A truly GREAT Chicken Recipe

Posted in FOOD AND WINE, Mains, RECIPES on April 10th, 2014 by Lisa – Be the first to comment

Need a super tasty dinner that is ready from start to finish in less than 40 minutes??!  Look no further!

If you are like me, you have seen this post all over Pinterest and on many other blogs.  Pictures and recipes for “The World’s Best Chicken”!  Well, with a statement like that, I had to make it!

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I do have a few recipes on my blog like The BEST EVER Pancakes! and The BEST EVER Lemon Dressing! that I call “the BEST EVER…” because to me, they are the BEST of that something I have EVER had.  It earns the title of “BEST EVER”.

Most of the recipes for “The World’s BEST Chicken” I found had only 4-5 ingredients, very little prep, quick cook time and rave reviews. Quadrouple threat, right?  Again, how could you pass that up?!  This really is a GREAT recipe!!

Well, as per usual, I made a few changes, tweaked the recipe here and there and came up with a truly TRULY GREAT chicken recipe.  Not the BEST I have EVER had, but it was REALLY yummy and SUPER easy, which I predict, could make it the BEST EVER for YOU!

Try it out, let me know…. what do you think?  Was it BEST EVER?!

Truly Great (yummy!) Chicken:

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  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 good scoops (about 1/2 cup) Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 cup Maple Syrup
  • 1 tbsp White Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a bowl, mix mustard, maple syrup, vinegar, rosemary and garlic.  Add chicken to shallow oven proof pan and pour sauce over chicken, covering it the best you can.  Pop into oven for 30-35 minutes, uncovered.

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Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.  The sauce is ooey and gooey, sweet with a little kick from the Dijon.

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To serve, slice if you like (like they did in all the recipes I read), but I did not bother.  I served mine with vegetable rice pilaf and green beans with garlic mushrooms.

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I would love to hear what you thought of this chicken!  It is certainly quick enough, easy enough and tasty enough to become your new favourite week night dinner!  I do think it needs a name like “French Country Chicken” or “Roasted Dijon Chicken”.  But the “BEST EVER”?  or “The Worlds Best”?

You decide….. and please let me know!!

 

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Puttanesca with Shrimp

Posted in FOOD AND WINE, Mains, RECIPES, Vegetarian and Vegan Dishes on March 24th, 2014 by Lisa – Be the first to comment

Have you ever had Puttanesca sauce on pasta?  This spicy Italian favourite I believe translates into “whore sauce”.  Yep.  Does that make you want to try it now?  I suppose there is a story to it, that I vaguely recall, but I like to think it is because of its hot, spicy and sexy flavours.

This was our Saturday night last minute “what shall we have for dinner”?  Search the cupboards for something to create with and low and behold – I kid you not – this dinner came together in LESS THAN 20 minutes!!!  From start to on the table.  I could insert joke here about the meaning of puttanesca sauce again, but I’ll leave that for you :o)

putanesca sauce

The classic sauce calls for anchovies, but since I didn’t have that on hand, I used some shrimp I had in the freezer instead.  I think I liked it better to be honest!!!  I also served mine over rice noodles and not traditional Italian wheat pasta.  I was a little worried to be honest that the rice noodles wouldn’t stand up to the robust nature of this sauce, but honestly, it was ah-mazing!!!  And because I love it and it’s so good for you (and my family will attest that I add it to almost everything, because why not) I added a few handfuls of baby spinach to the noodles for the last minute of cooking.

Puttanesca with Shrimp:

Serves 4

  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp capers
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives (calamata are best)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 jar tomato puree (with basil leaf if possible)
  • 1-2 tbsp dried chili flakes (or to taste)
  • 8-12 raw shrimp, peeled but leave tails on (thaw in running water if frozen)
  • juice of half a lemon
  • olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • handful fresh chopped parsley
  • 4-6 large handfuls baby spinach
  • noodles of choice – rice vermicelli or spaghetti
  • Parmesan cheese (grated for serving)

To begin, gather everything you will need and have it chopped and ready to go.  Bring a large pot of water to the boil to cook your noodles in.

