Sambal Chili and Garlic Chicken

Insanely easy and flavourful chicken marinade.

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Ok guys we eat a lot of chicken in my house. I’m sure you do to! It’s just such an easy, healthy and affordable protein. I’m a chicken breast fan, but my husband is partial to thighs. Since he’s such a dark meat fan I’ve had to figure out ways to prepare them that keep us both happy. I only eat chicken thighs if they are smothered in sauce or marinated and super tender! I’ve got a few favourites in my repertoire. I’ve shared how I make BBQ chicken with chicken thighs before. Today I’m sharing an asian inspired marinade.

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This marinade is one of my favourites. What I love about it is not only does it taste delicious but it has just enough sugar and sweetness to caramelize on the chicken. It creates the best crispy outside and a tender delicious chicken. So what’s in this marinade?

  • Soy Sauce
  • Olive Oil
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Brown Sugar
  • Sambal Oelek

Most of these things you probably have in your pantry except the Sambal Oelek. It’s an Indonesian chili paste. I love it because it’s not too hot and has an amazing flavour. It’s available at most grocery stores in the asian food section (next to the Sriracha!).

So give this marinade a try. I promise this will give improve your weeknight chicken dinner!

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Sambal Chili and Garlic Chicken Marinade

Yields: 1 Marinade

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Soy Sauce (I like low sodium)
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp Sambal Oelek
  • 1 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 tsp Fresh Ginger
  • 1 pound Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs

Directions:

Roughly chop ginger and garlic and to a small bowl. Add the remainder of the ingredients to the bowl. Whisk to combine. Place chicken in an air tight container or zipper bag. Cover with marinade and place in the fridge. Marinade for a minimum of 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

Preheat your oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.


Mango Coconut Overnight Oats

A healthy, but decadent make ahead breakfast.

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Ok guys this recipe is a real winner. It is decadent, sweet, filling and healthy. Whole grains, unsweetened coconut milk, high protein greek yogurt, a touch of honey and fresh mango make this breakfast fast filling and delicious. I was shocked how good this tasted. How had I never though to add coconut before? I love overnight oats for the ease and convenience. You can even prep a few days worth and have breakfast to go all week.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now you know I love a fast recipe, especially for breakfast. it brings me so much joy to experiment and make delicious recipes that take a little extra effort. But that isn’t always realistic. Life is just busy. And I just cant bring myself to make some elaborate breakfast during the week. Honestly I rarely do it on a regular weekend. These kind of delicious make ahead breakfasts are perfect. They feel special but are really simple. And just freakin delicious!

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Mango Coconut Overnight Oats

Yields: 2-3 servings

Ingredients:

  •  1 cup Rolled Oats
  •  1 cup Canned Coconut Milk
  •  1 cup Coconut Greek Yogurt (I used 2%)
  •  1 tbsp Honey
  •  1 tsp Vanilla
  •  4 tbsp Unsweetened Coconut Chips, toasted preferred
  •  1/2 Mango, chopped

Directions:

In a bowl combine rolled oats, coconut milk, greek yogurt, honey and vanilla in a medium bowl. Transfer to an air tight storage container and place in the fridge overnight.

If you can’t find pre toasted coconut chips (or flakes) you can make your own by baking then on a sheet pan for 5-10 minutes at 325°F. Once bake cool and store in an air tight container for up to a week.

When ready to eat, place oats in a serving bowl. Top with toasted coconut and chopped mango. Enjoy!

Adapted from Eat Drink Love.

Healthy Mango Coconut Overnight Oats - Yum!

Healthier Chicken Salad

Seriously the best lightened-up chicken salad.

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I really hate lunch. I hate making it, I hate eating it. I find it a complete inconvenience. So it’s always been tough for me to come up with lunch ideas that I will actually want to make and eat. I’ve got work day lunches down. Leftovers, homemade soups and salads keep me fed Monday through Fridays, but on the weekends I’m always at a loss. It results in either picking up some sort of unhealthy high calories fast food, or just skipping lunch all together. Neither are good options in my book. In an effort to eat whole healthy food (80% or the time) I knew I had to try to find some new ideas for weekend lunches. This chicken salad recipe has ben added to the weekend rotation.

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I like lots of crunch in my chicken salad, so I load it with crunchy celery, crisp apples and a sweet pop from red grapes. I love the freshness it gives. I also like using pulled chicken breast instead of chopped. I prefer the texture of pulled chicken it really makes the chicken, fruit and celery stay together and prevents the filling of the sandwich from falling out. The dressing of this chicken salad is made with greek yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Not only is it delicious but it isn’t your typical high fat, high calorie chicken salad.

Greek yogurt has tons of protein, combine that with chicken breast a delicious dressing and yummy add ins and you have a great high protein lunch. Skip the croissant and your lunch is even healthy…. but I highly recommend the croissant!

