I grew up eating home cooked meals that were lovingly prepared by my amazing mother. Mama grew up in southern Germany, and so she cooks mainly German dishes. One of my favourites growing up was “Hühnerfrikassee” – essentially the German version of “Chicken Pot Pie”. The main difference is the German version uses rice or potatoes in lieu of a pie crust, and so it resembles more a stew. I recently made this family favourite and thought it was time to share it with you. It’s a great way to use up left-over roast chicken, and is relatively quick and easy to prepare – especially if you also have left-over vegetables on hand. And of course, this tastes just as good with left-over turkey!

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp white flour

approximately 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock (usually I use home-made chicken stock that I store in the freezer – or I recommend using PC Blue Menu)

1/4 cup white wine (optional)

2 Tbsp whipping cream or milk

1 tsp Dijon mustard

salt & pepper to taste

cooked carrots, corn and broccoli

cooked peeled potatoes, quartered or cubed

left-over roast chicken, cut into bite-size pieces

Directions:

1. Melt butter. Whisk in flour. Slowly add chicken stock and whisk well after each addition. Continue until desired consistency is reached.

2. Add wine (if using) and cream (or milk). Add mustard and salt & pepper.

3. Add cooked vegetables, potatoes, and chicken. Stir gently with wooden spoon. Serve.

Summer has arrived! Time to fire up the BBQ and enjoy a delicious meal outside on your deck or patio! One of my absolute favourite meals is Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki Sauce (see below for recipes). It’s very simple to make and is healthy and tastes so good. It’s currently my favourite meal to prepare for guests, and we enjoyed a wonderful evening out on our patio with our condo-dwelling friends last weekend. The weather was fantastic and we were able to have a late dinner (after the children had been put to bed!) out on our patio where we then played a game of Settlers of Catan by candlelight until almost mid-night. I cannot wait to do it again soon!

Because I wanted to be able to eat dinner with our guests after our children had gone to bed, I served Guacamole with some super healthy tasting “Haddad Bakery – High Protein Pita Bread” (which I purchased for the first time at No Frills and will likely purchase again soon) as soon as the children had finished eating their dinner. Then, once the little ones were in bed, we got the BBQ going and my husband grilled the chicken, which had been marinating for six hours. We also added some fresh asparagus (which had been included in that week’s CSA delivery), corn (which had been boiled while I made a quick dinner for the children) and red pepper halves (which had been roasted in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 15 minutes earlier that evening) to the grill. Meanwhile, I prepared the quinoa-filling for the red peppers. I did make some minor changes to the quinoa-filling compared to the recipe I posted earlier this month in order to make it a more “fitting” side for Chicken Souvlaki. Essentially, I omitted the chilli powder, cumin, and salsa and added chopped garlic scapes since these had been included in my weekly CSA delivery and I wanted to incorporate them into the meal. I had made the Tzatziki Sauce while the children ate their dinner. After serving the food, our friend Andrew insisted I take a picture of his plate for my blog and so that is why you are getting the details of our dinner that evening instead of just the recipe for the Chicken Souvlaki and Tzatziki Sauce!

After dinner we savoured a surprisingly not-very-sweet Tiramisu Cake, which I had made for the first time. The recipe is from my Williams Sonoma”Dessert” collection and I have wanted to make it for years, but had never gotten around to making it. Every recipe that I have ever made from that book has turned out AMAZING, so I wasn’t surprised when this cake left us wanting more. We did, however, manage to save some for the next day and I have to say it tasted even better the second day because the coffee and rum “syrup” and marscapone cream had more time to seep through the cake layers while it chilled in the fridge overnight. I will definitely be sharing the recipe in a future post, even though it is not “simple and healthy”, like the other recipes on my blog would indicate. But hey, we all deserve a little indulgence once in a while, right?!

Here is the recipe for the Chicken Souvlaki and Tzatziki Sauce!

Chicken Souvlaki – Ingredients (serves 6)

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup white wine

2 tsp grated lemon rind

4 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp thyme

3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast (or turkey breast or pork) – I generally use one breast per adult

Chicken Souvlaki – Directions

Combine all ingredients except the meat in a large bowl. Add meat (I prefer to leave the chicken breasts whole, though traditionally souvlaki is prepared by cutting the meat into 1-inch cubes and then skewered). Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (preferably overnight). Grill on BBQ.

Tzatziki Sauce – Ingredients (serves 2 – 6, depending how much tzatziki you like with your souvlaki – I typically double the recipe!)

1 and 1/2 cups Greek yogurt (once again, my favourite one is PC’s 0% Greek Yogurt)

1/4 cucumber, peeled & seeded (I tend to use more)

2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp olive oil

1 tsp white wine vinegar

salt to taste

Tzatziki Sauce – Directions
Combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

What is your favourite summer BBQ meal?!

Chicken Parmesan Bake

May 6, 2012

Imagine you’ve had an extremely busy day and now you are supposed to quickly prepare a healthy and super-delicious meal using the chicken breasts you had thawing in the fridge since last night, but the thought of all those dirty dishes to wash once dinner has been served and devoured is enough to make you want to order in a pizza instead. What if I told you I have a recipe that, approximately 35 minutes after starting to follow said recipe, results in a healthy and super-delicious meal with just one dish to clean?!  Impossible, right?! That’s what I thought, too, when my friend first told me about this recipe not that long ago. I have made it several times now and it has always exceeded my expectations.

You can click here to view the original recipe (literally, as there is no written recipe – it’s a video demonstration!), or you can read below to see my (healthier still) version of this recipe.

Ingredients:

1 jar of your favourite tomato sauce (as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my two favourites are the “Blue Menu” tomato sauces by “President’s Choice” available at No Frills, etc. and “All Natural Marinara Sauce” by “White Linen Collection – Gourmet Pasta Sauce” available at Costco – both are low in sodium and contain no added sugar)

fresh Basil leaves, chopped

1 – 2 cloves garlic, chopped or pressed (optional)

4 – 6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (I typically purchase the chicken breasts with the skin on and bone in and remove these myself – it’s usually cheaper this way AND allows me to make homemade chicken stock with the discarded bones – I’ll be doing a post on how to make your own chicken stock soon!)

1/2 bag whole grain, garlic croutons

shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese – as much or as little as you like!
 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pour some tomato sauce into a 2.8 L baking dish (I prefer glass), just enough to provide some moisture for the chicken breasts, which you then place on top of the tomato sauce. Sprinkle the chopped basil and garlic (if using) over top of the chicken breasts.

Pour tomato sauce over chicken breasts (I LOVE tomato sauce, so I am generous here). Next, sprinkle croutons over top, however much or little you like. (I would have used more if I hadn’t run out!) Sprinkle cheese over top, again as much or as little as you like.

Place in oven and bake for 30 – 35 minutes.

Steamed broccoli makes a good accompaniment. Or, as pictured above, enjoy with some brown and wild rice and a garden salad with my Honey Mustard Salad Dressing!