Grilled Spicy Thai Chicken Wings

Oh how I love the simplicity of summer. The long days, lazier mornings and easy meals lace together into memories we carry into the colder, barren days of the year.

Last year I bought my husband a nice grill for his birthday. It might be akin to him buying me a classic car but you can’t deny the importance of good equipment, right?

Although he does a good amount of the grilling I’ve been glad to have a place to cook outside on the scorcher days we’ve had lately. It’s also been fun adding new recipes to my arsenal because as much as I like burgers, there is so much more when it comes to great grilling.

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Eating should take in all of the senses beyond the taste. The smell of spices, how it looks on the plate to the dripping sauce or sticky fingers. Food that makes your fingers sticky is my favorite.

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Around here we like our spice too. My favorite restaurant makes deliciously hot wings that are served with a bowl of hot water for your fingers. The gooey factor is off the chart not to mention you can order them as hot as you can stand.

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I sometimes feel the urge to be MacGyver in the kitchen. Thankfully I’ve never blown anything up. I do pick through the refrigerator and cupboards to do whatever it takes to feed a craving. Match that with some newly acquired grilling skills and we have an appetizer or light main dish that heats up your lips but not the kitchen!

Grilled Spicy Thai Chicken Wings

16 chicken wings, tips removed

avocado oil

course sea salt

fresh ground black pepper

¼ cup Ginger People Sweet Ginger Chili Sauce

2 tablespoons coconut aminos or soy sauce

1 tablespoon Sriracha (can add a bit more for more spice)

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 teaspoon grated ginger

 

Heat grill to a medium heat. Brush wings with avocado oil. Season with coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Grill wings over direct medium heat, turning once or twice until skin starts to become crispy, about 10 – 15 minutes.

Mix remaining ingredients

Brush sauce over wings, turning and glazing every 3 or so minutes until wings are done, about 10 minutes.

Serve warm with a side of fresh greens. Don’t forget the wet hand towels!

In a hurry? Flash frozen chicken does not have to be thawed before going straight to the grill!

 

This  article previoulsy ran on The News Review and on NRtoday.com

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Healthy Dining Doesn’t Equal Deprivation

This article originally appeared at NRTODAY.COM

Often I have second thoughts about posting food on Instagram and Facebook.

I’ve heard complaints before that not everyone wants to see your dinner.

However, last week, a friend approached me at the gym and thanked me for posting pictures of great-tasting, nutritious meals. “It lets me know that I can do this,” she said.

It encouraged her to know that healthy eating can still be a great experience. It not only tastes good, but also keeps my guests from thinking they’re eating “diet food.”

One of my best tips is planning ahead. About once a week, I cook a tray of boneless skinless chicken breasts to refrigerate for later. It makes a quick bite of protein if I get in a hurry. I can also cut up the breasts to top a great salad or in a stir-fry. Lately, I’ve been throwing the chicken on the grill for a better flavor. I start with the thin, flash-frozen, boneless, skinless breasts in the large bag.

I keep my preparations simple, but you could use various chicken rubs or marinades if you prefer. I’ve found that simple means versatile. I can use these for all cuisines.

Making my own salad dressing is simple, too. I keep that on hand so I won’t need to use the bottled type with additives and oils that I don’t want in my body. Even if I don’t have it made up ahead of time, just a few ingredients means I can whisk it together quickly.

Organic spring mix makes a great bed of green to add fresh chopped vegetables, some goat cheese and sliced chicken breast for a complete meal. The greens come ready to eat, or you can chop romaine or spinach to switch it up.

chicken prep

Simple Grilled Chicken Breasts

6 to 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Olive oil

Chopped or minced garlic

Kosher salt

Cracked black pepper

Drizzle chicken with olive oil. Rub with small amounts of salt, pepper and garlic. Place on hot grill until edges become opaque. Turn breasts over and finish until cooked through. Cool before storing.

— Jemelene Wilson

Balsamic Maple Vinaigrette

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

½ cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Sea salt

Pepper

Whisk together until ingredients are emulsified. Drizzle over greens before adding other salad ingredients; toss.

— Jemelene Wilson

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Jem’s Favorite Salad Toppings

With the right ingredients on hand, it’s easy to just go with what you’re in the mood for any given day. All of these will go on any bed of greens, so just play with them until you find your favorite combination. This is just a sample list of some of the toppings. You may have your own favorites.

Mini peppers, chopped or sliced

Grape tomatoes, halved

Cucumbers, chopped or sliced

Kalamata olives

Avocados, cubes or sliced

Bacon, cooked and crumbled

Pepperoncini

Hemp seeds

Almonds, slivered

Walnuts

Pumpkin seeds

Manchego cheese, grated

Parmesan Reggiano, grated (or use a vegetable peeler)

Feta, crumbled

Goat cheese, crumbled

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Red Curry My Way

Russ and I attended a disaster relief training in Stanwood, Washington this past Friday and Saturday. On Friday we at lunch at a great little Thai place called Jasmin Thai Cuisine and Sushi.
It was fantastic. I had a Panang Pork Curry that I couldn’t get out of my mind.
For Mother’s Day I ended up making dinner because I couldn’t decide where to go out.
I didn’t have everything I needed for a traditional recipe of Panang or Red Curry so I threw this together with what I had in the cupboards.
It turned out good enough to share!

