Poaching is a quick, easy and healthy way to enjoy chicken. This method makes chicken juicy and tender, even though there is no fat added during cooking. Poached chicken can easily be used to feed both small and large crowds. It is very versatile and can be served on its own with side dishes, in chicken salad, in casseroles, as pulled chicken, or as a salad topper.
Poached chicken is great on a bed of leafy greens!
A variety of flavors can be added to the water during poaching. Our personal favorite is garlic and lemon, but feel free to try other flavors such as white wine or bay leaves.
Lemon and garlic infuse the chicken during poaching
1-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 lemon, washed
2-3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
Salt and pepper to taste
Slice the lemon and garlic into large slices
Fill a deep pan with enough water to cover the chicken, add lemon and garlic, and bring to a boil
Add chicken to water in a single layer
Bring water down to a simmer, leave uncovered
Cook chicken until opaque through the middle and the internal temperature reaches 165°F through the thickest part, about 5-10 minutes
Once done, remove chicken from water with a slotted spoon and let rest for 1-3 minutes
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy!
Crock Pot Pulled Pork Tenderloin
The Recipe Redux – July, 2017: Beat the Heat with the Slow Cooker/Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker
During the warmer months the last thing we want to do is turn on the oven and heat up the kitchen. By using your slow cooker, we can cook up our food without also heating up the whole room, and ourselves, in the process. There’s no watching over everything cooking to like when cooking on the stovetop too. With a slow cooker just set it and forget it. Work on some gardening or socializing while your meal simmers away!
Pulled pork tastes great in tacos, burritos and fresh salads. You can even toss some into your morning omelet along with some fresh tomato salsa and grilled or sauteed veggies.
For this recipe I recommend using a lean cut of pork like tenderloin. There will be less fat than if using many other cuts of pork, but still plenty of delicious flavor.
2 small Pork tenderloins, about 1 pound each
1 medium Onion, diced small
2 cloves Garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Chili powder
1 teaspoon Cumin, whole or ground
.5 teaspoon Cinnamon, ground
.25 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
.25 teaspoon EACH salt and pepper
1 cup Chicken broth, low-sodium
.25 cup Ketchup
1 tablespoon Molasses
.25 cup Apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Mustard, whole-grain
Add pork and onion to a crock pot or slow cooker set on low. To a medium mixing bowl add rest of ingredients and whisk to mix. Pour sauce over pork and onion. Close cooker lid and cook on low until the pork is cooked through to an internal temperature of 160 degrees, about 4 hours.
Carefully transfer the pork tenderloins to a cutting board and let stand for 10 minutes. Increase the heat in crock pot to high and cook the sauce uncovered to thicken slightly, about 10 minutes.
Shred the pork into large chunks with 2 forks. Return meat to the sauce. Toss well to coat pork with sauce.
Makes about 8-10 servings.
Serving size: 3-4 ounces of pork
Disclaimer: I received free samples of Sabra Hummus mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Sabra and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
May 13th was National Hummus Day. Forgot to celebrate? That’s OK, since hummus can make for a delicious plant based protein source, it’s a great food option on just about any day of the year. With so many different flavor varieties available, it’s hard to get bored with it too. No surprise it’s often a favorite at parties and social gatherings.
Layered dips are always a party favorite. Most are made with Mexican-influenced ingredients. This recipe takes a fun Mediterranean spin on the classic. Gluten-free and vegetarian, it will satisfy a greater number of your party-goer’s dietary needs than most other dishes. It’s fast and easy to make, too.
For this recipe I used Skyr yogurt to save a step. Skyr contains much less water than Greek yogurt. If you substitute with Greek, you will want to strain the yogurt a few hours with cheese cloth and a strainer before adding it to the dip, otherwise your dish will become watery.
