The Meal Matters Recipes

Real Food for Real Health

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One Pan Orzo Chicken and Vegetables

One Pan Orzo

I came up with this recipe during tough food times. Its simple and plain and yet rich and decadent. You get just enough fat from the boneless and skinless chicken thigh that the Orzo becomes creamy much like Risotto. Simple enough to throw it in a pan, add water and salt, turn up the heat, add the Orzo and Veggies in just two increment steps and you’re all done! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Boneless/Skinless Chicken Thigh
  • Generous Salt or Herbamare
  • 1/2-3/4 cup Orzo
  • Veggies or vegetable of your choice
  • Parmesan cheese optional

You can sear chicken, but I found its easier and delicious just to put the frozen thigh in a pan with water and salt. Boil till almost cooked through, add orzo to last 8-10 minutes and more water if needed. If using frozen vegetables add at this step, for fresh vegetables add them at the very end or last 3-5 minutes. This is great with broccoli or baby broccolini, asparagus, green beans or haricoverts, squashes, peppers or any blend you please!

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Spice Mixes



  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • ½ Tablespoon Turmeric
  • 1 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Onion
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Celery Seed
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Mustard

201-0132_IMG*Make another batch this time without sugar, and add cayenne pepper to have “Spicy Cowboy” on hand!



  • Tablespoon or pinch of Cowboy Spice (optional) OR ½ teaspoon to 1 Tablespoon each ground Onion and Garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Salt – 1/8 teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper
  • ½ teaspoon up to 2 Tbsp Fresh chopped or dried Parsley
  • ½ teaspoon up to 2 Tablespoons Chives or Green Onions

Choice of leafy herbs dry or fresh ½ tsp to 2 Tbsp :

  • Dill (most often, I use barely a pinch)
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Basil
  • Cilantro



  • 1 Cup Fresh or Bottled Real Mayonnaise (Egg, Salt, Lemon, Vinegar, Oil)
  • ¼ to ½ cup Buttermilk to desired consistency
  • ½ cup sour cream or Yogurt
  • Ranch Spice Mix and Fresh Herbs


  • 2 parts Honey
  • 1 part Dijon Mustard
  • Splash Vinegar
  • Optional but recommended: Fresh Mayonnaise

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Blackened Mahi-Mahi on Arugula with Champagne-Horseradish Vinaigrette


This was a great dish that came together on a whim. I am a Trader Joe’s girl so when I ran out of my homemade seasoning I was only to happy to switch it to try out Trader Joe’s BBQ Coffee rub. I don’t regret it. It’s a wonderful find. I’ve used it on my pulled pork on the re-heat and it was absolutely marvelous. So I was not scared to try it here. So thoroughly dry your Mahi-Mahi steaks and rub with BBQ and your choice of salt. Then dust with parmesan and a sprinkle of flour. Fry in olive oil. For the salad mix your choice of veggies or just plain arugula with almonds, pine nuts with manchego (or parmesan) cheese. The dressing is simple but just perfect as many a homemade vinaigrette tends to be; Olive oil, lemon, champagne vinegar, honey, salt and pepper and Annie’s Natural Horseradish Mustard. Enjoy! Continue reading

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Vanilla Latte Brownie

IMG_2686[1]The Vanilla Latte Brownie

I’m a girl that needs chocolate. And sometimes nothing will do but a chocolate cake. But this brownie is the perfect middle ground. It’s a cakey light full of rich deep chocolate flavor lightened with just enough frappe vanilla essence.

The core of the recipe is from Ina Garten’s “Outrageous Brownie” Recipe and the rest I improvised with what I had and what I wanted. Continue reading

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Chicken Wings the deep-fried healthy way?

Originally posted on The Meal Matters Most:

Chicken Wings from Brick House Tavern Chicken Wings from Brick House Tavern (Photo credit: powerplantop)

I had a challenge on Twitter yesterday about whether I’d be eating (and I think buying a round of) chicken wings in the name of health. Ok, I’ll take that challenge.

Can chicken wings be healthy? Or at least let’s say less unhealthy?

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Why I’m crazy about Sauces!! Korean Fried Chicken Wings and the awesome benefits of Meju and traditional Gochujang (fermented red chili paste)

Originally posted on The Meal Matters Most:

Korean Fried Chicken from Korean Fried Chicken from

Do you or do you not love chicken wings? Are you scared of them because you may think they are horribly bad for us or do you throw caution to the wind because they are just so wonderfully delicious with messy addictive sauces?!?

Well, here at The Meal Matters it’s all about the synergy of ingredients balancing the potential stress of a meal. 

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Pad Thai (Noodle-less version)

A noodle-less version of Pad Thai

Noodle-less Pad Thai

Simple and Easy Noodle-less Pad Thai. Chicken Pad Thai at a local restaurant was one of my favorite new discoveries. My daughter sometimes wants nothing else. I’ve failed so many times trying different recipes and never quite capturing the flavor I fell in love with. Unfortunately restaurant Pad Thai seems to be getting sweeter and more “fast food” style than ever, so finding the right recipe became a more desperate but seemingly hopeless endeavor. Enter Trisha Yearwood and her friend who adopted a baby girl from Thailand”s Pad Thai Recipe. Trisha’s Southern Cooking inspired this recipe, although I diverge from her recipe and keep the simplicity and technique.

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