Tag Archives: Healthy

Jamaican Style Oven-baked Chicken

JA Oven Baked Chicken
Crispy yet moist chicken – BAKED!

I missed my extended Jamaican family so I pulled out an old-school Jamaican recipe by Enid Donaldson and made my own version (really, just different ratio of ingredients) of the oven-baked chicken.

Ingredients: Serves 2-4 (depends on how much you eat)
3-4 lb chicken thighs with or without skin (also can use breast, legs, etc.)
4 cloves of garlic
2 stalks green garlic (or 1 stalk scallion – white and green part)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 Tbs vinegar
3 tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
1 tsp poultry spice mix (or your choice of dried herbs)
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 Tbs butter or margarine – melted
½ cup ketchup
½ cup evaporated milk
1 cup panko (bread crumbs)

Guide:
Finely dice garlic cloves and green garlic (or scallion). Mix garlic and green garlic along with vinegar and thyme in a container or plastic bag large enough for the chicken and the vinegar mix to marinade. Combine chicken with the vinegar mix and marinade for 10 min.

Take the marinated chicken out into a separate container large enough for the chicken. Dump the vinegar mix and discard. Flavor the marinated chicken with salt, sugar, herbs (of your choice), and black pepper.  Mix ketchup, evaporated milk and melted butter and combine with marinated chicken. Marinade in this pink sauce for at least 30 min. (I marinated overnight)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Take the marinated chicken out and pat  dry-you don’t want it to be too wet or else the breadcrumbs will get too moist and lose that crispy texture. Lay the skin side of the chicken (or either side if skinless) into the panko and place the chicken breaded side up on a greased pan. Sprinkle or spray the top of the chicken with a little bit of oil.(I used pam spray)

Bake for 45-1hour. Serve warm or cold.

~~~

*Why I don’t bread both sides – When baking, the juice from the chicken oozes out and  gets absorbed by the panko and gets too gooey on the bottom.

*If you pack this for lunch, your cubicle neighbors will for sure smell the garlic!

Collard Greens con Yolky Eggs

First time working with collard greens!

I cooked it just like I do with kale and it came out yummy! The eggs somewhat neutralizes the bitterness.

 
Ingredients: Serves 2 as a side dish
1 bunch collard greens – rinsed well, leaves torn off of the hard center stems

2 Tbs olive oil

5-7 cloves or garlic – smashed and peeled

pinch of sea salt

pinch of black pepper

Squeeze of fresh lemon juice (1 wedge)

4 eggs

Guide: 

Wash leaves, rip the green leaves off the ribs and remove stems – basically just want the green leaves) – Tear them up into large pieces.

Heat a medium-large sized pan, add oil and garlic cloves, heat over medium high heat.  (make sure you don’t burn the garlic – will become semi bitter)

Add greens to the pan, sprinkle salt and pepper and stir occasionally until greens are wilted.  Overdoing it will lose the bright green color.

Squeeze  lemon juice, remove greens from the heat and set aside.

Cook eggs to your liking and mount it on the greens. (I prefer over easy)

~~~~~

Serve it with a buttered toast and coffee. It’s healthy and delicious!

Vegetarian Spinach Avocado Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Simple ingredients makes me happy. I see and taste exactly what I’m eating.

I’m not a vegetarian, nor is my boyfriend but I occasionally make things that are meat free just so our body gets a break.

This sandwich is so tasty and satisfying. You’d be surprised!


Ingredients: Serves 2

1 tsp olive oil

1 clove of garlic – sliced or diced

2 big handful of fresh spinach – washed

pinch of salt

pinch of pepper

2 slices of mozzarella cheese (or equivalent amount of grated or torn pieces of your favorite cheese)

4 slices of your favorite bread (we used or any other bread)

1 fresh avocado – peeled and sliced

2 tsp of mayo (or miracle whip, or Sriracha mayo mix)

 

Guide: 

Heat grill pan over medium heat

Drizzle olive oil and cook garlic until fragrant (do not brown)

Add ONE handful of spinach to the garlic, sprinkle salt and pepper, sautee for 1-2 min, set aside

Add cheese to the grill by itself and let it melt

Once the cheese starts to brown on the edges, add a slice of bread on top of the cheese & press lightly

Leave it alone for about 10 seconds, then press lightly and slide it side to side until cheese lifts onto the bread

(Found this method  by accident one day when I realized my burger needed cheese melted on it w/o drying out the burger!)

Once you feel the cheese lift onto the bread, flip it to add grill marks on the other side

Add the other 2 slices of bread to the grill and set aside once you see grill marks, spread 1 tsp of mayo on one side

Turn the fire off and assemble the sandwich.

Grilled cheese toast -> fresh spinach-> sauteed spinach-> avocado-> grilled bread slice with mayo

~~~~~

I enjoy a soup and sandwich combo so I paired it with my butternut squash soup. DELICIOUS!

Monkey Toast

Bananas are good for ya!


Ingredients: Serves

4 slices of bread – toasted (I used Hawaiian sweet bread)

2 Tbs cream cheese (or however little or a lot you want)

1 ripe banana – sliced

Agave nectar or honey to drizzle

Cinnamon to sprinkle

Guide: 

Spread cream cheese on all 4 toasts

Assemble the bananas on two toasts

Drizzle agave nectar or honey (however much you’d like)

Sprinkle cinnamon (however much you’d like)

Complete sandwich by placing remaining toasts on top

Cut in half and serve

~~~~~

Almost like having stuffed french toast for breakfast…no… not really, but it’s SWEET and YUMMY

Try changing it up:

Instead of cream cheese: Semi drained ricotta cheese or cottage cheese

Instead of bananas: Other fruits such as pineapples, sliced strawberries, blueberries (just make sure they’re not too wet)

Healthy Butternut Squash Soup

First of all, my apologies for not posting for almost a week!

