Saturday, 25 April 2015

Spicy Chicken Kebabs with Greek Yogurt Sauce

Although we aren't seeing spring weather yet, I was very excited to start barbecue season! Kebabs are a barbecue staple, so this seemed like the perfect recipe to try. Mix the marinade, and set half of it aside to mix with Greek yogurt to make a flavorful dipping sauce...so good!

We used 5 pieces of chicken on each kebab, so three large chicken breasts made 9 kebabs. You could stretch the number of kebabs by adding more veggies, such as cherry tomatoes or mushrooms and one less piece of chicken. Serve kebabs over rice or with a side of corn on the cob.

If you are using wooden skewers, be sure to soak them in water for 1 hour before assembling the kebabs to prevent burning.

Makes 9 kebabs

Ingredients

750g (3 large) boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 zucchinis, sliced
2 red bell peppers, cut into 1 inch squares
1 large onion, cut into 1 inch squares

For the marinade/1 cup (8 servings) of yogurt dipping sauce:

Zest of 1 lemon
Juice from 1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp coriander
1 tsp chili pepper flakes
2 tsp paprika
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Directions

Mix marinade spices, lemon zest, lemon juice, and minced garlic. Toss chicken pieces in half of the marinade and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Mix remaining half of marinade with Greek yogurt and refrigerate until serving.

Assemble kebabs, alternating between chicken, zucchini, peppers, and onions. Barbecue kebabs until chicken is fully cooked. Serve with Greek yogurt dipping sauce and fresh cilantro.

Nutrition (per 1 kebab--5 chicken pieces on each)

Calories 164
Fat 4.7g
Carbohydrates 2.7g
Fibre 0.9g
Sugars 1.5g
Protein 27.5g

Dipping sauce (2 tbsp)

Calories 36
Fat 2.3g
Carbohydrates 1.1g
Sugars 1.1g
Protein 2.8g

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Buffalo and Blue Cheese Chicken & Potato Chips


I love anything chicken wing flavoured! So anytime I can make a healthy alternative to chicken wings I'll do it! 

Ingredients

1 chicken breast
1 Tbsp crumbled blue cheese
1 piece of turkey bacon
2 Tbsp Franks hot sauce
1 Tbsp shredded mozzarella cheese
1 baking potato
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt

Chicken Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400*
2. Cut the chicken breast down the side so that it opens up a pocket. Stuff the chicken with blue cheese and mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and close the chicken breast. 
3. Wrap the turkey bacon around the chicken breast to hold the cheese in. 
4. Place in the oven for 25 minutes. Take out of the oven and drizzle with Franks hot sauce and place back in the oven for 2-3 minutes. 

Potato Chip Directions

1. Cut potato into circles about 1/2 cm thick. 
2. Place in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes
3. Drain water and pat dry. Drizzle with olive oil and salt. 
4. Place on a pizza stone or baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes and then flip over and bake another 10 minutes. 


Monday, 20 April 2015

Hazelnut Black Bean Brownies

This brownie has everything! The recipe was adjusted from the cookbook, Out of the Pod, by Vicky Jones, and of course, it would not be complete with Chocolate Avocado Mousse for the icing. Toasted hazelnuts give this brownie a Nutella-like flavour, and black beans add a dose of fibre and protein. They are easy to make, since almost everything goes into the food processor or high-powered blender.

To remove the skins from the hazelnuts, toast them at 300 degrees F, when they become fragrant (8-10 minutes), remove them from the oven and allow them to slightly cool. When they are cool enough to touch, place them inside a paper towel and rub them together until skins fall off.

Serves 16

Ingredients

1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted, with skins removed, ground to small pieces
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil or canola oil
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 eggs
Canola oil spray, for greasing pan

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9x9 pan with canola spray.

Mix whole wheat flour and salt in a large bowl.  Set aside.

In a food processor, combine black beans, cocoa, cinnamon, brown sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs. Blend until uniform in consistency (and a pudding-like thickness). Pour mixture into large bowl with flour. Fold mixture together, then add in ground hazelnuts.

Pour mixture into greased pan and bake for approximately 38 minutes.  Allow to cool before icing.