1 – 15oz can Chick peas, rinsed, dried
2 containers Sabra Roasted Pine Nut Hummus
1.5 cups Romaine lettuce, cut into thin strips
1.5 cups Yogurt, Skyr, plain (about 3 serving containers)
1 large Lemon, zested and juiced
1.5 cups Cucumber, English, diced
1.25 cups Tomatoes, grape, quartered
1 medium Scallion, sliced into rings
.25 cup Feta cheese, crumbled
.25 cup Black olives, sliced
Add chick peas to small mixing bowl. Carefully scrape out pine nut topping from the center of the Sabra Roasted Pine Nut Hummus and add to the chick peas. Slowly pour the flavor oil from the Sabra Hummus container onto the chickpeas as well. Toss chick peas in the pine nuts and oil to coat. Set aside.
To an 8×8 glass container add the remaining Sabra Roasted Pine Nut hummus. With a spatula, spread the hummus so that it evenly covers the bottom of your container. This is your dip’s bottom layer.
Add the chopped Romaine lettuce, spreading evenly over the top of the hummus layer.
Zest and juice the lemon. To a medium mixing bowl, add the yogurt with all the lemon zest and stir to combine. Evenly spread the yogurt mixture layer over the lettuce layer.
Add a layer of the chopped cucumber on top of the yogurt. Take 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice and drizzle it over the cucumbers. Reserve the remaining lemon juice for another use.
On top of the cucumber add the seasoned chick peas, making sure to spread layer evenly.
Top the chick peas with a layer of chopped tomato.
Top the tomato layer with the sliced scallions, olives and feta cheese.
Refrigerate dip for a couple of hours before serving so flavors can meld.
Serve chilled with your favorite chips.
Makes a boat-load of servings (20)!
Roasted Veggies with Carrot-Top Pesto
Recipe Redux – April, 2017: Easy Ways to Reduce Food Waste
Did you know that the most nutritious part of a beet is the is the greens at the top of the plant and not the ruby red root below?!
That’s right, it is.
The same holds true for other root vegetables, including carrots. The leafy green tops on a carrot are incredibly nutrient dense. Sadly, most people throw these incredibly valuable parts away.
Don’t follow the crowd and toss these nutritious greens out with the trash. Instead, toss them into your recipes in the kitchen!!!
But how exactly do you prepare those carrot top greens?
One way to use them is in your vegetable stock. That’s an really good use for the bottom part of the greens, especially when they are on the tough side.
But an even tastier idea for the softer stems and the leafy green parts: throw those carrot greens into a tasty garlic pesto. You won’t believe how delicious the pesto will be using carrot greens in place of basil. And imagine the money you can save using something you normally throw away in place of expensive bunches of basil! The recipe uses both the lemon juice and zest, so nothing is wasted from your citrus either.
This carrot top pesto tastes great tossed with roasted veggies; it really gives them an extra big punch of flavor. This recipe also yields way more pesto than your veggies will need. Use the extra pesto as a sandwich spread, or as your sauce with regular or zucchini pasta.
A little bonus: I managed to find these beautiful white onions with their tops also attached at the grocery. I took some of its whiter greens, sliced them and added them to the roasted veggies as well. the remaining greens I will throw in a stir fry later this week. Waste not, want not!
2 bunches Carrots, with green tops
2 small Onions, white, peeled, sliced into eighths
1/4 cup Olive oil, divided
1 bunch Parsley, fresh, rinsed
2-3 large Garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup Walnuts
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 small Lemon, juiced and zested
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut the green tops off of the carrots and rinse the greens and carrots well. Set aside the carrot greens.
In a medium roast pan toss carrots and cut onion in 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Roast the veggies for 30-40 minutes, or until al dente.
Separate the softer greens from the hard part of the carrot greens. Save the hard green stem parts for stock making at a future time by placing in a sealed ziplock bag in the fridge or freezer.
To a food processor add the softer carrot green tops, plus the parsley, walnuts, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice and zest and process to combine ingredients. Slowly drizzle in the remaining olive oil while processing. Use a rubber spatula to remove pesto from processor container.
Toss all the roasted vegetables in 1/4 cup of the carrot pesto. Serve warm.
