Semi-Homemade Creamy Cauliflower Rice Bowls

One of our favorite food trends of the last few years is the transformation of cauliflower into the ultimate substitute for carbs. Pizza crust, gnocchi, rice – you name it and you can find it on the shelf. We are fully on board with this movement and have used cauliflower rice as the base ingredient for this week’s recipe. Our semi-homemade creamy cauliflower chicken bowls take items that you can find at pretty much any grocery (riced cauliflower, pre-shredded kale and chicken sausage) and combines these ingredients through a quick cook to make an easy and healthy dinner. This recipe makes GREAT leftovers or can be used to meal prep for the week. Just cool the ingredients after cooking and reheat in the microwave when you’re ready to eat.

Semi-Homemade Creamy Cauliflower Rice Chicken Bowls

Makes: 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb riced cauliflower (we used fresh but you can easily use frozen too)
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups pre-shredded kale
  • 1 package (12-16 oz) pre-cooked chicken sausage links, sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a pot, add the butter, cream cheese and milk over medium heat. Stir until the cream cheese is melted into the milk. Add the cauliflower rice and cook on low for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. While the rice is cooking, heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the kale and cook the kale for 5 minutes until it is reduced. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. Re-use the same pan you used to cook the kale, and saute the chicken sausage on medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until browned on both sides. You don’t need to clean the pan between use. Let the chicken sausage soak up any extra garlic and oil while it browns. 4. Put it all together by adding the creamy cauliflower rice to the base of your bowl. Top with the garlicky greens and chicken sausage and enjoy!


Semi-Homemade Chicken Shawarma Bowls

We have decided to start a new series on the blog for those nights when you want to get a good dinner on the table but are short on time. Even those of us that love to cook and entertain have those days where spending even an hour in the kitchen is too much. “Semi Homemade Mondays” are meals that combine a few pre-made ingredients from the store and a simple homemade addition to reduce your overall cooking time but still have a balanced meal for dinner. For this first Semi-Homemade Monday we have made Chicken Shawarma Bowls by using chicken shawarma, hummus, and pitas from Trader Joe’s. We’ve added cooked quinoa and an easy cucumber tomato salad to complete the meal and have dinner on the table in less than 25 minutes. 

Semi-Homemade Chicken Shawarma Bowls 
Makes: 4 servings 
Total Time: 25 minutes 

Ingredients for Bowl: 

  • 1 package (1.5 lbs) Trader Joe’s Chicken Shawarma 
  • 1 container hummus 
  • 1 package pitas, warmed for a few minutes in the oven 
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa 

Ingredients for Cucumber Tomato Salad 

  • 1 cucumber, ends removed, cut in half horizontally, and sliced 
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved 
  • 1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced 
  • 2 tbs fresh dill, minced 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced 
  • 3 tbs olive oil 
  • 1 tbs red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste 

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees**. 
  2. Lay the chicken in a baking dish or on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the thighs are cooked through and the juices are clear. 
  3. While the chicken is cooking, pour 3 cups of water into a medium pot. Add the quinoa, bring the water to a boil, and cook over medium-high heat for about 15 minutes, or until the quinoa has popped. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. 
  4. To make the cucumber salad, combine the remaining ingredients (cucumbers – red wine vinegar) in a small bowl. Gently toss to combine and season with salt and pepper. 
  5. When the chicken has finished cooking, remove it from the oven and let it sit for a few minutes before slicing. 
  6. Assemble each bowl with a swipe of hummus, about 1/2 cup – 3/4 cup quinoa, the sliced chicken shawarma, and a good helping of tomato cucumber salad. Serve with warm pitas for the ultimate semi-homemade dinner. 

** This chicken is great on the grill too- the char from the grill is addicting! Cook for about 6 minutes per side on a hot grill, or until the juices run clear and the chicken is cooked through. 


Spaghetti Squash Enchiladas

A few weeks ago we asked our Instagram followers what kind of recipes they were looking to see in the new year. A few of you asked for recipes with spaghetti squash. Ask and you will receive! Spaghetti squash is a great substitute vegetable if you are looking to eat less carbohydrates. Instead of thinking of spaghetti squash as simply a substitute for pasta, we like to think of it as a base for any casserole-type entree. Insert this recipe for spaghetti squash enchiladas. Everything you love about baked enchiladas but without the tortillas, which are really just the vessel for delivery anyway. We make dinners like this on repeat when we are trying to cut the carbs back and also stay full after dinner. 

