Chicken with Sage.

When I competed as a fitness competitor I used to eat a lot of chicken.  I would eat it every day, often more than once a day.  I practically had feathers.  cluck.

These days I (thankfully) eat it far less.  However the advantage of having eaten so much is that I have a fairly formidable stash of easy chicken recipes.  One of my personal favourites is chicken baked with sage and green olives.  Easy for a week night dinner served with a simple green salad but special enough to be served with risotto and fresh local mushrooms for company.  The best part?  No fitness competitions required.

Chicken with Sage and Olives


  • 3 chicken breasts with the skin on (bone in or out)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup mixed green olives such as cerignola or nocellara
  • 3 sprigs of fresh sage (approximately 8 medium size leaves), chopped (leave some whole)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Optional: 1/4 Dry white wine in place of chicken stock and lemon


  • Cut each chicken breast in half.  Place in bowl, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with half of the sage, and salt and pepper.  Toss.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Heat oil in a large oven proof casserole dish.
  • Sear chicken in dish on top of the stove.  Ensure that some of the garlic and sage gets cooked too.
  • When chicken is seared on all sides, turn off heat.  Pour stock and lemon (or wine) into dish, scraping the drippings off the bottom of the pan.
  • Add olives and remaining sage.
  • Cover and place in oven for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, remove the lid.  If there is no remaining liquid at the bottom of the dish add a bit more stock or wine.  Continue to cook another 15 minutes.

Tuna melts for two.

Some weeks are just lazy cooking weeks.  You’re sick, you’re busy, the kids (or cats in my case) need to go to the doctor, the house is a disaster, laundry piles up and the weather outside gets worse. That was last week.  Dinners were uninspired to say the least.  It was kind of an open-up-the-fridge-and-see-what-you-can-create week.  The result was a lot of simple meals.  Nothing fancy, just the basics.

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Cook (those) books recipe report.

Earlier in October I presented the Cook (those) books challenge.  Simply, the goal was to cook two brand new recipes a week exactly as written in the recipe.   Two weeks in and I’ve had some hits and misses.  Here’s what I tried.

First up was my choice.  Black Pepper Tempeh from Super Natural Every Day.  While any recipe by Heidi Swanson is usually a winner, this one was teeming with the potential for disaster.  The major ones being that neither of us are huge fans of tempeh or cauliflower, the two key ingredients.  This of course begs the question “why choose it then?”.  My only answer to that would be because that’s the point of the challenge!  Visually I can’t say it was too appetizing, but it sure did taste good.  It was a bit sweet for me, but had lots of zest and nice and fiery.   Best part, it (surprisingly) made a great cold lunch the next day with a bit of thai chili sauce added for extra spice.  Keeper number one.

Second up was my husbands choice.  Crunchy Garlic Chicken from Jamie’s Food Revolution .  Now this one should have been a no brainer.  Sadly, while it tasted quite good I was forced to adapt the recipe to make it work.  Despite both of us reading the recipe several times over we could not figure out how to get the crust to actually coat the chicken.  I finally gave up and added about a cup of panko and it worked perfectly.  The next day we took leftovers and chopped them over some pasta, in the Italian style of adding breadcrumbs, which was delicious.  I’d make this again for sure, but unless Jamie wants to come and show me himself how to make it work I would add the extra panko.

On to week two.

The week started out well with the best recipe yet.  My husband chose braised short ribs from the Earth to Table Cookbook by Jeff Crump.  I am yet to make a recipe from this cookbook that isn’t a success and this was no exception.  Beef short ribs are always a bargain from the butcher. and the recipe was super simple.  After only 3 hours cooking these were tender and flavourful beyond belief.  Thankfully there was extra sauce as the next day it was heavenly over some fresh fettuccini.  Absolute keeper number two.

Sadly the week went downhill from there.  I made an amazing recipe based on a dish from The Glorious Pasta of Italy but to be fair, it can’t count towards the challenge as I changed it up a bit based on availability of ingredients.  However, I did manage to use the last of the leftover chicken from the Jamie Oliver recipe – so maybe that brings it back in the running. As always though I highly recommend this cookbook and, after I’ve experimented with my variation a bit more I’ll share it too.

Also attempted were pumpkin muffins adapted from a recipe on and some jalapeno tea biscuits that tasted good but were a complete disaster as biscuits (I’m not even going to share where this recipe came from).  These two recipes just convinced me, yet again, that baking just is not my thing.

So all in all I’d say these last two weeks were a success.  Some brand new by the book recipes and some more great ideas.  Stay tuned to see what this week will bring.

So many recipes, so little time.