The Accidental Nutritionist

3 Eaters, 1 Mission

Notes From Jamie – Week 14

“What are the rudimentary recipes for Charlie’s top 5 favorite meal picks?”

Photo by Jeff Sheldon on Unsplash

“Recipes for Charlie’s Top 5”*

(*This list is based on Charlie’s list article week)

Herb braised chicken with fennel and leek

(Pic by Charlie)

I prefer thighs for this recipe, but chicken breast would work fine, too. 

Lightly salt the chicken, and sear with a splash of olive oil in a hot pan. 

Remove the chicken and add thinly sliced fennel and leek (save the fennel fronds). 

Cook for a few minutes, then add garlic, broth, and the herbs of your choice. (An herb blend, like herbs de provence is nice here, but you could also pick one or two to make them stand out. I’d start with rosemary and/or thyme.)

Nestle the chicken into the fennel and leeks, put a lid on, but leave a crack, and cook on low for about 20 minutes or until the chicken juice runs clear. 

Serve the chicken on a bed of the fennel and leek with a sprinkle of fennel fronds.

Rosemary and sage roasted pork with cauliflower potatoes and garlic green beans

For the pork:

Pick whatever cut of pork brings you joy (or is on sale: my usual strategy). Coat with a dry rub of rosemary and sage (and thyme, if you like, it pair very nicely with the other two), a little salt, and pepper if you wish. 

Sear all sides of the pork in a hot oven safe pan (I use cast iron) with a splash of olive oil. 

Then pop into a hot oven until done. 

For the “potatoes:”

Chop a head of cauliflower into florets and steam—ideally with some of the florets actually in the water. I just fill my pot with a little more water so the strainer is resting in it. 

Once the florets are tender, pop them in the food processor until they’re the right consistency. Add a little olive oil, if you like, and garlic powder. 

For the green beans:
Snap the ends off fresh green beans (or just grab a bag of frozen ones) and saute them in a hot pan with olive oil and salt. 

Once they turn bright green, turn down the heat, and add some freshly chopped garlic. Let them cook together briefly before pulling off the stove.

Sesame orange chicken with cauliflower rice and veggies

(Pic by Charlie)

For the chicken:

Chop chicken breasts into bite size pieces and coat with a mixture of toasted sesame oil, freshly squeezed orange juice, a little gluten free soy sauce, and Chinese five spice if you have it. If you like it, you could also add a dash of fish sauce for a kick of umami.

You can bake these in the oven or sear them on the stove top (or bust out the air fryer!), but remember how small the pieces are—it won’t take long! 

For the “rice:”

Cauliflower rice is made just like cauliflower mashed potatoes (above), but you do not want the florets to touch water while they steam. This will introduce too much water and you will end up with mashed potatoes whether you wanted to or not. (This is the voice of experience!) Once knife tender (but maybe not yet fork tender), pop ‘em in the food processor and run in spurts until you have small rice-sized chunks. 

For the veggies:

Any veggies you might find in a stirfy will work with this dish. Carrots, celery, green beans, asparagus, zucchini, green and/or sweet peppers, etc. Saute them quickly with garlic, ginger, and maybe some lemongrass. 


Colcannon as it is served in Ireland is leftover mashed potatoes and cabbage mixed together. Charlie always added some leftover shredded corned beef to hers as well as carrots for a little color, so that’s what I tried to recreate for her.

The cauliflower mashed potatoes are the same as the ones made with the Rosemary and Sage roasted pork. 

The cabbage can be green or red according to your preference (green is more traditional), or you could use kale. Boil the cabbage until tender with some mustard seeds if you have them, or add a small dollop of mustard when the cabbage is cooked. Chop it into small pieces.

Instead of corned beef, I make an, er, corned pork roast. I start with a large pork roast, sear it on all sides in cast iron, then plop it in the slow cooker with whole peppercorns, whole cloves (careful, they’re strong!), whole cardamom pods, coriander, allspice, juniper berries, mustard seeds, fennel seeds, and bay leaves. A reusable tea bag will help you fish them all back out again. 

I add chopped carrots on the bottom to keep the pork from drowning in its own juices, and get it started with water about halfway up the side of the roast.

You could also cook the cabbage in here, but I do it separately to keep the fat content a bit lower.

To put it all together, shred a little bit of pork, chop a carrot up super fine, and mix them in with the cauliflower potatoes and chopped cabbage. 

You’re gonna want to taste this as you put it together because everyone likes a different blend. Feel free to add more of the corned beef/pork spices directly to the colcannon. I often spoon some of the broth created by the roast into mine. A little olive oil adds richness.

Herbs de Provence chicken with onion and garlic pinto beans and cauliflower rice

Slice an onion.

Sprinkle a dash of salt and a lot of herbs de provence on chicken breasts and bake them in the oven on top of the onions until the juice runs clear.

Cook whole pinto beans gently (so as not to mash), adding freshly chopped garlic and oregano part way through. (Garlic likes heat, but not too much.)

Chop the chicken and serve it with the cooked onions and pinto beans over cauliflower rice (see instructions under the sesame orange chicken).

~ Jamie

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