Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Hummus Crusted Chicken

**Sorry about the darkness of these pictures. Dinnertime = terrible lighting that doesn't do justice to this amazing flavor.

If you know me, you know that I love hummus. I love it to a point that is probably a bit obsessive. I put it on any and everything. And I really do mean everything. It's gotten to a point where my hummus and "other food" combos have been made fun of (I am talking to you, Kenan). But I won't stop...mostly because I can't. It's an addiciton. Phone "Intervention," I'm ready for my 30 seconds of fame.

When I saw this Hummus-Crusted Chicken recipe on Pinterest I nearly fell over and died. How had a combination of flavors so perfect never crossed my mind?! Shame on me.

A week after I repinned this recipe, I was popping it in the oven. The quick turnaround was so worth it. This chicken was to.die.for.

Plopped over a bed of a yummy vegetable medley, the chicken was coated with a generous layer of roasted garlic hummus. Of course, you could use any hummus you'd like, but I thought garlic would give this a nice kick. The hummus stays a bit moist after it's baked, but it forms such a nice layer around the chicken. Plus some oozes onto the veggies and it's a flavor explosion. And healthy to boot!

I cannot wait to make this chicken again. You can use any veggies you'd like (I chose squash, zucchini, cauliflowers, and carrots), as well as any variety of hummus. I am currently FREAKING OUT over this White Bean and Basil Hummus from Trader Joe's (Kenan gets the shoutout once again for getting me hooked on this stuff), and can't wait to use it in this recipe.

This recipe is quick, easy, and healthy. It's simple and divine. Go makeu some.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

Hummus-Crusted Chicken
Recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven
  • 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 small zucchini
  • 2 small yellow squash
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower
  • 6 large carrot
  • 1/2 cup hummus
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp. McCormick Hot Shot! Black & Red Pepper Blend (or smoked paprika or sumac)
  • parmesan cheese (optional) to sprinkle on chicken
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Prepare one large baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Season the chicken breasts with generous pinches of salt and pepper. In a large bowl, toss the zucchini, yellow squash, cauliflower, and carrot with olive oil until evenly coated. (You could spray the veggies with olive oil "mist" but they may not cook as thoroughly). Season the veggies with salt and pepper (and other spices if you choose).
  3. Place all of the vegetables on the bottom of the dish in an even layer. Lay the 5 chicken breasts evenly on top, then coat each chicken breast with the hummus so that the entire breast is covered. Squeeze the juice of the lemon over top of the chicken and vegetable mixture. Then, sprinkle the entire pan with the McCormick Hot Shot! Black & Red Pepper Blend (or smoke paprika or sumac).
  4. Bake for about 25-35 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Serve immediately.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Tidbits {November 26, 2012}

Thanksgiving as told by my iPhone...
*PS - made an Instagram just for the blog! Check it out and follow!! (@tarheeltastebud)

I have never eaten so much stuffing in my life. Nor have I ever had a food coma that knocked me out for an hour. I've never been happier about it. Thanksgiving (and the break in general) was wonderful and I am so grateful for the many blessings in my life. Hope yours was just as fabulous!

Now back to the grind - finals time. Like I say every year, "If I can survive these 3 weeks, I can survive anything." Here's hoping...

***Stay tuned to the blog because later this week I'll be posting a delicious dinner recipe for you all!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thanksgiving Recipe Round-Up

I cannot believe Thanksgiving is just a few days away! I can't wait to have a few relaxing days at home...and to eat TONS of delicious food.

While I didn't have time to recreate my family's Thanksgiving menu, I've pulled a few from around the web and compiled them here. If you haven't finished making your menu, you MUST try some of these dishes. I want every single one of them.

Veggies & Sides:

My family has never been a fan of traditional Green Bean Casserole. Weird, huh? We love serving green beans with slivered almonds, but I love that this recipe adds some more flavor with a touch of bacon. If you aren't a fan of a typical green bean casserole, give this dish a try!

Now, I know that brussel sprouts are hit or miss for most people. For me, they're a hit. I love that this recipe is super simple, but the roasting gives the sprouts a nice, caramelized texture and leaves them tender and flavorful. If you don't like brussel sprouts, give these guys a try and you'll surely change your mind!