Heat large saute pan over med/high heat.  Add olive oil and heat.  Add chili flakes if using, half of garlic and shrimp.  Saute for 2 minutes, turning shrimp as you go.  As soon as shrimp are all pink, toss in some parsley and the lemon juice.  Toss and remove shrimp and bits from pan. garlic chili shrimp

Set shrimp aside.

Return pan to heat, add another drizzle of oil, more of the chili flakes, the remainder of the garlic and the sun dried tomatoes.  Saute for a minute, stirring moving it around in the pan.  Add white wine and stir until it boils.  Add tomato puree, olives, capers.  Season with sea salt and pepper to taste.  Let cook on med/high, (should be bubbling away) stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.

Now, return the shrimp to pan, stir in with the puttanesca sauce.  Two minutes until heated through.

Cooking noodles –  When you add the noodles to the water will depend on what kind of noodles you are using.  If using traditional wheat noodles, a good time would to be to add them to the water as you are cooking the shrimp.  If using rice noodles, a good time would be to add the noodles to the water after you have added the tomato sauce to the pan.  Make sure you watch either way…. overcooked noodles can really diminish the whole thing!!   Toss in spinach for the last minute of cooking.

Thats it!!  You will be working fast and multi tasking at times, but this sauce is sooooo good and so fast and easy it is sure to become a week night favourite!!  Change it up too… add chicken if you like, or some broccoli or even a can of tuna!  Honestly, I’ve tried it and it’s great too!

To serve – place portioned amount of noodles in bowl, top with sauce and 3-5 shrimp per person.  Top with parsley to garnish, more cracked black pepper if you like and a sprinkle of fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

Add your favourite green salad and this is a dinner for champions!!!  Salty, spicey, garlicy, hearty.

YUM!

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Caribbean Lime Chicken

Posted in FOOD AND WINE, Mains, RECIPES on March 23rd, 2014 by Lisa – Be the first to comment

Do you need a fast, easy and super flavourful weeknight dinner?  Look no further…..

The flavours for this chicken were inspired by my recent trip to Jamaica.  Oh how I miss the feel of the sunshine and the colours of the sunset while eating…. sigh….. until next year Negril.  My taste buds will have to be how I visit you.

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Caribbean Lime Chicken:

Serves 6-8

  • 1 package boneless, skinless chicken thighs (approximately 18-20 in package)
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, cut into strips
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • juice and zest of 2 limes
  • 1-2 dried chili flakes (optional to taste)
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp granulated garlic
  • large handful fresh cilantro, chopped
  • sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Sprinkle chicken with cumin, granulated garlic, salt and pepper.  Heat oil in a large saute pan.  Quickly brown chicken on both sides in batches.  Remove to plate as they finish.  Don’t over crowd your pan or they will steam and not brown. This will take approximately 2-3 minutes per side.  Once all chicken pieces are done and removed from pan, add a drizzle of oil to same pan.  Add onions, garlic, peppers and chili peppers (if using) and saute for one to two minutes.  Add lime juice and zest and continue to saute, scraping up bits as you go.  This will take only 2 minutes.  At this point, return chicken to pan, give it a mix and toss the whole thing into the oven for 15-20 minutes.  (remove from oven and flip chicken half way through cooking).

Remove from oven, sprinkle with fresh chopped cilantro, toss and serve!  YUM!

Serve with Roasted Carrots and Fennel and a big green salad.  Delicious combination of textures and flavours.

YA mon!

 

 

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Roasted Carrots and Fennell

Posted in FOOD AND WINE, RECIPES, Sides and Starters, Vegetarian and Vegan Dishes on March 21st, 2014 by Lisa – Be the first to comment

Now that I am back from vacation, not only am I missing the warmth of the Caribbean sun, but I am missing the flavours of the food as well.

Enter inspiration….

This side dish came out of a lack of produce (due to just returning from vacation) and a desire to recreate that sweetness I savoured in the addition of dried fruits to my meals while in Jamaica.

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This side dish is so easy it is perfect for a weeknight dinner, but it also has great texture and an amazing combination of flavours it would surely impress company too!  This even got a “WOW” from hubby who usually only “wows” over meat!  

