20-Minute Tabbouleh with Chicken

On July 28, 2009, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus

This simple recipe is all prep. In fact, if you don’t want to cook a single thing all you have to do is substitute the chicken I use with a store-bought rotisserie chicken. This would leave you with only having to heat a cup of water to a boil, remove from heat and add the bulgar wheat to thicken. Beyond that, all you have to do is chop, chop some more and keep chopping until you finish a few simple dashes of spice and some crumbled feta cheese. Easy.

The best part is that this meal is really, really good. It’s the perfect summer meal or dieting meal. There is so little to it that all you have to do is make sure you wrote down all the ingredients before making a trip to the market.

Here is the recipe using boneless-skinless chicken breasts. Like I said above you could substitute the chicken with a rotisserie store-bought and avoid cooking altogether.

Chicken and Feta Tabbouleh
Serves 4

3/4 cup uncooked bulgar
1 cup boiling water
2 cups shredded chicken breast, skinless boneless
1 cup chopped plum tomato
1 cup chopped cucumber
3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup (2 oz) crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup finely chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic (or 2 chopped cloves)
1/2 teaspons ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Place bulgar in a medium bowl; cover with 1 cup of boiling water. Let stand for 15 mintues or until liquid is absorbed.

Slice chicken into bit-sized chunks and saute in a pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat cooking and turning for about 8 mintues. Remove from pan and set aside.

Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add bulgar to mixture and toss gently to combine. Spoon out mixture on plates and top with chicken.

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Mediterranean Turkey Burgers

On July 21, 2009, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus

The idea of a burger made from anything not red kind of repulsed me until today. Sure I’ve had garden burgers, but they always leave something to be desired like, oh I don’t know, animal? Recently, there has been a bit of a movement for turkey burgers as an alternative to beef hamburgers.

It wasn’t until this weekend that my wife found a recipe that looked appealing. Why? Because we both agreed it was a recipe that didn’t try to replicate a traditional burger with bun, ketchup, mustard, lettuce, onion and tomato but was made with ground turkey. Why not just make beef burgers if you are going to do that? Instead this recipe uses pita bread, tzatziki and arugula. It looked refreshing and fit well with a lighter meat.

Mediterranean Turkey Burgers
Serves 4

1 pound ground turkey
1/2 panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
1/4 cup (1 oz) crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon minced red onion
2 tablespoons commercial pesto
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced

2 cups arugula or mixed greens
4 pitas, toasted and halved

1/2 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup finely chopped, seeded cucumber
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

Combine the first 8 ingredients in a bowl; mix until combined. Divide mixture and shape into four patties about 1/2-inch thick.

Mix Tzatiki ingredients by combining all into a small bowl. Set aside.

Heat grill and add patties cooking about 6 minutes on each side until done.

Slice patties and pita bread in half. Stuff pitas with Tzatiki sauce, arugula, and turkey patty. Serve.

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Jamaican Chicken Curry

On July 19, 2009, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus

I can hardly believe it’s been two months since my last post. It must be a busy summer. Fortunately, this week I decided to catch-up on some cooking magazine reading and ventured into Martha’s Food magazine that has an excellent stew recipe in its May 2009 issue.

The following recipe has some “kick, but just enough to make it intense, yet not insane” as my wife said while we enjoyed a couple plates. Three tablespoons of Indian curry did the trick (the recipe calls for Jamaican curry but I only some hot curry powder from a local Indian market.) Also, I went with organic frozen peas that I think add a nice sweet flavor to the dish. We also spent the morning at the local Farmer’s Market and picked up some great onions, carrots and garlic – all perfect for this recipe. The carrots were like butter.

Jamaican Chicken Curry
Serves 4

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized chunks
coarse salt and pepper
1 medium onion, rough chop
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon thyme, dried
4 carrots, bite-sized sliced at an angle
1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk
1 cup water
1 package (10 oz) frozen peas
Cooked rice for serving

In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Working in two batches, brown the chicken, 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer to plate.

Reduce heat to medium. Add onion, garlic, cumin, curry, thyme and 1/2 cup water and season with pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion has softened, 3-5 minutes.

Add carrots, frozen peas, coconut milk, 1/2 cup water and chicken with any accumulated juices. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover partially, and cook until chicken is cooked through and carrots are tender, about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and serve over rice.

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