Here is a very festive and simple salad recipe for your dinner/party guests for this holiday season! This is the second recipe brought to you by the California Strawberry Commission. I just love the addition of fruit in salads. It just brightens up the flavours in a salad, adding juice and sweetness. Strawberries add that splash of red colour to the usual green salad, making this very festive!

Recipe and photo from the California Strawberry Commission. Permission was granted prior to posting.

*Disclaimer: the recommendation to use California strawberries is strictly from the California Strawberry Commission and from the creator of this recipe. Food Tastes Yummy does not fully endorse products.*


Serves 2

Ingredients:
  • 1 Tomato, chopped
  • 6 California Strawberries, sliced
  • 8 oz pre-washed Arugula
  • 8 large basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
  • Parmesan cheese, freshly shaved

Combine the tomato, strawberries, arugula and basil in a large mixing bowl. Add the olive oil and toss well to coat. Then add the vinegar and toss once more. Serve the salad with freshly shaved Parmesan cheese over the top and serve immediately.


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I have lately been on a holiday kick on FTY! I just love the holiday season, and all of the food associated with it! Here is a holiday turkey recipe brought to you by the California Strawberry Commission. This sweet strawberry glaze will be a delicious change from your ordinary cranberry sauce that you're so used to having year after year. Although I must say I do love cranberry sauce but sometimes changing it up makes dinnertime more interesting! I think your guests will be surprised as well. Give this a try at your next gathering!

Recipe and photo from the California Strawberry Commission. Permission was granted prior to posting.

*Disclaimer: the recommendation to use California strawberries is strictly from the California Strawberry Commission and from the creator of this recipe. Food Tastes Yummy does not fully endorse products.*


Serves 8

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F

Baking time: 1-1/2 hours

Glaze Ingredients:
  • 2 cups California Strawberries, crushed
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon rind, grated
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 garlic cloves, minced

Turkey Ingredients:
  • 1 single turkey breast (about 3 lb), boneless
  • 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp lemon rind, grated
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

Bring first nine ingredients to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, 25 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and cool. Reserve 1 ½ cups sauce; cover and chill.

With fingers, loosen skin at the thickest part of the turkey breast. Slide fingers under skin to loosen and make pocket, leaving skin intact on 3 sides. Press thyme, lemon rind, salt and pepper into pocket, pressing skin to spread evenly.

Place turkey, skin side up, in a small shallow roasting pan. Spread with ¾ cup of the maple-strawberry sauce; cover loosely with aluminum foil and roast at 325°F for 45 minutes; uncover and bake 45 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer registers 185°F, basting with remaining ¾ cup maple-strawberry sauce every 15 minutes.

Transfer turkey to cutting board; tent with foil and let stand for 15 minutes before slicing. Serve with reserved

Tip: The maple-strawberry sauce can also be used on a whole turkey – perfect for a holiday dinner.    




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NANCY'S CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

You're in for a real treat FTY readers! I guess I mean "treat" literally haha! This is my tried and true chocolate chip cookie recipe that I am posting here on the blog. For the past few years, I have been tempted to post my "secret" recipe but I always thought "no, I shouldn't because some things are better left well secret!". But it was my little sister who twisted my arm to do it. She likes to check out the blog regularly (thanks sis!) and asks advice on certain recipes, and she asked "where is your chocolate chip cookie recipe that I love?". I gave no answer. You may laugh but for me I used to make hundreds of these cookies when I used to cater several years ago. I also made these in the hundreds when I used to sell these at my Daddy's store. People loved them so much that like a proud owner of a new sports car, I guarded this recipe and what was mine! I laugh as I say this folks! Anyways, there is no use keeping it a secret any longer...

I found several cookie recipes back then, and tinkered with them until I came up with the perfect combo of ingredients (at least in my opinion). These are chewy and soft at the same time, and they never fail to impress! My sister tried the recipe out and her co-workers loved it! So dear Sis, this is dedicated to you during this holiday season. Thanks for testing so many cookies in the past and loving them! Love you sis!

