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Bright Orange Chicken with Veggies and Rice


I’m working at home for the time being. One of the awesome things about that is that you can make a lovely lunch feast like this, instead of relying on leftovers, easily totable items like salads or sandwiches, or a scrounged convenient store lunch. My lunch, pictured below, is delicious, and took about 20 minutes to make. And all without a recipe, too–as you might have guessed.

Rice: Boiled with butter and tarragon.

Broccoli and potatoes: Sauteed in butter and canola oil. Seasoned with pepper, salt, and turmeric.

Chicken: My masterpiece. Quick, pan-made tandoori chicken. Such a vibrant coral-y, orange-red. Apparently this is the color all our lips should be for spring, if you listen to the fashion sites. If you’re interested in how i made this, leave me a comment and I’ll do a post focusing on it.

With all the oil and butter, this might not be the healthiest meal ever, but it does include vegetables and is fairly balanced, so what do I care. I’m enjoying myself. Bonus: leftovers so I can eat this delicious concoction again sometime in the next few days!

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Mixed Media Meals


I don’t know how well the word “Media” really fits in as part of the title, but it was so alliterative! …on to the food.

I like sometimes to mix flavors in ways that are a little unconventional, and that other people might not think to do. Who says every part of your meal has to match? It’s just like wearing two different socks or wearing stripes and polka dots together–you can do it if you want to!

The other night I threw together some green and red peppers chopped up with summer squash, tossed in olive oil and herbs, and roasted it all for a while. Then I sprinkled it liberally with some Italian blend shredded cheese and it went back in the oven until that got nice and melty.

I was going to make quinoa to go with it, but then I changed my mind and made some tandoori-ginger jasmine rice instead.

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If the pictures seem a little fuzzy, I think it’s because the hot food steamed up my phone’s camera lens.

I always really like making tandoori rice because it comes out such a nice coral orange color. I tend to throw in some butter and then probably about a tablespoon of tandoori seasoning. Maybe a bit less. My tandoori seasoning came from T.J. Maxx. You could look for it there or at other stores that have interesting alternative unusual food items. I don’t know how easy it is to find, but my container of it is definitely large enough to last me for a long, long time. I’ve already had it for about two years…

As for the veggies, I just chopped them, sort of roughly, and mixed them all together. The seasonings were very nice. If I remember correctly, I used oregano, rosemary, thyme, and black pepper. Yes, I put pepper on my peppers. It did make them a little spicy, but I like that. Omit the pepper if you don’t like spice.

According to the internet, you’re supposed to roast vegetables at a very high temperature. Next time I think I’ll keep it to 450, because some of the peppers started to look a little bit over-browned before the squash really browned much at all. Luckily, nothing really burned. It was a very nice roast-y flavor.

I still have leftover rice, a week later, so I decided to do something with it today.

kale rice salad

That right there is a kale salad with tandoori rice, cajun-sauteed chicken, and a small amount of dried cranberries. It was, in fact, the last of the cranberries, so I’m going to have to buy more.

Do those flavors “go” together? I don’t know. probably not. But they taste good together. So I do it.

I hope you’ve been inspired to combine some foods or flavors you would not have thought to mix before! Food is meant to be enjoyed. Just do whatever you want with it.

Shrimp and Mango Sort-of-Stir-Fry: Success?


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The mango was more mush than pieces.

 

This is something I made last week, and I figure I should write about it before I forget how I made it. It was very simple and thrown together without much effort, honestly, as I didn’t feel like thinking about it. I had originally intended to break out my new grating dish from Spain (which I will share a picture of at some point) and put some fresh ginger in this dish, but then that all just seemed like too much effort.

The broccoli, being frozen, was the first thing thrown into the pan. As it was defrosting/sizzling away, I started to cut up some mango. The mango was of inappropriate ripeness, too soft and mushy with not really enough flesh to get good chunks out of it. As it cooked it turned pretty much to mush. But that’s ok.