I was on a business trip and finally got caught up with life.

Back to food talk!

I usually prefer my soup thick over thin ones so the butternut squash soup is a great healthy option.


Ingredients: Serves 8-10
2.5lb butternut squash – peeled and cubed (I used 1 large squash and 1 small squash) (save the seeds!)

1 lb yam – peeled and cubed (I used 2 medium yams)

1 large garlic clove – minced

3 quarts of water or low sodium chicken broth

2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme or (1 tsp of dried)

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 tsp dehydrated scotch bonnet pepper (Jamaican spice – HOT) or crushed chili pepper – optional of course

*1 cube of chicken bouillon if you’re not into soups tasting too simple (I promise you it’s not bland)

Guide: 

Roasting the veggies is one way of getting them cooked, but I usually don’t have much time after work so I cook(steam) them in a microwave oven

Place the cubed squash and yams in a microwaveable bowl with a splash of water, place saran wrap (or a plate) to cover the bowl, microwave on high for 6-8 minutes (until they are soft)

Dump the steamed squash and yams into a large pot

Add garlic

Add water or low sodium chicken broth and bring to a boil

Add salt and pepper to taste

Turn fire off and blend using an immersion blender (or carefully transfer to a blender and blend, then return to pot)

Once blending is completed, turn fire back on and simmer on low heat

Add in thyme and pepper (if using)

Taste it

If you prefer it to be less simple tasting, add a cube of chicken bouillon and stir until well mixed

Serve in a bowl with thyme sprinkled on top

~~~~~

If you like your soup thinner, just add more water or chicken broth

Extremely tasty served with garlic cheese toast

*toast sliced french bread, rub garlic on it, sprinkle grated cheese on it and lightly toast again. So easy yet so tasty!

~~~~~

As for the squash seeds, they’re tasty roasted

Wash them, place them on a roasting pan or baking sheet

Drizzle a small amount of olive oil, sprinkle some salt

Heat oven to 350F, roast for 15-20 minutes (keep an eye on them)

Healthy Refreshing Kale Salad

I’m in LOVE with kale and this is one of my favorite ways to eat it, as a SALAD!

I had kale salad for the first time at Whole Foods Market (which I don’t go too often since I spend way too much) and immediately fell in love with it. Went online, found out what they use in their dressing, added a couple of my favorite ingredients to make it more fun and now it’s something I make at least once a week if not more!


Ingredients: Serves 2 as a meal, 4 as a side salad
1 bunch kale

2 Tbs olive oil

2 Tbs fresh lemon juice (about ½ of a juicy lemon, or 1 whole not so juicy lemon)

2 tsp chili powder

½ tsp salt

¼ cup toasted sliced almonds or pine nuts (I toasted them in a toaster oven at 400 degrees for about 4-5 minutes/ warning: burns easily)

¼ cup dried cranberries

Guide: 

Wash the kale leaves, spin dry, rip the green leaves off the ribs and remove stems – basically just want the green leaves)

Grab them by a handful, squeeze them in your hand and finely slice them – the finer you slice them, the softer and fluffier the salad will be

To make the dressing, whisk olive oil, fresh lemon juice, chili powder, salt together

In a large bowl, combine kale, dried cranberries, toasted sliced almonds, and dressing

Toss well until kale is fully coated and serve!

~~~~~

I personally prefer almonds over pine nuts for this salad since it adds more CRUNCH to it, but I didn’t have any left, so opted for pine nuts!

Key to this salad is to cut the leaves FINE – you can also chop or dice but the texture will be much more coarse

Since kale doesn’t wilt like most lettuce, you can make this the night before, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and it’ll still taste great the next day

Healthy yet DELICIOUS kalewich!

This is by far one of my favorite weekday pick-me-up breakfasts!

(First saw this recipe in Power Foods cookbook couple years ago and been addicted since!)

Ingredients: Serves 2

1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

2-3 cloves of garlic – smashed w/ the side of your knife

1 bunch of kale – washed, leaves torn into bite sized pieces, stems removed

Splash of water to steam cook the kale (I eyeball it but about 4-5 Tbs)

Fresh juice of 1/2 lemon

Salt and ground pepper to flavor

1-2 eggs

2 slices of your favorite bread toasted (open face sandwich)

1-3 Tbs of Ricotta Cheese to spread all over the toast (optional)

Guide:

Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat

Cook the garlic for a min or so (don’t let it burn!)

Add kale and water & cover immediately (the popping sizzling sound is so fun!)

Stir occasionally until the kale looks bright green and tender, about 8 min (you can always try a piece)

Squeeze the lemon juice all over the kale and stir

Add salt and pepper to taste

Spread toast with ricotta cheese (or not)

Top toasts with kale mixture

Cook the eggs one at a time (however you like it) & place it on top of the kale

*I usually like my eggs runny but for this sandwich, I cook it all the way so I can take it to work and eat it at my desk without making a mess!

~~~~~

Admire how delicious it looks, inhale the aroma, and take a big bite!