Citrus Thyme Grill Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

By Jodee Weiland

I recently purchased a mesh roasting pan. This mesh basket can be used on a gas grill for roasted chicken and vegetables. I couldn’t wait to try it. So once it was delivered, I decided to do just that, a grill roasted chicken and vegetables. It turned out fabulous, and I am so happy I made this purchase. My Citrus Thyme Grill Roasted Chicken and Vegetables was delicious, and I felt the mesh basket made it easier to do!

I used fresh limes and thyme from my garden to season the chicken with a few additional seasonings. The roasted vegetables were cleaned and cut while the chicken began to cook on the grill. I then put extra virgin olive oil on all my vegetables which I seasoned with garlic, onion, sea salt, and ground black pepper to taste. I placed the vegetables in the mesh basket along the sides of the chicken during the last five to ten minutes, making sure they did not overcook. The result of this adventure in grilling was a wonderful dinner that was both delicious and healthy!

http://learnfromyesterday.comCitrus Thyme Grill Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

7 to 8 pound roasting chicken whole
Fresh thyme (small bunch)
4 to 5 fresh limes halved
Garlic powder to taste
Onion powder to taste
Parsley to taste
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Extra virgin olive oil (enough to coat the entire chicken and vegetables)
2 bell peppers (orange and yellow) each cut in four pieces with seeds removed
1 white onion cut four pieces
1 to 2 zucchinis washed and sliced with skin on in half in wide slices

Prepare the gas grill by heating to about 375 degrees, medium indirect heat. Prepare the chicken by rinsing it and removing extra pieces inside the chicken cavity. Once done, cut two limes in half and place the halves in the cavity with a small bunch of thyme tied together with twine. Brush olive oil liberally over the entire outer surface of the chicken. Then tie the legs together with twine. Squeeze the juice of one lime over the chicken. Place the chicken in the center of the mesh roasting pan/basket. Then sprinkle the chicken with garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, ground black pepper, and parsley to taste. When done, place the basket on the racks of the gas barbecue grill. While cooking prepare the cut up vegetables by coating them with olive oil, and then seasoning them with garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, and black pepper to taste.

My chicken cooked a little over two hours over the medium indirect heat, but we opened the lid several times for pictures. Times may vary, so use a meat thermometer to check on whether the chicken has reached the appropriate temperature to be done, approximately 180 degrees. When you cut your chicken, the breast meat should be white, not pink. In the last five to ten minutes of cooking, add the prepared vegetables on both sides of the chicken in the mesh basket. Watch the vegetables carefully, to be sure not to overcook. I prefer my al dente, but you may prefer them roasted more than that. It’s a personal choice.

My Citrus Thyme Grill Roasted Chicken and Vegetables is both delicious and healthy! Let the chicken sit for a few minutes before carving the meat. Serve with a white wine and the roasted vegetables. If you want, add a crusty loaf of bread or baked potatoes. Whatever you decide, you will love this delicious meal, so enjoy!

Savor the Flavors of P.F.Chang’s Summer Menu + Enter P.F.Chang’s “Perfect Pairings” Contest!

By Jodee Weiland

P.F. Chang’s Summer Menu looks outstanding! When I first heard of this opportunity to dine out and taste the wonderful items on P.F.Chang’s summer menu, I didn’t hesitate. Why not? Because I love the food at P.F.Chang’s and have thoroughly enjoyed dining there for years with my husband, my family, and on several occasions, with good friends! It’s a very popular dining option for many people and for good reason, one of which is the tasty choice of selections on the menu. Believe me when I say, P.F.Chang’s popularity with so many people comes from the fact that their menu items are delicious and full of rich flavors! Everyone who eats there will Savor the Flavors of P.F.Chang’s Summer Menu and more!

