SUPER BOWL Super Snacks! Super Tasty!

MEXICAN SHREDDED CHICKEN
This is a perfect snack while watching  SUPER BOWL LI on  Sunday.
I used the spice mix featured in my HOLIDAY GIFT Spice Jars  that Is used in this Mexican shredded chicken recipe from Always Hungry? ..by renowned Harvard endocrinologist Dr. David Ludwig See the full story on Ambition Nutrition.  Dr. Ludwig returned to Toronto where his wife Chef Dawn demonstrated some of the wonderful recipes from his book .  The Mexican chicken dish was a big hit! I have already made it four times because it is so fast andvery’ easy to make! Bonus: kids love it!
.
print_recipe
.
.

img_4333

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 3/4 pounds)
  • spice mix:
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin (grind you own in a mortar and pestle)
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered red chili i.e. Ancho, chile de arbol or New Mexican
  • Dash of Cayenne pepper ~ or ~ to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt (use Kosher or sea salt )
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

.
img_4361

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Mix the spices together in a plastic bag. Add the olive oil and combine. Add the chicken and evenly coat. You can refrigerate this overnight.
  2.  Film the frying pan with 1/16″ oil and set over moderately high heat.  When very hot but not  smoking place the chicken in the pan in one layer without crowding.
  3.  Cover; cook turning regularly especially in the beginning, until the oil and juices from the chicken begin to make a sauce. Add water as needed, 1 tablespoon at a time, to keep the mixture from burning or sticking. Cook until the chicken is cooked throughout, 15 to 20 minutes. Using two forks, shred the chicken in the pan, pulling along the grain to create thin strands. Shredding the chicken disperses more flavour.
  4.  Continue to heat the shredded chicken, stirring frequently, until the liquid and spices have been absorbed and thicken, another 3-5 minutes.

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Total time: 25 to 30 minutes
Makes 6 servings (about 3 cups)
Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Freeze for longer storage.

A VARIETY OF SERVING SUGGESTIONS
Chicken is so tender, juicy and versatile. You can serve it in a myriad of ways.
(1) A filling for tacos
(2) Casseroles, Mexican lasagna
(3) Tortilla or quesadillas (topped with guacamole or sour cream)
(4) Mexican Shredded chicken on pita bread
(5) Chicken salad with tortilla chips, avocado and red peppers
(6) Pizza

shredded-chicken-three

HAT2 FOOD TIP:  After removing the cooked chicken from my pan, I added cream (or  use water)  to the hot pan along with pink peppercorns and started swirling the pan to loosen all the tasty bits in the fry pan.  I poured the cooled mixture  into a glass mason jar.  After a day in the fridge,  I stored the sauce in the freezer.  If you use chicken thighs with the bone in then toss the bones into a pot of water  with leftover vegetables like carrot tops or the core of a cauliflower (save it all ) for a healthy, home-made chicken stock.

img_4424

Chicken Stock made from chicken  bones and Pink Peppercorn Sauce from pan drippings.

 

didyouknowDID YOU KNOW?
WHAT GIVES MEAT ITS COLOUR ?
The reddish colour of dark meat comes from the  myoglobin, a hemoprotein (an oxygen-carrying protein) The more myoglobin, the darker the meat and the richer the nutrients. Myoglobin provides muscles with the oxygen they need during exercise or movement. The flightless chicken use their ‘myoglobin’ legs to get around pumping those muscles into a red ‘myogloben’ frenzy.  I bet some of you didn’t know that.

