Food Friday

Food Friday: Stovetop Lemon Chicken

 Photo by Seasons and Suppers

Photo by Seasons and Suppers

A basic chicken breast or thighs have never been my favourite thing to cook for dinner. I usually prefer it pre-cooked added to a salad or wrap for lunch, in a saucy fajitas or a whole cooked chicken with all the juices. However, this recipe, by Seasons and Suppers, caught my eye and it will definitely be a go-to weeknight dinner option from now on (if only he liked capers…). It is great served with any green veggie of your choice, green beans are perfect. Or if you are craving something a little heavier serve it over gluten free pasta with a salad on the side.

The garlic and shallots in here are great immune boosters as we head into cold & flu season so don’t be shy about these and finally you all know my love for lemons.

Do you have a favourite chicken recipe you’d like to share?

Ingredients: (serves 5 people)

  • 2 small lemons cut into thin rounds

  • 1 1/2 tsp white sugar

  • 4 garlic cloves halved

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut in half lengthwise

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter or ghee DIVIDED

  • 1 tsp minced shallot

  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic

  • 1 thyme sprig

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or additional 1/2 cup chicken stock

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • 1 tsp all-purpose flour (or sub gluten free flour)

  • 2 Tbsp capers

  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, add lemon slices and garlic halves. Sprinkle with sugar. Set aside.

  2. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil. Add chicken to pan and cook for about 4 minutes on each side or until golden and cooked through. Remove chicken to a plate.

  3. Add a splash more oil to the pan if it is dry. Add lemon slice mixture to the pan (keeping bowl handy) and cook, turning occasionally, for about 1 minute or until lemon slices are lightly browned. Return lemon mixture to the bowl.

  4. Wipe pan with paper towel and heat over medium heat. Melt 1 1/2 tsp of butter in the pan, then add shallot, 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic and thyme sprig. Cook for 30 seconds or so, then add wine to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil and cook for about 3 minutes or until liquid almost completely evaporates. Add chicken stock, and flour to the pan, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until liquid is reduced to about 2/3 cup.

  5. Remove pan from heat; discard thyme sprig. Stir in remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter and capers, stirring until butter melts. Taste sauce and add additional salt and pepper, as needed. Return chicken and any juices to pan and re-warm in sauce, turning to coat with sauce. Top chicken with lemon mixture and allow to warm with chicken slightly before serving. Garnish with parsley.

Enjoy!

In health & happiness,

Dr. Karen

Food Friday: Anytime Minestrone Soup

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The rainy day this week finally got me craving some cozy soup and what better way to use up leftovers and random cans of beans than make a minestrone soup! To be honest, I have never made minestrone soup before, mostly because I don't usually like really brothy soups, BUT I have to say this is a winner! I made some adjustments to the typical soup recipe to make it more hearty and it turned out delicious! 

So, if you are in the mood for something cozy, yet still summery AND you want to use up those leftovers, look no further! :) Feel free to use any veggies you'd like in this one. 

Ingredients:

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion, diced 
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme 
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano 
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes 
  • 2 small celery stacks, diced
  • 2 small/medium carrots, diced
  • handful of green beans, trimmed and cut into pieces 
  • 1 cup gluten free pasta 
  • 1 19 oz can white kidney beans 
  • salt and pepper 
  • 3 cups chicken, veggie stock (or water and bullion cubes)
  • parmesan to sprinkle 

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and saute for a few minutes until golden. Add carrots, celery, garlic, basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano and some pepper and saute for a few minutes more until fragrant.
  2. Add tomato paste, diced tomatoes and stock and simmer covered until carrots are slightly tender, about 10 minutes. 
  3. Meanwhile mash 1/2 the beans with a fork - this adds a little more bulk to the soup. Cook pasta as well and strain. 
  4. Add beans, green beans and salt to taste and simmer 7-10 minutes more until veggies are tender. Add pasta at the end and adjust seasoning. 
  5. Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan, if dairy is ok, and a slice of sourdough bread if desired. Enjoy! 