Makes about 40 cookies

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F

Baking time: 8-10 minutes per batch

Ingredients:
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups dark chocolate chips (can use milk chocolate)
  • 1 cup extra chocolate chips, to top when baking the cookies

1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a couple large baking sheets with parchment paper to prevent burning of cookies.

2. In a medium sized bowl, sift the all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt. Set it aside for now. Using a stand electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, add in the unsalted butter and start to cream it on low. Stop and scrape down the sides. Then add in both sugars and cream again. Stop than scrape down the sides. I suggest doing this step every time you finish mixing another ingredient or two. This way the cookie batter will all mix thoroughly.

3. Add one egg at a time, then the vanilla extract. Then start to slowly add in the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Add in 1/3 of the flour mixture at a time, until all has been combined. Now I know that a lot of chocolate chip recipes always say don't overmix but for this recipe I want you to do that! Turn the stand mixer on a higher speed and let it mix for a minute or two. You want the cookie dough batter to be a bit tougher. This will help create a thicker cookie.

4. Add in the 1-1/2 cups of dark chocolate chips and slowly combine. Turn the mixer off and scrape down the sides for the last time. Let the batter rest for about 5 minutes. This surprisingly does make a difference. The dough should feel a bit sticky but not too sticky. If the dough is a bit too sticky for whatever reason, then mix in another 2 tbsp of flour. But I think you shouldn't need it.

5. Scoop out one good tablespoon of the cookie dough, and roll them into balls. Place them onto the prepared baking sheets. Slightly flatten them using your hand. Take the extra chocolate chips and dab several of them into each cookie dough ball. This makes a huge difference after it's baked--you can actually see the chocolate chips.

6. Place them into the oven to bake for about 8-10 minutes. Make sure to rotate the pans halfway through cooking time; this will ensure even cooking. The cookies should be golden and look slightly undercooked in the middle. Let cool for several minutes, then transfer them to a large plate for serving.


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ASIAN CHICKEN BURGERS ON NAAN BREAD

One of my husband's favourite things to eat is naan bread. Week after week, we do our weekly grocery shopping and he never fails to add naan bread. I mean who can blame him? It's slightly chewy on the outside, but so soft on the inside. Whether you're making a sandwich, pizza or burgers (in my case here) naan is a beautiful choice to the bread part of the meal. It was burger night at my house the other day, and I decided to whip up an Asian style burger. I always like to change it up once in a while. I added grated ginger, garlic, teriyaki sauce, basil (think Vietnamese style), and other ingredients to make this burger juicy and full of Asian flavour! No worries though, it won't be an overwhelming flavour to scare those that are a bit timid when it comes to Asian flavours, but just enough to say yeahh I know what I'm eating (make sense?). Anyways, without further adieu, here is my version of Asian chicken burgers.

Makes 4-6 burger patties

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb extra lean ground chicken or turkey
  • coarse salt and ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp ketchup (if you feel meat is dry add another tbsp of this)
  • 1-1/2 tsp ginger, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • large handful of fresh coriander or parsley, chopped
  • 3 tbsp onion, minced finely
  • 2 tbsp teriyaki sauce
  • 3 tbsp fresh basil, sliced thin
  • 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (if cooking on stove-top)
  • 1 pkg of Naan bread (cut into half pieces)
  • Serve with: tomato slices, thinly sliced red or sweet onion, arugula leaves, and flavoured mayo

1. In a large bowl, combine the following ingredients: ground chicken or turkey, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, egg, ketchup, ginger, garlic, coriander, onion, teriyaki sauce, and fresh basil. Using your clean hands, mix the ingredients until just combined. Make sure not to overmix the meat, you don't want to make it tough while cooking.

2. Form the mixture into 4-6 patties, depending on how thick you want your burgers to be. I like them to be about 1-inch thick. Cover with plastic wrap and place it into the fridge for about 20 minutes to firm up a bit. Make sure to take these burger patties out about 10 minutes before you cook, to take off the chill.

