ORANGE-ROASTED CHICKEN WITH CREAMY POLENTA

With the cool and windy weather on the outskirts, I decided to fire-up my oven for a comforting meal. Had all the ingredients on hand and decided to make an orange-roasted chicken with onions.

The Florida  oranges were at their peak and ready to be had. So, I sliced and placed them on my chicken thighs and drumsticks that were previously seasoned with crushed garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper.

ORANGE-ROASTED CHICKEN WITH ONIONS
ORANGE-ROASTED CHICKEN WITH ONIONS

Chicken was roasted for approximately 45 minutes at a temperature of 365 degrees fahrenheit. The orange slices released its citrusy juice which was absorbed by chicken parts. An orange glaze was placed on chicken. This consisted of a little ketchup and a sprinkle of sugar and of course freshly squeeze orange juice.

An  additional 10 minutes was given to cooking time at an increased temperature of 400 degrees.  This move provided a brown exterior to chicken and caramelized orange slices and onions.

No chicken should stand solo. Thus, I served orange chicken with a creamy polenta simmered in coconut milk. I also tossed in  a few  loose crispy corn and sprinkled with parmesan cheese.

POLENTA WITH PARMESAN CHEESE
POLENTA WITH PARMESAN CHEESE

In addition, I served dish with  garlic-flavored asparagus and broccoli.

 

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CRICKET FLOUR #PROTEIN POWER

In the culinary world, there is a fairly new and exciting flour that has taken off in a huge way. Guys, we’re talking about cricket flour. The innovative idea came about by Charles Wilson who was in search of an alternate source of protein.

Based on reports, these crickets are sourced in North America and are specifically raised for human consumption. It’s processed by the milling of whole crickets into powder. For those who have consumed, they expressed that it has no ‘buggy’ taste. Instead, it has a nutty flavor, even more than all-purpose flour.

Now, who would have thought that these creepy-crawly insects could find their way inside kitchens? However, based on studies, 2 teaspoons of cricket flour are loaded with 12 grams of protein. The flour is also enriched with vitamin B12, iron, good fats and low in carbohydrates.

There’s also cricket baking  flour which has been used for protein bars by a company called Exo Protein. Amazon.com has gotten in on the action. Twelve of these bars can be had for approximately $36.00.

HEART-HEALTHY MORN #OATMEAL AND BERRIES

I can never grow tired of  one of my morning’s staples, oatmeal and berries. On this cool morning, had a comforting bowl to warm my stomach and nourish my body. In a stockpot, a  combination of almond milk and water were added along with Quaker old-fashioned oats, a dash of vanilla, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Oatmeal was then sweetened with a little brown sugar. Topped my hearty bowl with a serving of fresh fiber-filled strawberries and blueberries. And as usual, I sprinkled added cinnamon for extra flavor and balance of the glucose level within.

My heart and I were happy.

 

STILL ‘ROCKING’ THOSE BALLS!!#TURKEY BALLS

I’m so proud of my turkey balls. They have come along way. Made them a few days ago chock full of amazing ingredients like finely chopped vegetables, spices, with a pinch of Chinese Five Spice. Great move! Those wholesome ingredients and aromatic spices gave my balls a  succulent and delicious finish. They were firm on the exterior and a melt in the mouth goodness.

TURKEY BALLS WITH A HINT OF CHINESE FIVE SPICE
TURKEY BALLS WITH A HINT OF CHINESE FIVE SPICE

Had to pull myself away from those balls. However, I developed enough control to place some for later in the freezer. So glad I did; because earlier on, I grabbed a few grape tomatoes, garlic, olives and other ingredients

SOME OF THE MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR HOME-MADE MARINARA SAUCE
SOME OF THE MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR HOME-MADE MARINARA SAUCE

and made a chunky home-made marinara sauce. I even added a splash of vodka along with a little sprinkle of feta cheese. All those ingredients placed the sauce to another culinary level.

Balls were then placed in mouth-watering sauce in order to absorb all the aromatic flavors. I then served same over a bed of whole-wheat spaghetti with a garnish of finely chopped parsley.

I was over the moon and so satisfied.

AN ASIAN/ITALIAN TABLE #SHRIMP/VEGGIE STIR-FRY AND RISOTTO

As I prepared and cooked my Asian/Italian inspired meal, I felt like a true Food Ambassador. The United Nations would be proud of yours truly. Okay, now I’m going over the top.

But anyway guys, I was over the moon  with the combining of both my dishes. With the help of a store-bought Risotto:

PACKET OF RISOTTO
PACKET OF RISOTTO

I was able to pull off a tasty and delicious dish. It had in all the ingredients along with just the amount of sodium to my taste. I also added a few pieces of fresh broccoli spears to freshen up the creamy dish.

COOKED RISOTTO WITH FRESH BROCCOLI AND PARSLEY
COOKED RISOTTO WITH FRESH BROCCOLI AND PARSLEY

I allowed the five-spice powder to be a great player in my vegetable stir-fry.

CHINESE FIVE SPICES
CHINESE FIVE SPICES

With just a small pinch of the Chinese spice, I was able to transform my assorted vegetables to another exotic level.

STIR-FRY ASSORTED VEGGIES
STIR-FRY ASSORTED VEGGIES

On the side, I grilled a few small to medium size shrimp. These were then  flavored in a citrus butter sauce with bits of jalapeno peppers, capers and thin lemon slices.

