Entrees (Meat & Poultry)

Olive Crusted Cod in Foil

When Nick and I started dating he “hated” olives, but not anymore.  Keep this in mind ladies (and gents); if your significant other claims to “hate something”, feed it to him or her anyway because if they are anything like Nick they will eventually learn that they actually don’t mind the food at all.  Of course this doesn’t always work, Nick will never like yogurt, dried fruit or hummus.  I’ve given up on those items.  But there are a handful of foods (artichokes being another great example) that I know he hadn’t tried since he was very young and therefore he needed a “re-introduction” in order to be sure that he in fact “didn’t like” them.  Anyway, as it turns out, he loves olives, and this recipe was a winner in this household.

Olive Crusted Cod in Foil


Author: Adapted from

Serves: 3


  • 1 lb. fresh cod
  • ¾ cup mixed olives (such as green, kalamata, black, nicoise)
  • ½ cup sundried tomatoes, dried (not in oil)
  • 2 small garlic cloves **
  • 4 T chives, chopped
  • ¾ cup parsley
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large zucchini, shredded into ribbons or “noodles”


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rough chop the olives, sundried tomatos, garlic and parsley in a food processor.
  2. Use heavy duty foil and cut it large enough to enclose fish without any leakage.
  3. Drizzle bottom of foil with olive oil, divide zucchini ribbons among each of three pieces of foil and top each zucchini mound with ~ 5 ounces of fish (or ~1/3rd of the pound).
  4. Spread olive mixture all over the top of the filet.
  5. Whisk together the juice of 1 lemon and olive oil and drizzle that on top of the olive crusted fish.
  6. Crimp foil to enclose fish, loosely.
  7. Place the packets on a pan and bake in over for ~25 minutes, or until fish reaches internal temperature of 145 degrees.


** If you are following a low FODMAPs diet omit the garlic and use a garlic or tuscan infused olive oil to replace the garlic flavor.

NOTE: If you’re watching your sodium intake, you could reduce the amount of olives used, or rinse your olives in cold water before chopping and spreading onto the cod.

Nutrition Information

Serving size: 1 piece of fish Calories: 276 Fat: 10.1 Saturated fat: 1.6 Carbohydrates: 9.7 Sugar: 4.4 Sodium: 614 Fiber: 4.4 Protein: 37 Cholesterol: 83


Nutrition Highlights:  Under 300 calories, excellent source of vitamins A and C, plus iron.  And of course let’s not forget that 10 grams of fat.  Ninety percent of the fat in this recipe is from MUFAs and PUFAs (monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, in case you were wondering) and that’s a really good thing, trust me.  Today’s Dietitian Magazine recently wrote about the benefits of these heart-healthy fats and you can read about those benefits here (I would suggest looking at the chart on the right side of the page, as it sums up the benefits of replacing your saturated fats and your cabohydrates with the unsaturated fats found in fish, olives and nuts).

This is one of those recipes that looks prettier before it’s cooked.  But of course, it tastes better after it’s cooked, and that’s all that matters really (did you know that heating your food actually does make the flavors more volatile and thus the food more tasty??).

The mediterranean flavors in this dish were just fantastic.  I didn’t think the parsley would be as good as it was.  Together with the tomatoes and olives, it was the perfect harmony.  The original recipe called for the zucchini as an option, but I think the zucchini was integral because it added some more nutrition (you’ve got to have veggies somewhere, right?  And no, the sundried tomatoes just don’t cut it) and they soaked up some of the Mediterranean flavors so it was almost like eating olive noodles.  Sound strange? Try it.  And yes, even Nick “the olive hater” enjoyed the “olive noodles”.

So today’s recipe may not be free of animal protein (you know, Meatless Monday….) but it is free of meat.  It works, right?  Oh, by the way, did you know that October 1st was National Vegetarian Day?  I wasn’t at work to celebrate with the students, but next year I want to make them these tempeh sloppy joe’s .

QUESTION:  Is there a food you know your significant other “hates”, but you feed it to them anyway, hoping they might start to like it?!

Thanks for reading, and Happy Monday (yes, I said happy, SMILE!)

The Candid Rd

Entrees (Meat & Poultry)

Low FODMAPs Chicken Stock

I’m a dietitian, not a chef.  I play a chef on this blog, but who am I kidding?  I love to cook, I love to eat, but I don’t have any true culinary education (although I took some pretty intense food science classes in college and I guess that could count as some culinary education. It was fascinating).  While I have baked, cooked, and prepared many different salads, entrees, desserts, quick breads and other fun foods (and therefore don’t feel bad pretending to be a chef!), there are a handful of foods I have never made; risotto, any type of true sauce, pasta from scratch, cake from scratch, and stock or broth.  Nope, I always buy my stock already prepared and nicely packed in the cardboard box or aluminum can (although I much prefer the former).  Since being on a low FODMAPs diet, however, I have realized that just about every stock and broth at the store contains celery, garlic and/or onion. What’s a low FODMAPs-girl to do?!  I guess I’ll just have to start making my own…..Low FODMAPs Chicken Stock 3

