Sunday, March 28, 2010

What's for Dinner? Week of March 29- April 2

Monday
Chicken Salad with Mandarins and Cashews




Tuesday
Slow cooker chili con carne



Wednesday
Fish tacos




Thursday

Caribbean Peanut Chicken



Friday - The PB and I are going away for the weekend so will be enjoying the cooking of someone else ;)

Recipes to come...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

What's For Dinner? Week of March 22-26, 2010

In an effort to continue on this newfound path toward holistic self care, I thought I would get back into the habit of meal planning.

And where better to do so?

Right here on The Kitchen Witch, that's where!

Each Sunday I will share my plans for five weeknight dinners that are easy to prepare, packed full of wonderful, fresh ingredients, that will subscribe to a healthful, balanced way of approaching meals.

I will also share recipes, pictures, and other tips throughout the week.

To get us started, on the menu for this week will be:

Monday
Chinese lemon chicken



Tuesday
Chick pea fritatta



Wednesday
Shrimp and vegetable rice



Thursday
Roasted salmon in lemon herb sauce



Friday
Homemade Burgers



And that's the week. Stay tuned for the recipes!

To trust in the force that moves the universe is faith.

Faith isn't bline, it's visionary.
Faith is believing that the universe is on our side,
and that the universe knows what it's doing.

~Author Unknown

Weekend Lunch - The Fabulous Fajita!

Hey everyone!

The PB and I just had the most wonderful lunch...



Do you ever make fajitas? If not, today's your lucky day, because I'm going to show you how to make these wonderfully healthy and delicious lunch or dinner time treats.

You can use your imagination and pretty much fill them with any combination of your choice.

For today, I used cheddar cheese, tomatoes, finely diced purple onion, green onion, ham, and avocado.



Avocados are super foods linked to lower cholesterol, lower heart disease, stroke risk, and provide many protective elements from cancer.

The illustrious tomato is also linked to prevention. It contains a magical property called lycopene, a vital anti-oxidant that helps in the fight against cancerous cell formation as well as other kinds of health complications and diseases.

Onions contain many vitamins and also contain anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.

Cheese is a wonderful source of protein and calcium.

Which adds up to a lunch that is not only delicious, it's great for you!

Once you have all your ingredients lined up, it's time to prepare your burrito shell. I always use whole wheat because I try to get my fibre wherever I can.

Spread a thin layer of margarine on one side of the shell



Turn over and layer your ingredients on one half of the shell starting and ending with cheese.

For a little extra pizazz, add a few dashes of hot sauce if you wish.



Fold over and put in a hot pan that has been turned to medium and sprayed with PAM.



Turn over when bottom side is browned and cheese is melting.



Tasty, easy, and oh so healthy!



What could be more magical than that?

Ole!

***

This week on Dishin It!



This week's episode is all about fate - or as Forrest Gump so succinctly put it "I don't know if we each have a destiny, or if we're all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze..."



Featuring stories and insights about life, "coincidences," and the breezes that carry us forward, I've put together probably one of my most favourite podcasts to date.

Not because I actually think I'm "That. Fabulous," but because something very special happened to me this week.

So join me weekly on Dishin It!

It's a great reminder for you *and I* of what A Fabulously Good Life this really is!


Friday, March 5, 2010

Best Chicken Pot Pie



"Love at first sight is easy to understand; it's when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle."

- Amy Bloom























My husband and I have reached a new stage in our relationship.

One we haven't experienced in about sixteen years.

Our son - who is now driving - works weekends and evenings, plays rugby, makes a daily appearance at school, and has a social life the likes of which I never knew at his age.

In other words, he is seldom home.

Which has given my husband and I a new lease on married life.

Don't get me wrong, we love our son madly, but the beginning stages of the empty nest feel more like a natural progression than a loss.

We've had all these years to season our relationship, and now are faced with the good fortune of spending time together as best friends and partners.

I read somewhere that even the worst marriages, if given time, will mellow into something around which both partners will come to feel gratitude.

So the good news is that if your relationship is already somewhat happy, your slow climb into old age will be that much better with a loving partner by your side.

"Love seems the swiftest, but it is the slowest of all growths. No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter of a century."

- Mark Twain

Being that we were faced with another night of eating dinner alone, I got it into my head to prepare one the PB's favourite dinners: Chicken Pot Pie.

The perfect blend of ooey gooey comfort, creamy mushroom gravy, and golden flaky pie crust, my chicken pot pie has been a family favourite at Sunday dinners for more years than I can count.

