Pineapple Meatball Kebabs with Apple Slaw

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I am usually on the prowl for easy delicious recipes that cater to busy families, which is a trend you’ll notice if you scroll through my posts. That said, this is not an outwardly weeknight “quickie” recipe. However, there are ways to make this dish more weeknight appropriate, which is something I recommend. What I did was make the meatballs and sauce (separately) ahead of time. This way when we were ready for dinner I just fired up the grill, sauced the pre-made meatballs, and enjoyed. If you want to do this just sauce what meatballs you know you will eat, and put the rest in the fridge.  I will say that the extra time it took to initially put this dinner together was well worth it. The tangy sweet sauce is the showstopper in this dish which paired really nice with the crunchy apple slaw. I HIGHLY recommend doubling the slaw recipe because it was so refreshing and we went through the first batch pretty quickly. This dish was inspired from two different recipe blogs. The meatballs were adapted from Savory Nothings which is a gorgeous blog with stunning photos and easy to follow recipes. The slaw was adapted from Damn Delicious which is also a beautiful recipe blog (my favorite part of her posts are that she adds the nutritional facts for each recipe). Give both blogs a look if you try and like this recipe their recipes are a tad different from this one and they have tons of other tasty posts.

TIME: approximately 1 hour 15 minutes with prep.com

SERVES: approximately 6

Ingredients for Meatballs :

  • 1.5 lb ground beef
  • 1 lg yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 scallions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds, (I toasted mine a bit before adding)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Ingredients for Sauce:

  • 20 oz can of crushed pineapple in 100% pineapple juice
  • 5 tbsp soy sauce (I used low sodium)
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp garlic powder

Ingredients for Apple Slaw:

  • 1 bag of slaw mix (I would recommend getting an extra red cabbage and carrot, chopping/slicing them up, and adding them to the mix. There is never enough red cabbage or carrot in store bought slaw).
  • 2 granny smith apples, julienned
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions for Meatballs and Sauce:

  1. If you are pairing the meatballs with the slaw recipe prepare the slaw first as it needs to be refrigerated for at least an hour before serving. That recipe can be found below
  2. Preheat your oven to 400 F, also if you are using bamboo/wooden skewers soak them in water for 30 minutes.
  3. Combine all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl until well combined. Form small balls and line them up on a greased baking sheet.
  4. Bake the meatballs in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, until no longer pink in the center (I always reserve one meatball as my “tester” to check for pinkness and when cooked to check for taste). Once cooked, set the meatballs aside to cool.
  5. While the meatballs are baking and cooling combine all of the sauce ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until it begins to lightly boil. Be sure to stir the sauce frequently as it will burn if not tended to. Once boiling turn heat down to a simmer continuing to stir until it is nice and thick. Once thick remove the saucepan from heat.
  6. Once meatballs are cooled string 3-4 meatballs on each skewer. Spoon or brush the sauce over the meatballs, coating them really well.
  7. Fire up your grill and cook the kebabs until nice scorch marks appear.
  8. Plate with your favorite sides (aka the slaw recipe below) and Enjoy!

Directions for Apple Slaw:

  1. In a large bowl combine the slaw mix and apples.
  2. In a separate bowl mix all the “wet” ingredients together until well combined.
  3. Pour the saucy mixture over the apples and slaw. Toss until the slaw is nice and coated.
  4. Cover and put in the fridge for at least one hour.
  5. When ready to serve toss the slaw and plate.
  6. Enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me.

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Pineapple Baked Chicken

11008513_10205998715465070_8853942480179284495_nIt is no secret that I love savory sweet, and this recipe delivers just that. This chicken dish is baked so the meat came out really juicy and tender with the pineapples perfectly soft. I found it to be an easy, quick and delicious recipe that had us coming back for seconds. I honestly ate a heaping second plate of just the pineapple for desert, that is how tasty it was. We added extra pepper flakes for more heat and I think that took it to a whole new level of yummy. I’m falling in love with Dijon mustard after the saucy pork chops I made a few weeks ago, and I must say I think that is what holds all the flavors in this recipe together.

