Food

Sunday chicken roast

I believe that in every country there is something people traditionally eat for lunch on Sunday. It’s probably because that is the time of the week that the whole family gets the time to gather around the table, share food, their news from the week, gossip, laughter, and sometimes insults (???!!! no, never ever in my family, no…)

Where I come from this traditional Sunday lunch dish is roast chicken with oven potatoes. A simple and cheap dish that can feed 4 people easily. It’s still one of my favourites, because you can not really go wrong with it.

The recipe I will give you today is a very quick one, that gets its extra taste from the spices we are using.

Here’s all you’ll need:

  • 1 chicken (the size does not matter in this situation…)
  • Potatoes (again, as many as you want, depending on the size of your baking tray. Just make sure that they’re all spread our nice and even, like in the picture below, to avoid any of them being left uncooked). Cut them in whatever form you like, but I usually go for long-ish pieces. The recipe works very well with baby potatoes as well.
  • Spices: This is actually what will take the dish to the next level. Exactly because chicken and potatoes have a pretty basic taste, it’s always good to spice things up (pun intended). What we used for this recipe: salt, freshly grounded pepper, smoked pepper (this is a bit more difficult to find, but I would recommend you get some not just for this recipe but pretty much for every meat dish you prepare. We use this one all the time, it’s of course difficult to find it outside Greece, but it’s really the best sh^&t ever, try to find it and make it happen!), oregano, and some sweet paprika. What you can also do to give your chicken this golden colour, is to rub it with some “chicken mix” spices (these are pretty easy to find).
  • Olive oil (50ml for a 20x30cm baking tray)
  • 250 ml water (again, for a 20x30cm baking tray)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of mustardimg_0615

How to cook it:

  • Pre-heat your oven at 180℃.
  • Sprinkle the chicken mix, the smoked pepper, the salt and the freshly grounded pepper all around the whole chicken and rub it well! (slightly pornographic, I know!)img_0589
  • Add the tablespoon of mustard inside the chicken.img_0602
  • Add the garlic clove inside the chicken as well (just put the clove as a whole, no need to smash it beforehand).
  • Add oregano, sweet paprika, salt and freshly grounded pepper on the potatoes.
  • Sprinkle olive oil all over the chicken and the potatoes.
  • Add the water.
  • Place the tray in the oven and let it cook for about 30 minutes at 180℃. After 30 minutes, you should take the tray our, turn the chicken on the other side and also turn all the potatoes to make sure that they are not overcooked on one side.

I hope you do try it and let me know how it was!!!

BON APETIT

(and yes, in case you were wondering, this the boyfriend cooking, hihihi #solucky)

 

Food · Life

My diet

Writing this post last week on the things to do when coming back from holidays, I did mention going on a diet – a diet that’s actually been with me for the past 10 years or something. Not that I’ve been on a diet for 10 years, God no!! It’s just my little trick whenever I get to put on a 1-2 kilos and would like to get rid of them just because there’s no reason to have them. If however there is a good reason to have them (e.g. that time in my life that I was having 2-3 glasses of whine EVERY EVENING with dinner), then so be it, life has taught me any way that when habits change (meaning our mind…) our body usually follows suit.

So I’m gonna share with you my lovely diet in order you’re looking for something new to get you out of your eating habits. This promises a loss of 8 kilos in 2 months, which is pretty decent and healthy, but I never manage to keep it up for that long or follow it religiously, which makes it more like 1-2 kilos in a month for me. But these are real kilos, meaning you don’t see them coming back the second you have a pizza. Or two.

A few rules before the game starts: You can order the days as you like, Day 1 does not actually have to be on a Monday, or you can try Day 7 before Day 4 if you wish. However, you cannot choose to have the same dishes over and over again – I know the one with pasta is a treat, but if there was pasta that could make us lose weight, believe there wouldn’t even be a reason for this post (or Weight Watchers for that matter…) You can also use as much lemon, mustard and spices you want on your food but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE stay away from salt as much as possible. You know you have to avoid alcohol and other sugary drinks if you want to make this work, but coffee/tea with as much little sugar as possible is allowed. As for snacks between means, there are also very much advised and could be a fruit, a handful of unsalted nuts or almonds, half a slice of bread with a bit of low-fat cheese etc. you know, the usual stuff.

(DISCLAIMER: I’m a full figured woman, weighing 72 kilos (on a good idea) and measuring 1.75m tall. I’m perfectly happy with my body and losing a few kilos now and then is just a way for me to balance periods of unhealthy eating or excessive consumption of alcohol etc. You’re smart people so PLEASE DO NOT EMBARK ON THIS OR ANY OTHER DIET IF YOUR HEALTH DOES NOT ALLOW IT and before anything else check with your doctor if you have any kind of doubt as to what your eating should entail).

There. I said it. We’re ready to start now.

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Day 1: 

Breakfast:

  • 1 glass of fresh orange juice
  • 2 slices of toast bread (whole wheat) with 1 slice of low-fat cheese and 1 slice of low-fat ham/turkey

Lunch:

  • 150 gr. chicken prepared with 1 tbsp of olive oil and vegetables (don’t use ANY MORE olive oil, try instead to use a lot of spices to give the chicken some flavour. And of course, NO SALT)
  • a green salad with 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 slice of bread (whole wheat) OR half a cup rice OR 1 medium-sized potato (baked or boiled).

