Honey Chipotle Chicken Salad with Lime Quinoa

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Quick Post: This salad was everything I wanted it to be – sweet, spicy, smokey, tangy – perfect! The chicken soaked up all the flavors of the marinade and once grilled, it caramelized and became it’s own finger-licking-good sauce. The surprise hit for me was the lime quinoa – I cooked it in homemade chicken stock with a little salt and pepper. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Honey Chipotle Chicken Bowls with Lime Quinoa – adapted from How Sweet Eats

honey chipotle chicken

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons adobo sauce, from a can of chipotles in adobo
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey mustard (*I used this recipe*)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

salad

  • 6 cups spring greens
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (*I had Roma tomatoes)
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh cilantro (*the store didn’t have any*)
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 lime, juiced

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Lime Quinoa 

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed well (at least 3 times, or until the water is clear)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 lime, juiced and zest freshly grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions –

Add the chicken breasts to a baking dish or Ziploc bag and season with salt and pepper. In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, adobo, honey, mustards, cilantro and garlic. Pour the marinade over the chicken, covering it evenly. Place it in the fridge and marinate for at least 2 hours, or even overnight.

When you’re ready to make the meal, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tiny bit of olive oil and add the chicken, then cover the skillet and cook until the chicken is deeply browned on both sides and cooked in the center, about 6 minutes per side.

To make the salads, add the greens in a large bowl and toss them with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Add the chicken on top along with the quinoa, the tomatoes, cilantro, green onions and avocado. Drizzle the bowl with the lime juice, olive oil and honey. Serve!

lime quinoa
Add the quinoa and stock (or water) to a saucepan over high heat and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the coconut oil (you can swap butter), lime juice, zest, salt and pepper.

Tequila Lime Chicken

chickena

Sorry for the radio silence! We recently came back home from our two-week long trip to California. I am really glad to be home again and I’m sure my kitchen missed me as much as I missed it. My husband sustained himself on one meal a day (not home cooked), and these goodies that I made for him before I left! What would he do without me? 😉 Since I’ve been back home, I have tried several new and successful recipes which I will share with you in the next few weeks.

Anyway, on to the recipe! This marinade gives the chicken amazing flavor and it’s a new family favorite. I used chicken thighs and served these tacos with pico de gallo, my fave Mexican rice and refried (in bacon grease!) pinto beans with lots of Monterey Jack cheese. I will make this again and again! Thanks for reading, enjoy 🙂

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Tequila Lime Chicken – adapted from The Pioneer Woman

  • 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup tequila
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (*I used grapeseed*)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and sliced
  • 1/2 bunch chopped fresh cilantro
  • 6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (*If you have a few more pieces, this makes plenty of marinade*)
  • Corn tortillas
  • Monterey jack cheese
  • pico de gallo

Directions –

Slice open the limes and squeeze the juice into a food processor or blender. Add the tequila, olive oil, salt, garlic, jalapenos and cilantro. Blend the mixture until totally combined. Add the chicken to a large plastic bag and pour in the lime-tequila mixture. Seal the bag and marinate in the fridge for several hours or overnight.

Remove the chicken from the bag and grill it over medium-high heat. Rotate the chicken 45-degrees on both sides to create nice grill marks, and continue grilling until the chicken is cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Serve with corn tortillas, fresh pico de gallo, beans and rice.

Soy-Ginger-Lime Chicken with Cilantro-Lime-Ginger Rice

Quick Post: The title is a mouthful! The combination of these two recipes was a hit at my house and it’s healthy, fresh and easy to make. Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Soy-Ginger-Lime Marinade – adapted from Simply Scratch
  •  2 – 3 cloves of Garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1 large Shallot, peeled and quartered
  • 1 Lime, juiced
  • 3/4 inch of Ginger, peeled, and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon Honey
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
Combine all ingredients (using a stick blender makes quick work of this). Pour the mixture over the chicken and marinade for at least 4 hours. Preheat grill to medium heat and cook for 6 to 8 minutes per side or until done.
Cilantro, Lime and Ginger Rice –
  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
  • 1 inch of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • the zest and juice of one lime
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 4 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

Directions:

In a a saucepan combine rice, ginger slices, salt and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low 15-20 minutes, until rice is tender. Remove from heat. Stir in cilantro and lime zest. Serve warm.

Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing

Quick Post: I’m always on the lookout for more dressings to spice up my salads. This one is so yummy – creamy, tangy, herbaceous, slightly spicy and a little sweet. This would be a perfect spread for sandwiches or topped onto grilled chicken or shrimp. It does take a little extra time to prepare, but it’s worth the effort and I’ll definitely make this again. Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Creamy Cilantro Dressing – adapted from Pinch of Yum
  • 3/4 – 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons plain  Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
Directions: 
1. Place all ingredients in your stick blender carafe and blend. Thin out with more olive oil or lime juice as needed.

