One of the big things that separates a good meal from a great meal is a sauce! If you like to eat out at nice restaurants like we do, that is something that they all have in common, a fantastic sauce pairing that goes along with the main course.
It can provide a balance of flavors, it can tie a dish together, and it can provide a needed level of moisture/fat with a leaner cut of meat. After years of watching cooking shows and a little experimentation myself I've learned some basics in sauce making and how to combine flavors. If you are novice learning some basic skills in this world will certainly help.
Here is a link to an article talking about the 5 French Mother Sauces. Might sound a little fancy but most sauces that exist in the world are a spinoff of these base sauces. From this you can play with flavors that pair with your main dish. Another thing I would recommend is a book that I pull out on occasion, The Flavor Bible.
This book is fantastic in that it allows you to look up a food, say pork, then it gives you a list of other foods, veggies, and spices that pair well with it. So combine that with the basics of how to make a sauce and you are pretty much set!
The cool thing about The Flavor Bible is that it highlights the ingredients that work best. For this Bacon Apple Butter, I knew we were making pork so take a look at pairings above...
Simple. Delicious. Sweet. Spicy. Hearty.
If you've made soup before you've probably tried version of this soup. I see it on menus all the time especially this time of year. I've made it a handful of times and this version is by far my favorite. Call me a sucker for some good sausage. Or maybe just the simplicity and letting the fresh veggies and quality stock.
This recipe only has a few ingredients but it is built on a solid chicken stock. We have our recipe over here on how you can make your own. I think some of the keys to a good stock is getting a good pressure cooker, because who has time to cook stock for 48 hours. Also chicken feet! Yup I said it, chicken feet. The collagen from all the connective tissue in chicken feet add a richness that nearly impossible to get any other way. Just try and thank me later. You can find chicken feet at most groceries. I've seen them at every Asian market that I've ever been to also.
To make this soup even better and because we like pretty pictures, we added a maple crema. Sound fancy but it basically is just a dairy product mixed with something else that is liquid. Calling it that is just my inner chef coming out. Or maybe it is from watching too many episodes of Top Chef! Either way it is delicious and makes this dish well rounded. Sweet from the apple and maple, slightly smokey from the sausage, and a hint of spice from the cayenne. So good!
We would love to hear from you if and when you try this and what you think.
It wouldn't be fall if we didn't throw a pumpkin recipe at you. Since we love pancakes here you go! We've been making a variation of these pancakes for the longest time. However the texture on those other ones just wasn't quite where I would like it when it comes to a pancake. So just a couple little tweaks and we have this new one which I think will be our go to pancake recipe for a quite some time.
If you are wondering what the hell the broccoli is doing in the picture, I thought this was a pancake recipe, you aren't the first one to think that is a weird combo. This combo is a great a solution for a number of people that we work with on a regular basis. Two staples that people usually fall short of on a daily basis is protein and veggies. Why not start your day with a healthy dose of both?
Why are protein and veggies important? Particularly for people trying to lose weight these two things will likely be your biggest help in seeing measurable progress in a short period of time. By getting adequate protein, 20-40 grams, per meal you will fill yourself with bulk but with lower calories. Same goes for the veggies, due the high fiber in veggies you are adding bulk without adding calories. It's because of this that you are able to eat to the point of being full all while staying in a calorie deficit.
If you are curious how much protein and fiber you should specifically be eating head over to our Calorie Calculator page and submit some information and I will get you a customized plan to let you how much of each you should be eating. This will be based on your size, activity level, and your goals.
Otherwise enjoy the heck out of these pancakes, we sure did!
Protein: 10.9 g
Fat: 4.4 g
Carbs: 3.5 g
Sugars: 0.9 g
Fiber: 1.6 g
Cooler temps equal soup season! Although we are staying in warmer climates this winter we have still seen temps dip into the 40's at night and not get much past 60 during the day. I know, I know it could be so much worse. This year I guess it is all about perspective and it is cold to us!
We are also in a season of trying to save some money and our food budget is one area where we can save some money. Soups are a great way to stretch your dollar, get loads of nutrition, all without starving yourself.
Just in case you aren't convinced on soups yet, they are also super easy to make. This one could easily be a crockpot meal where you just throw everything in and forget about it. Also when we make soup, we always have leftovers, which means even easier, healthy meals for days.
I don't know why I don't always have a batch of this soup in our fridge. So good!!! Five years ago I would have laughed at you if you would tell me that soup can be an entire meal. I guess I was used to terrible canned soups or the tiny cup of soup that you get at restaurants. Oh how the times of changed.
Now my view of soup is basically it is liquid salad! Seriously though if you make a good soup it should resemble a salad. So if you don't like to eat salad, I suggest you try soup instead. This version of chicken tortilla soup is loaded up with veggies, quality protein, and of course some amazing chicken stock.
When I make soup I love to make a huge batch because it tastes better the next day! Feel free to scale this recipe up or down but it makes about 6 large bowls of soup. Also as a little bonus here is a how I like to make my chicken stock at home which is super simple.
Homemade Chicken Stock
Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe
If you've followed us for a little bit you've seen us use some fun hashtags to connect some of our posts. I wish I could say that we did it for you guys but the truth is, doing #weirdvegwednesday or #weirdpushwednesday kept us accountable to go out and try some new veggies and it made us think of new ways to do push ups. If it helps you great. So often we can get stuck doing the same things over and over and our decisions become mindless. I think a lot of people that eat unhealthy foods don't do it necessarily because they enjoy those foods incredibly, but because it is a habit and it is easy.
So with that we have a new hashtag and we hope it will help bring some creativity to your meals.
Why Monday??? Well because we like alliterations when it comes to our hashtags, that's it. For the next 52 weeks my goal is to come up with a new, fun, healthy recipe that we will try out and we will share with you. We would love it if you used the same hashtag to tag your posts. You don't have to type up full recipes unless you want to, but use the hashtag as motivation to try some new meal ideas. It will also be a great resource for everyone to use to go find inspiration to try some new things.
We will post these recipes on our Facebook Page, The Cook & The Coach on Mondays so feel free to follow us over there. If you want to make sure you get all of these recipes delivered to your inbox just plug your email address into the section below and we will email you once a week with our recipe from that week along with any other blog posts we put out.
Just in case you pick up on the different writing style I will just be up front…this is Laura’s husband, Dan. I thought about trying to trick you all and write this as if I’m Laura but I’m not good at being that cute and bubbly. Love you Laura!
Last night we tried making a Roulade, which is just a piece of meat flattened out, stuffed with something and then rolled up. Pretty simple, right? So often people call us out for eating fancy food. I appreciate the compliments that come along with making "fancy" food but let me tell you now, I don’t have any formal training, I just like to experiment and have a general knowledge of what flavors tend to go together. A book that I refer to quite often is "The Flavor Bible", it has great info on how certain ingredients go together.
The Cook & The Coach
Healthy is a LIFESTYLE.