Serves: 4     Calories: 350 per serving     Time: MARINATE 3 hrs  COOK: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts, trimmed
  • 2 (20 oz.) cans of pineapple chunks, if you can get the ones in pineapple juice not syrup
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. lemon zest
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • Crushed pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:

  1. To marinade, combine chicken, pineapple juice (drain from the canned stuff and keep pineapple chunks aside), garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice, lemon zest and paprika. Place in a large bowl or ziplock bag and refrigerate for 4 hours.
  2. Pre heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Spray 9×13 cooking dish with cooking spray.
  4. Remove the chicken from the marinade and put into the baking dish and set aside. Discard of the marinade.
  5. In a large pan melt the butter. Once butter is melted add the Dijon, honey, and pineapple chunks stirring for a few minutes until bubbly. Remove from heat
  6. Pour the saucy pineapple chunks over the chicken and bake for 35-40 minutes.
  7. If you are into spicy, sprinkle pepper flakes on top before serving.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

**Recipe adapted from http://www.diethood.com 

Sweet Fire Chicken Tenders (Fake-out-take-out)

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Sweet fire chicken, I adore it but I hate to spend 12.00 on a meal at Panda that will not produce left overs. Problem solved, friends, as I’ve scoured the darkest ends of the internet and got some ideas that birthed this wonderful copy cat recipe. If you’ve never had the pleasure of eating sweet fire chicken at Panda Express : firstly I’m sorry and secondly prepare yourselves to be turned on to the “tangy yet sweet and spicy all at once” temptress that is this dish. Another thing that makes this recipe so awesome is that it is extremely quick and easy to prepare. Sometimes even I don’t enjoy cooking for hours. I did find room for improvement and think this may go better with a panko crusted baked chicken. I’ll be honest, I suck at pan frying chicken. From now on I’ll stick to the oven (and don’t worry I’ll post the revisions if I think the oven baked chicken turns out better).

Serves: 5     Calories: 523 per serving    Time: 30-45 mins 

Ingredients: 

  • 1/4 cup canola oil, if you have high cholesterol like Perry they make cholesterol free canola oil which is what I used.
  • 1 lb chicken breast tenders, washed and trimmed
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, I added some salt and a lot of pepper to the flour as if this dish needed any more flavor
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp canola or olive oil
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped into large chunks
  • 2 cans of pineapple chunks in natural juice, drained
  • 2/3 cup of sweet chili sauce
  • 1 bunch of green onions, sliced for garnish

Directions:

  1. Wash and trim chicken. Once the chicken is clean bread it by rolling each tender first in the flour then dip in eggs and roll in flour once more. Working one tender at a time set those already breaded aside.
  2. Once all the tenders have been breaded heat the 1/4 cup of canola oil over medium high heat. Once hot add 4 tenders at a time. Cook for approximately 3 minutes on each side or until evenly browned and cooked through. Continue to do this until all the chicken is cooked. Set chicken aside.
  3. In a separate pan heat an additional 1 tsp of oil (olive or canola) over medium heat and add the bell peppers and pineapples. Cook until peppers are tender, approximately 5 minutes.
  4. Add the chili sauce and stir until sauce is thick and bubbly, an additional 3 minutes or so.
  5. Serve the pepper and pineapple sauce over the chicken tenders and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me. 

*Recipe adapted from http://www.damndelicious.com 

Ham and Pineapple Fried Rice

ImageSomething Perry has been craving lately is fried rice. We don’t get take out often and hardly ever visit Chinese Restaurants to eat (my almost 3-year-old won’t allow it) so I had to whip something up at home. I’ve never been any good at cooking rice so I had to search for an easy recipe with good ratings. It did not take me long to find this five star recipe, and believe me it is worth all five stars 🙂  I did not use “ham” but instead I used bacon. If you follow my lead I would cut the added salt down by half because the bacon adds a lot of its own salt. Other than that the recipe is super easy, fast and delicious.

