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Archive for March, 2011

What a fantastic month February was!

March 4th, 2011
by Bernard Kinsella

It’s satisfying and amazing to me to see the increasing number of individuals who are interested in not only working out; but eating healthy and learning how to do it. This past month I conducted a number of healthy cooking classes (8) and was extremely pleased to speak to and meet honest people who said” I just don’t know how to cook”! My eating habits don’t mesh with my workout, job or private life. One confessed, “I work out early morning’s for an hour and then 50 mins at lunch. Only to find they never fullfilled there craving for a good meal or two. I hear instead: lost satisfaction in fresh-frozen prepackaged food, ordering out on the way home, the brutal “drive through” or mini-substitutes which ultimately left them hungry and tired!  

Taking time to learn how to cook and further nourish there kitchen skills was a self deserved gift for some and others were turned out by family or friends who, I was told, were tired of listening to the whining!  (So our blog, “give the gift of a cooking class” helped!!)

But seriously… so many folks are trying to “cut weight” by exercising and doing a great job, but they say after that there stuck….with what to eat?

After reviewing our four point plan and making some simply delicious recipes we had several satisfied guest willing to reconnect and make time with there kitchen and its contents.

Following is a recipe we created at one of the sessions:

Chicken Cacciatore

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (3-pound) chicken cut into eighths
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8oz cremini or white mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 large red onion, cleaned cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 1⁄2 yellow, green and red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1T. jalapeno pepper finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes and their juices
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar 
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

PROCEDURE:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper and place in the pan, skin side down and cook until golden brown 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the chicken to a large plate.
  2. Add the remaining oil to the pan and heat through, add the mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes then add the onion, bell pepper’s to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic and rosemary sprigs to the pan and cook for 1 minute.
  3.  Stir in the wine, add the vegetable stock, tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
  4. Return the chicken to the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan and cook until the chicken is tender about 40 minutes. (Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon to a large shallow bowl and cover loosely with foil.)
  5. Increase the heat to medium high and cook the sauce, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and reduced in volume 8 to 10 minutes. Taste and season if needed with salt and pepper, stir in the vinegar and basil and pour the sauce over the chicken. Garnish with fresh basil sprigs.

 We choose a recipe like this because it gives us the opportunity to show how to utilize the remaining ingredient in multiple meals in the following days. Give it a try then get creative on your own and eat well!

Ciao and thanks,

 Bernard Kinsella