Smothered healthy turkey meatloaf

IMG_5535IMG_5528Hello April.  We welcome the beginnings of spring after a long , hard winter here in NJ.

Today was a cloudy and cold spring day.  Went to Whole Foods and got some organic, free range antibiotic free ground turkey.  Decided to not bother making meatballs since it’s Meatless Monday, and went with a healthy take on meat loaf.  If you have a meatloaf pan , this is very easy.

I roasted a bunch of mushrooms, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, an aged balsamic, sliced onions and sprinkled with oregano.

I glazed the top with a marinara sauce with basil and garlic.

Recipe

Into a metal bowl add about 1 pound of ground turkey

One large egg

1/3 cup of parmesan reggiano grated and some locatelli romano

sprinkle in some italian seasoning (and/or dried oregano)

1/3 cup or so of bread crumbs- use more if it feels like it needs it

a teaspoon of organic ketchup

2 teaspoons of your best aged balsamic vinegar

4 or so cloves of crushed garlic

handful of chopped parsley

Chopped fresh basil (optional)

 

Add about 1 tablespoon of evoo to the pan and spread around (so it won’t stick)

Mix the turkey in the bowl together with some salt and pepper, and when it feels like it will form a loaf in the pan  , put it in the pan however thick or thin you like it.

Preheat the oven to 375.

Spread the marinara on the top of the loaf with another drizzle of evoo.  Another splash of balsamic, add some grated parmesan.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 20- 30 minutes.  After about 20 minutes you will see some gravy forming on the side of the meatloaf , to this add a little splash of water, and then add some baby spinach.

 

Cook until spinach is melted down and it is done.

In another pan put the mushrooms and onions with garlic , oregano, salt pepper as I said above, this will take about 10 minutes to cook.  When done remove.

Add the veggies to the pan and serve the turkey loaf smothered with mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and basil sauce.

 

Enjoy.

 

Stir Fried Shrimp with baby broccoli and wild rice

IMG_5400Chop up garlic (3 cloves), scallions, cilantro, sugar snap peas, and get a hunk of ginger ready for grating.

IMG_5402Dust shrimp on both sides with a little rice flour and a sprinkle of 5 spice powder

IMG_5404Get your wok out and heated, add 1-2 tblspoons of grapeseed oil, add garlic and scallions, and grate in some ginger.

IMG_5406Add the shrimp and continue to stir fry about 2-3 minutes till shrimp or crispy looking on all sides.

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IMG_5423Add chicken broth about 1/2 cup or more as needed to make sauce, and quickly add the chopped sugar snaps.

IMG_5428Add some chopped cilantro.  The whole dish will be done in 5 minutes.

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IMG_5437I made the rice in my rice cooker and steamed the baby broccoli in there too!  Another great investment.

 

Served with slivered almonds.

Clay Pot Asian Chicken Soup with Caramelized Vegetables

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Now that I showed you how to do a whole chicken in the Clay Pot, I would like to share another variation I make. For this recipe I use chicken breasts on the bone. I make a layer of veggies to sit the breasts on. Here’s what you’ll need.
Carrots, sliced
Onions, sliced
A whole head of garlic (tips cut off for roasting)
Cilantro-chopped with some stem
5 spice powder about 2 teaspoons
slices of ginger about 2-3 coins
splash of low salt tamari soy sauce

Soak the clay pot for 10-15 minutes in cold water. Sprinkle the chicken breasts on both sides with the 5 spice powder.
Make a layer of veggies on the bottom of the pot.
Add the chicken skin side up.
Fill with broth up to the bottom of the chicken breasts, not going high enough to cover the chicken or skin. Add a couple of splashes of the soy sauce.

Cover the pot and let cook about an hour or less at 400. Take the top off carefully away from your face.
Let it brown about another 10 minutes.

While the pot is in the oven, I caramelized some veggies on top of the stove.
Here’s what I used.
Shitake mushrooms sliced along with white mushrooms
Scallions
Garlic -2 chopped cloves
Butternut squash chunks.
Did a quick stir fry with about a tablespoon of neutral oil (grapeseed) cooked till caramelized, adding broth as needed along with a little tamari.

In another pot boil soba noodles till done, like spaghetti.

When the chicken is done, remove from the clay pot and strain out the veggies. Eat the chicken roasted or as soup. I take the broth and put it into a kettle, pull apart the chicken, add to the pot along with the veggies to make the perfect soup. Add soba noodles and enjoy the soup and the chicken can be used for lunch the next day or just eaten with the veggies.

Roasted Clay Pot Organic Chicken with Veggies and herbs

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I encourage you to make a great investment in your health by purchasing a clay cooker. There are many brands but I have always used the Romentopf with great success. I promise you will never have a better roasted bird. It takes a bit of practice to get it perfect but the thing is, it’s basically a one pot meal. I made one 5 pound chicken the other night, turned it into chicken vegetable soup the next day and chicken salad with the leftovers. It is a simple method of cooking in a very high temperature oven, with no fat needed whatsoever. No basting, no butter.

I saw Rachel Ray and Sara Moulton discussing it’s benefits the other day on Rachel’s show but neither of them really knew much about this method of cooking. It inspired me to blog this for you, so you too can try this ancient , healthful method of cooking. It’s a great tool for these cold winter days and it makes dinner very easy. Once you fill the pot and cover it, you just leave it alone for about an hour. The aromas from the herbs will fill your home, take you back into the kitchen just in time to open the lid (with 2 heavy gloves) and away from your face, and then continue to roast it uncovered another 10 or so minutes till bird is crisp and brown. Then you serve with veggies, I recommend de-fatting if necessary. I sometimes puree the veggies with the broth to thicken the gravy which is extra flavorful with the addition of roasted garlic and butternut squash.

