Chicken

Chicken-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Gang, I’m back!

It’s no secret that I’ve been on a slight sabbatical. Actually, I’m sure you noticed because you’re probably just itching for my emails and witty jokes.

So, for that, I am truly sorry. I’ll try to pack this post with as many clever quips as I possibly can. If I fail you, it’s probably your fault and not mine. Therapy will probably be the next option.

ANYWAY, now that we’re done diagnosing your problems with not laughing hard enough at my humor, it’s time to start this year off right. Three months later. Leave your judgment with your Jewish mother where it belongs.

This has easily become one of my go-to recipes for healthy, fast cooking. It is so delicious and easy, super-filling and will make you feel so paleo, it’s unreal. You might even be tempted to live in a cave for a while, but don't. That would be weird and everyone would judge you. Not just your Jewish mother.

Chicken Stuffed Acorn Squash

Chicken-Stuffed Acorn Squash

1 Acorn Squash, halved

2 Chicken Breasts, cubed

½ Purple Onion

Baby Portobello Mushrooms

1 Bell Pepper

1 Cup Chopped Broccoli

2 Roma Tomatoes

2-3 Cloves Garlic, minced

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Balsamic Vinegar

Salt & Pepper

Paprika

Garlic Powder

Start by scooping out the seeds from the acorn squash and coat the inside with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika. Lay face down on a cookie sheet and roast at 400 degrees until tender. Probably about 20-30 minutes. When in doubt, test it with a fork. If you stab the inside and it flakes up a bit, it’s ready to party.

Season the chicken all over with salt, pepper, paprika (to taste) and cook over medium high heat with a little Olive or Coconut Oil. When the chicken is about 5 minutes from being done, toss in all your chopped veggies (besides the tomatoes) and cook until they are tender.

Add about 2 Tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar and your tomatoes and let it reduce for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When you’re satisfied with your saute of deliciousness, scoop it out into your acorn scquash halves. If you don’t care about who is judging or their life-opinions, top it with a little parmesan cheese. Why? Cause YOLO and stuff.

Enjoy!

"Street Vendor" Golden Chicken Skewers

So a couple weeks ago, I was just a teensy bit sick. Not a whole lot of sick, but a teensy bit. But then it didn’t get better. It got worse.

Don’t panic, this story has a happy ending.

So, I did a little research back to some articles I read a few months ago about natural healing with spices and all that hippy-dippy junk. One article suggested a mixture of honey and coconut oil with cinnamon, turmeric, and ginger. When I actually made it, I prepared myself to do the "gag and spit thing" like a small child eating something gross. However, to my delightful surprise, it was delicious.

My mind pretty much immediately started brainstorming ways I could eat this with real food and thus, this recipe was birthed. And actually, a little part of me felt super nostalgic, like I was in India or Thailand, eating the best food ever from a super non-health-code-compliant street vender. It was no big deal. I’m still alive.

Anyways, try this recipe for a delicious, switch-up from your normal meal routine. And then tell me how amazing it is and how your life has been changed.

Ps. Remember how I was sick at the beginning of this story? I got better. Just in case you were worried.

“Street-Vendor” Golden Chicken Skewers

2 Tablespoons Natural Honey

2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, plus more if needed

1 Teaspoon Turmeric

1 Teaspoon Cinnamon

1 Teaspoon Powdered Ginger

Salt & Pepper, to taste

1-2 Large Chicken Breasts

Start by trimming the chicken breast of any fat or icky stuff that looks unappetizing and cut them into long strips of about 1 by 1 inch around. If that confuses you, blame me for all your life-issues and maybe try to figure it out by looking at the picture. IDK boo.

Fix them all up on wooden or bamboo skewers and start to work on your marinade/rub/whatever.

In a small bowl, combine honey and coconut oil and mix until it’s smooth and completely incorporated. If the coconut oil is solid, zap it in the microwave for just a second so that it liquefies. Add the seasonings and plenty of salt & pepper. It’s totally you’re call and I love turmeric but, each time I cook with it, I feel like it needs lots of salt. But this is your masterpiece, Picasso.

Stir the marinade/rub until it’s super smooth and then rub the little chicky skewers all over with it. Basically, pretend your life depends on it because basically it does.

At this point, you can let it soak in the fridge for a bit or go ahead and grill. Either way, your chicken is down to party.

You’re welcome, gang. Share with all your friends.

Moderately Guilt-Free Stuffed Pitas

When I was a young baby-child of 20 years old, I went to Washington D.C. for the first time. Whilst I was there, I had a gyro for the very first time. Have you ever had a mega-delicious gyro? Cause, oh man. Your life will change a little bit and you’ll probably start a blog 6 years later and write about how it changed your life to have something so delicious in and around your mouth.

Just going by what I’ve experienced personally.

Well, this is not an authentic gyro because I do not have one of those rotating “roasters” that is so awesome because mostly the cosmos hate me and want me to be void of all joy.

However, this has quickly become one of my favorite meals. So fresh, quick, easy and perfect for feeding lots of people…your taste buds will definitely not know what hit them.

Moderately Guilt-Free Stuffed Pitas

Grilled Chicken:

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Herbs de Provence (Or Italian Seasoning)

Salt & Pepper, to taste

1 lb. Chicken, boneless/skinless

Basil Salad:

2 Handfuls Fresh Baby Spinach (or Arugula)

2 Large Tomatoes, sliced & chopped

½ Purple Onion, thinly sliced

Approximately 2 Tablespoons Fresh Basil, minced 

Marinate the chicken for about 2-4 hours and grill when right before you’re ready to eat. While the chicken is grilling, toss the salad ingredients with a touch of Olive Oil and the juice of 1 lemon.

