French Country Chicken with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

French Country Chicken with Mushroom SauceThese boneless, skinless chicken breasts are sautéed and topped with a creamy non-dairy mushroom sauce, and fit great into a low-sodium diet with less than 100mg of sodium per serving. To round out the meal, serve over whole-wheat spaghetti or fettuccini with a steamed broccoli-carrot blend on the side. This recipe serves 6.

Ingredients:

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, each about 4 ounces
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 shallots, thinly sliced
⅓ pound mushrooms*, thinly sliced
1 ½ tablespoons flour
⅓ cup white wine
¾ cup low-sodium chicken stock
1 ½ tablespoons fresh rosemary* (or 1 ¼ teaspoons dried rosemary)
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons chopped parsley*

Directions:

Place the chicken breasts between wax paper and pound with a mallet to flatten. Cut each piece in half lengthwise. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm.

In a small frying pan, heat 1 ½ tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring occasionally.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and wine until all the lumps are gone. Add the flour mixture to the shallots and mushrooms. Stir in the chicken stock and cook over medium-high heat. Stir until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add the rosemary.

In a large, non-stick skillet, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Sprinkle the chicken with the ground pepper, and add it to the pan. Sauté the chicken until it is no longer pink or until a thermometer inserted into the chicken reads 170 F, about 5 minutes.

To serve, transfer 2 chicken breast halves onto each plate. Spoon mushroom sauce over the chicken and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.

* To learn how to properly clean fresh rosemary, parsley and mushrooms, click here.

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Lower the Salt, Raise the Consciousness

SaltOkay, so I missed Friday’s posting… that’s no reason not to round out the rest of 2015’s healthy habits! I think a big one for 2015 should also be forgiveness (hint, hint). So what is on tap for October, November and December? Eat less salt and be more aware of the food you eat, both in its size and quality. Over the past few years my mother has been drastically cutting down on the amount of salt she cooks with to help keep my step-father healthy. Upon looking in her pantry, I never realized a) how many low-sodium versions of products were out there and b) how much freakin’ salt is in EVERYTHING! Wanna see something scary? Check out the sodium levels on some of your everyday items. I’m not even talking about the bag of chips that you binge on. I mean regular everyday things. The sodium levels on a “regular” can of green beans? For ½ cup serving, you’re looking at 310mg of sodium. That’s 13% of your daily recommended limit! For green beans!

So what can we do about this? Well, this is where the portion control and mindful eating comes in. Be mindful of what you’re eating and how much of it you’re consuming. For that same ½ cup of beans that you nibbled on before, if you got fresh beans instead of canned, and just boiled them (though steaming keeps more nutrients), it would only cost you 7mg of sodium. That’s right, you’re looking at a difference of something like 98% (I cook, I don’t do math). So what would you rather? Some processed brownish-greenish, soggy beans, or crisp, brightly coloured emerald jewels laying deliciously on your plate? Yeah, I thought so. Eating healthy though doesn’t have to be boring. Market your food to yourself! Try and switch up your menus so that more colour is represented on the plate. It is more appealing to the eye AND brightly coloured foods tend to have more of the nutrients we seek in them (y’know, Mother Nature’s way of telling us that orange carrots and red peppers are chalk full of vitamins!). So keep in mind what you eat and how much of it, but most of all, ENJOY IT! If you’re not happy with what’s on your plate, you’re never going to feel satisfied at the end of your meal.

OctoberEat Less Salt!
Cut back on North America’s favourite seasoning.

NovemberBe Portion Aware
Find simple strategies that can help you eat a little less—without even thinking.

DecemberMindful Eating
Eat mindfully, be thankful. Learn the ways—in this busy season and throughout the year—to find joy in food and to share that joy with others.