Chef Michael Smith’s Roasted Chicken

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On Saturday morning at the market, I was standing in line at one of our favourite butchers, while Tom was getting our fruits and veggies. This butcher ALWAYS has a huge line. I once stood in line for an hour waiting to get our chicken.  While standing in line, I notice a tall guy walking down the shops and people randomly taking out their phones to take pictures. I was very perplexed as to what was happening and could only see the top of this gentleman`s head. As he got closer I saw his face and I thought to myself, ‘is that Chef Michael Smith?’ I tried to casually stare and listen for his distinct voice but it was busy and loud and hard to hear. Tom came and joined us in line and I asked him who that was. Tom looks over, smiles and says, “Chef Michael Smith!” Tom is a huge fan of his so of course we had to get a picture of Tom with him.

 

Tom, our little man, and Chef Michael Smith.

Tom, our little man, and Chef Michael Smith.

 

As we were leaving the market, Tom said that we should make a Chef Michael Smith recipe that we had made before for sweet potato soup. It was a delicious soup and we all enjoyed it. Before we could make the soup though we needed to cook our chicken so we could make some fresh broth. So on a Chef Michael Smith kick I decided to find one of his recipes for our chicken tonight.

The recipe was from the Food Network (the link is the title below). I have included any changes I made in bold – most were out of necessity because the pot I used is not huge.

Chef Michael Smith’s Roasted Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 large organic chicken
  • 4 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped (I used 2)
  • 4 onions, peeled and cut in half (I used 1 large and cut it up a bit more)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • Sprinkled sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 500°.
  2. Rinse the chicken thoroughly with cold water and remove any giblets from the cavity. Dry well. Clean and sterilize your sink.

    I love how great our meats all come out now that we use a meat thermometer.

    I love how great our meats all come out now that we use a meat thermometer.

  3. Toss the carrots, celery and onions into the bottom of a roasting pan large enough to comfortably hold the chicken. Toss with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables and sprinkle with some more olive oil. Season the chicken evenly with salt, pepper and thyme and place in the preheated oven. Immediately turn the oven temperature down to 350° and roast that bird for 1 and one half hours, or until an internal thermometer registers 165° when jabbed into the deepest part of the leg.
  4. When it’s done, pull the pan from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes. Cut the breasts and legs off of the carcass, reserving the carcass. Chunk the breast and leg meat, removing bones and place the meat back in the roasting pan with the vegetables. Stir together and serve.
  5. Put the reserved carcass in a large pot and cover with cold water. Add your choice of aromatic vegetables such as carrots, celery and onion and bring to a simmer, removing any debris that floats to the top. Leave it at a gentle simmer for an hour and then strain it into a clean container. Refrigerate.

 

This was a delicious chicken recipe! We will definitely make it again. I love when veggies are cooked with a meat. It just brings out a different mix of flavours that I LOVE. We will be using the rest of the chicken for salads and a stir fry tomorrow night for dinner.

Our little man's yummy dinner!

Our little man’s yummy dinner!

 

-Katie

Honey Prices

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Here is a list of the honey we have available. To place an order please email info@healthyconnectionslondon.ca or use the form on the ‘Contact Us’ page.

Honey

Liquid

400g Glass Bear Jar $6.00
500g Glass Jar $6.00
1kg Glass Jar $11.50
2kg Pail $21.00
3kg Pail $30.75
10lb Pail $45.00
15lb Pail $67.50
30lb Pail $133.50

Creamed

400g Glass Bear Jar $6.00
500g Glass Jar $6.00
1kg Glass Jar $11.50
2kg Pail $21.00
3kg Pail $30.75

Creamed Cinnamon

400g Glass Bear Jar $6.50
500g Glass Jar $6.50
1kg Glass Jar $12.00
2kg Pail $24.00
3kg Pail $35.25

Buckwheat Honey (this is a darker honey)

400g Glass Bear Jar $6.50
500g Glass Jar $6.50
1kg Glass Jar $12.00
2kg Pail $24.00
3kg Pail $35.25

Tree and Floral Pollen

2oz Jar $4.50
8oz Jar $14.00
16oz Jar $26.00

Maple Syrup

250ml Jug $7.50
500ml Jug $12.75
1L Jug $24.75

Egg Frittata – A Wonderful Breakfast Surprise

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Each morning Katie wakes up around 6AM and gets ready for her morning shift at work. It is only a 2 hour shift so she is usually home by about 9AM.  This is a great chance for me to sleep in. This morning our beautiful son began making noise around 8AM.  I went to take a peek in his room to see if he was awake however he was sound asleep.  I went and checked my emails, read some blog postings and before I knew it, it was 8:30AM and I needed to think about breakfast. I thought, how wonderful would it be if Katie came home and there was a beautiful egg frittata waiting for her.  I have some culinary background and some good Italian friends, so I know a true egg frittata is made with spaghetti noodles. That being said, I decided to adapt it to make it grain free. Just as I was about to start preparing it, our son began to cry. I went right into daddy mode, picked him up, changed him, got him ready for the day and had a cooking show for him while he sat in his high chair.

