Lemon Herb Roast Chicken

Mark Bittman is one of my favorite chefs. The recipe below is actually an adaptation of two of his recipes. Why? Because I love lemon and I love herbs.

Rosemary, a Mediterranean herb, has multiple health benefits. Besides being a good source of iron, calcium and vitamin B6, it is also believed that possible health benefits include improved concentration, digestion, and brain aging. (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266370.php)

  • 1 whole chicken, 3-4 lbs
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Few sprigs of rosemary, tarragon or thyme
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Chopped fresh herbs for garnish 
  1. Heat the oven to 450°F. 
  2. Five minutes after the oven is turned on, put a cast iron or other heavy skillet on a rack set low in the oven. 
  3. In the meanwhile, rub the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
  4. Insert the lemon half in the cavity of the chicken. 
  5. When both oven and pan are hot, carefully place the chicken, breast side up and add the garlic and rosemary sprigs. 
  6. Let the chicken roast, undisturbed for 40-50 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 155-165°F. 
  7. Once cooked, remove the cooked lemon from the cavity and squeeze over the chicken. 
  8. Be sure to tilt the chicken, allowing the juices to flow out of the cavity. 
  9. Serve hot!

Chipotle Bowls

Summer foods are the best! There’s an abundance of vegetables and there’s no limit to what you can make. I chose to make this grain free but feel free to make some brown rice if you like. (Tip: cook the rice in some chicken broth for extra flavor). 

Let’s talk for a minute about avocados. Whether you’re eating it in the form of guacamole or as whole, avocados are a naturally nutrient-dense food and contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals. Healthy for the heart, prevention of osteoporosis, healthy babies, lower risk of depression are just a few of the health benefits. You can read more about the benefits of avocado at http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270406.php

So have fun and grab a margarita to complete this little summer feast!

  • 2 chicken breasts, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 zucchini, cut into strips
  • 1 bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 avocado diced (or use guacamole instead)
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 cups salsa
  • 1 tsp chili powder 
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 bunch spinach, washed and chopped
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 limes, 1 sliced and the other juiced
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice (optional)
  1. Heat 1 tsp oil in a large pan over medium heat. 
  2. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes till the onions soften. 
  3. Add chicken and cook all the way through, approx 10 minutes. 
  4. Remove the chicken from the pan. 
  5. Add the remaining tsp of oil and add in the vegetables as well. 
  6. Cook till vegetables are soft, approx 6 minutes. 
  7. Remove from heat and toss with the chicken. 
  8. Add in the spices and juice of 1 lemon. 
  9. To set up the individual bowls, add spinach and cooked brown rice (if using) and evenly distribute the vegetables and chicken in each bowl. 
  10. Add avocado/guacamole and salsa to each bowl next. 
  11. Add a lime wedge for an extra squeeze. 
  12. Enjoy!

Thai Curry

This was a recipe that I came across while detoxing with my dear friend #tracialtman (www.tracialtman.com) and I’m in love!! This is such a great one pot meal. Please don’t let the number of ingredients intimidate you. It really takes no time once you start cooking. And of course, if seafood isn’t your thing, you can substitute with your choice of poultry. 

  • 1 lb shrimp, cleaned and deveined
  • 1/2 lb scallops
  • 1/2 lb calamari 
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/3 onion, sliced (or 1/2 shallot)
  • 1/4 cup green onions
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup broth 
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 2-3 tbsp red curry paste (adjust according to your taste)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Handful of chopped basil
  • 3 zucchinis, spiralized (or use pasta instead)
  • Himalayan Salt (per your taste)
  • Pepper (per your taste)
  • Pinch of turmeric powder 
  1. In a large pan, heat coconut oil over medium heat. 
  2. Add onions and cook till soft. 
  3. Add garlic next and sauté for a little less than a minute. 
  4. Next pour in the broth, lime, coconut milk and red curry paste and stir well. 
  5. Add in the turmeric powder and season with the salt and pepper. 
  6. Add the shrimp, scallops and calamari to the pan, cover and cook over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes. 
  7. Add zucchini and basil to the sauce. 
  8. Cover and cook for 3 more minutes. 
  9. Serve hot!

Tuna Salad

Adapted from Everyday Paleo, this recipe is great for a wholesome lunch or to take along to a picnic. Easy and quick too so of course it’s a hit in my books! 

Tuna has its own health benefits – it aids in weight loss and is good for the heart (www.livestrong.com). But as is with everything else, too much of anything is not good for you. 

  • 3-6oz cans of tuna, crumbled and drained
  • 2 large avocados, cut into cubes
  • 3 big handfuls of spinach, washed
  • 5 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves minced (or 1tsp garlic powder)
  • 3 tbsp capers
  • Himalayan salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)
  • 2 cups red grapes, washed and halved
  • Cayenne pepper (to taste, optional)
  • Butterleaf lettuce leaves (to make wraps, optional)
  1. In a large salad bowl add the spinach and celery.
  2. Next add the crumbled tuna and cubed avocado.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the the olive oil, vinegar, sea salt, pepper, and minced garlic.
  4. Add in the grapes. 
  5. Drizzle the dressing over the salad.
  6. Add the capers, toss together and serve. 