Serves: 5-6      Calories: 330    Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white rice, uncooked
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced including tops
  • 1 cup ham, diced (we used bacon)
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 1 (8 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt (If you use bacon cut this in half)
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

Directions:

  1. Bring the rice and water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender, and the liquid has been absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes. (Mine took about 18 minutes. just peek on it and go with your gut but don’t let it burn)
  2. Spread cooked rice out on a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate until cooled, about 20 minutes. (Do not skip this step! It is crucial)
  3. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Cook and stir the green onions, ham, and peas in the hot oil until onions have softened, about 2 minutes.
  5. Stir the pineapple chunks into the skillet; cook until pineapple begins to darken, about 2 minute.
  6. Push ingredients to the side of the wok, and pour beaten egg in the center. Cook until egg begins to solidify, about 30 seconds. Stir together all contents of the skillet.
  7. Mix the cooled rice, sugar, salt, white pepper, and garlic powder into the skillet; stir constantly to keep from sticking. Cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle the rice with the soy sauce, and stir to combine.
  9. Dish and Enjoy!

*Original recipe belongs to http://www.food.com

**Photo is an original belonging to me

Island Sliders With a Kick

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These babies were just the thing to polish off the beautiful summer day today. The pineapples and chicken burger patties were juicy, flavorful, and grilled to perfection. The only thing I might add is a tsp of teriyaki sauce. All together these hit the spot.

Makes 9 sliders at 151 calories per slider

Ingredients:

  • 1-8oz can of pineapple slices, draines
  • 2-3 skewers
  • 3 slices pepper jack cheese, sliced to drape over 9 mini patties
  • 9 slider buns
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, divided into 1/4 tsp
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, divided into 1/4 tsp
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, soy sauce, 1/4 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp chili powder,  salt, cumin, and garlic in a large bowl. Mix and divide into 9 large even balls. Keep in mind that the mixture might be a little sticky so don’t expect the balls to be perfectly formed. Just make sure you use close to the same amount of mixture per “ball.” Form patties, making them slightly thinner in the middle.
  2. Mix together the remaining 1/4 tsp paprika and 1/4 tsp of chili powder and sprinkle over the patties.
  3. Refrigerate the patties for 30 minutes. Do not skip this step because  it will be difficult to transfer the patties to the grill.
  4. Preheat your grill to medium-high and grease the rack with cooking spray.
  5. Cook patties for 2-4 minutes per side or until cooked through. If you are using cheese (which I highly recommend) add it to the patties when you have a minute left on your timer.
  6. String pineapple chunks onto skewers and grill for 1-2 minutes or until you begin to see grill marks.
  7. Toast your bun if you wish and put together your sliders.
  8. Enjoy!

*Photo is original belonging to me

**This recipe was modified but you can find the original at http://homeiswheretheholmansare.blogspot.com/

Coconut Chicken with Tropical Salsa

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I’ve been  getting into baking chicken as opposed to pan frying lately. I swear I will never EVER properly cook chicken in a pan. It is always dry and gross when I do so I’m throwing in the towel and sticking to my oven. Between this recipe, the rosemary walnut recipe, and the Moroccan chicken recipe I’m set in the chicken department 🙂 This one is especially good because of the tropical salsa that it’s been paired with. I’ve had this recipe written on an index card for years now and finally decided to give it a go. I’m sad I had not tried it sooner.

Serves: 4      Calories: 479

Ingredients:

  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups of corn flakes, coarsely crushed
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 lb chicken tenders, rinsed and trimmed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup diced pineapple
  • 1 cup corn kernels, thawed if frozen
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed seeded and diced
  • 1 scallion thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • Cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Remove upper oven rack and preheat oven to 425
  2. Spray oven rack with cooking spray and set aside
  3. Crack egg into shallow dish and beat lightly.
  4. Combine corn flakes and coconut in another shallow dish.
  5. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dip chicken in egg and dredge in corn flake mixture.
  6. Arrange chicken on oven rack and bake until golden brown/cooked through (approximately 10-12 minutes)
  7. Toss together pineapple, corn, bell pepper, scallion, lime, oil, salt/pepper in a large bowl.
  8. Serve chicken with salsa and enjoy!

*Photo is an original taken by me