BBQ Chicken Pasta

I based this recipe off of cookingclassy.com

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Yield 4-6 servings

Here’s What You Need:

  • 2–3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 2 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups rotini pasta, uncooked
  • 1 cup (or more to taste) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup Sweet Baby Ray’s Original Barbecue Sauce* (divided use)
  • salt, pepper and garlic powder, to taste

Directions:

  • Heat a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large pot or large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Season both sides of chicken breasts with salt, pepper and a bit of garlic powder.
  • Place chicken breasts into pot and cook for about 3–4 minutes. Then flip over and cook an additional 3–4 minutes. Once you flip the chicken, spread about 2 tablespoons, Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue sauce onto each side.
  • Cook for an additional 2 minutes. Take cooked chicken out of the pan and set aside.
  • Add diced onions to the pot (you may need to add a bit more oil). Season onions with a little salt and pepper.
  • While the onions are cooking, chop up the chicken into 1-inch chunks.
  • Stir garlic into the pot and cook for just a minute (you don’t want it to burn). Then add in the can of undrained diced tomatoes and chicken stock.
  • Stir in uncooked rotini pasta. Add the cooked chicken back in.
  • Allow to come to a boil, then cover and turn down the heat to medium and allow to simmer until the pasta has cooked (about 12–15 minutes).
  • Lastly, add in ¼ cup (or more, depending on your preference) of Sweet Baby Ray’s. And top with shredded cheddar cheese. Enjoy!

Chefs Notes:
mmm really good. Just a hint of bbq taste to it, not too over powering. I used fire roasted diced tomatoes on accident and it came out amazing!

 

BBQ chicken pasta! #lookslikespaghetti #itsbbq #reallygood #ramblingdabbler recipe coming to my blog soon!

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One Pot Greek Chicken with Rice Pilaf

I based this recipe off of cookingclassy.com

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 4 servings

Here’s What You Need:

  • Chicken Marinade:
    • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or thighs)
    • 3 tablespoons EACH olive oil AND lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
    • ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper
    • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more!)
    • 4 teaspoons fresh oregano (or 2 tsp dried)
  • Rice Pilaf:
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 1¼ cup long grain parboiled rice
    • 2½ cup chicken broth
    • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice (see notes)
    • zest of 1 lemon / sliced lemons (if desired)
    • ¼ cup chopped parsley

Directions:

  • CHICKEN: Combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and oregano in a zip top bag. Add the chicken breasts, zip the bag and give it a good shake until the chicken breasts are evenly covered in the marinade. Allow the chicken to marinate for 15 minutes and up to 1 hour.
  • In a large sauté pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade and discard marinade. Cook the chicken breasts for 4-6 minutes per side or until the chicken is all the way cooked through and registers 165ºF on a thermometer. Remove the chicken to a plate. Cover loosely with a piece of foil and keep warm.
  • RICE PILAF: Rinse the rice in a fine mesh strainer under cold running water for 2 minutes, use your fingers to rub the rice, set aside. Place the butter in the same sauté pan and allow it to melt over medium high heat. Add the rinsed rice and allow to toast for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently so the rice doesn’t burn. Add the chicken broth and lemon juice to the pot and allow it to come to a boil. Stir just once to break up any lump. Cover, reduce heat to low and let the rice cook for 8 minutes. At the 8 minute mark, remove the cover, the rice won’t be cooked through yet, add the lemon zest and lemon slices to the rice and top with the cooked chicken breasts. Cover and continue to cook for 5-10 minutes or until the liquid dried up and the rice cooked through. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before topping with parsley and serving.

Chefs Notes:
My rice came out a little too lemony for my tastes, but it was still a wonderful meal. The chicken is amazing!

 

Greek chicken with rice pilaf #favorite #sogood #ramblingdabbler recipe coming soon to ramblingdabblerblog.wordpress.com

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Cafe Rio at Home

I’ve only been to Cafe Rio once, but it was really good. If you have not been there or have no idea what I’m talking about Cafe Rio is a lot like Chipotle, or really any build your own Mexican food restaurant. And if you’ve never been to anything like that, you need to; it will change your life. My Fiancee loves Cafe Rio so I decided to make a bunch of copy cat recipes for us to eat it at home.

