Mexican Rice

Mexican Rice
Mexican cuisine is one of my favourites and with Cinco de Mayo coming up I have been thinking about Mexican recipes for my menu. Mexican style rice is a staple side for any Mexican themed meal and it was about time that I updated my goto recipe for Mexican rice that I originally posted back in 2009. This rice is so easy to make! It's basically rice that is cooked the tomatoes, to give it the red colour, along with some extras, like onions, garlic and cumin for flavour and jalapeno peppers (or chili powder) for some heat. You simply saute the veggies, add the rice, tomatoes, and broth, and cook it like you would normally cook rice. Once the rice is ready I like to add some cilantro and a hit of lime juice to brighten it up a bit. You can optionally add more veggies like peas, carrots, and/or corn, and no matter how you make this Mexican style rice it is sure to disappear quickly from plates, so make lots!

Crispy Fried Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Crispy Fried Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese Sandwich
National Grilled Cheese Month is coming along nicely and it's time for a new one, the tasty crispy fried buffalo chicken grilled cheese sandwich! One of my favourite grilled cheeses is the buffalo chicken grilled cheese sandwich and I normally use already cooked chicken in the form of shredded or thinly sliced/diced to keep things nice and easy, but, crispy fried chicken is the best way to enjoy buffalo chicken! Frying chicken takes a bit of extra work and it's on the decadent side so I don't do it all that often but it's so much better with that crispy coating and a really nice treat! I marinate the chicken in a seasoned buttermilk overnight and then coat in a seasoned flour mixture before frying in oil until perfectly crispy, golden brown and good! Next up is slathering that chicken in buffalo style hot sauce and throwing it into a sandwich with cheese to grill until toasty and melted. It's not really required, but since this is a treat, I like to throw bacon into the mix! If you're a fan of buffalo chicken and grilled cheese sandwiches then this crispy fried buffalo chicken melt is the sandwich for you!

One-Pan Meals

One-Pan Meals

All too often I find that my nights are super busy and I want a quick and easy meal, that's homemade and most importantly, tasty! Quick is always good but sometimes I enjoy the simplicity of a meal that can be cooked in one-pan or one-pot or a skillet meal or a meal that can all be easily done on the grill! With the holidays approaching, including Thanksgiving and Christmas, I thought that it would be the perfect time to roundup some of my favourite one-pan meal recipes! These recipes include a wide variety of recipes from soups to pastas, to slow cooker recipes, to stews and even some grilled and oven baked recipes. I found that I have shared a lot of recipes that are a simple pan cooked meat with a tasty pan sauce where I leave out the pasta or rice and veggies so that you can construct the meal as you desire. With many of those recipes you can easily cook the pasta, rice, quinoa, etc. along with some veggies right in the pan with the sauce making an easy one-pan meal! I have updated those recipes with tips on how to turn them into one-pan meals! No matter which of these quick and easy, one-pan meal recipes that you choose you are sure to enjoy a tasty meal even on a busy night!

Thai Sweet Chili Chicken Buddha Bowls

Thai Sweet Chili Chicken Buddha Bowls
I have been into one-bowl meals lately (ones that I can make ahead of time are the best) and these sweet chili chicken buddha bowls are a great option! Really the options are endless where you start with a base such as quinoa, rice, noodles, etc, add a protein such as chicken, beef, tofu, beans, add some veggies and/or fruits, a dressing and optional garnishes such as herbs, nuts, cheese, etc. and you have a tasty meal all in one bowl! For these sweet chili chicken bowls I have a base of quinoa to which I add massaged kale, beans sprouts, carrots, cabbage, bell peppers, pineapple and chicken with sweet chili dressing! Yum! That sweet chili dressing goes so magically well with the juicy pineapple and bell peppers creating an amazing meal that is light, healthy and satisfying!

Thai Sweet Chili Dressing

Thai Sweet Chili Dressing

I am a big fan of Thai cuisine which is full of amazing flavours and dishes and two things that I am more than a little obsessed with are the spicy peanut sauce, typically used as a dipping sauce for satay, and sweet chili sauce. Having experimented with using them in many different ways I have noticed that very often where one works, the other also works! The other day I made my chicken satay salad with spicy peanut dressing and that reminded me that I had been wanting to try a sweet chili sauce dressing and that it was finally time to make it! For the recipe I started with the sweet chili sauce which is a little thick for a salad dressing so I added some coconut milk which is a common Thai ingredient and it worked well in the spicy peanut dressing. Another thing that I like about Thai cuisine is that the recipes commonly try to balance the sweet, spicy, salty and sour flavour elements and so it only seemed natural to do so in the dressing so the next ingredients were fish sauce for saltiness and lime juice for sourness. The last aspect of the dressing, a bit of peanut butter, came from a sticky chicken wing recipe on how sweet it is and you can't go wrong adding peanuts to a Thai inspired recipe. The final result is pretty amazing and I cannot wait to try it out on something!

Update April 18, 2018: Over the years this has become one of my all time favourite dressings and I make all the time! I sometimes like to omit the peanut butter or replace it with tahini or cashew butter and replacing the coconut milk with water is great when you don't have a can of coconut milk on hand!