 

Frittata

Frittata

Ingredients

  • 3 medium sized potatoes, grated (skins on)
  • 1/2 a bell pepper, chopped
  • 5-6 button mushrooms, sliced
  • handful of fresh spinach, chopped
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • cayenne pepper (add as much or as little as you wish)

Instructions

  1. Heat pan over medium heat and melt coconut oil.

    Melting the coconut oil.

    Melting the coconut oil.

  2. Add potatoes and saute until crispy. Add cayenne pepper if desired.

    Potatoes

    Potatoes

  3. Add the remaining vegetables and saute for about 5 minutes until veggies begin to sweat.

    Everything is in the pan and ready to go.

    Everything is in the pan and ready to go.

  4. In a separate bowl, crack your eggs and beat them.
  5. Spread out veggies and potatoes in the pan and pour eggs on top.

    The eggs are poured on top of all the veggies and potatoes.

    The eggs are poured on top of all the veggies and potatoes.

  6. Put a lid on the pan for about 5 minutes. When eggs are fully cooked on top, slice up and serve.
  7. Due to our addiction to spice we like to top this (and all of our eggs) with some hot sauce.

Katie (and our Son and me too) thoroughly enjoyed the surprise frittata!

Give the recipe a try and let us know what you think!
-Tom

Eggplant Pizza

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Delicious!

Delicious!

One thing we enjoyed before changing to a grain-free lifestyle was pizza. Tom would eat pizza every day if he could.  Since changing our diet we have been trying to find something that would fill this hole in our lives.  We had tried a flax meal based crust, but it did not satisfy our pizza craving.

Tom was told about a pizza crust using eggplant that apparently was delicious. So we set out on a journey to find a recipe and perfect it for ourselves.  We have made this crust a few times now and have learned from our mistakes and consider ourselves to be experts in making it.  I’ll share some lessons we learned as we go through the recipe.

Some of the fresh ingredients

Pizza Dough

  • 1 large or 2 small/medium eggplant
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • Coconut oil
  • Parchment paper (if you do not have this do not attempt this recipe!! We tried with tin foil and it was a fail! Get thee to a store or change your plans!)
  1. Preheat oven to 450 F or 230 C.
  2. Wash and cut eggplant into little cubes. I generally cut the end off and then slice it into disks that are about 1 inch thick. Then I slice these up into cubes.

    Eggplant slices

    Eggplant slices

  3. Use a food processor to grate the eggplant. We don`t have a food processor so we use a bullet with the  cross blade (the one that has two blades sticking up and two flat).  We only fill the cup about ½ way because any more doesn’t allow for the eggplant to be grated enough.

    If you use a Bullet fill the cup no more than halfway to avoid getting large chunks.

    If you use a Bullet fill the cup no more than halfway to avoid getting large chunks.

  4. Place grated eggplant (a bit at a time) on a paper towel or tea towel and squeeze out the moisture.  There is surprisingly a lot of liquid that will come out. I also find that it tends to hurt my hands, which already have eczema on them – be warned my fellow sufferers!! Once you have removed most of the liquid by gently squeezing the cloth, put the grated eggplant into a large mixing bowl.  I tend to do step 2 and 3 at the same time with each batch of grated eggplant.

    Gently squeeze out the liquid from the eggplant

    Gently squeeze out the liquid from the eggplant

  5. Add almond flour and Parmesan cheese, and egg to the bowl and mix together by hand until combined.
  6. Cut parchment to fit your baking sheet of choice. Use coconut oil to generously grease the paper. Do not be stingy! You will regret that decision if you are.
  7. Pour dough onto parchment and using your hands flatten the dough out. It will not rise so however thick you make it, it will be.

    Dough is ready to be pressed into crust shape.

    Dough is ready to be pressed into crust shape.

  8. Once flattened put in the oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes is up, take it out and flip the pizza dough over. It should be half-cooked and will stick together a bit but not entirely. I have found that placing a large cutting board on top of the crust and then holding the tray and cutting board together and flipping it over works well. Then replace the parchment paper on the tray and slide the crust back onto the paper and tray. Place back in the oven for about 10 minutes. You want the crust to be crispy but not burnt so keep an eye on it.
The baked crust.

The baked crust.

You can then add whatever toppings and sauce you wish.  We make our own pizza sauce.

Pizza Sauce

  • 3-4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 fresh basil leaves, chopped or about 1 tsp dried
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  1. Place all ingredients in a medium sized pot and heat over medium heat. Let it cook down for about 20 minutes stirring on occasion.  You want the tomatoes to break down into a sauce.

    These were our toppings for tonight. Everything is cut small because we have a toddler to feed.