But it's one of those meals that requires a lot of love.

Remember, good things take time.

















If you're willing to give this recipe the attention it deserves, I promise, you won't be dissapointed.
"Happy marriages begin when we marry the ones we love, and they blossom when we love the ones we marry."
- Tom Mullen

To begin, you will need



* 3 boneless chicken breasts - cubed
* 1 cup diced carrots
* 1 cup frozen green peas
* 1 cup diced white or Yukon Gold potatoes
* 1/2 cup sliced celery
* 1 tsp garlic powder
* 1 tsp poultry seasoning or herbes de provence
* 1 bayleaf
* 4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth

In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, peas, potatoes and celery. Add garlic powder, bay leaf, seasonings, and chicken broth to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain broth into a bowl and set aside. Set vegetables aside in a seperate bowl.

Next gather



* 2/3 cup butter
* 2/3 cup chopped onion
* 2/3 cup chopped mushrooms
*2 cloves minced garlic
* 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
* 2 1/2 cups chicken broth (you will use your chicken broth from above)
* 1 1/3 cup milk

In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions, and mushrooms, in butter until onions are soft and translucent. Add garlic and continue to cook until garlic smells good and is starting to incorporate with the other ingredients. Stir in flour, salt, pepper.

Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick.



Remove from heat and set aside.

Add the chicken and vegetable mixture to your gravy.

Add 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)



You can set all this aside until you're ready to bake the pie.

I usually do my pie crust and filling in the morning and then let everything sit in the fridge until I'm ready to build the pies later in the day.

When ready to bake, place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Using a fork, make several small puncture marks in the top to allow steam to escape.


















Bake in the preheated 425 oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool at least 15 minutes before serving. Twenty is even better.


















This recipe will make two gorgeous pies.

These freeze beautifully.

Bake from frozen at 350 for app 30 min.

For PRINTABLE RECIPE click here

***

In the spirit of "Good things take time," the same principal applies to marriage or any long term relationship.

Like the humble chicken pot pie, the recipe for a long term marriage often requires more effort than many cooks intially anticipate.

But when the flavours and textures are given the love and attention to meld together just so, what you are left with is a masterpiece.



That being said, every good masterpiece needs the proper setting around which to be appreciated.

Because we live in a small cottage style home, I have become big on moving things around and creating new looks in unexpected places.

And what could be more romantic than dining by candlelight in front of the fire?






















So that's just what we did.

I have several inexpensive round glass top summer tables in varying sizes that I keep in storage for these kinds of dinners.


Like I always say, life is in the details.

You don't have to leave home and spend a whole bunch of money to have a romatic candlelit dinner.

Don't be afraid to shake things up every now and then and create a new space in an old room.

When all is said and done, that's the true secret to a long and lasting marriage.

***

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tex Mex Chicken Wraps



Do you ever get to the point where you just don't know what to cook?























Like you've made everything in your repertoire but have somehow lost inspiration?

Well so do I.

And it's those times I find myself saying "Let's pick up fast food."

Except fast food is never as good as we imagine, has nothing to do with fresh local ingredients or sustainability, and in my case sticks around for hours afterward like a bad sodium hangover.



I know.

So I thought I'd share an original recipe.

I make these chicken wraps all the time and the family loves them.

They're very good warm, but make extras as they're delicious cold and great to take for lunch.


















Mave's Chicken Wraps
For printable recipe click HERE


Ingredients

One package chicken tenders, or 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into slices
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
2 cloves chopped garlic
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce

Marinate chicken in these ingredients for 2-3 hours.



After the chicken has marinated...

Cook 1/2 cup of white rice in one cup tomato juice and hot sauce (to taste) for twenty minutes until rice is cooked.

I like to use jalapeno sauce but any old hot sauce will do.



Anyways...

Add one can corn
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup sour cream

Mix together until well incorporated



Set aside, and keep warm while you finish cooking the chicken...

Sautee the chicken tenders with a diced onion and a diced green pepper.

Add a little more hot sauce to the chicken if you like. Taste it to see if it suits you.

When the chicken is cooked, cube a ripe tomato and an avocado.
Warm your burrito shells
Then spread an even layer of the rice mixture onto the shell.

Top with the chicken mixture, some tomato, some avocado, and some more fresh chopped cilantro.



Fold as shown in the original photo and enjoy...



















I like this with a cold Dos Equis beer...

A marguerita, however, would be good in a pinch ;)

Ole and have a great day!


***

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