Chicken Ratatouille


Ratatouille Dancing Chicken

When I think of Ratatouille I think of the cartoon with the genius chef rat. However, Ratatouille is a is a traditional French Provincial stewed vegetable dish, originating in Nice. It usually a side dish but can be served as a main dish with pasta, rice or bread. Let me start by confessing and saying that I am not the best cook. Actually I don’t like cooking at all because of all the time it takes. I like enjoying what other, talented people cook/prepare. That said, I was able to cook to dish few times and serve it with side of gluten free organic brown rice. It’s pretty easy to prepare and this one-dish recipe will show you that it’s very easy to eat and is quite delicious.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredient

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
  • 2 zucchini, about 7 inches long, unpeeled, thinly sliced
  • 1 small eggplant, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, rinsed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, rinsed, and sliced
  • 1 can (14 1/2 0z) whole peeled tomatoes, chopped (I substitute with I small box of halved cherry tomatoes)
  • 1/2 Tbsp garlic, minced (about 1 clove)
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, rinsed, dried, and minced
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Instruction

  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick pan. Add chicken, and saute for about 3 minutes or until lightly browned.
  2. Add zucchini, eggplant, onion, green pepper, and mushrooms. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add tomatoes, garlic, basil, parsley, and black pepper. Stir and continue to cook for about 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Tip: Serve with a side of whole-wheat pasta.

This will yield about 4 servings with 266 calories and 8 g of total fag and 2 g of saturated fat, 66 mg of cholesterol, 253 mg of sodium, and 6 g of total fiber.

Let me know how you served your own dish of chicken ratatouille. Happy cooking.

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Importance of Voting


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Today is a big day for all of us Americans. Today is Midterm Election Day in the U.S. We get to vote for our senators, congressman, local politicians, mayors and governors. To be honest I have been like many I have been tired of the dirty politics that have been going on in Washington. I am pretty much disappointed by our elected officials. However, that should not discourage us or keep us from the polling places today. Instead, that should motivate us to turn out in record numbers and vote. You, like me and my loved ones, might be so disappointed that you don’t even know who to vote for.  Perhaps you are like my sister, and do not like any of the candidates and hence do not want to vote at all.  To you, all I keep asking, think of it this way, do a process of elimination and think, who would you absolutely not want to see in the sit you are voting for? If you sit out and not vote, the chance for that guy getting elected might be even closer.  Just remember, you can’t win if you don’t play and the election outcomes are determined by those who participate.

Why is voting so important? Voting is our right and responsibility as a citizen.  Our nation’s democracy was founded upon the principle of fair and free election where every eligible citizens vote. According to a Huffington Post article by Dr. Judith Rich, publish last week, it is our responsibility to ensure that our electoral process is conducted in accordance with this principle and that those violates the process do not win the day. “It is our responsibility to protect the process itself, and that does not happen by withdrawing our participation. As messy as it may be, our participation is required”. Secondly, you still have your one vote, and if you don’t exercise it you give up your right to have a say in the matter and that, ultimately, is the premise upon which this country was founded. Thousands of people have given their lives so that you and I can have that right.

Before you decide you sit out and decide your exercise your right to vote, think about our founding founder and all the great men and women who gave their lives for us. We owe it to them to vote. So, go out their and cast your vote. Take your children with you. Show them the importance of voting, of the fact that we even have the right to vote, and why it matters, so that they  someday will vote for themselves.  According to yesterday’s Washington Post article by Amy Joyce, learning by living is exactly what election day is about. “We talk a lot in our family about making the world a better place, and today is one example of that. Voting teaches kids and teens to be change-makers. Demonstrate that you believe problems have solutions, and that the voting process consists of groups of people making decisions on how to generate those solutions.”

So readers, let me end by two quotes today. The first is from “Father of the American Revolution”, Signer of Declaration of Independence, and Governor of Massachusetts, Samuel Adams, “Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual – or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country”. The second if from Civil Right Leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, “Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us.  The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressman and government officials, but the voters of this country”. Hope you will all go out and exercise your right and responsibility and U.S. citizens to vote today.

Raw Paleo Tiramisu


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In pinterest, I came across this beautiful tiramisu recipe from Peachy Palate which is gluten free and vegan. However, since I don’t drink alcohol, I substituted apple cider for brandy. Try the recipe and add your comment.

Ingredients (9 squares)

    Base & Centre Layer

    • 75g (3/4 cup) roasted peeled hazelnuts
    • 75g (3/4 cup) pecans
    • 40g (1/3 cup) coconut flour
    • 60g (1/2 cup) ground almonds
    • 90g (1/2 cup) Medjool dates
    • 3 tbsp (42g) coconut oil melted

    Coffee Brandy Cream Layer

    • 1/2 can (200ml) full fat coconut milk
    • 80g (1/3 cup) raw cacao butter
    • 2 tbsp (15g) raw cacao powder
    • 45g (1/4 cup) Medjool dates
    • Seeds from half a vanilla pod or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 shots of espresso or 3 -4 heaped tsp instant coffee dissolved in 1-2 tbsp boiling water
    • 3 tbsp brandy (or Marsala wine..sherry or whiskey)
    • 2 tbsp (28g) coconut oil or ghee melted

    Cream Layer

    • 1 cup (120g) raw cashews soaked for 8 hours or overnight
    • 1/4 cup (60ml) full fat coconut milk
    • 1/4 cup (55g) coconut oil melted
    • 2 tbsp (40g) raw honey
    • 1 tbsp (14g) melted cacao butter
    • Seeds from half a vanilla pod or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

    Instructions

    Base

    1. Blend dates to a paste in your food processor. Remove and blend hazelnuts and pecans to a coarse crumb. Add all ingredients to the food processor and blend to combine.
    2. Place 1/2 of the mix in to a 6 inch loose bottom cake tin lined with baking parchment paper.
    3. Spread evenly and press down to compact.
    4. Place in the fridge while you make the chocolate layer. Set remainder of crumb to one side at room temperature.

    Chocolate Layer

    1. Blend dates to a paste in your food processor. Add in coconut milk and blend to combine.
    2. Add all other chocolate layer ingredients and process until smooth.
    3. Pour and spread evenly over the base. Sprinkle over the remainder of the crumb. Spread it evenly and lightly press down but don’t compact as you did with the base!
    4. Return to the fridge while you make the topping.

    Cream Layer

    1. Blend soaked cashews (drained!) with coconut milk in a high speed blender until smooth. Combine with all other ingredients in blender or food processor.
    2. Pour over the second crumb layer. Gently spread to ensure it’s even.
    3. Return to the fridge to set overnight or for a minimum of 4 hours.
    4. Push up out of the loose bottom tin. Slice in to 9 squares. Dust with raw cacao powder and serve. Store in the fridge for up to one week or freeze in a seal tight container or wrapped in clingfilm for up to one month.