My, my, my…it has been a minute! Hello, friends! I’ve missed you. I really haven’t had all that much to report. No yummy cooking, and definitely no healthy yummy cooking to speak of.
But friends, that’s all about to change.
I’ve been watching this amazing show on Netflix ~ Jamie Oliver’s “Quick and Easy” or “Five Ingredients” ~ or something like that. I can’t remember the name. But you’ve got to check it out! Just look up Jamie Oliver and you’ll find it.
He doesn’t focus on healthy ~ he just focuses on the fact that you WILL be healthier if you cook at home more, and you WILL cook more if you have meals that are quick and easy, complete with only a five-ingredient grocery list. TOTALLY BRILLIANT.
And, he’s adorable. He’s like that little ADHD kid you couldn’t get away from on the playground, and then you realized he was, in fact, the most fun kid on the playground.
I could name names. But I won’t.
(You know who you are, Michael Gilpin)
Anywho ~ I ordered the cookbook, and last night, I made my first meal from the book.
I mean, I totally made up my own meal by smooshing three recipes together and making several changes, but that’s how I roll.
I quickly discovered how easy it would be if you wanted to make these dishes pretty darn clean.
Here’s what I did:
My chicken tenders are made with Ezekiel flax bread, whirled up in the food processor with some caraway seeds and garlic. It’s such a brilliant idea! Thank you Jamie Oliver! His version is fried, but it is really good baked too! I’ll share the technique below.
Pounding those chicken breasts were really difficult. Maybe leave them out on the counter for about 15 minutes before attempting to flatten them?
The pasta is made with mushrooms, apple and red onion. How incredible would this be with wild rice? Or Israeli couscous? Or just vegetables ~ potatoes, mushrooms, onion and carrots?
I added the broccoli and really got it the way I like broccoli for the very first time. Stay tuned for that recipe as well.
I don’t think there’s any surprise with this one. It’s straight-forward, and satisfying comfort food at its best.
Okay, here’s the low-down:
- Cut three slices of a hearty bread into cubes. Find a bread with lots of grains, or pumpernickel rye. I think you can use anything, so use gluten-free bread if you need to. Drop them into a food processor with a couple cloves of garlic (or garlic powder), and some caraway seeds if you’re obsessed like I am.
- Blitz away, then pound the bread crumbs into your already-pounded chicken breasts. I used two chicken breasts cut into tenders and fed three people, with leftovers.
- This is where you could fry these bad boys up in some coconut oil, but you could also bake them at 375, until done. Use parchment paper and flip them over when brown. (If you get the chicken brown on both sides, chances are, the inside will also be done. But you can always test one. Don’t forget ~ you’re not cooking dinner for the governor. Just cut one open and test it ~ no biggie.)
- After baking or frying, squeeze fresh lemon over top, and add a little salt and pepper if you’d like.
VEGETABLES AND SAUCE:
- Before you start on the veggies and sauce, you might want to make your pasta or rice. That way you’re ready to go when the sauce is done.
- In a large frying pan, add one thinly-sliced red onion, a sliced apple, and a box of sliced portobello mushrooms. Add more veggies if you’d like! Artichoke hearts would be sensational. You can use butter to brown these vegetables, or you can just use a little veggie broth if you’re trying to cut down on your fat/oil/etc. Just add a little more broth as you go, to keep the veggies from sticking. It’s that easy.
- You can add white wine to deglaze the pan at this point. Or leave it out. See how you can make these dishes super clean?
- Once things start really getting brown and caramelized, add some salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Add fresh thyme, or whatever strikes your fancy.
- Add 2-3 tablespoons stone-ground mustard and stir. For more juice or gravy, add more veggie broth. I probably ended up using 2 cups by the end of it all, and 1/2 cup white wine.
- At the very end, drop some cooked pasta in and toss with the gravy. Or wild rice, or potatoes. Just something that’s already cooked and ready to go.
- Add fresh chopped parsley if you’d got it!
- It seems too simple to even put on here, but it was so good! Add small broccoli florets to a microwave-safe bowl, and pour a little veggie broth in the bottom of the bowl (1/8 cup).
- Add seasoning salt or regular kosher salt, black pepper, and the juice of half a lemon.
- Cover with cling wrap and microwave for 3 minutes.
- Be careful removing that cling wrap! ~ finish with the juice of the other half of that lemon. So fresh and crisp-tender and easy and perfect!
One more picture for the road, y’all!