Apparently there is a difference between stock and broth.  Read more about that difference here.  Based on what this article says I made stock. I used the bones from this slow cooker lemon chicken.Low FODMAPs Chicken Stock 4

   Low FODMAPs Chicken Stock


  • 1 pound chicken bones (you can estimate this weight. I used the bones from one whole cooked chicken. You could also use bones from a raw chicken, then cook the meat later)
  • 1 carrot, chopped into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 redskin potatoes, cut in half
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • ¼ tsp. peppercorns, whole
  • 5 strings of fresh chives
  • 2 fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley sprigs
  • 1 quart cold water
  • ¼ tsp. salt


  1. If you are using bones from a raw chicken, which has not been cooked, roast the bones for about 20 minutes in a roasting pan. Turn the bones and then add the carrots and potatoes to the roasting pan (with the bones) and roast all together for an additional 20 minutes, until lightly browned. (NOTE: If you use bones from an already-cooked chicken, just roast the veggies, not the bones. If you want this to be vegetarian, omit the bones.)
  2. Add the bones and vegetables to a stockpot. Deglaze the hot roasting pan with a little water (~1/4 cup), stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits, and add that liquid to the stockpot.
  3. Transfer the rest of the ingredients (bay leaf, peppercorns, chives, and parsley) to the stockpot. Add the cold water (~1 quart) and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover partially and then simmer for ~45 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Carefully strain the stock into a bowl through a colander. Discard the bones and solids (or do what I did and save the veggies for later!). Let cool for ~30 minutes and then either use right away in your favorite recipe, or refrigerate for up to 3 days. You could also freeze for up to 3 months.


** If you are following a low FODMAPs diet, this recipe is safe and free of FODMAPs (although if you use bones form a cooked chicken there is potential for some onion and/or garlic, but truly not much).

If you want this to be lower in sodium, omit the salt, or just use ⅛th tsp. (but 100-200 mg is quite low for broth/stock!)

Nutrition Information

Sodium: ~ 100-200 mg

I don’t have an “after photo” because it was chicken stock and didn’t look very cool.  I will say, however, it tasted wonderful.  If you don’t want to make your own stock another option is to buy Valu Time Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth (seen below). Also, something that is probably found in other areas of the United States is Progresso’s Tuscany Chicken Broth.Low FODMAPs Chicken Stock 5

Entrees (Meat & Poultry)

Chicken Stew with Turnips and Mushroom

Other than pumpkin and apples, there are two additional foods about which I get extremely giddy when fall comes around; slow-cooked foods and hot soups.  Both of these I also enjoy in the Spring, and Summer, or course, but when Fall starts to show up in Ohio I definitely get out the slow cooker and the soup bowls more often.  I would be lying if I said my love for slow cooker recipes and soups had everything to do with how great they taste, because in fact it’s not just about taste, it’s about ease and simplicity.  Most of my slow cooker recipes involve throwing in five to ten ingredients, and pressing start (and Nick has pointed this out plenty of times when I’ve said, “I made dinner, you do the dishes!) and as far as soups are concerned, they can be just as simple.  Today’s soup involved a few extra steps, but all in all it was easy to prepare and left just a few dishes for Nick to clean.  haha

Chicken Stew with Turnips and Mushroom


  • 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
  • ½ tsp. salt, divided
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 large turnips (about 1 lb.), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms **
  • 1 medium onion, sliced **
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced **
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth **
  • 1 tsp. fresh chopped rosemary
  • 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 3 Tbsp. water


  1. Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces and sprinkle with ¼ tsp. each salt and pepper.
  2. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil to the pot. Add turnips, mushrooms, onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is limp, 3 to 5 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in kale, broth and rosemary. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook, stirring once or twice, until turnips are tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, mix cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Stir the mixture into the stew and cook until thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and season the stew with the remaining ¼ tsp salt.
  5. Serve warm.


** If you are following a low FODMAPs diet, this is probably not the best recipe. The polyols in the mushrooms are water-soluble and therefore will be dispersed throughout this soup. If you aren’t overly sensitive to polyols (the “P” in FODMAPs) then you should be fine with the mushrooms. The garlic and onion should, however, be omitted, and replaced with a Tuscan or garlic-infused olive oil. Last, be sure to use a FODMAPs-free chicken broth such as Valu Time Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth or my homemade low FODMAPs broth (see recipe under my low FODMAPs tab)

Nutrition Information

Serving size: ⅙th of soup Calories: 284 Fat: 8.6 Saturated fat: .9 Carbohydrates: 17.8 Sugar: 5 Sodium: 706 Fiber: 2.9 Protein: 29.8 Cholesterol: 73

NOTE:  If you are watching your sodium intake, well, this is a soup, what can I say?  You can actually reduce the sodium in this recipe by omitting the added salt and by using a low sodium chicken broth instead of a reduced sodium one (low-sodium means 140 mg or less, reduced sodium just means at least 25% less sodium than the original, which can still be very high!).

