Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Spaghetti with Chicken and Spicy Tomato Sauce

This Spaghetti with Chicken and Spicy Tomato Sauce is brought to you in collaboration with Barilla® to help you celebrate your mom for Mother's Day! As always, opinions in this post are my own.

Spaghetti with Chicken and Spicy Tomato Sauce | Tortillas and Honey

This Mother's Day, Barilla® is helping us to celebrate our mothers by bringing you easy, homemade meals that are quick to prepare and are also made from scratch! I think that nearly everyone has memories of their moms or parents making spaghetti growing up and each family has its unique recipes and traditions.

So, an interesting tidbit about me is that there is a large gap while growing up where I didn't eat spaghetti. Not because my parents didn't make it, but because I was too picky and refused to eat the spaghetti sauce. My parents would reserve some plain noodles for me and I would eat them with a little butter and garlic (a combination my mom probably regretted introducing me to as it may have been one of the reasons why I refused to eat spaghetti sauce). It wasn't until I was older that I came to appreciate the spaghetti that my mom made. And now that I'm an adult, I absolutely love spaghetti and we even eat spaghetti a couple times a month in our house!

My favorite picture of my brother and me with our mom

Now that my brother and I are older and both living on our own, we gather at my parents' house every Sunday for family dinner. He brings his girlfriend, I bring my boyfriend, and we all bring our fur-babies! Spaghetti has become something I request for my mom to make as well as requesting other ingredients be added to the sauce which I used to also refuse to eat (specifically mushrooms and sausage).

This pasta that I'm sharing with you today is also not your traditional spaghetti as it's made with chicken thigh meat and jalapenos! You can control the heat of this recipe, but adding more jalapenos or using less. New Mexicans love our spicy food, so we'd probably add more jalapeno or even substitute green chile for the jalapeno! Barilla® also now offers gluten-free pasta, which I've used in this recipe. Both the original and gluten-free Barilla® pasta can now be found at Walmart. Even though this spaghetti doesn't use jarred sauce and makes a sauce from scratch, it is an easy recipe that is great for busy moms to make on a weeknight!

Spaghetti with Chicken and Spicy Tomato Sauce | Tortillas and Honey

Spaghetti with Chicken and Spicy Tomato Sauce | Tortillas and Honey

Spaghetti with Chicken and Spicy Tomato Sauce | Tortillas and Honey

Spaghetti with Chicken and Spicy Tomato Sauce | Tortillas and Honey

Spaghetti with Chicken and Spicy Tomato Sauce | Tortillas and Honey

Spaghetti with Chicken and Spicy Tomato Sauce | Tortillas and Honey

Spaghetti with Chicken and Spicy Tomato Sauce | Tortillas and Honey

Spaghetti with Chicken and Spicy Tomato Sauce | Tortillas and Honey

Spaghetti with Chicken and Spicy Tomato Sauce | Tortillas and Honey

Spaghetti with Chicken and Spicy Tomato Sauce | Tortillas and Honey

Spaghetti with Chicken and Spicy Tomato Sauce | Tortillas and Honey

Spaghetti with Chicken and Spicy Tomato Sauce
Recipe slightly adapted from Barilla®

1 box spaghetti (gluten-free Barilla® spaghetti works here, which is about 12 oz.)
4 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about a pound)
1 Tbs. fresh oregano, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1/2 c. dry white wine
2 lbs. plum tomatoes, crushed (or diced) (you can use canned crushed tomatoes here) (see note)
1 c. water
salt, to taste
1/2 c. cotija cheese, crumbled (feta cheese can be substituted here)
parsley, for garnish (optional)

Place a pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, brown the chicken with 2 tablespoons of the extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet. Stir in the oregano and the jalapeno. After about a minute, add the wine to the skillet and reduce the liquid to about half. Add the tomatoes and the water, season with salt and bring to a boil. (see note)

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions, then drain and toss the spaghetti into the sauce. Make sure the spaghetti is well coated, then stir in the leftover 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and the crumbled cotija cheese.

Makes about 6 servings.

(Note: If you're using fresh tomatoes, instead of using a traditional method of grating them and discarding the skin, I like to keep the skins and use an unconventional method. I dice the tomatoes, add them to the pot with the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil, while using the back of a spoon to crush the tomatoes against the side. Using fresh tomatoes have more liquid, so you may want to reduce the water and add more water later if the sauce seems too dry or thick.)

