Jamie Oliver’s Chicken in Milk

Hello wonderful!

IMG_5620I decided to challenge myself in a way I never have in the kitchen before: I decided to bake a chicken. A whole chicken.

My typical experience cooking chicken involving baking pre-sliced chicken breast in the oven or on a skillet, but once I read Serena’s Best Roast Chicken Ever recipe I knew I had to give this a shot. If you have not checked out her blog Domesticate Me I highly recommend that you do; Serena has some great food ideas and some serious skills!

IMG_5622

Okay, back to the chicken. I knew based on the recipe reviews that this dish was good, but I did not know just how DELICIOUS it was going to be! Incredibly flavorful and a very versatile entrée that can go with a number of side dishes. I decided to eat the chicken along with some steamed broccoli and brown rice, and I ladled the sauce that the chicken cooks in over everything and it was a great decision.

Oh, and I have the mention that the aroma coming out of the oven when the chicken is baking is phenomenal. Your whole home will smell of baking chicken. Don’t be surprised if your neighbors want to join you for dinner!

A note on the baking process: since I do not own a Dutch oven, I used a large saucepan and covered the chicken with a double-layer of aluminum foil. Worked like a charm!

You can find the recipe here.

Advertisements

Mason Jar Blueberry Yogurt Parfait

Did anyone make the New Years resolution to eat better? Well if you did, then I am sure you have heard a lot about how important it is to get a healthy breakfast. I am one of those people who love breakfast food (breakfast lovers: you know who you are) so I typically have no problem making myself a nice breakfast in the morning to fuel my day.

Despite all of my love for the first meal of the day, I had a lot of difficulty last week trying to get myself breakfast! I have had to get out the door super early (5:15am), and I was struggling to throw together something to eat that could satiate my hunger and give me energy to make it through the morning. That is, until I thought up this little yogurt parfait here.

IMG_5641

“Today I will be happier than a bird with a french fry”…because I have this delicious yogurt parfait!

 

Part parfait, part overnight oatmeal, this breakfast-to-go has it all: whole grains, fruits, and protein. I know I am super late jumping on the mason jar train, but I am so glad I did. This is just the cutest little breakfast I have ever seen! And this mason jar packs a filling and nutritious punch. If trying to get a healthy breakfast to-go is your challenge, then look no further than this adorable and customizable start to the day.

Mason Jar Blueberry Yogurt Parfait (serves 1)

IngredientsIMG_5640

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (or any yogurt flavor of your choice!)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup blueberries (or any fruit of your choice!)
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Mason jar

Directions

  1. The night before: layer the yogurt, berries, and oats into the mason jar in whatever order you would like. Sprinkle cinnamon over the top, if desired. Cover mason jar with lid and store in the refrigerator.
  2. The next morning: grab your mason jar out of the fridge, grab yourself a spoon, and have breakfast whenever you’d like!

Nutritional Information:

  • Calories: 250
  • Protein: 21g
  • Carbohydrates: 39g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugars: 25g
  • Calcium: 348 mg
  • Potassium: 499 mg
  • Sodium: 134 mg

 

 

 

Oven-Roasted Brussel Sprouts

IMG_5376

The countdown to Thanksgiving is upon us. Now is the time to start thinking about he delicious foods to that you may eat (and cook!) for any holiday parties you have planned. And I am about to share with you to a healthy and fantastic tasting vegetable that is easy to cook and makes a show-stopping side dish: brussel sprouts.

IMG_5375

 

Now, if ever there was an easy dish to cook it’s this one. Seriously simple, seriously delicious. Oh and brussel sprouts are a great source of nutrients!

IMG_5378

 

Drizzle some balsamic vinegar glaze on top, and you have yourself the perfect side dish for tonight’s dinner, Thanksgiving, and beyond!

Over Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Ingredients:

  • Brussel sprouts
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Balsamic vinegar glaze, optional

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Remove yellowing outer leaves from sprouts, if necessary. Rinse sprouts and pat them dry. Slice each sprout in half.
  3. In a bowl, mix together halved sprouts, a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pour sprouts onto a pan that has been lined with aluminum foil.
  4. Roast sprouts in the oven for 20-25 minutes, tossing the sprouts once or twice while they are baking. The outer leaves will be golden brown and crispy.
  5. Drizzle balsamic vinegar glaze over brussel sprouts, if desired.