Nutrition Highlights:  Under 300 calories, excellent source of protein, vitamin A and vitamin C.  Good source of fiber, calcium and iron.Chicken Stew with Turnips and Mushroom 7I love how leafy greens like kale and spinach shrink so much when cooked.Chicken Stew with Turnips and Mushroom 8If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen this frozen pizza I made for Nick….Chicken Stew with Turnips and Mushroom 9


I added 4 large handfuls of fresh spinach on top before I put it in the oven.  When it came out of the oven the spinach had shrunk so much that he barely even noticed, or cared that it was there. No joke.  Tip: Do this.

Anyway, back to the soup.  It was amazing.  Truly fantastic.  The “dry wine” I used wasn’t just any dry wine for cooking, I used an open bottle of Monkey Bay Sauvignon Blanc.  I don’t know how much of a difference it really makes to use a good wine (as in one I would be ok to drink!), vs. a generic store brand of “cooking wine”, but I think I prefer the former.  We always have half-finished bottles of white win in our house because neither of us really like white wine (I like red) and when people bring over white wine and open the bottle for a glass, they leave it with us to enjoy (in our food, that is. The secret is out).Chicken Stew with Turnips and Mushroom 10The turnips could be replaced with potatoes, if you want, but the turnips are a lower carbohydrate root vegetable and I think they tasted great in this soup.  Even Nick enjoyed them.  This will be a go-to soup recipe for this fall and winter (it’s supposed to be a really bad winter, have you heard?!).Chicken Stew with Turnips and Mushroom 11

Entrees (Meat & Poultry)

East Indian Curried Chicken with Capers and Whole Wheat Couscous

There is something about artichokes that I really love.  Maybe it’s the salty brine? Or the soft and yet al- dente texture (soft on the inside and somewhat al dente on the outside)?  I’m not sure what it is, by I like them. Did you know that artichokes are full of prebiotic fiber (also known as the food for your good bacteria)? Therefore they can benefit the health of your intestines and gut. Of course, for someone like me with IBS, foods like artichokes can sometimes cause stomach pain (I know, it doesn’t make sense, does it?). For that reason, I typically avoid eating a lot in one sitting, but one or two can’t hurt (well, most of the time).East Indian Curried Chicken with Capers and Whole Wheat Couscous 13East Indian Curried Chicken with Capers and Whole Wheat Couscous

Source: The Slow Cooker Bible (by Crock Pot)

Serves 6


 2 cups ripe plum tomatoes, diced

1 cup artichoke hearts, drained and chopped **
3 large carrots, chopped

1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth **

1 medium red onion, chopped **

1/3 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup capers, drained

2 Tbsp. quick-cooking tapioca

2 tsp. curry powder

1/2 tsp. ground thyme

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast

2 cups cooked whole wheat couscous **

 ** NOTE:  If you are following a low FODMAPs diet, be aware that this is a higher FODMAP recipe.  First, the artichoke hearts might cause some problems (especially if you are in the initial elimination phase of the diet).  You could use them, like I did, or just omit or reduce the amount.  Look for a chicken broth with zero onion or garlic (ValuTime reduced sodium chicken broth from Giant Eagle is what I use, and I believe Kroger’s reduced sodium chicken broth is fine too) or just make your own.  Last, omit the red onion ( I omitted the onion and it still tasted great) and use rice instead of couscous (or just serve yourself a smaller portion of this wheat-based side).


  1.  Combine tomatoes, artichokes, carrots, onion, broth, white wine and capers in the slow cooker.
  2.  Combine tapioca, curry, thyme, salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Mix to combine, then add to slow-cooker.  Stir well to combine.  Add chicken.  Spoon sauce over chicken to coat.  Cover; cook on low 7 to 9 hours or high 3 to 4 hours.
  3.  Serve chicken and veggies over couscous. Spoon sauce over chicken.East Indian Curried Chicken with Capers and Whole Wheat Couscous 14I’m like a kid when it comes to slow cookers…I get impatient and I keep lifting the lid to see what it looks like.  The smells are just so enticing!East Indian Curried Chicken with Capers and Whole Wheat Couscous 15

Does anyone else get really excited about cooked carrots?  This recipe didn’t call for carrots at all, but I added them because I’m obsessed (what’s with me and the orange veggies? Carrots, pumpkin, I guess I just love my beta-carotene).East Indian Curried Chicken with Capers and Whole Wheat Couscous 16On the day I made this Nick was working (as usual) and I made sure to have the house smelling wonderful by the time he walked in the door.  Typically he smells the food, says something kind like “oh yum, smells great!” and then walks downstairs.  On this particular afternoon he asked for a taste.  I lit up; “You want to try it right now?!  OK!”.  He loved it (and coming from a guy who “hates artichokes” I felt like this was a huge success.)East Indian Curried Chicken with Capers and Whole Wheat Couscous 17

Estimated Nutrition Facts for 1/6th of dish

Nutrition Highlights:  Good source of iron, excellent source of FIBER (thank you artichokes!), protein, vitamin A and vitamin C.East Indian Curried Chicken with Capers and Whole Wheat Couscous 18One of my top five slow-cooker meals, hands down.  It was simple and absolutely delicious.  I’ll definitely make this again (and again) because I still have more “quick-cook tapioca”….who uses that anyway?!

