Thursday, August 4, 2011

Quite Healthy and Simple Chicken Wings Marinade

Chicken wings are not the healthiest thing to eat on Earth, but who does not crave them from time to time? And we all like when they are quite moist, juicy and unfortunately - tasting quite fat. I am among the sinful fans. Yes, I know I am sooo bad. Just I don't know why when I eat them, I feel like being in heaven, not in hell.;) I figured out that actually I would like to eat chicken wings being moist with mainly some healthy fat.   Olive oil is very healthy and it tastes nice with chicken.  Herbs should be added to make all this fat from chicken and oil more digestible, and also more delicious, in my opinion! And soy sauce makes wings quite tender, it also has a high sodium content - you don't need additional salt. This recipe is so simple!  Just this quick and easy-to-prepare marinade, rubbed into your chicken, wait 30 minutes and then - to the oven!  Enjoy it with a plenty of veggies, like cooked cauliflower, broccoli, mashed potatoes and home-made coleslaw. And with those sides - your sins will be completely forgiven.:)

For about 30 chicken wings, you need:

  • Half a cup of olive oil
  • Half a cup of soy sauce
  • Fresh or dried herbs, like marjoram, thyme, basil
  • One or two tsp of garlic (depends how you like garlic, I like it very garlicky!)
  • Half a tsp of black pepper
  • Half a tsp of cayenne pepper
  • Half a tsp of turmeric
  • One tsp of paprika

Rub the marinade carefully and generously into your wings in a large bowl.  Let the wings soak the marinade for about 30 min (or even longer, if you have time). Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Transfer the wings with all the marinade to a large baking dish, bake for about 15 minutes, then lower temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 25 minutes. Yum!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Lobster Omelette with Goat Cheese & Greens

We are still living in Nova Scotia, waiting to move to Toronto. Nevertheless, we are trying to make the best use of Nova Scotia's highlights. One of them is fresh summer lobster. It is quite cheap and always very fresh here. The meat itself is delicate, a bit sweet and mellow, but it tastes great with garlic butter and fresh buns.  Last weekend we wanted to eat some lobster meat but without signing up for a big lobster feast. Therefore we got an idea for lobster omelette. We purchased only two lobster claws; the meat inside was just enough to create two solid omelettes (from five eggs in total).
Lobster is a very good and healthy source of proteins. It is low in fat, cholesterol and calories - it has much less of them than even super lean beef, white chicken or pork. It also contains fair amounts of iron, calcium, zinc and iodine. In this omelette, nutritious lobster meat is combined with healthy greens, like arugula, green onion and spinach, and goat cheese.  Therefore this omelette is a true realm of healthy proteins, calcium, vitamins and antioxidants. And so easy to make!

For one omelette:

  • Cooked lobster meat from about one lobster claw, torn into small pieces (100-120 g of one claw)
  • About 4 tbsp of soft goat cheese
  • One handful of arugula
  • About 3 tbsp of cut green onion
  • One handful of spinach
  • One tbsp of butter
  • 2-3 eggs (preferably free-range and/or organic), beaten and delicately spiced with herbs, pepper and salt
  • Salt, pepper, fresh or dried herbs like marjoram, thyme, basil, paprika, turmeric, parsley

Melt butter on the pan (medium heat), add some green onion and saute for 2 minutes. Then add spinach; mix it with green onion and instantly pour the egg mixture on it. After two minutes, when the omelette starts to solidify a bit, distribute goat cheese and arugula evenly over one half.  Add some salt, pepper and herbs. After about 3-5 minutes, when omelette will be quite set at the top, roll the "empty" half over the filled one. Let it set for another 2 minutes, you can also turn it (carefully). It's ready! Yum!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mediterranean Barley Salad

I am Polish, and I love barley. Polish people use it in many of our delicious dishes; it is the most popular one in Polish cuisine (along with such grains buckwheat or kasha, millet and manna). These made into such thing as traditional cabbage rolls (golabki), a wonderful mixture of meats and vegetables like in some other cuisines, and eventually covered with sauce or gravy. I especially like it in the Polish barley soup, it is quite yummy! When I went to kindergarten, we even got a milk soup with barley and sugar for breakfast.

In Canada, I only saw this grain in a dish (introduced to me by my mother-in-law) called beef and barley. That's of course not everything, but it is one of the ways people here know about barley (other than a flavouring for their beers). Too bad, because barley has a relatively good, mild taste (in comparison with a characteristic flavor of kasha that not everyone is fan of) and many benefits. It regulates digestion better than other types of grains because of its high soluble fiber content. It is also rich in PP vitamin, therefore it is usually highly recommended with skin problems and hypocholesterolemia.

What I found out in North America though, is that barley can be also used to prepare healthy, delicious and nutritious salads. Before, I had not eaten cold barley at all! I found an inspiration for the Mediterranean Barley Salad online, when I once had a plenty of feta cheese and arugula at home, and instantly provided some modifications to the original. I will be honest with you, the ingredients are not among the cheapest (especially good feta and pine nuts) but this salad tastes so great! I prepared a couple of times for our couchsurfers and wherever they come from, they all love it - like my husband and me! Once I got an e-mail from one couple (he is Canadian and she - Albanian) that surfed our couch. They wrote: "We just got engaged" and "Could you send us the recipe for the b a r e l y salad?":).

Here is how it goes:

  • One package (about 200 g) of crumbled feta cheese (I sometimes buy it in block and then crumble it myself)
  • 200-250 g of cooked barley (usually 100 g of uncooked one)
  • One bunch of arugula
  • About 15-20 sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, cut into tiny bits
  • About 4-5 roasted sweet red peppers pickled in wine vinegar brine (for example Krinos), cut into small pieces
  • 40 g of toasted pine nuts
  • One can of black olives

For dressing: about 6-8 tbsp of olive oil, about 6 tbsp of balsamic vinegar, one or two tbsp of lemon juice, salt, pepper, fresh or dried herbs like basil, marjoram, rosemary etc. (Italian herb mix can work as well)

Prepare all the ingredients. Mix them well, gradually adding the dressing. Let it stand for about an hour. The salad can be refrigerated to up to three days.