Category Archives: chicken

Sheet Pan Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Peppers


Prep in separate bowls.

One of my most favorite sections of the New York Times is the Wednesday Food Section. One of my most favorite contributors is Melissa Clark. I have tried making so very many of her recipes and recently bought her new cookbook “Dinner”. When you have a favorite chef you follow her and I follow Melissa Clark.

This recipe jumped out at me because it’s a Sheet-pan meal which I love and ingredients sounded very good. I made a few changes to the recipe to better suit us but you can google Melissa Clark @NYTimes and get the whole recipe the way she did it if you prefer.

Recipe took a little prep but nothing too bad and don’t omit the pickled red onions–it was delicious. I used sweet potatoes but felt that I could have used butternut squash as well. Chicken Thighs hold up so well and don’t dry out so they win out for sure. The red onion becomes crispy at the high heat  and caramelized beautifully. This is a winner of a recipe and I highly recommend. The ground allspice gives it a very definite layer of flavor and the cayenne pepper gave it the kick it needed. Enjoy!

*just a little note — while I enjoyed the pickled onions it’s not everyone’s thing and  you can omit if you’re not into it– it really is not a necessary part of the meal in my opinion

This is what I did.

Thanks again to Melissa Clark for another amazing meal.


Pickled Onions for garnish –totally optional

3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 Tsp.Honey

1/2 medium size red onion thinly sliced


1/2 medium size red onion thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic , minced

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, more as necessary

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 lbs. bone in skin on chicken thighs (4-6)

3- 5 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 large sweet Potato cut into small cubes of uniform size –you can use a yam ( which I did last night) or regular potatoes just cut up into smallish ( 1″ size)

1 large Red, Yellow or Orange Bell Pepper thinly sliced

3/4 tsp. sweet paprika

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/8 tsp. ground allspice– this is a must


In a small shallow bowl mix together the vinegar and the honey. Mix in 1/2 thinly sliced red onion and throw in a pinch of salt and set it aside. Mix it a few more times while you’re doing everything else and let it sit and marinate till you’re ready for it.

In a large bowl, mix together 1 tsp. kosher salt, garlic, coriander, and black pepper. Add chicken to the bowl and rub the dry mixture all over the chicken. Let it sit and marinate for 30 minutes at least.

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl toss together 3-4  Tablespoons Olive Oil , sweet potato, pepper, remaining 1/2 red onion, another 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, paprika, cayenne and allspice. I let this sit for a while as well and stirred it around. I let this sit and it should have a light glaze of oil so I sometimes add an extra tablespoon or so of Oil it won’t hurt it any.  When you’re ready spread vegetables out on a rimmed baking sheet that’s been sprayed with your favorite cooking spray.

Add another  Tablespoon of Olive Oil to the marinated chicken. If it seems super dry add a drop more and toss to coat. Place chicken pieces (see photo) skin side up among the vegetables, making sure the chicken is surrounded by the veggies not on top of them. Chicken should rest on the baking sheet directly.

Roast for 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Remove pan from the oven and raise heat to 450 degrees. I used a spoon to flip veggies over or a small spatula–don’t flip over the chicken. Drizzle chicken but not vegetables with a few teaspoons of the vinegar from the pickled onions — about 2 teaspoons — just a drizzle if you made it and if not this will be just perfect as is.

Return to oven which is now 450 degrees and roast chicken till cooked through–app. 15-20 more minutes. I actually cooked more like 25 minutes because I like a crispy skin .

To serve I plated chicken and vegetables with a spoonful of pickled onions !!!!

This was delicious!