QUESTION:  Do you like artichokes? Have you ever used quick-cook tapioca in a recipe? Am I the only quick-cook tapioca virgin (well, not anymore!)?

Entrees (Meat & Poultry)

Tacos With Tangy Cilantro Chicken

Martha Stewart has been on the Today Show a lot lately.  She’s looking for a boyfriend.  Did you know this?  It’s been pretty entertaining watching her meet (for the first time) a couple of new guys that she found online. So awkward, yet so fascinating!  Did you know Martha is actually in her seventies?  I mean, she either has some really amazing genes or she’s paying big bucks to look that good (I think it’s a combination of both).  I think her vibrant spirit and energy also helps, a lot….but either way, she looks good, she looks damn good!  It’s no wonder her online dating page had so many hits, according to Matt Lauer.  I mean, she’s hot, and she can cook.  Seriously, what more could you ask for?!

Anyway, last summer I made these tacos from Martha’s website.  Did you know that Martha ate tacos? I didn’t.  Tacos just seem so…..simple…and not-so-elegant.  Do you know?  Of course, the moment I started smelling the aromas of the cumin, tomatillos, and jalapenos simmering together in this fantastic recipe, I knew it had Martha written all over it.  Sure, tacos are simple, and “elementary” in many ways, but isn’t it nice to know that simple can also be divine?!Tacos With Tangy Cilantro Chicken 20

 Tacos with Tangy Cilantro Chicken


  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, quartered
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 medium white onion, diced small **
  • 1 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 serrano chile, diced small (optional)
  • 3/4 pound tomatillos, diced large
  • 3/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • 8 crisp taco shells **
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack
  • 2 cups shredded romaine


Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. In a large heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high.  Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.  Add onion, cumin, and chile, if using, and cook 3 minutes.  Add tomatillos and 1 cup water, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon; season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a rapid simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thick and meat can be shredded with a form, 25 minutes (add up to 1/2 cup more water, if necessary).  Shred chicken, add cilantro, and season with salt and pepper.  Serve chicken mixture in taco shells with Monterey Jack lettuce.

**NOTE:  If you are following a low FODMAPS diet omit the onion.  Also, stick to one corn tortilla shell (although in reality, you’ll probably be ok with two.  It’s the corn you need to consider when eating taco shells.  Two should be your limit). If you want to avoid the corn altogether, look for a gluten-free soft taco shell (gluten free will automatically be wheat, barley and rye free, all of which contain fodmaps).Tacos With Tangy Cilantro Chicken 21

Anyone else love to shred chicken!  I love it.Tacos With Tangy Cilantro Chicken 22

Estimated Nutrition Facts for 2 loaded tacos

Want to reduce the calories and/or fat? Eat these without a shell, on top of some fresh crispy romaine lettuce (the meat, chilies, and tomatillos were so flavorful on their own, and with the Monterey jack cheese it was a perfect combination of flavors.)  You could also use chicken breast instead of thighs(thighs have more fat, but also a bit more flavor of course.  You might not miss that extra flavor though since the other ingredients worked so synergistically….yes that’s a word….. in this recipe). Tacos With Tangy Cilantro Chicken 23

 We turned this taco night into an all-out feast!  Guacamole, salsa, sour cream, chips, and our favorite Summer Ale beer. Tacos With Tangy Cilantro Chicken 24

QUESTION:  What would you serve with these tacos (other than chips and dip of course)?  Leave some ideas in the comment section!  My suggestion would be a veggie since the meal already contains a protein, grain, and some dairy.  We actually served this with the quinoa salad I posted on Monday.  Yeah, it was a carb-loaded dinner on this particular evening.  It happens every once in a while.

Thanks for reading!

The Candid RdTacos With Tangy Cilantro Chicken 25

This was my photo from last year’s tacos.  I think the shells I used were more open at the top, thus allowing more goodness to fit inside.  There are so many shells to choose from now, I don’t know how to choose!