100 g (3.5 ounce) of skinless chicken thigh = 7 g of fat.
100 g (3.5 ounce) of skinless chicken breast = 3.6 g of fat.
100 g (3.5 ounce) of chicken wings = 8 g of fat. A raw chicken wing weighs approximated 3 ounces, or 89 grams

DARK MEAT IS RICHER IN NUTRIENTS THAN WHITE MEAT: CHICKEN THIGHS contain protein, niacin, phosphorous,  Vitamin A, K, D, B6, B12, folic acid, pantothenic acid,  selenium, phosphorus, calcium, zinc (protects immune system) and iron. Niacin helps to build and maintain healthy skin, and aids in the digestion and absorption of food. Vitamin B6 is needed for protein metabolism and amino acid synthesis. Keep in mind that  the darker the meat the more nutrition in the meat.

blogger-recognition-award

Blogger Recognition Award

blogger-recognition-award-badgeI can’t not tell you how excited I was to read that Tamara from The Purple Almond nominated me for the blogger recognition award. If you’re not following The Purple Almond yet, then you don’t know what you’re missing. She is one of the most genuine and lovely healthy  ‘foody’ lifestyle bloggers out there. Go check her out! This means so much to me and I feel so blessed that someone recognized all the hard work and time that I’ve been putting into this blog.

My blogging Journey

I would say that I am a pretty creative person and I express my creativity in many different ways . One creative outlet that I hadn’t previously explored is blogging. I’ve been enjoying blogging, reading others blogs, and I can’t wait to see where it will take me. I have a passion for healthy eating. I followed great chefs and enjoy writing about them.  I have discovered great and wonderful blogs from many new fellow blogging friends. I enjoy interacting with my “dear readers”! I love getting new comments and likes on my posts. It’s such a thrill!

Advice for bloggers

curiosityPassion is the key to life and to blogging. Advice for new bloggers is to write about what you have a feverish passion to do. If you enjoy blogging about something you really enjoy, it is not tedious or a chore to do. The other piece of advice is to read and follow other blogs. Your curiosity will lead you to meeting glorious and wonderful people out there, all over the world.

Nominate 15 bloggers.

I nominate all of you beautiful followers and non-followers. Enjoy your Recognition Blogger Award, and let me know if you choose to accept it!

(1) https://thebackyardlemontree.com/
(2) https://www.conorbofin.com/
(3) https://infinitebelly.com/
(4) backroadjournal.wordpress.com
(5) https://allabouthealthychoices.wordpress.com/
(6) https://frugalhausfrau.com/
(7) https://cindyknoke.com/
(8) https://ronitpenso.wordpress.com/
(9) https://currylives.wordpress.com/
(10)http://cookazido.com/
(11)https://photofinland.wordpress.com/
(12)https://elsaswholesomelife.wordpress.com/
(13)https://snapshotsincursive.com/
(14)https://fabulousfaresisters.com/
(15)https://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com/

Make sure to check these blogs. They are definitely worth the visit. Again thank you so much to Tamara for this amazing honor. Such a great start to the day!curiosity1-copy

aaa

Exotic Leftover Turkey

THE NEW COMFORT FOOD
The Christmas Turkey brings to life family gatherings. Such a warm and loving atmosphere of uncles, aunts and good friends. The turkey was enthusiastically embraced as a Christmas tradition and it was considered an “exotic bird”, especially by the upper crust in England during the 16th century. In 1950 turkeys became affordable for the middle class. By making a Thai turkey dish from leftovers may also be considered exotic – for now.
lw3ajt9d566d73f0f12f0607600922
LET’S EAT…SIMPLE.

leftover_turkey

Turkey Leftovers

I make my leftover Thai turkey every year now. First, I make sure I buy a large enough turkey so I can get about a pound (.46 kilos) of leftover, tasty turkey meat. I have two great meals from one turkey every year. Too tired to cook? Freeze leftover turkey and make this delicious, nutritious meal another day! Make it once and you will enjoy the tantalizing flavours with rich creamy coconut milk. Your family will love it!
.
.
print_recipe
.
.

img_4370INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1/2 cup chopped shallots
1 large red bell pepper, cut into strips
2 medium carrots, trimmed and shredded
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons easy home-made  or jarred Thai Red Curry Paste
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons palm sugar or light brown sugar
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
1 pound left over turkey, cubed or strips
3 tablespoons chopped Thai basil leaves
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Cooked jasmine rice, accompaniment
Sprigs fresh cilantro, garnish
INSTRUCTIONS
1. In a large wok or saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
2. Add to the pan shallots, saute a few minutes
3. Add to the pan garlic and saute a few more minutes.
4. Add to the pan shallots, bell peppers, and carrots.

