Hey everyone – I’m back!
Now I know what you’re thinking – where the hell have I been? I know, I know. I am a terrible friend and I promise to never leave you without a delicious post for so long again! Kiss and make up?
Despite my pervasive feelings of guilt (that I quieted with copious amounts of alcohol and fatty food over the last couple weeks), I do have a solid excuse: my wedding and honeymoon! That’s right: I am officially Mrs. Trevor Grant. And even though the title came with a few pounds of honeymoon weight, I am happy as could be.
After what was truly a beautiful wedding day, Trevor and I took off to our native Ireland and Scotland for two incredible weeks. It was an amazing trip filled with beautiful country drives, romantic stays in Castles, tons and tons of incredible (and not so healthy) food and drink, and some awesome adventure – including a couple mountain hikes; some skeet shooting; and one harrowing drive c/o our stupid GPS which sent us on a detour on what can only be described as a golf cart path through the steepest Irish hills, during a rain storm, in the middle of nowhere where the only other signs of life were the sheep who looked at us like WE were the dumbest creatures there. Not going to lie, my life kind of flashed before my eyes (side note: I need to accomplish more).
It’s true that Ireland and Scotland left me with a warm feeling in my heart. Unfortunately they also left me with an uncomfortable feeling in my jeans (more specifically the waistline). So although I enjoyed having 3 croissants for breakfast (that only happened one day….) I am happy to be back to a fridge stocked with the green veggies, colourful fruits, and lean protein that were majorly absent in my honeymoon diet.
Because we returned on Thanksgiving Sunday, one of my first kitchen projects as a married lady was to create a healthy Thanksgiving feast for me and my new hubby! Since we were just too bagged to get into the car and drive to our family’s festivities (sorry guys!) I wanted to make something that resembled a traditional feast while incorporating some of the nutritious foods we’d been missing the last couple weeks. Since a turkey was way too big (and let’s be honest, time consuming) for two people I settled on turkey’s cousin: chicken. My Lemon and Rosemary Roasted Chicken to be exact! And, of course, paired with my favourite Thanksgiving side dish, mashed sweet potatoes (there were also some roasted asparagus and brussel sprouts but since they were literally just drizzled in oil, salt and pepper then roasted I won’t bother with a “recipe” here).
Now as much as I would love to bask in the glowing praise of those who are currently thinking “who gets off a plane after two weeks of travel and arrives home to whip up such a meal?”, it’s actually super easy to make. Luckily the simplicity does not detract from the flavour of the dishes, especially the mashed sweet potatoes which I make with roasted garlic and Greek yogurt. SO creamy and flavourful but way healthier than the white potato version packed with butter and sour cream.
In fact, sweet potatoes have many health benefits, including a healthy dose of fibre (7 grams per serving), which helps you feel fuller faster and longer while also aiding digestion; large amounts of vitamin B6, which improves heart and artery health; and are packed with vitamins C and E, both of which contribute to a healthy, glowing complexion and vibrant hair.
Now I know I am posting these recipes AFTER Thanksgiving, but they also make an awesome choice for a “fancier” Sunday dinner that is perfect for this chilly fall season AND won’t make you feel like you need to adopt the Scottish national uniform – track pants.
The Natural Blonde
p.s. Confession: although they’re not Adidas like the popular Scot version, I am currently loving my track pants.
Lemon Rosemary Roasted Chicken
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 3 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
- zest from ½ lemon
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. fresh black pepper
- 2 full sprigs fresh rosemary (for stuffing chicken)
- 1 lemon, halved (for stuffing chicken)
- 1 3½- to 4-pound whole chicken (if there are giblets please make sure they’re removed)
- 1 cup chicken broth (can use water also)
Start by adjusting your oven rack to the lowest position and pre-heat oven to 450° F.
Start by combining 1 Tbsp. of the oil, chopped rosemary, garlic, lemon zest, ½ tsp. salt and ½ tsp. pepper in a small bowl. Use your fingers to carefully loosen the skin from the breasts, thighs, and drumsticks. Spread the mixture evenly under the skin carefully lifting the skin as you go.
Next, rub the remaining Tbsp. of oil over the outside of the skin and sprinkle with the remaining salt and pepper. Lastly, place the lemon halves and rosemary sprigs inside the cavity and tie the legs together with some string.
Place a rack in a large ovenproof skillet or small roasting pan and place the chicken on top. Roast for 20 minutes, then add the broth or water to the pan and continue to roast for another 45-55 mins. or until the chicken is cooked through and the thigh meat registers 180° F on a meat thermometer.
When cooked, transfer the bird to a cutting board and let it rest for at least 15 minutes before carving. When cooled enough, carve that birth and enjoy!
Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to a week and make badass sandwiches!
Roasted Garlic Sweet Potato Mash
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
¾ cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
1½ tsp. sea salt
Fresh black pepper (to your taste)
Place the unpeeled garlic cloves on a small piece of tin foil and drizzle with olive oil (fairly generously), then wrap the cloves in the foil. Place the pouch in the oven with the chicken for the first 35-40 mins. (making sure it doesn’t burn).*
Place the sweet potato chunks in a large pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil then cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 mins. or until the potato is soft when poked with a fork.
Drain the potatoes and mash with a masher (or large fork). Add in the yogurt, garlic, salt and pepper and combine. I use an electric hand mixer for this to get a really creamy texture and to ensure the garlic is well combined.
Plate alongside your chicken or other main and enjoy! Can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for a few days.
*If you’re making these potatoes on their own or with another dish, simply pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and roast the garlic for 45 mins. or so.