When my husband and I set out to try P.F.Chang’s Summer Menu, we had a list of menu items from which to choose. Naturally, it would be impossible for the two of us to try them all, but we did our best to try as many as possible. Before we went to dinner, we checked out P.F.Chang’s Summer Menu online. All the choices looked wonderful, so it was hard to decide which ones we would try out. Take a look at our choices and see what you think!

http://learnfromyesterday.comTo begin our dining experience, we chose to share an Heirloom Tomato Salad from P.F.Chang’s Summer Menu. This delicious salad has market-fresh heirloom tomatoes, avocado, with a Thai basil and zesty ponzu dressing. Commonly used in Japanese cuisine, ponzu is a citrus-based sauce. The dressing was perfect, and enhanced the flavors of this light fresh salad of tomatoes and avocado. We’re looking forward to enjoying it again on our next visit to P.F.Chang’s.

For our main meal, my husband chose the Seared Ahi Tuna with Wasabi Guacamole and decided to pair it with a Samuel Adam Summer Ale. His main course was a yellowfin tuna, seared and served rare, topped with wild baby arugula and green beans in a chili-lime ponzu sauce, served with wasabi guacamole. He loved the this flavorful light fish with a slight kick from the wasabi guacamole and thought it went very well with his Samuel Adams Summer Ale.

For my main meal, I chose the Chiang Mai Curry Noodles with Chicken and decided to pair it with a glass of S.A. Prum “Essence” Riesling. My meal was sliced chicken breast wok-tossed with egg noodles, Fresno peppers, cilantro and a coconut curry infused broth and then garnished with Brussel sprouts, and topped with crispy wontons. Fabulous and full of rich flavors, when this dish was gently tossed with the crispy wontons, which added a slight crunchiness to the rest, it was absolutely delicious. Being a dish with noodles and such a generous serving, I ended up with some leftover to take home with me.

Both of the main course selections we made were definitely winners with us and would easily be selected again on a return visit. My husband often tries something new, but I’m a little more hesitant to do so once I find something I love. Since I always seem to order P.F.Chang’s Spicy Chicken, this should tell you something about P.F.Chang’s Summer Menu! Based on this new taste experience, and the fact that everything so far was so good, we didn’t stop there!

We both decided to order an extra dish we could share, so we could try it out. We knew we wouldn’t finish it, but that was okay with us because we could take it home with our leftovers. Leftovers from P.F.Chang’s are always great the next day. So the final dish we decided to try was the Orange Peel Shrimp. This is shrimp done in a Hunan chili sauce with fresh orange slices and garnished with daikon sprouts. We each had a few shrimps and loved the rich flavor and taste of the sauce used with this dish. We would be taking most of this dish home with us, even though it was hard to resist not eating more of it.

Overall, our dining experience at P.F.Chang’s was fabulously successful and even though we couldn’t try everything on P.F.Chang’s Summer Menu, I feel certain that if everything else is as good as what we had, you can’t go wrong with whichever dish you choose to have. Every dish is well prepared and full of the Asian inspired flavors P.F.Chang’s is known for at over two hundred plus locations nationwide and the twenty plus international locations. The tastefully done meals they serve every day are the reason for this!

PF Chang's 2 038 (500x375)

After our experience of dining at P.F.Chang’s, I recommend doing the same to all of you, and don’t forget to Savor the Flavors of P.F.Chang’s Summer Menu, and Enter P.F.Chang’s “Perfect Pairings” Contest!

Yes, that’s right! Love food and craft beer? Win a foodie trip to Boston from P.F.Chang’s. They are hosting a contest called “Perfect Pairings.” The contest will run until August 18th. A winner will be chosen by August 29.

Each participant will have the opportunity to win a $100 gift card and become eligible for the grand prize of a trip to Boston for an exclusive Sam Adams Brewery Tour for two, followed by a 4-course pairing dinner at the P.F.Chang’s in downtown Boston.

To enter the contest visit and tell them what two things you think pair perfectly together for the chance to win a trip for two to Boston to tour the Samuel Adams Brewery and dinner at P.F.Chang’s! For example, you might say, “Asian-inspired dishes go with craft beer like Seared Ahi Tuna with Wasabi Guacamole and a Samuel Adam Summer Ale.” Have fun with this contest and remember to get creative! By the way, don’t forget to try P.F.Chang’s Summer Menu first in order to find the best pairing for you, and enjoy!

