Roasted Split Breast Chicken with Quinoa

This is an easy, healthy and affordable meal option.  Split chicken breast (bone-in) is frequently on sale at Whole Foods and quinoa is an excellent source of fiber and is also considered a ‘complete protein’ meaning that it provides all nine essential amino acids. Both of these recipes are very simple.  The most delicious part of the chicken is the skin; however if you don’t eat the skin, the white meat cooks up very moist and juicy.  (In the future, I hope to rub the spices under the skin in an attempt to flavor the meat for the non-skin eaters.)  This was my first time cooking quinoa and I did not have any problems.

Roasted Split Breast Chicken

Ingredients

  • 2 split breast chicken (bone-in)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional – spicy) Continue reading

Roasted Kale & Roasted Cauliflower

Erin is trying to be healthier…

If you are not already on a whole foods / low-carb / plant strong diet, then send me a message and I will shoot you the names of some books and documentaries that will scare you into healthier food options.  I’m serious.

When transitioning to a lower-carb diet, it can seem daunting to put a meal together.  Our society has focused on providing us with quick and easy food choices, although those “foods” are increasing our waistlines and our levels of disease.  In trying to avoid items that are processed or carb-laden, it will take more time to meal plan, shop and cook, but it is worth it.  The following two dishes have become regulars in home.  We often make a large batch on Sunday night and package leftovers for lunches.  The cauliflower reheats very well, but the kale will get a little soggy.  Lastly, I must recommend that you purchase organic/no-pesticide kale as traditional kale falls on the “dirty dozen” list, a ranking of fruits and vegetables that are the most contaminated by pesticides.  Check out the bottom of this post for the list.Kale

Roasted Kale Continue reading

2012 Q1 Report

2012On New Year’s Eve, I laid out a pretty unforgivable resolution for 2012… so where do we stand?  I admit that I stand closer to 2011 and less toward 2013 than I anticipated, but I have made progress.  I felt the need to provide an update to my resolution and then I realized how much time has passed.  In my adult life, that I am still becoming acquainted with, TIME FLIES.  To be direct, 3 months of the year is behind us… 25% of 2012 is already gone.  GONE. Continue reading

OH*em*Ghee!

Erin found Ghee!

ghee otherwise known as clarified butter

Have you ever dined at a restaurant and had the most amazing buttered toast?  It looked like ordinary buttered toast, but then the butter hit your taste buds with an extra pow pow of super-butter-flavor?  I have just realized that this magical butter was was probably not traditional butter, but rather clarified butter otherwise known as Ghee.  Listen up, this is life changing.  Ghee, also known as clarified butter, is butter that has been heated up to separate the butter fat (ghee) from the water and milk solids.  Ghee seems to be better than butter in a couple of areas:  Ghee has less fat and a better shelf life than butter, and it is ideal for cooking because it has a higher smoke point.

How am I just coming to learn about ghee?  Recently I downloaded a free amazon book, Perfect 10 Diet, while my husband read the latest craze, The 4-Hour Body.  We compared notes and it turns out that there were some similar themes, one of which was to eat food in its most natural form (read: no chemicals, no low-fat, and no manufactured ingredients that you cannot pronounce).  It is true that our food is largely (and increasingly) manufactured and it appears that this may correlate to how unhealthy Americans have become the last 50+ years.  My personal opinion is that these two variables are absolutely directly related, but I am not a scientist and I’m not legally allowed to pretend to be one.  Both of our books were against using the most common oils (vegetable, canola, corn, soybean and cottonseed) and recommended using only olive oil, butter, ghee, coconut oil, and macadamia oil.  The later three are best for cooking due to their stability at higher temperatures.

I found a cute little jar of Ghee at Whole Foods.  At first I spread some on hot toast… amazing!  Then I used some to cook chicken… and then popcorn… and then I made croutons from scratch (Broiled cubes of pumpernickel coated in ghee, garlic and salt).  Seriously, this stuff is amazing.  It is like super-powered butter.  Go buy some now!

Tangy Shrimp Salad

Shrimp Salad Old BayI slightly adapted a South Beach recipe and by slightly I mean that I added Old Bay because WE ARE IN MARYLAND and THAT IS WHAT WE DO.  This dish is low-carb, low-ish in fat, and high in protein.

Tangy Shrimp Salad (makes 4 servings)

ingredients

  • .5 cup low-fat sour cream
  • .25 cup mayo
  • 1 Lime (1 Tbsp zest & 2 Tbsp Juice)
  • 1.5 tsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1.5 lbs steamed and peeled shrimp (Ideally steamed with Old Bay)
  • 4 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 cucumber, de-seeded and sliced

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the sour cream, mayo, lime juice, lime zest, curry powder, and Old Bay seasoning.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the shrimp, celery and cucumber.
  3. Slowly add the the sauce mixture to the larger bowl.  You might not need all of it to coat everything.

 

Bran Muffins

Bran MuffinThe good news is that I would love to be able to replicate the Vegan Bran Muffins from Whole Foods.  The bad news is that I am not there yet.  I thought that I would start with a Classic Bran Muffin recipe and see where it got me.  These muffins were good and I would make them again… but in comparison to the Whole Foods muffins… they are definitely missing something.  I’m on the mission to find that something.  Continue reading

Experienced: Arganica Farm Club (Week 3 Final)

Arganica Farm Club 1This is my third and final post about Arganica Farm Club.  My husband and I used a Groupon to try out Arganica Food Delivery that included 6 months worth of delivery, 3 produce crates and $75 to spend on other items.  We are not at the end of our 6 months, but we ordered the 3 produce crates and used the $75.  We have determined that Arganica is not a value added service for us since we can purchase most of the same items at Whole Foods, MOMs, Trader Joes, or the Baltimore’s Farmers Market, all of which are within 10 miles of our house.  The only thing that would make Arganica worth while for us would be if the delivery was free, but as membership cost $20-$30 per month, we cannot justify having food items delivered that we can readily access.

If you are still debating if you want to try out Arganica for yourself Continue reading