It’s been a few weeks since I posted a Sunday Night Dinner at Julia’s Place. My life has been very hectic and for all the wrong reasons. A good friend of mine was diagnosed with Leukemia over the past few weeks and my beautiful 19 year old niece has also been diagnosed with Leukemia. I’m not sure what’s happening out there, but I’ve lived my life very happily for years and never had any one close to me have to hear that kind of news. They are both going through treatment and it is going to be a rough road ahead. The good news is they have done amazing things with curing leukemia or at least enabling people to live in remission for years. My wish is that both of these special people will respond to their treatment and get back on their feet soon.
Last night I felt I wanted to cook comfort food that had healing qualities about them. Roast chicken was the main event, served with Mediterranean roasted vegetables and rainbow chard with pesto, pine nuts and raisins. It was a lovely dinner and we all felt better after eating it.
This post will be shorter than usual but I hope to get back into the routine of Sunday Night Dinner at Julia’s place starting this week. I’ve missed my weekly dinners and especially my posts and all of your wonderful feedback.
I mixed up a tablespoon of Dijon mustard with a tablespoon of honey and added a couple of tablespoons of white wine to base the chicken. I basted the chicken with this sauce every ½ an hour. It gave the chicken a lovely sweet and mustardy flavour. The only chickens I buy these days are antibiotic drug free chickens that have lived their short lives in a cage free environment. There is a huge difference in flavour and goodness when you get meat from a farm that does not operate as a factory farm. This chicken was about 5 pounds so it was a good size and there was enough to have for lunch and another dinner for three people. We sent mom home with a leftover container including chicken and roasted vegetables.
Roasted vegetables are a wonderful addition to a roast chicken meal. The oven was on for the chicken so I thought I’d make the most of the heat and put the vegetables in a roasting pan with some oil and turmeric, cumin, salt and pepper. This is so simple to do and it uses up the root vegetables that often get forgotten about. I had parsnips, yams, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, garlic cloves and beets. I tossed them in a bowl with some olive oil and the spices and put them in a roasting pan to cook in the same oven as the chicken. Usually I would cook the veggies in hotter heat but because the chicken was rather large for an antibiotic free chicken, it was going to take a bit longer to cook so everything went in together.
I neglected to take a photo of the roasted vegetable pan so you’ll have to just see them on a plate.
For greens I stirred up some rainbow chard with pesto, raisins and nuts. Chard is not a vegetable we have very often but this dish was a great hit. (Even with my mother!)
I make fresh pesto often so I’m including the recipe for both the pesto and the chard.
Chard with Pesto, raisins and pine nuts.
- 2 bunches (about 1 1/2 pounds total) Swiss chard, stalks cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces, leaves torn into 2-inch pieces (keep stalks and leaves separate)
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 2 Tbsp. home made pesto (recipe below)
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- Toast pine nuts under the broiler in the oven and set aside.
- Wash and cut chard cutting the leaves from the stalks down the center. Keep the stalks and leaves separate.
- Chop the stalks finely like an onion.
- In a saucepan with a lid, heat the oil and sauté the chopped stalks until soft. This may take a few minutes. Add leaves, raisins, and a sprinkle of water. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until tender, 6 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Drain the liquid out of the pan over the sink. Stir in pest and pine nuts; season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
- Fresh basil
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup Romano cheese grated
- 1/2 cup olive oil
Put every thing except the olive oil in a food processor. Press the button and begin processing and at the same time drizzle the olive oil into the mixture. Process until everything is blended and the nuts are ground. It should be the consistency of a thick pudding. Once you are done, put into airtight container and keep in the fridge. I put pesto in small muffin cups and freeze small amounts. Then wrap up the frozen pucks and and store them in a zip lock bag in the freezer. When I’m ready to use pesto in a recipe, I take one of my frozen pucks and add them to the dish as required.
Here’s what dinner looked like all served up. It was a glorious mixture of warming healing foods. We all loved all of the flavours blended together.
Dessert was a simple GF crumble. Strawberries and Rhubarb with candied ginger. The addition of candied ginger gave the dish a fabulous flavour.
STRAWBERRY RHUBARB CRUMBLE (serves 6)
- 4 cups diced rhubarb
- 2 Tbsp. chopped candied ginger
- ½ – ¾ cup sliced strawberries
- Almond flour flour
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ¾ cup GF oats
- 1 cup brown sugar
- Zest of a lemon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ cup butter, melted
- ¾ cup maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix thorougly. (almond flour, baking soda, oats, brown sugar, zest of lemon, salt and cinnamon).
- Melt the butter in the microwave (on low so as not to cook it).
- Pour into the bowl with dry ingredients and mix. Press ½ of this into a greased 9” pie plate.
- Slice the fruit and place in a mixing bowl. Mix together strawberries, rhubarb and candied ginger.
- Spread fruit mixture over base in pan.
- Heat maple syrup, vanilla and cornstarch in small saucepan on medium high heat and cook stirring constantly until thickened. Pour sauce over fruit mixture in the pan. Sprinkle remaining crumbs over top and press down lightly.
- Bake at 350º for about 1 hour.
Once again this dinner is one I would serve to any of my guests who came to dinner. It really was just what the doctor ordered. With all of the things that have gone on for the last month it was lovely to sit down to another Sunday Night Dinner at Julia’s Place and it really was a relatively easy dinner to prepare.
Please visit next week when we’ll have another Sunday Night Dinner at Julia’s Place. Also, I am a guest chef on a local show called Empowered Health. It is a weekly show and you can watch it on youtube. Here is the latest episode: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWuCiVxHDpY