Spiced Chicken & Green Olive Skillet Dish


The bingeing season ‘tiz upon us and it’s easy to loose control during the holidays with temptation at every turn. Perhaps that is why they invented the new year’s resolution? Practically overnight, your normal, healthy resolve can fall apart, replaced by a month-long bad food bacchanal.

With the party season in full swing it is not easy to make wise food choices. And it is also not as easy to prepare most of your meals at home when there are so many opportunities for eating out and fun. By all means, do celebrate the season, but to hold the line on your health, try not to over-do it.

One of the best ways to give your body a fighting chance is with a quick protein packed meal during the week. This DIY approach keeps you in control of the quality, the ingredients, and how your meals are prepared. Preparing your own food is essential to creating sustainable wellness- feed your body well so it can thrive and recover from those late night shenanigans filled with cheer!

For me the flavors in this dish are similar to something I would perhaps find in Morocco. The spiced meat juxtaposed against the sweet tomatoes and pickled olives creates a savory mixture. While at first glance the recipe appears to have a long ingredients list, the bulk of the list is comprised of spices. Don’t worry about adding new spices to your cabinet, as this recipe is so easy and quick to pull together it just may become your new week-night favorite.

Spiced Chicken & Green Olive Skillet Dish


1 lb chicken, cubed

1 small yellow onion, sliced thin

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp coriander

2 tsps paprika

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1-2 TBS vegetable oil

1 tsp ginger, minced

1 tsp garlic, minced

1 (10.5 oz) can chicken stock

15 green pitted olives, halved

15 cherry tomatoes, halved (or one can diced tomatoes)

Cooked rice or quinoa (optional)


In a high sided skillet add vegetable oil. In a medium size bowl combine chicken with dry spices. Toss to coat. Add to skillet and cook stirring regularly until browned. Add in onion slices, ginger, and garlic. Continue to cook until onion is softened, approximately 3-5 minutes.

De-glaze the skillet with chicken broth, and allow meat to simmer in the sauce for 5-8 minutes. Add in olives and tomatoes and continue to cook for an additional 10 minutes. Serve in a bowl over rice or quinoa or just on its own.

Bertoli soup give away

Absolutely – feel free to post once you’re back and things calm down a bit. Here are a few details about the giveaway:

We’re excited for you to try our new Bertolli Premium Meal Soup for Two. Soup can be a wonderful meal when it’s done right. Bertolli uses fresh ingredients in these delicious and easy-to-prepare meals. The restaurant-quality soups are full of crisp vegetables, cooked chicken or beef, and pasta that leaves you feeling satisfied.

As a friend of Bertolli, we’d also like to offer you a giveaway opportunity for you and one of your readers. This soup-tasting giveaway includes:

· Two Tasting Certificates for Bertolli Premium Meal Soup for Two

· Stainless steel soup ladle

· Woven oval bread basket

· Bertolli reusable freezer bag

As always, our only “ask” is that you please disclose the giveaway is being run independently and that you received the set from Bertolli. Also, your winner must be located in the U.S. We’ll send them the prize directly once you’ve chosen a winner.

Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll confirm you on our list – thanks!


Healthy Flourless Chocolate Cake

Healthy Flourless Chocolate Cake
Adapted from a recipe at LowCarbFriends

Makes a 9? one layer cake

1-15 ounce can of unseasoned black beans
OR 1 1/2 cup cooked beans, any color
5 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted organic butter OR coconut oil
3/4 cup erythritol + 1/2 teaspoon pure stevia extract

OR 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons honey + 1/2 teaspoon pure stevia extract
OR 1 1/4 cup Splenda (using Splenda is not recommended)
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon water (omit if using honey)

Mint Chocolate variation:
2 teaspoons mint extract (in place of 2 teaspoons vanilla)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9? cake pan with extra virgin olive oil cooking spray, or just grease it with a thin layer of butter. Dust cocoa all over the inside of the pan, tapping to evenly distribute. Cut a round of parchment paper and line the bottom of the pan, then spray the parchment lightly.