Mushroom Peas aka Muttar Mushroom

Indian food always hits the spot. It doesn’t matter what the season is, mushrooms are great! But I feel like mushrooms don’t get their due credit. It is considered to be a superfood, promotes heart health and helps with weight management. (Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/278858.php)

  • 1 cup fresh/frozen peas
  • 500g/1lb mushrooms, cleaned and cut into quarters
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
  • Pinch of turmeric powder 
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder 
  • Himalayan Salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Fresh coriander, chopped for garnish
  1. Heat oil in a high sided pan over medium heat. 
  2. When hot, add the cumin seeds and fry until they stop spluttering. 
  3. Add the garlic and cook until lightly browned. 
  4. Next add the onions and fry until softened. 
  5. Now add the mushrooms and peas and the powdered spices. 
  6. Add salt to taste and cook until the mushrooms begin to give off their juices, stirring occasionally. 
  7. Serve hot, garnished with the chopped coriander. 

Shakshuka (baked eggs)

We were visiting some friends over the Memorial Day Weekend and I kid you not, our friend Natasha brought her A-game. This Shakshuka (Source: NY Times) is by far one of the yummiest I have eaten and am sooo excited to share it with you. Btw, how Natasha finds time to cook like this always amazes me given that she is busy running Math and Chess classes. Check her out at http://www.101discoveries.com

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne (or to taste)
  • 1-28 oz can whole plum tomatoes with juices, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (or to taste)
  • 5 oz (1-1/4 cup) feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 sausages, cooked and chopped (optional)
  • 6 large eggs
  • Cilantro, chopped (for garnish)
  • Hot sauce (optional)
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat.
  2. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook gently until very soft, about 20 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook until tender, 1 to 2 minutes; stir in cumin, turmeric powder paprika and cayenne, and cook 1 minute.
  4. Pour in tomatoes and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; simmer until tomatoes have thickened, about 10 minutes.
  5. While the sauce is simmering, preheat the oven to 375°F.
  6. Stir in crumbled feta and cooked sausage, if using.
  7. Gently crack eggs into skillet over tomatoes.
  8. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until eggs are just set, 7 to 10 minutes. (Note: check at 7 minutes for doneness of eggs, depends on the cookware you are using)
  10. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with hot sauce.

Garden Vegetables with Pasta

Another great summery side. Eat along with your favorite protein or just on its own. You could even chop up some cooked sausage to make it a one pot meal. 

  • 2 cups pasta (cooked as per package directions OR use spiralized zucchinis)
  • 1 cup eggplant, diced
  • 1/4 cup button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup yellow squash, diced
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, sliced
  • 2 clove garlics, chopped
  • 2 tsps olive oil
  • 2 tsps balsamic vinegar 
  • 3 tsp basil, chopped
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. 
  2. Add the eggplant and mushrooms and cook stirring occasionally, until tender, about 4 minutes. 
  3. Add the sliced garlic, squash, red pepper and vinegar and cook for 2-3 minutes. 
  4. Next, combine the cooked pasta with the mixture along with the basil. 
  5. Mix well and serve hot. 

Easy Fish Curry

It’s raining again today.. cold too! Time for some comfort food. I like cooking with salmon, it’s easy and oh so healthy. Salmon is packed with Omega 3 fatty acids that promote healthy joints and skin. Also known to reduce heart disease, wild caught salmon is always better than the farm grown variety. And of course if you are looking to shed some pounds, salmon helps to maintain the metabolism to promote weight loss! (Source: http://www.livestrong.com)

  • 1.5lb Salmon fillets, washed, cleaned and cut into bite size pieces (or any meaty fish)
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped fine
  • 1.5 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • Large pinch of turmeric powder 
  • 2 tsp coriander powder 
  • Red chili powder, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds 
  • 2-4 strings of curry leaves (depends on your taste)
  • 1.5 tbsp oil (coconut oil adds a great flavor)
  • 1.5 cups water
  • Fresh coriander, for garnish
  • Lemon wedges
  1. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. 
  2. Add mustard seeds when the oil is hot. 
  3. Add curry leaves and onions and cook till onions are translucent. 
  4. Next add the ginger and garlic paste and cook for about a minute, until the raw smells goes away. 
  5. Add tomato and salt and cook until it turns pulpy, about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. (The salt helps the tomato break down faster)
  6. Add the spices next – turmeric powder, coriander powder and red chili powder (if you are using it) and cook until the raw smell of the spices goes away. 
  7. Add the water and mix well. 
  8. Increase the heat and bring to a boil and then lower the flame again to medium. 
  9. When the gravy starts to thicken, add in the fish pieces and gently mix. 
  10. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes on a low flame. 
  11. Then allow the mixture to cook for 10-15 minutes until the oil separates from the mix. 
  12. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and lemon wedges. Serve hot with basmati rice. 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts 

Yummiest and easiest side ever… enough said!

  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 strips bacon, roughly chopped (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Put all the ingredients in a large resealable bag (ziploc works great!).
  3. Seal tightly, and turn to coat the Brussels sprouts evenly.
  4. Pour onto a baking pan and place in the center of oven. (Tip: line the pan with aluminum foil – it makes for an easier clean up)
  5. Roast for 30 minutes, shaking pan every 5-10 minutes to ensure that the sprouts are browned evenly.
  6. Remove from oven and sprinkle the bacon bits.
  7. Serve hot.

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