I love cooking. The combination of flavors, taste, texture, temperature, presentation, and gathering around the table. Much like bodywork, meditation, playing a sport or musical instrument, or anything else you love - it requires being in the moment. And trusting your instinct. The more you do it, the more comfortable you get.
These recipes are simple and easy. And they are adaptations of foods I grew up with around my grandmother, aunts, and mom, foods I studied and tasted while working in the restaurant industry, foods I watched Ina Garten cook throughout both of my pregnancies, and foods I adapted to make as healthy, clean, and simple as possible.
When cooking - my main objective is to make it fresh, clean, and quick for my family of 4, plus any guests, and even for a dinner party. To make it simple I approach weeknight meals as template eating with vegetables and a protein... "vegetables and a protein at every meal make a quick and fully realized meal". Everything can be doubled or modified with your favorite vegetable or protein. I add in any grains like rice, quinoa, sourdough bread, or pasta for my boys and husband if they are feeling extra hungry, and everyone is happy. Here is more about template eating.
And below are a few recipes to start that follow this idea. The measurements are estimates and the method is key. Learning cooking methods will take you from meal to meal to meal. So trust your instincts, recognize aroma and sounds and texture, learn how your stove and cookware reacts, and always taste along the way to develop your palate. Enjoy! And as always, message me with any questions or to book a session. In the meantime, I'll keep adding to these recipes and I hope you keep creating delicious and healthy meals in your kitchen.
ROASTED CHICKEN Drumsticks W/BURNT BROCCOLI, & SIMMERED CANNELlini BEANs
Chicken - Plan for at least 2 thighs or drumsticks per person (this recipe is for 8-10 drumsticks). Or a whole chicken for 4 people.
4 tablespoons of coconut aminos (or soy sauce), 2 teaspoons of fish oil 2 teaspoons of toasted sesame oil & 1tsp of garlic powder. olive oil, s+p
preheat oven to 375-400 and let meat sit at room temp for a few minutes.
salt & pepper each side and drizzle with plenty of olive oil to coat the chicken.
Toss the drumsticks in coconut aminos (or soy sauce), fish oil, toasted sesame oil & garlic powder. I do this in a large bowl and toss. You can prep the meat ahead of time or the day before and leave it in the fridge - just let it sit at room temp for about 5 minutes before roasting.
Line a sheet pan or shallow baking dish with parchment paper and place the chicken on the pan allowing for space between the meat so the sides are exposed to heat.
Place in oven for about 35 minutes. Flip mid point or simply use a brush to paint the tops of the chicken. Pan juices always add great flavor! The chicken is ready when you get a golden brown color.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds if you have them when they come out of the oven & let sit about five minutes to let the juices settle.
Give roasted chicken a try. It's surprisingly easier than it seems and you'll look like a pro. By the way, the method for roasting any cut of chicken - whole chicken, thighs, drumsticks, breast, wing - is the same. Buy chicken with bone and skin since the bone and skin give it flavor. I prefer thighs because they are juicy & tender and you can't really over cook them. I also like drumsticks since they are a good portion size.
Whole chicken is delicious and classic and easy with just olive oil, s+p ... not necessary but you can add flavors like garlic/onion powder, any dried poultry seasoning, slices of lemon and fresh garlic. Roast chicken in the oven for about 35 minutes with smaller cuts, and up to 70 minutes for a whole chicken. Flip the cuts mid point or simply use a brush to brush the pan juices and baste the tops of the chicken. Remember pan juices add great flavor! If roasting a whole chicken, roast for 60 minutes then brush with the juices and crank heat to 400 for the last 5-10 minutes. The chicken is ready when you get a golden brown color or internal temp of 165-170.
Shred leftover chicken to make a chicken salad for lunch.
Save chicken and veggie scraps to make bone broth for sipping or soups. Use the bone broth to make 12 veggie tomato soup and grilled cheese. Chicken four ways...
To make a cassoulet of cannellini beans - cook dried cannellini beans according to package, or buy cannellini beans in a can that has bpa free lining.
2 cans drained for 4 + people or a cup and a half per person.
2 slices of bacon, 1 celery stalk diced, half a yellow or red onion diced, 2 handfuls of spinach, half of a lemon, 7 smashed garlic, 2 tsp oregano, 2 tsp rosemary, 1 bay leaf, 1 tsp chili flakes, 1 and half cups of bone broth (or chicken broth, or h20), s+p and olive oil.
dice celery & onion small. dice bacon strips. smash garlic.
preheat pan over medium. drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil and add diced bacon. Cook the bacon thru but not crispy. Add celery and onion to this good bacon fat and sauté for about 4-5 minutes then add smashed garlic & herbs and sauté another minute to open up the flavors. the vegetables should be soft. Pour in bone broth, cannellini beans, add bay leaf, about 1 tsp of salt and half tsp of pepper and bring to a simmer. Bacon will have added salt so taste it toward the end to see if you need more salt. Cover the beans and simmer on medium low for about 10 minutes keeping an eye that broth doesn't cook all the way down. add warm broth or water if needed. Toward the end and while simmering on low, add spinach to warm & wilt and squeeze half of a lemon. Discard bay leaf. Ready to serve or keep warm over low.
burnt broccoli florets
burnt broccoli is delicious (or just steam it, ha). But the method for roasting veggies is always the same. While you have the oven going with chicken, why not roast up some veggies, and go with what you like. Green beans, carrots, squash, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, onion, potatoes... all delicious roasted. The key is plenty of olive oil and flavor with s+p and garlic powder. Experiment with any other dried herbs that you like - paprika, oregano, etc. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast for added protein - nutritional yeast has a very mild flavor similar to cheese. And a little lemon zest to finish roasted veggies before serving. Or a drizzle of oil.
I plan for about a cup per person.
Preheat oven to 375 or so.
chop broccoli to just the florets. drizzle generously with olive oil, s+p, garlic powder and toss.
Line a sheet pan with parchment (or use a shallow baking dish), spray the parchment with olive oil spray, or drizzle with about a tablespoon of olive oil. place broccoli on pan and in oven for about 20 minutes tossing once.
Carrots are even better roasted. Slice them in long slices then roast the same as above.
Potato fries! these are great and the whole family loves them. Slice in long strips about half an inch thick. Toss in olive oil, s+p, garlic powder. Line the potatoes on parchment paper with space between them so they cook & crisp evenly. Roast for about 25 minutes. Salt to taste. Ready to serve with ketchup, mustard, or mayo. .. Or - when still hot, toss with a drizzle of olive oil, crumbled feta cheese, oregano, a squeeze of lemon and top with fresh parsley for Greek-style fries.
more to come... or let me know what you'd like to cook and I'll post it here.