Roasted Carrots and Fennel with Balsamic Raisins:

Serves 4

  • 6 carrots, peeled and cut into sticks
  • 1 bulb fennel sliced (reserve fronds)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • virgin olive oil
  • 4 oz hot water
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper

Soak raisins in hot water and balsamic vinegar.  Set aside.  Drizzle carrots and fennel with some olive oil, add salt and pepper and place into a preheated 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and toss once or twice during cooking.  When carrots and fennel are caramelized, remove from oven and add raisins (drained of course!).  Toss and place back into oven for 5 minutes.  Remove and sprinkle with fennel fronds.

YUM!!

Try with Caribbean Lime Chicken

 

 

 

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Kindness from the Inside Out…

Posted in DAILY INSPIRATIONS on March 4th, 2014 by Lisa – 2 Comments

One of my clients (read, my first ever and one of my biggest supporters), called me the other day asking if I’d be able to do a once a week delivery for a month for a colleague that recently had surgery.  “I figured, instead of flowers I could offer her some wellness from the inside out“.  How amazing is that?!  What a GREAT idea Jess!!

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When I contacted Jess’s colleague, she explained that she was moving slowly and still feeling quite nauseated.  We agreed a Healing Broth and some Liquid Sunshine were in order.

Not only did Jess’s idea offer this lady’s body wellness, but it touched us both and connected us in kindness.  I feel so lucky to be able to see this woman each week while handing over something that I know will nourish her body.  And yet, I am the one who feels nourished…. not in body, but in soul.  This really is a good thing…. and a GREAT idea!

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Here is a portion of the e-mail I received from the colleague after she tried her broth and juice…… her words were a gift to me :o)

Thank you Lisa.  The broth was amazing, I added some hemp seeds as that was the quickest for this evening.   I think I might call the Liquid Sunshine juice Liquid Gold….so nice.  You are a gift to many people….your business is a good one. 

I am still smiling.    

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I have always loved the feeling of delivering something nourishing to a friendhome when they were ill or sad…. this time though, I was delivering for someone else.  Although I created the juices, I delivered by proxy.  And the feeling was even better.  I think you are on to something here Jess and I for one LOVE it!!!

For more information FLOWfit’s juicing program or to send a nourishing juice gift to a friend, please contact me at:

lisa@flowfit.ca

 

 

 

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Green is the NEW Black

Posted in DAILY INSPIRATIONS, HEALTH AND FITNESS on February 25th, 2014 by Lisa – Be the first to comment

green new blackIt seems everywhere I look these days, there are books, blog posts, signs, Pinterest pictures, recipes, signs, t-shirts and environmental messages all screaming GREEN!!   The goodness, the benefits, the environmental awareness and well, the fashion of how “in” green is.

Smiles…..

I love that vegetables are in fashion as is environmental awareness and caring for our planet.

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More smiles….

Kale, chard and wheat grass smoothies and juices, spinach salads on nearly every menu, eating RAW brussels sprouts even!!!  Can you imagine even considering these things as a kid?!    I’m sure we would have heaved at the thought!  But today we know them as superfoods, “green energy” loaded with antioxidants, nutrients and needed as part of a healthy diet. GO GREEN!

Separate garbage containers for bottles, paper and trash?  Who would have imagined it?  The recycle symbol so easily brought to mind by all of us today, would have seemed  crazy when we were kids (I’m going back to the 70’s people – yep, I’m a 60’s babe).

GREEN is IN.  Green is the new Black.  And it’s here to stay.

kermitDo you remember Kermit the frog?  He used to sing a song about it NOT being easy to be green…. “it’s not easy being green” he sang.  I can just hear his throaty voice.

I know many would agree with Kermit, that it’s not easy being green… especially when it comes to the environment.  As common place as it is for myself and many others, there are still some (I know, right?!) who feel they “don’t create enough trash for it to matter”, so they don’t bother.  Or others who believe “it’s not actually good for the environment to recycle, it just causes more off gassing anyway”.  Well, I for one believe different.  I am one of those people who will carry trash around so that I can recycle at home if there aren’t available bins when I am out.  I’ll carry empty water bottles and paper bags in my purse rather than throw them in the trash.  But that’s me.

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Dear Kermit: I think it IS easy being green!  If you send me your address, I’ll send you one of these nifty pins…. maybe it will change your mind.  Or at least remind you how easy it is to recycle.