Good Old Roast Chicken


Roast Chicken is one of the most comforting meals I know. I love it with some roasted onions, fennel and carrots. Last night I made it but had no fennel and it was just perfection. Hit the spot as they say. Every time I roast a chicken I do it a little differently. I didn’t have thyme in the house either so I just left it out. Salt is key — you want to make sure it’s well salted –un-salted chicken tastes pretty bland. I almost never ever add salt at the table.
As a young cook, one of the most intimidating things to make for dinner was a roast chicken. It should be simple but somehow it seems complicated–tying up the legs, stuffing the cavity, etc. It took me many years to feel confident about the bird thing. The carving alone could set you over the edge. I conquered my fear and while I’m not the best carver in the world I make do and figure it out. The key to carving is letting the bird sit for at least 10 minutes. This seals in the juices and makes carving just a bit simpler. I can’t really help with the carving (you can go online and get a tutorial). I go by feel. I used to take a 5 lb chicken and hack it up so badly, but after a few attempts, I sort of figured it out and I’m sure you will too. I use an organic chicken, which you can get in any supermarket now. I just prefer it. Kosher is also very good here. Also, always pat the chicken dry with paper towels before seasoning.  This little tip goes a long way to a delicious chicken. I will keep a chicken frozen and take it out the night before to defrost and then the next day put it in the fridge to finish defrosting. It’s such a homey meal to make and your house will smell divine.

You may need to make this a few times to perfect it. Practice makes perfect. I always say if it’s a new recipe don’t make it for company .  The time to practice is on yourself or your family . I try to never make a new recipe for guests it’s too stressful and why do that when I have so many tried and true recipes that I can count on. Just saying….


1 whole roasting chicken (5 to 6 lbs; I prefer organic or kosher)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and sweet paprika–

1 small lemon, cut in half

1 head of garlic, cut in half crosswise–paper and all —

Olive oil (I use about 2 tablespoons which I put in a ramekin to brush the chicken) you may use a little bit more or less . You also need a bit for the pan veggies.

1 large yellow onion, cut thickly

4 carrots, I cut them into threes

*1 bulb fennel, tops and sprigs removed and cut into wedges or slices–I love fennel but if you don’t use it it’s OK. The onions and vegetables are still delicious.

*fresh thyme –I stuff almost the whole package into the chicken cavity. I leave out a few sprigs to sprinkle over the vegetables.

*optional but add flavor and you can use rosemary if you prefer to thyme


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. You will need a roasting pan with sides deep enough to roast chicken with gravy.

Remove the chicken giblets inside of cavity of chicken. ( I don’t use them so I toss them.) Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers, and pat the outside of chicken dry; this is most important. I use a bunch of paper towels to do this, just wrap up chicken and let it dry while I am prepping everything else. I peel and cut up carrots, slice the onion thickly, cut up the fennel bulb, and put aside. Next, take chicken, and put some kosher salt and freshly ground pepper inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the 2 halves of lemon (that’s why I use a small lemon) and stuff in all the garlic with skin and all. If you have the thyme, stuff this inside as well leaving out a few sprigs for veggies. Put carrots , onions, fennel into a large roasting pan. I place the chicken on top of some of the onions, scattering veggies around the chicken. Brush (silicone or pastry brush) the outside of the chicken with the olive oil all over chicken, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. I am fairly generous here with the salt and pepper, but don’t go overboard. Tie the legs together with poultry twine, and tuck the wings underneath the body of the chicken. (Don’t sweat the tucking, the wing tips might get a little burnt if they are sticking out.) Put a little olive oil over veggies (a very little) and using a spoon, mix around. If you are using the thyme, scatter the remaining sprigs around the veggies. I sprinkle a very little bit of salt and pepper on the veggies as well. Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours (check on it after the first 45 minutes). When you check on chicken use either a baster or a large spoon and pour some of the pan juices over the chicken. Also add a little water or chicken broth to the roasting pan just to make a little more gravy, maybe 1/2-1 cup and more if you need it.  If during the cooking process the liquid dries up just add some more water , just don’t let the pan dry out. The chicken is done when you cut between a leg and a thigh and the juices run clear or a meat thermometer reads between 165 and 175 degrees into the leg.  I then remove the chicken, leaving the vegetables in the oven for another 10 minutes or so. I place the chicken on a plate and let it rest for at least 10 minutes (20 is perfect) with aluminum foil. I slice the 2 breasts into pieces and remove the 2 drumsticks and thighs. I then take out the veggies, and serve with the chicken, and a little gravy from the pan juices.

