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chicken

Canadian Recipes/ Featured

Chicken Avocado Bacon Salad

Chicken Avocado Bacon Salad

Hey everyone! So I’m just over a month postpartum with my second child and we are just starting to get into a routine. The past four weeks has just been filled with cuddles, feeding and just relaxing and recovering.

I am determined to start eating healthier. I was not healthy at all during this second pregnancy. I was too sick during the first trimester and too tired after that to exercise. And my diet was just atrocious – my intense craving for chocolate had me foraging all over my workplace for chocolate since I tried not to keep any in my office to tempt myself.

This is our last baby so I am anxious to start getting my ‘permanent’ body back. However, I am not going to rush the exercise as I need to fully recover from my C section for at least 6 weeks, and I just want to enjoy every lazy moment of cuddling on the couch and binge watching Netflix. (I have 15 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy to watch from the very beginning!) So, as a starting point, I’m going to start eating healthier. Keep in mind, this is not a diet – I need to eat healthy and I need to eat a lot because I am breastfeeding and breastfeeding burns up to an extra 500 calories a day. But I can cut out processed and junk food, sweets, and eat more fruits and vegetables.

Surprisingly, my husband is also onboard with eating healthier with me. He’s typically a meat and potatoes kind of guy, and he wants every meal to contain meat and starch. He is naturally athletic and fit though, and has a very physically demanding career, so he is always in shape despite eating and drinking whatever he wants. However, he has hit a plateau and wants to make some improvements in his fitness and he knows that a change in diet is the key.

So, although we will still have to make pasta dishes for our picky toddler, the two of us can start eating more salads. This chicken avocado bacon salad was my first attempt at making a meal-sized salad that is healthy and that would fill us up. The chicken, bacon and eggs provided loads of protein. Obviously, if you want it even healthier, you can eliminate the bacon or use turkey bacon instead. I would keep the bacon though – it really added amazing flavour when paired with the creamy avocado.

If you have extra time and want additional freshness, you can just dress the salad with equal parts freshly squeezed lemon juice and olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper. I just used store bought Italian dressing and it tasted amazing.

This was a huge hit with the husband so it looks like it’s on the weekly menu at least once a week!

Chicken Avocado Bacon Salad

Print Recipe
Serves: 2-3

Ingredients

  • 2 large cooked chicken breasts, chopped
  • 2 large avocados
  • 1 cup cooked corn (frozen, canned, or from a cob)
  • 5 slices of cooked bacon, chopped
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, quartered
  • 1/4 chives or green onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • one head of Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • Dressing:
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • OR
  • Italian salad dressing

Instructions

1

Season and bake the chicken breasts, fry up the bacon, and boil the eggs.

2

Chop everything up and toss into a salad bowl.

3

Add dressing and enjoy!

Canadian Recipes/ Featured

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

Well, cold and flu season is upon us and we are feeling it hard in our household. My toddler has been sick off and on for weeks. She has a runny nose and a cough that will come and go every other week. I kind of expected her to be sick more often after starting daycare in the fall, but not this much! I’ve had a cold a couple times over the past couple months, but sometimes I don’t know if it’s a cold or just the typical congestion that comes with being pregnant. But this weekend, my husband really went down for the count. He’s congested and has completely lost his voice. He was working 14 hour days for a few days there and didn’t see our daughter for awhile. The first night when he came home in time to see her before bedtime, he tried talking to her and she lost her mind! She was so scared of his raspy voice!

I wanted to make a really healthy soup to help the whole family feel better. My toddler is still napping 2-3 hours in the middle of the day, so that gave me plenty of time to make this to enjoy for lunch and dinner that same day. There was a lot leftover so I also took some for lunch today, and I’m sure my husband will be eating some for lunch at home today as well since he’s still off sick.

If you watched my Instagram stories yesterday, I did document how I made this. One of the things I talked about was cleaning my chicken breasts. My mom does this with all of her meat, especially if she’s using it in a stew, soup or braised dish. Have you ever noticed that when you boil meat, you get impurities that rise to the top in the form of scum or foam that you have to skim off? If you clean your meat before cooking it, you won’t have as much (or any) of these impurities to skim off. What I did with my chicken breasts was give them a healthy sprinkle of salt on both sides. I have a cheap box of Windsor table salt that I use purely for this purpose. Then using my hands, I scrub the salt well into the chicken. It’s like you’re exfoliating the chicken! Then rinse the chicken well under cold water to get rid of all the salt. After doing this step, I did not have any impurities to skim off my broth at all. The chicken boiled nice and cleanly. My mom does this all the time with pork, chicken, beef, fish, etc. I must admit, that I don’t do it all the time, but I will now that I see how nice and clean and pure my broth was!

