Whole Roast Chicken

I’ve been wanting to make a whole roast chicken for awhile now. I know that it’s super easy, and more economical and sustainable than just cooking up chicken pieces. Plus, it feels very “grown up” to know how to cook a whole chicken.

Well I finally I got the little push I needed to embark on my chicken cooking adventure. I’m scheduled to take SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) test this week. Part of the prep for this test is that the day before you can only eat protein - baked chicken and fish, eggs and other lean cuts of meat (with minimal seasonings and oil). I figured now was the perfect time to make a chicken since I needed quite a bit of it to eat during my test prep.

Side note: I’m sharing more of my gut healing adventures on Instagram as I do tests, learn more about my digestion and self experiment. If you’re interested in that process, make sure you’re following along there.

This whole roast chicken recipe was easy and oh so delicious! My chicken turned out perfectly cooked - still moist and juicy with good flavor from the salt and lemon. Best of all, I’m proud of myself for learning something new and I’m looking forward to having this recipe in my regular rotation.

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Whole Roast Chicken

inspired by Roast Chicken with Lemons from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan

Ingredients:

  • A 3- to 4- pound chicken

  • 1 or 2 lemons (small enough to fit in the cavity of your chicken)

  • About 1 tbsp sea salt

  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350.

  2. Prepare your chicken. Wash (if desired) and pat dry with paper towels. Let any water or liquid drain from the chicken. Then, sprinkle the salt all over and inside the chicken and massage gently.

  3. Prepare the lemons. Wash and dry the lemons. Roll them out a few times on your countertop (this helps get the juices flowing). Poke 15-20 holes in each lemon using a sharp knife, toothpick or fork (this prevents the lemons from exploding during the cooking process).

  4. Place lemon or lemons inside the bird’s cavity. If you’re able, close up the opening with string (I didn’t have any so just used the excess skin to close up the cavity loosely).

  5. Put the chicken into a roasting pan, breast side down. Sprinkle generously with black pepper.

  6. Cook for 30 minutes. Remove the chicken, flip (breast side up) and cook for an additional 30 minutes.

  7. Turn the oven up to 400 and cook for 10-20 more minutes. At this point the skin should start to get brown and crispy. After 10 minutes, check the meat - it’s done when the meat is firm (not jiggly) and juices run clear. If there’s any question, cook for another 5-10 minutes.

  8. Remove chicken from the oven and let rest for 10-15 minutes before carving. The juices in the pan are delicious and can be served as a simple gravy or used to make a more intricate dressing.

What’s one recipe that you’re proud of yourself for trying at home?

Leave a comment below and let me know!

Thai Red Curry

Like so many other foods, Thai curry holds memories for me.

Backpacking through Thailand and eating ALL the curry and pad thai.

Cold winter nights when I had just moved to Brooklyn and discovered my local Thai restaurant made a bomb veggie curry (which I got with “extra vegetables” every time).

And finally learning to cook this dish myself, one of my first more “exotic” recipes (I definitely did not grow up eating this food).

Me, searching for the best veg curry in all of Thailand (circa 2014)

Me, searching for the best veg curry in all of Thailand (circa 2014)

I forgot about Thai curry for awhile. Maybe because it held memories I wasn’t wanting to access, or maybe simply because I got in a routine of making other things and forgot about this once loved dish. Whatever the reason, I was reminded how much I love Thai curry during my recent trip to Sedona when my parents and I had Thai food for Valentine’s day dinner.

Homemade curry is especially awesome because you can customize it to your dietary preferences and taste buds: Not a fan of too much spice? Use a little less curry paste. Vegetarian? Add in some tofu or simply serve over rice. Grain free? Use cauliflower rice instead. Need more protein? Beef up this basic dish with whole shrimp or sliced chicken breast.

And so when I was thinking what dish to teach and make for last weekend’s retreat, curry immediately came to mind.

The recipe below is more of a rough formula. Don’t have snap peas? Leave ‘em out. Not a fan of mushrooms? Swap in another vegetable. Take my measurements and instructions as your guide, but feel free to make this your own.

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Simple THAI Red Curry

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 inch fresh ginger, minced

  • 4 tbsp Thai Red Curry paste (I always use this one by Thai Kitchen)

  • 1 8-oz package white button mushrooms, sliced

  • 1 bell pepper, sliced (orange, red or yellow all work)

  • 2 heads broccoli, cut into florets (save the stems for roasting and snacking!)

  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into coins

  • 1 cup snap peas, trimmed

  • 1 14-oz can full fat coconut milk (again I like the Thai Kitchen brand)

  • Juice of 1 lime

  • Fresh cilantro or basil, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Melt coconut oil in large pot over medium heat.

  2. Add onions and saute for 5 minutes and saute until soft and translucent.

  3. Add ginger, garlic, and curry paste and stir.

  4. Add all vegetables except snap peas and mix well so that curry paste is equally distributed.

  5. Add coconut milk and about 1/2 cup of water. Cover with a lid and let simmer until vegetables are cooked to desired done-ness (10 minutes or so).

