Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Re-Invent

I have been doing a lot of cooking again now that the holidays are packed up for a year(well the tree is still up, but only because it literally has been to cold to walk it to the trash!). And last week, I was able to stretch one WHOLE ROASTER CHICKEN in to 4 separate meals. I’m pretty proud of that! Here’s how I did it:

1. I made this Moroccan roasted chicken from a Williams Sonoma Cookbook. All you do is make a paste with some olive oil and spices, and run it on the bird and bake it. We roasted the chicken with cauliflower, red onion and sweet potato. Seems like an old vegetable combo, but it works!!! Trust me!

2. We has so much left over chicken, and we also freeze that extra container of rice they give you with Chinese food, so I thawed on out, cut up the extra chicken, and made THE BEST chicken fried rice ever. I’ll post the recipe next blog.

3. Think again before throwing out that carcass- there’s chicken stock to be made! And this stock has the subtle flavor of the Moroccan spices in it, so there is a ton of depth. I used some of the broth for a butternut squash stuffing the recipe called for.

4. There was lots of stock left over. I could have frozen it for a later date, but the weather was sooooo cold, chicken soup was a must. I had baked some chicken breasts, and sautéed some veggies and in an hour- soup!

In the end, all of these dished took, at most, 30 minutes to prepare for. And many of the ingredients were basic staples in the home- garlic, onion, carrots, celery, salt, pepper, spices, etc. I won’t say this happens every week, and that a little thinking ahead didn’t happen, but this can work with all sorts of things- pasta, sauces, casseroles…endless possibilities! Here’s my advice- start with a dish you REALLY want…and then go from there. Satisfying the urge to eat what you really want first, so that everything else is like a bonus.

I have realized from my eating changes that when you force yourself to like something, you’ll never like it. So if it’s chicken park you want, make that sauce! But bread the chicken in almond flour, or even ground oats. USe spaghetti squash instead of pasta. The reason you like that dish so much anyway is the sauce- it’s the strongest flavor of the dish. So cut 500 calories out of the rest of it- I swear you won’t taste the difference!

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Mac and Cheese, Cookies and Bread

I made ALL of these things this weekend.

And ate them. (Well, I didn’t have the bread yet- it’s still baking)

I needed a serious carb fix.

And everything I made had not one bit of flour in them! Well, wheat flour that is….

I had a bit of an enlightening education this weekend:

Did anyone out there know that the best peanut butter cookies only have peanut butter, sugar, vanilla and eggs?  I didn’t. Those suckers are freakin’ amazing!

Rice pasta has significantly improved since I last tried it several years ago. I don’t plan to make this a staple in my diet, but as I ween myself off these types of carbs, it helps.

I will NEVER EVER make mac and cheese again without supplementing some of the cheese with cauliflower puree. OMG! So good.

Buckwheat flour when made into dough looks like mud.  I’ll share the recipe if it’s good.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup peanut butter

1 cup sugar ( I used 1/2 cup)

1 tsp. vanilla ( I used coconut extract)

1 egg

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. In a mixer add peanut butter and vanilla.

3. Add sugar and mix. Then add egg.

4. Spoon onto ungreased cookie sheet and push down with a fork. Sprinkle a little large grain salt on top if you want.

5. Bake for about 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

6. Have glass of milk waiting!

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Super easy!