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
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.
Recipe Redux – December, 2016: Grab a Book and Cook
This month’s Recipe Redux recipe challenge theme was to “grab your nearest cookbook and ReDux the recipe on page 201, 16, 216 – or any combination of the number ‘2016”. For this challenge, I am excited to introduce our guest blogger for this post – Liana Waybright. Liana was an intern with us here at Healthy in the Kitchen in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, as a part of her dietetic internship and Master’s program with Eastern Illinois University. By the time you are able to read this post, Liana will have graduated her program and be RD-eligible. A big congratulations goes out to her for all her immense dedication and hard work. Great job Liana, and delicious recipe too! – Michelle Moreau, RDN, LD, CC
I knew exactly what cookbook I wanted to grab for this Recipe Redux as soon as I learned of the theme – America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook.
ATK is one of my go-to resources for reliably delicious food, and on page 216 of their healthy recipe book, I found “Poached Salmon with Herb and Caper Vinaigrette”. I decided to focus on modifying the recipe by changing the flavor profile, making it perfect for a cold winter weekday meal. Orange, sage, thyme, and a hint of maple syrup pair nicely with salmon and are more seasonal ingredients than the original recipe. I also added Kalamata olives and roasted almonds to boost the nutritional value of this dish with sources of healthy fats.
This recipe is a quick, one-pan wonder that preserves flavor by turning the liquid used to steam the fish into a sauce. The orange slices act as a “rack” to elevate the fish while it steams, and at the same time infuses citrus flavor into the dish. Also, you can use the same orange that you zested for the orange slices!
This recipe will be sure to impress your family or friends, but you can keep it a secret how easy it is to prepare. I found wild rice and roasted Brussels sprouts to be the perfect pairings to make this a balanced meal, but feel free to mix up the starch and veg sides to your preference. Cheers!
1 Orange, sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds
Zest of 1 Orange
2 tablespoons Sage, fresh, minced, stems reserved
2 tablespoons Thyme, fresh, minced
2 Thyme sprigs, whole
1 Shallot, minced
½ cup Dry white wine (like sauvignon blanc)
½ cup Water
4, 6-ounce Salmon fillets, about 1 ½ inches thick
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons Kalamata olives, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Maple syrup
2 tablespoons Almonds, roasted and chopped
1 tablespoon Extra-virgin olive oil
Arrange the orange slices in a single layer over the bottom of a 12-inch skillet. Scatter the whole thyme sprigs, sage stems, and half of the shallots over the orange slices. Add the wine and water.
Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Lay the salmon fillets on top of the oranges. Set the pan over high heat and bring liquid to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the fish flakes apart when gently prodded with a paring knife, 10 to 15 minutes.
In the meantime, combine the remaining shallots, minced sage, minced thyme, olives, maple syrup, almonds, orange zest, and oil in a bowl.
Once the salmon is finished, transfer the fillets to a serving tray and cover with aluminum foil. Discard the orange slices.
Return the cooking liquid to medium-high heat and simmer until it has reduced to 1 tablespoon, 3-5 minutes. Strain the reduced cooking liquid into the bowl with the shallot-herb mixture, whisk to combine, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon the vinaigrette over the top of the salmon and serve.
Holiday Pumpkin Pie the Recipe Redux – November, 2016: Trimming the Table
Nothing says holidays more than a pumpkin pie on the dessert table. While it’s a tasty end to a meal, most recipes call for it to be loaded with sugar.
Here we sweetened things up with dates and orange juice instead of brown sugar and sweetened condensed milk. You will love the flavor of the dates with the pumpkin, so you and your holiday guests won’t miss all the missing sugar one bit!
We also took out the dairy and replaced it with coconut milk. If you use a gluten-free crust, then this recipe is free of 7 of the 8 major allergens (hard to omit egg in a custard). This may prove helpful when feeding guests with allergies at your holiday dinner.
Use water to soak the dates for a more traditional pumpkin pie. Use orange juice to add a little extra burst of flavor. Either way is delish!
1 cup Dates, pitted
1/4 cup Orange juice or Water
1/2 cup Coconut milk, lite
1 can Pumpkin, 15 ounces
2 large Eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons Molasses
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1 1/4 teaspoons Cinnamon, ground
3/4 teaspoon Ginger spice, ground
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg, ground
1/4 teaspoon Allspice, ground
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 pie crust, gluten-free, par-baked
To a medium bowl add the dates and orange juice (or water). Let dates soak 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Add dates, soaking liquid and coconut milk to a blender and blend on high until date mixture is smooth, about 30 seconds.
To a large bowl add the blended dates with the pumpkin, eggs, molasses, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and salt. Stir until fully combined.
Pour pumpkin batter into pie shell. Bake until pie is set and bounces back to touch, about 45-55 minutes. Remove from oven.
Serve warm or allow to completely cool before serving.