Entrees (Meat & Poultry)

Hemp-Crusted Avocado Chicken

Have you ever used hulled hemp?  Me either, until the other day. I’d seen it on the shelves but never really thought to buy an entire bag because I wasn’t really sure what to do with it.  I was in the grocery store a few weeks ago and saw it in the bulk section, perfect. I bought just enough to do some experimenting and figured I’d use it as breading in one of my favorite recipes; Avocado Chicken. Why not?!  After all, I typically recommend hemp to vegetarians and vegans as a way to get their omega-3s (~800 mg plant-based omega-3 in 2 Tbsp. hulled hemp) so why not use it as a way to boost my own omega-3?  It’s been said that poultry has “too much omega-6 compared to omega-3″…..and while I’m still skeptical about whether that statement really means anything at all, I don’t think it would hurt to add more omega-3 to a big fat and juicy chicken breast.Hemp-Crusted Avocado Chicken 27

Hulled Hemp Seed

And if you’re interested in the other nutritional benefits of hulled hemp, read about them here.  And, in case you care to know, the omega-3 found in hulled hemp is not the typical ALA -type, it’s actually SDA, which converts to EPA more efficiently than ALA. This, my friends, is a good thing. Read more about that here.Hemp-Crusted Avocado Chicken 28

I posted this recipe a few years ago on this blog, but used cornmeal instead of help, which was what the original recipe called for.  The photos were horrific, and didn’t give this recipe any justice.  Hopefully these new photos lure you in, and beg you to reproduce this deliciousness.  I truly mean it when I say this recipe will forever be a favorite of mine (and Nicks!).

Hemp-Crusted Avocado Chicken

Modified from a Columbus Dispatch Recipe (1980)

Serves 4


4 chicken breasts -boneless

2 T cornstarch

1 t ground cumin

1 tsp garlic salt **

1 egg, slightly beaten

1 T water

1/3 c hulled hempseed

3 T vegetable oil

1 firm ripe avocado, peeled,sliced **

1 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1/2 c plain Greek yogurt

1/4 c sliced green onions **


  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  On a hard surface, with meat mallet or similar flattening utensil, pound chicken to 1/2 inch thickness.
  2.  In shallow dish, mix together cornstarch, cumin, and garlic salt. Add chicken, 1 piece at a time, dredging to coat.
  3.   In small bowl mix egg and water. In another small bowl place hulled hempseed. Dip chicken, first in egg and then in hemp, turning to coat.
  4. In large fry pan, place oil and heat to medium temperature; add chicken and cook 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove chicken to shallow baking pan; place avocado slices over chicken and sprinkle with cheese. Bake in 350 degree oven about 15 minutes or until fork can be inserted in chicken with ease and cheese melts.
  5. Top chicken with sour cream, dividing equally; sprinkle with green onion.

**NOTE:  If you are following a low FODMAPs diet omit the garlic salt and use a tuscan or garlic olive oil instead of vegetable oil (to get the flavor of the garlic). Also, use the green portions of the green onion only (not the white portion) or simply omit the onion.  Lastly, stick to only a couple slices of the avocado, as avocados contain FODMAPs when consumed in portions of more than ~2 Tbsp (or 2 medium slices).Hemp-Crusted Avocado Chicken 29Hemp-Crusted Avocado Chicken 30

Estimated Nutrition Facts Using 4-ounce raw chicken breasts

Nutrition Highlights:  ~ 500 mg omega-3, good source of fiber, and iron, excellent source of calcium.

Ok, ok, I know what you’re thinking “wowza, that’s a lot of fat!”.  True, it is, but remember this is an estimate, and the entire recipe is still less than 500 calories and only 257 mg sodium, which is still likely better than what you would find at a restaurant!  Seriously. Remember, you can always modify this to reduce the fat; use low-fat pepper jack cheese, use less cheese, use less chicken (such as a 3-ounce portion) and/or reduce the amount of oil to 2 Tbsp.Hemp-Crusted Avocado Chicken 31

I actually enjoyed the hemp crust better than the cornmeal from the original recipe.  We get enough corn in our life, don’t you think!?

QUESTION:  Have you ever cooked with hulled hemp? Hemp Milk? Hemp oil? What do you think?  I’ll be posting hemp, berry and chia parfait soon.  I recently saw it on another blog and can’t wait to make it for myself!

Entrees (Meat & Poultry)

Clean Eating’s Chicken Pizza with Mushrooms and Arugula

I’m reading a book called Taste What You’re Missing; The Passionate Eater’s Guide to Why Food Tastes So Good.  The book is long, and I’m probably only 1/4th of the way into it, but I’ve already learned so much.  I’ll dedicate an entire post on it one of these days, because it’s that good, and fascinating.  I’ve come to the conclusion that I am slightly addicted to one taste; umami, or “savory” (if you love mushrooms and nutritional yeast, you may be too).  Here I thought it might be sweet or even bitter tastes I loved most (I enjoy bitter pale ales, very much, and I could literally eat buttercream frosting all day long) but no, it’s umami.  This pizza recipe called for two sources umami; parmesan and crimini mushrooms. I sometimes find Clean Eating Magazine’s recipes to be too “clean” for my liking, so I jazz them up a bit (yes, it’s true, sometimes they are too bland for me, what can I say?!). In this case I added more umami taste to enhance the flavor, in the form of extra mushrooms (that’s clean….right?) and parmesan (ok, more cheese probably isn’t the most healthy idea, but to be fair this recipe called for 1 Tablespoon, ONE TBSP!!! Yes, you read that right. That’s absurd. Who wouldn’t add more?!)Clean Eating’s Chicken Pizza with Mushrooms and Arugula 33Chicken Pizza with Mushrooms and Arugula

Source: Clean Eating Magazine

Servings: 4


Olive oil cooking spray

2 bone-in skinless chicken breasts

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

2 tsp. olive oil

8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced **

2 cloves garlic, chopped **

12 oz. frozen (or fresh) whole wheat pizza dough, thawed **

2 cups arugula

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 tsp. dried oregano

Fresh ground black pepper


  1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mist a large baking sheet with cooking spray.  Place chicken on sheet and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Bake until cooked through, 25-30 minutes; set aside to cool.
  2.  Keep oven at 400 degrees.  In a large skillet heat olive oil on medium high heat.  Add mushrooms, and garlic cloves and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are softened and start releasing liquid; set aside.
  3.  With a rolling pin, pizza dough into 1/2-inch thick circle or rectangle.  Coat a separate large baking sheet with cooking spray and transfer dough to sheet. With a fork, shred shicken meat from bone into 2-inch pieces.  Top dough with 2 cups arugula, chicken, mushroom-garlic mixture and parmesan cheese.  Sprinkle with oregano and season with fresh ground pepper, to taste.  Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until edges are golden brown.

**NOTE:  If you are following alow FODMAPs diet you may want to omit the mushrooms and replace them with another lower FODMAPs vegetable, such as green or red pepper.  Also, use a gluten free pizza crust (although some people may be able to tolerate 1 small piece of whole wheat crust).Clean Eating’s Chicken Pizza with Mushrooms and Arugula 34Still not very cheesy, but yet this pizza was fantastic.

Full of umami, savory, goodness.Clean Eating’s Chicken Pizza with Mushrooms and Arugula 35Clean Eating’s Chicken Pizza with Mushrooms and Arugula 36Estimated Nutrition Facts for 1/4th of pizza

Nutrition Highlights:  Under 350 calories, good source of calcium and fiber, excellent source of protein.

QUESTION:  Tell me, what’s your favorite pizza topping?  Other than mushrooms (which I can’t eat in endless amounts, sadly) I would say green and black olives are my favorite pizza toppings. Oh, and tomatoes. Is that weird?

What are your plans for the Fourth of July?  My parents are having a party, of sorts, so of course Nick and I are going to be crashing it.  Why not, right?  They live really close to the local fireworks so we’ll get to walk down the road and watch the beauty in the sky.  I just hope it doesn’t rain all day. That would be a serious bummmmmmmmer.  Happy Birthday America!

Entrees (Meat & Poultry)

Clean Eating’s Peanut Chicken in Foil Packets

The June, 2013 issue of Cleaning Eating Magazine was filled with foil-packet recipes for the grill, in addition to some amazing burger recipes (which I found ironic, because apparently it’s May that is National Burger month…did you know that?), which I’ll be posting soon.  One day a couple weeks ago my parents came over for dinner and it was perfect because Nick and I had a meal already planned; Peanut Chicken in Foil PAckets and Strawberry Coconut Crisp(also in foil packets, recipe coming soon).  I’ll be honest, I was slightly hesitant at first, serving my dad a Clean Eating Magazine recipe…he’s very honest with his opinions on how things taste (I guess you could call him “The Candid Father of RD”, haha, that was lame.)  Anyway……I was afraid he wouldn’t like the meal.Clean Eating’s Peanut Chicken in Foil Packets 38 To my surprise, both my dad and Nick both devoured their foil packets, as did my mom and I.Did you know that grilling in foil actually helps reduce the amount of hertocyclic aminds (HCAs) that are formed? In case you were wondering, that’s a really good thing. HCAs are linked to cancer and they form when proteins (especially red meats) are cooked to really high temperatures and especially when cooked using direct heat.  By cooking our protein in foil we reduce the HCAs that are generated because we are not using direct heat and there is less change for the protein to char. When the drippings from your proteins drip into the flame and then come back up into the food that’s just not good.  Also, simply marinating your proteins and switching to poultry (and especially fish) can reduce the HCAs.  I just thought since it’s grilling season you may want to know that.  So now, without further ado…

Peanut Chicken in Foil Packets

Source: Clean Eating Magazine

Serves: 4


1/4th cup unsalted natural creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup light coconut milk (I used almond/coconut milk)

2 Tbsp. rice vinegar

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus additional for garnish

1 Tbsp. honey ** (I used maple syrup)

1 tbsp. fresh lime juice

1 tbsp. minced fresh ginger

1 tsp. reduced sodium soy sauce

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 clove garlic, mined **

Olive oil cooking spray

12 oz. green beans, trimmed

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into similar-sized 1/2-inch chunks **