    These were our toppings for tonight. Everything is cut small because we have a toddler to feed.

If you try this recipe our let us know how it works out for you! We’d love to hear from you!!

 

-Katie

Lemon and Blueberry Muffins

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For the past month or so we have been baking about a dozen muffins each week to have on hand for quick snacks. We have been enjoying trying new recipes and new flavours each week. This week, I asked my Facebook friends for their favourite muffin type for inspiration in what to make. I had been thinking of doing morning glory and one friend suggested it which had me thinking. Then I had another friend say lemon and cranberry and another say blueberry. The lemon and cranberry really appealed to me and I was already tasting the lemon in my mouth. We don’t have cranberries on hand, but the blueberry comment filled in the missing ingredient – lemon and blueberry muffins!

Once again I looked online for recipes and made changes to work for me. I found this recipe and made some changes to it. I also remembered to take more pictures along the way as there was requests for that.

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It’s market day so the little counter space we have is overflowing with produce. Those are some yummy Leamington radishes I can’t wait to eat!

Lemon and Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients (this is based on the changes that I made)

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (we are out so I skipped this and they taste yummy without it)
  • 1/4 cup of liquid honey (of course I used Oxford Honey)
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 1/4 cups of almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt (I never measure but just do a few turns of our grinder)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2-1 cup blueberries
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Mixing in the blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 Farenheit.

2. Whisk together eggs, coconut oil, vanilla, honey and lemon juice and zest.

3. Add almond flour, salt and baking soda. Once it is all mixed add blueberries. I used about 1/2 cup so there would be some left over for use later in the week. I also think 1 cup might be too much for my taste.

4.Line a muffin tray with wrappers and fill each cup about 1/2 full. I use 1/3 measuring cup, not quite full and it seems to work perfectly for me.

5. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes (the original recipe said 35 minutes but mine were done at 20. Just be sure to keep and eye and check with a toothpick – if it comes out clean, they’re done).

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Baking!

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Baked to perfection!

Of course once you are done baking there is always the cleaning to be done. It is so handy to have a dog around to clean up any little spills!

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Bauer the cleaning dog.

Let us know if you try these muffins out and how it worked for you!

-Katie

CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Basket Update

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We were so excited to have received an email yesterday from Martha of Orchard Hill Farm. Things are going well over at the farm and they are gearing up for a busy spring. You can check out their blog post here. They have great pictures of the produce growing.

They are hoping the first pick up will be on Tuesday, May 21st. We are so excited to go out to the farm and pick up your first bins! All those signed up will receive an email prior to the first delivery.

Brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kohlrabi) growing at Orchard Hill Farms

Brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kohlrabi) growing at Orchard Hill Farm (click picture for link to their blog)

Zucchini Soup

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As I have said before, we menu plan each week. This helps us to stick to our budget and also not waste food. If we know exactly what we are making, then we know exactly what we need to buy. We definitely have room for improvement with our planning. We are notorious for just putting ‘eggs’ for breakfast and ‘salad’ for lunch, which really doesn’t help sometimes. While we can manage to get creative with breakfasts on the fly, lunches are a struggle. We both used to enjoy fresh buns, with sandwich meat piled high but now that isn’t a lunch time option for us. What does one eat for lunch if you don’t eat grains?

The answer we fall back onto is salad. While this is good and we have become very creative with salads at times, sometimes you just want something else. This fall and winter, we got into a bit of a soup kick which helps for lunches. I discovered that I am pretty darn good at throwing together a soup from scratch.

This week our menu planning included a soup. It was going to be chicken with leftovers from our whole chicken but since we had company we didn’t have the meat to make chicken soup. We also had an abundance of zucchini we needed to use up. Why not combine this zucchini with our now chicken-less soup!

20130418-150630.jpgTom’s aunt said a great way to use zucchini is in soup so it seemed like a great idea. Based on what she said I came up with a rough recipe….with no accurate measurements…sorry.

Ingredients

  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 medium cooking onion
  • 3 gloves of garlic, chopped
  • 4 cups of broth (I used chicken)
  • ground ginger
  • salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat up olive oil in a pan over medium heat.

2. Once it has heated, add onion and garlic and saute for a couple of minutes and then add zucchini. Cook until zucchini is soft.

3. While veggies are cooking, heat broth in a large pot. Add veggies (when cooked) to the broth and bring to a boil.

4. After boiling soup for about 10 minutes, remove from heat. I used an immersion blender to puree the soup but you could also use a food processor, bullet, etc. Just make sure to avoid splashes if it is still hot! I didn’t entirely puree ours and left a few zucchini chunks. I then added some ground ginger and salt and pepper to taste.

Tom and I really enjoyed this soup but our little man did not. I think for him it was not thick enough and not nearly enough meat! That kid loves all meat!

If you try this recipe out let us know how it goes or what changes/additions you made!

-Katie

 

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