3. Heat a large non-stick frying pan, on medium high heat, add in the olive oil and cook the burgers on both sides. It should take about 7-10 minutes per side. After you flip the burgers, and it sears a bit, place the lid on top of the pan and bring down the heat a touch for the remainder of the cooking time. This will prevent burning. You can cook these on the grill if you like too.

4. Serve on toasted naan bread, then add the tomato slice, onion slice, and the fresh arugula leaves, and spread mayo on the top part of the naan bread. Sandwich it together and eat with a nice light salad. Enjoy!


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AVOCADO-HUMMUS TUNA PASTA SALAD

When you take a look at the picture above you might think it looks like your average tuna pasta salad, but you're wrong my dear readers! This simple pasta salad is not heavily coated with your typical mayo dressing, but rather it has good-for-you hummus and vitamin filled avocado (amongst other ingredients). This is a recipe that I came up with while I was chatting with my mom about what to make for lunch. She kept talking about wanting to eat avocado, and then I opened the fridge and saw hummus. For some reason the two clicked! Goes to show you, you just never know when you will come up with a recipe! The end product was great! Really a refreshing twist on the old stand-by favourite. Also, really good if you're watching your waist-line, since there is no mayo in it. I suggest eating this within two days since there is avocado, it tends to brown quickly. Enjoy!

Serves 4

Pasta Salad Ingredients:
  • 3 cups fusilli pasta, cooked
  • 1 stalk of celery with the herby part on top
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • large handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 or 2 (170g) can(s) of tuna, packed in water

Dressing Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup store-bought low-fat hummus
  • Half a ripe avocado
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 2 tbsp light sour cream (or can use light mayo)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

In a large bowl, assemble all of the pasta salad ingredients. Toss gently to combine, and set aside for now.

In a medium bowl, combine all of the dressing ingredients, and whisk it until it comes together nicely. Pour some of the dressing over the pasta salad, and toss gently; then keep adding more dressing until you're satisfied with the taste. So I suggest here, taste as you go! You may not need to use all of the dressing. Cover with plastic wrap and keep it cold in the fridge until you're ready to serve. Yum!


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PORK CHOPS PIZZAIOLA

In the few years I've been doing this food blog, there is one type of recipe that I've never posted. Can you fathom a guess? It's a Rachael Ray recipe! I'm not a huge fan of Rachael Ray, although when she first started on the Food Network years ago I was (I have to admit), but my love affair with food goes wayyy beyond her 30 minute meals now. I did however, recently purchase one of her latest cookbooks called Rachael Ray's Look+Cook. It is a collection of recipes that have pictures of every step of the cooking process of each recipe. Now that's an idea that I can get behind! I love love love pictures with recipes (can you tell readers? hehe), I feel people always eat with their eyes first!  People than can tell themselves whether the recipe is worth their time or not. Anyways, I found this recipe in the book and really wanted to give it a try. Turns out I loved it! The pork turned out juicy, and the sauce tasted just like a pizza! Both kids and adults will love it! Although I changed the recipe a bit...Rachael Ray I salute you, this one is a good one...

Recipe is adapted from Rachael Ray's "pork chops pizzaiola" recipe in her Look+Cook cookbook (Copyright 2010).

Serves 4

Ingredients:
  • 4 (1-1/2-inch-thick) bone-in pork chops
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp fennel seed
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 sprigs of fresh oregano, leaves stripped OR 1 tsp of dried oregano
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup crushed tomatoes (low sodium variety)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock

1. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and drizzle in the olive oil. Throw in the crushed garlic clove, flip it around, and then add in the pork chops. Cook it until golden brown and caramelized. This should take about 2-3 minutes per side.

2. Transfer the chops to a plate and set it aside for now. Add in the fennel seed, onions, red bell pepper, red pepper flakes, and oregano to the pan and reduce the heat just a bit. Saute until the onions and bell pepper are tender, this should take about 7-8 minutes. Add in the crushed tomato and red wine. Stir for a minute; than add in the stock and stir to combine the ingredients.

3. Slide the pork chops back into the pan and simmer for a good several minutes or until the meat has cooked through completely. The sauce should be slightly thick, but still loose at the same time. Serve immediately with couscous or rice or steamed veggies.


