There is a certain euphoria that is associated with eating good food. And today, I felt that “high” that no drug could ever provide. To set the scene, picture yourself in a little community kitchen with 10 other older ladies from Latin America, preparing a meal without a single recipe. In fact, I had tried to push some of my suggestions their way, but politely, they would not have it. Decades of tradition reigned over measuring out ingredients, as rosy-cheeked grandmothers with gusto prepared a feast of “Pollo a la Nora” (Chicken, Nora-Style), “Arroz con Safran” (Saffron Rice) and Ensalada Greca (Greek Salad), the latter being my humble suggestion to help increase fruits and vegetables in the usual diet (yes, the dietitian in me always prevails). After much stirring, chopping, grilling, and sautee-ing, we all sat down at a neatly set table, ready to share a meal together, but not before one of our ladies said a prayer of thanks. There is something to be said for delicious food being good for you: every bite was made with love.
Pollo a la Nora
1) 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2) 1 cup fresh baby spinach
3) juice of 3 lemons
4) 1 bulb of garlic, finely chopped
5) 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
6) salt and pepper to taste
Filet the chicken breast by slicing it down the middle length-wise half-way, then slicing side-ways (parallel to the cutting board), but not all the way through the filet. Open the filet from the centre, similar to a book. Stuff with a mixture of garlic, fresh spinach, grated parmesan, and salt and pepper. Shut flaps closed. Heat a large skillet and pour in lemon juice. Add stuffed chicken filets and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes on each side. Let rest for 10 minutes. Slice filets sideways into 4 pieces before serving.