*internal temperature when a chicken is done should be at least 165 degrees. I usually cook till 175 degrees. I also allow to sit for easier carving and chicken will actually continue to cook, and so temperature will go up. I tent in aluminum foil while it is resting so it doesn’t get too cool but you can just let it sit there.

Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore 011We’re all looking for some comfort these days so I am going through my blog for the most comforting recipes I can find.  Cooking every night is definitely a challenge but we don’t have much choice these days. So I figure we make lemonade at least when we’re in the mood to drink lemonade. It’scertainly not a fun time and the news is terrifying  When we sit down for dinner (just the two of us) it’s a little respite from the world. It always has been but now more than ever.

Please stay safe and be smart.

My daughter Jennifer turned me on to this delicious and I do mean delicious recipe. Original recipe from Giada de Laurentis . I took a few liberties with it and it turned out just perfectly. I only used 4 thighs and 2 breasts with skin on and bone in, if you’re not comfortable with the skin I would take out skin but leave the bone in.  I am certain that  there is enough sauce for at least 1 more thigh and 1 more breast , there was more than enough sauce.  I served over brown rice and it was just perfect. . I used my Le Creuset pot and it was a one pot meal. Thanks to Jenn for pointing it out to me, this one is a keeper.


4 – 6 chicken thighs with skin on and bone in

2 -3 chicken breasts skin on and bone in

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1 box ( 8 oz.) of Mushrooms, I used sliced Cremini ( Baby Bella)

3 tablespoons of Olive Oil

all-purpose flour for dredging

1 large red bell pepper, chopped

1 onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

3/4 cup white wine

1 28 oz. can of diced Tomatoes with juice

3/4 cup chicken broth

1  1/2 teaspoons of dry oregano


First thing I do is dry all the chicken pieces on paper towels, this will help hold the salt and pepper and make a crackly crust. Sprinkle dried chicken pieces with Salt and Pepper generously. Dredge the chicken pieces in flour to coat lightly. In a large heavy pot ( I used my Le Creuset) heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the chicken pieces to the pot and saute till just golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. If all the chicken doesn’t fit , do it in 2 batches, I did thighs and then I did breasts. Transfer the chicken to a plate with tongs and set aside. Add the bell pepper, onion and garlic to the same pan and saute over medium heat until the onion is translucent and pepper is soft, about 8 minutes. Then add in mushrooms  season with salt and pepper and cook for another five minutes.  Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 4 minutes.  Add the tomatoes with their juice, broth, and oregano.  Then return the chicken to the pot and turn chicken pieces to coat in the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Continue to simmer over low-medium heat until the chicken is just cooked through, at least 30 minutes, I cooked for 40, and chicken was perfect.

Using tongs, transfer the chicken to plates. If you’d like you can boil the sauce without the chicken till it thickens, my sauce was perfectly thick. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve.

Chicken Cacciatore 009Chicken Cacciatore 010

Greek Chicken–Sheet Pan Style with Potatoes and Lemons

These are strange times we’re living in my friends and followers and a home-cooked meal is something we can be in control of and feel so very good about serving to our family. It’s good to be in control of the ingredients we use and know what you’re eating and who handled it. Stock up the pantry and the freezer as best you can and start cooking.  Stay healthy and be smart and safe.

This recipe kept coming my way through a friend and for some reason I hadn’t made it till the other night. Let me just say that it worth the wait. It was so delicious and it’s one of those recipes I will definitely make again and again. Thank you Eliza for continuing to tell me about it and for your input always. A big thank you to Pamela Salzman for this wonderful recipe and you should all check out her blog 

I pretty much followed the recipe as is and the marination is key to it’s success so don’t skimp on that part. Just keep in mind when cooking on a sheet pan all together –the pieces all need to be as uniform in size as possible so that they cook together at the same approximate time. So meat needs to be the same size and the veggies should be as uniform as possible.

So thanks again to Eliza and Pamela Salzman for this wonderful recipe.


