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Cook's Corner

I am what many would call a "Foodie" - amateurs who simply love food and/or drink for consumption, study, preparation and news.

 

Now the statement above should make it clear that I do not have any formal training when it comes to food preparation. I have, however, been told that I am a pretty good cook and I hope you enjoy reading this column as much as I enjoy writing it. 

Follow me on twitter @Cooks_CornerLCP

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Quick, easy and healthy: Creamy Avocado Citrus Dressing

Avocado dressing, Pinterest

 
This cold, snowy weather has had me on a bit of a comfort food cycle, but it has been brought to my attention that some easy, healthier recipes would be greatly appreciated. This next recipe is a modified version of a recipe I found on Pinterest. It has no oils and no cream and goes well with so many dishes. Enjoy.
 
Creamy Avocado Citrus Dressing

Ingredients
1 ripe avocado, pitted and scooped out
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup honey, or to taste
3 tablespoons lime juice
1-2 cloves garlic
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
½ small jalapeno (for a hotter version use a whole jalapeno; for a milder version, make sure to seed the pepper) 
¼ teaspoon fresh ginger, optional
¼ cup water or more (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation
Add all the ingredients, except the water and salt and pepper, to a food processor or blender and blend for about a minute or so until smooth and creamy. If the dressing is too thick add some water a bit at a time to thin it out. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve over a green, onion or pepper salad. The thicker version is great for fish, (fish tacos) chicken, pasta or rice.
 
Helpful hint
If you’re not a fan of cilantro, try substituting parsley, and if honey is not your thing, try agave nectar or a maple syrup. A little onion or chive is also good blended in to this dressing.
 
To share a helpful hint or comment, send an email to lakenews@jcpgroup.com or follow me on Twitter @Cooks_CornerLC.
 

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What to do? Garlic Lemon Chicken

Pinterest, Garlic Lemon Chicken, slow cooker

 
When it’s late, you’re still at work and you realize that you forgot to take something out for dinner it’s time to kick it into high gear and figure it out. That’s when you check your Pinterest account and see what you’ve got there that will be quick to make yet satisfy everyone. Up pops this next recipe which I had to alter from slow cooker to oven baked, but either way it works.   
 
Garlic Lemon Chicken

Ingredients

12 skinless chicken breasts and thighs (I used boneless)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounce black olives, (optional)
8 cloves garlic, peeled
2 lemons, halved and quartered 
2 sprigs rosemary
1 white onion, diced (optional)
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth, (I didn’t need this for the oven version)
½ cup water (not needed for the oven version)

Preparation
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Season the chicken with salt pepper, oregano and olive oil and place the chicken in a baking dish coated with nonstick spray. Add the garlic cloves and olives to the chicken and squeeze some of the lemon wedges over it before tucking the lemons and rosemary into the dish. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Serve with pasta, rice or potatoes and enjoy.
 
Helpful hint
Slow cooker method: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken (in batches) and brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Pour in the remaining olive oil and brown the rest of the chicken. Transfer the chicken and juices to the slow cooker and add garlic, onion, olives, chicken broth, water, the juice of 1 lemon and rosemary. Slice remaining lemon into thin slices and spread out over chicken pieces. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours, or until chicken is completely cooked through. Optional: transfer chicken to serving platter and pour cooking liquids into a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. A little at a time, add 1-2 tablespoons flour and 1-2 tablespoons butter to thicken the liquids and create a gravy-like sauce for the chicken.
 
To share a helpful hint or comment, send an email to lakenews@jcpgroup.com or follow me on Twitter @Cooks_CornerLC.
 

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