L2C Challenge – Mandy’s Gourmet Salads – Keto Salad

This week – KETO SALAD (p. 127) [also Roasted Chicken Breast (p. 149) and Keto Caesar Dressing (p. 156)]

After having Theo, the Keto diet is the only thing that worked to get the extra weight off. In 2020, between being pregnant, being at home during the pandemic and then being at home with Luca, needless to say that I have not been eating healthy for a very long time and that I will have to work extra hard to lose the baby weight this time around; so, I am trying to get back on the Keto train. Lucky for me, Mandy’s cookbook includes a recipe for a Keto Salad!

Ingredients –

  • Mesclun greens
  • Avocado
  • Cucumber
  • Button mushrooms
  • Sliced canned hearts of palm
  • Skinless boneless chicken breast
  • Bacon
  • Lemon juice
  • Dijon mustard

  • Olive oil
  • Montreal steak spice
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Scallion
  • Basil leaves
  • Tarragon leave
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Eggs
  • Garlic

Difficulty Level –

Like all of the salads and dressings that I have made, this recipe is another easy one although I still found a way to make a mistake… In order to make the dressing Keto friendly, the recipe calls for the mayonnaise to be replaced by raw eggs but, for some reason, the dressing was very liquid – not the same consistency as the caesar dressing that I am used to.

Alterations to Recipe –

Still don’t like mushrooms, so I omitted those!

I used turkey bacon instead of regular bacon because that is what I had on hand.

Verdict –

I’ve never had hearts of palm before, so I was happy to try something new! Now that I’ve tried it, it’s not for me!

Maybe it’s because the salad dressing was too watery or maybe it’s because I didn’t like the hearts of palm but this has definitely been my least liked salad thus far.

Verdict for me – not to be repeated!

L2C Challenge – Jamie Oliver 7 Ways – Crispy Golden Chicken

This week – CRISPY GOLDEN CHICKEN (p. 74)

So clearly, I have a type… it’s called chicken! I chose to play it safe this week and stayed in the poultry chapter. This one looked appetizing since it combines bacon, avocado and some hot sauce!

Ingredients –

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • Bacon
  • Avocado
  • Plain yogurt
  • Lemon
  • Flour
  • Sourdough breadcrumbs
  • Hot sauce

Difficulty level –

This was another simple recipe but I still managed to make some mistakes… The instructions required the chicken to be flattened but my rolling pin is still packed away (home building life!), so I thought pressing really hard with the bottom of a pan would do the trick. It didn’t work and the chicken took a lot longer to cook (because it was so thick) – the exterior ended up being slightly more burnt than crisp but somehow it wasn’t dry!

Things I Googled While Making this Recipe –

  • Difference between regular and sourdough breadcrumbs? I couldn’t find a difference…

Alterations to Recipe –

I had regular breadcrumbs at home and just used those.

Verdict –

DELICIOUS! All of the ingredients used were regular staples in our home but I had never mixed them together before. Mixing the bacon crumbs and avocado paste gave it a fresh and creamy texture. The hot chill sauce was the perfect topping!

Would I make it again? Yes but only once I get my rolling pin back!

Even without the rolling pin, I’m pretty sure I nailed this one!

L2C Challenge – Jamie Oliver 7 Ways – My Kinda Butter Chicken

This week – MY KINDA BUTTER CHICKEN (p. 68)

I’ve been craving Indian food for a while and the thought of filling my home with the smell of fragrant spices was enough to persuade me to try this one!

Ingredients –

  • Skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • Mixed-color chilies
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Plain yogurt
  • Garlic
  • Garam masala
  • Ginger
  • Cashew butter

Difficulty level –

The recipe itself is not difficult. The instructions are straightforward and the ingredients are simple enough that they are easily accessible. The only “difficult” part is some of the expressions that Jamie uses in his instructions (I’m assuming it’s the British background) forced me to read, and re-read, the steps to try to decipher what he meant.

Things I Googled While Making this Recipe –

  • What is gnarly chicken?
    • I always thought of the word “gnarly” as being an adjective that means bad so I was a little confused when Jamie writes to “remove the gnarly chicken from the pan” but, according to Google, “gnarly” can also mean good And apparently it also refers to something that is knotted or twisted and since I had to score the chicken and turn it over a few times, maybe that’s what Jamie meant… I still don’t know.

Alterations to Recipe –

The recipe called for mixed-colour chilies and cherry tomatoes – I couldn’t find either so I just used green chilies and red cherry tomatoes.

Verdict –

I was surprised at how moist and tender the chicken was given how long I had it cooking in the pan – not burnt at all (despite appearances…). I followed the instructions perfectly so I am not sure why I didn’t have any excess sauce like in the cookbook image but the chicken still turned out delicious. Definitely not the typical “butter chicken” flavour I’ve come to expect and, unfortunately, no dipping sauce leftover for my naan bread. So while the chicken tasted great, this is likely one of those recipes that I will not be making again.

L2C Challenge – Skinny Taste One & Done – Weeknight Chicken Souvlaki

This week – WEEKNIGHT CHICKEN SOUVLAKI (p. 34)

I chose the chicken souvlaki as the first recipe to make from this cookbook because it looked fresh and bright – perfect for the start of June – and who doesn’t like souvlaki?!?

Ingredients –

  • English cucumber
  • Chicken thighs
  • Onion
  • Pocketless pitas
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Lemon
  • Red onion
  • Greek yogurt
  • Garlic
  • Fresh chives
  • Fresh mint
  • Salt & Pepper
  • EVOO
  • Lemon juice
  • Fresh oregano

Difficulty level –

This is an incredibly easy recipe to make. It’s also convenient because it can technically be made in stages – the chicken can be marinated overnight and the tzatziki can be made way in advance or can be stored in the fridge afterwards for different meals. So, if you’re willing to prep ahead of time, this is a recipe that can come together in just a few minutes.

Price –

This recipe uses pretty simple ingredients that we already had on hand. The only thing I had to purchase were the fresh herbs – which came out to about $8.

Things I Googled While Making this Recipe –

For the first time since starting this challenge, I didn’t have to use google!!! I’d like to think that it is because I’m finally getting good at this whole cooking thing but, realistically, it’s probably more a reflection of the simplicity of the ingredients and steps in this recipe.

Alterations to Recipe –

I didn’t make any changes this time around; although, in the future, I will definitely be doubling the recipe because it barely yielded enough to fill two pitas (yet it says it’s supposed to serve 4)…

Verdict –

This is a delicious recipe – very straightforward and can be quick to make if you marinate the chicken overnight and make the tzatziki ahead of time. We’ll definitely make this again, especially the tzatziki.

I was, however, disappointed at the amount of dishes I had to clean after making this recipe. I find the book title misleading because, although the chicken was technically cooked in “one skillet”, everything else was prepped in different bowls – so this is definitely not a “One & Done” recipe.