pan seared ginger chicken with tangy roasted grape tomatoes

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nothing like a home cooked meal

We are back from two weeks of travels (and eating out) and absolutely craving good old home cooked meals.  And I missed my kitchen and cooking for my family!  Don’t get me wrong – I had so much fun trying different foods and dining out.  Not having to worry about lunch and dinner prep or grocery shopping…pretty different from my typical week of juggling work, home life and scrambling to get good food into everyone’s bellies.  As much as I feel overwhelmed and crazy at times (I cannot count the number of times I have said to my kids “mommy is not an octopus”) – I love my time in the kitchen and cooking is MY time, my therapy, and it feels good for my soul (okay maybe not when the girls are screaming and running around me and it’s chaotic, but these are the joys of having children right?).

Anyway, this dish was a hit for dinner last week and provided ample leftovers for 3 lunches (that’s a win, always). When I roast chicken my husband always comments on how juicy and tender it is – but this time he was really surprised at how moist the meat was, especially the white meat. I think it is because I pan seared it first (sealing the juices in) then finished it off in the oven over a bed of grape tomatoes, which popped in the heat and released their juices.

I have to say the kids were not fans of the tomatoes (in fact, piepie was bribed to finish at least 3 tomatoes… “I don’t like it mom! it pops slimey” and boss just outright opened her mouth “blah” and it fell to the floor) – however they loved the sauce over top of their rice and they ate up all their kale and chicken. Good enough:)

what you need:

  • 1 whole chicken (organic or local best!)
  • 2.5 cups grape tomatoes, washed
  • 3-4 thick slices of fresh ginger
  • 2 green onions, cleaned and cut into 2″ long pieces
  • 2 cloves of garlic, roughly smashed
  • cooking oil (I used grape seed oil)
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic powder

what to do:

  1. Butcher your chicken into pieces (breast, thigh, drumsticks, wings) – keep the middle back bone for chicken stock for another time (you can freeze it).
  2. Season the chicken lightly with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  3. In a baking dish, add grape tomatoes and garlic. Toss with 1 tbsp oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. img_9399
  4. Preheat oven to 375 F. (350 F for convection ovens)
  5. In a frying pan on medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp cooking oil. Add the ginger slices and green onions. Saute for about 1-2 minutes, until you can smell the aromas of the ginger and green onion.img_9398
  6. If the pan seems dry add 1 tbsp cooking oil. Add chicken pieces to the pan, skin side down, you will have to do this in two batches (don’t overcrowd the pan or the chicken will steam instead of sear).  Cook for about 2 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. img_9400
  7. Transfer chicken to baking dish and place the pieces right on top of your tomatoes.
  8. Pan sear the rest of the chicken just like step 5 (add more cooking oil too!). Once all the chicken is pan seared, place it evenly over top of the tomatoes and transfer the ginger and green onions over top as well.img_9405
  9. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes – 35 minutes (convection oven is faster) – the tomatoes will pop and shrivel a bit, and there will be lots of juices at the bottom of the pan (great over greens or rice). Check one piece of dark meat to be sure it’s cooked (cut right near the bone and make sure the juices run clear).
  10. Remove from oven and let it rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

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    perfect over hearty greens (e.g. kale) & rice

school safe energy bites

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a fun surprise in the middle

My last few posts look the same don’t they…I definitely still have an obsession with dates but I have been baking and cooking with other things too haha!  Now that pie-pie has started school, I am hoping to have more time to post more recipes regularly! Sorry for the lack of posts but I am pretty good at keeping instagram up to date since it’s super fast and easy:)

So my previous energy bites had lots of nuts in them…I had to post this one because so many of my friends are now mommies who need to pack school safe snacks! It’s tough nowadays, no nuts for sure, and in some cases sometimes no eggs, no seeds, no chickpeas (I have heard this it’s true!). Previously I had used rice crispies for crunch, but this time we didn’t have any at home.  There was some left over cornpops from our cottage vacation two weeks ago, so I thought it might be fun to hide one cornpop in the middle of the date ball. It’s like a little treat within a treat:).

This recipe is nut & dairy free.

what you need:

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 generous cups of pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt (if your seeds are not salted)
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • cornpops

what to do:

  1. Use a food processor or blender to grind your seeds (not too fine – or you’ll make seed butter!).
  2. In a food processor, buzz up the dates until they form a paste / giant ball shape that is whipping around your food processor.
  3. In a pot over medium heat, melt coconut oil and then add the pureed dates to soften them. Add cinnamon and salt. Mash with a large fork to combine evenly.
  4. Remove from heat and add vanilla and seeds. Use the fork again to mix evenly.
  5. Wet your hands slightly with cold water (this will prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands). Use a spoon to scoop up about a golf ball size of date mixture, place a corn pop in the middle and roll into a ball.
  6. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week. It will keep even longer in the fridge. Enjoy!

total body bang for your buck

It’s one of those days where you go “where did the time go??” and your workout or gym plans just won’t happen! That’s the kind of day I had anyways. Here’s a workout that will target your entire body and core, and you can feel good about that Friday night glass of wine (or chocolate mmm)! Try doing a few reps of as many as you can do. Just a few minutes of this and you’ll be feeling like you did hit the gym.