Roast Chicken with Cumin, Honey and Orange

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This is another Cooking Light cookbook recipe that sounded like a really interesting combination of flavors that I knew I wanted to try right away. But as I was looking for a copy of the recipe online to share with you (found here), I saw that this “recipe” was all over – blogs, other recipe sites, cited on the New York Times, etc. So I have no idea where the original recipe came from but the flavors are incredibly complimentary.

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Roast Chicken with Cumin, Honey and Orange

Ingredients
  • 1 (3-pound) roasting chicken
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 orange, rind grated, juiced (keep halves)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
Preparation

Preheat oven to 400°.

Remove and discard giblets from the chicken. Rinse chicken with cold water; pat dry. Trim excess fat. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat.

Combine honey, orange rind, and spices. Rub honey mixture under loosened skin and over breast and drumsticks. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under chicken. Stuff orange halves in chicken cavity.

Place chicken, breast side up, on a foil-lined broiler pan. Pierce skin several times with a meat fork. Drizzle with orange juice. Insert meat thermometer into meaty part of thigh, making sure not to touch bone. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes; cover loosely with foil. Bake an additional 40 minutes or until the thermometer registers 180°. Let stand for 10 minutes.

PS – Wishing everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving! May your bellies be filled with good food and laughter!

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Lemony Spanish Pepper Chicken

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Even though I usually find my recipes online, there is something to be said for flipping through a cookbook for inspiration. I’ve been starting to make my way through the Cooking Light cookbook my husband bought for me back in May and this recipe was a total winner. (And can be found here.)

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This sauce was a nice twist on lemon pepper chicken, a favorite in our house. It had a little zip to it! The really nice thing about it was that it was easy enough for a weeknight dinner or nice enough to pull off for company.

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Lemony Spanish Pepper Chicken

Ingredients
  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, filleted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 medium lemon, rind grated and juiced
  • 1/2 cup  chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
Preparation

Sprinkle the chicken with oregano, salt, black pepper, and paprika. Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add chicken, and saute 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Turn chicken over; top with bell peppers, rind, and juice. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from pan. Combine broth and ketchup in a small bowl. Stir ketchup mixture into pan; bring to a boil. Serve pepper mixture with chicken.

Pan-seared Rockfish with Basil Sauce

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This Cooking Light basil sauce recipe is basically a lower fat pesto for someone that doesn’t want to dirty up their food processor. Aka – a lazy but healthy cook. Aka – me. It was quick and simple and you can never go wrong with fresh basil. (Really, I’m challenging you to.)

The original recipe calls for cod, but I used rockfish because it’s like half the price and I’m poor cheap. I also poured the drippings from the fish into the sauce and gave it a stir before pouring it, very liberally, on the fish. In my opinion, it could have used a hair more pepper but other than that, I loved it.

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Spaghetti Squash with Edamame-Cilantro Pesto

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I almost can’t believe it but I’ve never had spaghetti squash before.

Now, most “normal” people would probably be in the same boat, “What the heck is spaghetti squash?” But I’m not normal. I’m a strange breed of girl that reads a lot of blogs, a lot of healthy living blogs, and generally tries any fad that frequents them. But I was hesitant on spaghetti squash. It’s taken me over a year to muster up the courage. And I don’t know what it was that I was so hesitant about. Maybe because I’m picky about squash? Or maybe because I’d really just rather have a big bowl of real spaghetti? Yeah, that’s probably it.

So why now? Well, it’s that whole boredom-in-the-kitchen thing. I have to try something new every now and thing to keep things interesting. So this was my answer. This week.

The recipe came out of my Cooking Light recipe book and can be found here. And besides the 25 minutes I spent shelling edamame, it was a really simple recipe. The flavors were interesting, and though squash is in season right now, the cilantro pesto made it feel more summery. And damn was it filling! (But don’t ever let anyone tell you that spaghetti squash is a good pasta replacement. It isn’t. The texture is similar to angel hair but that is where the similarities end. Embrace this, and you will be fine.)

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Jamaica Me Crazy!

Morning Snack

I’ll give you 3 guesses but you only need one!

  

Mixed Berry Yogurt with a peach and two kiwi.

Are you surprised?

I did manage to hold off until 10 am before eating this. A small victory.

Lunch

A tad bizarre and just okay, I had leftover BBQ Mustard Chicken from last night and brown “fried” rice from the night before.

 

And I proceeded to mix it all up.

 

And devour it. It’s kinda embarrassing how fast I ate it. For some reason, at the stroke of noon, I was famished. I think it was a mental thing. Maybe not.

For my actual lunch break, I went out to read in my car Jodus’ car that is equipped with a sunroof in the sun. I then proceeded to pass the *%!# out for the next half hour, and woke up to my phone vibrating from missed calls. I wiped the drool off my mouth and then headed back into the wonderfully air-conditioned office building. Boy, did that wake me up. Not sure what the dealio is with the cat naps at lunch. I feel like I’m getting enough sleep… 7 hours? Maybe not.

