Monthly Archives: August 2013

Chicken Seafood with Tarragon and Saffron Sauce


Paella is such a classic dish and one of my favorites. I love the flavor of saffron and shellfish mixed together. I would have it more often but I don’t like to eat a main dish that is primarily carbohydrates all that often.  So I created this protein-rich, dish that has the “goodness” of paella with additional seasonings and vegetables that can be served as a stew on its own, or with some rice on the side. I find it satisfies my paella craving while balancing my diet needs.

I use with saffron with tarragon to make for a deeper flavor.  Tarragon has a nice strong anise-like flavor, that can overpower if used in large amounts.  In this recipe, the saffron has a mellowing effect on the tarragon and when combined with the juices of the shellfish, the flavors come together wonderfully.

For this recipe, as in mixed paella, I use chicken, shellfish and sausage.  The sausage I use is a homemade (by someone else) organic chicken chorizo sausage that is made without nitrates.  If you are gluten-free you might skip the sausage altogether.  If you can’t get homemade sausage, you can use packaged pre-cooked sausage and skip the broiling part.

I think this dish will feed your paella cravings, if you get them. Though I must admit, I do still eat paella every so often as a splurge!

Image 17

Chicken Seafood with Tarragon and Saffron Sauce


6 boneless and skinless chicken thighs  (about 2.5 lbs)

6 large prawns or 12 medium sized shrimp – shelled and deveined; tails on

12 clams (cherrystone, little necks or whatever your preference)

1 lb of mussels

2 chicken chorizo sausages, fresh, uncooked, no nitrates

2 tablespoons chopped tarragon (1/8 cup) tarragon leaves, chopped

¼ teaspoon loosely packed saffron threads

2 garlic cloves chopped or grated using microplane

1 yellow onion halved then sliced thinly

1 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt

1 ½ lbs of green beans – VVV ends removed

1 red bell pepper – chopped, cored, seeded and cut into ¼ pieces

I bottle white wine

Line a baking sheet with foil.  Place fresh sausages on the baking sheet and broil for 10 minutes.  Slice into ¼ inch pieces when cool enough to handle

In Dutch oven, on a stove top over med-high heat, add two tablespoons canola oil.  Pat chicken thighs with paper towels to remove moisture and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  When oil is hot, add chicken thighs to pot and cook for 6 minutes – 3 on each side.  Remove thighs to a resting plate.  Add chopped onion, garlic, tarragon, saffron and salt to pot and sauté until softened… 5 minutes. Add red pepper and sauté for 1 more minute.  Add ¼ cup of wine and start to deglaze the pot with a wooden spoon.  I do this 4 times in total, each with a ¼ cup of wine.  Then add the rest of the bottle of wine, chicken thighs, sausage and string beans to pot. Cover, lower heat to a simmer and cook 25 minutes.  Then turn up the heat until a boil and add fresh clams, mussels and prawns to pot and cover and cook until shells open and prawns are opaque.   If you your clams have harder shells like cherrystone, put them in the pot a few minutes before the mussels and prawns.  Uncover and mix seafood, and chicken together in pot with sauce and string beans and serve.

Serve in bowls as is or over rice.

Serves 6.




The Incredible Edible… Egg White


Ever meet those people who can eat anything and still burn the calories?  I know I have… and with keeping this blog positive, I will just say that I wish I was just like them!  There are things you can do to get your metabolism working faster.  Working out helps.  Eating helps too.  Yes, eating, not starving, actually helps speed up your metabolism.  And eating something first thing in the morning, is the way to to start.  Nutritionists say you should eat something within 15-30 minutes of waking up.  Typically, I am not that hungry when I first wake up.  So the thought of eating something means it has to go down easy, not be filling, and be pre-made.

On most days, I’m heading to the gym right after I get up, at which point, hungry or not, some protein is good to digest.  What I have found works great, whether I am working out that morning or not, is to eat an egg white.   To make it easy (and not require any work or thought at 6:30 in the morning) I keep a supply of hard boiled eggs in my fridge.  I make 6 at a time – and peel one or two of them at each serving, popping the whites in my mouth and tossing the yolks in the compost can.  It’s quick, goes down easy – even at 6:30 am – and does the trick for getting my metabolism going for fortifying my workout.  I eat 1-2 egg whites in the morning –1 ½ -2 when I work out with weights in the morning and 1 when I’m not working out.  Each egg white is about only 25 calories providing about 6 grams of protein.  So what’s wrong with a little egg in your face?!


Track it, Lose It!

lose it

Mindfulness and monitoring are the two ingredients for successful weight management, whether you want to lose a few extra pounds or maintain your current weight.  Dietitians will tell you to write your food intake down, keep track of it.  Sounds easy.  But it’s not.  It takes discipline and time. And yet, it does work.

Luckily, there are some great tools available to make the tracking and mindfulness easy.  The tool I use and highly recommend is the Lose It! app. There is a website component to this app too, but I use the app.  This app tracks your food intake and computes the calories for you.  You can set weight goals and it will compute how many calories you are allotted each day in order to reach your weight goal; you can even have it calculate your caloric allotment for maintaining your existing weight.

What I like about this tool is that once you start using it, it takes you less time to record your food intake because you can easily log a previous meal, or enter a specific recipe rather than individual ingredients each time.  It also has major food brands and restaurants embedded, so you can track your dining out calories.

The value in using an app like Lose It! Is that you learn portion control and the impact of substitutions.  The app makes it easy to see how you can pretty much eat what you want as long as is in moderation. Over time, you will get used to seeing what specific measurements look like so you quickly learn what a half a tablespoon of olive oil looks like or a half a cup of brown rice… You do this long enough and it becomes habit… making weight loss and maintenance much easier and achievable.

My personal tip:  manage the overall calories on a weekly basis (though I do enter them in daily).  This way I allow myself some days to go over goals as long as some days I am under goal, and I get to splurge a bit.