Nutrition (without icing)

Calories 187
Fat 9.2g
Carbohydrates 22.6g
Fibre 3.1g
Sugars 9.3g
Protein 5.0g

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Peanut Butter Chicken Stir Fry

Love me some peanut butter! This stir fry has a Thai flavour to it, but I'm sure it is not quite there, since it was just a combination of ingredients I had on hand to make a nice, thick sauce, so I'm just going to call it a peanut butter sauce. I used a combination of 'cauliflower rice' and instant brown rice, but you can do either by itself.

Serves 6

Ingredients

1/2 head of cauliflower, ground into rice sized pieces
120g instant brown rice, cooked
1 tsp sesame oil
350g chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
1 head broccoli, cut into small pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut into bite sized squares
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into squares
2 green onions,chopped
1 garlic clove, minced

For sauce:
1/3 cup natural peanut butter
3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
3 tbsp white vinegar
3 tbsp honey
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp water
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1/4 tsp chili flakes
Black pepper, to taste

Optional: 1/4 cup blanched, unsalted peanuts, ground into small chunks, for sprinkling on top

Directions

Cook rice according to directions and set aside.

Add cauliflower to food processor and grind into rice sized pieces.  Set aside.

Add sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix well with a fork, until sauce is uniform.

In a wok, add sesame oil and set to medium heat. Add chicken pieces, and stir often, until fully cooked. Remove chicken from wok and set on a plate. Increase heat to high. Place minced garlic in wok and cook until fragrant. Add broccoli, peppers and green onions to wok. Stir constantly, and cook until vegetables are hot, yet maintain crispness. Add cauliflower rice, followed by half of the sauce. Stir to coat, then add the chicken and the remaining sauce, and stir again to coat.

Plate a serving of rice and add the stir fry on top. Optional: Sprinkle with ground peanuts.

Nutrition (including brown rice)

Calories 367
Fat 13.0g
Carbohydrates 35.9g
Fibre 5.1g
Sugars 13.3g
Protein 29.0g


Sunday, 5 April 2015

Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Tacos


One of my favourite lunches for work are tacos.  Add some black beans, shredded cheese, and salsa, microwave the taco filling and then assemble the taco into the tortilla.  Any easy way to prepare tacos is by cooking the meat in the slow cooker and shredding it.  I've made pork and beef taco recipes in the slow cooker before, but this was my first time making shredded chicken tacos.
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tacos
Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos

You can use the spice mix listed below, or use prepared taco seasoning.

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 kg boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup water

Taco ingredients:  Tortillas, shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, black beans, corn

Directions

Place chicken breasts in bottom of slow cooker pot.  Mix spices in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over chicken breasts.  Drizzle olive oil and lime juice over top of chicken breasts.  Pour water into slow cooker pot.  Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.  When cooking time is complete, shred chicken with two forks.

Nutrition (per 1/2 cup of shredded chicken)

Calories 145
Fat 5.0g
Carbohydrates 0.6g
Protein 24.1g

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Honey Roasted Rainbow Carrots


I recently discovered the awesomeness of rainbow carrots. I saw them in the grocery store, and thought, "What are these?  I must have them!" These carrots exceeded my wildest expectations (you know, for carrots).  All kidding aside, these are delicious!

The colour of a vegetable dictates the nutrient it provides:
Red = Lycopene (tomatoes are a source)
Yellow =Lutein (spinach and kale are sources)
Purple = Anthocyanins (blueberry, cranberry, blackberry and raspberry are sources)
Not only do rainbow carrots look beautiful on your plate, they add nutritional variety!

The red and purple carrots tend to bleed when you chop them (like a red beet does), so be careful when slicing them.  They work best eaten with a fork (raw rainbow carrot sticks would bleed onto your fingers).  Here is my favourite way to enjoy rainbow carrots (I've tried both coconut oil and butter--coconut oil was my preference, flavour-wise):

Serves 4

Ingredients

8 rainbow carrots, peeled and sliced
1 tbsp coconut oil (or butter)
1 tbsp honey (or pure maple syrup)
2 tsp lemon juice

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Place sliced carrots in a large bowl.  In a small bowl, combine coconut oil, honey and lemon juice (mash coconut oil with a fork if in solid form, or melt slightly before mixing it).  Pour oil mixture over carrots and toss well.  Spread out evenly onto lined baking sheet.  Roast for 25 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories 99
Fat 3.4g
Carbohydrates 16.6g
Fibre 3.1g
Sugars 12.0g
Protein 1.6g