Dinner:

  • 1 wrap with 1 slice of low-fat cheese and 1 slice of low-fat ham/turkey
  • a small green salad with 1 tbsp of olive oil

Day 2: 

Breakfast:

  • Half a glass of milk
  • 3 tbsp’s of oatmeal
  • 1 small banana
  • 1 teaspoon of honey

Lunch:

  • Half a cup of cooked lentils OR beans OR chickpeas with 1 tbsp of olive oil per serving (here , here and here are some nice recipes you can try)
  • 30 gr of low fat cheese OR 1 boiled egg
  • a green salad with 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 slice of bread (whole wheat)

Dinner:

  • 80 gr of beef OR fish OR chicken OR 1 small burger OR 60 gr of low-fat cheese OR 1 boiled egg
  • a small green salad with 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 slice of bread (whole wheat) OR half a cup rice OR 1 medium-sized potato (baked or boiled).

Day 3: 

Breakfast:

  • 1 glass of milk (1.5% fat) OR 1 yogurt (2% fat) OR 30 gr. of low-fat cheese
  • half a cup of cereal OR 2 pieces of melba toast (whole wheat).

Lunch:

  • 150 gr of fish (boiled or prepared in the oven)
  • a green salad with 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 slice of bread (whole wheat)  OR 1 medium-sized potato (baked or boiled).

Dinner:

  • 1 glass of milk (1.5% fat) + half a cup of cereal + 1 tea spoon of honey

Day 4: 

Breakfast:

  • 1 glass of milk (1.5% fat) OR 1 yogurt (2% fat) OR 30 gr. of low-fat cheese
  • half a cup of cereal OR 2 pieces of melba toast (whole wheat).

Lunch:

  • 2 cups of cooked green beans with other vegetables (here‘s a nice recipe) with 1 tbsp of olive oil per serving
  • 30 gr of low fat cheese OR 1 boiled egg
  • 1 slice of bread (whole wheat)

Dinner:

  • 1 yogurt (2% fat) with 2 fruit, 2 tbsp’s of cereal and 1 tea spoon of honey

Day 5: 

Breakfast:

  • Half a glass of milk with 3 tbsp’s of oatmeal
  • 1 small banana OR 1 apple
  • 1 tea spoon of honey

Lunch:

  • 1 omelette (1 full egg + 3 egg whites) with 1 tbsp of olive oil, mushrooms, peppers, 1 slice of turkey and one slice of low-fat cheese.
  • 1 green salad with  1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 slice of bread (whole wheat)

Dinner:

  • Tuna salad with 1 canned tuna + 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 slice of bread (whole wheat)

Day 6: 

Breakfast:

  • 1 glass of fresh orange juice OR 1 piece of fruit
  • 2 slices of toast bread (whole wheat) with 1 slice of low-fat cheese and 1 slice of low-fat ham/turkey

Lunch:

  • 2 cups of whole wheat pasta prepared with tomato sauce and vegetables, and cooked with 1 tbsp of olive oil per serving + 1 tbsp of graded cheese
  • 1 small green salad with 1 tbsp of olive oil

Dinner:

  • 2 slices of toast bread (whole wheat) with 1 slice of low-fat cheese and 1 slice of low-fat ham/turkey
  • 1 small green salad with 1 tbsp of olive oil

Day 7: 

Breakfast:

  • Half a glass of milk with 3 tbsp’s of oatmeal
  • 1 small banana
  • 1 tea spoon of honey

Lunch:

  • 150 gr. of chicken OR beef OR 2 small burgers OR 1 small serving of giouvarlakia (try them, they are amazing) OR 1 small serving of soutzoukakia (try them, they are amazing)
  • 1 small salad with 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 cup of mashed potato OR baked potatoes OR rice

Dinner:

  • Dakos (try it, it’s amazing) with 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 piece of fruit

So here you go! Print it, go shopping, put it on your fridge and good luck!!!!

Food

Mediterranean gnocchi recipe

When the weather gets warm (and thank God it has – yes, summer is officially in Belgium people!), my cooking choices always revert to the Mediterranean diet – simple stuff, almost no meat, lots of olive oil and herbs.

I tried a new recipe with gnocchi the other day that I really enjoyed making and eating so I thought toshare it here with you. I actuallycamepup with it right on the spot, as I had a few vegetables in my fridge that I need to consumer before I leave Brussels this weekend (I’ll be gone for three weeks and every time I have to travel for such a long time there is always a cleaning the fridge procedure going on, I hate throwing food away!!!)

So this is really easy peasy and here’s what you need to have to make it happen (serves 2):

A 500 gr pack of gnocchi

Two tbsp of olive oil

1 aubergine (chopped in cubes)

1 zucchini (chopped in cubes)

A handful of porcini mushrooms (sliced not too thinly)

Half an onion (thinly sliced)

4 medium-sized ripe tomatoes (each cut in 4 big cubes)

1 tbsp concentrated tomato sauce

3/4 cup water

Herbs according to preference (I used oregano and dried basil for this one)

Salt & pepper to taste

A pinch of sweet paprika

A few capers

A few kalamata olive oils to taste

1 garlic clove (unless you cook this to take to work for lunch the next day or to serve on a first date, in which cases skip the garlic)

 

How to make it:

We warm up the oil in a normal pan, adding the onion once the oil is hot and cooking it until soft and slightly brown.

Add the vegetables and cook for a few more minutes, until everything in the pan has a nice golden touch because of the olive oil.

(Note: I usually cook in low temperatures to make sure I can control the process. On a scale from 1-9 I would cook the vegetables on 6).

Lower the heat (in my case, I would take it down to 4) and add the tomatoes, the salt, the pepper and the herbs. Add the tomato sauce and the water. Stir well so everything comes together nicely and let cook for about 15-20 minutes.

Cook the gnocchi (follow the advice on the packaging, it always works well with pasta).

Dry the gnocchi and add in the sauce for a final spin.

Serve warm or not so warm, with or without cheese, with or without a glass of chilled wine. So easy like summer should be 😉