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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Favorites from the Nothing Diet

The nothing diet continues.  So far I have only managed to add chocolate to the list of prohibited foods--maybe by next week I'll have taken some foods off of it.  Eggs, nuts and wheat are in a three way tie for what I most hope to get back (aside from dairy and chocolate, which I know bother Charlotte).  But in the meantime, I have found some things to eat.  Here is one of my favorite meals.  I wrote the instructions more or less in the order that I do each thing, and color coded for each segment of the recipe.  Experienced cooks could probably just read the ingredients list and go from there.   

Chicken Catchatore (adapted from Buca  di Beppo)



4-6 chicken breasts or thighs
about 1 1/2 cups balsamic vinaigrette


1 onion chopped
olive oil, for sauteing the onion
1 can diced tomatoes
6-8 pitted kalamata olives, sliced
about 1 T fresh thyme
about 1 T fresh parsley 
about 1 t fresh oregano

Garlic mashed potatoes

8-10 red new potatoes
rice milk
olive oil 
garlic powder

Put chicken and balsamic vinaigrette in a covered shallow dish or Ziploc bag in fridge.  Marinade for at least 1 hour or up to a day.  

Scrub and peel most of the potatoes (I left a few skins on for color and nutrition).  Cut into quarters or eighths, depending on size.  Boil until soft.

Preheat oven to 350.  Arrange chicken on a cookie sheet and bake for 45-60 minutes until done. I cut open the largest piece to check.  Clear juices (as opposed to bloody) is another sign to look for.   

While the chicken and potatoes are cooking, chop herbs, onion, and olives.  To strip thyme leaves from their woody stems, hold the stem from the tip and run  the fingers of your other hand up its length.  This should rub them the "wrong" way, making them drop right off.  

Saute onions in the bottom of a sauce pot with a bit of olive oil.  Add the diced canned tomatoes.  At this point my potatoes are usually done--check with fork and drain if done.  Set aside.  Add olives and herbs to sauce, let simmer.  Check chicken, let cool if done.  Mash potatoes.  Add a liberal amount of rice milk and a scant amount of olive oil (too much will make it taste like olives) to achieve the right consistency.  Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.  Taste sauce, adjust seasonings (if there was no salt in the tomatoes to begin with, it may need salt). 

Serve chicken on a bed of mashed potatoes, topped with the sauce.   Green beans make a good side dish.         


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