Shrimp was added and started to pink, as per the standard way you cook shrimp in a pan. No need for any further comment on that…

I had the brilliant idea of just squeezing the remaining mango over the pan, because I wanted some juice. As everything cooked, I decided to add some red pepper flakes. I could have gone with chili powder, but I just love me some red pepper flakes. 😉

This was one of those rare times I didn’t use any oil in the pan, and that was noticeable. Overall the stir fry was slightly lacking in moisture. But it wasn’t overly dry and it wasn’t bad. The main problem with it was that I only had a handful of shrimp left to use, and I wanted more. So that counts as a success, yeah?

I cooked up one of my old favorites, Near East brand rice pilaf, to eat with my stir-fryish. I actually think I still have a bit of that left over. Basic box directions, so you can look that up yourself, I’d imagine.

Honesty: if I had been willing to put a little more effort in it could have been a lot better. Like maybe I could have thrown in some roasted red peppers, which is one of my favorite food items ever. They are especially nice to make salads more interesting when you’re lacking time or any interesting vegetables. –But sometimes you make food that’s just adequate, instead of really super delicious, and that’s ok, especially if you’re only cooking for yourself.

Side note: where did these dark clouds come from? I thought it was supposed to be nice and sunny today. I don’t want to go home in the rain. 😦

Blizzard Food Birthday Feast – Success!


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As I may have already mentioned, all my birthday plans got ruined and/or postponed by that damned gimpy fish snowstorm.  I ended up staying in all weekend after I got home Friday afternoon and not doing anything particularly productive. I did manage to cook a nice feast, however, which I shared with my roommate because I had made quite a lot of food.

The lineup: baked shrimp skewers, pan-steamed broccoli, and herb and lemon jasmine rice (the tomatoes were just an extra thing because my tomatoes had to get used up, they were going bad…)

I heated the oven to 350, having skimmed over some instructions somewhere online about baking shrimp. You’ll rarely want to put the temp very high for cooking seafood, at least, that’s the impression I get. If I’d planned ahead more I might have marinated the shrimp, but I did not plan ahead more. I tossed it with some olive oil (the good olive oil), sea salt, and pepper, and possibly some other herbs, I don’t know. It was over a week ago now. My memory isn’t that good anymore. Soon I’ll be a stooped old lady with no teeth.

(For perspective, for those who don’t know me, I just turned 26, so… yeah.)

Anyway, back to the shrimp. I grabbed a few bamboo skewers and started sticking the shrimp on them. Only about five fit on each skewer, since I didn’t want to crowd them too much. I got a package of bamboo skewers for like $1, of which I have barely used any at all, so a recipe like this isn’t going to require lots of money to buy the materials. Just the shrimp. Although I just bought a big bag of frozen shrimp when it was on sale, and it was a really good deal. …So, shopping and preparing aside — Once the oven was heated up I just stuck the skewers in the oven, on a foil-lined baking sheet, and they only cooked for 10 minutes at the most. Turning them once is recommended, and I finally had a reason to use my plastic metal-handled tongs. Yay. Make sure you pay attention and take them out of the oven once they’re opaque and pink. Otherwise, they’ll be overcooked and dry and that’s just gross.

Alternatively, you could cook them on a grill instead, which would probably give them that delicious smoky flavor that’s really the point of anything vaguely kabob-related. I don’t own a grill, so I didn’t get to do that. So what.

My shrimp were mild but quite tasty and juicy.

Here is a close-up of the shrimp, just because:

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My rice was nothing complicated, just made the way you usually cook rice. I hope you wouldn’t need me to tell you how to do that. I added at least one tablespoon of butter, a whole bunch of thyme, and some other herb, like basil, or something. Like I said, it was over a week ago, I don’t really remember. Once the water was done cooking off I poured in some lemon juice. You probably don’t want to squeeze a lemon right into the rice unless you really like eating lemon seeds… which I don’t. I used approximately half a lemon. I don’t know what that is in actual measurements. It ended up tasting quite lemony, which I believe was a result of adding the lemon juice after it was cooked. I’m sure if you put in the lemon before it was done cooking, it would be a little more subdued. Not sure though, so don’t take my word for it.

And not even ten minutes after I’d started eating:

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So yeah. It was really good.

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