1 red or white onion, sliced into 1/4-inch slices **

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces


  1.  Preheat grill to medium-high or preheat oven to 450.
  2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together peanut butter, milk, vinegar, 2 Tbsp. cilantro, honey (or maple syrup), lime juice, ginger, soy sauce, pepper flakes, and garlic.
  3.  Cut 4 12×16-inch pieces of foil and mist with cooking spray.  Divide green beans, potatoes and onion evenly into the center of each piece of foil.  Divide chicken and peanut butter mixture between foil pieces, over top of vegetables.  Bring the short edges of the foil together, then fold inward a few times along each long edges to seal.
  4.  Place foil packets directly on the grill or on a large, rimmed baking sheet in the oven.  Grill or bake for 25 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender.  Transfer contents of packets (make sure to open the packets slowly, as the steam can be very hot!) to serving bowls and garnish with additional cilantro.

**NOTE:  If you are following a low FODMAPs diet this is the perfect recipe because you can modify your own packet according to your personal needs (but prepare everyone else’s packet according to the recipe).    Be sure to replace the honey with maple syrup, omit the garlic (and add some garlic-infused oil if you still want the flavor, but I didn’t do this and it was still amazing) and omit the onion from your packet as well.  Also, keep in mind sweet potatoes contain FODMAPs, but most people can handle them in amounts of 1/4th-1/2 cup per sitting.

Estimated Nutrition Facts for 1-serving (1 foil packet)

Nutrition Highlights:  Low sodium, excellent source of fiber, and vitamins A and C.Clean Eating’s Peanut Chicken in Foil Packets 39See how I put a “G” on my packet? Yeah, that was a lower FODMAPs packet Clean Eating’s Peanut Chicken in Foil Packets 40Put all the ingredients in a foil packet, and leave the cooking and cleaning to the foil and grill!Clean Eating’s Peanut Chicken in Foil Packets 41

The Candid RD

This can be serve over rice, or with some more vegetables.  We chose the latter.  It didn’t really need any more starch, so we were all content with some more vegetables and spinach salad on the side (the vegetables we served were roasted parsnips that my mom brought over, which are actually slightly starchy, but delicious).Clean Eating’s Peanut Chicken in Foil Packets 42There is just something about the combination of peanut butter, soy sauce, and chicken that makes my taste buds jump for joy! Apparently the same is true for my family.  And I bet you’ll love this recipe too.

Any fun weekend plans? I can’t believe it but I have today and tomorrow off from work.  JOY!  I do have a laundry list of things to do, but it’s nice just being away from work for a while (it’s rare that I ever get two days off in a row, so I’m excited!).

Entrees (Meat & Poultry)

Who Knew My Dad’s Chicken Cacciatore Was So Simple?!

There were always three things my dad made really well when I was growing up; Pizza, Chili, and Chicken Cacciatore (ok, four including the fudge he makes at Christmas, and actually five if you include his Chicken Marsala, I forgot about that one…).  Not too long ago Nick and I went over to my parent’s house for dinner and my dad was in the kitchen whipping up his “famous” chicken cacciatore.  right away I was having childhood memories wash over me.  It was great (oh to be a kid again!). I soon realized the reason why he loves making this dish so much is because it’s incredibly easy, yet tastes like someone slaved over it for hours.Who Knew My Dad’s Chicken Cacciatore Was So Simple?! 44

Typical of my dad, there aren’t really any colors other than red and white.   Why not add some green for a true Italian meal (aka Italian flag)?!  No, for my dad (and me, I guess) the simpler the better.  That being said, I’m a fan of adding vegetables to any dish when I can, and this one lends itself well to the addition of more veggies.  Anyway, here is my dad’s recipe (with my addition of some green peppers!)……

Guy Casagrande’s Chicken Cacciatore

Serves 4-6


  • 3 large chicken breasts, bone-in
  • 1 large green (or red) pepper
  • 1 can roasted tomatoes **
  • 1 can tomato sauce **
  •  6 garlic cloves (whole) **
  • Spices to taste: oregano, crushed red pepper flakes


  1.  Boil chicken breasts in water for 30 minutes.
  2.  After the chicken is finished cooking take it out and let it cool on a cutting board.  Once cooled, pick the chicken off of the bone and put it aside.
  3.  In a large skillet cook garlic cloves (~6) in olive oil until the garlic is slightly soft, then add in chicken, 1 can of tomato sauce, and 1 can of Italian tomatoes.  Add spices and simmer for 30 minutes with the lid on.
  4.  Next, add 1/4th cup white wine (cooking wine or regular drinking wine) and a cut-up green pepper and simmer 1 more minute with the lid off.
  5.  Serve over polenta or mix with brown or white rice.

