Yesterday, I decided to go to the grocery store on my bicycle. Lack of traffic made my trip both easy and safe. The absent particle haze from interstate 81, has also left our valley with much clearer skies. The air feels fresher and reinvigorating! Consider how a healthy environment can impact your life for the better. Take this opportunity to slow down and:
Picking up trash is a great way to help ensure we are keeping both the trail and waterway clean. Everything from soda bottles, grocery bags, coffee cups, and yes, even polyester clothing, which enters the waterway or environment will turn into microplastics. Microplastics are derived from these larger pieces of from larger pieces of plastic trash. By cleaning out our small portion of the environment we could potentially save birds, fish, and continue to build a healthier ecosystem in Mercersburg and those communities downstream.
Bottom line…a healthy environment and life, begins with each of us! So go out and enjoy the Spring. Delight in the vibrant greens and other colors which abound in nature, and stay safe and healthy.
All totaled, in an hour of prep and cooking, the group made 9 different main dish variations, side dishes and rounded the meal out with a salad of mixed greens, apple, oranges, walnuts and avocado with 3-2-1 Dressing. All sat down to a meal together and enjoyed the success of their efforts and fabulous variety of flavors.
Many thanks to Chef Adam Carlson for volunteering his time and talent. Everyday Chef appreciates support from Food Lion, their wonderful selections (including organic) and friendly atmosphere.
Crunch Oven Chicken Strips (or Fish or Eggplant!!)
1/2 cup all purpose whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
4 eggs (or flax seed egg substitute)
2 pounds of chicken breast or fish filet cut into strips, or medium eggplant in 1/2 inch slices
1/2 dried bread crumbs
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon dried basil
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Sift or stir flour, salt, and pepper together in a shallow dish. Set aside.
3. In another bowl, combine bread crumbs with cornmeal and basil.
4. In a third bowl, crack eggs, separate the whites from yolks and whisk whites lightly.
5. To bread the chicken strips, dip first into flour, shaking off any excess, then into egg whites, then into bread crumb mixture.
6. Spray a shallow baking dish with non stick cooking spray. Lay chicken strips flat in the dish, tucking under any thinner ends of edges for a more even bake.
7. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes - check temperature (Chicken needs to be baked to 165 degrees).
**To substitute this recipe with 2lbs of fish fillets, follow the same instructions except bake for 8-10 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
**To substitute this recipe with eggplant, slice the eggplant and follow the same instructions. Baking at 375* until eggplant is fork tender.
THAI BLACK RICE SALAD
2 cup Thai black rice (or other whole grain rice blend)
1 tsp sea salt
¼ cup chopped onion
1 red pepper (diced)
1½ cups, pineapple peeled and diced
3 green onions (sliced)
1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)
1/2 cup toasted cashews
1/4 cup soy sauce (low sodium)
2 lime (juiced)
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1. Cook the rice as directed on the package with 1/2 tsp salt and ¼ cup onion.
2. Cool cooked rice.
3. Mix the black rice, red pepper, pineapple, green onions, cilantro, and cashews in a large bowl.
4. Mix the soy sauce, oil, lime juice and zest in a small bowl.
5. Pour mixture over rice and toss.
Put Thai black rice over mixed greens
INDIAN FUSION STYLE CHICKEN or shown in homepage picture with EGGPLANT/PORTABELLO
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast cut in 1” chunks
1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken thigh cut in 1” chunks
(or 3/4" cube one large eggplant and slice 2 large portabella mushrooms)
One medium size onion chopped
3 cloves garlic chopped
1 16 oz can diced tomatoes
1 16 oz can chickpeas drained
2 bay leaves
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 Tbsp canola or olive oil
**Important, the peppers and onions need to be sliced very thinly!!!
1. Heat oil in pan. Brown garlic and onion lightly. (Or, see below to sauté without oil***)
2. Add chicken and start to sear. Cook 3-5 minutes.
3. Add dry seasoning and stir well. Sear 1-2 minutes more.
4. Add tomatoes and chickpeas and lemon juice.
5. Cover and simmer 15-20 minutes.
* To sauté without oil, heat your pan to medium, then throw in your onions - theywill give up their own moisture for cooking; if additional moisture is needed, you can use vegetable broth, apple cider, white wine, water, whatever.
Have fun cooking these recipes, and then create your own variations, using different ingredients and spices!
Dr. Elizabeth George