Sunday, February 2, 2014

Peruvian-Style Roast Chicken with Green Sauce

A place in my hood makes the BEST Peruvian chicken so I thought I'd take a go at it. The recipe was simpler than I initially expected and the outcome was pretty close. The green sauce was thicker than I'm used to but the flavor was identical to what I know. I would recommend you try this!

For the Chicken
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lime juice, from 2 limes
4 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons sugar
4 pound whole chicken

For the Green Sauce
3 jalapeƱo chili peppers, seeded if desired (I use about half the seeds for a medium-hot sauce), and roughly chopped
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise, best quality such as Hellmann's
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, from one lime
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


For the Chicken
Combine all of the ingredients except the chicken in a blender or mini food processor, and blend until smooth. Remove the giblets from the inside of the chicken and pat the outside of the chicken dry with paper towels; place in a bowl, breast side up with the legs facing you. Using the handle of a wooden spoon or your fingers, loosen the skin from the flesh over the breasts and legs, being careful not to tear the skin or push all the way through (you want the marinade to stay inside the bird). Spoon about 2/3 of the marinade evenly underneath the skin, and spread the remaining 1/3 evenly over the skin. Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position, and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil for easy clean-up. Spray a rack (preferably a v-shape) with non-stick cooking spray and place the chicken on top. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Roast for 20 minutes, until the skin is golden. Turn the heat down to 375 degrees, and continue to roast for about an hour and ten minutes more, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and thigh. (Keep an eye on it -- if it's browning too quickly, cover it loosely with foil.) Tent the chicken with foil and let rest for about 20 minutes. Tilt the chicken over the roasting pan to release the juices, then transfer to a cutting board. Carve the chicken and serve with green sauce.

For the Green Sauce
Combine all of the ingredients except the olive oil in a blender or food processor and blend into a smooth sauce. With the motor running, open lid and slowly drizzle in olive oil. It will seem very runny at this point but, don't worry, it will thicken up as it sits. Transfer the sauce to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Winter Root Vegetable Mash

Root veggies are perfect to whip up in the winter on a snowy day. This mash is so good, you'll want to have it year round! The crunchy buttery breadcrumb topping really makes it indulgent, but it's not pasta or potatoes and with fake butter - it's not too bad!

For the mash:
3 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
1 medium rutabaga, peeled and cut into similar sized chunks as the parsnips
1 tablespoon horseradish
salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon oregano

For the topping:
1 tablespoon butter (real butter)
3 tablespoons I Can't Believe it's Not Butter (fake butter)
1/2 onion, peeled and minced
2 cups panko breadcrumbs

Place the rutabaga and parsnips into a pan of salted boiling water. Lower the heat and cook, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes until quite tender. Drain well. Mash together with a potato masher and then stir in horseradish and oregano. You want a rough texture so don't mash too finely. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pre-heat the oven to 375F. Butter a shallow baking dish. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a skillet. Add the onion and cook, stirring until golden brown. Add the Panko and cook, stirring until the crumbs are crisp and golden.

Spread the vegetable mash in the buttered baking dish. Sprinkle the crumbs over top. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Pork and Pickled Onion Crustini

While my photo isn't the best, I rather enjoyed the flavors in this dish quite a bit. I love lean meat and this pork was as lean as it can get. Moist and flavorful with the rosemary and lemon. The pickled onion really made the whole dish and the fennel seed was a nice touch. I could eat this pork as a main course for dinner too.

For the Pork:

6-8 boneless pork chops (about 3 lbs), trimmed of fat
Kosher or sea salt
Grated zest of 1 lemon
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, plus more for sprinkling
16 fresh sage leaves, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
Freshly ground pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

For the Onions
3/4 cup white vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
Kosher or sea salt
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 large red onion, thinly sliced into rings

Prepare the pork: To butterfly, slice down the middle of the pork with a sharp knife, about two-thirds of the way through. Open the meat like a book and pound with a mallet or heavy skillet into a 1-inch-thick rectangle, about 8 by 14 inches. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Season the pork with about 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. In a small bowl, mix the lemon zest, garlic, 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, the sage, rosemary and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Rub the mixture all over the pork. (The pork can be prepared up to 3 days in advance; refrigerate until roasting.)

Place the pork roll on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Roast until a thermometer inserted into the middle registers 180 degrees, about 15 minutes. Let rest 15 minutes before slicing.

While the pork roasts, make the pickled onions: Bring the vinegar, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, the bay leaf, fennel seeds and red pepper flakes to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion slices and simmer 1 minute, then remove from the heat and let the onion cool in the liquid. (Leftover pickled onions will keep in the liquid for weeks.)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Sriracha Deviled Eggs

I made a similar recipe of these little gems on Thanksgiving and decided to bring them out again for New Years. The heat is a nice touch to these Asian-inspired deviled eggs.


