Unbelievable Oatmeal Pancakes

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There’s nothing better than pancakes on a Sunday morning and somehow they taste even better when they’re HEALTHY! I stumbled on this recipe several years ago from a creative blogger turned author Brokeass Gourmet.  They are healthy but they are absolutely fluffy, tangy, with a touch of sweetness.

Ingredients:

  • 1 C. cottage cheese 
  • 2 eggs or 4 egg whites 
  • 2 tsp honey 
  • 1 cup raw rolled quick cook oats (do not use steel cut)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • vegetable oil or cooking spray 
Directions:

Combine cottage cheese, eggs, vanilla, and honey together in a blender or food processor and puree until creamy. Add the oats, cinnamon, baking powder and salt and puree until mixture is smooth and resembles slightly grainy pancake batter.

Heat a very light coating of oil or spray in a nonstick frying pan or griddle over medium-high heat and cook 1/4 cup of the batter until golden brown on one side (about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes). Flip, using a spatula and cook until the other side is golden brown. Repeat until all pancakes are cooked.

Serve, warm, with fruit, honey, a touch of butter, preserves and/or syrup.

Makes about 5 pancakes (serves 2-3).

Adapted from Brokeass Gourmet

Roasted Chicken with Pan Gravy

How many ways are there to make CHICKEN? Probably a million, but nothing beats a perfectly roasted chicken especially on a Sunday afternoon. I’ve been told I’m addicted to cooking roasted meats on a Sunday and I think my family is right. There’s just something about slow cooking a meal while watching my favorite sports team. Whether a roast, stew, or chicken I’m never disappointed.

This recipe is sure to never disappoint and if you follow the Chef Secrets-Chicken listed your chicken will be perfect every time!

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Ingredients:

  • • 1 fresh whole chicken
  • • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • • 1 whole head of garlic, halved
  • • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Pan Gravy:

  • Pan drippings
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1/4 c white wine
  • 1/2 c chicken stock
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold

Directions:

  1. Bring the chicken to room temperature by removing it from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to cooking.
  2. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Season the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper and fill the cavity with the onion, garlic, lemon and fresh herbs.
  4. Tie the legs and tuck the wings on the bird and completely dry the outside of the bird.
  5. Rub the olive oil on the skin of the bird and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Place the bird on its breast and roast on a cooking rack for 15 minutes on high heat.
  7. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and rotate the chicken on the right side, basting and cooking for 15-20 minutes.
  8. Rotate the chicken to the left side, baste and continue cooking.
  9. Rotate the chicken to its back, baste, and cook until the total cooking time reaches 1 hour.
  10. Roast until the internal temperature reaches 165 between the thigh and breast.
  11. Remove the chicken from the oven to rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.

Pan Gravy Instructions:

  1. Place the roasting pan on a burner on high heat.
  2. Stir in the white wine scrapping all the drippings from the tray.
  3. Add the chicken stock and simmer for 5-7 minutes to reduce the sauce.
  4. Add the rosemary to the sauce and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Reduce the heat and stir in the cold butter to thicken the sauce and serve.

Chef Secrets-Chicken

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Who couldn’t use a little extra help in the kitchen? There are always easier ways to make that special dish more special or save time in the kitchen and thus Chef Secrets was created! This is a new series on my blog to share great tips and tricks of the trade and hopefully you’ll share some of yours as well!

The beginning of the year is usually a time where most people are extremely health conscience, but clean healthy eating does not mean NO FLAVOR. Here are today’s Chef Secrets to creating delicious chicken every time!

  • When choosing poultry, make sure there is no liquid residue either wet or frozen on the bottom of the package. Excess liquid means the meat has been frozen and the cells have released a percentage of the liquid. When cooked the bones will be darker than a fresher bird.
  • Apply pressure to the breastbone of the poultry before buying. If they bone isn’t pliable, the chicken is older and will not be as tender when cooked.
  • Did you know you CAN freeze a chicken IF the chicken has been defrosted in the refrigerator and has not remained the refrigerator more than 2 days.
  • FREE-RANGE chickens are more flavorful than closed cooped chickens. Free-range chickens are ale to move around the yard therefore, developing more flavor. If possible, purchase young free-range chickens for maximum flavor and tenderness.
  • To create a flavorful roasted bird every time, roast your chicken on the SIDE for 15 minutes, basting and alternating sides until the final 15-20 minutes of cooking. Roast the bird on it’s back for the final 20 minutes. Your chicken breast will be moist and flavorful!

What’s the diff? Just some quick notes to help you understand the difference between chickens!

  • Broilers/Fryers: 7 week old birds that weight from 3-4 pounds.
  • Roasting Chickens: Hens weighing between 5-8 pounds and have more fat than broilers
  • Stewing hens: 1-year-old birds weighing 4-8 pounds. Retired laying old hens that need to be slow roasted, but full of flavor.
  • Capons: 10 week old castrated roosters weighing 8-10 pounds.
  • Rock Cornish Game Hens: 4-6 week old chickens weighing 1-2 pounds are a hybrid between Cornish and Rock chickens.

Corn Caprese Salad

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Doesn’t this salad SCREAM fresh, vibrant, and delicious? Ok so just a quick confession… I LOVE CORN! Cob, creamed, steamed, in pancakes (you’ll get that recipe later), in salads, you name it, I LOVE IT..whew ok I’m better.

I ran across this recipe 5 years ago by Cuisine magazine, and after a couple of tweaks, it has been my FAVORITE HANDS DOWN. I decided to share this recipe during a “‘Girls Night In” and after a couple of bottles  glasses of wine, the ladies not only cleaned their plates, but I believe they may have been licking of the plates as well. Take a few minutes to create this easy breezy masterpiece, I’m sure it will be your favorite too. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 c. fresh or frozen corn (fresh is always best)

2 c. grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

1 c. fresh mozzarella, chopped (you may also use shredded if you’re in a pinch)

2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped

2 Tbsp white wine vinegar

1 Tbsp olive oil

pinch of sugar (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Blanch the corn in boiling water for 3 minutes drain and cool.  Combine tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and corn in a large mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl, whisk vinegar, olive oil, sugar then toss with the corn mixture. Salt and pepper to taste and serve.

201 calories per cup

Spicy and Sweet Potato Salad

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Now that the holiday festivities are over, I am more than ready to get back to healthier eating. This contribution to “Healthy Sides” week starts off with the yummy goodness of sweet potatoes! It’s more than the usual roasted yams or whipped sweet potato, it’s a unique twist on a familiar veggie that will leave a big impression.  The natural sweetness of the potatoes, the crunch of the pecans, combined with the added kick of the crushed red peppers creates an unexpected “party” at first bite! Taste and enjoy this delightful recipe that boasts a mere 207 calories and 25 grams of carbs per 1/2 cup serving.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes (5 cups)

1 Tbsp sugar

1 Tbsp canola oil

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

3 strips thick-sliced bacon, chopped

1/2 c. red onions, slivered

1/4 c. honey

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/4 c. pecans, toasted

2 Tbsp fresh lime juice

2 Tbsp scallions, thinly sliced

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. While the oven is heating, toss the chopped sweet potatoes with the sugar, oil, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes and roast for 30 minutes.  Saute the bacon until crisp and remove the fat, but leave the chopped bacon in the pan.  Add the  silvered red onions and saute for 3 minutes.  Add the honey and vinegar until thoroughly combined.  Place the roasted sweet potatoes in a bowl and combine the bacon mixture, pecans, lime juice, and scallions.  Salt and pepper to taste!

adapted from Cuisine at Home