Category Archives: Chicken

Panang Chicken Curry with Red Cargo Rice

Tonight’s Menu: Thai Panang Chicken Curry with Red Cargo Rice (gluten and sugar free)

chickencurry

As of late my health hasn’t been exceptional (due to high levels of stress I suspect) so I have decided to embrace some new diet rules for the next month or so. I have always been an advocate for clean, natural eating but cleansing has never really been my thing. Probably because I would go into deep depression without solid food in my life. With that said, I have decided to compromise…for the next month, I will enjoy my first 2 meals juiced or in smoothie form and eat a nutritional (real) dinner. Here’s the kicker, everything that goes into my body must be gluten and sugar free.

So there you have it and here’s tonight meal which is one of my favourites and loaded with fibre, iron, protein, calcium +++. Enjoy

Serves 2
Prep time: 15 mins. | Cook time: 30 mins.

1 can of unsweetened coconut milk
1 tbsp  red curry paste (be sure this is sugar-free)
2 lime leaves
1/2  onion, sliced
1 large red pepper, sliced (I used 1/2 of each a yellow and red pepper)
8 lg mushrooms
1 cup of fresh spinach
small bunch of cilantro, chopped
1/4 c peanuts, chopped
1 skinless boneless chicken breast, sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
S&P

2 c prepared red cargo rice

curryingredients

Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat and add oil. Toss in onions and let saute for approx. 1 minute. Add in peppers, mushrooms and chicken. Saute for approx. 2 minutes stirring frequently. Turn heat down to low and add coconut milk, curry and lime leaves. Let simmer slowly for approx. 15 mins stirring occasionally. When ready your sauce should slightly coat the spoon. Stir in spinach, peanuts and cilantro. Season to taste with S&P. Remove from heat and serve immediately over red rice.

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Chicken & Pesto Whole-Wheat Crust Pizza

Tonight’s Menu: Whole-wheat pizza with chicken, pesto, artichoke and roasted red peppers

Who doesn’t love pizza?! Oh, but all that fat could leave you feeling guilty for days. Making small improvements to this classic will not only set your mind at ease, your heart will thank you too. Plus, the whole-grain content will leave you feeling fuller longer!

Dough
1 tbsp. honey
1 1/4 c. warm water
1, 1/4 oz pack  yeast
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 c. olive oil

Dissolve the honey in water and add the yeast. Let sit until the yeast foams slightly (approx. 5 minutes).
In a separate bowl, combine all-purpose and whole-wheat flours.
Combine 3 c. of the flour mixture and salt in a bowl. Pour in the yeast mixture and olive oil.
Knead the flour mixture by hand, gradually adding enough of the remaining flour mixture so that the dough is no longer sticky. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic (approx. 10 minutes).
Shape the dough into a ball and put in a large oiled bowl, turn the dough to coat it with oil.
Allow to rise in a warm location until doubled in size (approx. 45 – 60 minutes).
Punch down the dough and divide into 2 sections. Roll each section into a ball.
Flatten each round into a 12″ circle using your hands or with a rolling-pin, stretching out as necessary to achieve a thin dough.

Top the prepared crusts with your favorite toppings.
My favorite combination is crushed tomatoes, pesto, low-fat mozzarella cheese, roasted red peppers, chicken breast slices and artichokes.

After you add your desired toppings allow each prepared round to rest in a warm location for 15 minutes.
Bake in a 475° oven until crust is golden brown, approx. 20 minutes.

Buon appetito! xo

Gourmet Quesadillas with Bean Salad

Gourmet chicken quesadillas with black bean and corn salad

As some of you may have noticed I have been on a bit of a blogger sabbatical. My time has been limited in the past few months as I have been launching my own company (www.volumecommunications.com). I have very much missed profiling my dinners and the great response I had received.

Tonight’s dinner was inspired by my roommate’s favorite dish, traditional mexican style quesadillas. In addition to making tonight’s menu healthier I decided to add a gourmet twist. By adding half low-fat mozzarella to my cheese mixture and no-fat sour cream I was able to cut the fat content. I also replaced traditional flour tortillas with a whole wheat version providing a higher fiber content.  Fiber has been proven to lower cholesterol and helps to regulate glucose levels in the blood. Pairing the quesadillas with a black bean salad completes this fiber packed menu.

Serves 2
Prep time: 20 mins. | Cook time: 10 mins.

4 large whole wheat tortillas
2 chicken boneless breasts (grilled and sliced)
4 large Portobello mushrooms (sliced and sautéed)
2 roasted red peppers (sliced; if using jarred peppers be sure they are packed in water)
1 small onion (sliced and caramelized)
1/4 c. of each smoked cheddar and mozzarella cheeses (grated)
1 tsp. olive oil

1/4 c. no-fat sour cream

1/4 c. salsa

black bean salad

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Wipe the pan with an oil damped paper towel. Place one tortilla in the pan and top with 1/2 the cheese mixture, chicken, mushrooms, onions and roasted red peppers. Top with another tortilla and cover pan with a lid. Once bottom tortilla is golden brown and cheese is melted flip to the opposite side and cook till golden brown. Repeat these steps for the second quesadilla.

