Stay away from the chocolate Easter bunnies and eggs. Unless they are small, and good quality dark chocolate. Then splurge on a couple with a glass of red wine to maximize the antioxidants! Enjoy!
Nothing used to intimidate me more in the kitchen than a whole chicken. Unless it was a whole turkey. I just didn’t know what to do with a raw bird. And I certainly didn’t know how to roast chicken or carve it. But I live in the Netherlands and decent pre-cooked roast chicken is hard to come by. Luckily, I also have an exemplary English mother-in-law to learn from. She produces fantastic ‘Traditional Roast Lunches’. So, I bit the bullet and took the plunge into cooking Roast Chicken. What a revelation it was! Slap that bird in the oven and it takes care of itself.
Here’s Roast Chicken the easy way
- Pre-heat your oven to 450˚F/230˚C.
- Spray a roasting rack with Pam or lightly grease it to make clean-up easier.
- As far as clean-up goes, I line the roasting pan with foil to catch the drippings.
- Put your chicken on the rack.
- Pop it in the oven.
- Turn the oven down immediately to 350˚F/180˚C.
- For birds up to 6 pounds/3 kilos cook for 20-25 minutes per pound.
Optional Roast Chicken extras
- Squeeze and stuff some lemon halves or garlic cloves in the cavity. Or add some sprigs of rosemary, thyme or other fresh herbs.
- Some people like to salt the skin before they roast the bird. I don’t because I’m trying to limit added sodium.
- Some people swear by basting every 10 minutes or so after the first half hour. I’m lazy, I hate to clean my baster and I’ve never noticed it making much difference to the taste anyway.
- If you like to use a thermometer, insert it into the meaty part of the thigh, but make sure it’s not up against the bone.
When is Roast Chicken roasted?
- When you prick the skin of the thigh and the juices run clear.
- When the temperature reaches 180˚-185˚F/82˚-85˚ on your thermometer.
Here’s what to do when your Roast Chicken is in the oven
- Relax, read a book, go for a walk, call your Mom or Sister.
- About 30 minutes before the chicken is ready, go make some of EatingWell’s yummy Crushed Red Potatoes with Buttermilk. A serving of these spuds only has about 88 calories!
- We like our Roast Chicken with roast veggies like butternut squash, carrots, Brussels sprouts and onions. But generally speaking, they need to cook at a much higher temperature than the chicken. So if you’re going down this route, you may want to roast the veg to almost-but-not-quite done while your oven is very hot (before you put the chicken it). Then pop the veg into the microwave to heat them up just before serving.
- Can’t be bothered to fiddle around with roast veggie timing? Fine. Just steam some veggies. Green beans and carrots go great with Roast Chicken.
How to carve Roast Chicken
- Cut the drumsticks, thighs and wings off.
- Slice from the breastbone down and remove the white meat.
- It’s very easy when you use a sharp knife.
What else do you need to do?
- Well around these parts, the chickens are tiny – usually only about 2.5 pounds/1.2 kilos – so I always roast 2 or 3. That way we have plenty of leftovers.
- After your meal, remove any extra chicken from the carcasses and save the pretty pieces for a proper meal.
- After removing the bones and skin, pre-package the rest into freezer bags in the amounts you need for your favorite produce-a-meal-fast recipes. We like:
- Curried chicken salad pitas made with light mayo and fat-free plain yogurt, pears, celery, dried cranberries, some slivered almonds and alfalfa sprouts.
- Chicken tacos and fajitas.
- When we’re really in a hurry, nothing beats a kid pleaser BBQ Chicken Sandwich: mix 2 cups of shredded chicken with 1 cup of grated carrots and ½ cup of your favorite bottled barbecue sauce. Warming this chicken mix is optional, but we pop it into the microwave to heat it a bit and soften the carrots. Serve on a crusty bun with a fresh green salad. Fast as lightening and tasty, too!
What’s your favorite chicken recipe?
There’s nothing like a hot cup of coffee!
For a long time it was made out to be a baddie, but now science is proving coffee to be our friend. I usually skip the icky-sticky flavor add-ons from the big-name barista-run joints. When I’m travelling I go for café au lait, caffè latte, cappuccino, café con leche, koffie verkeerd, milchkaffee. You get the picture. My cup of perk-me-up comes with milk. On a normal day at home or the office, I use coffee to help me meet my protein quota by adding one of my favorite protein sources: skimmed milk. Half a mug of the milk blasted to piping hot in the microwave and topped off with a healthy splash of dark roast and I’m good to go. If the wonderful taste isn’t enough reason to drink it, here are 11 more reasons to have a cuppa Joe:
Americans get more antioxidants from coffee than anything else.
Just smelling coffee could make you less stressed.
Coffee could lessen the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Coffee is great for your liver (especially if you drink alcohol).
Coffee can make you feel happier.
Coffee consumption has been linked to lower levels of suicide.
Coffee could reduce your chances of getting skin cancer (if you’re a woman).
Coffee can make you a better athlete.
Coffee could reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Drinking coffee could help keep your brain healthier for longer.
Coffee may make you more intelligent.
Moral of the story? Coffee is a superfood. Keep drinking it!!!
For all the steamy details and science behind the claims, check out the full story in this great article at the Huffington Post
Full of exotic aroma’s and flavor, these fiber-filled Chickpea Falafel Burgers are a favorite vegetarian alternative at our house. They’re packed with all the wonderful health benefits of chickpeas and rich, aromatic spices. They go together quickly and easily – and while you’re at it, you can make extras to freeze. Adapted from something we saw years ago on the BBC.
4 servings and take around 30 minutes. You’ll need:
For the sandwich
- 15-ounce can chick peas, rinsed and drained
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- ½ cup parsley (flat leaf, handful)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon harissa paste or chili sauce, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons chickpea flour, or regular all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 small red onion, roughly chopped
- 4 whole wheat pita breads
For the sauce
- ½ cup nonfat plain yogurt or nonfat Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1 garlic clove (minced)
To prepare sauce:
Combine yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, parsley and salt in medium bowl.
To prepare burgers:
Pat chickpeas dry with paper towel. Tip into a food processor along with the onion, garlic, parsley, spices, flour and a little salt. Blend until fairly smooth, and then shape into four patties with your hands. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan, add the burgers, then quickly fry for 3 minutes on each side until lightly golden. In the meantime, toast your pitas. Serve the Chickpea Falafel Burgers with toasted pitas, garnish and perhaps a green salad.
According to our calculations, each serving has about 400 calories and almost 8 grams of fiber.
So today is Melinda’s birthday and she’s thousands of miles away. Didn’t stop me from wishing her the very best. And telling her to EAT CAKE! And then I didn’t know whether to feel guilty or not about telling someone I love to indulge in a tradition that has absolutely no redeeming nutritional value. But what My Sister Said is this:
‘Planned forays into the land of sweets are allowed. We have to eat what we love and love what we eat – in moderation.’
And after all, it is a day for celebration.
Here’s a recipe we love for special occasions. It’s not a diet birthday cake recipe. It has sugar and cream, but it also has delicious fiber-rich fruits. And if you budget for the calories in this heavenly dessert, all will be fine: Pavlova to Die For
According to our calculations, a serving of Pavlova has about 180 calories, 2.4 grams of fat, 38 grams of carbohydrates and 2.4 grams of fiber. Not bad for something so divine!