything that’s not baking (and thus relying on science) should just be done to taste.

Anyway. Without further ado, let me share with you the wonderful meal I had last night…

Curried Honey Mustard Chicken | AdorkableMe.com #SavvySpork

Curried Honey Mustard Chicken

Ingredients:
» chicken breast
» ¾ cup honey dijon mustard*
» ¾ – 1 tbsp curry powder
» pinch-ish of cayenne pepper

* You can make your own honey mustard if you’d like. It’s almost a 1½ to 1 ratio, with more honey than mustard — but again, blend to taste!

Directions:
1. Get a baking pan and put your chicken in it. I typically line it with foil first, but it’s up to you. If you don’t use foil, grease the pan just slightly.
2. Mix your honey mustard, curry powder, and cayenne together in a bowl (or if you’re me and don’t want extra dishes, on top of the chicken).
3. If you haven’t done so yet, put the sauce mixture on the chicken. Cover the baking dish. Let it sit in the fridge for 30 minute or as long as overnight if you can. (Makes the chicken really juicy if you can let it go overnight.)
4. Take your covered dish and put it in a pre-heated oven at 350° for 15-20 minutes. Afterward, uncover the dish and continue baking for another 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.

Ta-da! Enjoy. I am very happy to have left over of this dish. If I had some apple slices and maybe some raisins, the left overs might make a good chicken salad too.

recipe: pasta with spinach in a lemony goat cheese sauce

pasta with spinach in a lemony goat cheese sauce recipe from AdorkableMe.com

I stumbled upon this sauce recipe a while ago and had been wanting to try it for a while. It was so less intimidating than I thought it would be. Not to mention, it’s pretty amazing.

ingredients for lemony goat cheese sauce

Ingredients:
– Pasta (I used spaghetti, but really anything would work)
– 1 4-oz container of goat cheese, crumbled!
– handful of spinach
– 2 tbs lemon juice
– black pepper & parsley to taste
– pasta water (we’ll get to this in the steps)

As you can see, I’ve also got some prosciutto. Bacon or pancetta or even capers would work well too. It’s just that slight salty touch.

The How-To:
1) Cook your pasta. (If you’re going to add meats that need cooking, go ahead and cook them now while you’re pasta is going. It’s fine for it to just sit and rest once it’s done until you need it, which will be step 4.)

cook your pasta

2) Don’t drain it into the sink! Save the water you just boiled your pasta in. The easiest way to do this is place a bowl in the sink, and your colander/strainer over that bowl, then drain the pasta. Return that water (about a cup or so) to the pot. Set the pasta aside.

melting goat cheese into water for sauce

3) Add your crumbled goat cheese, turn the heat on simmer (aka super super low), and melt the cheese in the water. This forms your sauce. If you like runny sauce, add more water.

melting the goat cheese for sauce

4) Add the spinach, parsley, lemon, and pepper. (Also add whatever else you’d like in there…) And, of course, add the pasta back in. Stir and coat it in the sauce. If you want to get fancy and use a real lemon, you can also add some zest too.

adding the pasta and other ingredients

5) Serve and enjoy. One tip I found is if your sauce seems really runny at first, let it set for a little bit.

Pasta with Spinach & Prosciutto in a lemony goat cheese sauce

If you do have leftovers, just know that the sauce won’t be as saucy when you reheat it. However, it’s still just as good.

This has become a super easy staple in my menu planning. It takes maybe 20 minutes to prepare, at most. The best thing is, it feels like you’re having a fancy dinner.

my friend the monster

So with part of this whole “eating better” thing I’ve been attempting… I did something I don’t normally do: I jumped on a health food bandwagon.*

I’m kinda really in love with Green Monster Smoothies.

I’ve really got Amy to thank for this. She talked a lot about her juice cleanse, and then said something somewhere about these green monster smoothies**… and well, I had to try it. They are EVERYWHERE on Pinterest. It’s insane. In fact, after I started drinking these, I found that a lot of my friends were already on this bandwagon.

I may be a little late to the game, but yeah, I still love this and still want to share.

My first smoothie was really basic:
3 ice cubes
1 banana
handful of spinach
1 cup almond milk

 Pretty standard. Looked, well, like a really weird mixture… and then I blended it…

So, yes, that is an instagram photo with a filter.. but it was pretty green. I also learned that my little blender is SUPER loud. Nothing would tone that down. Well, nothing but taking out the ice cubes. Which I don’t recommend.