When I got back to my desk, I started eating my afternoon snack. 😦

 

Mushrooms with Sabra Hummus

It was delightful. As mushrooms and hummus always are. But now I must come up with something else for an afternoon snack. Hmmmm….

Afternoon Snack

I raided my stash at work which is actually getting scarily low… mostly due to my generosity of feeding the ill-prepared women in the office that complain they are hungry and have nothing to eat. I have a weakness for charity cases I suppose. At least when it comes to food.

After thrashing around the bottom of my drawer, I remorsefully decided on a Forze GPS chocolate peanut butter bar. This was given to me by a coworker that worked at the Seattle Rock’n’Roll Marathon a couple weeks ago and got a lot of free stuff from vendors.

So why the wariness? On the bar, it says “Designed to activate the body’s natural appetite control signal.” Well all right then. Please note, I am not eating this to appease my appetite control, though I need it today, I am eating it for lack of options and I can not turn down free food to save my life. It’s a complex.

So here’s the stats:

Forze Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 bar (40g)

Amount Per Serving

Calories 160Calories from Fat 50  
 

Forze GPS

Total Fat 6g

 

Saturated Fat 1.5g

 

Trans Fat 0g

 

Cholesterol 0mg

 

Sodium 105 mg

 

Total Carbohydrate 21g

 

Dietary Fiber 4g

 

Sugars 8g

 

Protein 8g

 

Vitamin A 10%
Vitamin C 10%

 

Vitamin E 10%
Thiamin 10%

 

Riboflavin 10%
Niacin 10%

 

Folic Acid 10%
Calcium 40%
 
 
Seems okay enough, right?
Ingredients:

 

GRANOLA (ROLLED OATS, SUCROSE, CANOLA OIL, HONEY, MOLASSES), SOY NUGGETS (SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, TAPIOCA STARCH, COCA POWDER PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, CALCIUM CARBONATE), PEANUTS, RICE SYRUP, GLYCERIN, INULIN, SUNFLOWER OIL, ORGANIC AGAVE SYRUP, ROLLED OATS, MILK PROTEIN ISOLATE, PEANUT COATING (SUCROSE, PALM KERNEL AND PALM OIL, WHEY PROTEIN ISOLATE, PEANUT FLOUR, REDUCED MINERAL WHEY POWDER, SOY LECITHIN, SALT, NATURAL FLAVOR), DICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, SUCROSE, HONEY, FRUCTOSE, COCOA POWDER PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, CHOCOLATE LIQUOR, PEANUT FLOUR, DATES, COCA BUTTER, NATURAL FLAVORS, SALT, SOY LECITHIN, VITAMINS (VITAMIN A PALMITATE, VITAMIN C (ASCORBIC ACID), VITAMIN B3 (NIACINAMIDE), VITAMIN B2 (RIBOFLAVIN), VITAMIN B1 (THIAMINE MONONITRATE), FOLIC ACID, VITAMIN E (DL ALPHA TOCOPHERYL ACETATE).

 Not terrible… not the best either. Whatevs. I’m game.

According to the website, the reason it is an appetite control is because it offers more satiety for the calories than other bars. Hm. Ok. Doesn’t really seem like “activation” to me but whatev.

So here’s what you all want to know, right? How the heck did it taste? Get to the point, Leah!

 

It was pretty good! Chocolate-y for sure. Sweet. A slight crunch. Tastes kinda like chocolate rice krispies or something.

Did it keep me full?

Well, I ate it at 3:15. I had a rumbly in my tummy 2 hours later. But it seemed to subside. But by 7, I was ravishing. I wouldn’t say that it held me over better than any other bar persay.

After work, I headed to the gym. I did a 30 minutes core class followed by a 55 minute sculpt class just to test out the new gym classes. The core was meh. Lots of crunches variations, nothing new. Challenging, yes, but not something I am going to do on the regular. The scultp class was good. I would do it again but the timing threw my whole evening. I was home half an hour later than usual gym days and was stressed by dinner.

I did burn ~500 cals though. Not too shabby for no cardio.

Dinner

Being that it was one of the longer workout days, I planned something that was “quick and easy”. Or so I thought.

I had planned on making Minty Bulgur Wheat and Peach Salad from Cooking Light along with some broiled shrimp and a salad.

I was excited when I saw this recipe in the magazine. I have bulgur. I have mint. I have peaches. Jicama. I’m scared now. Um. I have never actually prepared jicama. I’m not even sure how to pronounce it. I was corrected the last time I said it out loud in public and now I can’t remember. The thing has been staring at me in my fridge all week. Wish me luck.

