Happy Turkey Day!!!

Hello all!!! I hope everyone has a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving. Be thankful for those you love and good food! 🙂

I’ll just leave this here. Enjoy! Here’s to a no butter needed Thanksgiving!

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Delicious Roasted Turkey

Ingredients:

1 10-13 lb turkey

1 bunch of fresh thyme plus 1 tablespoon diced

1 medium sized onion

3 whole lemons zested and 1 juiced

6-8 cloves of garlic (2 chopped)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 oven bag to bake turkey

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Take a whole defrosted turkey and set aside while preparing baste. Zest 3 lemons and set the juice of 1 lemon aside. Mix together zest, juice of one lemon, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, 2 cloves of garlic chopped, and EVOO and set aside. Chop onion and remaining lemons into quarters and set aside. Place 4 cloves of garlic inside of the cavity of the turkey along with quartered onion and lemon and bunch of fresh thyme. Grab a pastry brush and brush the lemon juice mixture all over the turkey. Place turkey inside of roasting bag and cut a few slits in the bag. Seal up bag and place turkey in oven and bake for 2-3 hours depending on the size of your bird. Enjoy!

 

Cauliflower/Potato Mash

Ingredients:

1 head of cauliflower

6-8 whole red potatoes

1 cup of plain greek yogurt

1/4 cup skin milk

1/2 cup chopped chives

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 and bake potatoes for about 1 hour. About 20 minutes before potatoes are finished place trimmed head of cauliflower in a pot of boiling water until tender. While both are finishing cooking chop 1/2 cup of chives and set aside. When potatoes are finished baking remove skins and place in a bowl and set aside. Drain cauliflower and add to bowl with potatoes. Use a hand masher and mash potatoes and cauliflower along with milk and greek yogurt. When sufficient mashed according to taste add chopped chives and stir. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Mediterranean Chicken with Olive and Lemon

Mediterranean Chicken

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Ingredients:

2 lbs of thinly sliced chicken breasts

2 medium sized lemons

1 medium white onion

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon paprika

2 1/2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground thyme

2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup sliced kalamata olives

1/2 sliced green olives

Directions:

Slice 1 medium onion into very thin slices and set aside.

Cut 1 lemon into 8-10 equal wedges and set aside. Juice the second lemon and set juice aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon EVOO in sauté pan on medium high and cook onion and garlic until onion is translucent and garlic is fragrant.

Add paprika, cumin, cinnamon, and thyme to pan and stir onions until starting to slightly brown.

Add broth and stir and bring to a low boil.

Season both sides of chicken with some cracked pepper and place in pan along with lemons and juice. Cover and cook on medium for about 20-22 minutes until chicken almost falls apart when picked up with a fork.

Remove chicken and set aside. Add olives and increase heat to medium high and cook until sauce starts to thicken about 5-10 minutes.

Serve over some jasmine rice and with some sliced pita and hummus and enjoy!

 

Collard Greens

Sauteed Collard Greens

Ingredients:

1 bag collard greens

1 medium red onion

1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth

4-6 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon cracked pepper

Directions:

Finely mice 3-4 cloves of garlic and set aside.

Chop one medium red onion and set aside.

Heat 1-2 tablespoons EVOO in a small sauce pot over medium high heat and add onion and garlic until fragrant. About 10 minutes.

Add collard greens and sauté four about 5-10 minutes.

Add chicken broth and vinegar and reduce heat to low and simmer until broth has cooked off and greens are soft.

Season with a little bit of pepper and enjoy!

Pulled BBQ Chicken

Pulled BBQ chicken

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Ingredients:

2 pounds thinly sliced chicken breasts

6 tablespoons your favorite BBQ sauce (I prefer a spicy low sodium sauce)

½ red onion very thinly sliced

1 medium green apple shredded

3-4 cups low sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon cumin

Whole wheat hamburger buns and your favorite side I prefer sweet potato fries or see my collard greens for a yummy side.

 

Directions:

Place chicken in pot with just enough chicken broth to cover chicken (about 3-4 cups) and boil until falling apart when picked up with a fork. About 1 hour.

After chicken is boiled to desired temperature preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Shred chicken using two forks to pull apart into fine shreds. Transfer chicken to cookie sheet or roasting pan and pour BBQ sauce over. Place in oven for about 7-10 minutes or just until sauce has coated all of the chicken.

While chicken is baking finely slice red onion and green apple. Sauté onion and apple in extra virgin olive oil and spices until onions are translucent.

Once chicken has reached desired temperature serve over a toasted whole wheat but with onion and apple topping and your desired side (see my collard green recipe). Bon appetite!

 

My Take on Italian Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup

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Ingredients:

1 (15oz)can cannellini beans

1 (15oz)can navy beans

1 (15oz)can garbanzo beans

64 oz low sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

½ large white onion chopped

2 cups diced carrots

2 cups diced celery

3 garlic cloves minced

2 cans no salt added diced tomatoes

3 bay leaves

2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil

¼ cup freshly chopped parsley

½ teaspoon salt and cracked pepper

2 medium size zucchini diced

3 cups fresh spinach

2 cups cooked ditalini pasta

4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese and more for topping

1 teaspoon dried thyme

5 mild Italian chicken Italian sausages

 

Create your mise en place… for everyone this is a French term that means set up! Chop your vegetables and spices and set to the side.