Refrigerate the remaining pesto for future use. The pesto can keep 5 days in the refrigerator.
Makes 4 servings roasted vegetables and about 2 cups pesto.
The Recipe Redux – February, 2017: Taco Tuesday
Tacos are a favorite dish in many households, including mine. They are almost as much fun to assemble as they are to eat.
But most people rely on processed tortillas as the base for their tacos. I am here to tell you – STOP!
Make your own tortillas from scratch instead.
Making tortillas from scratch is so easy, and so incredibly inexpensive too. For one large bag of Masa Harina (corn flour) you pay about 4-5 dollars, and could make over a hundred corn tortillas. That is cheaper than one package of store-bought processed tortillas, and each one will be tastier too. So good, you may decide to make tacos the meal of choice for more than just on Tuesdays!
When making the tortilla dough, it is important to kneed it well. Because corn flour has no gluten you can’t overwork it, so squeeze away with no worries. For a little added romance, kneed with a friend!
The taco seasoning works really well with chicken breast, pork tenderloin, any white fish, extra-firm tofu or tempeh. For tofu, it is a good idea to freeze then thaw the tofu before using. The freezing process changes the tofu texture so it has a more meaty consistency.
You will notice in the recipe Ingredients section I have a couple of options for salsa and guacamole listed. I especially love the Pineapple Mango Salsa with fish, and the Fruity Guacamole is killer with pork. Go ahead and mix and max whichever way your heart desires.
Happy Taco Tuesday! Which flavor combo will you try?
To a large plastic ziploc bag, add your cut protein of choice and taco seasoning. gently toss ingredients to coat protein. Seal bag and store in refrigerator until ready to cook.
To a medium mixing bowl, add the Mesa, water and a pinch of salt. Mix together by squeezing ingredients together with your hands until a dough forms. If too dry, add another teaspoon or two of water. Divide batter into 10 even pieces. Roll each piece into a small ball.
Heat a long skillet to medium and lightly spray with oil. Wrap a piece of plastic wrap around the top and bottom plates of a tortilla press. Place one of the balls in the center of the press bottom. Gently press the press cover onto the ball, so to flatten it out and form a tortilla. Slowly lift press cover.
Peel tortilla from plastic wrap and place on heated skillet. Cook 30 seconds and flip. Cook 30 seconds and flip again. Cook another 30 seconds then place cooked tortilla into a tortilla holder to keep warm. Repeat process with remaining dough. If skillet is big enough, cook more than one tortilla at a time.
Raise skillet temperature to medium-high. Remove protein from fridge. Cook on preheated skillet, turning occasionally, until protein of choice is fully cooked through. Add protein to serving bowl and allow to rest a few minutes before serving.
To assemble Taco: On to 1 tortilla spread 1.5 tablespoons guacamole. Then layer 1.5 tablespoons each lettuce and black beans. Add 1-2 strips of protein, then top with 1.5 tablespoons of salsa.
Why buy overpriced taco seasoning packets that are loaded with ingredients which you can’t even pronounce, when you can easily mix up your own batch at home?! That’s right, now you can season chicken, fish, pork, tofu or tempeh perfectly for your tortilla wraps with your very own taco seasoning.
It’s so easy to use too: After liberally tossing your protein in this stuff, either grill, pan fry or broil. Then enjoy!!!
Try it once, and you will never buy the premixed taco seasoning from the store again. Triple the recipe, jar it, tie on a ribbon and use it for your next housewarming gift. The recipients will surely love it too. Maybe they will even invite you back for dinner!
1 tablespoon Chili powder
½ tablespoon Cumin, ground
½ teaspoon Smoky paprika
½ teaspoon Sea salt
½ teaspoon Oregano, dried
¼ teaspoon Black pepper, fresh ground
¼ teaspoon Garlic powder
¼ teaspoon Onion powder
¼ teaspoon Hot pepper flakes, dried
Mix all ingredients together. Store in a cool, dry place in an airtight container.