Well, when I got home and reread the recipe, I see that the bulgur has to stand an hour. And then you mix everything together. And then it stands for another hour. I can tell you right now, that ain’t happening.

So I boil the water to do the bulgur. If I were smart, I would have done it this morning and let it sit all day but I’m not smart so I didn’t.

 

I got everything else ready for the salad. Made the sauce/dressing. 

 

Chopped the peaches.

 

Chopped the mint

Oh dear. Here comes the jicama.

 

I sh!t you not, I Googled “how to peel jicama”. The boy ended up taking over peeling duties after my frustration.

 Diced that bad boy up.

 And then waited. And waited. The bulgur was taking forev!

   

 Got to work on a small salad. I used Costco artisan lettuce, a tomato, and… that’s it. Clever, eh? (There’s that damn “eh” again!) 

On to the shrimp! I referred to Rachel Ray for an easy dry rub.

 

I like simple!

We use frozen, deveined, tail off shrimp from Costco (surprise, surprise). I turned the oven onto broil, rubbed the rub onto the mass quantities of shrimp I had dethawed, and spread them evenly on a cookie sheet that had been wrapped in foil and sprayed in EVOO for easy clean-up (for the boy – muwahahahaaaa). And waited. The bulgur still wasn’t ready.

Plan B.

Eat salad. It’s a two course night apparently. Topped with the oh-so-not-healthy-but-oh-so-delicious Jaimaca Mistake Dressing. You are Jaimac-ing a mistake by not using this dressing! 😉

 

(Please ignore the Nutrition Facts on the website. For your own good. And mine.)

Done eating salad, check bulgur. Eff, man! Still has liquid! I consult with the boy, he says it’s cool. We’ll just hang for a bit. We throw in an episode of The Wire, Season 4. I’m chilling. But very annoyed with dinner. It’s 8pm and we haven’t eaten. Gr. On the upside, the boy has tomorrow off so that is one less lunch I need to pack after dinner. Booya. On the tail end of work today, I made my menu for next week. Along with a shopping list. And I’m sending the boy to Costco alone tomorrow. His first time ever! Wonder how he’ll do…. He’ll be fine. 😉

At this point, I’m just waiting for the bulgur to absorb. No way in hell I’m gonna let it sit for a whole ‘nother hour in the dressing. Eff that. It’ll be fine without that little detail, right?

At some point in here, the bulgur looks “good enough” so I proceed with the salad and throw the shrimp in the oven.

It was done shortly and we ate in the living room watching The Wire.

 

 The shrimp was spicy! I think tooooo spicy. The boy liked it. I ended up mixing it in with the sweeter/citrusy bulgur salad to cut the spice. And I still drank a bunch of water. And ate a piece of dark chocolate afterwards… to clean my palate, you know! 😉

I’m ready for bed. Yoga in the morning! And the boy is making breakfast! Yay!

L4L

More of the same

Morning Snack

Same as yesterday, surprise surprise! Just flipped over!

 

Blueberry Lowfat Yogurt with a peach and 2 kiwi.

Lunch

Leftover Chicken Tortilla Soup

 

We were out of the blue corn tortilla chips so I mixed it up by using FSTG Buffalo Tortilla Chips. Boy did that kick it up a notch! Yummers!

On my lunch break today, I hit up Plato’s Closet in hopes of finding a fabby new dress for a Russian Birthday Party I’m attending on Saturday! I think I have purchased maybe 3-4 party worthy dresses here before and always come out with a slammin’ good deal and get oodles of compliments on the goods! 😉

I came away with 3 dresses and 2 pairs of shoes for ~$100. Not too shabby considering one of the dresses was Simply Vera by Vera Wang and still had the tag on it! Another one was BCBG for only $35! I plan on wearing one this weekend, one for my birthday, and I’m not sure about the third. A nice date night, maybe?

Afternoon Snack

The standard, yet again. But such a good standard!

 

Veggies (mushroom, bell pepper, carrots) with Sabra Sun dried Tomato Hummus.

A little while later, I had a piece of pie.

Pecan Pie Larabar, that is! 😉 My first time! And oh so good! I think I might have a new fav! It was a little crumblier and so delicious. I heart nuts.

When I got home from work, I tried out a free trials from Yoga Download. As I’ve said before, I’m relatively new to yoga but love the idea of it so I’m giving these 20 minute sessions a try before I start ordering them like a crazy lady.

I tried Yoga For Weight Loss – Beg. It is a level 1-2 class. There was a lot of flow which I hadn’t really done before and it took me a little bit to get the hang of it. But I liked it! I might need to invest in a yoga mat. Hm… So I’m thinking about starting to do a 20 minute yoga every morning. If I got up when the boy’s alarm went off, I’d have plenty of time to fit it in then go downstairs and start on breakfast. I’ll give it a try tomorrow.

