Some like it Hot: Kickin’ Mac n’ Cheese

Who doesn’t enjoy good old fashion  mac n’ cheese? Luke and I love our pasta but we also like our food hot (let’s just say Luke’s “medium” salsa would be a kick in the pants for most). So I couldn’t help adding some kick to this classic comfort food.  But what do you do when you want to make a delicious bowl of fatty spicy cheese and carbs a “healthy meal”? You add protein and some veggies creating my recipe for kickin’ mac n’ cheese!

IMG_0342

Awhile ago when Luke and I were taking a finance class at church I posted food on the run where I gave out the recipe for our mushroom and spinach white cheddar pasta using Annie’s gluten free shells.  Although I usally do not like using box mixes, Annie’s makes dinner fast, easy, and some-what healthy. Plus the gluten-free rice pasta has less calories (which amounts to more pasta in our bowl) and as has been widely discussed doesn’t create that fat storing “wheat-belly” issue.

Now that I’m done advertising how about I give you the recipe?

Ingredients:

IMG_0322

-2 boxes of Annie’s rice pasta and cheddar Mac n’ Cheese

(depending on how many people you are serving and their appetite you may vary the amount of pasta you use which will change the amount of  your other ingredients )

IMG_0327

-3/4 C. greek yogurt or 1/2 C. depending on how creamy you want it

IMG_0330

-Siracha (about 1 tablespoon again depending on how much kick you’re looking for)

-red pepper flakes to taste

-chili powder to taste

-good potions of salsa, homemade pico de gallo, or chopped mixed veggies: onions, green peppers, tomatoes and/or jalepenos.

Instructions:

-Follow box instructions for cooking pasta. Be careful:  to stir the  noodles as they cook. The rice noodles absorb a large portion of the water  and you do not want the pasta to get stuck to the bottom of the pan.

IMG_0325

-Drain access water from the pot.

-Turn stove to very low and add in the packets of cheese and greek yogurt and mix together.

IMG_0328

IMG_0329

-Add in the kick: siracha, red pepper flakes, chili powder and mix.

IMG_0332

-Turn off stove and dish up into bowls.

IMG_0333

-Top it off with pico de gallo, salsa, or pre chopped chopped veggies.

IMG_0335

I make my own pico de gallo because I use it as a veggie base for so many of my dishes. It is easy to make a big batch at the beginning of the week and have it available for several meals. (A more specific recipe will be coming soon.)

IMG_0337

In general, I chop up several fresh green peppers, onions, and tomatoes. Then place the mixed veggies into a medium size mixing bowl and with a large serving spoon mix together with lime/lemon juice, seasoning, and a little oil.

And there you have a somewhat healthy dinner-in-one-bowl kickin’ mac n’ cheese.

IMG_0343

What are your family’s favorite meals?

BBQ Teriyaki Bowl

So summer is coming. One day I am getting sun-burnt on a cold windy day at the park, the next I am turning the heat on staring at the rain outside, and yesterday and today have been humid and in the 90’s! As the weather warms up, the desire to use the oven becomes less. So I thought I’d share an easy oven-less meal with you: BBQ Teriyaki Bowl.

IMG_2983

Living in the northwest during college I learned to love teriyaki. Even before then, teriyaki night at my parent’s was one of my favorite meals. Now I’ve been working on my own version. The original recipe for the marinade/teriyaki sauce came from a good friend from Japan whom I tutored in English for two years.  I have been using some version of it since. This recipe will feed two and portions are only suggestions.

IMG_2974

Ingredients:

1 to 2 cups cut broccoli

1 to 1 1/2 cups uncooked minute brown rice

2 to 3 Tbs soy sauce (I use gluten-free)

3 Tbs white sugar or honey

1/8 to 1/4 cup mayonaise or plain greek yogurt

Instructions:

1.  Wash and prepare the chicken breasts

2. Combine soy sauce, mayonaise (yogurt), and sugar (honey) in a small bowl and whisk together. If you are going to substitute the sugar for honey you may want to taste-test to see if you want it sweeter or not. Different people like their teriyaki sweeter than others.

3. Place chicken breasts in large ziplock bag. Pour the small bowl of teriyaki sauce into the bag. Place chicken in the fridge to marinade for an hour before cooking or even over night.

4. Warm up and stick the chicken on the BBQ. If it is raining/cold out and you prefer to cook indoors, you can also pan fry the chicken in a medium pan on high heat.

IMG_2975

5. While the chicken is cooking, steam the broccoli and cook the rice. I use minute rice  because I find it easy.

IMG_2977

Layer the bowl rice first,

IMG_2978

then broccoli

IMG_2979

placing the chicken breast on top.

IMG_2980

We will also put some sriracha hot sauce and/or more soy sauce on the table in case we want to add it to the bowl.

IMG_2984

Then Enjoy!