Butter Chicken is one of those delicious, hearty dishes with an Indian flair that warm my heart. For years I refused to make it, as I only found unhealthy options packed with butter and cream... and then I found and tweaked a recipe that includes no butter, no cream, but still makes a creamy, tasty sauce that is a delight, especially as we head into those colder nights. This is perfect to pop into the slow cooker and make while you're at work, and then make it an early night dinner so you can enjoy time with the family or binging on your favorite show!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 6-8 hours
I'm incredibly fortunate that my in-laws keep a massive garden, and we're on the receiving end of tons of delicious, fresh, good for you veggies. Okra is that one thing that other than including in Cajun Cuisine, or frying up in corn meal as my mother in law does, I'm at a loss of what to do with. Years ago, I found this recipe in the NYT (slowly but surely modified over the years) for a Turkish dish which bring Okra and Chicken together in an incredibly hearty meal... it also taught me the technique of how to cut the SLIMINESS out of Okra (included in the list below) so you can enjoy the flavor without the nasty slime that sometimes accompanies it. Now that we're in the last throes of summer veggies, try this out! Enjoy!
Time: 2 hours
As they say in my home country, Buen Provecho! Let me know what you think in the comments below!
Let's face it, weekdays are brutal to prepare a nice meal. This recipe definitely takes shortcuts, but provides a nice, hearty meal that you'll love and is pretty healthy - just swing by the grocery store and pick up a rotisserie chicken (if you're close to a Publix, the Mojo Chicken is best), a can of green chiles, tortillas, non-fat Greek Yogurt (if you have none - believe, me, this is a magical solution to keep the filling deliciously moist without the fat!) and use a few spices (including Turmeric, which we should all be having more of because of its health benefits!) and veggies you'll already have at home. On the table in less than an hour, max, and no-one will ever know you didn't slave over the stove all day! Side note, if you're doubting how to make it, check out my Instagram video with step by step instructions at @lloydlcooks.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Inspired by French cooking, it combines savory herbs with the brininess of olives and the sweetness of fruit to provide a delectable explosion in your mouth! This is a beautiful addition to your rotation for a weekend dinner, perfect for a a dinner party or a holiday get-together! After the first time I made this, we have this at least once every six weeks. However, be advised you'll need to do an overnight marinade on this one, so you'll need to plan ahead. Note - this recipe came originally from “The Silver Palate Cookbook” by Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso - but I've made my own modifications to tweak to our liking (including eliminating the sugar, as I personally prefer more savory food).
Time: Overnight Marinade; 1 + 1/2 hours cooking
I think most of you know, but I grew up in Venezuela, a country which has a rich, blended cuisine culture. One of the largest populations of immigrants were Spanish - leading to us having traditional Spanish 'tascas' spread all throughout Caracas, which means I grew up having paella. I still crave the leisurely Sunday late lunches, where it took over an hour for the paella to be prepared, and you enjoyed tapas and charcuterie boards while sipping sangria, your mouth watering just a bit more with every passing minute.
All this to say, I'm an unabashed paella snob. I don't believe throwing shrimp on microwave rice constitutes paella. I have spent years honing in on what 'my recipe' will be, starting with a bumpy combination of 2 different recipes I found in Food & Wine, then modifying and taking inspiration from sources such as NYT Cooking, Bon Appetit, and of course, the advice of a few Spanish friend's mothers. A good paella takes quality ingredients, patience, and if you can, homemade seafood broth (we go along making it throughout the year and just throw in the freezer). But, don't panic if you don't have any, as you can get some at the store. Voila, I finally feel comfortable enough to post it!
Cooking Time: 90 Minutes (prep & cooking)
I hope you LOVE this! Let me know what you think in the comments. As they say in my home country, Buen Provecho!
This recipe is an adaptation of a Filipino classic that's close to my Venezuelan heart (little known fact, Filipino cuisine is heavily influenced by the Spaniards and the tropics, similar to Venezuela, but takes it to the next level given it's dash of Asian flavors mixed in as well. While odd, the vinegar (originally this is made with Apple Cider Vinegar, but we found that the Rice Wine vinegar is a more subtle approach) provides a flavorful contrast to the coconut milk truly enhances the flavor. Try this on a weeknight, few ingredients, few steps, a whole lot of flavor.
Prep + Cooking Time: 1 - 1 1/2 hours
Chicken Shawarma - traditionally slowly roasted in a vertical rotisserie - is one of those quintessentials dishes that pack in an explosion of flavors that you'll be reminiscing about for days. This is a simple & healthy way to make at home that's remarkable versatile - you can serve as an entree with rice and a traditional Middle Eastern Chickpea Salad, or pack it in a Whole Wheat Pita topped with a quick homemade Tzatziki Sauce for a more casual meal. Either way, this is AMAZING and will become a go to recipe for you, just as it has for us - this is the perfect solution for wanting to get a homemade, healthy and flavorful dinner on the table when you've had a busy day, as you can prep ahead and quickly cook in the oven! Chicken Thighs will do best, but we make it with Chicken Breasts more often than not to make it a bit healthier.
Inportant to note - I cut the chicken in small strips so that there is more surface area to pick up the marinade flavor (and I don’t mind it being served in chunks), but if you’d prefer, keep the chicken thighs or breasts whole, especially if you’re serving friends and as an entree.
Time: 2 hours to an Overnight Marinade, 1 Hour Prep/Cook time total.
As they say in my country, Bueno Provecho!
Let me know what you think in the comments below!
This recipe came from our friends at the Mediterranean Dish, with a few modifications from yours truly. I served with Lebanese Rice and a side fattoush salad! YUMZZZ!
This recipe came courtesy of the great chef Asha Gomes, who used to own a phenomenal restaurant named Cardamom Hill here in Atlanta and now hosts these incredible soirees in one of her spaces with small, intimate dinners. Anyhow... once I saw this I knew I need to make it and I LOVED it - it's become a repeat recipe over time. See below - I've modified the recipe to be a light sauté instead of a deep fry, and modified the garnishes and serving method.
FOR THE CHICKEN:
FOR THE GARNISH/SERVING:
I've frequently used this marinade which I originally discovered in the NYT, and slowly made modifications over time to. I've used this with tofu, chicken, pork and even fish! I would definitely recommend letting your protein sit in this at least 8 hours (in the case of tofu, overnight) so it can truly absorb these wonderfully complex flavors.
Whisk together all ingredients. Coat proteins in the marinade, cover and refrigerate.