Provençal-Inspired Roast Chicken with Sweet Potatoes

Provincial-Inspired Roast Chicken

Lavender isn’t traditionally an African ingredient (at far as I know). The best is grown in France, where it’s mixed in an Herbs de Provence blend of thyme, savory, rosemary and other herbs. It also nicely pairs with sweet potatoes, a starchy root vegetable, in which African slaves who were brought to the Americans, found to be similar to their native yams. Serve this dish with Broccoli and Freekeh Pilaf or Brazilian/Stir-Fry Style Collard Greens.

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The Magic of Fresh Pasta

Rosemary Chicken Stew with Stir-Fried Collard Greens

Besides being known for its Italian style-New York pizza, Saraghina recently opened a new bakery. Essential Italian pantry items, such as bread, morning pastries, olive oil by the pound, spices, cheese, candy and more, are the shop’s speciality. It’s freshly made pasta by the pound is the star. Having access to fresh pasta close to my apartment is a game changer in my menu planning. It means serving dinners made elegant with fresh pasta, and the meals aren’t time consuming. Ironically, the first recipe using Saraghina Bakery’s pasta was a time-consuming Rosemary Chicken Stew with Stir-Fried Collard Greens.

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Parade.com: Clementine and Rosemary Quick Bread

Clementine and Rosemary Quick Bread

Thanks to Cuties, they delivered a crate of clementines to my office. Each one was easy to peel, had almost no seeds and they’re full of Vitamin C. After a few were shared with coworkers, the rest were taken home and pureed in a food processor to be stirred into a quick bread flavored with specks of fresh rosemary. A day after the bread was made, we toasted slices in the oven, peeled a Cutie Clementine and made a pot of green tea. It was healthy and juicy afternoon snack.  Read more

Parade.com: 3 Ways to Spice Up Your Acorn Squash

Spicy Roast Acorn Squash

Even as a so-called health nut, I love winter squashes roasted until they’re buttery and sticky-sweet. They’re drizzled with olive or coconut oil, or a little soft butter is brushed on slices. Perhaps they’re sweetened with brown or coconut sugar, maple syrup or honey. A bit of sea salt and fresh black pepper are sprinkled here and there. In my creative mind, winter squashes are flavored with any combination of herbs and spices. Read more

Sweet Potato and Rosemary Pasta, Harissa Roast Tomatoes, Collard Greens, and Chickpeas

Fresh Sweet Potato and Rosemary Pasta with Harissa Spiced Roast Tomatoes, Collard Greens, and Chickpeas garnished with toasted Pine Nuts
Fresh Sweet Potato and Rosemary Pasta with Harissa Spiced Roast Tomatoes, Collard Greens, and Chickpeas garnished with toasted Pine Nuts

My friends must think I’m avoiding them. April has proven to be whirlwind of hi-strung energy. There are too many priorities that can’t be ignored or delayed. In the beginning of April, I canceled a few coffee dates. Around mid-April, meetings were rescheduled for May, after canceling for the third time. When dates are canceled, it throws another person’s schedule off. It’s not like my friends have extra spare time. In addition to juggling priorities, the landlord schedules much needed repairs and a painting job for the whole apartment. There’s dust and painting supplies everywhere. The saying, if the house isn’t in order, life is unorganized. Read more