This recipe is a must try for lunch, or to put on a lunch buffet.

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Healthier Chicken Salad

Yields: 4 large servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Stalk of Celery, diced
  • 1/2 An Apple, diced
  • 1/2 cup Red Grapes, halved
  • 1/2 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 cup Half the Fat Mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°F. Roast chicken for 25 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Cool slightly. Shred the chicken using two forks, or the mixer method. Place chicken in the fridge to cool completely.

Whisk together greek yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Slice grapes, dice celery and apple.

Combine cold chicken, celery, apple, grapes and dressing and mix throughly.

Serve salad on bread, croissants or salad greens. If desired add lettuce or tomatoes to your sandwiches. Serve immediately or store in your fridge for 2 days.


Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Sage

Every year I make butternut squash soup and every year I’m underwhelmed. It never turns out very flavourful. Over the past year I’ve been cooking with all kinds of squashes a lot more then I used to. We love eating acorn, butternut and delicata squash. I’ve been roasting, mashing, topping salads and making sauces out of squash constantly. So when I made soup this year I was ready to get it right. And I did just that! This recipe is rich is flavour, easy to make and great for work day lunches.

In this recipe I roast butternut squash, onions and garlic in the oven until caramelized and browning. I also add fresh sage and delicious brown butter which takes the soup to the next level!

I like serving this soup with so super fast homemade croutons or to make it a really filling me some cooked apple sausage. Both are great options.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Sage

Yields: 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 Medium Butternut Squash, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Medium Onion, chopped
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of Butter
  • 2 Teaspoons Fresh Sage, chopped
  • 6 Cups Low Sodium Vegetable Stock
  • Optional: Salt and Pepper, to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 °F. Spread out chopped butternut squash, onions and whole garlic cloves on a large baking sheet. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes until soft and squash begins to caramelize.

In a large soup pot melt the butter on medium heat. Continue to cook the butter in medium heat until it becomes golden and brown buts form on the bottom of the pot (3-5 mins). Reduce heat to low and add chopped sage. Sauté sage until fragrant and starting to crisp, about a minute. 

Add onions, butternut squash and garlic to the pot. Stir mixture to combine. Add the vegetable stock. Bring soup to a simmer for at least 30 minutes.

Using an immersion blender blend soup until completely smooth (If using a traditional blender allow soup to cool before blending). Return soup to pot. Taste the soup, add salt and pepper to taste if needed.

Serve with your favourite soup toppings and sides.

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Chicken Noodle Soup

Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes with Brûlée Bananas

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I have had that Jack Johnson song Banana Pancakes stuck in my head all week, so on Saturday when I woke up early and had nothing on the agenda for the day I thought I’d make a special breakfast of Banana Pancakes. I decided to switch things up a bit and add brûlée bananas to the top…. Yum!

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I like to use whole wheat four whenever I can since it has added fibre. I also love the nutty flavour which compliments banana really well. The problem with whole wheat flour is that it can create tough pancakes that sit in your belly like a rock! So I’ve added extra moisture to keep these pancakes light and fluffy!

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Now the brûlée bananas are an extra special touch that really doesn’t take much effort at all. The banana caramelize and sweeten which is a nice addition to the soft fluffy pancakes. I like to top my pancakes with butter and a little maple syrup, but next time I’m adding walnuts for some extra crunch!

These were so good, I hope you give them a try!

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Whole Wheat Bananas with Brûlée Bananas

Yields: 8-10 Pancakes (depending on size)

Ingredients:

Pancakes:

  • 1 1/3 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 1/4 cup Milk (any kind)
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter, melted
  • 1 Ripe Banana, mashed
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Brûlée Bananas

  • 2 Tablespoons Turbinado Sugar (raw brown sugar) or White Sugar
  • 1 Large Banana, Sliced

Directions:

Move the rack in your oven to the top position closest to the element. Preheat your oven to broil (500°F). Place Turbinado or white sugar in a small bowl. Dip one side of the banana slices into sugar and place on cookie sheet. Broil bananas until sugar crystallizes and starts to brown. This will take 2-5 minutes depending on your oven. DO NOT walk away from oven, check on bananas every 30 seconds to 1 minute. Do not let bananas burn.

Once caramelized set bananas aside to cool.

In a large bowl mix together flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Set aside. In a small bowl whisk banana, butter and egg together. Add milk, brown sugar and vanilla extract to wet ingredients. Whisk until smooth. Pour wet ingredients into dry and fold together using a spatula or wooden spoon. Mix until just combined. Set aside until ready to use.

Preheat a skillet or grilled over medium heat. Once warm grease pan with a small amount of butter or oil. Pour 1/3 cup of batter onto skillet. Cook until bubbles form on surface of the pancake, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook the second side until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes.

Serve pancakes with butter, broiled bananas and maple syrup.

Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction and Entertaining with Beth.

 

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