Easy Sliced Red Peppers

Easy Sliced Red Peppers

5. Stir-fry until soft (2 to 3 minutes).
6. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant (30 seconds to 1 minute).
7. Stirring, add the fish sauce and sugar, then add the coconut milk and bring to a boil.
8. Simmer until thickened slightly (about 2 minutes).
9. Add the turkey, stirring  (about 5 minutes).
10. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil and cilantro.
Serve over jasmine rice, garnished with cilantro sprigs.
Optional: Add more greens such as leftover peas, spinach, bok choy, celery or kale.

Red Thai Curry Chicken with Jasmine Rice

Red Thai Curry Turkey with Jasmine Rice

In Thailand, POPULAR dishes using red curry paste cooked in coconut milk and are added to meat such as chicken, beef, pork, duck or shrimp are fabulous.

ALTERNATIVE COOKING METHOD
If you are using raw chicken or turkey, you can use a Pressure Cooker to prepare your Thai Red Curry in about 30 minutes
didyouknow
DID YOU KNOW?  Turkey is an excellent source of lean protein and selenium and a good source of vitamin B6.  Selenium is involved in thyroid hormone metabolism, antioxidant defense systems, immune function and DNA repair.  Turkey is also rich in vitamin B3, which helps to control insulin and blood sugar.

HAT2FOOD TIPS: If you don’t have fish sauce handy you can use anchovies. My mum always had fish paste in the frig. She bought it in a squeezable tube and kept it in the door of the frig. She would also keep anchovies in a small glass jar tucked away in the frig. They really come in handy. Hard boiled eggs with anchovies on toasted rye bread was a typical treat in our house.

SPECIAL FESTIVE COLOURS for your Exotic Leftover Turkey. Add green peppers for a MERRY CHRISTMAS and enjoy  the holidays with FESTIVE, ‘HEALTHY’ RED AND GREEN PEPPERS!
red_green_peppers

spices33

Spice Jars~Holiday Gifts

VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE!

How about giving you friends and family a spice jar this holiday season?
  I had a few people over for dinner the other night and they were raving about the shredded Mexican chicken I had prepared. I surprised them all when I gave each one a jar of ‘holiday’ spices. When I fill my spice gift jars, I add enough spice for two meals.
This dry mix of spices will add a unique zing to any chicken dish. Most of these spices you will have in your own cupboard. Try the suggested chili powders for this mix. My spice blend has just the right amount of heat and flavor to make all your guests ask for the ‘secret’ recipe.  In fact you can give them a jar of spices as a gift this holiday season! If you are able to prepare your own fresh ground cumin adds a great dimension to the dish. Fresh is always more fragrant and the taste is sensational. Do you want great flavor without adding a lot of heat? This would be a good mix. THE REAL GIFT IS THE RECIPE!

Combine the spices in the Mexican Chicken recipe and package.  This is the perfect hostess or other gift to give along with the printed recipe!

Combine the spices in the Mexican Chicken recipe and package. This is the perfect hostess or other gift to give along with the printed recipe!