I made:

Shredded Chicken, Cilantro Lime Rice, Cilantro Ranch Dressing, Pico De Gallo, and Black Beans

Cafe Rio Shredded Chicken:

Here’s What You Need:

  • 2 pounds chicken breasts
  • ½ cup zesty italian dressing
  • ¾ tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½ tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1 oz package dry ranch dressing mix
  • ½ cup water
  • Optional toppings:
  • minced cilantro
  • roma tomatoes, chopped
  • olives
  • fresh lettuce
  • cilantro ranch dressing

Directions:

  • Spray the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray. Add all of the ingredients except for the chicken into your slow cooker. Mix until combined.
  • Add the chicken and cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high 3-4 hours until the chicken is no longer pink and cooked throughout.
  • Remove chicken from the slow cooker and shred. Replace the chicken back in the slow cooker and mix with the juices

Cafe Rio Cilantro Lime Rice:

Here’s What You Need:

  • 2 cups rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon
  • 1 handful cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 can (4oz) diced green chiles

Directions:

  • pour everything in a rice cooker and follow product instructions, or in a pot, heat to a boil and then add the lid and turn down to low for 20-30 minutes or until tender.
  • remove the lid, stir to combine everything and serve immediately.

Cafe Rio Cilantro Ranch Dressing:

Here’s What You Need:

  • 1 packet TRADITIONAL Hidden Valley Ranch mix (not BUTTERMILK)
  • 1 c. mayonnaise
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 2 tomatillos, remove husk, diced
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 jalapeno (we like it SPICY so we kept the seeds in it, if you like it mild, just remove the seeds)

Directions:

  • Mix all ingredients together in the blender

Cafe Rio Pico De Gallo:

Here’s What You Need:

  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded or chopped
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 cloves freshly minced garlic
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 avocado, cubed (optional)

Directions:

  • Combine tomato, onions, jalapeno, garlic, and cilantro (and avacado if you are using it). Season with salt and pepper. Stir until evenly distributed. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Cafe Rio Black Beans:

Here’s What You Need:

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/3 c. tomato juice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro

Directions:

  • In a nonstick skillet, cook garlic and cumin in olive oil over medium heat until you can smell it. Add beans, tomato juice, and salt. Continually stir until heated through. Just before serving stir in the cilantro.

Chefs Notes:

I had so much fun making this meal. Unfortunately I only made it for 2 people so I had lots of left overs, but I didn’t mind eating it for the rest of the week. The black beans were a little salty for my taste but everything  else was amazing, especially the pico de gallo!

Thai Chicken Salad with Orange Peanut Dressing

I based this recipe off of cookingclassy.com

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 4 servings

Here’s What You Need:

  • Dressing
    • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
    • 2 tsp orange zest
    • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
    • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
    • 1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
    • 1 Tbsp peeled and grated ginger
    • 1 Tbsp packed brown sugar
    • 1 small clove garlic
    • Salt to taste
    • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, more or less to taste
    Salad
    • 1 lb boneless skilled chicken breasts, grilled and sliced
    • 1 large head romain lettuce, chopped
    • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
    • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
    • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
    • 2/3 cup salted cashews, roughly chopped
    • 1 cup wonton strips
    • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
    • White and black sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  • For the dressing:
    • Add all dressing ingredients to a blender, except red pepper flakes, pulse until ginger and garlic are finely minced. Season with salt to taste and add red pepper flakes and pulse just to stir in. Pour into an airtight container and chill until ready to serve.
  • For the salad:
    • Add all salad ingredients to a large salad bowl, pour dressing over and toss to evenly coat. Serve immediately.

Chefs Notes:
I really enjoyed this salad. The dressing was a little runny, but if you use 2 less tbsps of oj it would probably be perfect.

 

Yosemite Trip

Hey Everyone! As i mentioned in my previous hiking/camping blog a group of my friends and I like to make at least one trip to Yosemite National Park a year and we just got back from our latest trip a few days ago. We had such an amazing time. If you read my last post you’ll be expecting a follow up to hiking the 15 miles of 4 mile trail and panorama trail; unfortunately due to weather restrictions we were not able to do these hikes =(

We drove the 6 hours from southern California to Yosemite Valley Friday morning and the whole time we were checking the weather reports trying to see what to expect for the weekend. Most reports were pretty bleak. We went into the weekend expecting rain Friday after noon, snow Friday night and more rain Saturday afternoon. Since we were tent camping  we were pretty worried. Due to the rain and possible snow, Glacier point was closed most of the time we were there. So that ruled out our plans for hiking 4 mile trail up to glacier point and hiking down panorama, not to mention that hike would take a while and we’d probably end up hiking in the rain at some point. So instead we decided to do vernal falls, a wonderful hike for most skill levels.