Drain and rinse beans in a strainer or colander. Shake off excess water. Place beans, 3 of the eggs, vanilla, stevia (if using) and salt into blender. Blend on high until beans are completely liquefied. No lumps! Whisk together cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder. Beat butter with sweetener (erythritol or honey) until light and fluffy. Add remaining two eggs, beating for a minute after each addition. Pour bean batter into egg mixture and mix. Finally, stir in cocoa powder and water (if using), and beat the batter on high for one minute, until smooth. Scrape batter into pan and smooth the top. Grip pan firmly by the edges and rap it on the counter a few times to pop any air bubbles.

Bake for 40-45 minutes. Cake is done with the top is rounded and firm to the touch. After 10 minutes, turn out cake from pan, and flip over again on to a cooling rack. Let cool until cake reaches room temperature, then cover in plastic wrap or with cake dome (I use an overturned plastic chip bowl). For BEST flavor, let cake sit over night. I promise this cake will not have a hint of beaniness after letting it sit for eight hours! If you are stacking this cake, level the top with a long serrated knife, shaving off layers until it is flat and even. Frost immediately before serving

Healthy Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Makes enough to thickly cover one layer, or fill and frost a halved stacked layer

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted organic butter, softened, OR 7 tablespoons nonhydrogenated shortening
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon erythritol, powdered, OR 1/4 cup xylitol, powdered
5-6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons half and half OR coconut milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
Good-tasting pure stevia extract, to taste

Optional addition for a glossy finish:
1 fresh organic egg yolk

Cream the butter in a small bowl until fluffy. Powder erythritol or xylitol in a coffee grinder or Magic Bullet for a minute or two, until extremely fine in texture (reminiscent of powdered sugar). Let sweetener settle in grinder before opening the top. Stir powdered sweetener into butter with a spatula, then beat until smooth. Slowly blend in the cocoa powder (unless you want to redecorate your kitchen), vanilla, and sea salt. Beat in the half and half and egg yolk, if using. Add stevia, starting with 1/16 teaspoon. You’ll probably use less than 1/4 teaspoon. Just keep tasting and adjust sweetness to your liking.




Fresh Asparagus Ribbon Salad


1 pound fat green, purple, or white asparagus (about 14 spears)
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup yogurt
1/3 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon milk (optional)
Ground black pepper
1 head Bibb lettuce, torn (6 cups)- I used spinach and argula instead
1/2 English (seedless) cucumber, thinly sliced- I made match sticks


1. Remove scales from asparagus spears. Using a vegetable peeler, peel thin “ribbons” from the spears. Place ribbons in a medium bowl of ice water; set aside.

2. Meanwhile, to make garlic paste, on a cutting board finely chop the garlic. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Holding a large flat chef’s knife at a slight angle, blade almost flat with cutting board, mash and rub the salt into the garlic.

3. For dressing, in a large bowl whisk together the garlic paste, sour cream, olive oil, and lemon juice. Stir in parsley and chives. If desired, thin with milk. Season to taste with black pepper.

4. Drain asparagus ribbons and pat dry (or spin in a salad spinner). On a platter arrange lettuce, asparagus ribbons and tips, cucumber slices, and radish slices. Drizzle with dressing. Serve immediately.

The dark triangular leaves or scales on asparagus spears can be especially tough on thick spears. To remove them, use a paring knife to peel them off. Discard the scales.


Thin asparagus ribbons are easy to cut using a sharp vegetable peeler on thick asparagus spears. Trim the asparagus, then lay it flat on a work surface. Beginning from the stem or bottom end, peel toward the tips. Either take care to avoid snapping off the tender tips with the peeler, or deliberately break off the tips to toss in the salad with the ribbons.