Chicken Tortellini Soup

My friends, what’s better that chicken noodle soup?

IMG_5296

Swapping out the noodles for cheese-filled pasta goodness. Allow me to introduce to you chicken tortellini soup.

IMG_5297

Soup has always been my comfort food. When I was younger, I would heat up a can of chicken broth, throw some canned garbanzo beans in it, and call it a soup. While I still use those two ingredients in the soups I make now, I would like to believe I got a little more sophisticated with my soup recipes.

Chicken Tortellini Soup (makes 4-6 servings)

Ingredients:IMG_5299

  • 1 white onion
  • 5 celery stalks
  • 5 medium carrot sticks
  • 2 cups cooked chicken breasts, chopped
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes
  • 3-4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups kale
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 package cheese tortellini
  • 3-4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add minced garlic.
  2. Dice onions, and slice carrots and celery and add these three ingredients to the saucepan. Stir occasionally for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Strain liquid out of the canned corn and kidney beans. Rinse both corn and kidney beans in a colander. Add to saucepan and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add entire can of stewed tomatoes and all of the chicken broth to the saucepan. Add chopped kale. Cover saucepan and allow soup to cook for 4 minutes. Taste, then add salt and pepper to taste (I added about 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper).
  5. Add chopped chicken and tortellini. Heat soup until tortellini is cooked (about 6-8 minutes). Soup should be bubbling softly.
  6. Label soup into bowls. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

Thai-Inspired Shrimp Noodle Bowl

When asked where I get ideas for recipes, I usually say Foodgawker. It is probably the most-used app on my cell phone (sorry, Facebook) and it makes me want to cook all the time. Which is understandable because all of the chefs featured on the website are crazy-talented and super creative. Hence, the perfect inspiration.

Though there is another website I frequent often, one that is not necessarily known for its food recipes but IS known for chomping up ample amounts of free time worldwide: I’m talking about Buzzfeed.

I did not realize Buzzfeed has a Food section until a couple of weeks ago, but now that I know it exists my internet surfing has gravitated towards it, clicking on articles such as “How You Eat On Instagram Vs. How You Eat In Real Life” and “23 Easy and Inexpensive Meals You Can Make With Pita Bread” until I forget what time it is and that I should have been in bed hours before.

The article that I received this inspiration from happened to be “25 Dinners That Are Basically Impossible to Mess Up“, and the dish that made it to the dinner table was the Asian Noodle Bowl from Minimalist Baker. The recipe really is extremely simple, and completely versatile. For example, the original recipe calls for tofu but we decided to grill some shrimp. We also added some sliced red and yellow bell peppers for the extra kick of color, and cucumber just because.

IMG_4895 IMG_4897

When we dug into our Asian Noodle Bowls for dinner, my fiancé and I went silent. We quietly devoured our bowls, not speaking until we went in for seconds. And when we did speak we both said something along the lines of “Wow this stuff is unbelievably good“. It’s the combination of crunchy vegetables, warm noodles, and that peanut ginger dressing! Ah, so yummy, and such a quick and healthy homemade meal.

Don’t wait another day. Make the Asian Noodle Bowl tonight!

To get the recipe, click here.

 

 

Big news: I got engaged and my fiancé can cook!

Apologies for taking (yikes!) a month away from writing, but I promise I have a good excuse.

As the title of this post entails, I have some VERY exciting news to share with all of you: my boyfriend of 5 years proposed! Feel free to scroll down if you do not want the engagement details, but if you wanna know how he did it, please read on.

My fiancé has been telling me for the past couple of months that he wanted to do a carriage ride through Central Park before we move out of NYC and move in together. He told me that afterward we could go have a nice dinner in one of the Central Park restaurants. I happen to love dressing up and going out for a nice, long dinner, so I took very little convincing. In fact, I think I jumped up and down with excitement because the plan sounded so romantic. I had no idea that was just the beginning. While on our carriage ride, my fiancé asked if we could stop by Bethesda Fountain (in the middle of Central Park). Still oblivious to what was going on, I happily jumped out of the carriage and strolled towards the fountain. Upon arriving at the fountain, my fiancé gave me a penny and told me to close my eyes and make a wish. I was happy to oblige, and still had no idea what was going on…until I opened my eyes. There, on one knee, was my now-fiancé holding a ring box, asking me to spend the rest of my life with him. There was no hesitation; with tears of joy pouring down my face, I said yes (I don’t even remember if I let him finish his proposal!).

