Beyond the “Chipper Chicken”.

BeachyKitchen
What’s not to love about this amazing kitchen? I adore the soft grey-blues and the nautical vibe. If I had this kitchen, I’d bake and cook up a storm. 

I am so blessed to be living with such an amazing Chef. I’m sitting here right now, at my desk, eating the chicken that MSM whipped up last night for my lunches this week. Leave it to him to discover a new way to flavor this overly used protein choice in a new and fantastic way. This time he concocted his own variation of honey-mustard and garlic. I do think there is something to say about adding love or passion into a meal. It does alter the flavor, I’m sure of it. What was that movie where the girl was crying into her pie dough, and when she shared the pie with the townspeople they all started to cry as well? I’m telling you- there’s truth to that.

GarlicHoneyMustardChicken.jpg
I think the key to cooking with mustard is using the stone ground variety. 

With spring in full bloom and swim suit season around the corner, I am sure we are all more carefully selecting what we put into our bodies. Cheating a little less with Donut Frenemy and focusing more on a solid relationship with delicious fruits and vegetables. Its funny to me how when I eat “clean” foods (unprocessed), I feel so much more energized, healthy, and dare I say youthful?

Father of the Bride
Sometimes its scary (or expensive) to think outside the box. Alternatively, life’s is not fully lived without a little adventure, am I right?

MSM has a bunch of friends that are Chefs (hence his amazing ability to cook- he’s learned from the best- and I’m not exaggerating) so I decided to ask his close friend, Chef Danny G, for a list of lean protein options OTHER than that damn white meat I’m sure we’re all sick of! Here’s his response:

Lean proteins are everywhere. You just need to be open to trying them, educating yourself on how to prepare them, and experiment. The most obvious lean protein is chicken breast and rightfully so. Unfortunately, it can be boring regardless of how you prepare it. However, don’t give up on chicken breast, its a good source of protein and it is cheap.

Now, lets explore the other options that I look to cook and share with my family.

FISH:
Cannelloni filled with Salmon- an Italian specialty.
Um, yum! Cannelloni filled with Salmon- an Italian specialty. Definitely need to try this one! Get recipe here.
To continue with animal protein, lets explore the fish and shellfish family. We eat fish about 3-4 days a week at our house. Here are common fishes that you will find either at Whole Foods or a high quality seafood vendor
  • Halibut, look for Alaskan Halibut. Its a bit pricey ($16-20 per pound) but well worth it. It takes well to any marinade, but be careful to not overcook it. It will dry it out and not be good. Always look for a thick piece 1-3″ piece. I prefer to pan sear the fish for about 2-3 minutes and finish in a hot oven for about 6-8 minutes. Serve it with some roasted vegetables and a salsa verde
  • California White Sea Bass, this a great fish, thick, hearty and a bit cheaper ($12-14per#) than halibut. The skin on this fish can get crispy if you sear it hot and finish in a hot oven. Again, look for thick pieces and request the fish monger to remove any bones, if they don’t, don’t worry you can cook it with and remove after. They are big.
  • MahiMahi, about the same price as sea bass. Great for fish tacos!!! Grill them with a cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno marinade and grill on a very hot and oiled grill.
  • Local Albacore Tuna, this a great local tuna. Caught from San Diego all the way upto SF. About $14-18 per #. Square off the loin of tuna with no skin, add a spice mixture and sear it on a hot oiled pan on all sides. set aside and chill off and slice and serve on a salad or with soba noodles
  • Some other fish options: Haddock, Cod, Flounder, Shrimp, Scallops, Lobster and catfish. Keep in mind though that most shellfish is high in cholesterol

OTHER POULTRY AND PORK:

PorkTenderloin
I had no idea pork was a lean meat. Personally its a bit difficult for me to eat pork (and steak) because I just think pigs (and cows) are so cute! But its good to know its an available option.
  • Lean Turkey Breast, is another option. Very cheap, can find frozen $4-5per#. make kabobs, tacos, grilled or even make a soup with it.
  • Pork Tenderloin, very lean and flavorful. Roast it in the oven with carrots and potatoes and fresh herbs, olive oil and garlic

VEGETARIAN OPTIONS:

Lentils
I am actually somewhat obsessed with lentils. They are so delicious and packed with both protein and fiber. Honestly, they are the real deal here. Such a great superfood in my opinion. They are incredibly challenging to cook, but I’d like to try again with this recipe from Kalyn’s Kitchen : Indian Spiced Lentils
  • Tofu, firm or silken. Takes well with any marinade (sesame oil, minced garlic, mirin and soy) and grill the tofu on a hot grill. serve with vegetables and rice or noodles. you can also make a miso soup with the silken tofu
  • Egg whites are great as well. It takes a bit more creativity but it will work once in a while.

Also don’t forget about legumes, lentils, greek yogurt, soybeans, and cottage cheese

While Chef Danny was explaining all that, I took a minute to look up the movie to which I was referring above. Its called Simply Irresistible, staring Sara Michelle Gellar. I remember it now- totally cheesy. But a fun watch!
Thanks so much, Chef, for your awesome ideas!!
If any of you have some healthy but delicious recipes to share, please send links in the comments below. I’d especially love some ideas for protein packed snacks!
xoxo
QJ

QJ

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