12 eggs
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 teaspoons Sriracha hot sauce
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper


Hard-boil the eggs; cool, peel, and halve them; and carefully remove the yolks. Reserve the whites.
Combine the egg yolks, mayonnaise, Dijon, Sriracha, and lime juice in a medium nonreactive bowl. Season well with salt and pepper, then mix well until the yolks are broken up and the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
Evenly pipe or spoon the yolk mixture into the reserved egg white halves. As desired, top with smoked paprika.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Chicken Broccoli Roulade with Chili-Spiced Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Having trouble being creative with the staples? Chicken, broccoli, and sweet potatoes get transformed into something fun with this simple recipe...and it's healthy for you too!

BTW - diabetic patients can profit from the sweet potato’s low or moderate glycemic index. Compared to high-GI foods, sweet potatoes break down more slowly in the body, producing smaller fluctuations in blood glucose and insulin levels. In addition, sweet potatoes are low in calories.

Also, the mash is practically fat-free and the chili powder contains capsaicin, which studies have shown may inhibit fat-cell growth and help people consume fewer calories. And cinnamon is no slacker spice either: It keeps your blood sugar stable and your appetite in check, so you won't be tempted to go back for a second helping.

Make the Roulade:


3 (24 oz total) large chicken breast halves
2 large eggs
2 tsp water
1 cup whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs or panko
2 cups broccoli floret, cooked, chopped small
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 tbsp low fat milk
2 tsp oregano
spray oil
wood toothpicks


Preheat oven to 350°. In a small bowl, combine 1 egg, milk and a little salt. Beat with a fork to make an egg wash. Set aside. Fill a second bowl with breadcrumbs.

Slice chicken breast halves into thin cutlets. I usually get 3 thin cutlets out of one breast half. Pound them to make them thinner. This helps when you wrap the cutlets.

Put the chopped broccoli on a bowl and add water. Cover with saran wrap and microwave for about 2 minutes until broccoli is cooked. Add 1 egg, parmesan, and oregano. Stir to combine all ingredients.

Scoop about 2 tablespoons of the broccoli mixture on a chicken breast. Then roll the chicken tucking in the sides if possible. Keep in place by using a wooden toothpick. Dip the chicken into the egg mixture and then into the breadcrumbs. Repeat until all chicken is used and bake for 30 minutes.

Make the potato mash:


1 large sweet potato, cubed
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/2 tsp orange zest
1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp chili powder


Boil the sweet potatoes in a large pot on the stove top about 25 minutes until potatoes are soft. Mash the chunks of potato and add in remaining ingredients. Viola!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Curried Carrot, Sweet Potato, and Ginger Soup

Did you know that one baked, medium-sized sweet potato contains 438% of your daily value of vitamin A? Did you know that a white potato only contains 1%? Time to start eating more colorful! Orange it is! This soup is super easy to make and perfect for a cold winter afternoon.

2 teaspoons canola oil
1/2 cup chopped white onion
3 cups cubed peeled sweet potato
1 1/2 cups sliced peeled carrots
1 tablespoon powdered ginger
1/2 tablespoon curry powder
3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt


Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; saute 3 minutes or until tender. Add potato, carrots, ginger, and curry; cook 2 minutes. Add broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender; stir in salt.

Pour half of soup in a food processor; pulse until smooth. Repeat procedure with remaining soup. Garnish with a dollop of fat free sour cream if you want.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Beef and Rutabaga Stew

 It's been snowing all day today. When you're working from home and you want a warm and hearty soup, this does the trick. Plus, the root vegetables make it low carb and super healthy!

1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
3 celery stalks, diced
2 cups peeled and diced rutabaga
1 pound beef stew-meat chunks
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 cups low-sodium beef stock
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Pepper to taste
3 teaspoons tomato paste

Make it:

Put everything in a slow cooker or a big pot; stir to combine.

Cover and cook 30 - 45 minutes on medium heat on the stove or for the crock pot do the low setting for 8 to 9 hours or on high for 4 to 5, until the beef is tender and the rutabaga are just fork tender.

Stir the stew once or twice as it cooks, if possible. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Why rutabaga?

Potato vs Turnip vs Rutabaga

Carbohydrate18 grams6 grams8 grams
Fiber2 grams2 grams3 grams
Vitamin C33% RDA35% RDA42% RDA
Glycemic Load *823
Inflammation Factor **-46-1-3
*Glycemic load is a way of expressing a food or meal’s effect on blood-sugar levels. Experts vary on their recommendations for what your total glycemic load should be each day. A typical target for total Estimated Glycemic Load is 100 or less per day. If you have diabetes or metabolic syndrome, you might want to aim a little lower.