Vernal Falls was beautiful! There was so much water, we might as well have hiked in the rain with all the mist coming off of the falls, the path was partially flooded and a little precarious. But we all made it to the top and had a wonderful lunch on a rock at the end of the river. Other highlights of the trip, obviously you need to have smores, we ate plenty of those (if you haven’t had a smore with a peanut butter cup, you need to try it), we walked to lower Yosemite falls, and Bridalveil falls, had a relaxing lunch on sentinel beach, saw a freaking bear!!!! He was in the tree line surrounding the curry village (now called half dome village), he was pretty young and almost a golden color. He was too far for our smart phone cameras to take a pick of, and I didn’t have my nice camera with me at the time so you’ll just have to trust me. I slept in the tent that night (usually I have a hammock), partially because it was windy and raining and I didn’t have the best hammock set up, and partially because where we saw that bear was about 200 yards from our camp site in lower pines.

Overall it was am amazing trip. So much fun hanging with my homies and seeing some great sites. Can’t wait to do it again!

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One Pan Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Pasta

I based this recipe off of yellowblissroad.com

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 4 servings

Here’s What You Need:

  • 1 lb chicken breasts
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1-4 oz can diced mild green chiles
  • 1-10 oz can green chile verde enchilada sauce
  • ½ cup Pace Picante sauce
  • 2½ cups small, uncooked pasta
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 oz fat free cream cheese
  • 1 cup shredded jack cheese

Directions:

  • In a 12″ pan or skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add onions and stir until soft – about 3 minutes.
  • Season chicken with a little salt and pepper and add to the pan and brown, then add garlic and stir.
  • Add green chiles, chile verde sauce, picante sauce, uncooked pasta and water. Stir then bring to a boil over medium high heat.
  • Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in cream cheese until completely melted and incorporated, then sprinkle with jack cheese.
  • Cover for at least five minutes to allow cheese to melt.
  • Garnish with green onions or olives if desired.

Chefs Notes:
This had such a good flavor to it. It was a little weird, having enchilada pasta, but it was yummy. I served it with a side of warm tortillas just because that’s what I had available at the time.

 

Green Chile enchilada pasta. #littledifferent #stillgood #yum #ramblingdabbler try it yourself! Find the recipe on my blog.

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Orange Dijon Grilled Chicken with Garlic Herb Roasted Potatoes & Green Beans

I based this recipe off of plainchicken.com and thegraciouswife.com

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour and 10 minutes
Yield 6 servings

Here’s What You Need:

  • Chicken:
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 1 orange, juiced
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 3 Tbsp dijon mustard
    • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Potatoes and Green Beans:
    • 3 pounds red potatoes, cut into wedges
    • ¼ cup butter, melted
    • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
    • 2 tablespoons rosemary, minced
    • 1 teaspoon fresh or dried parsley flakes (mince if fresh)
    • 1 (16 ounce) package frozen thin green beans, thawed
    • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Marinade chicken: Whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, orange juice, dijon mustard, garlic and salt. Pour over chicken and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
  • Start with the vegetables: Place butter, potatoes, garlic, rosemary, and parsley in a large mixing bowl. Toss to fully coat potatoes in butter and spices.
  • Place coated potatoes on a cookie sheet and bake in a 400° oven for 30 minutes. (Line cookie sheet with foil for a mess-free clean-up)
  • Take potatoes out of the oven. Place green beans on the cookie sheet with the potatoes, and stir to incorporate.
  • Place cookie sheet back in the oven for another 15-30 minutes, until potatoes are cooked all the way through.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • While the vegetables are in the oven grill the chicken: Remove chicken from marinade and grill for approximately 15 minutes

Chefs Notes:
This chicken was really good, I loved the marinade, I halved the original recipe and used 1/2 cup of orange juice instead or juicing and orange. The potatoes and green beans were an excellent side dish for this meal.