Rotisserie Chicken Baguette Sandwich With Basil

Rotisserie Chicken baguetteRotisserie chicken sold at Costco and other markets for $4.99 is a great deal. They say that they are actually losing money by doing that, but it gets you in the warehouse or store to by commodities, like food, clothing and other products that they sell. So their loss is made up in the other things that you buy.

Cooking 3 rotisserie chicken on the grill with Charcoal and Briquettes Most are familiar with what a rotisserie chicken is.

For those who are not familiar, the chicken is skewered on a spit or a long solid rod while it is being cooked over an open fire, such as in a fireplace or over a campfire, or roasted in a rotisserie oven.

The rotation of the chicken on the spit cooks the meat evenly in its own juices and allows easy access for continuous self-basting.

Rotisserie cooking was popular in medieval times and in early modern kitchens that had a fire place.

Some fresh baguettes in the basket at the bakery The loaf of baguette that we used is a long thin loaf of French bread.

The history of the baguette according to Wikipedia is that the word “baguette” was not used to refer to a type of bread until the 1920’s, but what we know as a baguette today, may have existed well before then.

The word is derived from the Italian bacchetta which simply means “wand” or “baton.”

Our featured recipe is a delicious meal that can be ready in 20 minutes from start to finish.

Here is what you will need for your – Rotisserie Chicken Baguette Sandwich With Basil

1 (1 lb) loaf baguette

1 (18 oz) bottle bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce (We use BBQ sauces from Whole Foods that do not have soy or canola oil in them)

2 cups cooked and shredded Rotisserie chicken

1/3 cup chopped red onion

3-4 fresh torn basil leaves

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cut baguette loaf in half lengthwise.

Pour 1 cup each of BBQ sauce on top of both halves of bread.

Next, place 1 cup of shredded rotisserie chicken onto each baguette half.

Evenly sprinkle 1 cup of mozzarella cheese onto each of the baguette halves.

Evenly sprinkle chopped onion over the cheese between the two baguette halves.

Place the two baguette halves on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until cheese has melted and bread is heated through.

Rotisserie Chicken baguetteSprinkle some torn basil leaves over the tops of both baguette halves. Note: do not tear basil leaves until you are ready to place them over the prepared cooked sandwich.

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How To Spice Things Up When Cooking

Large collection of metal bowls full of herbs and spices -How To Spice Things Up When CookingHerbs and spices are used to enhance the flavor of food, either it be for cooking spaghetti carbonara or baking an apple pie.

An herb or spice can be a seed, fruit, root, bark, berry, bud or leafy part of the plant. They are principally used for flavoring food among other uses. They can be used fresh or dried.

Herbs And Spices Through The Ages

It is said that by the Middle Ages, the most common spices and herbs being traded and used were black pepper, cinnamon (including the alternative cassia), cumin, nutmeg, ginger and cloves.

Herbs and spices are useful for many things, among others are medicinal uses, cosmetic or perfume production uses, and of course they are used add flavor to a meal.

By 1000 B.C. medical systems based upon herbs were found in China, Korea, and India. Also the Egyptians used herbs and spices for their embalming practices and their demand for exotic herbs and spices helped stimulate world trade.

Extracting A Spices Flavor

The flavor of an herb or spice is derived by exposing the volatile oil compounds of the seed or leafy part, that oxidize or evaporate when it comes in contact with air.

As an example, fresh ginger is usually more flavorful than its dried form, but fresh spices are more expensive and have a much shorter shelf life.

Flavor of herbs and spices can be maximized by storing them whole and grinding when needed, as grinding greatly increases its surface area and so increases the rates of oxidation and evaporation.

If you decide to use dried spices, be sure to use them within 6 to 8 months of purchase. Ground spices are better stored away from light, as it also increases the oxidation of the volatile oils.

metal bowls filled with spices

How To Use Herbs And Spices

When using herbs and spices you’ll want to pick flavors that complement each other, such as the spice mix known as “pumpkin pie spice.” The ratios of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg add great flavor to the pie, and each spice doesn’t over power the other.

The key or rule of thumb to spicing things up is that less is more. Avoid adding too much all at once. Instead, add a little at a time and add more to taste.

A good example of over spicing and unable to fix it, is when you use oregano or cloves. Their volital oils are great for flavoring culinary and pastry dishes, but they are strong in flavor, and only require a small amount.

When using spices to flavor your meat or vegetables, use only 3 different types at a time. You can even use herbs and spice to replace salt. Choose your spice or spices, add a little lemon juice and unsalted butter.

Which spices pair well together for the best culinary dishes you can make? Let’s examine some of the most commonly used spices and which spices pair well with them.