I downloaded this one (Yoga For Buns) to try! It’s a level 2-3 so we’ll see how I do. I may need to find some more level 1 and 2’s to learn some of the moves so I’m not stupidly flipping through pages to figure out what the heck I’m supposed to be doing. I like this so much better than the DVD’s I’ve tried though! I think yoga, coupled with cardio and strength training might be a good way to go!

Dinner

Direct from Cooking Light, tonight’s menu was BBQ Mustard Glazed Chicken with grilled asparagus and Confetti Couscous.

I fired up the grill and got to work on the Confetti Couscous. I prepped the veggies for the grill. Some slight modifications: I used 3 Japanese Eggplant, 1 zucchini, 1 summer squash, 1 orange bell pepper.

I tossed them in oil, salt and pepper and threw them on the grill then started prepping the chicken.

I used 3 chicken breasts that were rather large so I filleted them into smaller pieces. The rub consisted of chili powder, sugar, paprika, salt, garlic powder.

Flip the veggies.

Couscous – so nice, they named it twice! hehe… This was actually my first time using Israeli Couscous. Upon initial investigation, it’s just bigger and takes longer to cook.

After brief research, apparently it is a toasted wheat? Hm. Well, whatever. I cook it.

While the couscous is boiling, I got to work on the Mustard Glaze. I didn’t have smoked paprika, so regular old paprika will have to do just fine. I contemplated adding a drop of liquid smoke but opted not to; that stuff is potent. Light brown sugar will have to do as well. And a real grill instead of a grill pan which I do not own. It’ll do. (I’m feeling very Julie/Julia-esque in my dinner recap tonight!)

By now, the boy was home and took over the grill duties, as a man should. Not saying that women aren’t capable or anything. But men belong on the grill. With a beer in hand. Guess I’m a traditionalist like that. 😉

While he was working on the chicken, I trimmed and prepped some asparagus with a little bit of Goya.

We threw the asparagus on the grill towards the second half of the chicken being done, and then I enjoyed a nice mocktail!

 

Mint, Club Soda, Lime Juice, Ice. So yum!

I worked on finishing up the couscous.

The viniagrette:

Cooked Veggies

Plated Grub:

I spy….

…with my little eye…

A place mat!

Don’t worry, ya’ll. I’m not getting rich on you. These are the only place mats I own. They are double sided though! Maybe one day, I’ll feel daring and show you the other side!

The chicken turned out well. I really liked the flavor. I see this recipe going on baked tofu in the future. I’m iffy on the couscous salad. It wasn’t bad at all. It was just a lot of effort for what you get. And I tasted it along the way and I actually think it was better before adding the viniagrette to it. You could actually taste the grilled veggies and basil. After the viniagrette was added, all that was muted. It was tasty, yes. Would I make it again just like this? Probably not. Am I glad I tried it? Indeed.

 

L4L

Kinda liking the 3-post day!

Sundays are totally amazing. I can’t get over it. Before we tapped into Scrabble, I read the Edmonds Beacon and the PCC Sound Consumer. I’m trying to talk the boy into getting at least a subscription to the Sunday paper. At least it’ll pay for itself with coupons. 😉

During our afternoon full of Scrabble and movies, we munched on some chips and dip. We are oh so healthy! 😉

The dip recipe came from Cooking LightBasil Parmesan Dip (here) and we subbed blue corn tortilla chips for the pita chips.

 

It was tasty. I think next time I’ll add more basil. And garlic. And I used shredded parmesan that I ran through the food processor, finely grated might have given a better consistency? Delicious none-the-less.

 

Eventually, we cracked down on dinner.

Tonights dinner features another Cooking Light recipe: Bow Ties with Tomatoes, Feta, and Balsamic Dressing

 

I didn’t have any bow tie pasta on hand so I used Healthy Harvest Penne instead, and slightly more than what was called for, just to use up the rest of the box and it’s pretty dumb to save 3/4’s of an ounce of pasta.

 

I thought this recipe was pretty interesting because it called for grapes with the salty feta so I knew it would be delicious. I love contrasting flavors in dishes.

 

I also happen to think that using the fresh, local basil and shallots from the Farmer’s Market were the key. 😉

Cooking Light recommended serving it was pan grilled asparagus so I did roasted asparagus with tilapia.

 

The tilapia was seasoned with a simple lemon pepper dry seasoning mixed with a little EVOO and lemon juice.

Dinner was amazing!

I’m excited to see it as leftovers tomorrow. I think salads are always better the second day.

It was a little hectic in the kitchen on the tail end of making dinner and after dinner. Tomorrow night is another crockpot sensation so that was prepared tonight. As well as packing lunches for tomorrow. And the boy chopped up a bunch of veggies to get us through most of the week. And of course, there were dishes. And the boy is amazing at usually taking care of them for me! We make a good team. I dirty the kitchen, he cleans it. 😉