INGREDIENTS
2 teaspoons ground cumin (grind you own in a mortar and pestle )
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon powdered red chili ~ i.e. Ancho, chile de arbol, New Mexican Chile.
Dash of Cayenne pepper ~ or ~  to taste
1 teaspoon salt  ( use Kosher,  sea salt or Himalayan pink salt )
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

img_4305

Mexican Shredded Chicken ( recipe inside ), Chocolate Chili Truffles ( in box )

I like giving my friends and neighbors little treats this time of year, spreading happiness and good wishes.
holiday-hugs-snowman
didyouknow2DID YOU KNOW? Spices not only  excite your taste buds but are composed of an impressive list of phyto-nutrients, essential oils, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins that are essential for overall wellness. Spices have been part part of our food ever since the spice trade began and when salt was a form of currency. Today we value healing spices even more. Thanks to the Arab and European explorers, whose contributions in spreading them from their place of origin to the rest of the planet has immensely broaden their use and popularity all over the world!

img_4326

Mortar & Pestle, Garlic Powder, Cumin, Cayenne, Salt, Pepper &  Ancho Chili Powder

chli-truffles

Chocolate Chili Truffles ~ Holiday Gifts ~

Deliciously dark (not-decadent) “Chili” Truffles. This recipe hails from  “South Of The Border Down Mexico Way!”  Around Christmas time I start whipping up my holiday truffles.  Add 2-3 truffles into mini boxes. Decorate with festive ribbon or glittery Christmas stickers and you’re ready to spread some cheer! Friends and family like your truffles even more knowing that you made them yourself and added a spoonful of love to each one! 💖

print_recipe
.
.
INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups whole almonds
1 1/2 cups fresh dates(pitted)
1/2 cup (or more) cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (Ancho, New Mexican, etc.)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of cayenne pepper
chocolate (preferably couverture or chips or whatever you have for coating ) optional
INSTRUCTIONS
1. Pulse almonds in food processor until almost like almond butter. This will take several minutes.
2. Add the pitted dates and mix thoroughly.
3. Add the cocoa powder, cinnamon, salt, vanilla extract, chili powder and cayenne and process again until ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
4. Form mixture into bite sized balls.
5. Optionally coat with chocolate.
To do this, melt the chocolate in a double boiler or Bain Marie. Dip the balls into this mixture and leave to set on a piece of parchment. They can be placed in the refrigerator to set faster. Box these and give away as gifts or enjoy yourself.
Tempered chocolate.. great tips on dipping are marvelous!

didyouknow2DID YOU KNOW?
You will not experience any sugar drop with these little beauties since they are sweetened with dates. The usual ingredient of cream is replaced by almonds along with its multitude of health benefits. These truffles are perfect for vegans and those of you who are lactose intolerant.
.
.
HELPFUL LINKS
My truffle boxes are called a Bow Top Favor Box.  I buy them at the Bulk Barn on the corner. I found a huge supply at McCall’s in Toronto, ON, Canada, ( no bow top boxes ). For their truffle boxes see: cake boxes page 6. online at www.mccalls.ca
Buy  online ( large orders ): boxandwrap.com  [ from the U.S. — All shipping destinations –select ivory bow box– ] Local shops are your best bet. Happy hunting!

White ‘Bow’ Boxes, Truffle Cups & Foil Wrap

How about your dinner party? Each guest will have the chocolate chili truffles right on their plate before seating. I have not set my table yet..but this is what it might look like with golden truffle boxes on each plate. White boxes are very festive too.

At the famous Harrods in London’s Knightsbridge you can buy a box of handmade truffles with flakes of edible 24-carat gold  that will set the buyer back an eye-watering £190 ( $238 U.S. $315 CAN dollars ). Champagne filled and studded by 100’s of Swarovski crystal on the box itself. I have enjoyed edible gold leaf chocolates at home and at restaurants. Decadent, but impressive! (You can buy edible gold leaf online ~ sometimes hard to get).

Harrods Gold Leaf Truffles

Harrods Gold Leaf Truffles

kids32VARIATION: Add any coating you like for the truffles; ground almonds,  chia seeds, shredded coconut  and what ever you have handy in the kitchen. Ask your kids what they would like as a coating and let them roll the truffles in the coatings. Easy and fun!   Raspberry Extract  in the mix adds another dimension to your truffles.  Chocolate, chili and raspberries are a match made in heaven! Kids love them too! No sugar rush!