Leafy Green Salads With Homemade Cheese

Leafy Green Salads With Homemade CheeseThrowing some leafy greens with other vegetables together on a plate and topping it with some nuts, seeds and your favorite dressing or vinaigrette is a great way to get your daily servings of vegetables.

How about going a step further and adding some cheese, like Parmesan, grumbled goat cheese, or even some of your own homemade cheese made in an hour? What? Yes you read right, homemade cheese made in one hour.

One Hour Cheese by Claudia LuceroWe were listening to NPR this past week, and the program was All Things Considered, and I was very intrigued at hearing that you could make cheese in one hour.

Listen here to the 3 minute interview with Claudia Lucero who runs Urban Cheesecraft in Portland, Oregon, and authored the book “One Hour Cheese” (CLICK HERE TO HEAR INTERVIEW). 

After listening in the car to the interview with Claudia, the very next day with a gallon of milk from Whole Foods Market, I ventured to make some homemade cheese in my own kitchen for the first time.

Here’s what you need to do to make your own cheese in an hour….

Pour 4 cups milk into a 2-quart saucepan and heat it on medium as you stir.

Look for foam to begin forming around the inside edges of the pot as well as little simmer bubbles coming from the bottom—not a rolling boil. Stir continuously so that a skin doesn’t form on the milk’s surface.

Once you see a soft boiling of the milk, slowly add 1/8 cup of fresh lemon juice. You can also use vinegar. Apple cider or white vinegar will do.

As you are slowly pouring in the lemon juice, stir gently to incorporate it until you see the clear separation of curds, which will be white solids, and whey, a clear liquid.

This separation of curds from the whey is called coagulation.  When you see coagulation and the liquid no longer looks like plain milk, turn the heat to low and stir the curds very, very gently as you cook them for 2 minutes more after the coagulation begins.

Have a cheese cloth placed in a small strainer over a bowl, and using a slotted spoon, carefully spoon out the curds and place them into the cheese cloth, and let any excess whey drain off.

After the whey has drained off, you can add some sea salt or Himalayan salt to the cheese and mix in.

We add some garlic seasoning, which gave it a great flavor. In Claudia Lucero’s book, she even shows you how to make a faux cheddar cheese (which takes days to make) in an hour by just adding turmeric to give it that orange look that you see when purchased at the market.

Here is what we got at our first try making homemade cheese.

making homemade cheese

The cheese is much like a crumbled cheese you would buy at the market. Here are a few leafy green salads we put together using our homemade cheese.

Leafy Green Salad With Homemade Cheese

               Leafy Green Salad With Homemade Cheese

This salad is a few handfuls of leafy greens (your choice) topped with sliced radishes, pecan pieces, pomegranate vinaigrette, and homemade crumbled cheese.

making a leafy green salad with root vegetables and homemade cheese

Our next salad is a plate of leafy greens, with a fried egg and some root vegetables, consisting of sliced radishes and golden beets. We topped the salad with a olive oil and sweet balsamic vinaigrette, homemade crumbled cheese and fresh thyme.

Leafy Greens With Root Vegetables and A Fried Egg And Homemade Cheese

Leafy Greens With Root Vegetables and A Fried Egg And Homemade Cheese

As we mentioned at the on set of the article, this is a great way to get a few servings of your daily need of vegetables, and a added treat you make yourself, Homemade Cheese.

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Greek Yogurt Dill Spread with Ham and Red Cabbage On Wasa Crisp Bread

Greek Yogurt Dill Spread with Ham and Red Cabbage On Wasa Crisp Breadmultigrain Wasa crackersWasabröd is a Swedish company that is the largest producer in the world of Scandinavian style crisp bread.

Wasabröd produces a wide variety of crisp breads, with the original crisp bread made of rye. Other additions since 1919 include sesame,wheat, oats, flax seed, and other grains. Like matzo, Wasa is noted for its shelf longevity.

Wasa crisp bread is popular during the EuropeanOktoberfest‘ (a festival that takes place from mid-September through October).

Oktoberfest comes once a year, with vibrant music, over-flowing beer, sausage, and colorful German costumes. It is a festival held every Fall to celebrate German heritage, and includes lots of great finger foods.

Our featured recipe is an inspiration of the German festival and the Wasa crisp bread: Greek Yogurt Dill Spread with Ham and Red Cabbage On Wasa Crisp Bread. Here is what you will need.

Prepartion per serving:

1 multigrain Wasa crisp bread

2 teaspoons Greek yogurt dill spread

1/4 cup chopped red cabbage

1 fresh basil leaf, medium to large

1 slice uncured lunch meat, your choice, without nitrates

steps to preparing food ingredients with Wasa crisp breadYou can find the recipe for the Greek yogurt dill spread by linking here: Greek Marinated Chicken with Butter Leaf Lettuce Salad.