There’s also a step in this recipe to make a roux with butter, flour and a little bit of cream to make it into a creamy chicken noodle soup. I love all types of creamy soups, so I added this step. If you’re just a broth-soup type of person, just omit this step!

Give this recipe a try to kick any of your winter colds and flus!

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

Print Recipe
Serves: 6-8 Cooking Time: 45 mins

Ingredients

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 5 cups water
  • 4 small chicken breasts (you can also use boneless chicken thighs)
  • 6 tbsp butter, divided
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots: 2 grated and 1 sliced into half circles
  • 2 celery sticks, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups of rotini
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp dried dill
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

1

Clean your chicken breasts by giving them a healthy sprinkle of household table salt on both sides and scrubbing with your hands. Rinse in cold water and set aside.

2

In a large soup pot, combine 6 cups chicken broth, 5 cups water, and 1/2 tbsp of salt. Bring to a boil and add your chicken breasts. Boil uncovered for 20 minutes. Skim off any impurities that rise to the top (you shouldn't have anything thing to skim off if you've cleaned your chicken well).

3

While chicken is cooking, place a large pan over medium heat and add 2 tbsp butter. Add chopped onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add grated carrots and chopped celery and saute for another 5 minutes.

4

Remove chicken from the pot. Add the sauteed vegetables to the pot and continue to let boil gently.

5

Using two forks, shred the chicken and return to the pot.

6

Add 2 cups of dried rotini, sliced carrot, and the frozen corn to the soup pot and continue cooking at a low boil for 15 minutes.

7

(You can skip this step if you just want a broth soup, instead of a creamy soup). In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, melt 4 tbsp butter. Whisk in 1/3 cup of flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Add in 1 cup of the hot broth from the soup pot into the flour mixture and whisk until well blended. Add in 1/2 cup of heavy cream, and whisk until well blended. Transfer to soup pot and stir until well blended.

8

Add in 2 tbsp of dill and salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook at a low boil for another 5 minutes.

9

Enjoy!!!

Featured/ Vietnamese Recipes

Vietnamese-Braised Chicken

Vietnamese Braised Chicken

I’ve decided to break my pasta recipe streak and post a Vietnamese recipe instead. It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything Vietnamese. After I made this for the first time and showed the process on my Instagram stories a couple days ago, I received a few requests for the recipe so here it is!

Braising is a common Vietnamese method for preparing meats, and it just means that the meat is seared or browned on dry high heat, and then slowly cooked in a liquid over lower heat. My mom made a version of this often when we were kids but she used chicken drumsticks. Normally Vietnamese-braised chicken is made with bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or drumsticks, but I don’t like chicken skin all that much so I decided to use chicken breasts instead. Using bone-in, skin-on chicken would give you more flavour and moist chicken, so feel free to use whatever you want.

The chicken doesn’t need to marinate for long – I had it sit in the fridge in the marinade for about 15-20 minutes while I cleaned the kitchen and made my lunch for the next day. You’ll be using that marinade as the liquid to braise the chicken in later so all that flavour will have plenty of time to soak in during the cooking process as well.

Viet braised chicken marinade

This recipe calls for Coco Rico which is a coconut soda that you can find at any Asian food store. I always have a few cans in my pantry as I also use it in my Braised Pork and Eggs recipe. If you don’t have Coco Rico on hand, you can use coconut water as a substitute.

Serve the chicken with some jasmine rice and a simple vegetable. I served mine with rice and sliced up some fresh cucumbers as my vegetable. I drizzled the glaze on the rice, cucumbers, and chicken, and the meal was a perfect combination of hot fluffy rice, cold crisp cucumbers, savoury chicken, and a slightly sweet glaze.

Give it a try and enjoy!

Vietnamese braised chicken

Vietnamese Braised Chicken

Print Recipe
Serves: 2-4 Cooking Time: 50

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp canola oil or olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp Chinese Five Spice
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp chicken bouillon (like OXO)
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 can of Coco Rico

Instructions

1

Combine all the ingredients except for the Coco Rico. Add the mixture to the chicken and let marinate for about 15-20 minutes.

2

Heat up the canola oil in a deep pan over high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade, reserve the marinade, and sear the chicken on both sides, about 4 minutes per side.

3

Turn the heat down to medium-low, and add the marinade and the Coco Rico. Let the chicken slowly cook in the sauce for about 30 minutes. The sauce will thicken up into a nice glaze.

4

Turn the chicken once or twice during the 30 minutes so that the sauce will evenly soak into the chicken.

5

Serve with rice and drizzle the delicious glaze onto the rice and chicken!