**NOTE:  If following a low FODMAPs diet this may not be the best recipe.  If you want to give it a try, look for canned tomatoes that have zero onion or garlic added, and the same goes for canned tomato sauce (good luck with that one, you may need to just make your own sauce by blending tomatoes in a blender and adding a dash of garlic olive oil.  Another option is to use Rao’s Sensitive Formula Marinara Sauce).  The 6 cloves of garlic can be used in this recipe for flavor, but do not eat the cloves.Who Knew My Dad’s Chicken Cacciatore Was So Simple?! 45

See the garlic clove?? I wanted to eat it so bad!! But, I didn’t. I gave them all to Nick. His Italian blood can handle the garlic. I’m so jealous. Why can’t this Italian handle it?!

My computer crashed a few weeks ago, did I tell you?  It was my favorite laptop of all time, and it was so dear to my heart, but yet it had a better place to go, far up in heaven, I suppose.  It took with it all of my favorite photos, and I’m too cheap to have them restored on my other computer. I mean, I have the backup here at home, so if I ever really need the photos I can get them, but for now I’ll just tell you that for the next couple weeks you’ll have to consider me a Dietitian Who Loves to Post Healthy Recipes, instead of a Food Blogger Who Can Take Half-Way Decent Photos (because, my photos are all old and not the updated versions I had saved, please, bear with me!).  You don’t really care about the photos though, right?! I mean it’s all about the ingredients and the information…right?! Yeah.

That being said, these are old photos, and despite the fact that this Chicken Cacciatore doesn’t look so amazing, it truly is.  For as simple as it is to make, it’s pretty fantastic.  And, as I said, try it over some warmed polenta and you’ll be in heaven.  And if you like this recipe, you might also like this slow Cooker Chicken Marinara Chicken and Veggies recipe from a few months ago.Who Knew My Dad’s Chicken Cacciatore Was So Simple?! 46

QUESTION:  Is there a favorite recipe that your mom or dad made when you were growing up?

I hope everyone has a wonderful Friday and an even better weekend.  I’ll be spending my Friday at the Ohio Dietetic Association Conference.  It should be fun.  Afterward, I’m going to a wine and food event at work (but if you saw my Instagram and Twitter post from yesterday, you’ll know that I’m probably not going to go too crazy on the wine!).  Enjoy your weekend!

Thanks for reading.

The Candid Rd

Entrees (Meat & Poultry)

Clean Eating’s Spring Romaine Boats, With Chicken and Quinoa

Sometimes all I want to eat for dinner is a big ol’ bowl of vegetables.  Have you ever had those nights?  Maybe I’m crazy, but I actually just really love vegetables and don’t mind heating them up, throwing some parmesan cheese on top, and calling it dinner.  Of course, that wouldn’t exactly be practicing what I preach, since I always tell clients to get at least 20 grams of protein in their meals, if they can.  So this Clean Eating recipe is perfect.  Fresh crispy veggies, filled with lean protein and even some higher protein grain, the humble quinoa grain (or seed?).Clean Eating’s Spring Romaine Boats, With Chicken and Quinoa 48This was the perfect meal one night after work.  Of course, Nick wasn’t about to even consider eating one, which made it even better because there were plenty leftovers for the following nights.  You know, before I made this I don’t know if I had ever actually used radishes in anything other than maybe a relish tray.  I like them.  They are crispy and a bit bitter.  Quite delicious actually, but I think the next time I might use jicama for more fiber!

Clean Eating’s Spring Romaine Boats

Modified slightly from a clean eating magazine recipe

Serves 4

8 romaine leaves

1 pound chicken breast, grilled or baked with some garlic-infused olive oil (if you want)

1 cup cooked quinoa (I used the multicolor variety)

1/4 cup feta or goat cheese

4 radishes, sliced

Balsamic reduction drizzle

Salt and pepper to taste


  1.  Wash and dry romaine well.  Cut chicken into bite size pieces, after grilling or baking.
  2. Open up leaves and top with quinoa, chicken, cheese, radishes, a drizzle of a good balsamic dressing (or reduction) and salt and pepper to taste.
  3.  Eat like a taco!

** NOTE:  If you are following a low FODMAPs diet you’ll be pleased to know this is a lof FODMAPs recipe! .

 Estimated Calories Per Serving:  ~ 250 caloriesClean Eating’s Spring Romaine Boats, With Chicken and Quinoa 49Have you ever had a balsamic reduction?  You can either make it yourself with a good balsamic vinegar, or you can buy it at the store, already reduced.  Either way, get a hold of some to drizzle on top of your “Boats”.  As you can see, I took my photos before my drizzle   Oops!Clean Eating’s Spring Romaine Boats, With Chicken and Quinoa 50Does it get any more “Springy” than this?!  I don’t think so.Clean Eating’s Spring Romaine Boats, With Chicken and Quinoa 51I’m so glad Spring has finally graced us with her presence (and yes, Spring is a women, trust me on that one).  More Spring recipes coming soon.  And tomorrow, get excited, I’m posting a day of my eats.  Haven’t you always wondered what I eat?!  Come on, you know you have.  haha, maybe not.  It’s really not that interesting, but I do get questions about it often, so in case you’re interested, come back tomorrow!