Chicks in Charge Retreat

I just love that name!  We just had our annual Chicks in Charge (women running their own businesses) retreat at Sheryls country home.  I always come back exhausted, stuffed with good food, invigorated and enlightened! This year was no exception.  Food always seems to be the key to getting everyone connecting – we eat like royalty when we are there starting with Sheryls initial lunch which was once again outstanding.

We had poached salmon, roasted green beans, mushrooms, walnuts and baby potatoes, pesto marinated tiny heirloom tomatoes and a kale and mango salad. That was just lunch!

poahed salmon

Kale salad

roast veg

tomatoes

Snack time (as though we needed more food….) Amy made an incredible flourless, sugarless chocolate cake (sugar was in the chocolate only – it was divine).

cake

Dinner was my turkey chilli (click for link to recipe) with toppings that included guacamole, shredded old cheddar cheese and low fat sour cream along side a great mixed green salad and home baked oatmeal cookies made by Victoria.

Breakfast the next day was a fabulous frittata with peppers, onion, mushrooms and zucchini (I forgot to take pictures again – forgive me,  we just dove into the meal) made by Nancy. We also had Eloise’s home made granola (click for recipe) and yogurt along with regular and gluten free muffins.

Lunch was leftovers of the day before but the main course was Mariannes fabulous coconut curry chicken – so so good. Below is the recipe. Well worth trying it was devoured by the chicks.

Coconut Curry Chicken

I usually DOUBLE this recipe, and freeze the extra portions.  Can be served hot or cold.

Ingredients                                                                           Substitute

¼ cup coconut oil                                                                Canola oil

¼ cup (or less) Dijon mustard

2 tbsps.  regular mustard (e.g., French’s)

½ cup coconut nectar                                                        Honey

½ tbsp. or more Curry Powder

1 tsp.  lime juice AND grated rind

1 tsp. salt

Garlic

1-1.5 lbs. boneless chicken thighs (~12)                        Boneless chicken breasts,                                                                                                             sliced

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a stainless steel saucepan.  Pour over chicken.  Cook for 45 mins. at 350 degrees.   Enjoy!

Believe it or not, we also managed to have a great guest speaker (Wendy) and business and life discussions from morning till night and then again the next day.  Now you understand why we leave feeling exhausted, stuffed with good food, invigorated and enlightened!

Till next year!

Tahini Dipping Sauce

Had this at my friend Victorias recently with cut up vegetables and roasted sweet potato slices.  I thought it was wonderful and immediately we were coming up with a ton of uses for this dipping sauce which is easy to make and delicious.

Here is the recipe (Serves 4) – sorry no picture

Whisk together the following ingredients:

1/2 cup of Greek yogurt (we used regular yogurt and it was perfect)

1/4 cup of tahini

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 tbsp soy sauce

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp coriander

Salt to taste

1/4 tsp sriracha sauce (hot chilli sauce)

Serve with vegetable, fries, as a creamy dressing for salad, with coleslaw…..Come up with your ideas and send them over!

Chunky Chicken and Vegetable Stew

This is one of those meals that you make with whatever vegetables you have sitting in your fridge and don’t want to have to throw away in a few days. I made it for a bunch of people so my recipe is for 8. Cut it accordingly to suit however many people you want to feed. It also freezes well.

chicken stew

chicken stew in bowl

Ingredients

8 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I would have used chicken thighs too but my company doesn’t like dark meat)

1 butternut or acorn squash (can likely use any squash you like)

3 carrots – large dice (1” pieces)

3 parsnips – large dice (1” pieces)

Green beans – cut into 1.5” pieces (use as many as you like)

2 red peppers – large dice (1” pieces)

2 large onions large chop (big pieces)

Mushrooms – as many as you like – I used large button mushrooms and cut them in half so I had large pieces.

3 tbsp hoisin sauce

4 tbsp dijon mustard

1/2 cup orange juice

2 tbsp brown sugar

2 tsp dried oregano

Pinch of cumin

Pinch of cardamom

Pinch of chili powder

1 large can chick peas (just because I love to add chickpeas to everything!)

1 small can of corn niblets

1 large can diced tomatoes

Directions

Season raw chicken with just pepper (many of the ingredients have some salt in them so no need to add). Cut chicken into pieces about 1”. Pour a bit of hoisin sauce over and mix up a bit. Do not use too much sauce as it doesn’t take much to flavour the chicken. Maybe 1.5 tsp per 4 chicken breasts. Saute the diced chicken until slightly browned (the hoisin helps with the browning). Put into slow cooker.

Take onions that have been chopped in large chunks and saute in the same pan as the chicken till lightly browned. The onions will clean up the bits lefts by the chicken which adds flavour. Put the onions into the slow cooker. Saute the mushrooms in the same pan (add a touch of olive oil if you need to) and then put them in the slow cooker too. Next, throw in the carrots, squash and parsnips and saute lightly until you see a few browned edges (doesn’t have to be much). Add to the slow cooker. Now add the chick peas, corn and diced tomatoes along with the mustard, brown sugar and the spices and orange juice to the slow cooker and mix everything together. Turn slow cooker to low for 3.5 hours.

Once the stew has cooked for 3.5 hours, add the green beans and red peppers and cook on low for another hour as these items do not take as long to soften and cook. You can saute them first if you like for a bit of added flavour but not really necessary. Serve over brown rice or pasta or quinoa (something to soak up the juice). I add a bit of grated parmesan on top.

Poached Salmon and Green Beans

Had dinner the other night at my friend Suzanne’s place.  She made a fabulous dinner and when she told us how easy it was I knew I had to blog it. We had roasted acorn squash with it and just a plain white rice.  Doesn’t get any better.  Recipe follows from Suzanne.

In a shallow pan, combine:

  • 1 C white wine
  • 1 C water
  • 4 bay leafs
  • ¼ tsp. dill
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • salt to taste
  • lemon slices (one-two  per person)
  • 4 wild salmon filets

  Cover on a low/medium heat and cook for 5-8 minutes depending on the size/thickness of the filets

TA-DA! Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy

Lovely Beet and Green Bean Salad

Was up at our “Chicks in Charge” retreat and one of the dishes served was so beautiful to look at and just as tasty I had to blog it.  The recipe is from my friend and host of the retreat Sheryl.  Check it out:

Here is her recipe:

GREEN BEAN AND BEET SALAD

Beets can be red or yellow or a combination.
Cut off ends of beets and wrap in tinfoil.
Bake at 400 for 50-60 minutes till easily pierced with a knife.
Let cool.
Peel off skin.
Cut into wedges.
Trim green beans.
Blanche in boiling water i for about a minute and rinse in cold water.
Arrange beans and beets on a platter.
Mix lots of grainy mustard, some Dijon and olive oil.
Drizzle over beets and beans.
Stay tuned for more recipes from our retreat!