Pico de Gallo

I haven’t made this in a long time – which is probably due to the fact that there is no short cut to making this. There is lots of chopping, dicing, and mincing involved; thankfully it’s totally worth the effort. This recipe comes from one of my favorite bloggers – The Pioneer Woman 🙂 She knows her stuff and she is a home cook just like me – no formal training is required when you have a love for food and a desire to try out new techniques. I have come a long way in 8 1/2 years of marriage. In the beginning, I used a lot of boxed meals, frozen and prepackaged stuff – I had to start somewhere, right? Thankfully, my husband wasn’t raised around a lot of fabulous cooks, so he didn’t know what he was missing out on! 😉 I could never go back to that kind of cooking and those fuss free, easy stuff. I get such a feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment out of giving my family the very best.

Anyway, this turned out perfectly and wasn’t too spicy when we added it to these tacos. By itself though, it has quite a kick! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Pico de Gallo – adapted from The Pioneer Woman

  • 5 whole Plum (roma) Tomatoes
  • ½ whole Large (or 1 Small) Onion
  • 3 whole Jalapeno Peppers
  • Cilantro
  • Lime Juice
  • Salt To Taste

Directions –

Chop jalapenos, tomatoes and onions into a very small dice. (Leave seeds in your jalapenos for a hotter pico). Adjust amount of jalapenos to your preferred temperature. Next, chop up a nice-sized bunch of cilantro. Just remove and discard the long leafless stems before chopping. No need to remove the leaves from the stems completely. Place all of these ingredients together in a bowl and give it a good stir.

Squeeze the juice of half of one lime into the bowl. Add salt to taste and stir again.

Taco Chicken

This is so good, super simple but oh, so flavorful. While looking through Publix’s online ad, I discovered that boneless, skinless thighs were on sale this week and immediately I thought of this recipe. It’s marinated in some of my favorite flavors – lime, cumin and chili powder.

I’m serving these grilled with tortillas, this salsa (I was craving it) and my “orange” rice. I’m pretty plain when it comes to taco night because there is always rice, cheese and pico de gallo, or in this case salsa. My family is (thankfully) easy to please most times:) Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Taco Chicken – adapted from Our Best Bites

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • A couple of juicy limes
  • A splash of red wine vinegar
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, pressed or coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

Directions –

1. Combine all ingredients minus the chicken. Place the chicken in a gallon size Ziploc bag and pour the marinade over top. Mush the bag to coat all the chicken well. Place the plastic bag in another container to protect the rest of the fridge in case the bag leaks. Marinade for 4 but no longer than 8 hours.

2. Preheat outdoor grill and cook the chicken pieces for 7 minutes a side. Take off grill, cover with foil and let rest for about 5 minutes. Enjoy!

Try This…

Only if you like avocados, tomatoes and the flavor of lime juice. It’s a super simple snack that I came up with sometime last year when I had a craving for guacamole but I didn’t have the time or all the ingredients that go into my fave guacamole. Oh, and no chips either but this “salad” fit my cravings perfectly. Avocado does have a lot of fat, but really – how bad can fat be from a fruit?;o) Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Tomato and Avocado “Salad” ingredients –

  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • 1 – 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • juice of half a lime
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste

Directions –

1. Toss all ingredients in a bowl.

2. Eat!

Black Bean Confetti Salad

Quick post: This salad is tasty and super healthy for you. I thought of adding seeded/de-ribbed jalapeno to this, but I chickened out. I did add red onion to this, and those can be quite “spicy” sometimes – especially raw. It adds a nice bite to the mix, but if you like more heat add more cayenne pepper. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Black Bean Confetti Salad – adapted from Smitten Kitchen

This works equally well as a small salad–even tossed with salad greens for more
bulk–or alongside salsa fresca for scooping up with a tortilla chip.

  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and well-rinsed
  • 4 bell peppers, a mix of colors, chopped into a small dice
  • 1/2 super-large or 1 medium white onion, chopped into a small dice
  • Juice of one lime
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • Optional: If you’re the kind of person who loves cilantro, it’s a great match for this salad.

Directions –

Mix beans, bell peppers and white onion in a large bowl. In a separate, smaller
bowl, whisk remaining ingredients into a vinaigrette. Ideally, you’ll have a 1/2
cup of dressing. Pour it over the bean mixture, toss it well and adjust
seasonings to taste.