Week 1, Meal 2, Adobo-Honey Chicken Kebabs

with cucumber salad and quinoa original recipe found here

*Once again, my notes will be indicated clearly and my edits to their recipe will be in blue. I’m documenting my first week experiment with Cook Smarts as I consider signing up for a subscription. When I indicated on their website that “I made this” to one of the recipes, I received an email the following day offering me a discount on my subsequent subscription. The subscriptions are already REALLY economical, but this was such a kind response by this team!

*This weekend we decided to make “meal 4.” And last night because we used our leftovers in a different pattern, I didn’t make a new meal. So… you’ll see their comments in the recipe below referring to “Wednesday,” and yes, today is Wednesday, but technically they call this meal the Tuesday meal. I really like the versatility and since we have all of the ingredients on hand, I can mix up the order I make the recipes.

They provide a tip: Smarts: Chipotle peppers are typically sold in adobo sauce. Divide and freeze in small portions so you don’t waste it.

Active: 40 min | Total: 40 min

Cook’s note: One of the really cool features, I think, on the Cook Smarts website is that once you collate your recipes for the week there’s a tab that says “weekend prep,” I highly recommend you check out this tab. It provides you with instructions for various parts of the four recipes that can be prepped ahead of time. So let’s say you don’t want to do a really involved meal during the week, you can prep certain components, leave them in the fridge and they’re ready day of! That’s a really well thought out feature!

Make adobo-honey sauce – This makes enough for tomorrow night (when they collate a set of recipes for the week, they appear to try to integrate similar ingredients so there’s less waste! We live in a modified tiny house, so I really appreciate this, it means we don’t need a huge pantry! Also, it should mean less thrown away, uneaten food!)
In a blender, (we don’t own a blender so I used our food processor) combine white parts of green onions, garlic clove, red wine vinegar, honey, adobo sauce, salt, and Greek yogurt (I’m using non-dairy coconut milk plain yogurt). Puree until well-blended. Season to taste with any of the ingredients. Reserve half for tomorrow night. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead) *Doubling this yielded 1 C*
Prepare kebabs – Slice chicken up into strips, long ways. You’ll want them to be ¾” (2 cm) wide. Marinate and tenderize with first part of adobo-honey sauce and thread skewers through chicken strips. You should make 2 kebabs / person. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
Quinoa – Double if making Wednesday’s dinner. (Or perhaps you already made this during your weekend prep!) Combine quinoa with 2x the amount of water (or stock if you prefer) in a saucepan. Add in some salt. Bring to a boil covered. Lower heat, keep covered, and cook until liquid is absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes. If you doubled, reserve half for tomorrow night. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Cucumbers / Iceberg living bib lettuce – Prep as directed.

(My sauce mixture yielded about 1 Cup when I doubled it, so I reserved 1/2 cup, but we only ended up using 1/4 cup in the recipe)

Whisk together maple syrup, Dijon, apple cider vinegar and oil (double if making tomorrow night’s dinner). Set aside.

If using an outdoor grill: Heat your outdoor grill up to 500F(or 260C) degrees. Brush grill grates with cooking oil and then lay kebabs over direct heat. Sear on opposite sides for 3 minutes each with cover closed. Then move to indirect heat, close cover, and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, until chicken is cooked to 165F (74C) degrees.

If using a grill pan: Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush pan with cooking oil and then lay skewers down on the pan. Sear on opposite sides for 3 minutes each. Then lower heat and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, or until chicken is cooked to 165F (74C) degrees.

If you don’t have a grill and you don’t understand the above directions… here’s what worked for me and a note of what I’ll try next time I make this. 

Today: Pre-heat oven to 400F. Assemble skewers on a roasting pan, and roast until done (our oven 14 minutes). 

Next time: Pre-heat oven to 400F. Assemble skewers on a roasting pan, right before moving the chicken to the oven, turn it up to broil, broil/roast until done, probably 10 minutes. (I think I would prefer the chicken to be a bit “blackened”.)

Take kebabs off pan or grill and brush immediately with some more adobo-honey sauce, and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Toss vinaigrette with cucumbers and lettuce. Enjoy kebabs with salad and quinoa. Feel free to use remainder of the adobo-honey sauce with the kebabs.

*We drizzled some adobo-honey sauce over the quinoa- so good!


This meal was fantastic I thought. The honey and adobo combination is this smoky, sweet palate delight. The quinoa was earthy and the flavors on the salad were a bit mediterranean-esq. I would make this meal again definitely.

4 servings

Quinoa – 2/3 cup, uncooked

Adobo-Honey Sauce:
Green onions, white parts – 2 stalks
Garlic – 1 clove, peeled
Red wine vinegar – 3 Tbsp
Honey – 2 Tbsp
Adobo sauce (usually found with canned chipotle peppers) – 1 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Plain Greek coconut milk dairy-free yogurt – ½ cup

Cucumber Salad:
Cucumbers – ½ lb, chopped (probably due to the intense amount of fluid, I would remove the seeds next time)
Iceberg lettuce living bib lettuce – 1/3 head, sliced
Maple syrup – 1 tsp
Dijon mustard – 1 tsp
Apple cider vinegar – 1 ½ Tbsp
Cooking tasting oil – 2 Tbsp

Adobo-Honey Chicken Kebabs:
Chicken thighs – 1 lb, boneless, about 4 thighs

Adobo-honey sauce – 3 Tbsp + 3 Tbsp (Ingredients listed separately)

Skewers – 8 to 16 (If using flat skewers, you’ll just need 1 / kebab) We have twisted metal skewers, I used 4

NUTRITION FACTS (Information accurate to original recipe; Also, good to know: their food items can be found in my fitness pal. So if you do a food diary, track your meals, etc you can search for the recipe by name and it’ll add quite nicely! They also have a feature where you can figure out your Weight Watchers points for the meal if that’s something you’re curious about!)

Serving Size 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 475

% Daily Value
Total Fat 18g 28%
Saturated Fat 3g 17%
Trans Fat 0g

Cholesterol 213mg 71%
Sodium 638mg 27%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 9%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Sugars 7g

Protein 49g

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