Red Curry ala Jem

1 Yellow or White Onion, Diced
6 Red or Orange Mini Peppers. Sliced
1 Tbl Coconut Oil
1 Can Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream
2 Cups Chicken Broth or Water + 2 Tbl Better than Boullion
3-4 Tbl Red Curry Paste
1-2 Tbl Masala Spice
Salt
2 lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs or Pork Loin, Cut in strips
Basil leaves

Saute’ onion in coconut oil over medium heat until tender adding peppers part way through. In dutch oven, simmer coconut cream, chicken broth and red curry paste according to your preference. When vegetables are tender, remove from skillet. Add oil to pan if needed, brown chicken pieces. Return vegetables to skillet for a minute or two. Add masala spice to taste. Transfer chicken vegetable mix to simmering sauce. Heat for a minute or two. Chiffonade basil leaves.
Serve in a bowl. Garnish with basil.
If you wish you can serve it with rice or quinoa (Because I generally try to stick pretty close to Paleo eating I just had to mention that this disqualifies the Paleo portion, just not the yummo factor).

 

 

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Tribute to Mom and Her Gorilla (Granola)

Next Sunday, May 11, is Mother’s Day. It isn’t lost on me that I am incredibly blessed to have been raised by a gentle, brave and compassionate mother.

Her love for her children was fierce and her faith was deep.

We shared a vanity area of the house in my early adult years. To get there, I went through the master bedroom. Depending on the timing, I would find her kneeling at the end of her bed, praying with Dad as they started their day.

They did this every morning for most of my life.

Our house was the gathering place for lively parties over the years. When we all grew up, Mom and Dad moved north from Southern California to Redding, where they bought a blueberry farm. Their grandchildren nicknamed them Grandma and Grandpa Farm.

A trip to the farm meant well-thought-out breakfasts, light lunch and hearty dinners. Depending on who was there, we’d try something new or a requested favorite.

No matter what, it was a group effort. All hands were on deck to create a meal to laugh over. It was always good, fresh and a labor of love. Mom’s table welcomed anyone and everyone, anytime.

Homemade granola is now called “Gorilla,” renamed by my niece, Hannah. The fragrance of oats and vanilla hang in the air as it cooled on a cookie sheet.

My brother, Steve, still requests her Enchiladas for his birthday dinners. The recipe, more like wet burritos, was one she created to stretch a meal for seven people. For Mom, growing up during the Great Depression had sealed a frugality that lasted throughout her life.

This will be my sixth Mother’s Day since Mom passed from Earth to eternity, holding Dad’s hand.

She left a legacy of love and family. With that we still make some favorite dishes that always remind us of her gentle smile, uncontrollable laugh and compassionate spirit.

We also remember to pass the Gorilla!

Gorilla (aka Granola)

Mom took several classes on microwave cooking one year. This was one of her most used recipes from that class. Don’t let the idea trip you up. You can adjust it to an oven, but why would you?

4 cups oats

1 cup coconut

¾ cup wheat germ

1 cup chopped nuts or seeds

½ cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup melted butter

½ cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ cup raisins (optional)

In 3-quart glass bowl, blend dry ingredients (except raisins). Mix butter honey and vanilla. Pour over dry ingredients and mix. Microwave on high for 8-10 minutes or until ingredients are toasted, stirring every 3 minutes. Add raisins last 3 minutes. Cool in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Store in a covered container.

Makes 6 cups.

I serve it with milk or yogurt. Some folks like it sprinkled on ice cream.

Variations:

CRANBERRY ALMOND

I swap dried cranberries for the raisins and use slivered almonds.

MAPLE WALNUT

I swap maple flavoring for the vanilla and use walnuts.

— Sharon Rex, with variations by Jemelene Wilson

“Enchiladas” The Way Mom Used to Make Them

These are not technically enchiladas, but growing up, it’s what we called them. Mom added the refried beans and used flour tortillas to feed a larger family. When these were developed there were only two types of tortillas in the store. Not an abundance of sizes.

2 pounds ground beef

1 large onion, chopped

1 package Mexican seasoning mix

1 large can refried beans

1 can black olives

2 cups cheddar or Monterey jack cheese, shredded

2 dozen flour tortillas

1 large can enchilada sauce

Brown ground beef and onion in large skillet. Add Mexican seasoning and refried beans. Heat through. Add black olives and remove from heat. Heat sauce in skillet. Dip tortilla in warm sauce, place in large baking dish (9-inch-by-13-inch or larger). Add meat filling, sprinkle cheese and fold. Repeat process, pouring remaining sauce over top of mixture, and sprinkle with remaining cheese (be generous!). Bake in 350-degree oven until cheese bubbles.

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Eating in Disneyland: Food Allergies to Favorite Spots

So we established in the past two articles that I love Disneyland. Hearing my daughter giggle uncontrollably in the presence of princesses has brought so much joy and rest to our vacations, I just couldn’t imagine a better place to take her.

Another thing that makes my life rich is food. I believe food is meant to be enjoyed with every possible sense.

The smell, taste, textures and the sights of beautiful food are heightened when friends and family eat together.

You can only imagine how much I look forward to food made at the Happiest Place on Earth!

In the Parks, the food is part of the show. If you haven’t eaten there in the last ten years you are missing out on world-class chefs, fantastic menus and generous portions.

Disney Parks has also done well catering to those with food allergies and intolerances making accommodations at the theme parks and hotels not are just for physical and cognitive disabilities.

They now offer gluten-free options throughout the properties. The chefs are also happy to come to your table and discuss ideas with you.

If you have multiple allergies, you can make reservations online and alert Cast Members of your needs so they can be prepared to help.

Some friends went a couple of years ago and raved at the freedom they felt with kids who could finally have a bun on their burger and not worry about getting sick.

In the past few years, I’ve had to give up my favorite sandwich, but my husband can still get it. I’ve found new, tasty discoveries I hadn’t even thought of before.

Where to eat in Disneyland…

The rest is here at The News-Review website

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