Adventures in Cooking

As school wrapped up, so too did my excuses for nuking Lean Cuisines and passing them as “homemade” meals. Moving in with Jared meant buying and cooking for two, more cupboard space and a chance to experiment with sugar and spice and everything nice.

So far, our favorite dish has been parmesan-crusted tilapia (thanks for the inspiration, Red Lob!). It was moist, flakey, and oh-so-tasty. But at $7/fillet, we’ll have to save this this tasty dish for a special occasion.

I'll be back with this recipe later!
I’ll be back with this recipe later!

Another easy, customizable, can’t-screw-it-up-too-badly meal we like to make is grilled chicken salad. The other night, I switched it up and tried out Iowa Girl Eat’s BBQ Chicken Salad, with a few of my own “ingredients.”

Grocery List:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 bag shredded lettuce
  • Shredded cheese
  • 1/2 15-oz can of black beans, drained/rinsed
  • 1/2 15-oz can of corn, drained
  • Real bacon bits
  • Your choice of BBQ sauce. (Can’t go wrong with Cookies. This was just the right amount of sweet/spicy!)
  • Craft beer, chilled.
  • Optional: chopped onions, green peppers, tomatoes, black olives and tortilla strips for garnish.
Sprinkle an all-purpose seasoning on two boneless, skinless chicken breasts. We always use Mrs. Dash...she knows what she's doing!
Sprinkle an all-purpose seasoning on two chicken breasts. We always use Mrs. Dash…she knows what she’s doing!
Staples include shredded list, 1/2 15-oz can of black beans, 1/2 15-oz can of corn, real bacon bits and your choice of BBQ sauce. (Can't go wrong with Cookies. This was just the right amount of sweet/spicy!) Also essential: beer, chilled. Optional: chopped onions, green peppers, tomatoes, black olives and tortilla strips for garnish.
All the fixin’s.
After beer is cracked open, toss veggies and beans together.
After beer is cracked open, toss veggies and beans together.
Grill chicken breasts over a Foreman (OK, so maybe we still cook like college students...) and toss in BBQ sauce until evenly coated. Unfortunately, no photo of this one. Must've taken a beer break.
Grill chicken breasts over a Foreman (OK, so maybe we still cook like college students…) and toss in BBQ sauce until evenly coated.
Unfortunately, no photo of this one. Must’ve taken a beer break.
Drizzle ranch and BBQ sauce over salad and top with shredded cheese.
Drizzle ranch — no salad is complete without it — over lettuce and top with shredded cheese.
Shred chicken and top with tortilla strips.  While the chicken was grilling, you should have polished off your beer. If not, chug now before it warms.
Shred chicken and top with tortilla strips.
While the chicken was grilling, you should have polished off your beer. If not, chug now before it warms. Then replace.
Grab a fork, a bottle opener and enjoy!
Grab a fork, a bottle opener and enjoy!

Does it help that I was a two beers in before I tasted it? Probably. Does it also help that Jared is a human garbage disposal? Definitely. But consider that another tasty recipe in the books! We’re excited to try out many more with all the great cookbooks we got for Christmas!

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