Prepare the yogurt-dill spread. Cut basil leaves from stems and wash (pat dry). Spread yogurt-dill onto a piece of Wasa crisp bread. Next top with a slice of lunch meat. We used a smoked black-forest honey ham. Next top the meat with a fresh basil leaf, and top that with the red cabbage.

multigrain wasa with cabbage - ham - and a greek yogurt dill spreadYou don’t need to wait util the next Oktoberfest to enjoy this healthy and awesomely delicious finger food. When making your shopping list be sure to include a package of Wasa Crisp Bread (your favorite), and the accompanying ingredients. Oh, and it makes a great party favorite finger food.

For more great ideas to topping Wasa Crisp Bread link here: Wasa – Since 1919.

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Gluten Free Penne with Caponata Sauce

Gluten Free Penne with Caponata Sauce

You have no doubt heard of people who eat a gluten free diet. A gluten free diet excludes gluten, a protein found in wheat and related grains, like barley and rye. Gluten causes health problems in those who suffer with Celiac disease (CD) and in some cases those who may have allergies to wheat.

Some have argued we need carbohydrates and wheat needs to be eaten. Also others have voiced that eating Gluten free is just a fade diet. Are these statements true? We would say no.

Making the choice to take gluten out of your diet is for health reasons, and it has nothing to do with losing weight, as most fade diets proclaim. Secondly, you can obtain the same amount of carbohydrates as you would in wheat products as you can in eating fruits and vegetables.

De Boles Gluten Free  pasta for - Penne with Caponata SauceThe fact is most substitutions used for wheat do have some carbohydrates in them. Such as the product we chose to prepare are featured recipe.

This product De Boles is not exclusive to just using white or brown rice flour or corn flour, no but rather it uses brown rice flour with whole grain quinoa flour and ground flax seed flour, as well as the rice bran.

This gluten free product has 4 servings with 41 grams of carbohydrates per serving. As there is whole grains, and bran, it will not raise blood sugar levels.

Now for our featured all organic recipe: Gluten Free Penne with Caponata Sauce and here is what you will need.

1 red onion

1 red sweet pepper

1 yellow sweet pepper

3 small purple carrots

2 zucchini

1 medium egg plant

2 cloves garlic, minced

14 ounce can roasted tomatoes

1 teaspoon dried oregano

3 – 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Preapred vegtables for - Gluten Free Penne with Caponata Sauce

Cut all the vegetables into chunky dices, but mince the garlic.

Sauting carrots, onions and garlic in olve oil

In a large skillet, saute oil, onions, garlic and carrots for 3 minutes. Next add the eggplant and peppers, and cook 3 minutes more, stirring frequently.

Now add the zucchini and cook 3 minutes more, and again stir frequently.

Adding roasted tomatoes to suateed vegetablesAdd roasted tomatoes….

adding oregano

Add the oregano and stir in, till well incorporated. Let simmer for 10 minutes.

Cooked pasta for - Gluten Free Penne with Caponata Sauce

Mean while, cook the gluten free pasta according to package instructions. Drain do not rinse. By this time the vegetables should have completed the 10 minutes of simmering.

Gluten Free Penne with Caponata Sauce

In a large serving bowl mix vegetables and pasta together. Plate and serve with a favorite meat, such as fresh ground turkey basil and feta sausages, from the Whole Foods Market. Enjoy!!

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Thai Chicken Stir-Fry with Holy Basil

Thai Chicken Stir fry with Holy Basil

Illness and conditions Holy Basil helps withHoly basil or Tulsi has medicinal properties. The leaves are used in Thailand for sharpen memory.

The leaves of holy basil are used during the rainy season, when malaria and dengue fever are widely prevalent.

The tender leaves are boiled with black tea, to use as a preventive against theses diseases.

A tea is also made from the leaves, and raw honey is added with fresh ginger as an effective remedy for bronchitis, asthma, influenza, cough and cold.

These little green leaves can also reduce blood cholesterol. Holy basil is also used as an anti-stress remedy.

Recent studies have shown that chewing 12 leaves of holy basil basil, twice a day, can help to fight stress.

Now for our featured recipe: Thai Chicken Stir-Fry with Holy Basil

avocado oil for Asian cooking - Thai Chicken with Holy Basil

Healthy Cooking to 500 Degrees

Cook 1 cup of your favorite rice according to package instructions (use chicken broth in place of water, provides more flavor for the dish).

