Weekly Dish: Greek Salad

I love salads and could maybe eat them for every meal. There are so many possibilities! Here is one of my favorites:

Greek Salad

1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
1 Cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 Cup Kalmata olives
1 cucumber, sliced into half moons
1 Cup cherry or grape tomatoes, or 1 tomato, chopped
1/2 Cup Red Onion, thinly sliced
Grilled or pan-fried chicken breast, chopped or sliced (optional)

Dressing:

1 Tablespoon homemade chicken stock
3 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
6 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 cloves crushed garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon real salt or celtic sea salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste

 

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Weekly Dish: Homemade Chicken Stock

Chicken stock is the base for countless recipes and so easy (and inexpensive!) to prepare yourself! Don’t be intimidated. It is NOT HARD AT ALL. It costs pennies, especially when you buy the bird whole and cut off the breasts and thighs to use for weekly dinners. Toss the carcass and organs in, and you’re on your way to next week’s soup!

Nourishing Traditions says, “Properly prepared, meat stocks are extremely nutritious, containing the minerals of bone, cartilage, marrow and vegetables as electrolytes, a form that easy to assimilate. Acid wine or vinegar added during cooking helps to draw minerals, particularly calcium, magnesium and potassium, into the broth.”

It is the perfect way to stretch your protein and make those amino acids in grains go further than if they were eaten alone. It is great when you are sick, truly, not just as an old-wives tale.

Make a bunch! You’ll be happy you did.

HOMEMADE CHICKEN STOCK

Carcass from 1 free range or organically fed chicken
Giblets
2-3 stalks celery
2-3 carrots
1 onion, quartered
2 cloves peeled and smashed garlic
1-2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar (with the “mother”)
parsley

Put the carcass, vegetables and Apple Cider Vinegar in a stock pot or slow cooker. Fill slow cooker to the brim with cold water (as the ingredients warm in the water, their fibers open and release juices to add flavor). ┬áLet it sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Bring to a boil and remove the scum that rises to the top (if you don’t do this, you could end up with off-tasting flavors in your broth… although sometimes I don’t do this and I don’t notice.) Reduce to a simmer and cook at least 6 hours but as long as 24 hours. The longer the cooking time, the more minerals will be released into the water, the more concentrated the broth will be and the better the chances of having a gelatinous* broth.

After the broth is cooked, add a bunch of parsley. This adds a little flavor but a LOT of nutrition.

After it cools a bit, strain into a bowl and put in the fridge until the fat congeals at the top. Scrape off the fat and store in fridge or freezer until ready to use. In the fridge it will last a week, longer if reheated.

*The goal is to have a gelatinous broth. In the fridge it should thicken, sometimes even jelling completely. This will happen if you have let it cook for a long period of time and let it reduce and draw all the minerals and collagen out of the bones and cartilage. The gelatin quality is desired because of its richness in protein. The gelatin is hydrophilic, which means that it attracts fluids (same way Jello works.) So the gelatin in the stock attracts digestive juices to help with digestion.

 

I am sharing this post at Real Food Wednesday!

Weekly Dish: Peach BBQ Sauce

Have you ever looked at how much sugar BBQ Sauce has in it? I thought it had to be that way and that’s what made it so good… but I came across this recipe with peaches for the added sweetness and it’s delightful (it does call for ketchup which has sugar in it, but there is no added sugar… and you can buy sugar-less ketchup at Whole Foods!).

It’s Gwenyth Paltrow’s recipe out of her new cookbook “My Father’s Daughter,” which I am looking forward to perusing, but haven’t yet (disclaimer!) Had to share.

Peach BBQ Sauce

1 cup chopped peeled fresh peaches or 9-10 oz. frozen sliced peaches, thawed and chopped
1/2 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (I used Apple Cider Vinegar for the acidity since I was fresh out of lemons and it was great!)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoon adobo sauce from canned chipotle chilies in adobo (or 1 tsp. soy sauce if you don’t like the heat)
salt and pepper, to taste

Combine first 5 ingredients in small sauce pan. Season lightly with salt and pper and bring to boil over low heat. Reduce to low; simmer until peaches are very soft and flavors meld, about 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat; let cool. Pour peach mixture into a blender and puree until smoth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For Grilled Chicken:

4 skinless, boneless organic chicken breasts (I used bone-in breasts and thighs and it was also great)

Place half the sauce in a medium bowl; add the chicken and turn to coat. Let marinate at room temp for 20 minutes, or cover and chill for up to 8 hours, turning occasionally. Cover and refrigerate remaining sauce.

Prepare a grill to M-H heat. Brush rack with oil. Grill chicken until browned and almost cooked through, 4-5 minutes per side. Brush on all sides with reserved sauce; grill until glazed and cooked through, 1-2 minutes per side. Slice crosswise. Serve remaining sauce alongside.