Test Drive: Beer Can Chicken

Chicken: I am not so sure about this. Are you really trying to convince me that shoving a beer can up my a** will enhance my flavor?

Me: Don't worry, this is going to keep you so moist and tender you will be the hit of the party! Isn't that what you want...to be the hit of the party?

Chicken: Yes, but this is not the party I had in mind. What am I, the star of the new Darren Aronofsky film...Requiem for the Poultry? This just isn't my scene.

Me: This is your moment to shine, you are broadening your horizon, you are going to take it, and like it upright....no lube needed...just straight in.

1 hour later....

Chicken: Oooo....ahhhhhh....it tingles....the wetness....my skin...I am glowing....I'm somebody now....everyone likes me...millions of people will see me, and eat me, and like me...I will tell them about you, and how good you were to me...
Alright, I had to much fun with personification there! I couldn't resist...this whole cooking method is just begging for inappropriate comments!

So, the hubby and I purchased the cheapest beer stand possible and tested out this whole beer can chicken cooking method. It is not a new method, but none-the-less, new to us. Happy to report, the hubby gave this two thumbs up and it was a breeze to make! P.S.-It is very diet friendly, just don't eat the dark meat!

And of course, here is what is currently on repeat in my house. "Love is All" by the Tallest Man.

Until next time folks, cheers and happy eating!

Easy Beer Can Grilled Chicken
1 whole chicken
store-bought poultry rub (you can get fancy and make your own)
olive oil (or melted butter)
can of beer

Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Rub the chicken and its cavity with oil, poultry mixture, salt and pepper. Make sure to season the inside cavity too!

Pour out some of the beer, about 1/4 of it should do and place in the beer stand. Sit the chick on top of the beer can and place it in the center of the hit grill, making sure to cover. Cook the chicken for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. A good thing to use is a meat thermometer. When the chicken gets between 165 and 170 it is done. Remove from heat, cover with foil, and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.


Quinua, Butternut Squash and Pesto Casserole

If this dish could speak it would say, "Look, I know I might not be the prettiest thing you have ever set your eyes on, blame the chef! She should have known better than to leave my top layer exposed! What was she thinking? I am not Jell-O, hanging about for all to see. No! I am a refined, healthy meal that must be appreciated, not judged for my looks. Please eat me! I will make your heart healthy, your bones strong, your tummy happy and give you a natural boost of energy. So yes, please excuse my cooky creator and don't judge this book by its cover. Anyway, haven't you heard? Naked is the new black. Take a bite and enjoy!"

I wish that I would have thought to top this off with a final layer of butternut squash, but it really didn't cross my mind. It is not fair, but it is true, you eat with your eyes first! Though the original dish did not have the presentation I was looking for, it received outstanding reviews for its taste! This is gluten free and packs a powerful punch of protein, beta carotene, vitamin b6, phytonutrients, and antioxidants. The recipe I am providing has been amended to make this dish appealing to the eyes!

To make things easy, I used store bought pesto. Pesto is super easy to make, so you can certainly whip some up. If you are following the Clean Program, or are on a diet in which you must avoid dairy, I have included a pesto recipe that I received with my Clean Kit.

Hope you enjoy it! Until next time, cheers and happy eating!

Quinua, Butternut Squash and Pesto Casserole

2 medium size butternut squash
8 ounces pesto (Clean-friendly pesto at end of recipe)
1 cup prepared quinua
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
salt and pepper

Peel the butternut squash. Cut in half and remove all the seeds and pulp. Slice squash in 1/4 inch thick slices. In a 8x8 casserole dish, layer some butternut squash on the bottom (reserving some for the remaining layers), followed by half of the pesto, then with half of the quinua. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle half of the walnuts on top and then repeat layering. Lastly, place one final layer of butternut squash.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 40 minutes.

Clean Pesto

2 cups fresh basil
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic
sea salt for seasoing

Place basil, pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor and process on medium. Drizzle in the olive oil while the motor is running. Season with salt.


