My Sweet Marie

Archive for January 2015

It is -6 out today and I am in the mood for some good, warm comforting food. Here’s what’s on the go today. My co-worker Patty has inspired me to make this as she was eating it yesterday for lunch! She told me how she did it, and I plan to do that but you know me, I’ve got to add my little twists! Here’s what I did:

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs chicken (thighs, legs, breast)
  • 1 28oz can of chick peas drained and rinsed
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2-4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 28 oz can tomatoes diced
  • 1 lt of chicken broth
  • 1 stalk celery diced
  • 1 carrot. chopped
  • 1 cup green beans, cut
  • 1 cup chopped kale or spinach
  • 1 sweet potato, diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms sliced
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. indian spice rub/mix (look under my spice mixes for recipe)
  • hot sauce, as/if you like…a little or a lot!

Directions:

  1. In your stew pot, sautee the onion,garlic with the chicken till no longer pink on the outside.
  2. add in your other veggies and sautee a bit more.
  3. Add in the tomatoes, chick peas, broth and spices.
  4. Simmer on the stove till all the veggies are cooked, the chicken is falling off the bone and you just can’t take it any longer!
  5. Serve with cooked brown rice if you like. enjoy!!
  6. ** Can be made vegetarian, omit the chicken!

Today, like most days I am winging it in the kitchen! I do appreciate though that you are here for ideas for dinner or lunch or just inspiration for your own cooking so I will outline my catch of the day! I am feeling like something healthy, having just come from the gym and wanting to keep that momentum going! Here’s the plan for today’s dish:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 2-3 tbsp. cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground garlic or 1-2 cloves crushed
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 4 cod fillets ( or any fish you like!)

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350. Line a cookie tray with parchment paper.
  2. In a small dish combine the almonds, zest, cornmeal and spices.
  3. In another dish put the lemon juice.
  4. Dip the fish in the lemon juice then in the crumbs. Place the fish on the tray.
  5. Bake till opaque, 20-30 minutes.
  6. Enjoy with a lovely side of salad and/or sweet potato fries, homemade of course!
  7. ** cornmeal can be omitted and simply use more almonds**

Well it is January so time to buckle down and shed some of that Christmas weight! I do it every year as I’m sure many of you do too! So my first step is to cut down on the carbs and add in more veggies! So let’s get creative here and do just that! Here’s how I roast my veggies. I like to do a lot up and then re-heat the leftovers the next night!

Ingredients:

  • broccoli cut into florets (1 head)
  • 1 med onion cut into large dice or sliced
  • 4-5 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1-2 carrots sliced thick
  • 1 beet peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • 2 cups cabagge chopped (red or green)
  • 1 zucch cut sliced thick or half moons
  • mushrooms sliced thick
  • 2-4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 oz goat’s cheese optional
  • 2 tbps balsamic vinegar

Directions:

  1. Prep all your veggies and toss in a large bowl.
  2. Toss with the olive oil and lay flat on parchment covered trays.
  3. Roast at 375 for 1 hour or till desired tenderness.
  4. If you like, after pulling out of oven toss some or all of the veggies with the goat’s cheese and balsamic dressing.
  5. Pairs well with any meat, but this and a chicken breast make for a very healthy dinner!
  6. Any veggies can be put in this, so use your imagination and go crazy!! Enjoy!

This is my way of cooking chicken cacciatore. Most Italians would tell you that you need to dip the chicken in flour and pan fry it but a) I am gluten-intolerant and b) I don’t need the added calories of the frying! So I have created my own version and it is delicious and since I don’t dine regularly in Italy, we don’t know the difference! Here’s how I do it in my kitchen, here in London, Ontario!