ASIAN-FLAVORED SHRIMP AND VEGGIE STIR-FRY
ASIAN-FLAVORED SHRIMP AND VEGGIE STIR-FRY

Some white wine would have been perfect with these two dishes; however, I settle for what I had in-house, an inexpensive Merlot(Yellow tail) from Down Under. The Australians would be very proud. Salud guys!

CHICKEN MCGRIDDLE SANDWICH #MCDONALD’S LATEST

If you like a combination of savory and sweet bite, then you’re in luck. Once again, one of our popular fast food restaurants is testing a new breakfast menu item. It involves the intermingling of a fried chicken patty and pancakes instead of buns. These pancakes are flavored with maple syrup. It’s like a ‘chicken and waffle’ type of a meal.

Chicken McGriddle  sandwich is in approximately 8 to 11 stores in Ohio; and, is  priced between $1.49 to $2.00 until late March. If this item takes with its customers, Chicken McGriddle will be available in other stores.

Will you be trying this latest menu item? Do let me know. Being a food enthusiast,  if and when it arrives in my neck of the woods, I will take a ‘stab’ at it.  When it comes to food, nothing beats a trial. I do believe in a fine balance.

 

CHUTES OF GREEN SMOOTHIE TO JUMP-START MY DAY

Trying to gain a fine balance and jump-start my day just right. With the help of my standing blender I made   a healthy green smoothie to take me through the day. The main ingredients were:

  • Kale
  • Mint
  • Blueberries
  • Fresh cranberry juice
  • Ripe banana
  • Juice of lemon
  • Water

For me, everyday is a celebration. Thus, I served up my healthy/filling smoothie into champagne chutes(gifts from a good friend). I then made my way closer to nature on my tiny back patio.

Cheers!! Have a beautiful day.

 

 

 

ASIAN/ITALIAN STICKY TURKEY BALLS

Went for a healthy alternative to beef meatballs. Decided go ‘Turkey’. To boost the taste of the bland one, I included the following spices and ingredients:

  • Basil (dried)
  • Oregano (dried)
  • Parsley (fresh)
  • Thyme (fresh)
  • Onions (diced)
  • Garlic (crushed)
  • Celery (finely chopped)
  • Carrot (finely chopped)
  • Bell pepper (finely chopped)
  • Grape tomatoes (chopped)
  • Soy sauce
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Salt/black pepper
  • Sugar(sprinkle)
  • Scallion

Tried to keep a fine balance. Thus, I forego frying the balls and decided to bake at a temperature of 400 degrees fahrenheit for approximately 20 minutes. With a drizzle of olive oil, my balls were ready for a preheated oven.

TURKEY BALLS READY FOR OVEN
TURKEY BALLS READY FOR OVEN

On the side, a slightly sweet and sour sauce simmered.

SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE FOR TURKEY BALLS
SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE FOR TURKEY BALLS

The turkey balls soaked up all the sticky and delicious flavors of the slightly sweet and sour sauce. The result was  super-moist turkey balls that made my taste-buds jumped for joy.

ANTI-AGING DISH?! #BRAISED PIGS’ FEET AND BEANS

Recently, my palate went on a wild ride. And, I went with it.  Lo and behold, it led me to an old dish from my Jamaican roots. It has been sometime since I’ve indulged in this tasty and rustic dish. In the culinary world, it is reported that pigs’ feet have re-emerged in a huge way. A number of  New York-based Japanese restaurants have included these trotters in dishes.

Pigs’ feet are also called pigs’ trotters and are widely served in Jamaican, Asian and Southern,(USA) kitchens.  In recent times, this dish has been touted as the new superfood. You see, based on researches, pigs’ feet are loaded with collegen. Collegen is the protein responsible for skin and muscle tone.

Had some time on my hand and decided to pay a revisit to this anti-aging dish. Pigs’ feet were seasoned with salt, black pepper, pinch of curry powder, crushed garlic, soy sauce, etc. In a sturdy skillet, seasoned pigs’ feet were browned on both sides so as to lock in flavors.

Roughly chopped root vegetables and spices were added in the form of celery, onions, bell peppers, pimento(all spices) thyme, and finely chopped scotch bonnet pepper. Then feet were covered with cold tap water.

Pigs’ trotters were simmered on low to medium heat for approximately two and half to three hours until they were fork tender. Extra water was added during the braising process as needed. About ten to fifteen minutes to end of cooking, drained can of butter beans were added along with chopped scallion.

Braised pigs’ feet were served with a side of sweet and sour sautéed purple cabbage and steamed Jasmine rice.(not in pic)

Guys, I don’t know about you, but as I pen, my imagination has gone on overdrive. I can feel my skin tighter. And, I surmise that I look younger. Well, I’ve been told so. Eh, strangely enough, could it be those feet? You never know. Go fetch those feet and save on beauty products.

BANANA PANCAKES/BLUEBERRIES #POTASSIUM/FIBER POWER

Got a bit creative with my breakfast this morning. If you have been following my food blog, you know that I don’t toss. As a result, this morning was no different. You see, a couple of my ripe bananas got mushy and speckled.

Came up with the perfect ‘save’. I transformed my potassium fruits to warm and delicious pancakes. Some of the other ingredients added were:

  • Oatmeal (1/4 cup)
  • Cinnamon(1 teaspoon)
  • Brown sugar (1 teaspoon)
  • Olive oil(1 tablespoon)
  • Ginger (powdered)(1/4 teaspoon)
  • Whole-wheat flour (1 tablespoon)
  • Baking soda (1/4 teaspoon)
  • Blueberries
    BANANA PANCAKE MIX
    BANANA PANCAKE MIX

    I was happy.