Tag Archives: chicken

The Lighter Side

Many say they know how to do it, few actually know how to really make it happen. In the kitchen and otherwise, there are imposters running amok.  Nothing will wreak more havoc on an Italian woman’s soul than trickery extending to the kitchen. In American households, this treachery is everywhere and is very evident when many attempt the classic Italian American Chicken Parmigiana dish.

For the love of all things holy, please do not simply fry a chicken cutlet, pour on jarred sauce (which is hereby banned from your kitchen), and scatter some processed cheese ( full of fillers like wax), heat it up, and invite me over. It destroys every fiber of my being, well most anyway. While bikini season is basically over, I plan on hitting the shore this weekend, so me and my mini me made a light version to ensure I can fit into the tiny dress Id like to sport, if I feel like shaving my legs..we shall see.

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We used organic, farm raised, (no cage) chicken, and home-made breadcrumbs (simple! please do not use breadcrumbs that have a 3 year shelf life, some simple dried wheat crumbs, dried herbs, and spices are easy to put together..store them in the freezer in small ziploc bags), some fresh tomatoes, bright peppers, mozzarella, romana and fontina cheese. Light on the cheese, this is a light dish after all:)

All done...YUM!
All done…YUM!

I do not brown the chicken, I simply flour and bread it and put 5 cutlets (tenderized)  in the oven at 400, while I make my garnish of yellow peppers and tomatoes. We simply cook down 5-7 vine ripened tomatoes, olive oil, sea salt,  6-8 small yellow and orange sweet peppers ( I buy the organic bag of small peppers weekly and snack on them all week),  a cup of fresh spinach, with three cloves of garlic, 5-7 basil leaves in a dish next to the chicken in the oven for about ten minutes until they soften. You can also fire roast the peppers if you want.

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Mini me was busy making her school lunch skewers while I slaved away at our dinner, but she is always in the kitchen at my side! 🙂

Since this “garnish” is not truly a sauce, I usually add about one cup of fresh marinara that I  store in the  freezer (simple as well) just to keep the juices going. Once the chicken is done, and the peppers have softened, we add the mixture on top of the chicken. In a small bowl, we put 1/4 fontina, mozzarella, 2 tb olive oil, 3 basil leaves, sea salt, pepper, Romano, 1/4 ricotta salata and spread the mixture on top of the chicken. I reduce the heat to 300 and bake it for another 5-7 minutes. Easy, simple, light.

The spinach and pepper mixture brings out some bright flavors and is brimming with vitamins, antioxidants and cancer fighting agents. Phylicia (mini me) needs her pasta fix, and since I had none fresh and we were in a hurry, I used a dry garden variety. The colors were incredible, and  although they advertise a list of nutrients, you are far better off getting nutrient from actual fresh food rather than dried versions. Your body does not properly store or absorb much else. But, we used it anyway and were pleasantly surprised.  As you can see, mini me had her own agenda this week:)

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This work by menaanne.wordpress.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

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In Love with a Lemon!

Lemons get a bad rap. A lemon lot is a lot of dilapidated cars, and a lover who is a bad lemon, well..is a bad lemon, rotten seeds and all. But these jewels of the Mediterranean come in all sorts of varieties, more sweet than sour. It may be the sentiment of the large yellow bulbs draped off of the Amalfi Coast that make my Italian heart swarm with pride, but even if you have never ventured to the coast, they deserve high-ranking in your kitchen and your lifestyle.

Mini me!
Mini me!

Not only are they beautiful but also abrasive, and both are imperative! They have strong antibacterial, antiviral, and immune-boosting powers. Lemons aid in digestion and this makes them a top choice for simple healthy drinks and dishes to help you slim down. Lemons contain citric acid, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, flavonoids, pectin, and limonene–promoting immunity and fighting infection like a ninja!

Me and mini me use lemons around the house, as part of our beauty routine and in so many of our favorite dishes. Last week we made Phylicia’s Amalfi Plate. A lemon chicken with tarragon, some couscous and a simple lemon olive oil dressing.