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 chicken breasts or other pieces
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1 pepper sliced (green, red orange or yellow)
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms sliced
  • 2 cups homemade tomato sauce or canned if you must!
  • 1 cup chicken broth or white wine
  • 3 tbsp. capers
  • oregano, basil, salt, pepper and or chiles

Directions:

  1. In a large greased casserole, place your chicken. sprinkle it with your spices of choice.
  2. Layer over top the chicken, the onions, mushrooms and peppers.
  3. Mix the tomato sauce and chicken broth together, pour over the chicken and veggies.
  4. Sprinkle the capers over that.
  5. Bake in the oven at 350 for 1 1/2 hours or till the chicken is cooked and sauce is bubbling hot!
  6. Serve with a salad and pasta!

This tomato sauce can be used for making your spaghetti sauce, it can be used in your cabbage rolls, it can be used anywhere you’d use tomato sauce. I like it over pasta on a cold night for some warm comfort! Today I will use it in my version of chicken cacciatore. I’ll post that recipe next!

Ingredients:

  • 5 28oz cans of tomatoes or (5 lbs fresh tomatoes stewed)
  • 25 cloves garlic
  • 5 small or 3 med onions
  • 1 1/4 cup olive oil
  • spices if you want (oregano, basil, salt, pepper, chilli peppers)

Directions:

  1. In your food processor, chop the garlic and onion to a very fine mince, almost a pulp!
  2. in your large dutch oven, sautee the onion/garlic mix in olive oil.
  3. Add in the tomatoes and simmer for at least an hour on low till nice and thick.
  4. Add spices at the end if you want them in there.
  5. enjoy with pasta, rice or over chicken for a chicken cacciatore.

Here’s an easy one for you, throw in crock pot, go to work and come home to a great smelling kitchen! here’s what you do:

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs chicken (thighs, breast, legs, whole, whatever)
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken broth (gluten-free)
  • 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2-3 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2  tbsp. fresh chopped parsley

directions:

  1. Rub chicken with the oregano and salt and pepper.
  2. Put olive oil in bottom of crock pot, put on high.
  3. Put the chicken and garlic in and let brown just a bit for about 30 minutes.
  4. Add in the broth and lemon juice. Put on low.
  5. cook for 6-7 hours and stir in the fresh parsley 15 minutes before serving.
  6. Great with a large serving of fresh steamed broccoli with a squeeze of lemon! enjoy!

I like to make my own chicken broth for a few reasons, first, it’s healthier and second I know what is going in it! I like to take short cuts and because it cooks while I am sleeping or at work, it feels like a short cut! It can be changed to beef or turkey broth just as easily too! Here’s how:

Ingredients:

  • 3 or 4 lbs of chicken bones (beef,pork or turkey will work too)
  • 12-15 cups water and/or 2 cups wine
  • 1 onion, washed and roughly chopped, don’t peel!
  • 2 stalks of celery, washed and roughly chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic,, washed and roughly chopped
  • 3 carrots, washed but don’t peel, chop roughly also
  • thyme, salt and pepper
  • any other veggie you want, greens(kale, spinach) would good too!

Directions:

  1. It is not important to chop the veggies all pretty as you will not likely be using them in the soup,they are there for taste and colour, that’s it!
  2. Put your bones in the bottom of crock pot, add all your veggies and spices.
  3. cover with water, you could use some wine here if you’d like (white for chicken, red for beef)
  4. Put on high and let cook overnight.
  5. In the morning, strain out all the veggies and bones. Chill it.
  6. Now, you can puree the veggies if you’d like so as not to waste and add it to your soup or if you have a dog, it’s a healthy meal for them!
  7. Use this broth in any recipe calling for broth. I usually bag it into freezer bags (2 cups) once it’s cooled and store in the freezer and use up as I need it.
  8. ** I buy my chicken bones and beef bones at the Asian market, cheap! they bone whole chickens and save the bones, works for me! You can also use carcasses from chickens, turkeys, chicken legs, thighs, etc or even the meat itself, doesn’t have to be just bones. If you want to use a pkg of chicken, go for it, it’ll be tasty for sure!