Friday, July 10, 2015

Chicken and Shishito Pepper Kebabs

One of my favorite little gems have started appearing at the market - shishito peppers. These sweet peppers may be small, but they pack a huge flavor punch. I tasted them for the first time last year, trying a few different preparation techniques. They are pretty versatile, like a bell pepper. Since last year, I have noticed that they are popping up in a lot of grocery stores now as well. The easiest way to cook shishito peppers is to sauté them in a hot cast iron skillet with oil and coarse sea salt. However, since it is grilling season, I figured a nice kebab was in order!

Chicken and Shishito Pepper Kebabs | www.kettlercuisine.com

I like chicken kebabs since they hold up well on the grill and won't overcook by the time the vegetables are done. I decided to marinade the chicken a bit to add some additional flavor and the Hubby gave me the exact cooking instructions! If you include lemon juice in the marinade, be sure to NOT let it sit for too long. The oil, herbs and garlic make a great marinade as well though if you want to get a more flavorful kebab. Just drizzle the lemon juice on the kebabs before grilling.

If using wooden skewers, remember to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before putting on the grill.

So head to your local Farmers Market in search for these sweet little gems and fire up that grill ya'll!

Chicken and Shishito Pepper Kebabs | www.kettlercuisine.com


Chicken and Shishito Pepper Kebabs

Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes


1 pound chicken breasts (skinless, boneless) cut into 1 inch cubes
1 pint Shishito Peppers
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 T Grapeseed oil or Olive Oil
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper 

In a small bowl, combine the garlic, oil, thyme, lemon juice and salt and pepper and mix well. Add the marinade into a large zip-loc bag along with the chicken, mix around well. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Prepare the grill for direct heat.

Skewer the marinated chicken and shishito peppers and grill in a single layer over direct heat. Cook the kebabs for about 5 minutes per side, covered, watching to not char the peppers too much. Remove the kebabs and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Chicken and Shishito Pepper Kebabs | www.kettlercuisine.com

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Zucchini Noodle Salad

Summer produce is coming in strong at the Farmers Market. Tomatoes, peaches, peppers and, my favorite, zucchini. I became obsessed with making noodles from zucchini last year, or as I like to call "zoodles!" I never got around to posting this recipe last year, so I have been holding on to it for summer.


Zucchini Noodle Salad | www.kettlercuisine.com

Last summer, I had the opportunity to take a Farmers Market cooking class. The instructor, who is a fellow blogger and friend from I Cook, I Eat, It's Life took us around the Western Wake Farmers Market and introduced us to several of the vendors and farmers. I've since gotten to know several of the farmers, learned about their farms and tasted all of their goods! I look forward to my market trip every Saturday morning now :)

All the recipes that we made in the class featured produce and goods from the market like this Zucchini Noodle Salad which highlights the best of summer. I've mentioned my spiralizer before to make Sriracha Shrimp with Zucchini Noodles. I highly recommend getting one of these kitchen tools.

Zucchini Noodle Salad | www.kettlercuisine.com

I like to serve this with fresh slices of Heirloom tomatoes, herbs and Desirée's Balsamic Vinaigrette. Amazing how some of the most healthy dishes can feel like complete indulgences! At least, they do for me :)



Zucchini Noodle Salad

Yields: 4 side servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes + 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes


3 medium zucchini
1 large red pepper
1 small red onion
1 Tablespoon fresh basil
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley
Desirée's Balsamic Vinaigrette
Fresh tomato slices (optional)

Prepare the dressing first and set aside.

Cut the ends off the zucchini and julienne the vegetables or use a spiralizer (I like this one) to create noodles. Sprinkle the noodles with salt and line a large colander with paper towels. Toss the noodles and put in the lined colainder to help drain off some of the moisture. Set this aside.

Slice the red onion thinly and place in a bowl of cold water, set aside. (This helps to cut the bite from the onion since they are raw in the salad).

Under a high broiler, roast the pepper until the skin is well blistered. Remove from the oven and place in a covered bowl. Once the peppers have cooled, peel off the skin, deseed and chop. Here are more detailed instructions on how to prepare roasted red peppers. (Alternatively, use jarred roasted red peppers).

Place the chopped red pepper, soaked onion slices and fresh herbs in a large bowl and gently toss. Add in the zucchini noodles and drizzle some of the dressing over top. Toss gently and serve with more fresh herbs and dressing if desired. This salad is best served immediately, although I enjoyed the leftovers the next day too!

Zucchini Noodle Salad | www.kettlercuisine.com

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Fresh Start Green Smoothie

Fresh starts are a wonderful thing in life. Recently, this has been a consistent theme for me. I started a new job, switched to a new disease management regimen, and now, looking for a new house. Every "fresh start" comes with a defining moment - a job offer, a cookbook, a workout plan, a For Sale sign in your front yard. It signifies that there's change ahead, which to me is what keeps life fun and interesting.

Fresh Start Green Smoothie

Like in life, sometimes my diet needs a "fresh start." Cleanses and cleansing foods often symbolize this. I will be the first to admit that cleanse is a misleading word, often associated with week-long juicing, body scrubbing and cayenne-spiced waters that result in headaches, mood swings and several trips to the bathroom. They tend to be a bit much for my delicate system, so I stick to much shorter versions or simply just consume cleansing foods, like this green smoothie. 


I realize that I have taken a VERY LONG break from the blog, but with good reason (see list above). Consider this my fresh start! 

Fresh Start Green Smoothie

Fresh Start Green Smoothie

Yields: 1 smoothie 

1/2 avocado
1 pear with skin on
Juice from 1/4 lemon
Handful fresh spinach
1/4 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1/3 cup filtered water
10 mint leaves (can also use cilantro)
1/2 teaspoon honey (optional)

Add everything into a blender and mix at high speed for several minutes. Scrape down the sides if needed and continue to blend. Eat/Drink immediately for best nutritional value.