Monday, May 11, 2015

Happy & Healthy Monday

Motivational Monday! That's the mantra! Working out, taking care of the house, the garden... To top off a good day and fuel the week, nothing like a healthy meal that doesn't keep you in the kitchen for too long but still puts a smile on your face!
My inspirations were summer veggies (which are already in season but can't wait for even juicier ones later on), and my old friend, the crockpot!

When I was grocery shopping this weekend I saw this beautiful organic whole chicken and I just had to throw it in my cart. I was going to make something with it. I was determined. When I came home I started searching if more people were crazier than me and actually put to the test what I had in mind: throwing a whole chicken into a crockpot. It turns out, there were TONS of recipes so I had the confirmation I needed: my chicken was going to be ok!

Sunday night I grabbed a few sprigs of lemon thyme and oregano off my garden and made a paste/rub with paprika, olive oil, salt, a touch of tomato paste, horseradish mustard and a splash of a really vinegary bbq sauce, just for flavor. I spread my rub under the chicken skin, put in the crockpot and cover with aluminum foi so all I had to do Monday morning, was pop it in the electric piece, turn it on and get out!

When I arrived from the office, the house was flooded with delicious smells from the herbs I seasoned the chicken. I knew deliciousness awaited!

To pair with it, I quickly threw a mixed leaves salad with some cherry tomatoes on the side and made the most delicious ratatouille. The chicken and the veggies were quite a match! You must give it a try! Make it your next week night dinner and you won't regret as this is an explosion of flavor and it is also super healthy!

For the CHICKEN:

Mix into a paste pproximately
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 T horseradish mustard (or chipotle mustard)
1/2 T tomato paste
1 T BBQ sauce (vinegar based is preferred, but to your taste)
fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, oregano, basil, whatever you have!)
salt & pepper to taste
dash of olive oil

Rub the chicken with the paste under it's skin and leave some to cover the bird just slightly.
Make 2 large alumin foil balls and use as a " rack" for the chicken. Add about 1 cup of water or broth. Cook it for 5-6 hours on low, or until internal temperature reaches 165F, breast facing down.
The meat will be falling off the bone, so if you don't like that, 4 hours is probably enough. Test with a probe.


1 zucchini or squash cut lengthwise in fine strips
1 red bell pepper cut in strips
1 medium eggplant diced in medium pieces
1 small onion diced medium
2 cloves of garlic or to taste, minced
3 tomatoes chopped roughly
2 large bay leaves.

Using some olive oil, sautee the bay leaves with garlic and onions only until fragrant on medium-high, about 2 minutes. Add eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 more minutes. Add the other veggies and cook until desired texture. I like it a bit firmer, so I only cooked about 6 more minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper and fresh basil. If you like it, a sprinkle of garlic powder could enhance the flavors.

Have a great week!

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