And now I’m off to create a new green juice.  I think I’ll name it The Kermit Special.  Wait!  Wouldn’t that be a GREAT idea for a daily juice special??  A feature of the day?  The Kermit Special.  I love it!!

When I open my juice bar, I will definitely feature it.  And it will change daily….. why?  Why not!?  It’s fun!

And I will wear this T-shirt.green black tshirt

Big GREEN Smiles 😮

Slainte!!

 

 

 

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Eggs for Dinner?

Posted in Breakfast, FAMILY, FOOD AND WINE, Mains, RECIPES, Vegetarian and Vegan Dishes, What to do for lunch! on February 19th, 2014 by Lisa – Be the first to comment

Why not?!

Yesterday we had Pina Colada’s for breakfast, so why not eggs for dinner on the same day?

Happy dance!!!

On those nights where it’s busy or you are tired and don’t feel like cooking, a good egg omelette and salad are a great way to get some healthy good eats into your family.

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If you’ve never tried to make an omlette, fear not!  It’s WAY easier than you think!  This lovely creation was made by hubby last night for the kids…. how bout that!??

For each serving, allow two eggs (unless they just finished playing hockey or dancing for three hours, they may want a three egg-er).  Simply crack eggs into bowl and whisk with a fork until combined and bubbly.  Into a medium/high heated non-stick skillet add a dollop of butter, olive oil, coconut oil or whatever you like to use.  Spread it around pan and wait a few seconds for it to heat.  Add the egg mixture and tilt pan around so it covers edge to edge and leaves a thin even coating.

Now wait.  Watch for the edges to curl and the eggs to ‘set’.  This takes about 4 minutes depending on your pan and stove.  The center of the omelette will still be raw, but not so much that it runs when you tilt the pan.  Once it is nearly set, using a spatula, lift one side of the omelette and fold over the other.  You are essentially folding it in half.  Allow to cook for another 2 minutes or so.

That’s it!

Sometimes I will add grated cheese just before folding, or baby spinach and feta or left over chicken and roasted peppers.   I like mine with a few dashes of hot sauce or salsa on top, but my son like his plain…… “straight up” he says.  My daughter likes hers so cheesy that it oozes out the middle.  Be creative, have fun and enjoy an easy peasy dinner.

Breakfast for dinner.  It’s a good thing.  (why did I just hear Martha Stewart in my head?  lol)

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YUM!

 

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Pina Colada for Breakfast?

Posted in Breakfast, FOOD AND WINE, RECIPES, Vegetarian and Vegan Dishes on February 18th, 2014 by Lisa – 1 Comment

Why not!!  Is there a better way to feel a little tropical warmth creep into your home during all this snow?!

Imagine waking up to this….

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Sunset Pina Colada (Rockhouse, Negril Jamaica)

Smooth and creamy, sweet and fruity, decadent, topical and indulgent.  Best of all?  it’s packed with protein, vitamins and nutrients!

I love it when that happens!!

Pina Colada Smoothie:

4 cups fresh pineapple

1 banana (preferably frozen)

1/4 cup raw cashews

2 dates (pits removed)

1 – 2 cups coconut water (depending on desired consistency)

coconut beach

Fresh coconut water to share (Negril beach, Jamaica)

Blend until smooth.  Serve over ice, with a straw and a wedge of pineapple.  Close your eyes and drift away…. you can almost hear the ocean 😮

This post was inspired by some old vacation photos…. sigh…. are you yearning for warmth as much as I am?

Drinking this smoothie won’t leave sand in your toes or sun kisses on your nose, but it will take your taste buds on a journey to the sun!

Enjoy this little kiss of sunshine!

xo

 

 

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Thai-riffic Lemongrass Soup

Posted in FOOD AND WINE, Mains, RECIPES, Soups and Salads, Uncategorized, Vegetarian and Vegan Dishes on February 17th, 2014 by Lisa – Be the first to comment

This soup has the complex flavours of a Thai or Vietnamese soup, but with more basic ingredients (don’t let the long list intimidate you – it couldn’t be easier to make – I promise!).  You won’t find lemongrass in the soup, nor is there any kaffir lime leaf (traditionally used in Thai broths), however, I was able to recreate these flavours with lime zest, mint and basil.  The combination is truly amazing!  And the smell is intoxicating!!asian soup

Thank you to Real Delicious and the recent “Soup Swap” for inspiring this last minute broth.  It has quickly become one of our favourites…. I hope you liked it as much as we did!