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Here is a party appetizer that is sure to wow any guest! I notice that whenever people bring out smoked salmon/trout you always get a "wow" for whatever reason? This is the final installment of the holiday recipes brought to you by USA Rice Federation. They say that, "the brown rice blinis can be prepared in advance and will remain fresh for your gathering".  I feel that's the key to having a successful party; making things in advance so it doesn't overwhelm the host during party time. Especially with the busy holidays ahead of us we need all the help that we can get! Give these little adorable appetizers a try at your next holiday party! Cheers every one!

Recipe and photo from USA Rice Federation. Permission was granted prior to posting.

*Disclaimer: the recommendation to use U.S. Rice is strictly from the USA Rice Federation and from the creator of this recipe. Food Tastes Yummy does not fully endorse products.*

Makes 30 pieces

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup cooked U.S. brown rice, cooled
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  •  pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
Garnish:
  • 1/3 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
  • 1 small red onion, minced
  • 15 pieces of smoked salmon or trout, halved
  • 30 small springs of fresh dill or sprouts

In a medium-sized bowl, combine brown rice, flour, salt, cayenne and baking powder together. Make a well in the centre of the rice mixture.

In a small bowl, beat egg yolks and milk together. Reserve egg whites. Pour liquids into well. Stir until combined. Let it rest for 30 minutes or store covered and refrigerated for up to one day.
In a medium-sized bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold egg whites into the batter.

Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Brush lightly with oil.
Drop 1 tbsp of batter into the hot skillet and gently spread using back of a spoon to form circles 1-1/2 inches (3.5 cm) in diameter. Repeat procedure to comfortably fill the skillet, 4 to 5 blinis at a time. Cook until bubbles appear and underside is golden, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook other side for 2 minutes. Remove blini from heat and let cool completely on a wire rack. Wipe pan with paper towel and lightly brush with more oil. Repeat until all of the batter is used up.

Top each blini with 1/2 to 1 tsp of creme fraiche, 1/2 tsp of diced red onion, a piece of smoked salmon or trout and a sprig of dill.


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STUFFED ACORN SQUASH WITH SAUSAGE & RICE

Whether you're planning an elaborate holiday get together with your family and friends, or making a beautiful dinner for your family; here is a gorgeous rustic side dish that you can make to serve to all at the table. This is the third holiday recipe from USA Rice Federation, that features of course their main ingredient RICE. They say that, "the combination of feta cheese and sausage delights the palate with a savoury finish with every bite". Sausage and feta you say? The smokey flavour from the sausage, the salty flavour from the feta, and the sweet earthy flavour from the squash is sure to be a beautiful mix :)

Recipe and photo from USA Rice Federation. Permission was granted prior to posting.

*Disclaimer: the recommendation to use U.S. Rice is strictly from the USA Rice Federation and from the creator of this recipe. Food Tastes Yummy does not fully endorse products.*

Makes 4 servings

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F

Baking time: 30 minutes (1st bake), 15 minutes (2nd bake to heat through)

Ingredients:
  •  2 acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 lb gluten-free turkey sausage, casing removed
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 cup cooked U.S. brown rice
  • 2 cups gluten-free chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 oz crumbled goat cheese

Heat oven to 400 F

Rub cut squash all over with oil - including the skin - and place cut side down on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake in oven until tender while preparing filling, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly before turning over.

In deep skillet, brown sausage meat, breaking meat into small pieces with the back of a wooden spoon. Transfer to plate. Add onion and red pepper to the skillet and cook until onion is tender and browned, about 7 minutes. Stir in rice and cook until rice is coated, about 2 minutes. Stir in broth, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 45 minutes. Stir in sausage, parsley, and crumbled goat cheese and divide rice mixture evenly over the squash, packing slightly.

Return to oven until heated through, about 15 minutes. Serve with a crisp green salad.

Variation: Make this a vegetarian option by replacing the turkey sausage with dry red lentils. Just add the rinsed lentils to the onions and peppers and proceed as directed.