NOTE: This post is sponsored by P.F.Chang’s, but my opinions are all my own. 
Thank you P.F.Chang’s for sponsoring today’s discussion and for the tasty dining out experience!

A special thank you to those at P.F.Chang’s, in Schaumburg, Illinois, where we had this great meal, especially, Chef Aurelio Rodriguez, Market Chef Jason Klever, and our server, Ismael Salinas! You are all the best for patiently putting up with me while I took photos of each dish and helping me by giving me time to do so! You’re great…thank you!

Lemon Butter Orange Roughy with Spicy Lemon Cabbage

By Jodee Weiland

When my children were young, the time came when I wanted to introduce them to fish. I chose orange roughy because it’s a white fish with a very mild flavor that can be seasoned to taste. Once I chose the fish I would use, I decided to broil it with lemon, butter, and seasonings. That’s when I first made my Lemon Butter Orange Roughy. Years later, I added my father’s spicy lemon cabbage recipe to the meal and from then on, it became my delicious Lemon Butter Orange Roughy with Spicy Lemon Cabbage!

http://learnfromyesterday.comBroiling any fish isn’t rocket science, and most people know how to do this. The part that makes any fish a delicious meal is what seasonings you choose to add to the fish. I love fish when seasoned well, so when I chose what seasonings to use on my orange roughy, I chose those seasonings I felt would enhance the flavor of the fish. It still wasn’t all that complicated, but I’m sure you’ve heard of the saying “less is more.” Well, that saying holds true here. Too much seasoning and you lose the real flavor of the fish you are cooking. You want to enhance it, not smother it!

http://learnfromyesterday.comLemon Butter Orange Roughy with Spicy Lemon Cabbage

2 to 4 orange roughy fillets
1 to 2 tablespoons whipped unsalted butter per filet
Onion powder to taste
Garlic powder to taste
Granulated lemon peel to taste
Paprika to taste
Poppy’s Spicy Lemon Cabbage (see recipe for this side dish)

Set the oven on broil. I set the oven on high broil. Rinse the fish fillets and place on a broiler pan. I use disposable broiler pans with fish because I feel it’s easier, but that’s up to personal preference. Put pieces of butter over each entire fillet, 1 to 2 tablespoons. Then sprinkle on the onion powder, the garlic powder, the granulated lemon peel, and the paprika to taste. I usually sprinkle each seasoning lightly over the tops of each fillet. Once done, put the fillets in the oven right under your broiler for 3 to 8 minutes or longer if needed, depending on the thickness of your fillets. Watch carefully so as not to overcook. The fish should flake away easily with a fork when done. My fillets took 6 minutes to cook.

My Lemon Butter Orange Roughy with Spicy Lemon Cabbage is delicious! Serve with slices of extra lemon, lemon cabbage, and a white wine. Poppy’s Spicy Lemon Cabbage, my father’s recipe goes well with orange roughy because of the lemon flavor, but you can serve any vegetable with it. It’s all a matter of personal preference when selecting sides. Whatever you decide to serve with this Lemon Butter Orange Roughy, you will love it, so enjoy!

Lime Basil Pesto Chicken with Garlic Butter Kale and Sweet Corn

By Jodee Weiland

When cooking boneless chicken breasts, I often find myself thinking about new ways to do so deliciously. Chicken breasts are easily cooked in a wide variety of sauces, grilled with marinades or basting sauces, baked with a crust of some sort, and so many different other ways. That’s why I love chicken and decided to bake it in a basil pesto sauce with lime. This turned out to be a great choice, and how I came up with my recipe for Lime Basil Pesto Chicken with Garlic Butter Kale and Sweet Corn, and believe me when I say, it’s delicious!