_MG_9660

Here I am, still oblivious to what’s going on

_MG_9661

The proposal

The area surrounding the fountain exploded with applause and cheering. I felt like I had won the Super Bowl! It was then that I realized that there was someone snapping photos of us, and that a guitarist sitting at the fountain’s edge was playing a familiar song…a song that my fiancé and I consider our song. I was such a magical moment, better than any fairy tale or movie scene, and I will cherish that moment for the rest of my life. The next week was a whirlwind of celebration and moving in together, and after weeks of eating out for every single meal we finally got to make dinner at our new place. As if my fiancé weren’t amazing enough, he showed that he can cook too! In all of our years of dating, we have cooked together only a handful of times, and I had never really let him take the reins and cook something all by himself. Well, let me tell you, that is going to change!

Start reading here if you wanna go straight to the food-talk…IMG_4843 For the first dinner in our new place, my fiancé made Chipotle Shrimp Tacos. I love this dish for many reasons: (1) I think soft tacos are one of the best foods in the world, (2) seafood (shrimp especially) is delicious, and (3) you can add heaping mounds of avocado or guacamole to it. Not only is the dish crazy-delicious and flavorful, it is packed with wholesome ingredients (the only things not made from scratch are the chipotle sauce and the tortillas). Shrimp is also a good source of lean protein, and the avocado salsa contributes all sorts of health benefits. This is a dish you can feel good about eating. So go ahead and showcase your culinary skills! And fair warning: you will definitely be asked to make this again.

Chipotle Shrimp Tacos  (Serves 2) Ingredients

  • IMG_484625 shrimp, fresh or thawed, deveined
  • Chipotle sauce (or seasoning)
  • Olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 avocado
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 4-6 flour or corn tortillas

Directions

  1. In a bowl, mix shrimp with the Chipotle sauce, set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, add the diced avocado, diced tomatoes, diced onion, lime, cilantro, and minced garlic. Fold ingredients together to avoid mushing up the avocado too much. Add salt and pepper to taste, set aside.
  3. Warm a skillet and add olive oil. Cook shrimp for 2 minutes on each side, then remove from heat.
  4. For perfect tortillas: stack tortillas on a microwave-safe plate and drape a damp paper towel over them. Microwave for 30 seconds, or until warm,
  5. On your now perfectly warmed tortilla, layer avocado salsa and shrimp. Squeeze fresh lime juice on top. Serve with beans and rice for a complete meal.

Light Tuna Avocado Salad

Ah summertime, what a wonderful time of the year! Even someone like myself who lacks air conditioning in a sweltering season like this one has to appreciate how nice it is to have sunshine and warmth. The weather just makes me want to listen to reggae music and be outside more. 

Specifically, the weather makes me want to go to the beach. Last weekend and this weekend were my first real beach weekends, and despite the fact I did not go swimming in the water (I like the beach, I’m not particularly fond of super cold ocean water), I really had a wonderful time. Even have the tan lines to prove it.

IMG_4689

There are plenty of things about being close to the coastline that are enjoyable to me. From a food standpoint, its definitely all about the sea food. I love fish. Not only is fish tasty, it is a lean protein and a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.

This Light Tuna Avocado Salad is made to bring the seafood to you, wherever you may be and especially if you fear cooking seafood. This recipe uses canned tuna because its inexpensive, stores well, and can be incorporated into the salad in no time. And I added avocado for obvious reasons: avocado makes everything better.

IMG_4582

IMG_4580

Makes this salad, eat healthy, and have yourself a little beach day no matter where you are!

Light Tuna Avocado Salad (Serves 1)

IngredientsIMG_4584

  • 1 can of tuna fish in water, drained
  • 1/2 cup yogurt (I used Fage 0% fat Greek Yogurt)
  • 1/2 avocado, peeled and diced
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 cup of greens (mixed greens, Romaine, spinach…pick your favorite!)
  • Optional: a dash of Sriracha adds a nice spicy kick!

Directions

  1. Mix drained tuna with yogurt and avocado. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. 
  2. Place tuna salad on top of greens of choice OR spread salad onto bread for a delicious and flavorful sandwich!