Ingredients:

  • 5 litres (or cartons) Chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 limes (zest and juice)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 green onions
  • 3 inch piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 4 sprigs basil
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 1 tbsp dried chili flakes (optional)
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp peanut oil
  • 1 tbsp Tamari (or good quality Soy Sauce)
  • 2 tsp Fish Sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 6 heads baby bok choy or 2 heads large (cut into lengthwise quarters)
  • 6 carrots, peeled and sliced on diagonal
  • 8-10 crimini mushrooms
  • Thai red chili (optional if you like heat)
  • Sea salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Rice noodles (optional)

To begin:

When working with long ingredient lists like this one, I like to get everything ready, washed, chopped measured and ready to go.  The French like to say, “mise en place”.  Sounds much sexier than “everything in it’s place”, doesn’t it?!  This is also an amazing way to make your weekly dinners sooooo much faster!!

So….. here we go.

Mise en place: (I just like to say that :o)

With this soup, there really isn’t much chopping.  The broth ingredients go in whole and are then strained out.

herbs

1.  Wash herbs, and green onions, pat dry (leave whole).  Reserve some cilantro to chop for garnish.

2.  smash garlic, remove skins

3.  wash and cut ginger into coins

4.  zest and slice limes for juicing

5.  Prep carrots, bok choy and mushrooms

Heat a LARGE soup pot over medium high heat, add oils and let warm for one minute.  Add chili flakes, washed herbs, green onions and garlic.  Using a wooden spatula, stir and press herbs into pot to release their oils and infuse the oil for about 2 minutes.  The smell will be amazing!

071Add broth.  Increase heat.  As soon as it starts to bubble, reduce to a simmer.  Add honey, lime juice and zest, ginger, honey, Tamari and fish sauce.

Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes to an hour.

That’s it!  You have now created an intoxicating, complex Asian broth!  But was it complicated??  Naaaaaaaa 😮

Now, all you have to do is strain and add your vegetables of choice (bok choy, carrots, mushrooms) and cook until heated through.  Serve over rice noodles with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.

The second time around I added shrimp at the last moment and left out the noodles.  Go ahead, get creative with it!

YUM!067060066

 

 

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Love Juice XO

Posted in Breakfast, DAILY INSPIRATIONS, FOOD AND WINE, HEALTH AND FITNESS, Uncategorized on February 14th, 2014 by Lisa – 2 Comments

What a lovely, healthful and beautiful way to wake up.  Wouldn’t you LOVE someone to hand you this beauty at some point today?

love juice

This has become my latest  favourite morning juice.  A little out there maybe, but I LOVE the combination of sharp citrus mixed with the earthiness of the beet.  The health benefits of this combination is outrageous!   Outside of all the good for your healthy body benefits, this also makes an amazing pre-workout cocktail.

Beet juice has been shown to aid in balancing oxygen and increasing stamina.

Grapefruit juice is amazing on it’s own as a pre-workout powerhouse to not only boost energy, but also offer additional benefits that can aid in athletic performance –  the antioxidant vitamin C, as we know can help boost your immune system to better fight germs. But!  Did you know it also contains smaller amounts of the antioxidants vitamins A and E?  Consuming foods and juices high in antioxidants can help counteract free radical damage caused by exercise.  Add to that , the B vitamins in grapefruit juice can help keep your energy levels high, while calcium and potassium, help to replenish electrolytes lost through sweat during a workout.  Can you say natural and super awesome sport drink?!!

The orange juice will offer benefits similar to the grapefruit.  With the additional bonus of potassium,  your recovery and lack of cramping and burning will be noticeable.

How bout them apples?  Or should I say beets and citrus?!

Enjoy!

LOVE Juice:love juice 2

1 red beet (washed, root removed)

2 pink grapefruit (rind removed)

1 orange (rind removed)

1/2 cup mineral water

Juice away my friends.

YUM!

NOTE – the addition of the strawberry on the glass does something magical to your senses…. you can smell the aroma and it’s sweetness as you drink.  It’s pretty intoxicating, I must say!

 

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