While I love brussel sprouts, I don't really like mashed potatoes. I'm crazy, I know. BUT, because I love you all and recognize that most people actually do like mashed potatoes, y'all need to try these. Brown Butter is incredible. And butter is the best part of mashed potatoes, right? Do this for yourself.

Is this a veggie or is it dessert? I vote veggie because I have a ton of desserts listed below that I'm saving room for. These look incredible. My favorite part of eating a sweet potato is loading it with butter and brown sugar. This takes things one step further with STREUSEL. I need.

I posted this recipe first on my Pumpkin Bucket List, but I think it would be the perfect addition to the bread basket this Thanksgiving. Everyone loves cornbread. Everyone loves pumpkin. Combine the two and everyone will love you for making this. Simple math, people.

Keeping up with the cornbread, this cornbread stuffing looks divine. I LOVE stuffing. It's definitely my favorite Thanksgiving dish. Like I said, everyone loves cornbread, so everyone will love this stuffing. I love that this dish takes my favorite Thanksgiving side and makes it even more heavenly.

Every year, my sister Kelley makes macaroni and cheese for our Thanksgiving spread. This macaroni and cheese looks utterly divine. It's loaded with cheese, gooey, and topped with tomatoes. You should take the Southern root and add mac and cheese to your Thanksgiving menu this year!

Sweet Treats:

I had my first taste of apple crisp a few weeks ago. Four HUGE pieces later, I was hooked. The stuff tastes like cinnamony, baked butter. I mean, c'mon. I am bringing this apple crisp to the table on Thursday and I am so excited. I love that the topping looks super crumbly and doesn't have any oats. I have to get rid of anything even remotely healthy from my desserts (hehe).

I am a blondie lover. I love bar desserts and these Ooey Gooey Caramel Pumpkin Blondies look to die for. Loaded with caramel and chocolate chips, and topped with ice cream, these will please the entire crowd!

Every year, my mom makes an incredible pumpkin cheesecake. We look forward to it all year. These Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites are a more simple approach to the traditional pumpkin cheesecake. Plus, they're adorable and everyone loves bar desserts. It's a proven fact. Whip these up and enjoy!

Because no meal is complete without a fun drink, this Apple Cider Sangria is a perfect way to round out your Thanksgiving meal. It fits with the seasonal, fall theme and will impress anyone (over 21). It's a fun twist on the typical wine with dinner.

Lastly, Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy time with family and friends and remember to be grateful for all your many blessings!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Tidbits {November 12, 2012}

1. I am still not over the fall leaves. When I went home this weekend, every tree I saw was magnificent. My mom and I pulled over to take these pictures. #noshame

2. As previously mentioned, I went home this weekend (again). It was my sorority's parent's weekend, but since my dad wasn't up to go, I brought parent's weekend back home. The 3 pictures above are just a few of the reasons I love my dad: he's adorable and he clips coupons. What a guy. Love him and admire his strength.

3. Another special event that drew me home this weekend was my sweet mama's birthday! She is my inspiration and the strongest, most faith-filled woman I've ever met. I want to be just like her when I grow up (but for real). Her cake came from Edible Art in Charlotte, and it was superb. I strongly dislike chocolate cake, but LOVED this chocolate cake. It wasn't too rich or too sweet, and the decorating was phenomenal. Cheers to your birthday, mommy!

4. As part of my mama's birthday celebration, she and I headed to the Panther's game. The weather was phenomenal, the game itself was dismal. It's becoming harder to watch them each week...

5. My mom and I also went a weeeeeee bit crazy shopping on Friday. Why is it that I load up right before the holidays?! Silly, silly me. The bracelet above is from Bella Cora Boutique, who came to my sorority house for a trunk show. They had so many amazing items at great prices. The boots are from DSW. I have never owned a pair of black boots and I am in LOVE with these. New apparel excites me a little too much.

6. Being home means eating Brixx Pizza and sausage & peppers in the crockpot. I love it.

7. I am obsessed with my dog. She is absolutely the cutest thing ever. Enjoyed her snugglez this weekend.

8. SO excited for Christmas break so I can dive into this book. I have been wanting to read it for SO long, and I came home and this was sitting (wrapped) on the counter. Leave it to my mom to give me a gift on the weekend of her birthday.

Next time I'm home, it'll be Thanksgiving. Time to start planning what I am going to contribute to the spread! Feel free to give me some ideas :)