Lemon Zest and Pepper Baked Low-Fat Chicken

Today I felt like posting one recipe that I feel I could eat everyday. This is not about the fact that it’s healthy, low-fat, low-calorie or good for you; it’s about the fact that I love to eat this and so does my Husband.
We love everything that has to do with chicken I love it grilled, steamed, rotisserie, fried and baked. Of course the way I mainly eat it is grilled or baked they are easier, healthier and probably my 2 favorite ways of eating it. If I’m grilling or baking it I always drizzle with some olive oil, dash salt and pepper and then at times add some rosemary, or sage or thyme whatever seems to be available. This time I added lemon zest and the flavor was so delicious I had to post it. I accompanied the dish with quinoa (another of our favorite ingredients) you can learn all about it’s nutrition facts and how to cook it here. As for the vegetables well I made a variety, asparagus, sundried tomatoes and artichokes. This was a delicious meal fully packed of vitamins and minerals with amazing flavors. I hope that you enjoy it and remember that healthy is delicious.

This dish is perfect for trying to stay in shape but really getting the maximum benefits of what you are putting into you body. Chicken as well as Quinoa are great protein sources to keep you lean and fit. You choose what you want to accompany this dish with and remember that there are so many sides that are healthy and this chicken will compliment anything. Enjoy!

Ingredients: Serves 2

2 skinless chicken breasts

1/2 lemon, zested

Extra Virgin Olive oil

Chili flakes (optional)

Salt and Peppercorns to taste

Preheat your oven at 400°F (200°C)

In a baking dish add your chicken breasts, drizzle with some E.V.O, sprinkle lemon zest, and rest of ingredients. Bake for 20 minutes or until poked and liquid is clear. Serve.

If you would like add some rosemary or other herbs to dish. Your choice!

My Gourmet Porcini with Quinoa Spaghetti

Who said that healthy equals yuck? or boring? or even tasteless? Well they have it all wrong. I find that my healthy substitutions always end up turning out to be fantastic and to top it all off I can’t even tell the difference and neither can my Husband.

Ok, I’m all about forfeiting the ingredients that aren’t necessary. I mean think about it; do you have to use butter when you can use extra virgin olive oil and make it tastier but healthier?! What about white sugar when raw sugar or honey is so much yummier. Or how about white rice when brown rice is to die for. Or in this case what about white spaghetti when Quinoa is just perfect and earthy and couldn’t marry the ingredient of this dish any better, that ingredient being Porcini.

Do you ever find that you get inspired by one simple ingredient and then have to decide your whole meal around it. Well, I randomly get inspired by what I find in the produce section, I’ll often go to the farmers (they’re everywhere here in Italy), and see what they have and what inspires me for dinner.
I recently was driving with my Husband and on the side of the road was a tiny little truck selling nothing but Porcini mushrooms picked fresh in the morning. I had my Husband pull over got out of the car and waited my turn while some other customers got their Porcini’s and left. I then ended up picking out my Porcini; by pointing them out as you are never to touch the produce here in Italy. The farmer was very proud of his Porcini’s and was careful to tell me how to clean them once home. I already knew how but was happy to see how much he cared about it.

I had no idea what I would make with them so I opened the cupboard and remembered that I had purchased Quinoa spaghetti not to long ago and had yet to use them. I love Quinoa but this was my first time using spaghetti made out of Quinoa, so this was going to be a hit or miss dinner. After cleaning the Porcini, which took what seemed like forever because you have to use a damp rag (not to wet, just damp) and delicately wipe off the dirt, never ever ever wash your mushrooms, they are sponges and will not at all taste good if they are soggy; I made a delicious meal that took all about 15 minutes. I hadn’t thought of how well the Quinoa spaghetti would go with the Porcini’s but I was pleasantly surprised to see that Quinoa being so earthy in texture and flavor would go so well with something as natural and earthy as a Porcini. I hope that you enjoy!

Ingredients:

Serves 2

250 gr. Quinoa Spaghetti

2-3 large Porcini mushrooms

1 clove Garlic

1/4 cup White wine, make it the good kind after all this dish deserves it

Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive oil, count to 4

1 fresh Chili chopped, optional

Salt to taste

Parmigiano Reggiano, however much you like

Boil a pot of water.
In the meantime start slicing your Porcini you want them about a quarter inch in thickness and set aside. Now chop your garlic finely and set off to one side.

Once you water is boiling throw in a large sprinkle of salt followed by your Spaghetti, follow cooking time on the package stirring occasionally.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat drizzle your olive oil and add your garlic. Once your garlic is golden throw in your Porcini along with the chili. Stir until all ingredients are incorporated. Throw in your wine and allow it to reduce about 8 minutes and sprinkle in your salt. Continue to cook at low heat.

Your spaghetti should be cooked, strain and add to the saucepan with the mushroom and incorporate fully. Turn off and serve, sprinkle over your parmigiano. Finito

 

 

 

 

 

What’s more Healthy than: Quinoa Primavera

So as you know I love Meatless Mondays and an All Vegetarian meal whenever I can….??!!

I especially love Quinoa, for me it’s the best substitution to heavy carbs and it marries so well with vegetables (really anything, in this case I am focusing on vegetables 😉 ), I love the fact that it really will just blend with whatever flavors it is paired up with.

It’s been winters and although I love salads it’s been pretty hard to just have a salad when outside it’s snowing or just plain cold. So, what I resort to is basically roasted, steamed or lightly sauteed vegetables. On this particular day I hadn’t gone to the store in a while it was snowing outside and I just was going to use whatever I had in the fridge. I always have a large variety of veggies so I figured that I would make vegetables accompanied by……??? I opened the cupboard and there was the Quinoa, so I decided I would make something using both. I seldom will serve my Husband just vegetables, unless requested by him. Even if I just eat all vegetarian I always try to make him, chicken, beans or pasta or something (healthy) to go along with the veggies. So in this case it was Quinoa.

I do have a post I completely dedicated to the Nutrition facts and health benefits for Quinoa, you can see here: http://mythineats.com/2011/11/11/quinoa-nutrition-facts/

However this dish is simple, light, healthy, low carb, and low fat. So I hope that you like it. You can serve as a main dish or as a side dish to chicken, salmon, meat, eggs; whatever you like or prefer. Enjoy

Ingredients:

Serves 2 as main dish 4 as side dish

1 cup Quinoa

2 cups of Water

1/2 cup frozen Peas

2 Zucchini

1 Endive

A couple leaves of Radicchio

A handful of Arugola, washed

Salt and Pepper to taste

A few drizzles of Olive oil

Preheat your oven at 180° C (350° F).

Now put the quinoa and the water in a small pot, add a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper to taste, mix, cover and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil and lower flame to minimum and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes (until all water is absorbed).

Get your slice in 1/4 in rounds and place on a baking paper over a big baking tray or cookie sheet tray, lay them out one by one. Do the same with the endive. You should be able to fit your leaves of radicchio also, drizzle some olive oil over the vegetables and add salt and pepper to taste. Put in oven and allow to bake for about 15 – 20 minutes.

Place about 1 cup of salted water to boil in a little sauce pan, once boiled throw in the peas and allow to cook for about 5-8 minutes. Drain immediately in cold water and set to the side

Fluff your Quinoa, join all ingredients in a salad bowl and mix lightly and if you like you can squeeze a little bit of lemon over it and serve.

I have included a photo with an fried egg on top, or you could also chop up some feta or any cheese you like and throw it in. There are so many endless variations. Enjoy!!!