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Barilla®. The opinions and text are all mine.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Blueberry Muffin Protein Shake

This Blueberry Muffin Protein Shake is brought to you in part by Collective Bias® and its advertiser to help you incorporate more protein into your every day lifestyle! As always, the recipe and opinions in this post are my own. #DoMoreWithProtein #CollectiveBias

Blueberry Muffin Protein Shake | Tortillas and Honey

Did you know that you can incorporate protein powder into many different things and use them in many different ways? EAS Whey Protein comes in different flavors, such as vanilla and chocolate, that you can use in different recipes! Protein powder is sometimes associated with boring shakes, but you can do so much more than making "boring" shakes and can be used in your daily lifestyle. Today I'm sharing with you one of my absolute favorite recipes, something I make often as a quick breakfast as I'm running out the door, a Blueberry Muffin Protein Shake that tastes like blueberry muffins!

Protein helps you build muscle and helps satiate your hunger so that you feel hungry less often. Helps boost metabolism. EAS Whey Protein Powder is a simple yet effective way to add protein, fiber, and other good-for-you nutrients into your every day lifestyle.

I found this newly package EAS Whey Protein Powder while perusing Target the other day-- the lid now has a little clip that you can store the scoop instead of having to fish out the scoop and get powder all over your hands.

This is currently my favorite shake! I make it all the time and have adapted it to my own taste over time. You have natural sweet flavors from the fruit, the oats and chia seeds to add some thickness and some fiber to keep you full until lunch. The original recipe didn't taste too much like a muffin, so I added cinnamon and some vanilla protein powder to help more reflect how I think of the way a blueberry muffin should taste. The vanilla protein powder adds some more sweetness and vanilla that comes through real muffins, and it adds some extra protein to the shake.

This shake is an incredibly easy recipe to make. I portion out the fruit and put them in small baggies and store them in the freezer, so that I can easily pull it out in the morning without having to measure. I also like to portion out the dry ingredients in a small container. And sometimes I will portion out the nut milk, place it in an individual-sized to-go blender cup, that way everything is close to being ready in the morning! Then I just add the frozen fruit and the dry ingredients to the milk, blend, and I'm on my way in the morning! I'm notorious for running late, so this is an easy and delicious recipe to help me eat and feel better in the morning instead of heading to the shop and getting a breakfast burrito.

To find more information about EAS Whey Protein Powder, please visit EAS Powder site. And for different recipes you can incorporate protein powder in, please visit Target Recipes using Protein Powder. There are also two deals currently happening: 1) From 4/19-5/23 5% cartwheel offer on any EAS item and 2) on 5/10 buy any 4 EAS products and get a $5 Target gift card.

How have you incorporated protein powder into your everyday lifestyle?

Blueberry Muffin Protein Shake | Tortillas and Honey

Blueberry Muffin Protein Shake | Tortillas and Honey

Blueberry Muffin Protein Shake | Tortillas and Honey

Blueberry Muffin Protein Shake | Tortillas and Honey

Blueberry Muffin Protein Shake
adapted from My Whole Food Life

1/3 c. frozen blueberries
1/3-1/2 sliced and frozen bananas (1/3 of a large banana; 1/2 of a small banana)
2 Tbs. oats
1 tsp. chia seeds
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (2 Tbs.)
1 c. unsweeted almond, soy, or cashew milk

Add all ingredients in a blender (or mini single serving blender), pulse until all ingredients are fully mixed together.

Note: You can play with the amounts of the ingredients, specifically the nut milk-- if you like it thicker, add less milk; if you like it thinner, add more milk! If you don't want it frothy and somewhat frozen, use fresh fruit!

Makes 1 serving (this can easily be doubled!)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Chicken and Peanut Stew (+ Soul Food Love Cookbook Review)

Chicken and Peanut Stew | Tortillas and Honey

The Review:
The premise of Soul Food Love by Alice Randall and Caroline Randall Williams is family history, food, and eating a little healthier to break the cycle of obesity. The family history of this book is about a third of the book, focusing on each of the women down the family's lineage. Their personal stories as well as their food is discussed in great detail. This is a great document of a family's history and is the heart from which the rest of the book flows.

I have made three dishes from this cookbook so far: Sweet Potato Broth, Chicken and Peanut Stew, and Sinless Sweet Potato Pie. All the recipes I've tried so far have been totally on point as well as recipes that I will definitely keep in my repertoire. Other recipes that I look forward to trying include Chicken Breasts with Grapes and Mushrooms, Spicy Pepper Chicken, Red and Black Bean Burgers, and Broccoli with Peanuts and Raisins.

