Saturday, May 05, 2007

On the Grill

Okay, so resisting every temptation to litter this post and the title with cutesy little Rachael Rayisms, here we go.......

As I've been playing SGOTW, I've been looking more closely at my collection of cookbooks. I've already told you that I'm not a big collector of cookbooks - I have about 26 and 4 of those are simply Cooking Light annuals. As I leaf through these cookbooks, I've come to realize that part of the problem is that I simply have not made good choices - I need to really LOOK before I shell out the money for something that often ends up sitting on the shelf collecting dust.

However, I have also happily found that I need to crack open my Rachael Ray cookbook - 356: No Repeats - more often. Whatever I think about her perky personality or her apparent overexposure, I've come to realize that I really like her style of cooking. Her style is casual but hip and updated - a little funky without being stuffy or pretentious. Kind of like the food you'd expect to find at a really good micro-brewery or upscale tavern.

Spicy Chicken and Veggie Pocket

With so many tasty recipes to choose from, it was hard to pick something, but I settled on a grilled chicken recipe. It was fantastic. Lots of fresh, summery flavors with a nice heat from the chicken marinade. The marinade was so good that I would definitely try it on its own. The recipe calls for marinating the chicken for just 10 minutes, but I ended up marinating for about 2 hours - I wanted to get everything ready to go so that we could enjoy a little relaxing time on the deck before dinner.

Although the list of ingredients is pretty long, this recipe really does come together fairly quickly. I don't know how often I actually come in at 30 minutes for Rachael's recipes, but this recipe could come in pretty close if you're an efficient chopper (which I'm not). Uncharacteristically, I decided that I would NOT skip the cilantro and give it a try. I'm glad I did. I'm still not a big cilantro fan, but I'm warming up to it ever so slightly and it was not at all overwhelming in this dish. I also made sure to use fresh herbs as called for - there is no way dried herbs would work in a dish like this.

The recipe makes a lot more salad than will fit in 4 pita pockets - it makes enough for at least 6, if not 8 pita pockets - but I was more than happy to have the leftovers and look forward to eating them for lunch today. Speaking of leftovers.......I skipped the red leaf lettuce and even if I did use it, I would not put it into the salad, but place it in the pita seperately - the lettuce would not hold up well at all if you want to have good leftovers the next day.

I look forward to making better use of my Rachael Ray cookbook and who knows, maybe I'll even buy one or two more. But there are so many to choose from - I count about 10 or 11 on Amazon - so I'd have to take some time and browse at the bookstore...............


  1. I feel the same way about picking recipes - so many to choose from in that cookbook. Thanks for recommending a good one!

  2. Madeline - It's nice weather for grilling so I think I'll be focusing on those recipes which helps narrow it down a bit - I can't wait to start trying her burger recipes! I might try the buffalo one next weekend.....

  3. Those look great Alysha! I'm on a huge veggie kick right now, so those look perfect for a busy weekday.

  4. Erika - This dish should satisfy that veggie craving - lots of great, fresh flavors - really a whole meal in a pita. :)