  6. Add in snap peas and lime juice. Cover and let cook for another 2-3 minutes.

  7. Serve with fresh cilantro or basil, and more lime juice as desired.

Are you a curry fan? have you tried making it yourself?

Leave a comment below and let me know!

Zucchini Noodle Soup

This easy recipe came together one night last week - it was an unseasonably cloudy and cool summer day, and since my gut has been acting up I wanted to make myself a simple yet nourishing dinner. Something that felt a little more fun than a standard bowl or salad, but didn't take a ton of time or effort.

Soup isn't your typical summer food, but this bowl was light and satisfying and exactly what my belly wanted. Making noodles out of zucchini gives the soup a fun factor while also upping the veggie content.

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Zucchini Noodle Soup

Ready in less than 10 minutes this soup is a perfect light dinner or easy lunch. Serve with a crusty slice of toast slathered in ghee or grassfed butter.

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups bone broth

  • 1 small zucchini

  • 2 eggs

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Ghee or olive oil

Directions:

  1. Use a spiralizer or vegetable peeler to make noodles or ribbons out of the zucchini.

  2. Heat bone broth in a medium pot.

  3. Add in zoodles and cook for a few minutes

  4. Crack the eggs directly into the pot and poach or scramble in the hot soup. Cook until eggs are to your likely (can leave them a little softer like egg drop soup or fully cooked).

  5. Ladle soup into a bowl and season with salt, pepper and a drizzle of ghee or olive oil.

 

 

If you loved this Easy meal idea, check out these recipes:

Bone Broth Breakfast Soup

Zoodles with Veggies and Goat Cheese

High Protein Avocado Toast

 

Cauliflower Rice Bowl with Mushrooms + Spinach

Have you tried cauliflower "rice" yet? It's the new zoodles, the latest and greatest trend in the healthy eating world.

If you haven't gotten on the cauliflower rice train yet, I suggest you try it. Why? It's a SUPER easy way to eat more veggies. Plus, if you are looking to reduce or limit grains from your diet, it's a GREAT alternative to traditional rice.

You can totally make your own cauliflower rice - basically you just put raw cauliflower in a food processor and pulse a few times until it's chopped up like rice (see full tutorial here). If you aren't quite ready to try that yet, many grocery stores (like my favorite Trader Joe's!) are offering fresh or frozen riced cauliflower so you can skip the food processor mess and get straight to creating awesome dishes with this yummy rice alternative.

You can use cauliflower rice in anyway that you'd use traditional rice. My favorite way to enjoy it is as the base of a bowl meal. The combination below has been a staple in my kitchen the past few weeks. The entire meal comes together in just a few minutes and boy does it hit the spot on a cold night!

Cauliflower Rice Bowl with Mushrooms + Spinach // vegan, gluten free, grain free, paleo

Ingredients:

- 2 cups cauliflower rice (I used the frozen organic cauliflower rice from Trader Joe's)

- 3-4 cups baby spinach

- 2 cups sliced white mushrooms

- 1 medium onion, diced

- 2 tbsp olive oil (or enough to cover the bottom of your pan)

- Sea salt and pepper

- Protein of choice. Some ideas: crab meat, cooked shrimp, organic chicken sausage, garbanzo beans or 2 fried eggs.

Instructions:

1. Add olive oil to large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add in sliced onions and cook for 3-5 minutes, until they start to turn translucent. Season with salt and pepper

2. Add in mushrooms and cook until they begin to brown.

3. Add in cauliflower rice and spinach. Cover your pan and let everything cook until the spinach is wilted and the "rice" is warmed.

4. Taste and adjust seasonings.

5. Add mixture to bowl and top with protein of choice. I also usually add garlic sauerkraut and avocado, but this is optional. Enjoy!

 

The best part about this recipe? It's adaptable! No onions? Skip em. Don't like mushrooms? Try adding in another veg. Want to kick it up a notch? Mix in some zesty pesto. The possibilities are endless!

Did you make this recipe? I want to know! Leave me a comment below OR, better yet, post a photo on social media and tag me @EmilyNachazel. I can't wait to hear from you!

Tempeh with Mushrooms, Onions + Tomato Sauce

 

Tempeh with Mushrooms, Onions + Tomato Sauce // vegan, gluten free

Makes 2-3 servings

Ingredients:

- 1 package tempeh, diced

- 1 large yellow onion, diced

- 2 cups mushrooms of choice, sliced

- 1-2 tbsp coconut oil

- 1 cup tomato sauce of choice

- 1 tsp dried oregano

- salt and pepper to taste

- 3 cups greens of choice, optional

Instructions:

  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet. Add onions and season with salt, pepper, and oregano. Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes
  2. Add in mushrooms and cook another 5-7 minutes, until mushrooms begin to brown.
  3. Push mushrooms and onions off to one side of the pan. Add the other tbsp of coconut oil and the tempeh and cook until tempeh begins to brown (5-7 minutes).
  4. When tempeh is browned, add in greens and tomato sauce and cook until greens are wilted and sauce is warmed. Taste and season with additional salt, pepper, and oregano. Enjoy!