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Apple and Onion baked Chicken

I have been asked to help a group that are on a weight loss journey and needed help with meal planning. I am more than happy to help because even as a personal chef, I struggle personal with my weight and strive everyday to keep it in check. So I know the hardship, thus here is your first meal idea.

Apple and onion baked chicken with herbed tricolor quinoa and sautéed sugar snap peas.

I choose to bake this chicken instead of cooking it nor the stove, because a lot if people are not comfortable with stove top cooking meat, this way you prep it, stick it in the oven and let it do it’s thing.

So here is what you will need for the chicken.

-your preferred cut of chicken, mine is a quarter
- a small onion, diced
-the apple of your choose, mine is a golden delicious, diced
-seasoning salt and black pepper
-3 cloves of garlic diced roughly
-allspice
-olive oil
- cup of water

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For the Quinoa you can use regular or tri-color, you need , kosher salt, dried parsley, dried basil, dried diced onions, and touch chopped garlic

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For the sugar snap peas, just a handful of them, roughly chopped garlic, olive oil and a little kosher salt.

The first thing you want to do is put you quinoa on because it will take about as long as you chicken. The package say 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups of water; let it come to a rolling boil then lower the temp and let it simmer until done. Here are a few tips to cooking an making quinoa taste great.

Follow the instruction above, but before you boil it, add the garlic, 1/2 teaspoon (tsp) of kosher salt, basil, parsley and onion and a teaspoon of olive oil.

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Let boil then simmer until water is consumed, with top on.

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Then add another 2 cups of water and let it do the same and you should end up with quinoa that looks like spirals are coming from them.

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Now that you have that started, in a pan place you chicken and rub both sides with a little olive oil.

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FYI: Seasoning is not a bad thing it you use it while you are cooking. The issue happens when you start adding salt when the food is on you plate. Season both side of the chicken with a little seasoning salt and black pepper.

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Dice your apple with skin on and your onion and your garlic and add it to the pan with the chicken along with two cups of water. And sprinkle allspice on top of everything, the bake in a 380 degree oven for about 45 minute or so. (Each oven is different)

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When it is finished mix the apple in the pan and let it rest for about 5 minutes.

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While the chicken is resting, it is time to make the peas which takes about 3 minutes.

In a pan add 3 tsp of olive oil and heat.

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Add the garlic and peas and a dash of kosher salt and black pepper and let it sauté until the garlic start to brown

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Add a little red wine vinegar to the pan to give you peas a little bite. Cook for another 30 seconds the remove from heat

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And now everything is done, plate your food and remember your portions. A portion is about the size of your fist. Although an extra helping of veggies instead of a starch is always welcome.

Until next time, Cook, Eat and Enjoy!

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So it was Friday and I needed to clean my fridge out before I went grocery shopping on Saturday; getting out the old, to get the new. Well it is a waste to throw away partially bad veggies or day or two old rice. Why not throw it all in a stir-fry, as a one pot. Here is my quick and simple stir-fry that I made, using brown rice. Now remember you can add or take way any of the following. I also used by wok, but you can always use a regular frying pan.

For this dish I used brown rice, and I made it fresh because I didn’t have any left in the fridge. So I cooked a pot of fresh brown rice and then ran cold water over it, to stop the cooking process so it would not get mushy.

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For this particular dish, I used hog jowls that I diced up. Hog jowls is like thick bacon. I used it for flavoring of my rice and added texture. If you can’t get that you can use bacon or cut it out entirely, it is up to you. So dice it up and render it out in the wok, then drain on paper towel. Don’t throw away the grease from the meat, because we will be using some, so pour it in a tin or a coffee mug and set aside.

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While your hog jowls or bacon is rendering:
dice 1 yellow or white onion; 1 green bell pepper diced; 6-9 cloves of garlic, a handful of fresh curly leaf parsley roughly chopped; 8 or 9 Brussels sprouts cut in half and then quartered or sixth depending on the size; beat 4 jumbo eggs and scramble fluffy in a separate pan, then remove them from the pan and set aside.

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Now time for the fun part. Pour about 2 to 3 tablespoons of the grease from your meat in to the wok, and drop the brussels sprouts in and wok cook them for about 4 minutes, seasoning with kosher salt.

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Then add in the onions, garlic and green bell pepper, salt and black pepper to taste, and cook for another 3 minutes. If the oil is being soaked up, add a bit more of the meat oil (or substitute for olive or grape seed oil).

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Now add in the parsley and cook for 1 minute.

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*Be sure that you keep your food moving with a spoon if you are cooking in a wok, otherwise your food will not cook even and it will burn. Additionally cook on high or med high heat.

Now that all the veggies are cook, add the rice, scrambled egg and the rendered out meat, back to the wok as well as about 4 or 5 tablespoons of sesame oil. MIx well.