I was really excited to receive this book, but I found myself wishing for more recipes from the family's history or revamped versions of a family recipe. It made me feel like there was a little bit of a disconnect between the two sections of the book. For instance, Caroline tells a touching story about teaching in the South and making herself healthy foods. When one of her students asking to try the chicken, the student was surprised that the chicken was good. While I suspect that this story may be referring to her Spicy Pepper Chicken recipe, it wasn't directly referenced and I was hoping that Caroline would follow the story with her chicken recipe!

I was a little surprised to find that there wasn't as many main dishes in the book as I would have hoped, and the book did not offer very many protein dishes. Several of the recipes in the main dishes section should have been in the soups and salads section, but that would have made the main dishes section even smaller! (On a side note: I see salads and soups similar to main dishes, but if there's already a section for it, it should be in that section! Totally my opinion.)

Overall, this is a really lovely cookbook both figuratively and literally. The book itself is gorgeous with warm and inviting photography, but the stories and the heart of the book are really at the core of what it's about. You can feel so much love throughout this book, it leaves you wanting more!

The Recipe:
I was instantly drawn to this Chicken and Peanut Stew recipe because I had a similar dish at Santa Fe's International Folk Art Market several years ago. It was in the middle of summer here in New Mexico and it was humid due to the rain, and my friend Jessica and I were eating this stew which was making us sweat even more. The stew was made by a lovely family from Cameroon and we couldn't get enough! I have never had a recipe like it since, until now. I've googled and searched for recipes similar but have just never attempted making it. I think some of it was fear that I wouldn't be able to replicate it.

When I saw this recipe in Soul Food Love, I knew that I had to make the recipe. I loved the idea that it was made from a homemade sweet potato broth and that the recipe looked relatively easy to make. I decided against cooking my own chicken and just used a whole store-bought rotisserie chicken that I shredded which cut cooking time down considerably. I also served this over rice, similar to what I had in Santa Fe. You can serve it with out without, it's still a hearty and yummy dish! The spices added a warmth to it but not a spiciness (but remember this is coming from a New Mexican palate).

The sweet potato broth is vegetarian, but I imagine that you could substitute chicken broth to add a little more flavor. I will definitely be making the broth again, it's one of the cookbooks greatest jewels! Next time I make the broth, I may try to add chicken broth and some other roasted squash to make a squash soup. You can make this broth ahead of time, but I decided to make it right away and then just throw the rest of the ingredients in the pot, which is reflected below.

I was a little afraid to make this recipe because I wasn't sure how Joe would receive the recipe. He's a guy and likes simple guy foods (ahem, meat and potatoes). Adding in peanut butter and curry to his meat and potatoes was pretty iffy and a great big question mark but he ended up loving it!

This book review is sponsored by Blogging for Books. While I received a complimentary copy for review, the opinions in this review are entirely my own. 

Chicken and Peanut Stew | Tortillas and Honey

Chicken and Peanut Stew | Tortillas and Honey

Chicken and Peanut Stew | Tortillas and Honey

Chicken and Peanut Stew | Tortillas and Honey

Chicken and Peanut Stew | Tortillas and Honey

Sweet Potato Broth
from Soul Food Love by Alice Randall and Caroline Randall Williams (page 104)

Olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 large sweet potato
6 c. water
5 whole cloves
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large stockpot over low hear, saute the onion, celery, and carrot in a tablespoon or so of olive oil. 

After about 8 minutes or after the onion is softened, add in the sweet potato, water, cloves, and add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the sweet potato is completely soft.

Remove cloves. Using an immersion blender or a regular blender or food processor, puree the mixture until smooth. If not using immediately, let cool, then cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

Chicken and Peanut Stew
from Soul Food Love by Alice Randall and Caroline Randall Williams (page 125)

3 c. cooked chicken chopped (I used a small store-bought rotisserie chicken)
1 1/2 c. natural peanut butter
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
1 Tbs. curry powder
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 recipe sweet potato broth (equals 1 quart)
Salt, to taste
1/2 c. chopped peanuts, for garnish
parsley, for garnish

Combine all ingredients into a medium pot over medium heat. Simmer until the peanut butter is completed blended and the stew has a thick, even consistency, about 20 minutes. 

Ladle into soup bowls, then garnish with a sprinkling of chopped peanuts and parsley.


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