We brown 4-5 chicken cutlets in lemon olive oil , seasoning both sides with sea salt and pepper. Remove them from the pan, cover with foil. Next, brown baby portabello mushrooms, garlic, shallot until the mushrooms are golden bulbs. Then simply juice 3 meyer lemons, add to the pan with 1/4 cup of chicken stock. Add some white wine if you have any around. Bring it to a boil, then reduce heat. Put the chicken back in the pan until cooked through. Add fresh tarragon and lower the heat. Then we added two tablespoons of cream, and the zest of two meyer lemons. We used our homemade lemon olive oil for a simple fresh spinach salad. Phylicia then mixed up some whole wheat couscous with two tablespoons of lemon juice, one teaspoon of olive oil. Simple, bright and good for your every part of you, heart and soul.

Mini Me's kitchen beginnings. :)
Mini Me’s kitchen beginnings. 🙂

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This work by menaanne.wordpress.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

Love is in the Kitchen!

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Love is in the air and our kitchen this week. Can you spot the heart in me and mini me’s version of chicken pot pie? We lightened it up with a whole grain crust and roasted chicken ( which marinated overnight in rosemary olive oil and fresh lemon juice). Our pie was full of antioxidant rich sweet potatoes, garlic, carrots, a turnip, green beans and sugar snap peas. We cooked down garlic and red onion in olive oil and added our chicken. We then added the vegetables. Once it cooked down, we added flour, milk, stock, sea salt, pepper and some nutmeg! We put it all together under one (not two) of our easy go to crusts. A simple egg wash on the crust with some basil and we were set at 375 for 20 minutes. We felt the love!!!!!

Squash That !

When the leaves start to change, me and mini spend even more time in the kitchen. I watch in awe as my girl changes year to year into her own little person. She has her own tastes and does not need a step stool anymore to reach the stove! Soon she will be taller than me. Time changes all things, but some stay the same. When fall reaches our doorstep we always relish in the usual fall flavors, but we make sure to keep the spice in our lives too. This hot Italian blood needs to keep the coals burning!

Mini Me!
Mini Me!

There is nothing like the mellow nutty smoothness of Acorn Squash in fall. But I also need to keep things hot, so I make sure to add some not so seasonal spice to our lives. Me and mini me have experimented with various chilis in our winter hot cocoa, and we thought we would use our favorite in a sweet and spicy chicken marinade. Our table and lives have been plentiful this week!

When mini me was just a baby, I would roast squash for her and she would use her hands to get as much as possible. We were not much neater this time around! We cut the acorn squash in half and used a fork to remove the pits ( which are tasty toasted). Then we used sunflower oil ( I tasted an incredible batch of flavored oils from a local farmer at a food festival this week). The sunflower oil was incredible, it can be a bit heavy so use it sparingly. Then we used sprinkled on some FRESH nutmeg ( please do not use nutmeg that has been on a shelf for a decade) and sea salt and put it in the oven at 400 for 25 minutes, until the flesh was soft. We then used some local honey on each half and put it back in for just 5 minutes. At this point it is perfect as is, but you can pull the pulp out, beat in an egg, mix it with cream, season it, refill the squash and bake it at 300 for 10 minutes as well.

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Acorn squash will give you just about 150 % of your Vitamin A requirement! It is this unique combination and high potency vitamin c/ beta carotene, that makes it a true cancer fighter. Its juice is actually thought to be medicinal because of its antioxidant power. It is a must for your diet this season.

Alongside we made a spicy chili-mango chicken. While mango is not in season, where I am at …decent mango is still easy to find. We used 2 cups of diced mango, cooked it down with the flesh of one red chili , olive oil, salt, brown sugar, a tsp of honey and some vegetable stock. We then used the marinade for 5 thin chicken breasts and cooked it along side the acorn for about 20 minutes.

Our Mango Chicken
Our Mango Chicken

Any form of chili pepper  always instantly improves how I feel. Capsaicin, the top cancer fighting component of chili peppers, is used to treat prostate cancer patients. Chili peppers have been utilized medicinally for thousands of years and are known to ease migraines, improve blood flow, fight cancer, improve sexuality. Some studies have linked  them to a longer life span, so keep the spice in your life!

Be on the lookout for our butternut squash lasagna and apple squash soup later this week! Happy eating and happy haunting this week from us. 🙂

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This work by menaanne.wordpress.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.