Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Crock Pot Greek Chicken and Vegetable Ragout

1 pound carrots, cut into 1 1/4-inch pieces, or 3 cups baby carrots
1 pound (3-4 medium) yellow-fleshed potatoes, such as Yukon Gold, peeled and cut lengthwise into 1 1/4-inch-wide wedges
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup dry white wine
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 15-ounce can artichoke hearts, rinsed and quartered if large
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup chopped fresh dill
Freshly ground pepper to taste


Spread carrots and potatoes over the bottom and up the sides of a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Arrange chicken on top of the vegetables. Bring broth, wine, garlic and salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour over the chicken and vegetables. Cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours on high or 4 to 4 1/2 hours on low.

Add artichokes to the slow cooker, cover and cook on high for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk egg, egg yolks and lemon juice in a medium bowl.

Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a serving bowl using a slotted spoon. Cover and keep warm. Ladle about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid into the egg mixture. Whisk until smooth. Whisk the egg mixture into the remaining cooking liquid in the slow cooker. Cover and cook, whisking 2 or 3 times, until slightly thickened and sauce reaches 160°F on an instant-read thermometer, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in dill and pepper. Pour the sauce over the chicken and vegetables and serve at room temperature!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Refershing Apple-Kiwi Smoothie

1 small apple, peeled, cut into chunks
1 kiwifruit, peeled, cut into chunks
4 medium fresh strawberries
2/3 cup Yoplait® 99% Fat Free creamy strawberry yogurt
1/3 cup apple juice
1 tblsp. chia seeds
1 tblsp. fresh chopped mint
8 ice cubes
1 cup filtered water

Blend all ingredients in blender adding water last until you reach your desired consistency. Serve and Enjoy!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Kale and Corn Stuffed Chicken

4 tblsp. canola oil
5 ounces fresh kale ribs removed
2 cloves galric chopped
1 cup canned corn kernels
2 ounces mozzarella cheese
4 6-8 ounce boneless chicken breasts
1/2 lemon juiced
1/2 cup low sodium chicken stock
1 tblsp. flour

Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the kale, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until the kale is softened and the garlic is fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the corn and cook, stirring, until warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to a bowl to cool slightly, and then stir in the cheese.

Insert a thin paring knife into the thickest part of the chicken breast and cut down the side to make a 3-inch pocket. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts. Then evenly stuff with the kale mixture.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, 3 to 4 minutes. Rub the chicken breasts with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and sprinkle with a total of 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add all 4 chicken breasts to the skillet and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Then lower heat to medium. Continue cooking, turning once halfway through, until just cooked through, about 14 minutes more. Insert a small paring knife into the top of the chicken to test for doneness. If any pink areas remain, cover the skillet and continue to cook until opaque.
Transfer the chicken and any bits of filling that fell into the skillet onto 4 plates. Stir the broth and flour together in a small bowl and then add to the skillet. Cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the pan sauce over the chicken.

Serve at room temp. And enjoy!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Garden Vegetable Ratatouille

1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup chopped green onions (about 4)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup sliced fresh okra (about 4 ounces)
1 cup chopped red bell pepper (about 1)
1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add okra; sauté 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add bell pepper ; cook 5 minutes. Add corn; cook 5 minutes. Stir in beans; cook 2 minutes. Stir in cilantro; sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Let cool and serve at room temp.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Easy Salmon Burgers

1 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (1-pound) salmon fillet, skinned and chopped
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
1 large egg white
Canola Oil for cooking
8 (3/4-ounce) slices focaccia, toasted

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine hot pepper sauce and egg white in a small bowl; add egg white mixture to salmon mixture, stirring well to combine.

Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add salmon patties, and cook 3 minutes on each side or until your desired cooking temp is reached.  Serve patties on toasted focaccia at room temp.

Monday, June 13, 2016

BBQ Chicken with feta and Peach Slaw

5 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
3/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh peaches (about 2 medium)
1 (12-oz.) pkg. broccoli slaw
3 (6-oz.) skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut crosswise into 1-in. strips
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 ounce feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)
2 center-cut bacon slices, cooked and crumbled

Combine 4 tablespoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add peaches and slaw to vinegar mixture; toss gently to coat.

 Sprinkle chicken evenly with remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; cook 6 minutes or until done. Place chicken in a large bowl. Add barbecue sauce to bowl; toss.

Divide slaw mixture evenly among 4 plates; top evenly with chicken strips. Sprinkle with chives, feta, and bacon.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Healthy Peach and Blueberry Cobbler

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup reduced-fat milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ripe but firm peaches, (about 1 pound), pitted and sliced into eighths, or 3 1/2 cups frozen
2 cups (1 pint) fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place butter and oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Heat in the oven until melted and fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add milk, sugar and vanilla; stir to combine.

Add the melted butter mixture to the batter and stir to combine. Pour the batter into the hot pan. Spoon peaches and blueberries evenly over the batter.

Return the pan to the oven and bake until the top of the cobbler is browned and the batter around the fruit is completely set, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Remove to a wire rack to cool for at least 15 minutes. Serve at room temp.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Grilled Chicken with Polenta and Blackberry Salsa


1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon canola oil, divided
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 16- to 18-ounce tube prepared plain polenta
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed
2 nectarines, halved and pitted
1 pint blackberries, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice

Preheat grill to medium-high.

Combine 1 tablespoon oil, cumin, 3/4 teaspoon salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub 1 teaspoon of the mixture all over polenta. Rub the rest into both sides of chicken. Cut the polenta crosswise into 8 slices. Rub the cut sides of nectarine halves with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil.

Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Place the chicken, polenta slices and nectarines on the grill. Grill the polenta until hot and slightly charred, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a clean plate; tent with foil to keep warm. Grill the nectarines, turning occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes total. Grill the chicken, until cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, 6 to 8 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken and nectarines to a cutting board. Coarsely chop the nectarines. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes, then thinly slice.

While the chicken rests, combine the chopped nectarines, blackberries, cilantro, lime juice, hot sauce and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Layer the polenta, chicken and fruit salsa on 4 plates and serve.

Chefs note: Blackberries are vascular constrictors and help to reduce redness and flare-ups.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Simple Apple and Melon Granita

4 cups cubed ripe melon ( I like honeydew )
1 cup unsweetened apple juice
1/4 cup lime juice
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh raspberries
fresh mint for garnish

Combine melon, apple juice and lime juice in a blender; puree until smooth. Pour the mixture into a 9-by-13-inch glass or metal pan.

Place the pan on a level surface in your freezer. Freeze, stirring and scraping with a fork every 30 minutes, moving the frozen edges in toward the slushy center and crushing any lumps, until the Granita is firm but not frozen solid, 3 to 4 hours.

Remove from the freezer; use a metal spatula or large spoon to break up the frozen ice into small slivers. Pack into an airtight plastic container and freeze for at least 1 hour more.

Remove from the freezer about 20 minutes before serving to soften slightly. Use a wide spoon or ice cream scoop to scrape the Granita into shallow bowls. Sprinkle blueberries and raspberries over each portion and garnish with mint leaves, if desired.

Chef's Note: Freeze for up to 1 week. Remove about 20 minutes before serving to soften slightly.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

chicken, potato, and fresh pea salad

1 pound fingerling potatoes, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
2 cups fresh sugar snap peas
2 cups chopped skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
garlic clove, minced


1. Place potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until almost tender. Add peas; cook 2 minutes or until peas are crisp-tender. Drain; place vegetables in a large bowl. Add chicken, bell pepper, and onion.
2. Combine oil and remaining ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over salad; toss gently to combine.