Archive for April, 2011

I’m a big fan of Cornish hens because they’re more flavorful than a chicken, fit in my slow cooker, and kids really enjoy the fact that it’s like a small chicken. I really love the combination of foul, tomato sauce, vinegar, herbs, capers and parmesan cheese which really makes this one of my favorite dishes to make – and it’s really easy too.

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Ingredients:

  • A Cornish hen (or a chicken if you have a big enough slow cooker)
  • Either a can of tomato puree or about 4 large tomatoes plus enough water to cover the hen
  • Capers and caper vinegar to taste, or in my case, about half a cup of pepperoncini vinegar
  • Thyme, rosemary, basil and whatever favorite herbs you would like to add
  • Garlic (In my case, instead of using garlic, I mixed in about half a cup of a cilantro garlic cream I had prepared a few days before)
  • Onion
  • About a teaspoon of salt (I usually eye it so I cannot be certain of the amount)

 

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How to prepare:

  1. Make sure to fully defrost the hen before cooking it
  2. If you’d like, you can stuff it with a bit of rosemary and garlic
  3. Place the hen in the slow cooker
  4. Add the can of tomato sauce or the fresh tomatoes and water
  5. Add herbs and the rest of the ingredients, except for the parmesan cheese
  6. Slow cook for at least three hours, twenty minutes on high and the rest on the low setting
  7. Flip it over after about an hour and a half so that it cooks evenly – if the juices coming out of the hen are pink or red the hen is not ready. You can’t really cook it for too long since the longer it stays in the slow cooker, the more tender and flavorful it becomes.
  8. Place your favorite part of the hen on a dish, then drench it in the tomato sauce and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. The tomato sauce is excellent with any kind of pasta or rice as well.
  9. Enjoy!
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I will begin by saying that there is a lot of information out there about diets and what you should and shouldn’t eat, and because of this, it seems that doctors and the media have succeeded in making people skeptical about anything. Heck, every time I see the new diet trend posted all over the front page of whatever news website, I end up just scrolling down and ignoring it. I’m not a doctor, or a nutritionist or anything of the sort, but I do know what my body tells me and it has been telling me I was doing something wrong for a very long time. I always thought that I ate a relatively balanced and healthy diet, heck, at times people thought I was a vegetarian because I couldn’t simply afford to buy meat. It didn’t matter how much tofu (an unfortunate source of estrogen) and rice and whatever else I ate – I always ended up feeling tired and fatigued throughout the day, especially in the mornings.

Edit: Right before I posted this, I had a feeling I would be seeing more about gluten on the news, but didn’t realize they would be saying pretty much what I’ve been saying for the past two months!

I honestly thought that being tired, along with having digestion issues (many of which I look back on and realize how severe they were), and kidney infections, asthma, and headaches, and having incredibly painful abdominal cramps was normal. I otherwise felt… fine, if you could call it that. I was pretty much raised to believe that if I wasn’t dead, I wasn’t sick. Well, that isn’t exactly what I was taught, but it is the end result of years of being sent to school because my headache wasn’t something that should keep me at home. So I guess I ended up ignoring a lot of health problems throughout my life and pretended like nothing was wrong. And just the numerous times I had to run to the bathroom my freshman year in high school (could it have been that nasty pseudo-pizza I kept wanting to punish myself with?), I ignored the signs that something wasn’t right with what I was eating.

(more…)

I’ve tried different carnita-like dishes including the Taco Bell Cantina Tacos, the Del Taco carnitas, carnitas from a local pub and even had the pleasure of enjoying some very authentic carnitas prepared in an actual Mexican restaurant (me and my friend were the only non-Latinas there). I used to not enjoy corn tortillas very much and thusly, I didn’t really care for the carnitas I had tried at Del Taco – but luckily I was lucky enough to try those more authentic well-prepared ones which really got me into the whole cilantro, lime and corn tortilla combo. And also, corn tortillas supposedly don’t have gluten so it really helps me reduce the amount of gluten my body has to deal with.

I was happy to see that my boyfriend had brought back everything that I had asked for in order to prepare these carnitas. The picture of my carnita is very sloppy – this was because I had already eaten two carnitas by the time I found the camera and by then I was tired, full, had very little chicken left, and didn’t bother chopping the cilantro much.

Materials:

  • A fresh lime
  • Fresh cilantro  
  • Chicken, beef or whatever kind of meat you like
  • Salt
  • Chili pepper
  • Garlic
  • Onions

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  1. First of all, decide whether or not you’re going to barbecue (delish!) or cook the meat in the kitchen (stove, oven…)
  2. If you’re going to barbecue it, you really don’t have to do much to the meat in my opinion other than rub it a bit with chili pepper, lime juice and mix it in with chopped garlic.
  3. If you’re going to prepare the chicken in the kitchen, feel free to add whatever seasoning you enjoy. I like to use ginger powder and when I’m really in a hurry, onion and garlic powder.
  4. Toast a few corn tortillas. I don’t use two like you usually see because that makes it to heavy in my opinion but if you like to use two for one carnita that’s pretty much the norm.
  5. Cut the meat into small chunks and mix it in with freshly chopped cilantro, diced onions, a few squeezes of lime, and a dash of salt. Place it on the tortilla. You can also add chili powder and whatever else you would like to add. You can also add the raw onions and cilantro after adding the chicken and then go ahead and squeeze the lime on top of that. I usually do that instead because it’s faster.
  6. I like to add extra condiments like shredded cheese or sour cream. I also added a bit of freshly prepared salsa (well, not really fresh since the tomatoes were canned!).
  7. Fold it and enjoy!

 

The salsa recipe itself is really simple and tastes a lot better than the canned stuff. Since my boyfriend bought the cilantro on sale and ended up bringing back about a garden and a half worth of the stuff, I had to make salsa so it didn’t come to waste. Unfortunately, I still have a lot of cilantro still left…

Just chop up fresh cilantro along with raw onions, add to either a can of diced tomatoes or dice four fresh ones, add some lime juice and whatever seasonings you like depending on how spicy you like it. I added a bit of onion, garlic and ginger powder as well as chili powder and crushed pepper – and a secret dash of that hot sauce with the rooster on it (yes, I know what people call it).