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus a little extra

1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (app. 2 large lemons) plus 1 lemon thinly sliced

1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar

1 Tablespoon minced garlic — app. 2 large cloves

2 Tablespoons dried oregano plus extra for sprinkling

2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt or Sea Salt whichever you have on hand, plus extra for sprinkling–I used Kosher Salt and it was just fine

Freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste

Chicken– you can use 8 thighs– or 4 bone in skin-on chicken breasts ( cut in half if desired) or mix it up 1/2 white and 1/2 dark meat

1 red onion–cut into 1/4 inch wedges– onion will fall apart and that’s the way it should be!

1 lb. Yukon Gold Potatoes , diced into 1 inch pieces–** important to keep all the pieces app. the same size to insure equal cooking 


In a large bowl , whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper.

Place the chicken in the bowl and toss to coat all the pieces. Allow to marinate overnight or at least 6-8 hours. I recommend overnight or first thing in the morning.

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees and I sprayed my stainless sheet pan . You can use parchment paper but not necessary if you spray.

I took Chicken out of refrigerator and brought it to room temperature. Then I put potatoes and onions on the sheet pan sprinkled with a little olive to finely coat and then I added chicken and lemon slices and sprinkled with salt , pepper and a few pinches of dried oregano. This step was important for me as I felt the chicken needed a little more salt and the potatoes definitley did. I mixed around so the marinade got on everything as well.

Bake for about 35-45 minutes until chicken is cooked through and the internal temperature is 165 degrees. Breasts could take a little longer — mine didn’t. My chicken was also browned beautifully if you’re wanting it to be more browned stick under the broiler for a minute or two and keep your eye on it if it needs more time. Chicken should be cooked through before this step though.

I also roasted a mix of cauliflower and brussels sprouts which added a nice flavor . Plus a small green salad with mustard dressing. This was our dinner and I will be putting this on repeat for sure.

Follow me @cookingwithcandi on Instagram.




Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala

The other night I prepared a version of Chicken Marsala which came out totally delicious, and worthy of posting this recipe. I am always trying out new recipes for this dish. I combined about 3 recipes and I must say this final recipe worked out just perfectly.


1/4 cup all purpose flour for coating

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

I used 1 package thin chicken cutlets ( 5 pieces ) about 1 1/2 lbs.

4 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup olive oil

8 ounces Cremini Mushrooms sliced (stemmed) obviously if you like a lot of mushrooms add more!

1/2 cup Marsala ( you can buy in supermarket in the oil or vinegar section usually)

1/4 cup Sherry ( I used what I had in the house , it’s not really cooking Sherry but it was fine)

1/2 cup chicken stock

*1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley ( I didn’t have so I didn’t use)


In a shallow bowl or large plate, mix together the flour, salt, pepper, and oregano. coat chicken pieces in the flour mixture.

In a large skillet, melt butter in olive oil over medium heat. When oil is hot place chicken in the pan and lightly brown. A little hint, don’t futz with the chicken , place it in ( make sure the oil is very hot) and let it be , turn after about 5 minutes, it should be a light golden brown, then do the same for the other side. Use tongs , try not to pierce the skin of the chicken. Remove chicken to a plate, I take paper towel and blot it.

Lower the heat, put mushrooms in pan. I sprinkle a little salt on the mushrooms. Cook mushrooms for about 5 minutes till their moisture has evaporated, and then de-glaze the pan with the sherry, Marsala,  and the chicken broth. Let it cook for another few minutes. The sauce will reduce slightly. Return the chicken to the pan, cover the pan and simmer gently for about 10 minutes, turning once. Before you serve sprinkle some chopped parsley on it if you like. I served over brown rice.