To serve cut into four wedges and serve with sour cream, salsa and bean salad.

Hope you enjoy! xO

Gourmet Ground Chicken Burgers

Gourmet Ground Chicken Burgers with Provolone, Roasted Garlic Mayo and Caramelized Onions

Thick-cut double smoked bacon, blue cheese, fried egg and foie gras topped upon a juicy 1/2 pound prime rib patty. The rise in popularity of gourmet burgers has us salivating over fat laden creations between two buns. Although I love a good juicy beef burger I try to indulge as modestly as possible. Substituting ground beef for chicken or turkey can cut fat significantly. When removing the fat from your patties you must replace that flavor with healthy alternatives. As a special request from a faithful reader, here’s a recipe that will provide all the flavor without tipping the scale.

Serves 4
Prep time: 20 mins. | Cook time: 10 mins.

2 lbs. ground chicken
1 egg
1/2 c. panko crumbs
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
4 tbsp. barbeque sauce
4 tbsp. grainy mustard
1 clove garlic (minced)
1/2 tbsp. rosemary (chopped fine)
S&P

2 onions (sliced)
1 tbsp. olive oil
S&P

6 slices light provolone
6 lettuce leaves
2 tomatoes (sliced)
1 tbsp. roasted garlic (minced)
6 tbsp. 1/2 the fat mayo
6 whole-wheat cibatta buns (or buns of choice)
2 tbsp. olive oil (for buns)

Place a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add olive oil and onions. Let saute for approx. 20 minutes stirring occasionally until golden brown. Season with S&P.

Heat your grill to high. Add ground chicken to a large mixing bowl. Break in egg and mix well. Add panko, sauces, mustard, rosemary , S&P and mix well with hands. Add more panko if the mixture is loose. Form into 6 large patties and place on parchment paper.
Cut buns and swipe with olive oil. Set aside.

Place patties on a hot grill and turn heat down to medium-low. Cook for approx. 10-15 mins or until the internal temperature has reached 170º. When almost ready place cheese over patties and buns on grill to toast slightly.

To serve mix mayo with roasted garlic and spoon on to buns. Add caramelized onions and additional toppings.

Hot off the grill! xO


Stuffed Chicken with Cabbage and Sweet Potato Pancakes

Tonight’s Menu: Chicken stuffed with caramelized onion, apple and cream cheese topped with a sour cream jus served with steamed cabbage and potato pancakes.

Stuffed chicken breasts are one of my favorite dishes to prepare. Not only are there so many flavour combinations to choose from, they  also look great on your plate. I have stuffed chicken breasts many different ways so I opted to show you my favorite and a sure-fire way to avoid losing your stuffing during the cooking process. If you’re not so keen on cabbage or have cut potato from your diet this recipe works well with grilled vegetables as well.

4 boneless chicken breasts
1 lg.onion (sliced)
1 lg. apple (grated and drained)
3 tbsp. low-fat cream cheese
2 tbsp. olive oil
S&P

Sauce
1/2 c. white wine
1/2 c. chicken stock
1/4 c. fat-free sour cream
S&P

2 sweet potatoes (grated and drained)
1 egg
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tbsp. olive oil
S&P

1/2 head of cabbage (sliced)

Place a medium skillet over medium-low heat and add 1 tbsp. olive oil and onions. Leave to cook stirring occasionally for approx. 15 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer the onions into a bowl and set aside the pan to be used for your chicken.

Heat oven to 400º. In a large bowl mix together potato, egg, nutmeg and S&P (about 1 tsp. each). Grease a large skillet with olive oil. Press potato mixture firmly into skillet and set on medium-low heat. When the potato has browned slightly on the bottom insert the skillet into the oven for approx. 20 minutes.

In a small bowl mix together 3/4 of caramelized, cream cheese and apple. season with S&P and set aside.
Prepare chicken by inserting a sharp knife into the large portion of the breast and create a cavity without puncturing the top or bottom of the breast. See the (poorly done) video below for a visual. Be sure not to make your incision too large or the stuffing with escape during the cooking process.

When your chicken is stuffed, heat the skillet used for the onions over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot add 1 tbsp. olive oil and your stuffed chicken. Season with S&P and brown on both sides. Transfer the chicken from the skillet into an oven safe pan and set aside your skillet to be used for the sauce. Insert into oven for approx. 15 minutes or until cooked throughly. It is best to use a thermometer when cooking chicken. The internal temperature should reach 170º.  When there is 10 minutes remaining you should start to steam your cabbage.