After chopping your vegetables take 1 can of cannellini beans and 1 can of garbanzo beans and place in a blender with 2 cups of chicken broth and blend until smooth.

After blending beans heat 2 tablespoons of EVOO in large saucepot. Add celery, carrots, onion, and garlic and cook for about 10-15 minutes when you can really start to smell the garlic.

Add remaining chicken broth, canned tomatoes drained, pureed beans, salt and pepper, and parmesan cheese. Next add thyme, basil, parsley, and bay leaves and simmer on low for about 1 hour.

While soup is cooking heat a sauté pan with water ¾ of the way to the top of the pan to a simmer and add chicken sausage. Simmer about 20 minutes until done. Chop sausage into small cubes and add to simmering soup.

About 45 minutes before broth is done place water to boil according to box directions. I typically use about 75% of the pasta in the box with about 8-10 cups of water to boil.

While pasta is cooking add zucchini and spinach to soup and cook covered for about 20-30 minutes.

Drain pasta and set aside until soup is finished.

When soup is finished, remove bay leaves and add pasta to soup. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.

Ladle desired portion and top with a sprinkle of grated parmesan and enjoy!

 

 

 

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

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This soup is a hearty healthy comfort food that is easy and makes lots of leftovers for those cool winter evenings. As always I hope you enjoy!

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

 

Ingredients:

1 cup dried orzo pasta

64 oz low sodium chicken broth

2 cups diced celery

2 cups thinly sliced whole carrots

1 medium white onion diced

3 cloves garlic minced

3 bay leaves

½ tablespoon cracked pepper

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups uncooked spinach

2 pounds chicken breast

1 teaspoon texas pete hot sauce

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 medium lemons juiced and zested

 

Directions:

 

Mince garlic and dice carrots, celery, and onion and place to the side. Heat 2 tablespoons EVOO in a large sauce pot. Mix in garlic, celery, carrots, and onion and cook until tender. Add broth and bay leaves and cook while preparing chicken over medium high heat.

While soup is starting to simmer zest 1 lemon and juice all 3. Add zest to cooking soup and place juice to the side.

Bring 8 cups of water to a boil over high heat. After water comes to a boil add 1 cup of orzo pasta and cool until completely done.

Season chicken with a dash of salt and pepper. Place chicken over a skillet or sauté until cooked through. After cooked through place aside and shred using two forks or slice thinly.

After chicken is cook thoroughly add to soup mixture along with lemon juice.

Allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes.

After simmering add 2 cups uncooked spinach and stir into soup.

Serve up and enjoy!

 

Baby It’s Cold Outside Four Bean Chicken Chili

This is for those cold winter evenings. Enjoy!

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4 Bean Chicken Chili

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50-75 minutes

Ingredients:

3 cans no salt added diced tomatoes

1 can no salt added cannellini beans

1 can no salt added pinto beans

1 can spicy chili beans

1 can no salt added dark red kidney beans

2 cans no salt added tomato sauce

2 whole diced tomatoes

1 chopped medium white onion

4 cloves garlic minced

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 pounds chicken breast

1 diced yellow pepper

1 diced green pepper

1 packet no salt chili seasoning or ( 2 tablespoon chili powder, 2 tablespoon cumin, 2 tablespoon cracked black pepper, 3 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon Texas Pete hot sauce, 1 tablespoon paprika, and 1 tablespoon sea salt) Add more of each spice according to taste

1/4 cup chopped scallion

Directions:

Chop onion, yellow and green pepper. Place 2 tablespoons of olive oil into pot and sauté onion, garlic, and peppers for about 10 minutes until tender.

Next, add 3 cans tomatoes and 2 cans tomato sauce and all spices and Worchestershire. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes adding spices to mixture. Now add 4 cans of various beans and simmer on low to medium heat while cooking chicken.

While chili mixture is staring to simmer prepare 2 pounds of chicken breast with a little bit of chili pepper and cumin on each side. Grill or sauté until cooked thoroughly.

After chicken is cooked through shred with a knife and fork into small slices. Add chicken to chili mixture and cook on low to medium heat for 30 minutes to an hour. Depends on how impatient you are. 🙂

While chili is simmering chop scallions for topping.

When finished top chili with a sprinkle of 4 cheese blend and chopped scallions and enjoy!

Nutritional Facts coming soon.

Welcome to Blonde Vivant!

Hello Everyone!

I am so excited to share my love of healthy cooking with everyone who wishes to listen. I believe you can eat what you want in a healthy way without sacrificing taste.  My recipes are designed to be healthy and satisfying without lacking in flavor. I hope that you all learn a little bit about healthy cooking and take charge of what you eat on a daily basis.

A little bit about myself…I have a full time job and when I’m not working I’m cooking. I love to take old childhood favorites and anything I find delicious and make it healthy. I love all types of cuisine. You will see anything and everything on this page. I also have a serious sweet tooth so any sweet recipe I can take and make healthier I will.

My hope for this blog is that everyone who happens to cross it’s path realizes that you don’t need butter to make something taste amazing and that you make a choice for a happier and healthier you.

Enjoy!

-Your Blonde Vivant