Now. I really wished I lived in the south, some place like Louisiana… because the way I make my smoothies now, it’s more like Swamp Monster Smoothies. (I mean, they do sort of have the same green colors as the Chicago river, so I guess I could go with River Monster Smoothies…) Anyway. They’re awesome and I love how you can take a base recipe and really make it your own.

So. Here’s your simple base smoothie recipe:
1 frozen banana
2 ice cubes
1 cup milk (I prefer almond)

It wasn’t long before I started experimenting… And I still have more experimenting to do… But here’s some of the combinations I’ve done so far. (When I say “base smoothie”, I’m referring to the recipe above.)

The Swamp Monster:
Base Smoothie (substitute regular milk with chocolate)
Spinach
Peanut butter

The Dirty Monster:
Base smoothie (use less milk)
splash of Apple Juice
Kale
Frozen Strawberries

PB&J Monster:
The Dirty Monster
Peanut Butter

I’ve been having these almost every day. Seriously. I’ll have them for breakfast, or even for dinner. I love it. They look weird, but taste awesome. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if I burn out the motor on my new little blender before the end of the year.

That was this morning’s blend. Chocolate base, peanut butter, and kale.

Are you a Green Monster fan?? What are your favorite blends? Share your smoothie pics on the Adorkable Facebook page!

*Okay, okay… so I sort of did this too with quinoa. But that stuff just taste good!
**I was trying to figure out where these smoothies came from, but the closest I could get to where this craze started is from Oh She Glows! and her Green Monster Movement

wherein I make awesome foods: buffalo chicken quinoa

I went a little crazy buying groceries last night. I’ve missed cooking and well, as mentioned, I’m trying to make my mircowave and (beloved) toaster oven less the means in which I prepare my meals. Cutting back on french fries, chicken nuggets, and frozen pizzas. I’m also trying to cut back on going out for lunch—I’ve been good lately, but there’s a new* restaurant near by called Protein Bar. All the food items are quinoa based. (They also do smoothies, but the quinoa is amazing.)

So. Instead of being tempted to spend $7 every day on a bowl full of healthy-tasty goodness… I decided I’d make my own at home.

I heard rumors that quinoa—pronounced keen-wah—was tricky to prepare. But after a little research and my own experience, it’s not that hard. Sure, a little bit of mine got brown on the bottom, but it wasn’t enough to actually notice a difference. And because I really liked how it turned out… I’m going to share my recipe with you.

buffalochickenquinoa

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa
makes about 2 servings, or 1 if you’re really hungry

Ingredients (adjust to your taste):

  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa
  • 7/8 cup chicken broth/stock or water
  • 1 large can of chicken breast (yes, you can use non-canned. I’m lazy/dislike handling chicken)
  • cheddar or cheddar-blend shredded cheese
  • buffalo sauce
  • shredded carrots
  • crumbled bleu cheese
  • a few thinly sliced cucumbers

To prepare:

  1. Start the quinoa first. You can do it on the stove, but I prefer my rice cooker. With the rice cooker, treat it like you would white rice with a 1:2 ration of rice:liquid. I read somewhere it turns out better if you use slightly less than 2-parts liquid, hence why I used 7/8 cup of liquid in my own. Turn it on and let it cook. (If you’re using the stove, just be sure to read the instructions on your quinoa package… most say ~15 minutes on the stove top…)
  2. Once the quinoa is done/almost done… let it keep warm and work on your chicken stuff. Combine the chicken, buffalo sauce and cheddar cheese and heat.
  3. Serve your quinoa into a bowl, then cover with the chicken mixture. (Obviously if you’re doing two servings take half of each.) The top with your bleu cheese and cucumbers.
  4. NOM.

It’s that simple. I don’t remember which brand of buffalo sauce I used, but if you’re really curious just ask and I’ll check my fridge. I’m all for tasty, yet half-assed meals. So as I get back to cooking, I’ll try to share more of my successful recipes. And hopefully I’ll remember to take more/better pictures of the process.

*Okay, by “new” I mean it’s been there for months or more… we’re still obsessed with it nonetheless.