Tip: Adding some chopped nuts on top adds great flavour and crunch.




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Here is the second installment of the series of rice holiday recipes that I'll be posting here on FTY. The recipes are of course brought to you by USA Rice Federation. Very excited about posting this one because it contains one of my all time favourite ingredients...can you guess?.....ok ok I'll tell you dear readers, it's CHOCOLATE! To my surprise, these contain actual brown rice, not only rice flour. Not being a real gluten-free cook I'm thinking I'll have to give these a try sometime down the road, just to test these out for myself. Without further dieu, here is the espresso brownie recipe for you all.

Recipe and photo from USA Rice Federation. Permission was granted prior to posting.

*Disclaimer: the recommendation to use U.S. Rice is strictly from the USA Rice Federation and from the creator of this recipe. Food Tastes Yummy does not fully endorse products.*


Makes 24 brownies

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F

Baking time: 30-35 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups good quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp instant espresso powder, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup cooked U.S. brown rice
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (use pure vanilla)
  • 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped; if desired
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips for the top, if desired

Preheat the oven to 350 F

Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil and lightly oil the bottom.

In a microwave, melt the dark chocolate, butter and 1 tbsp of the espresso powder in a large measuring cup. Stir together to combine. Set aside.

In a bowl, beat the eggs on medium high until frothy. Add the brown sugar and beat until the mixture is smooth. Add the melted chocolate mixture into the egg-sugar mixture a little at a time. Incorporate it slowly and beat well for a good minute. The chocolate will look smooth and glossy.

In a food processor, combine the brown rice, rice flour, espresso powder, salt and baking soda until well combined. Add the rice mixture into the chocolate mixture and beat well for a minute. Add in the vanilla, and beat one minute.

Fold in the nuts and spread the batter into the prepared baking pan, smoothing the top to even it out. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and remaining nuts. Shake the pan a little to help even out the batter.

Bake in the centre of the oven just until the brownies are set, about 30 to 35 minutes. Don't overcook (they should be fudgy rather than dry and crumbly).

Cool completely on a wire rack before covering and transferring to refrigerator to chill for at least two hours and up to one day before cutting into squares. They are easier to cut cold.


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CHORIZO, PEPPER AND RICE STUFFING

With the holidays in full swing I am posting more holiday recipes to try to cater to the "demands" of my readers. Meaning of course hehe...the several of you that wrote to me and asked for more party/holiday recipes. I have a few recipes coming up that are from the USA Rice Federation. Here is a rice recipe that can be, "served as a side or as [a] stuffing in your favourite meat...".  I say the smokey flavour of the chorizo is sure to make this stuffing a hit! Happy Holidays every one!

Recipe and photo from USA Rice Federation. Permission was granted prior to posting.

*Disclaimer: the recommendation to use U.S. Rice is strictly from the USA Rice Federation and from the creator of this recipe. Food Tastes Yummy does not fully endorse products.*

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:
  • 4 gluten-free fresh Chorizo sausages, casings removed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp each: fresh rosemary and thyme, chopped
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp each: salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1-1/2 cups U.S. brown rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3 cups gluten-free chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest

In a skillet, brown sausage meat over medium-high heat, breaking meat into small pieces with the back of a wooden spoon, Set aside.

Add oil to the same skillet, and cook the onion and celery until the onion is translucent and beginning to brown; about 6 minutes. Add red pepper, garlic, thyme, rosemary, paprika, salt and pepper, and stir for one minute. Stir in the tomato paste and brown rice, cook until rice is coated with the tomato and oil mixture, about one minute. Stir in wine, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add chicken broth and sausage and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat but keep it covered for another 15 minutes. Fluff with fork and gently stir in almonds, chopped parsley, and lemon zest.

Serve this as a side dish or let cool completely. Use it to stuff pork, chicken, lamb or turkey.

Tip: This dish can also be spread into a casserole dish. Sprinkle some crumbled goat cheese feta and bake until it is crisp on top.