Spaghetti Squash Enchiladas 
Makes: 4 servings 
Prep Time: 30 minutes    Cooking Time: 30 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 2 small spaghetti squash, cut in half and seeds removed 
  • 3 tbs olive oil 
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 lb ground beef or ground turkey 
  • 1/2 packet taco seasoning 
  • 1- 15.5 oz can red kidney beans 
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced 
  • 1- 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with their juice 
  • 1- 10 oz can enchilada sauce 
  • salt and pepper to taste 
  • 1 cup + shredded cheddar cheese 
  • cilantro, for garnish 

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Place the spaghetti squash halves on a cookie sheet (or two if they don’t all fit). Drizzle the insides with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Cover the squash with foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. The squash are done when they are tender enough that you can easily scrape the insides with a fork to make “spaghetti”. 
  3. While the squash is cooking, start making the enchilada mix. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add a drizzle of oil to the pan and add the onions and garlic. Saute for 3-4 minutes, or until the onions start to become translucent. Add the ground beef and taco seasoning to the pan and cook until mostly cooked though, another 6 minutes or so. 
  4. Add the kidney beans, bell peppers, diced tomatoes, and enchilada sauce to the pot. Stir well, cover, and cook on a low simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and season with salt and pepper, to taste. 
  5. When the enchiladas have finished cooking, remove them from the oven. Use a fork to gently scrape up some of the squash, creating a bed of spaghetti in each individual squash. Use a ladle to divide the enchilada filling into each of the four squash halves. Top with shredded cheese and place back in the oven for another 10 minutes.
  6. Serve hot, topped with cilantro if desired. 


Thai Chicken Curry

If you’ve been following us here for a while, you know that we at Tuck & Tate love us some Asian food. Thai curry to be one of those bites that tastes so warm and comforting, but can be overwhelming to cooks that are unfamiliar with Thai ingredients. After posting a very authentic khao soi recipe that Tuck’s parents learned while they were traveling in Thailand, we decided to create a second curry recipe that is a little more approachable. All of these ingredients can be found at your local grocery store.

The best part of cooking curry is that you can be as creative as you want with the vegetables and protein. This basic recipe will hold up well with any of those leftover veggies you have in your fridge. This is also a perfect recipe for eating clean in the new year. It can be vegetarian by swapping the chicken for tofu, and is already dairy free thanks to coconut milk for creaminess and flavor.

Thai Chicken Curry
Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs canola oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 tbs fresh ginger, diced
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 red and yellow bell pepper
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 3 tbs red curry paste
  • 2 cans low-fat coconut milk
  • 1 bag snap peas
  • 2 cups of cooked rice

Directions

  1. Chop the onion, eggplant, red and yellow peppers into bite sized pieces.
  2. Heat a soup pot to medium heat. Add the oil, garlic, and ginger and saute for 2 minutes. Add the onion, eggplant and peppers and cook for 5 minutes or until you see the vegetables starting to brown and soften.
  3. Move the vegetables to one side of the pot and add the chicken thighs. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side so that the chicken is browned. Stir in the vegetables.
  4. Add the curry paste and coconut milk to the pot. Stir well to combine and bring the pot to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and add the snap peas. Cook for 20-30 minutes on simmer.
  5. Serve over rice and enjoy!

Khao Soi (Northern Thai Chicken Curry)

Public Service Announcement: this recipe is no easy feat. It takes a run to your local Asian grocery store and the purchase of some unusual ingredients all before you even start your work in the kitchen. That being said, if you have traveled to Chiang Mai, Thailand, and had the gloriousness that is Khao Soi while you were there, you will find that the recipe is more than worth the effort. For those unfamiliar, Khao Soi is a chicken curry dish found exclusively in Northern Thailand. Most restaurants in the region have their version on a menu, and it is sold for about 30 baht ($1 USD) per bowl.

The components of Khao Soi are: soft egg noodles on the bottom, a coconut based red curry soup broth, dark meat chicken, and crispy egg noodles on top. The dish is served with accompaniments on the side including a wedge of lime, sliced shallots, and some sort of pickled green vegetable. Tuck’s mom learned how to make Khao Soi at a cooking class in Thailand and quickly replicated it for Tate’s mom, who has been craving this dish since her trip to Thailand in 2012.