Chicken Marsala

Chicken and Rigatoni in One Pot–One Pot Pasta

photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 (2) photo 5 (2) photo photo 2 (2) photo 1I must say that the first time I saw this recipe for one-pot pasta I was hesitant. I read up on it and found out that the actual recipe for this one-pot pasta hailed from Puglia. So for all of those “haters” out there I am just saying that I did do my homework here and found out that yes they do this in Italy and original recipe was from there. OK that’s enough of that. It doesn’t really matter where it’s from now does it? I have made 2 versions of this type of pasta and all I can say is yum. I will also add that you need to be a little bit more attentive during the cooking but the result was fabulous. We loved the creaminess and the pasta came out perfectly al dente.  You just don’t want to overcook it, taste for doneness and sit down and eat. It was delicious the next day cold out of fridge as well. Give this one a try you won’t be sorry. Joel was very happy with the clean-up detail as well because it was one pot! Whole thing took under an hour from start to finish. One pan, people!!! dry noodles, sauce ingredients, water, wine a few good things and you’ve got a delicious impressive dinner.

*I used my large Le Creuset pot. A large skillet would work fine here as well.


2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

5 cloves of garlic, chopped

app. 1 – 1 1/2 lbs. of chicken breast, cut into small chunks. Just buy a regular package of chicken breasts and cut them up as I did ( see photos)

2 large roasted red peppers, sliced into thin slices ( straight out of the jar) see photos

6 cherry peppers, chopped and de-seeded , you can use hot if you like it spicy or just mild cherry peppers which is what I used (straight out of the jar) see photos

1 cup water, you will probably add about 1/2 cup more but you should start out with a cup

1 lb. rigatoni, I like the way the rigatoni works of course penne or another type of macaroni will work just fine

1 cup white wine, use what you have open as long as it’s not a sweet wine

1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes

1 cup Parmesan Cheese grated, more for serving

1/2 stick unsalted butter

1/4 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons fresh basil torn, you’ll want to add a little more at the end of cooking as well.

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt

Crushed red pepper flakes, optional. If you like the heat add a little bit during cooking and you can always add more at end. 1/4 teaspoon to start is good.


In a large skillet type of pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add in the garlic and chicken . Saute the chicken until it is just browned on the outside but not cooked through.

Stir in the roasted red peppers and cherry peppers, and sauté for another minute or so. Add in the crushed tomatoes and wine. Add in the water and the raw pasta and bring to a low boil. If you need more water you’ll know at this point , add a bit more water (a little at a time) Continue to cook, stirring very often, until the pasta has cooked to al dente , it will take anywhere from 15- 20 minutes. Taste pasta and judge how much longer it needs.

When pasta is done to your liking, reduce heat to low and add in the butter, basil and salt. When the butter is completely melted into the past, add in the cream and the cheese. Let simmer on low for another ten minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Top with additional cheese, basil and red pepper flakes if you like.

Serve warm.

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

IMG_7067IMG_7069More of my favorite way to cook with Chicken Fajitas made on the Sheet Pan . I made this the other night and it is the easiest and most delicious meal. I am always experimenting with making Chicken Fajitas in new ways and trying to keep the oil down. If you use too little oil they come out tasting dry and that’s no good so use the 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil that I suggest.  This is what I did and I served with small soft tortillas and you can provide any fixings you like. I also served over rice in a bowl which is how I like to eat my fajitas. Obviously what you do with them is totally up to you! A little sour cream and guacamole never hurt anyone either. And buy some tortillas and you have perfection on a plate.

*it is important that all veggies be cut up into fairly uniform sizes this will help cooking process and timing



1 1/2 lbs. of chicken breast tenders– or just cut some chicken cutlets into strips

1 yellow bell pepper –sliced into 1/4″ slices

1 red bell pepper–sliced into 1/4″ slices

1 orange bell pepper–sliced into 1/4″ slices

1 small red onion–sliced into 1/4″ slices

3-4 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Oil –now I have tried 2 Tablespoons and it was a little dry so use your own discretion here –depending on how much chicken you’re using and you’ll want a light glaze all over the chicken and veggies

1 teaspoon of kosher salt –this was enough for us but again use your own discretion

several turns of the pepper mill — freshly ground black pepper always works best

2 teaspoons of chili powder

1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon of onion powder

1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika

Lime for squeezing at the end

*fresh chopped cilantro for garnish and delicious flavor if you like it

*warmed tortillas–if you like


Preheat oven to 425 degrees

In a large bowl , combine onion, bell pepper, chicken strips, olive oil, salt and pepper and all the spices. Start with 2 Tbsp. of Olive Oil and add more . I really felt it needed more than 2 Tbsp.

