Grilled Pineapple Salsa

Ever since the Olympics closing ceremony, I’ve been in love with One Direction!

Michael’s been going on about how awesome and popular they are with the masses for ages, because he listens to satellite radio and they discuss such things.  While I listen to poor people (free) radio.  Apparently, you’re more hip and up on current trends if you listen to rich people radio.

Anyways, point is… What Makes You Beautiful is my new favorite song, and it totally made my day when it was on the radio as I was driving to work on Saturday and I think I should start listening to it every day before work because it makes me happy.  I was singing it in my head all morning and my mood was greatly improved.

But how come the One Direction boys are so young?  I mean, they look like they’re fifteen.  When did I get so old?

But I’m glad the boy band is making a comeback.  Remember this?  Or this? Now there was a boy band.

The Backstreet Boys had dance moves.  Where are One Direction’s dance moves?

I regret not going back to Vegas last year to see NKOTBSB’s concert.

I did see BSB in concert once.  It was in 2010, so not in their hay day.  But still, it was a life goal accomplished.  I may have had chemo that day, but I didn’t let that, or my low white blood cell count stop me from seeing them.  I think my doctor and the nurses thought I was crazy.  They just didn’t understand.

Anyways, so after spending my Saturday night watching One Direction and Backstreet Boys music videos on Youtube, I’ve decided I need more boy bands in my life.  So I made a boy band playlist on Grooveshark and spent my Sunday blaring their soothing tunes from my laptop and dancing around as I did some baking.

In other news, this pineapple salsa is delicious!

Total fruit-in-my-food convert right here.  Fruit is not just for snacking people!  It’s great in salsa and on top of chicken.  That recipe is coming Friday.  Stay tuned folks!  It’s delicious!

But you can also eat this salsa with nachos.  I know I did.

Grilled Pineapple Salsa

(from The Looneyspoons Collection by Janet and Greta Podleski)

1 pineapple, cored and sliced into 6 rings

1 red pepper, cut in half and seeded

1 jalapeno pepper, diced

1/4 red onion, diced

Handful cilantro, chopped

Juice of 1 lime

Heat grill to medium.  Grill the pineapple rings and pepper halves about 4 minutes per side, until heated through and marked with grill lines.  Remove from grill and let cool.

Once cool enough to handle, dice the pineapple and pepper into small pieces.  Put everything in a bowl and stir to combine.

Let’s get a discussion going here people.  What’s your favorite Backstreet Boys’ song?  Mine is I Want It That Way.  Or More Than That.  We can also discuss your favorite Backstreet Boy.  Mine is Brian.  So jealous he’s married already.

Happy Monday!

Coconut Lime Chicken Tacos With Mango Strawberry Salsamole

Along with coconut, pina coladas, avocados, the beach, and sunsets, tacos are something that I think I need more of in my life.

And that is why I am sharing this recipe with you folks today.

It combines many of my favorite summery flavours: coconut, lime, strawberry, and mango.  Oh and avocados!

I used to be strongly opposed to the whole fruit as part of my entrée.  That was until I had Jessica’s tacos with strawberry avocado salsa (which you simply must try!).  Then I realized it was a good idea and ate those tacos two nights in a row and put strawberries in my salad for the rest of the week.

I know it’s getting a bit hot for the oven.  My apartment building has the worst air circulation ever!  It was 28 degrees in here yesterday and I thought I was going to burst into flames.  Thankfully, today is much cooler and I’m actually getting a breeze in my window.  I made these a couple of weeks ago before the heat wave struck.  But you could totally marinate the chicken breast whole instead of in strips, and grill it on the BBQ and then slice to be used in tacos.

Make these.  You’ll be glad you did.

Coconut Lime Chicken Tacos with Mango Strawberry Salsamole 
(inspiration from How Sweet It Is)
4 chicken breasts, cut into strips lengthwise
8 whole wheat/multigrain tortillas
Monterary jack cheese, shredded
(adapted from Coconut Lime Chicken)
2 cloves garlic, grated
1/2 cup green onion, chopped (I used a spring onion I got at the market)
1/2 cup cilantro
1/8 tsp cayenne
2 tbsp honey
1/2 cup coconut milk
Juice and zest of one lime
Mango Strawberry Salsamole:
(adapted from Mango Salsa from Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications Ultimate Mexican 2011 ed.)
1 small red pepper, chopped
1 mango, chopped
1 spring onion or 3-4 green onions, chopped
1 jalepeno, chopped finely
4 large strawberries, chopped
1 avocado, diced
Juice of one lime
Put all marinade ingredients in bowl of food processor or blender.  Process until smooth.  Pour into a Ziploc bag and add chicken strips.  Give it a massage to coat all chicken pieces.  Refrigerate for 2 hours or so.
Preheat oven to 450º.  Line a baking sheet with foil and place wire cooling rack on top.  Put the chicken strips on the rack and bake for 20 minutes.  Flip strips.  Bake another 10-15 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
While chicken is baking, make the salsamole by combining salsamole ingredients in a bowl and stirring.
Heat a frying pan or grill pan over medium heat.  Warm tortillas by placing in the hot pan for about 30 seconds per side or until it starts to brown.
Build tacos by placing 2-3 chicken strips on tortilla.  Top with cheese, salsamole, and cilantro.  Fold in half and enjoy!

 I could go for one of these right now.


Pico de Gallo Rice Pilaf

I went shopping this weekend and had an epiphany of sorts.

I was looking for some summery clothes, like brightly colored t-shirts and sun dresses.  In an effort to be more trendy I went in some stores I don’t normally shop in.

I think there’s a reason for that.

The first clue should have been that the sales people were all sixteen.

The second clue was the length of the skirts.  I tried on many a dress or skirt that looked nice on the mannequin, or that the sales girl was pulling off quite nicely, but had little success. 

I am too old to wear short skirts.

They just don’t look good one me. 

Maybe it’s not that I’m too old… maybe it’s just that I don’t have the right body type to pull off the trendy styles.  Shorter skirts that puff out and have layers are very in right now, and they are so adorable!  Unfortunately, they accentuate my already disproportionately curvaceous lower half.

When I finally did find some beach dresses that I absolutely LOVE, the middle aged sale clerk informed me that she owned three of my five purchases.

That lady must have great style.

Woopsie… I bought another bathing suit too.  Because, you know, eight suits just isn’t enough… and I didn’t have a teal one and teal is my FAVORITE color… and it was such a good deal!

I could justify purchases all day long.

Anyways… let’s talk food.  There’s a recipe in this post I promise!

You don’t have to go shopping to make you feel summery.  You could eat this rice pilaf that tastes like Mexico and reminded me of guacamole (cuz it has everything I put in my guac except the avocado).

Stay tuned for the chicken I paired it with.  It’s fab!  I’ll show you that on Friday.

Pico de Gallo Rice Pilaf
(very slightly adapted from Rachael Ray’s Look + Cook Cookbook)
1/2 cup orzo pasta
1 cup brown rice
2 cups chicken broth
4 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 medium sized red onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
Handful of cilantro, finely chopped
Zest and juice of 1 lime
Heat one turn of pan EVOO in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add orzo and cook until brown and toasted.  Stir in rice and broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until rice is cooked, about 17-18 minutes.
Meanwhile, chop your veggies and combine in a bowl with lime juice and zest.
Once rice is done, fluff with a fork and combine with salsa.

 Super easy and delicious!  One of the best side dishes I have ever made!