Khao Soi (Northern Thai Chicken Curry)

Makes: 4 servings

Prep Time: 25 minutes Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients for Khao Soy Curry Paste:

  • 4 tbs red curry paste
  • 4 tsp fresh ginger
  • 4 tsp shrimp paste
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 4  tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp coriander seed 
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin seed

Ingredients for Khao Soi Curry :

  • 8 tbs khao soy curry paste (one full recipe above)
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 package chicken thighs (around 1.25 lbs)
  • 16 oz coconut milk *
  • 16 oz chicken stock
  • 4 tsp sugar 
  • 4 tbs fish sauce

Ingredients For Toppings and Base:

  • 2 lbs fresh egg noodles, separated **
  • thinly sliced shallot
  • 1 lime, segmented
  • chopped cilantro (not traditional but we prefer this over pickled vegetables)

Directions:

  1. Make the crispy noodles. Heat 1 cup of vegetable oil in a small sauce pot over medium high heat. Separate 1/4 of the egg noodles (.5 lbs) to be used for the crispy noodles on top of the curry. Fry the noodles in batches in the oil until the noodles are crispy. If you are using fresh noodles, this should only take about 1-2 minutes per batch of noodles. Set each batch onto paper towels to drain and season with a pinch of salt. When all of the .5 lbs of noodles have been cooked, turn the oil off the heat and set the noodles aside until ready to serve.
  2. Make the khao soi curry paste. Combine all of the khao soi curry paste ingredients in a small blender. Blend thoroughly so that the ingredients form a rough paste.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a large soup pot. Add the khao soi curry paste to the oil and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium heat so that the ingredients start to release their flavors. Add the chicken thighs to the pan, searing on each side for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the coconut milk and chicken stock to the pan. Cover with a lid and reduce the heat so that the liquid is at a constant simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, or until the chicken thighs are cooked completely through.
  5. After 30 minutes, remove the chicken thighs onto a cutting board. Use two forks to pull the chicken into large, bite-sized pieces. Add the chicken back into the pot along with the fish sauce and sugar. Cover and keep on low heat until ready to serve.
  6. Cook the remaining egg noodles (1.5 lbs) in boiling water. If using fresh noodles, this will only take about 1 minute. Cook the noodles and drain immediately.
  7. Divide the noodles evenly into four bowls. Top with a generous portion of the chicken curry. Top with the crispy noodles you made in step 1 and serve with the shallots, cilantro, and wedge of lime.

Notes: * You can use whatever combination of chicken stock and coconut milk that you prefer, so long as the liquids total 32 oz. If you prefer a creamier, heartier curry use only coconut milk. If you prefer a lighter version of this dish use primarily chicken stock. ** The type of noodles that are traditionally served in this dish are similar to an egg noodle linguini. You should be able to find this type of noodle at an Asian grocery store.


Lemon Chicken with Castelvetrano Olives & Artichoke Hearts

There isn’t much to say about this recipe other than it’s delicious and great for a weeknight dinner. The chicken comes together in about 45 minutes and is packed with flavor. If you claim you are not an olive eater, we beg you to give Castelvetrano olives a chance. They are the bright green, avocado-looking olives in the olive bar at your grocery story. They are super buttery and don’t pack nearly the salty punch of their peers. Balanced out with fresh thyme and lemon, this is a dish that we will have on repeat all winter long.

Lemon Chicken with Castelvetrano Olives & Artichoke Hearts
Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 package (approx 1.3 lb) skin-on chicken thighs*
  • 2 tbs olive oil, separated
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 springs fresh thyme
  • 1 lemon, sliced horizontally
  • 2/3 cup pitted castelvetrano olives, cut in half
  • 2/3 cup artichoke hearts, cut in half
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Season both sides of the chicken thighs with paprika, salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Let the pan get nice and hot before adding 1 tbs olive oil. Add the chicken thighs and sear for three minutes on each side to get the skin nice and crispy and to help keep the chicken moist during the cooking process. Remove the chicken onto a plate.
  4. Reduce the flame on the pan to medium heat. Add the other 1 tbs olive oil to the pan. Add the onion and garlic to the pan, cooking until the onions are starting to caramelize- about 4 minutes. Add the white wine to the pan. Use a spatula to scrape any brown bits off the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add the thyme, sliced lemon, olives, and artichokes to the pan. Give everything a good stir so that the flavors start to combine. From here, you have two options…. if the saute pan you have been cooking in is oven-safe, add the chicken thighs back into the pan and put in the oven. If your saute pan is not oven-safe, transfer everything to a baking dish and put in the oven. Regardless of which pan you bake in, make sure that you snuggle the chicken into the other ingredients. This helps the chicken absorb all of those great flavors you have built in the pan.
  6. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the chicken is an internal temperature of 165 degrees and cooked through.