Pretty simple, right?

At this point, you’re probably thinking, “Wow, this is such a great recipe/idea that is going to taste so fresh and delicious!” And you are correct. But what you do not know is I’M NOT DONE YET!

*Crowd Roars “OH NO HE DIDN’T!”*

Well, yes I did. Every great pita needs some good Tzatziki. If you’ve never had it and/or do not know that Tzatziki is even a real word, it is a Greek sauce that will legitimately change your life. And, if you think it is weird or unnecessary, then I think you are weird and unnecessary.

This is a little version that I have been stewing on for a while. Tried and true, tested on the masses...it is delicious and packed with protein and healthy fats.

Creamy Avocado-Dill Tzatziki

½ Ripe Avocado

8 oz. Fage Greek Yogurt

1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar

2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice

1 Teaspoon Dried Dill

Salt & Pepper, to taste

Fage is the best Greek Yogurt for Cooking. And really, it's not just because Bobby Flay says that it is. It just is. Take my word for the biblical truth that it is, please.

Using a food processor or blender, combine all the ingredients and “let ‘er rip” until you have a super smooth sauce. I have found that it works best if you have a “real ripe” avocado. The softer, the better. But, if the avocado isn’t super soft, just process until it’s smooth. It will work. Your faith will pay off in the end.  

Perform a little taste test and add extra seasonings/EVOO as needed and let it chill in the fridge until you're ready to party.

Serve all this junk with some "stuffable" pitas (maybe just a tiny bit of fresh mozzarella) and go to town. You'll definitely be glad you did once you're in a delicious food-coma.

Chicken & Dumplings Florentine

Remember how I hate Chicken and Dumplings? Well, I do. I do not remember ever liking them. It’s a real thing. However, I really love me. So, when someone asks me to make Chicken and Dumplings, I am going to make it in a way that I know I will like.

It’s just more convenient that way. Everyone ends up happy. I know what people need.

And seriously, it’s the polar vortex. Or, snowpocalypse, if you prefer. And I do.

And, whenever it is the snowpocalypse, you just need soup. So, don’t object. Try this recipe and warm your soul.

Chicken and Dumplings Florentine

2 Chicken Breasts

Salt & Pepper

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Bay Leaf

Oregano

Garlic Powder

2 Carrots, diced

2 Celery Stalks, diced

½ White or Yellow Onion, diced

2 Garlic Cloves, minced

¼ Cup Flour

Chicken Broth

Italian Parsley

Fresh Spinach

Start by boiling the chicken along with the bay leaf, salt, pepper, garlic and oregano. This gives it a tremendous flavor. Especially when boiling chicken without bones, this makes for a really good broth. When the chicken is cooked through, chop it into bite-sized pieces and set aside.

Sauté the vegetables with the minced garlic and about 2 tablespoons Olive Oil until tender and translucent. Stir in the flour and allow it to thoroughly cook out. If not, your soup will be chalky and gross and you will be a failure. No one wants that.

After the flour is mixed in and cooked, gradually stir in the chicken broth. I personally like to gather as much of the left over seasoning on the side of the pot as possible but remove the bay leaf. Because, obviously. Stir well until you have your desired consistency. If you like it to be a little less thick, you can add a little water as well. Add the chicken and bring to a boil. Allow the soup to boil lightly for about 5-10 minutes while stirring every once in a while. If you like the dumplings cooked into the soup, use this recipe and add them in uncooked dollops at this point. If not, bake them in the oven like I did and pour your soup over them when you're ready to eat. It’s basically perfection.

Once the soup has been boiling for a bit, turn down to a simmer.

About 5 minutes before you are ready to eat, stir in a handful of fresh spinach and a bit of chopped Italian parsley. I like both a lot, so...you do you.

This recipe is delicious and I hope you like it!

Garlic & Herb Roasted Chicken

Do you get bored with your plain, old chicken recipes? Well, that’s your fault because this recipe isn’t plain or old. It’s new, jazzy and delicious. It’s Missy Elliott in the early 2000’s. This chicken is Pit Bull the first time he ever sang a location in a song. This chicken is Kim Kardashian before she learned to speak and annoyed everyone ever. This chicken is Arnold Schwarzenegger when the steroids were legal and the affairs were secret.

Too soon?

Either way, try this. It’s delicious and you’ll thank me.

Garlic & Herb Roasted Chicken
Garlic & Herb Roasted Chicken

Garlic & Herb Roasted Chicken

Chicken Breasts

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Italian Seasoning

Garlic Powder

Salt & Cracked Pepper, to taste

1 Lemon, sliced

Fresh Rosemary

Dry White Wine (or white wine vinegar)

Coat your chosen chicken sacrifice in olive oil and dust both sides with Italian Seasoning, Garlic Powder, Salt and Pepper. Allow it to marinate in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook.

In a large skillet, heat about 3 tablespoons olive oil to medium-high heat. When it gets hot, sear both sides of the chicken until they are golden. This will seal in a lot of that delicious flavor but this part is optional.

In a roasting dish/pan, arrange the lemon slices in a single layer and disperse the rosemary randomly in small pieces (dried rosemary works also). This will make for an oh-so luxurious bed for your chicken as you bake it. Pour just a splash of the white wine in the bottom and bake the chicken, covered, at 350 until it is cooked all the way through.

If you seared the chicken first, it should only take about 20 minutes. If not, it will probably take about 45. But, this is so delicious and that juice in the bottom will make you want to attack the plate of everyone at your table, caveman style.

You’re welcome!