Toss well and combine and allow to sit for a while before cooking. I find that the longer it sits the better it tastes. I prepped and let it sit for an hour or so.

Spray a baking sheet with non stick cooking spray

Spread chicken and onions and everything on baking sheet

Cook at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes, if you’d like to use a meat thermometer here chicken should be 165 degrees. After 20 minutes I turned the oven to broil and cooked for additional 2-4 minutes just letting the veggies get some nice color. Watch it carefully to make sure it doesn’t burn.

I served in bowls over rice with warm mini tortillas and sour cream and guacamole.

*should serve 3-4 nicely with the rice and sides


–Set it and Forget it Chicken Taco Chili

This is a very easy recipe and will cook in the slow cooker on high in 6 hours! So set it and forget it. This is a re-blog from last October so if you missed it you get another shot at it and if you already made this recipe here you go again. If you’re looking for something easy to make this week that is also delicious — here you go.

 No muss No Fuss come tonite, all the heavy lifting will be done by noon. My kind of cooking.

Slow cookers make for perfect cooking all year round. Nothing better than setting it and forgetting it! Making life easier and less clean up after dinner. I happened to have a package of Taco Seasoning Mix in the house so I used it along with cumin and chili powder. I used dark meat and white meat chicken, you can use whichever chicken you’d like. Just set it and forget it and come home to this delicious meal of chicken . If you don’t own a slow cooker this may be a good time to buy one!

Follow me on Instagram @cookingwithcandi I’ll be looking for you!


1 small yellow onion , chopped

1 15 oz. can black beans, drained-you don’t have to rinse the organic beans. If you already have them in the house and they’re not organic just rinse them with water and drain.

1 15 oz. can red kidney beans, drained -you don’t have to rinse the organic beans–same instructions as above

1 8 oz. can tomato sauce

10 oz. package frozen corn kernels

2 10 oz. cans diced tomatoes with chilies –available in the Mexican Food aisle in the supermarket

4 oz. can chopped green chili peppers, chopped–also available in the Mexican Food aisle

1 packet Taco Seasoning- *if you don’t like using Taco Seasoning see note below

1 tbsp. cumin

1/2-1 Tbsp. chili powder

Kosher Salt to taste–if using the package of Taco Seasoning you may not need extra salt , wait till 6 hours of cooking are over and taste for salt . I sprinkled a little bit at the end of seasoning to taste.

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts and I added 6 small skinless , boneless chicken thighs and if you cannot find boneless don’t worry because the meat will fall off the bones and you can remove all the bones from the chili before serving.

I don’t know the nutrition information but I have to believe that this is a fairly low-fat , low caloric way to go. I added the dark meat so maybe not as light as you can make it. Enjoy!

*handful of fresh cilantro – chopped if you would like


Combine drained beans, onion, chili peppers, corn , tomato sauce, diced tomato, cumin, chili powder and taco seasoning in a slow cooker and mix well.

Nestle the chicken in to completely cover and cook either on Low for 8-10 hours or on High for 4-6 hours. I did it on high for 6 hours.

App. 1/2 hour before the cooking was over I thought I would shred the chicken, when I opened the slow cooker and started to stir the chicken it all just fell apart on its own!!! This was so amazing how I didn’t even have to do that. I guess it cooked so long that it just fell apart! This was just perfect and tasted so delicious! If that is not your experience and you only cook for 4 hours you may want to shred the chicken yourself about 1/2 hour before finished. But mine really did shred itself as I stirred it with a wooden spoon.

Top with fresh cilantro and your favorite chili toppings! I also serve with soft corn tortillas. You can use crunchy taco shells or whatever you’d like, this is totally optional. And some avocado never hurt anyone!


