Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Who Needs Takeout?

When you find an Asian chicken recipe as good as this one, there is no need to call in for an unhealthy takeout meal again. Seriously, it's that good.  

I've been a fan of this recipe for quite some time, typically using it for an easy but impressive entree for a small dinner party or halving it for a dinner for 2. 

The steps are simple and by using skinless chicken drumsticks you get a leaner dish that still maintains a lot of flavor and juiciness from the use of dark meat.

Here it is!

Healthy Asian Glazed Drumsticks (serves 4)

8 chicken drumsticks, skinless
Cooking oil spray
1 cup water
1 Tbsp Sriracha
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp Honey
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp ginger, grated
2 Tbsp Scallions
2 tsp sesame seeds

Heat a large pan on high, spray with oil and brown the chicken for around 4 minutes, turning once (this gets the browning and flavor in). 

Mix together all other ingredients except the scallions and sesame seeds and add to the chicken in the pan.  Continue cooking on high till the liquid comes to a boil 

Reduce the heat to low, cover the dish and allow it to simmer for 20 minutes.  After this, remove the lid, bringing the liquid to high heat once more, allowing the sauce to reduce.  This should take approximately 10 minutes.  Every minute or two, chicken should be turned. Watch the sauce closely as it thickens-it does have the ability to burn!

Plate the chicken, spoon the sauce over it and top with scallions and sesame seeds.  I like to serve this dish over a bed of broccoli but some brown rice would also do well to soak up some of the amazing sauce from this dish.  

Enjoy and be healthy.  If you make it, tell me what you think!


Recipe originally found on Skinnytaste.com 

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Mexican Zucchini

Ever since going to this amazing little Mexican restaurant downtown, I have been obsessed with the way they prepare their corn.  

The corn is char grilled, lightly coated in maya then rolled in cotija cheese (hard cheese, nice salty flavor). If desired, it can be topped with chili power and a squeeze of lime (yes please). 

The flavor combination is amazing and it seriously is one of my favorite things to eat.  I decided to go a slightly different (and lower carb) route with this recipe, swapping out the corn for zucchini.  Its a great way to get in your vegetables with little prep work and a really pretty presentation!

Recipe (serves 2)

2 large zucchini
Olive oil spray
Red pepper flakes 

1/4 cup low-fat mayo 
1/2 cup cotija cheese (grated/crumbled)
1 lime
Ancho Chili Powder

Slice the zucchini lengthwise and scoop at the bottom half of the zucchini with a spoon to make a little crevice for the topping.  

Spray olive oil on the cut side of the zucchini and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you like it)

Heat up a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, place the zucchini cut side down to get it charred. Usually 3-5 minutes.  Another way to char the zucchini is to place under the broiler for the same amount of time but this route failed for me.

While the zucchini is cooking, mix together the mayo and cheese. Spoon mixture into zucchini and squeeze the lime over the top. Sprinkle with chili power (again, spice level can be varied)

Its as simple as that! This dish has certainly become a favorite of mine and hope you will like it too!

Eat healthy, be happy.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Asparagus Love

While it isn't necessarily asparagus season (spring), I still manage to get my hands on some good, thin stalks during the colder winter months.  Asparagus is one of my favorite veggies--you can eat them hot, cold, raw, cooked. You can even wrap them in prosciutto!  I mean, come on, they're great.

Asparagus is very versatile and quite a healthy food at that.  These thin green stalks are rich in vitamin K, iron and fiber among a number of other vitamins and minerals.  Another big plus is that they are filling and very low in calories (1 cup of asparagus is only 27 calories!)

When looking for asparagus, make sure the tips are tight and compact and the green color is nice and bright.  Many times the bottom of the asparagus can be a bit woody and difficult to chew.  To remedy this, simply snap off the bottom of the asparagus and use it for something else like an asparagus soup!  The bottom part will break off at a natural point so let the veg take charge.

My favorite way to prepare asparagus is quite simple.  Roast with some olive oil, a touch of salt and pepper for about 15-20 minutes at 400 F until they get a little crispy and the flavors mellow out.  I'll sometimes throw some balsamic over the whole thing when I'm done.  I tend to look for thinner stalks because they get crispier in oven.

Whatever way you choose to enjoy this vegetable, you can't go wrong.  Enjoy healthy eating every day.

-The Avid Eater