I haven’t really talked about how I spent my Christmas and New Year, right? It was the most laid-back two weeks of my life where I did nothing but eat to my heart’s content. Can anyone say food coma? My mom made it her mission to prepare nothing but the best homecooked meals. With today’s hectic urban lifestyle, working professionals often resort to fast food after a busy day at the office. It’s convenient but also unhealthy. Fixing dinner shouldn’t have to be a chore. Even if you’re no culinary whiz, simple healthy dinner recipes are possible if you have a well-stocked pantry.
I cook from time to time so I’m pretty much familiar with the stuff I have in my kitchen. Mom says I make the best buffalo wing sauce while my raspberry vinaigrette dressing recipe is fast becoming a favorite at family gatherings. I’ve recently experimented with marinades using what I have in my pantry and I’m close to perfecting what I consider to be the best marinade for chicken. Now who says cooking is boring, huh?
Culinary experiments were a normal thing in our household. My mom encouraged us to nurture our love for good food and it was because of her that I knew my way through the kitchen. She was my teacher and I learned a lot from her. One of the best lessons I’ve learned from my mom was that nothing beats the magic of home cooked food. True enough, it’s one thing that I always ask from her whenever she’s in town for a visit.
Among us siblings, my sister inherited the culinary talent of the women in our family. If we have a dish in mind, it’s automatically agreed that I take care of the planning while she does the execution.
I credit my love for good food to the exemplary culinary skills of the women in my family. They have taught me to eat healthy and learn how to cook in order to survive. Eating a healthy, balanced diet provides nutrients to your body and significantly lowers your risk of developing a range of chronic diseases. This goes without saying that having control over what you eat will contribute to you achieving and maintaining a healthy weight which in turn results to a happier disposition and a happy YOU in general.
So ditch the fastfoods and rediscover your love for home cooked meals. It’ll not only benefit you financially but also health-wise.
Here’s an easy recipe I discovered from My Recipes that is both healthy and delicious. Enjoy!
Roast Chicken with Five-Spice Sauce
1 (6-pound) whole roasting chicken
1 medium fennel bulb with stalks
12 thyme sprigs, divided
8 garlic cloves, crushed and divided
4 lemon wedges
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick, broken in half
1 whole clove
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 onion, vertically sliced
2 cups red wine
1 cup lower-sodium chicken broth
2 orange rind strips
1 star anise
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1 tablespoon butter
1. Preheat oven to 450°.
2. Discard giblets and neck from chicken. Trim tough outer leaves from fennel; mince feathery fronds to measure 2 tablespoons. Remove and discard stalks. Cut bulb into quarters. Place 1 fennel quarter, 6 thyme sprigs, 4 garlic cloves, lemon wedges, 1/2 cinnamon stick, and whole clove in body cavity. Combine fennel fronds, oil, 3/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks. Rub salt mixture under skin. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under chicken. Tie legs together with twine. Place chicken on the rack of a roasting pan. Arrange remaining 4 garlic cloves, remaining fennel quarters, and onion in bottom of roasting pan; place rack with chicken in pan. Bake at 450° for 20 minutes.
3. Reduce oven temperature to 375°.
4. Add remaining 6 thyme sprigs, remaining cinnamon stick half, wine, broth, orange rind, and star anise to bottom of pan; baste chicken. Bake at 375° for 40 minutes; baste chicken. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the meaty part of thigh registers 165°. Remove from oven; let stand 20 minutes.
5. Place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Pour drippings into bag; let stand 5 minutes (fat will rise). Seal bag; snip off 1 bottom corner of bag. Drain drippings into roasting pan, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat. Cook over medium heat, scraping pan to loosen browned bits, until reduced to 1 1/4 cups. Remove from heat, and stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, apricots, and butter. Serve sauce with chicken; discard skin before serving.