Loving a good pesto with pasta, I have always made my own basil pesto sauce. But the pesto sauce for my chicken was done a little differently, using less cheese and putting the basil nuts on the baking chicken in the last few minutes. I also added fresh lime juice to the basil pesto mixture for this chicken, giving it an additional great flavor. While cooking this, I created a new vegetable side dish for this chicken, using my garden fresh kale and some fresh sweet corn right off the cob. That recipe can be found in my post for Garlic Butter Kale and Sweet Corn, another delicious combination of healthy vegetables and a great side for this dish!

Lime Basil Pesto Chicken with Garlic Butter Kale and Sweet Corn

2 to 4 boneless chicken breasts
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (plus 1 tablespoon for browning the chicken)
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
2 fresh limes juiced
1/4 cup Parmesan Reggiano cheese grated
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup pine nuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray fresh olive oil on the baking dish for the chicken. For the lime basil pesto, blend together in a blender the half cup of olive oil, basil leaves, garlic, lime juice, cheese, and a little sea salt and ground pepper to taste. Then brown the chicken breasts lightly in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season the chicken breasts lightly with sea salt and ground black pepper.

Once done, place the lightly browned chicken breasts in the baking dish. Pour the lime basil pesto over the chicken and bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Then cover the baking dish and bake for 20 minutes more. Finally, uncover the baking dish and pour the pine nuts whole over the chicken and sauce. Spoon some sauce over the pine nuts and continue to bake for 5 minutes longer.

My Lime Basil Pesto Chicken with Garlic Butter Kale and Sweet Corn is delicious! This chicken dish goes wonderfully with my Garlic Butter Kale and Sweet Corn. Each dish compliments the flavor of the other dish. If there is any pesto sauce left in the baking dish, it is great for dipping a crusty bread. Serve this meal with a wine and a crusty loaf of bread for dipping. You will love the rich flavors of this great dish and side vegetable, so enjoy!

Garlic Butter Kale and Sweet Corn

By Jodee Weiland

Recently when I made a delicious Lime Basil Pesto Chicken for dinner, I wanted a side dish that would complement it. I had fresh kale and sweet corn to use, but rather than make one or the other, I decided to combine the kale and sweet corn in a delicious side dish cooked in my garlic butter recipe and extra virgin olive oil. As it turned out, this was the best decision I could have made. My Garlic Butter Kale and Sweet Corn was delicious!

My garlic butter recipe made with chopped fresh garlic is a perfect way to add rich flavor to vegetables. In the original recipe, I add jalapeno powder, but in this recipe I left the jalapeno powder out and simply used the whipped butter and garlic. I heated the garlic butter and extra virgin olive oil together to saute my vegetables slightly. The effect was absolutely delicious when combining these two healthy vegetables, kale and sweet corn. I usually cook fresh kale from my garden with olive oil and garlic, while corn is usually served with butter for many people, so what could be more natural than Garlic Butter Kale and Sweet Corn lightly cooked in both!

Garlic Butter Kale and Sweet Corn

2 fresh corn cobs, corn sliced off before cooking
4 cups fresh kale with stem removed (tear leaves away from the center stem)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup garlic butter (see below)
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

Garlic Butter Recipe: (use extra butter for garlic bread or cut recipe in half)

6 to 8 whole garlic gloves peeled
1/2 cup unsalted whipped butter

Heat the garlic butter and olive oil in pan on the stove over a low to medium heat. Do not burn your butter or the garlic. Add the fresh kale to the pan and toss lightly in the heated mixture until slightly wilted. Carefully slice the corn off the 2 cobs and add the corn to the slightly wilted kale and toss together. Saute slightly for a few minutes until the corn is cooked but not overcooked. Serve with any main course as a side dish.

My Garlic Butter Kale and Sweet Corn is both healthy and delicious! The sweetness of the corn balances wonderfully with the kale, while the garlic butter adds flavor to the dish overall. I served this dish with my Lime Basil Pesto Chicken, and the two together were awesome. The Lime Basil Pesto Chicken will be on my next post, so be sure to watch for it, but in the meantime, enjoy this side dish with whatever main course you are making. You will love it, so enjoy!