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Now if you have a piece of chicken or steak or pork chop, etc, you can chop it up and add it to the dish at the end; why let it go to waste.
I myself had one rib leftover from Memorial Day, so the accompanied my stir-fry. I also added no soy sauce to the stir-fry while I was cooking it, because I didn’t want it to be to salty, so feel free to add it to taste as you like. I preferred sweet chili sauce on my rice, but that is me.

Until next time my food lover and explores: Cook, Eat and Enjoy

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Healthier Ramen

Hi my Cooks, foodies and general food lovers. First let me start with a late Happy New Year. Here is to a prosperous New Year for you all.

Now for those who haven’t been watching the news, it is snowing here in the Portland, Oregon metro area. When I say snow, I mean a lot of snow for us. It has been snowing for 3 days now. Here are pics of my driveway yesterday.

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It is like a winter wonderland. Now to the food. Because it is snowy and cold, this would be a day for soup, but that is a little time consuming. Therefore, I opted for ramen. The downside about ramen is that it has a high sodium content from the seasoning pack. Well I found this Lotus Food rice ramen at Whole Foods grocery store that has half the sodium in the miso seasoning pack; if you want to cut that again, either leave the seasoning packed out completely or use half.

For this particular dish, I used the Forbidden Rice Ramen, which is purple. If you ever had forbidden rice before, then you are gonna like this, if you haven’t, the flavor of the ramen is not strong so I think you newbies will like it too. In addition to the ramen, 1 diced Roma tomato, 2 stalks of green onion chopped and about 8 crimini mushrooms quartered.

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Cook the ramen as directed

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In a small frying pan added a little grapeseed or olive oil to the pan and sauté the green onion, mushroom and tomato.

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If you like garlic, dice 2 cloves and add to the veggie

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Season with a little kosher salt and black pepper, then sauté until tender.

Either add half or the whole seasoning pack to a bowl and I like to add a little spice so I added some Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce to mine.

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Add the noddles to the top.

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Then add the veggies around the edge.

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Add the liquid.

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And there you have it.

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Mix and there you have a Quick and healthy Ramen on a cold snowy day.

Until next time: Cook, Eat and Enjoy!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Well hello to all my food lovers, it has been awhile. Yes I am still around, but I had to focus on finishing school which I did. I graduated in September Magna Cum Laude in the Service Management Bachelors Program at Ashford University (YEPPIE). Now to find gainful employment…

But of course I have been cooking and photographing some of my exploits, so in the coming weeks I will be sharing those.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving; my family and I just finished eating and I am in desperate need of a well deserved nap. But before that,  I just wanted to touch base with my followers and let you know that I am still here and cooking.

So quickly, This Thanksgiving,  I kept it traditional: giblet stuffing and gravy, turkey, macaroni and cheese, candied sweet potatoes, greens, and a extremely small serving of chitterlings. I bought my pies this year, apple and sweet potato and I made a small chocolate cake for the hubby. I did most of my cooking yesterday, but made my mac and cheese, sweet potatoes and turkey today. If you have questions on how I prepared something in one of the pictures, leave it in the comments. I am full and now I must nap. Until next time, Cook, Eat and Enjoy!

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Seafood Paella

Back in April,  a friend and I went to Seattle for my birthday and had the most amazing seafood paella at the Seattle restaurant Tango.

This inspired me to try and make it at home, however I did not have a paella pan so I used my biggest cast iron pan. So here is what else I used.

-1 pound of shrimp shelled and deveined
-1/2 sea Scallops
-1 pound of mussel meat
-1 pound of baby manilla clams
-Squid sliced into rings

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1 cartoon of chicken broth
1 jar of clam juice
1 pinch of saffron
Olive oil
Diced green bell pepper
1 package of sliced crimini mushrooms
2 medium white onion diced or 1 large
1 red onion diced
1 24oz can of diced tomatoes
Fresh parsley chopped
1 tablespoon of diced garlic
Matiz Valencencia Paella Rice 4 cups
Kosher Salt

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Okay, it seems like a lot, but it will come together.  Preheat oven to 425 so it will be good and hot when its time.

First, in a pot, combine clam juice, chicken stock and saffron and let boil then turn off.

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Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil to the cast iron pan and heat on medium high.

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Add white and red onions and cook until they start to look translucent.

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Add bell pepper and cook for 4 Minutes

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add garlic

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add mushrooms

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add tomatoes

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let Simmer for 5 minutes and season with salt and pepper

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add parsely and rice

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Season to taste and mix well

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Add in liquid and if it won’t all fit in at once, let some absorb then add more.

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once the rice is almost done add in seafood, strategicly.

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Top with foil and put in the oven and bake until seafood is done.

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unwrap and sprinkle with paprika.

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You can place the whole pan on the table and serve family style or plate individual bowls.

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Until next time cook, eat, and enjoy!

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