*to make your own seasoning follow this

1 1/2 Tbsp. Cumin

1 1/2 Tbsp. Chili Powder

1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder

1/4 tsp. Onion Powder

1/4 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. paprika

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

This is a staple in my Chinese Restaurant take out , I love it. It’s sort of on the “lighter” side of most Chinese main entrees. It is usually in the appetizer section of the menu. img_2523


It’s super easy but contains a lot of ingredients that you may not have in the house so some grocery shopping may be involved.  I highly recommend this recipe for a lovely lunch or delicious dinner!! I didn’t even use salt or pepper because it had so very much flavor it didn’t even need it. I would taste for it though since everyone’s taste is a little different where salt and pepper is concerned.

This recipe literally cooked in less than 1/2 hour and it really was delicious. This is a dish the whole family may enjoy.


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound ground chicken or turkey–I prefer dark meat because I think it’s more flavorful use whatever you prefer

2 cloves garlic minced

app. 1 medium onion (yellow), diced

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

2 Tablespoons soy sauce –I use low sodium

1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1/2 -1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger–you can use a full tablespoon if you really love ginger, it was fine with 1/2

*1 Tablespoon Sriracha, totally optional. This didn’t make it super spicy just gave it a little kick. You can use Sriracha on the table if you like.

1 8 oz. can whole water chestnuts, drained and coarsely chopped. I had sliced in the house and I just gave them a rough chop

2 green onions ( scallions) green and white, sliced thinly

*Kosher Salt and Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 head butter lettuce or large leafs of iceberg lettuce– either one is fine


Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add ground meat and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Make sure to crumble the meat as it cooks, drain any excess fat.

Stir in garlic, onion, hoisin sauce, soy sauce , rice wine vinegar, ginger and Sriracha until onions have become translucent, a few minutes.

Stir in the chopped water chestnuts and green onions until tender, another few minutes. Now taste for salt and pepper, as I said I didn’t use any salt and pepper at all.

For serving, spoon meat into the center of a lettuce leaf.

If you’d like you can serve with hoisin sauce and sriracha on the side.









Chicken Thighs with Brussels and Sweet Potato – Baked in one Pan

chicken nestled above vegetables --showing depth of pan This recipe came to me through a friend and I love suggestions for new recipes that inspire me so thanks to you Eliza once again. The original version of this recipe is from Skinnytaste and I must admit that I made it my way with a little less skinny but I think it was still very healthy. If you’d like to see the original and more diet-conscious recipe please go to Skinnytaste.

This is what I did the other night and I will say that it all came together rather quickly and very deliciously. Recipe as is should serve 4 with large thighs. I would probably add a fifth thigh for 4 people though. If you’re using smaller thighs then 6 small ones and I would probably make a salad or soup first.



Olive Oil

1 lb. Brussels Sprouts – cut in half the long way

2 medium sized sweet potatoes — peeled and cut into 1″ cubes

4-6 large chicken thighs — see note above

Kosher Salt

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Garlic Powder

Fresh Rosemary


I used an oval shaped Le Creuset — you can use a ceramic one as well and if you can use oval it’s nice but I am pretty sure this would be good in another shape but make sure it’s deep enough–see photos

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray baking dish with cooking spray

Place sweet potatoes on one side and the Brussels on the other. You can use olive oil spray but I just dribbled olive oil over the veggies to give them a light glaze – and sprinkled with salt and pepper. I gently mixed and then made sure that brussels were on one side and potatoes on the other.

Season both sides of the chicken well with salt, pepper and garlic powder

Place chicken thighs on top of the veggies, skin side down and I added about 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary placed around chicken — see photos

Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the chicken to a plate and stir the vegetables

Place the chicken back on top of the vegetables skin side up this time. Bake till skin is browned and the vegetables are roasted and tender, about 30-35 minutes depending on your oven. I then put broiler on and broiled for a few minutes more but only a few minutes you don’t want to burn them.

Enjoy this delicious hearty not heavy meal.