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Ahh chicken fingers! This definitely brings me back to my childhood. I remember going to all of the fast food restaurants and asking my parents for chicken nuggets/fingers. I would always get plum sauce for dipping and some extra ketchup on the side (just in case the plum sauce ran out!). Alas, I am now of course an adult and a mother, and have to keep in mind the fat content. Need I mind you, I loveeee fried things (like most of us) but with so much nutritional information available to us these days; I try my best to have a "reasonable" diet of less fatty things! I serve these up to my family and they gobbled this up! Even though this is baked, I do have to say it is pretty darn tasty! Serve these up to the kids in your life, and to those that are a kid at heart :)

Makes 15-20

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F

Baking time: 20 minutes (turning the chicken half-way)

Ingredients:
  • 2 medium chicken breasts, cut half lengthways, then cut into strips
  • 4-6 chicken thighs, cut into strips
  • 5 eggs, beaten (take 2 yolks out if you like)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp each: dried oregano and paprika
  • 1/4 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1-1/2 cup Italian style breadcrumbs (with grated Parmesan cheese)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (can use melted butter if you like)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Cut all of the chicken pieces and place them into a large bowl. Take paper towels and pat them completely dry. This will help all of the breadcrumbs and flour stick to the chicken fingers.

2. Take a large bowl, and crack 5 eggs, take out a couple yolks if you're watching the fat content. Then take another bowl, add in the flour, salt, pepper, dried oregano, paprika, dried sage, and garlic powder. Mix to combine and set aside. In a third bowl, add in the Italian style breadcrumbs. If your breadcrumbs don't have Parmesan cheese already in it, then go ahead and grate about 1/2 cup in.

3. Take each strip of chicken and do the following: 1) put it into the bowl with eggs 2) lightly dredge it in the flour mixture 3) dunk it back into the egg mixture 4) then place it into the breadcrumb mixture
Warning: this might get a bit messy with the fingers but it's all worth it! Stay with me on this.

4. Place each coated chicken strip onto the prepared baking pan. Make sure that each strip are not touching each other. Take a spoon and drizzle the olive oil all over each of the chicken strips. Then place it into the oven to bake for a good 20 minutes; making sure to flip the chicken over half-way for even cooking. Cool for a couple minutes then serve with a simple salad on the side.

Dipping sauce suggestions: Ketchup, BBQ sauce, a creamy salad dressing, honey-mustard,  yellow mustard, or Plum sauce


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GREEK-STYLE PORK CHOPS

Now I know a lot of people like to go the super easy route and buy quick fry boneless pork chops at the supermarket. That's all fine but I tend to find that the pork chops, no matter how it's cooked, it turns out to taste like rubber (in some form). The hubby and I decided that enough was enough, and we decided the bone-in option was the way to go! I marinaded these chops in a simple Greek-style marinade with oregano, lemon zest and juice, garlic etc. These turned out to be one of the juiciest and most flavourful chops I had in a longgg time. If you're looking for an easy but tasty pork chop recipe for your family or yourself, here is a recipe that is sure to please!

Ingredients:
  • 2 one-inch thick pork chops, bone-in French cut
  • coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp mixed steak seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • zest and juice of one lemon
  • 4 garlic cloves, grated fine
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of low-sodium chicken stock

1. Take the two pork chops and trim some of the fat around the meat. Get a small bowl, and add in the a pinch of coarse salt, freshly cracked black pepper. steak seasoning, dried oregano, zest and juice of a lemon, grated garlic and olive oil. Stir to combine the ingredients.

2. Take the pork chop marinade and really rub it into the meat, on all sides. Place the chops onto a plate and let it marinade, covered, for a good 20-30 minutes. Make sure to take the meat out about 10 minutes before cooking to help relax the meat, so it's not so cold.

3. Preheat a medium sized heavy bottom skillet, on medium high heat. Sear the meat for a good 4-5 minutes per side to crisp the outside, then pour in the chicken stock. Turn the heat down to medium. Cook with lid on for about 18-20 minutes, so the chops can be juicy and tender. Serve immediately along side salad or penne pasta in tomato sauce. Enjoy!

     




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