2 tbsp. avocado oil

2 garlic cloves, crushed

8 ounces chicken breast, boneless and shredded into medium pieces

1 tbsp. red chili flakes

Red chili is a great source of beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin-A to sponge cell damaging free radicals. The chili also helps reduce Red Chili Flakesinflammation and reduces blood clotting.

2 handfuls of holy basil

2 tbsp. fish sauce

1 tbsp. raw sugar

2 tbsp. chicken stock

Heat a wok (or similar pan) over medium heat. Add oil and garlic, stir-fry for a few seconds or until you smell the aroma of the garlic.

Turn up the heat to medium-high. Next add the chicken, chilli flakes, half of the basil, and stir-fry for 1 minute. Now add the fish sauce, raw sugar, and stock. Mix in well. Stir-fry until chicken is oblique.

Turn the heat to low, and add the rest of the basil. Stir-fry the contents of the wok or pan 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Plate some rice and spoon on top some Stir-Fried Chicken with Holy Basil and enjoy.

 

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Cooking a Healthy Stir Fry

Cooking a Healthy Stir FryStir-fry makes for a complete meal that can be made in a short time when you are famished. The majority of kids, including the picky eaters, will be happy with a colorful stir-fry for dinner.

Let’s discuss the items you will need for your stir-fry, such as the cookware to use. What cooking oil is best, and also the vegetables and the use of protein in your stir-fry’s.

Cooking Stir-Fry

Types of woks for Cooking a Healthy Stir Fry Stir-fry can be made in a Wok, which is a great cooking method as it cooks this food properly without having to add a lot of oil. A wok is built to heat up in such a way that food cooks fast, meats get a nice sear and vegetables cook quickly so they are not overcooked and retain their nutrients.

But, if you don’t have a Wok, you can use a cast iron skillet, hard anodized or ceramic coated cookware, but make sure they are really hot before adding the ingredients.

Healthy Oil

To cook your stir fry for heart health, you need to choose cooking oil that has a high smoking point because of the high temperature of frying.

Chinese cooks normally use peanut oil, which has a high smoke point and a pleasant nutty flavor, for stir-frying (and deep-frying). The Peanut Institute states that highly refined peanut oil does not contain allergen-containing proteins and is safe for people with even severe peanut allergies.

Keep in mind that peanut oil is 18% saturated fat, not a healthy fat for the heart, according to the medical community.

Almond oil is suitable to stir-fry with as it has a smoke point of 420 degrees. Almond oil contains the second highest percentage of monosaturated fats, behind olive oil. This type of fat has a number of potential health benefits including lowering total cholesterol, normalizing blood clotting and controlling blood sugar.

Olive oil is also suitable to stir-fry with, but only when using extra light olive oil, because it has a higher smoke point at 468 degrees over EVO oil which is 350 degrees.

Avocado OilAvocado oil has many uses and is great for lowering blood pressure. Avocado oil has a smoke point to 500 degrees. This oil is great for searing meats and frying vegetables. When the food hits the hot oil, the sugar content in the food caramelizes and proteins will be denatured and form a thin coating. This allows the food not to soak up any oil. Also because it is thicker than olive oil, you will find yourself using less of it in the pan. In the USA, if you live near a Costco, the price of the avocado oil for 1 litter is about $10.99 (2014). It isn’t certified organic, but it does state non-gmo avocados used.

The flesh of an avocado, including its oil have 20 vitamins and minerals, which include B-6, an essential B-vitamin for healthy red blood cells, nervous system, gums and teeth. Other nutrients include iron, potassium, lutein and folate. Avocado oil also contains potassium, pantothenic acid, copper and the phytonutrient lutein, which helps boost eye health as we age.

Each serving of avocado oil, 1 tablespoon contains about 1.6 grams of saturated fat, with no omega-6 fatty acids, which cause inflammation in the body.

Vegetables – Low in Calories and Fat

vegetables for stir-fryOne of the best things about a stir fry is the variety of vegetables you can use, such as cabbage, broccoli, peas, green beans, mushrooms and peppers. Most vegetables are high in fiber, keeping you full for long periods of time. Vegetables are low in calories as well and have no fat and so they can be eaten in abundance.

Protein in Your Stir-Fry

You can choose to use meat, like pork, beef, or chicken. But if you want an all vegetarian stir-fry, you can still have protein as well, by adding nuts or seeds.

Peanut sauce is a high-protein food offering 8 grams per 2 tablespoons. Also 1/4 cup of slivered almonds adds 6 grams of protein or 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds adds 7 grams of protein.

However you choose your protein, make sure to add it to your stir-fry. Protein is an essential building block for healthy tissue and muscles in the body.

Enjoying a good stir-fry also ensures you are getting your daily need of vegetables that provide all of the amino acids you need plus fiber and phytonutrients for a long healthy life.

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