Place skillet used for the chicken back on to the stove and increase heat to high. Deglaze the pan with the wine then add the stock. Reduce to 1/4 of original volume, season with S&P and add in remaining caramelized onions. Set aside.

When everything has finished cooking set your sauce back onto low heat and stir in the sour cream. Carefully flip the pancake onto a cutting board. Portion into four even wedges and set onto plates. Top with cabbage and chicken (I like to cut the chicken on a bias through the middle to show the stuffing), then top with sauce.

This menu was a little time consuming but well worth it! xO

Chicken and Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Tonight’s Menu: Chicken and roasted vegetable lasagna with brown rice pasta

Lasagna is a favorite for many but when made traditionally it contains a tremendous amount of fat. Having lasagna every once in a while is fine but to enjoy it more frequently try alternating fatty ingredients with healthier options. I chose to add roasted vegetables to my version to add extra flavor and nutrients, you may choose a different selection like eggplant, fennel etc. This is also a great way to use up the veggies in your fridge.
As I have mentioned in the past; I have replaced all pasta in my house with a brown rice version but this was my first time working with BR lasagna. I was pleasantly surprised as even my old italian boss wouldn’t have known the difference.

Serves 6 -7
Prep time: 50 mins. | Cook time: 1 hr.

2 zucchini
1 lg. carrot (peeled)
1 lg. red pepper
1 pkg. mushrooms (approx. 20 sliced)
1 lb. asparagus
1 tbsp. olive oil
S&P

1 lb. ground lean chicken
1 small onion (chopped)
1 lg. clove of garlic (minced)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 jar plain tomato sauce
1 tsp. cinnamon
S&P

1 pkg. brown rice lasagna noodles (oven-ready)
1 carton of light ricotta
1 egg
5 large basil leaves (chiffonade)
2 c. skim-milk mozzarella cheese
1, 2 x 2″ piece of parmesan cheese
S&P

Set oven to 350º. Chop all vegetables and toss with oil and S&P in a large bowl. Spread onto a large baking pan covered with parchment and place in oven. Set timer for 50 mins.

Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil, ground chicken, onions, garlic and S&P. Let saute till cooked throughly (approx. 10 mins) stirring occasionally. When finished mix with tomato sauce and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a medium bowl mix together ricotta, basil, egg and 1/2 c. of mozzarella. Season with S&P. Set aside.

When vegetables are roasted remove from oven and leave temperature set to 350º. Spray or brush a 9 x 13″ baking dish with olive oil. Start by spreading 1/3 of meat mixture in the bottom of the pan. Follow it with a layer on lasagna noodles (do not overlap). Next spread 1/2 of ricotta mixture over noodles and top with 1/2 of vegetables. Repeat layering again starting and ending with meat mixture. Top with remaining 1 1/2 c. mozzarella then sprinkle with grated parmesan. Rip off a piece of tin foil slightly longer than the pan and fold in half lengthwise and then slightly flatten once again. Position over the pan creating somewhat of a tent so the foil is not touching the cheese. Crimp at the sides to tighten. Place in oven and cook for 45 mins. Remove foil and cook for another 15 mins. to brown cheese.

Buon Appetito! xO

Smoked Chicken at Home

Today’s Lesson: Smoking chicken in your own backyard.

Smoking any type of meat, poultry or fish is a low-fat way to infuse flavor. Most people pass on doing this themselves assuming that it is too much work or it cannot be done without an expensive bbq smoker. When working with Chef Steffan Howard years ago I learned an easy makeshift way of smoking food with items most of us have at home. I have modified his original method slightly to include my bbq. This method will work for all types of protein listed above.

Prep time: 45 mins | Cook time: 1 hr

1 large whole chicken (organic of course!)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 orange cut into wedges
1 sprig rosemary (chopped)
S&P

Equipment list
1 large deep heavy roasting pan with lid
1 rack that fits in top of pan
1 bag of smoking chips; flavor of your choice (found at your local Canadian Tire)
Barbque (racks removed)
Oven Mitts

Fill bottom of pan with wood chips, you will probably only need 1/2 to 3/4 of the bag. Cover with tap water and let soak for 30 mins.

When time has passed drain chips, mix with hand and place rack on pan. Stuff chicken with orange wedges and season with oil, rosemary and S&P. Place chicken on the rack and cover with the lid.

Remove the racks from your bbq and set to high heat. Place pan directly on grill bricks.

Reduce bbq heat to medium-high and let cook for approx. 1 hour checking on its progress 2 or 3 times. There should be constant smoke in the pan. Use a meat thermometer to determine when finished, chicken will be done when the breast reaches a temperature of 170°F (77°C).

Safely remove from grill with mitts and serve immediately or keep covered in the refrigerator. Smoked chicken can be eaten as is or in various dishes including pastas, salads, sandwiches etc. Stay tuned for a few of my favorites in the next week.

Smoken hot! xO