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Saturday, January 30, 2010

recipe of the week: coriander chicken with mango salsa and coconut rice

i promised avocados, so here's a fun one i whipped up a few weeks ago with an avocado option! feel free to leave it out if avocados aren't as cheap where you are as they are where i am (2 non-walmart grocery stores have 25c avocados this week for me! yahoo!). don't leave the mango out, but watch for sales. i found mine 3 for $1. :)

this barely sweet coconut rice is a perfect compliment to the sweet and spicy salsa on your chicken. and i'm a believer that there's no exact recipe for salsa, so below is just what i used in mine.

and sorry no pics. use your imagination!!

coriander chicken with mango salsa and coconut rice
4 servings

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and split (you'll have 4 pieces total)
coriander salt and pepper

1. grill chicken by method of choice sprinkled on both sides with coriander, salt and pepper.

mango salsa:
1 mango, peeled, cored and diced
1-2 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 small/medium jalapeno, seeded, deveined and diced
a bit of diced red onion (go easy on the onion or it will overpower the other flavors)
1 avocado, diced (optional)
chopped cilantro, lemon juice, cumin, salt and pepper to taste

1. combine all ingredients. let marinate 30 at least 30 minutes before serving.

coconut rice:
1 cup long grain white rice
1 14 oz can lite coconut milk (always 99c at trader joe's if you're lucky enough to have one!)
1/4 cup water
dash salt
a few teaspoons sugar, to taste
a handful of chopped cilantro

1. boil water, coconut milk and salt. add rice, reduce heat. simmer covered for 20-30 minutes until rice is tender and all liquid is absorbed.
2. stir in sugar and cilantro.

serve salsa over chicken with the coconut rice on the side. enjoy!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

the breadman (& honey whole wheat bread)

confession: i've always wanted to be one of those people who makes fabulous homemade bread.

confession #2: making bread is way too time consuming to actually be worth it to me on any regular basis.

solution? meet the breadman.
my sweet hubby bought me one of these a few months ago. it's amazing. just put all the ingredients in and viola! bread!

i admit that i don't love the shape of the loaf, though. luckily the breadman gives me an easy way to fix this. so i did an experiment and ran a recipe through the dough cycle and then punched it down, let it rise in a loaf pan and baked it in my oven. perfect.

so here's my favorite bread recipe so far. it's amazing. i can hardly keep my hands off of it.

please share if you have a favorite bread recipe. i need more!!

honey whole wheat bread
modified from here

1 1/8 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup bread flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon bread machine yeast (or 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast)

1. add ingredients to your bread machine in order suggested (mine suggests the order above).
2. run through dough cycle on bread machine.
3. punch dough down and transfer to a greased loaf pan. cover with plastic wrap and let rise 30 to 60 minutes. (option: put a pan with a few inches of water on the bottom rack of your oven while baking the bread. i haven't decided if i like it this way or without it better!)
4. bake in oven for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. (if your 1st loaf is a tiny bit doughy bake the next one for 26-27 minutes - i think my oven is a little funky though.)
5. let cool 30 minutes before cutting.
6. try not to eat the whole loaf in one sitting! :)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

rainy day vegetable soup

happy national soup month (my only excuse for so many soup posts, i guess)! the skinny bovine's kitchen is a part of a new website/parenting forum called babble. i'm honored to be a part of it such a great group of bloggers (food and otherwise) and it really is a great resource for parents.

the folks at babble reminded me today that it's national soup month which fit perfectly with this soup i made last night for dinner. it's been so rainy all week here and i think i'm in good company with the rest of your westerners who are experiencing similar conditions. make this simple soup with a great loaf of homemade bread (i'll post the one i made soon) and you'll feel warm, toasty and satisfied in no time - for a ridiculously low-cal and low-budget dinner.

babble posted an article on soups for kids. here was my commenter's input on getting kids to like soup:
"a trick i used to get my 2 year old to like soup was to strain out the soupy part. then all that's left is the beans, noodles, mushy veggies, etc - all kid friendly and coated in a delicious broth that sooner or later they'll want to try too. i think soup can be intimidating for kids because it's hard to eat - so make it easy!"

and forgive me for no pictures - they turned out terrible for some reason!

rainy day vegetable soup
6 large servings

a dash of olive oil
1/3 of a medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
8 cups chicken broth
1 15 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can french style sliced green beans
1 large or 2 small russet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 zucchini, chopped
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 large pinch rosemary
1 large pinch thyme
a dash of black pepper
salt to taste

1. heat olive oil in large pot. add onions, garlic and carrots. cook until onions are soft - about 5 minutes.
2. add remaining ingredients, except zucchini. bring to a boil. reduce heat and cover, simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft. add zucchini 5 minutes before serving.

Friday, January 22, 2010

just for fun: 2 year old birthday cakes

my little girl just turned 2, so i've recently made attempted cake decorating a new hobby. i'm a pretty weak cake decorater, but i just though i'd share. it's so much fun to see the look on your kid's face when they see a cute cake! dora was really cute, but my train cake was pretty funny. :)

and here's the cute little pizza face birthday girl

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

i'm back -- dairy-free and fabulous

it's been a slightly busy 2 months around our house. want to know what we've been up to? visit our family blog - here. thanksgiving, beach vacation, moving to las vegas, sick, three weeks in orem, utah for christmas, hubby's 1st real job... it's been crazy, but wonderful and we're thrilled to be back and be getting settled.

right before all of the excitement began, i realized that my cranky baby boy was only cranky because he is dairy intolerant. so this nursing mommy is officially off cheese, butter, milk, etc, etc, etc. considering i spend just over 10% of our yearly food budget on cheese (and it's my favorite food) this has been quite a challenge, but let me tell you - WAY worth it to have my little boy so happy! he's like a different kid. a really cute one. look at this face. do you love him? i do.

i'm starting to overcome the challenges of cooking dairy-free and have made some pretty delicious dairy-free dishes lately. stay tuned.

we'll start with this one. it was delicious!

quick and easy black bean soup
modified from
4 servings

  • 1/2 to 3/4 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1-2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth (the right way - remember?)
  • 1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  1. heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. stir in the onion, bell pepper, carrot, and garlic, and cook 5 minutes, until tender. mix in 1 can black beans and chicken broth.
  2. in a blender, puree remaining can of beans until smooth. mix into the pot. bring soup to a boil. reduce heat to low. mix in chicken, cumin, salt, and pepper. simmer at least 30 minutes.
top with nothing at all (dairy-free style) or with cheese and sour cream!

stay tuned for more dairy-free deliciousness,including some more fun with avocados. my wal-mart has them for 25c a piece a lot right now so i'm basically inhaling them.

healthy cooking on a budget

disclaimer: i don't claim to be an expert on cooking, weight loss or even healthy eating, but i do love to cook, find healthy, taste bud-friendly tricks and most of all, i love to eat!

qualifications: what qualifies me to blog on cooking healthy on a small budget? well, as my husband is still a student, my budget is not what you'd call large. and as for the healthy part, when i was 10 i was diagnosed with pancreatitus - a disease that doesn't effect me much anymore unless i eat food that is too greasy or has too much fat (in which case, well, let's just say i get really sick). this had steered my experience and limited cooking expertise in a health-conscious direction.

please feel free to comment, criticise, rate recipes, try ideas and make requests for future posts!