Cover and refrigerate any remaining dressing. Use within 3 days. Stir well before serving.

chicken in waffels

Chicken and Waffles has long been considered southern comfort soul food. Sweet waffles with butter and syrup is eaten alongside crispy fried chicken for breakfast. The exact origin of the dish isn’t known for sure. The Wells Supper Club in Harlem claims to have started serving the dish in 1938 during the time known as the Jazz Age. Chicken and Waffles were dished up as a late-night snack serving as both dinner for that night and breakfast the next day. There is also a savory version that has its roots in the Pennsylvania Dutch traditions. A plain waffle is topped with picked chicken and gravy. But the tradition may have begun as far back as the 1770’s when Thomas Jefferson brought a waffle iron back from France. Soon after the combination showed up in cookbooks. The South caught on to the idea and popularized the dish.

The combination of fried chicken and waffles may sound a little odd. But beef and pork products accompanying a waffle is perfectly acceptable; corned Beef Hash, ham, bacon and sausages with waffles doesn’t raise an eyebrow. But chicken does, in some, if not most circles.

To give this traditional dish a makeover I added sweet potatoes to the waffle and rather then serving the chicken and waffles side-by-side with syrup I layered them and smothered it all with gravy. But not just any gravy. A sweet and savory caramelized onion gravy.

It was a picture of comfort with the tender fried chicken sitting atop a bed of thick, fluffy waffles flecked with orange specks of sweet potato and sage. All smothered in a peppery, creamy, white gravy swimming with pieces of richly caramelized onion. The gravy and especially the onions, pulled all the flavors together.

Sweet Potato Waffles
by Reeni

2½ cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sage
½ cups milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 sweet potato, cooked and mashed
3 eggs, separated
Cream of tartar

Preheat waffle iron. Sift dry ingredients together. Beat egg yolks into the milk, add oil and pumpkin and beat wet ingredients until smooth, then stir them into dry ingredients. Beat egg whites with a pinch of cream of tartar and fold them into waffle batter. Bake the waffles according to the directions for your iron. Makes 7.

Caramelized Onion Gravy
by Reeni

1 large onion, thinly sliced into rings
2 tablespoons Olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
¾ cup milk
½ cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper (extra pepper)

Add the Olive Oil and sliced onion(season with salt and pepper) to a large skillet and cook over low-medium heat for about 35-45 minutes until onions become very soft and turn a rich, caramel-brown color. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Melt the tablespoon of butter over low-medium heat and whisk in the flour. Let the roux cook until it begins to get bubbly. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth, milk and cream. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and continue to whisk until the mixture thickens. If it does not thicken add in another tablespoon of flour. If too thick whisk in a little more chicken broth or milk. When you get it to the correct consistency add the caramelized onions back in.

Fried Chicken Tenders

1 pound boneless, skinless Chicken Breast
Salt and pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons paprika
Vegetable or canola oil for frying

Place your chicken breast between Saran Wrap and pound out using a mallet or frying pan. Slice your breasts into tender size pieces. Season well with salt and pepper

In a shallow bowl or pan mix the flour and paprika together.
Dredge each tender in the flour mixture.

Fry tenders in a cast-iron skillet in an inch to two inches of oil about five minutes on each side. Set on paper towels to soak up excess grease.


* 2 tablespoons lemon-pepper seasoning, divided
* 1 cup buttermilk
* 4 chicken thighs
* Canola oil, for frying
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup cornstarch
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


In a large bowl, combine 1 tablespoon lemon-pepper seasoning with 1 cup buttermilk

Soak the chicken in the seasoned buttermilk for 30 minutes

Pour the canola oil into a deep, heavy skillet until the oil fills the pan about an inch up the sides. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 375 degrees F.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In another large bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, flour, remaining lemon-pepper seasoning, and a good pinch of salt, and pepper.

Remove the chicken thighs from the buttermilk, dip in the seasoned flour, then dip back into the buttermilk, and then into the flour again. Make sure to coat the chicken on all sides with each dip.

Fry the chicken until golden brown on each side, about 8 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 5 to 7 more minutes, or until cooked through.

While the chicken is cooking, make the waffles: Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, and curry powder for the waffles in one bowl and whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter in another bowl.


