Easy Weeknight Chicken Teriyaki

April 2nd, 2014

Weeknight cooking… oh how easy it is to throw a frozen pizza in the oven or order Chinese. But fear not! This recipe is as easy as opening the freezer and reaching for that Lean Cuisine, and so much more delicious. My mom and I have been making this recipe forever, and it’s always the perfect weeknight option. After marinating, the chicken can be baked, pan fried or grilled. I prefer the smoky char of the grill for this dish, but feel free to prepare in your favorite method!

Chicken Teriyaki

Easy Weeknight Chicken Teriyaki

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup cool water
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger

Directions:

Combine all ingredients except chicken and stir until thoroughly combined. Add chicken and arrange so breasts are completely covered by liquid. Marinate for at least 2 hours, or as long as overnight. This dish is great to prepare the night before, so it’s ready for the grill or oven or however you prefer. Enjoy!

Indy Weekend: La Chinita Poblana

March 30th, 2014

Home to Indy for the weekend always means lots of food, food and more food. My mom is usually cooking and Andrew and I always stop by one of our favorite spots. This weekend was no different. On Saturday Andrew and I grabbed a late lunch with my sister and her fiancé at La Chinita Poblana, a fusion taqueria in Broad Ripple.

Now everyone knows how much I love a good taco. Second to Andrew, it’s my definitely most committed relationship. Something I am extremely proud of. Sorry, Andrew! So the fact that I hadn’t tried this Indy spot was surprising. Nonetheless I was excited to try the Mexican-Asian hybrids, which I had heard about through many an Indy-folk.

I started with a hibiscus iced tea that was punchy and refreshing. It matched the vibe of the neon walls in the standing-only joint. While waiting for our tacos we shared guacamole. The guacamole was traditional… good, but nothing new or different. The chips, however, were thicker than most and had a lovely dose of salt. A nice change of pace compared to more typical super-thin varieties.

Within 10 minutes our tacos arrived and unlike the familiar guacamole, these tacos were nothing like your average Mexican fare.  Between Andrew and I, we shared the pork carnitas, chicken and tilapia. The carnitas had just the right amount of crispy edges and juicy pork. Pickled onions added a vinegary bite, a taco topping I always appreciate. The chicken was smothered in a sweet chile-de-arbol salsa and marinated in tamarind and cumin… definitely a far cry from a traditional chicken. Finally the tilapia, my personal favorite, was blackened with yellow curry and finished with chipotle mayo and pickled cabbage. It had just the right level of heat + creaminess + pickled perfection. An impressive taco, I must say.

La Chinita Poblana has all of the elements I admire in a taqueria: no-fuss decor, bold, delicious flavors and lots of napkins. For an easy lunch or quick dinner, it’s a great choice for Hoosier taco-lovers. Just don’t expect a seat!

Hibiscus tea

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Pork carnitas

Tilapia

La Chinita Poblana
927 East Westfield Blvd.
Indy  46220
317/722-8108

Links Taproom Mini Review

March 26th, 2014

“A bar for beer nerds” is how owners of Wicker Park’s new Links Taproom have described their new sausage and craft beer joint. With a description like that, I knew it was a place Andrew and I had to try. So when he was in town for a few days this week and we’d both had stressful 12-hour work days, beer and sausages seemed like the perfect dinner option. So to Links Taproom we went.

Not overly crowded on a Monday night, we were able to score seats at a communal table near the bar. The beers are displayed on large TV screens around the bar, showing the levels of each keg. It also displays who’s checked in on FourSquare and UnTapped, a funky new way to incorporate social media into the space. It’s cute seeing your picture scroll across the screen once you’ve checked in, but perhaps a little overkill.

The beer list is impressive. Featuring a mix of local Chicagoland brews and small cask wines. They even had a prosecco on tap when I visited, although the list focuses heavily on beer. I sipped an Anchor Brewing, Anchor IPA out of San Francisco. A huge fan of their Anchor Steam, I was pleased to find similar qualities in their IPA version. A beer success!

For dinner Andrew and shared crispy fries, dangerous fried cheese curds and two sausages. I chose the spicy chorizo with Oh! Tequila slaw and jalapeño mustard. Andrew had a brat with creamy slaw and the same mustard. Biggest win? The jalapeno mustard was a home-run, adding the right amount of spice to both links.

The fries were crispy and not overly greasy. The cheese curds had a golden fried outside and perfectly gooey inside. But the best part of the sides? The dips, of course. A so-called “sexy” ranch was perfect on the cheese curds and goat-cheese garlic was my favorite for the fries.

I do wish that Links would consider wait staff, as I don’t prefer to order at the bar when I’m planning to have a full sit-down meal. Outside of that, the meal was just what we anticipated… the perfect fried and booze-filled end to an overly stressful day. Thanks, Links!

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Smashed Chickpea Salad

March 16th, 2014

During the week I eat a mostly vegetarian/vegan diet so I’m always looking for new and exciting lunch recipes. Hummus and carrots can get boring, let me tell you. So I was overjoyed when I found this recipe on Simply Veganista, a blog I love skimming for new vegan recipes. This salad is so easy to make, and it’s great to have on-hand for lunches throughout the week. I definitely recommend using the tahini–it gives it a delicious hummus-y kick. Yep, we just turned hummus-y into a word.

I like mine on two pieces of toast with thick slices of avocado, but as the Veganista blog states, it’s good on just about anything! I’ve gone as far to eat it with just a fork. See below for my riff on the recipe and I can’t wait to hear how you make it your own! photo6photo5photo4photo1-1photo2

photo3Ingredients:

 

  • 1 can 15 oz chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup celery, small diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, small diced
  • 1/3 cup scallions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • Sea salt & cracked pepper, to taste
  • Dash of garlic powder
  • Juice of 1 lemon

 

For sandwich:

  • Half sliced avocado
  • 2 pieces of toast
  • Spinach or another leafy green
  • Extra mustard, optional

 

Directions:

First drain and thoroughly rinse chickpeas. Place them in a medium bowl and roughly mash them with a potato masher. A fork will work if you don’t have an old school masher. Add the remaining ingredients and combine. You’re done!

 

To serve a la Rachel, spread a good amount of the salad on a piece of toast. Top with sliced avocado, spinach