Saturday, May 5

Spice is Nice

After a friend mentioned that the majority of my recipes are all carb and starch loaded, I felt the necessity to highlight some healthier cooking options. I love cooking with a variety of spices and herbs as they add such a depth of flavor to an otherwise bland dish. The last couple of nights I've been on a baked chicken and roasted veggies craze. Regrettably, I failed to take any pictures, which is probably breaking every rule of blogging, but alas I didn't think about it until the last couple of bites and didn't think an empty plate would do much good. So anyway,  roasted veggies are incredibly easy to make and are delicious to boost. They're also a forgiving dish, which in my opinion just increases their "brownie points" One trick with roasting is to have a hot enough oven to create that nice crisp on the outside of the veggie. A couple of ideas for roasting:

Preheat your oven to about 425 degrees and cube your veggies into bite sized pieces. Recently, I've roasted red potatoes, zucchini and onions. Lightly, drizzle your vegetables with olive oil or melted butter (yes, notice the Lightly, this is healthy low cholesterol night :) Sprinkle your veggies with a mixture of garlic powder, black pepper, salt, parsley, cumin and anything else you like. Bake for approx 25 min. Note this time will vary depending on the size and type of vegetable you use. If using longer roasting vegetables such as potatoes and carrots along with shorter roasting ones as onions and zucchini, wait about 10 minutes before adding the zucchini and onions.

As for the chicken, I prefer a nice skin on and bone in piece of poultry. Not only does your pocket book appreciate this but your taste buds will thank you as you cut into that juicy aromatic bite. For your chicken rub the possibilities are endless! Here is last night's recipe I came up with...The ratios are a rough approximation so feel free to change them to your preference.

a dash of cinnamon
a dash of ginger
1/4t cumin
1/8t curry
1/8t pepper
1/4t garlic powder
1/8t dried cilantro
1/8t rosemary

Combine your spices and sprinkle under the chicken skin. Bake at 350 degrees until the chicken juices run clear when cut. For your average bone-in split breast your cooking time will average about 45 minutes.

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