Valentines Day Veggie Soup <3

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Soup is love. I feel it, i want it, i need it and I want to share it. I want soup that I make because I need to know exactly what is in it. When I eat out I seldom order soup. I am afraid of what is in it. I do not want to ingest canned broths, full of salt and msg. I do not want the butter or the cream or the salt. So, I make it. When its freezing out, I stay close to my stove . This recipe takes awhile but not too long. I would say you should take a nice hour to prep and make it. The chopping takes time depending on your skill, but you can save more time by buying the veggies already chopped, especially the butternut squash that the stores sell already chunked.

You will need a sharp chefs knife, a few cutting boards and a large soup pot, a ladle and a wooden spoon. Also, a hand blender or a regular blender to puree it.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves chopped garlic
1/2 sweet onion-chopped
2 carrots-chopped
2 stalks of celery- chopped
1 small to medium sized butternut squash- peeled and cut up
about cup or less depending on how much you like it of lacinato kale-trimmed and deveined, chopped
Roasted tomatoes-I use the plum tomatoes Recipe on my facebook blog in notes
about 6- 8 cups of vegetable broth or water
fresh thyme -about 3 sprigs
aged balsamic vinegar about a tablespoon or less
salt, pepper

Into the soup kettle add the olive oil and the sprig of thyme, to this when warm add the onion, carrot , celery, garlic.
Stir around about 3 minutes being careful not to brown the garlic.
Then add the butternut squash, and cover all the veggies with water or veggie broth (you can add water and a organic low salt veggie bouillon cube)
Turn the flame down to a simmer and cover pot.

Let it simmer about 10 minutes until the butternut squash is tender. (try a piece). If soft at this point you need to puree to make it creamier.
If you have a hand blender, do this right in the pot, puree till smooth. Or put through a regular blender after it cools off a bit.

Then add the rest of the veggies to the creamy pureed soup. Chopped kale, zucchini, chopped roasted tomatoes, chopped fresh basil and stir in a little drizzle of your best but not too strong balsamic vinegar. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.

Let these veggies cook a few more minutes till kale is tender.

Make a pretty heart out of a roasted plum tomatoe or in this case I used a golden beet for garnish. Serve hot.

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Chicken cutlet francaise with lemon, wine sauce, roasted cherry tomatoes and green beans

Chicken cutlet francaise with lemon, wine sauce, roasted cherry tomatoes and green beans

I have been getting more and more requests from people for ‘gluten free’ low carb meals. I came up with this quick easy dinner last nite that was absolutely amazing , with no egg, flour, butter. Just dredged the cutlets in a little rice flour.

1 lb chicken cutlets-pounded thin
1/2 lemon
2 cloves crushed garlic
2 tablespoons ev olive oil
1/2 cup low salt chicken broth
1/3 cup or more dry white wine
A little dried oregano or italian seasoning
chopped shallot- optional

Cherry tomatoes
A tbl capers
Garlic cloves
Shallots

Green beans-cleaned and trimmed (Trader Joes sells good fresh ones all ready in a bag)
Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and little crushed garlic and a drizzle of evoo.

Into a saute pan add the oil till hot. Dredge the cutlets and pound thin if not already, in rice flour , and italian seasoning of choice.
Add to pan and brown on each side.

When brown remove from pan and set aside.

Add to pan the garlic, shallot, broth. squeeze lemon juice in, and white wine. Bring to simmer, Put chicken back in pan and cover and cook about another 6 minutes till chicken is cooked through. Add more wine or broth as needed to more gravy if necessary.

Add handful of chopped parsley. Serve hot.

Before cooking the chicken

Preheat oven to 400. In one pan put the tomatoes, spread them out in a pan along with capers, a drizzle of evoo, a splash of aged balsamic, salt, pepper.
In another flat pan add string beans, spread out , mix with some crushed garlic and a little olive oil, salt, pepper and a little parmesan cheese if you like. Can add more towards the end.

Cook until the tomatoes are crushed looking , the garlic is soft and the green beans are crunchy and done.

Stir fried chinese chicken with veggies

Stir fried chinese chicken with veggies

Wok and roll chicken and veggies

In the winter it is very easy to cook quick , healthy meals in your wok. Stay warm and close to the stove and do a simple stir fry.

1 pound free range, antibiotic free boneless chicken thighs, cut up in strips or pieces
Roll the chicken in a bit of rice flour and sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon of chinese 5 spice powder, salt, pepper
2 tablespoons neutral oil-grapeseed
2 cut coins of fresh ginger
3 smashed fresh garlic cloves
handful or so of fresh cilantro-chopped
Mushrooms, any variety, I used shitakes, sliced and white mushrooms. Take off stems of shitakes, they are tough to eat
Broccoli-I used baby organic , but any brocci will do-a bunch cleaned , trimmed and cut up
Sugar snap peas-a couple of handfuls
Scallions-1-2 chopped
Mirin-1/3 cup or so
Low sodium soy sauce a few splashes
Low sodium chicken broth-1/3 cup or so, stir in more if need more gravy
Cornstarch about a teaspoon mixed with cold water, about 2 tablespoons of liquid

Into a very hot wok add the oil. Stir in the chicken pieces and let brown on all sides about 5 minutes.
Pour out some of the oil if there’s too much and proceed by adding the veggies.
Add the garlic, ginger, scallions, broccoli, mushrooms and stir fry adding soy sauce, mirin for a few minutes being careful not to overcook, the broccoli with get greener.
Add the broth, stir in the cornstarch and water mixture to thicken an add sugar snaps which take about a minute to cook.

While this is cooking put some rice in the rice cooker and serve hot.