My friend is on a quest to lose some weight and has enlisted the help of Weight Watchers. It has worked wonders for her as she has lost 10 pounds in less than a month! She asked me to make this recipe for her and of course I jumped at the chance to make something new. I was intrigued by the claim: low fat do-it-yourself peanut butter. Let me put it this way, I have made this four times since then and it has only been two weeks! This is so damn good I could eat the whole thing (which Weight Watchers would certainly not approve!) The best way I can describe this is a happy marriage between hummus and honey peanut butter.

And of course....I couldn't leave you without a song! A band I am currently OBSESSED with! Started out as Say Hi and have since then renamed themselves to Say Hi To Your Mom. This song comes from their debut album "Oohs and Aahs" and is titled Maurine. Enjoy!

Creamy Peanut Butter Dip
Points Value: 3

1 1/2 cup(s) canned chickpeas, loose skins removed, washed, drained
1/4 cup(s) honey roasted peanut butter*
2 1/2 Tbsp honey
1/4 tsp table salt
1/2 cup(s) hot water

*If you don't have honey peanut butter, just add an extra tbspn of honey to the recipe!

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender; blend until smooth. Allow to set up in refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Yields about 2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon per serving.


Tilapia with Roasted Tomatoes and Cannellini Beans

Having completed 21 days of a cleanse, I must say, I am much more meticulous with reading labels and being a conscientious food shopper. I was beyond surprised when I was planning one of my "transitional" meals to read the ingredients in.....bread crumbs! I had a menu set for me and the hubby and decided that I would treat my husband to some breading on his fish (I was opting out.) To my utter astonishment, upon further examination of the bread crumbs container I was perplexed to find high fructose corn syrup, buttermilk and hydrogenated soybean oil. I quickly decided that it was high time this lil' lady started making her own bread crumbs.

I used Ezekiel sprouted bread for this. Sprouted bread has a plethora of nutrients and vitamins that are lacking in traditional wheat, or even whole wheat, bread. Sprouting even neutralizes phytic acid, which allows your body to absorb the nutrients found in the bread more efficiently. The process of making traditional bread actually requires the removal of the bran and the germ which translates to loss of fiber, loss of minerals and loss of vitamins. The vitamin content you do see on the label of your "enriched" bread were actually added back during the enriching process. If you do go with store-bought bread crumbs, go with a brand found at your natural foods store. Whole Foods sells their own brand which is great!

It is up to you whether you choose to make this dish with breading or without. Either way, it is equally delicious. If you are watching your calories, obviously opt for no breading.

Tilapia with Tomato, Cannellini Beans and White Wine

2-3 Tilapia fillets
1 cup of homemade bread crumbs (see recipe below)
1 egg
1 cup of flour
olive oil
1 carton of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 can of cannellini beans, rinsed
3/4 cup of white wine
1 TB thyme
prepared brown rice

Create three dipping stations in this order: flour, egg and bread crumbs. Dredge the tilapia in the flour, shake excess off. Dip the fish in the egg and then coat with bread crumbs.

In a medium pan, pour a few glugs of olive oil and pan fry the fish for about 4 minutes per side. It really depends on the thickness of the fish. I just keep an eye out for flaking. That is a sure sign it is done. (Alternatively, you can bake the fish in a 400 degree oven for 12-15 minutes.)

In a small, glass baking dish, mix the tomatoes, cannellini beans, thyme, 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and wine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bake mixture in a 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, or until tomatoes start to prune.

To serve, scoop brown rice on a plate, place the fish on top, and spoon the tomato mixture over. Yum!

Homemade Bread Crumbs

1 pound of day old bread
1.5 TB of oregano

Cube the bread and pulse in a food processor till you get a coarse mixture.

Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

Return to the food processor, add the oregano (or any spice you would like to use) and blend until you get the consistency you are looking for. I like mine on the finer side.