Chicken Skewers with Cilantro Dipping Sauce

The Chickey Gervais Skewers are named after this year’s Golden Globes host, Ricky Gervais. We love these skewers because they are really easy to assemble and always a crowd pleaser at a party. We love the cilantro lime dipping sauce as a pairing  with the onions and peppers for a fresh taste but you could easily swap and serve these with BBQ or hot sauce. For the Golden Globes, we plan to serve all dishes as heavy apps and decided to make half skewers to keep these the right portion. If you are serving them for a summer bbq use full sized skewers and make them an entree. 

Chickey Gervais Skewers – Chicken Fajita Skewers with Cilantro Lime Dipping Sauce
Makes: 12 half skewers; 6 full sized entree skewers
Prep Time: 15 minutes     Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients For the Skewers:

  • 1 lb chicken breasts or chicken tenders
  • 2 green peppers 
  • 1 red onion

Ingredients For the Sauce:

  • 1 package cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic 
  • 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the skewers in a bowl of water. Make sure they are fully submerged as this will prevent the skewers from burning while you cook.
  2. Cut the chicken, green peppers and onion into one inch pieces. Assemble the skewers by placing one piece of each the chicken, peppers and onion in a row until the skewer is filled. Leave 1/2 inch of skewer on each side for easy handling.
  3. Season the skewers with salt and pepper and put them in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.*
  4. While the skewers are in the oven, make the sauce. Combine the cilantro, garlic, lime, olive oil and cumin in a blender and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve the skewers on a tray and splash the sauce directly on them or put the sauce in a separate dish for a self-serve option. Enjoy! 

*If you are cooking the skewers in the summer, feel free to cook on the grill! You will follow the same steps but cook on high heat for 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. 


Seal the Deal Prosciutto Stuffed Chicken Breasts

This chicken dish is really the beginning of the story for how Tate’s parents got together. After a few dates in college, Tate’s dad offered to cook a meal at his house. A little nervous, and armed with wine, Tate’s mom agreed. Her hesitation was removed at the first bite of this chicken dish. Crunchy, cheesy and filling – this dish won over her stomach and heart. Flash forward 10 years, and they are still enjoying this dish together.

Seal the Deal Prosciutto Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Serving Size: 4 servings

Cooking Time: 60 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 4 slices provolone cheese
  • 4 slices prosciutto
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs, scrambled
  • 2 cups canola oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbs chopped basil, for garnish
  • 2 cups marinara sauce (click for our favorite recipe)

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Pound chicken breasts to flatten so they are even in thickness. Aim for roughly ¾ inch thick. This will help to cook the chicken evenly.
  • Take a paring knife and make an insert in each breast, leaving at least a half inch border on three sides of the chicken breast to form a pocket for the prosciutto and provolone
  • Take the provolone and prosciutto and roll together and place in the pocket of each chicken breast. Season the outside of each chicken breast with salt and pepper.

Bread the Chicken:

  • Add the salt and pepper to the flour and place the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs in three separate containers
  • Using one hand for dry ingredients and one for wet follow the next steps for each chicken breast:
  • Put the chicken breast in the flour and cover both sides
  • Move the chicken breast to the eggs and cover both sides
  • Move the chicken breast to the breadcrumbs and cover both sides

To Cook:

  • Put the canola oil in the pan and turn heat to medium-high.
  • Once the oil is hot (you can test with a pinch of flour), add the chicken breasts to the pan. Be careful not to overcrowd- you can do this step in two batches if necessary.
  • Cook the chicken about 4 minutes per side, or until the chicken is nice and brown. Transfer to a cookie sheet. If you are doing this in two steps, let the first batch sit out and transfer all of the chicken to the oven at the same time.
  • Place the chicken in the oven and cook until the thickest part of the breast has reached a temperature of 165 degrees- roughly 20 minutes.
  • Serve the chicken on top of the marinara so that it stays crispy! Top with fresh basil.