What I do know is that if I don’t have good things to eat on hand, we could have a situation – one that I won’t feel good about when it’s over.
So for the last few days I’ve been getting my house snack-ready and stockpiling goodies of all types.
I made veggie soup (my fav veggies, chicken stock, fresh herbs) I can eat when I want without guilt.
I prepped snack-size portions of good-for-me treats – fruits, veggies & hummus, nuts, and cheese – that I can grab when I’m hungry.
And, I picked up a few healthy indulgences to satisfy my sweet tooth.
Having done all this, I feel good about being able to handle my next snack attack responsibly.
Sometimes, a little planning and elbow grease can give you peace of mind – and a happy belly.
Most of us are familiar with Sweet & Sour Chicken that’s served up on your local Chinese Food restaurant’s menu. Hunks of deep-fried chicken. Coated in a sticky, sweet sauce. Throw in a side of fried rice.
Well, this is nothing like that. -No offense to those who dig the Chinese food version.
Instead, this recipe borrowed from my Sicilian Momma gives you a contrast of sweet, sour and salty bites through a mix of flavor-packed ingredients. Relatively easy to pull off, the dish is ready in about an hour and is well worth the wait.
You’ll need (for 4 servings):
- 1 lb chicken (mix of dark and white pieces)
- 12 green olives, pitted and sliced
- 2/3 cup flour (wheat or white)
- 1/8 c capers
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 stick celery, diced
- 1/2 c apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 c dry white wine
- 1 Tbsp olive oil & cooking spray
- Salt & pepper to taste
Making the dish:
- Preheat frying pan with oil over medium-high heat
- Roll chicken through flour & place in pan.
- Cook 3-4 min per side. Then pour in vinegar & sugar.
- Simmer until liquid evaporates. Cover & set aside.
- Heat saucepan over medium-high heat with cooking spray.
- Saute onion, celery, olives & capers for 5 min.
- Season with salt & pepper to taste.
- Once veggies have softened, add chicken mixture to pan.
- Cook through for 20 minutes.
- Pour white wine in and cook it off for 2-3 min.
- Your dish is ready to serve
This entree goes well alongside either a side of simple mashed potatoes or a rice of your choice. And, if you’re feeling adventurous, the sauce also tastes great over wide noodles or pasta.
The Nutritional info per serving:
- Calories – 360
- Fat – 13.9 g
- Fiber – .8 g
- Protein – 29.7 g
- Carbs – 19.3 g
Hope you get a chance to try this out. It’s mighty tasty!
I mean… you have to turn on and preheat the oven… prep the potatoes…. and then wait 30 + minutes for them to crisp up.
I don’t know about you but when it comes to something that requires patiently waiting around or precision timing…I’m not that good at it. I consider myself a cook. Not a baker.
Plus, this multi-tasker needs to be doing several things at once. I’m not known for hanging out.
So based on all this, should I plan to give up on a delicious, roasted potato fix?
Nope. I can just use a crockpot. Really.
- coat your crockpot with 1 Tbsp olive oil (or your preferred oil)
- cut and quarter 6 medium potatoes
- season them with salt, pepper and garlic powder
- place them in a single layer on the bottom of your crockpot
- throw in a sprig of rosemary or dried rosemary leaves
- and let them cook for 3-4 hours on high
Believe it or not, they crisp up just like if they were in the oven. Bonus – your house will smell heavenly from the rosemary. Mmm.
And for those of us watching our figures, this recipe makes 6 servings with the following nutritional stats:
- Calories – 163
- Fat – 2.6 g
- Carbs – 36.5 g
- Fiber – 3.6 g
- Protein – 3.6 g
I’m thinking I just gave you a few reasons to try this dish out. Enjoy!
What’s funny is that I like most foods but cooking them is a different story.
- I’m overwhelmed by Indian. You need more spices than I have on hand and the prep steps seem longer.
- I’m squeemish about Thai and Asian. Though I like the end result, I can’t get over the fish sauce.
- I just plain stink at Mexican/Latin meals. Not sure what it is, but these dishes just don’t turn out right. Even the simplest foods like Fajitas and Tacos are typically fails.
But, I finally have a Latin dish that I can make that comes out delicious EVERY time. And I can thank a coworker for walking by my desk with it after heating up his lunch.
I made some comment about how good it smelled and how hungry it made me…and come to find out ..he was a cooking fanatic too. He went on to tell me it was a recipe he found by watching Rachel Ray 30 Minute Meals.
He was kind enough to print and drop off a copy of the Latin Chicken recipe that same day. I have to admit that my husband was the first one to make it. And it was phenomenal.
It has the consistency of Jambalaya, Paella, or Risotto – nice thick, sticky rice. And the sides - all the things you love about Mexican food like avocados, salsa, sour cream, olives – put it over the top.
Just seeing them makes you want to eat them. See:
I can’t say enough how much we enjoy eating this. And, even better, I can make it and it still comes out great.
Anyway, if you’re challenged by Mexican/Latin food or are just looking for the perfect dish for entertaining, you gotta give this a try. You won’t regret it.
Any cuisines that intimidate you? Or any other fool proof recipes you want to share?
When I was still working, I planned out my meals for the week and would prep in advance of making recipes. I found that it helped me to eat a healthy balance of foods that were in line with my nutritional goals.
Now that I’m on leave and I have a bit more time, I’ve taken a more casual approach to cooking. I keep the house stocked with everyday food staples, have all types of meats in my freezer, and have been buying seasonal fruits and vegetables – since they’re at their prime.
With all of this stuff on hand, I can decide what I’m making the night before or the day of based on the mood that strikes. But, I have to say that I’ve really been enjoying the veggies and fruits of the season. They taste fresh, are ripe/at their peak, and are an easy way to add flavor and freshness to our meals.
Foods that are out of season and imported in from places like Mexico just don’t taste the same and usually spoil much quicker in my experience.
If you’re curious about what veggies & fruits are in season, you can check out a site like this one that has them listed.
Some of what Summer offers:
Apricots, Bell Peppers, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cantaloupe, Cherries, Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Figs, Fresh Herbs, Garlic, Grapes, Green Beans, Honeydew Melon, Limes, Nectarines, Peaches, Peas, Plums, Radishes, Raspberries, Strawberries, Tomatoes, Yukon Gold Potatoes, & Zucchini
I stock my fridge with a mix of these and keep a list on my whiteboard so I use them before they go bad.
- the fruit makes for a great mid morning or afternoon snack
- and the veggies are perfect for pulling together a quick side
A few dishes that I made this weekend with in season veggies include:
Green Bean Salad (Olive Oil, Garlic, Salt & Pepper, Dash of Lemon (optional)
Black Bean Salad - which was inspired by my neighbor making us a very yummy batch on the 18th (Mix Black Beans, Diced Onion, Peppers – Green & Red, Fresh Sweet Corn, Juice of a Lime, Cilantro, Cumin, Salt & Pepper)
Oregano Teriyaki Marinade - which is excellent on chicken wings or chicken breast/thighs and then grilled (Teriyaki Sauce, Fresh Oregano sprigs, 2 cloves minced garlic. Marinate chicken and place in fridge for at least an hour before grilling)
Besides tasting great, all the in season fruits and veggies are good for you – low in calories and a way for you to hit your 5 fruit/veggie servings per day.
If you’re not getting yours in, now you can with all of these fresh options. Enjoy!