Nonie’s table

I recall that my Nonie Antoinette had one of the largest dining room tables I’ve ever seen and it was typically filled to the brim with enthusiastic eaters. While my work schedule doesn’t allow me to do enough of this type of entertaining, I hope that all that come by my home feel welcome and excited to enjoy the flavors and time spent preparing something delectable albeit a simple or complex meal.

Inside-Out Pork Dumplings


1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
2 scallions, whites and greens separated, cut thinly on bias
8 ounces ground pork (if substituting ground turkey, add 2 Tbsp. more oil)
1 pound baby bok choy, leaves separated and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces if large
1 carrot, finely grated
2 tablespoons white vinegar
6 ounces fresh wonton wrappers
Kosher salt


Heat oil and red pepper flakes in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger, and scallion whites. Cook, stirring, until scallions are tender, about 1 minute. Add pork, breaking up with a spoon until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Add bok choy; cover and steam until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add carrots. Season with vinegar and salt. Set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil. Season with salt. Add wonton wrappers one at a time. Cook until al dente, about 1 minute. Drain. Add wonton wrappers to skillet and toss. Serve with scallion greens.



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Yellow Squash Citrus Grain Free Cupcakes with Coconut Butter Frosting

yellow squash

Deep dark secret time….I eat cupcakes for breakfast.

This week had its shares of highs and lows, which is to be expected pragmatically speaking. That’s life. Let’s not dwell. We all have our challenges. What’s important is to level up your game and focus on the positive. Those things that you enjoy doing that make you smile. My go to remedy would be to spend time with My Guy and the kids, and a close second form of therapy is to find my favorite kitchen corner to test out new recipe concepts.

My original vision was to come up with a breakfast recipe, but when this goodness came together the possibility for it becoming a dessert seemed more fitting. It is a taste of sunshine for your palate. Gluten free, grain free, and citrus forward. It’s exactly what is needed to brighten up those dark winter days. And I assure you that the ingredients list will pleasantly surprise you.

The consistency is on the lighter side and 100% satisfying to bite into; moist with just enough natural sweetness. The tangy citrus coconut frosting adds a hint of buttery creaminess that really makes this a dessert that you can enjoy for breakfast. While I am typically a chocolate zealot, this cupcake will leave its mark. One dozen may just not be enough if you plan on sharing these with a few friends. In fact- I’d double the batch and sign-up to bring dessert to your next party. This dessert checks all of the boxes and will leave guests longing for the recipe.

And if you find yourself home alone with a batch of Yellow Squash Citrus Cupcakes you may just eat a few and then greedily lick the crumbs off of the liner and suck the frosting off of your digits. How could you go wrong with a veggie, no refined sugar cupcake? Answer- you can’t. It is just a lovely fact of life. Dig in.


Yellow Squash Citrus Grain Free Cupcakes with Coconut Butter Frosting

Cupcake Ingredients

1 ½ cups almond meal

1 ½ cups oat flour

¾ tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 cups yellow squash, grated

3 eggs

¼ cup coconut oil, melted

½- ¾ cup honey

2 tsps vanilla

1 TBS white wine vinegar

2 tsps orange zest, freshly grated

2 tsps lemon zest, freshly grated

Frosting Ingredients

¼ cup coconut oil, at room temperature not melted

1 TBS honey

1 tsp orange zest, freshly grated plus more to decoration


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl combine dry ingredients and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together all wet ingredients except the squash. When mixture is well incorporated, add in squash and mix to combine.

Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in three installments. Stir by hand to combine.

Place batter in cupcake liners and bake for 27-30 minutes. If fragrant, check with toothpick to ensure that cupcakes do not over bake.

To make frosting, in a small bowl combine coconut oil, honey and orange zest. Once well mixed, frost cupcakes and sprinkle additional orange zest. Note: Because this frosting can melt, it is not ideal to bring somewhere on a hot day.

yellow squash profile

yellow squash solo

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