Candice Kumai has made a career out of creating recipes for amazingly tasty meals that won't bust your caloric bank.
Try these three fabulous recipes straight out of Candice's "Cook Yourself Sexy" for your next night in!
Whole Roasted Go-To Chicken
IF YOU MASTER ONLY TWO RECIPES in "Cook Yourself Sexy" book, it should be my Kale and Fennel Caesar on page 99 and this one. Dressed to kill with a garlic rub, stuffed with fresh aromatic herbs, this recipe is a knockout. Now you just need to worry about what to wear!
FWB: Chicken, garlic
Makes 6 servings
3⁄4 garlic head, peeled
1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 fresh thyme sprigs, stems discarded 1 tablespoon butter, softened
3⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
1 (5–6-pound) roasting chicken
1 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄2 lemon, thinly sliced into wheels 3 fresh thyme sprigs
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
1 garlic head, unpeeled, halved and broken into cloves
To make the garlic butter
In a food processor, combine all ingredients. Blend until a perfectly smooth paste forms.
To make the chicken
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. With clean hands, wash the chicken, remove the giblets, and pat the chicken completely dry with paper towels.
2. Lightly grease the bottom of a sturdy roasting pan. Salt the inside of the chicken with 1 teaspoon sea salt and stuff with the lemon wheels, thyme, rosemary, and garlic.
3. Using butcher's twine, truss the chicken (breast side up), making sure to tuck in the wings and legs tightly. Place the chicken in the roasting pan and generously baste it with the garlic butter.
4. Cover the chicken loosely with aluminum foil and roast for approximately 2 hours. (Cook whole roasting chick- ens, fully thawed, 20 to 25 minutes per pound.) Remove the foil for the last 30 minutes of roasting time. Make sure the internal temperature reaches 165°F, the juices run clear, and the flesh is firm to the touch.
Kale and Fennel Caesar
DOES YOUR MAN THINK HE'S TOO "manly" for salads? I've heard that a million times! Here's your answer. Loaded with tough kale, crunchy fennel, and protein-packed sardines, this bad boy is even topped with a creamy, hearty Caesar dressing. Trust me, your dude will ask for more (if you're willing to share!).
FWB: Kale, sardines
Makes 4 servings
1 bunch Lacinato/italian kale or 4 cups kale
1 fennel bulb, trimmed
1⁄4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
1 (31⁄2–4-ounce) can sardines packed in olive oil, oil reserved
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon roasted garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon reserved sardine oil from can
1⁄4 teaspoon fresh black pepper 1⁄8 teaspoon sea salt to make the salad
Thinly slice the kale into ribbons. Cut the fennel bulb in half, then thinly slice it into half-moons, preferably on a mandoline.
To make the dressing
In a large salad bowl, combine the egg yolk, balsamic vinegar, roasted garlic, and lemon juice. Whisk well. Stream in the olive oil and reserved sardine oil, slowly whisking to emulsify the egg and oil. Add pepper and sea salt as needed.*
Add the kale and fennel to the salad bowl and toss well to coat with the Caesar dressing. Add the sunflower seeds, plate up, and top with the sardines.
Keep it sexy: Not a fan of sardines? Try anchovies, a salty, classic touch for the perfect Caesar. or opt out of fish and add 1⁄4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese. The cheese will give you that hit of Caesar you need without too many extra calories.
Smashed Fingerling Potatoes
MASHED POTATOES MAY SOUND BORING, BUT these little babies are "smashed," giving them a little extra oomph—and they're simple to make. Plus, they're a great stress reliever! Mash and smash these away to ease your soul and your stomach.
FWB: POTATOES, THYME, OLIVE OIL
Makes 4-6 servings
2 pounds fingerling, baby russet, or blue potatoes
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon sea salt
1 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
2 Wash and completely dry all of the potatoes. Using a fork, poke holes in all of the potatoes, and preroast them whole for 30 minutes, just until tender. Remove the potatoes from the oven and carefully smash them using a fork or the back of a measuring cup to form a flat, rustic shape.
3 Sprinkle the potatoes with olive oil, salt, and thyme leaves. Toss well to coat evenly. Return them to the oven for approximately 20 to 25 minutes. Roast until the potatoes become crisp and golden brown.
Keep it sexy: Don't see any fingerlings? Check out the varieties of potatoes at your local farmers' market! I love baby reds and blues. Mash and smash them with extra garlic and rosemary for a flavorful new take on this side dish.
Photos by Lauren Volo
Recipes from "Cook Yourself Sexy" by Candice Kumai, Rodale Books 2012