In health & happiness, 

Dr. Karen

Food Friday: Chocolate Dream Bars

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Craving a little chocolate on these hot days but everything just melts in your hand? Well I can't tell you these won't melt eventually in your hand but I can tell you they are a delicious health-ish snack or dessert for summer time! They taste like a delicious bite of candy bar that isn't too sweat yet satisfies your craving. 

I have made these from the Oh She Glows Cookbook #2 a few times now for get togethers and they have always been a big hit. Bonus is that they are gluten free, dairy free, AND nut free! Bonus #2 is that they are super simple to make. I tend to omit to seeds on the top, mainly because I always forgot. :) 

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1.5 cups crispy rice cereal (Mine is Nature's Path)
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • just over 2 tbsp brown rice syrup (can find at superstore or sobeys)
  • pinch of sea salt

Filling:

  • 1 cup sunflower seed butter
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 pinches of sea salt

Coating:

  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, toasted (optional)
  • 3/4 cup non-dairy chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp coconut oil 

Directions:

  1. Oil a 10x6 in loaf pan and line it with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit the length of the pan. 
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the crust ingredients until the cereal is full coated. Spoon the mixture in to the prepared loaf pan and spread it out evenly with the back of a spoon. With lightly wet hands, since it is fairly sticky, press the mixture down firmly and evenly into the pan. It may seen loose still but that is ok. Place in the freezer. 
  3. Rinse and dry the bowl and then combine all the filling ingredients and stir until combined and smooth.
  4. Removed the pan from the freezer and spoon the filling on top of the crust. Spread it out evenly with a spatula. Return the pan to a flat surface in the freezer and wait about 1 hour, or until firm.
  5. Once firm, in a small pot melt the chocolate and coconut oil over low-medium heat, stirring frequently, until smooth. Turn off the heat. Spread the chocolate quickly on top of the filling, fairly quickly to it doesn't harden up before you finish spreading it. Sprinkle the toasted sunflower seeds on now if using. Return the pan to the freezer for another 30 minutes or so. 
  6. When ready to eat, run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen. Life out the slab using the sides of the parchment paper to pull it out. Run very hot water over a sharp knife for a minute then slice the bar into small squares and serve immediately. The hot knife will ensure you cut smoothly through the hard chocolate. Enjoy! Remember to put any leftovers in the fridge soon or they start to melt. 

Do you have any healthy summer treats you like to make?

In health & happiness,

Dr. Karen

Food Friday: Overnight Oats

 Tastes better than it looks once its all mixed together :)

Tastes better than it looks once its all mixed together :)

I never seem to have the time or the craving for hot porridge in the summer. Enter…overnight oats. This is a great option for those days you are on the go quickly in the morning but still want to make sure you get a nutritious breaky to start your day. The great thing about overnight oats is that you can mix it up to your liking, adding any summer berries, nuts, seeds and other flavours you like. Like my oatmeal I always make sure to add some sort of protein and fat to ensure my blood sugar is balanced and it keeps me full for a few hours. We want to avoid sugary cereals with milk for that purpose. There are many recipes for overnight oats on the web, this is just how I like to do it :) 

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup almond milk, other other nut milk
  • 1/4 cup regular rolled oats (not steel cut or quick oats)
  • 1-2 tbsp buckwheat groats (optional - I find mine at Bulk barn)
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds 
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (or sprinkle to your liking)
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract 
  • 1/2-1 scoop Sproos Collagen powder (optional)
  • 2 tbsp chopped walnuts (or other nuts or seeds you prefer)

Optional toppings - blueberries, strawberries, shredded apple, apricots, shredded coconut, cardamom, hemp hearts, ground flax seed, goji berries - you name it! 

Directions:

  1. Add almond milk, oats, buckwheat groats, chia seeds, maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon in a jar. Close the lid and shake, shake, shake. Place jar in the fridge overnight. 
  2. In the morning grab your jar and add any toppings you wish. I make sure to mix in collagen powder and lately I have been adding walnuts, hemp hearts and any berries or fruit I have.

That's it. Easy as 1, 2...nope that's really it. :)

In health & happiness, 

Dr. Karen