Category Archives: Low Carb

Easter Entertaining Part 2


First of all, how awesome does this set look?  Big shout out to Party City for the Egg-celent Easter decorations!  Now, let’s talk about what I like to call “deceptively delicious” menu planning.  I don’t have kids (yet!) but I do know from my experience with children that sometimes you have to get them to be creative when it comes to eating the “good for you” stuff.  It’s as easy as swapping out milk for Premier Protein in this delicious recipe.  They come out thin and crispy and super delish!  I added just a touch of Grade B maple syrup.


Then, the whole family gets a boost of energy without all the sugar.  The recipe calls for Premier Protein’s Vanilla Shake – which is packed with 30g of protein, only 1g of sugar and 160 calories.  It’s a yummy and healthy option for your family’s Easter brunch.

In the mood for a smoothie instead?  You can make a Carrot Cake smoothie that you, the kids (and the Easter Bunny) will rave about!

Carrot Cake Smoothie
A healthy alternative to carrot cake all packed into a smoothie with 30 grams of protein
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  1. 1 Premier Protein vanilla shake
  2. 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
  3. 1/2 frozen banana
  4. 1 cup spinach
  5. 1 1oz box of raisins
  6. 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  7. Dash of ground nutmeg
  8. Dash of ground cloves
  9. Splash of honey
  10. 3 ice cubes
  1. Blend until smooth and enjoy!
What's on Parker's Plate?
Filling the kiddos’ eggs with sweets?  Swap out junk food for scrumptious, healthy Honey Bunches of Oats Crunch O’s.  Fill your kids’ Easter basket with colorful eggs stuffed with the cereal. It makes the perfect snack — as well as traditional cereal.


New Honey Bunches of Oats Crunch O’s is made with the addition of whole grain O’s to to the traditional mix of flakes and bunches, which adds more crunch, texture and variety in every spoonful.  My favorite is the Honey Crunch O’s!  You know when you finish a bowl of cereal and then there’s milk left over that the cereal has been soaking in?  OMG. Creamy, yummy sips of honey! 


Now let’s talk Farm to Table Sandwiches with Hellmann’s Organic Original Mayonnaise.  Specifically, Asiago & Prosciutto Toasts with Hellmann’s Organic Garlic Mayonnaise and an Open-Faced Salmon Sandwiches with Herb Cucumber Relish.  Can anyone say, Easter Brunch?  

Hellmann’s just introduced 2 new products – the first-ever organic mayonnaise and plant-based, eggless spread – both of which make great bases for lighter twists on classic spring and summer recipes– from salads to dips.  The organic mayo is USDA-certified with no artificial flavoring or preservatives and is available in 3 delicious flavors: Original, Roasted Garlic, and Spicy Chipotle.  This creamy delish from Hellmann’s, free from cholesterol, eggs, and artificial colors and flavors.


This is going to be my new GO-TO entertaining appetizer– I was literally licking the melty mayo cheese off the toasts after the segment on Atlanta & Company!  

Asiago & Prosciutto Toasts
A creamy, melty, savory topping with asiago, prosciutto and garlic mayo on crostinis.
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  1. 1 cup grated Asiago cheese
  2. 1/3 cup Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Organic Garlic Mayonnaise
  3. 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, about 5 slices, chopped
  4. 1 loaf (12-in.) French baguette, sliced into 18 pieces
  5. 3 Tbsp. balsamic glaze
  6. 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil leaves
  1. Combine Asiago, Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Organic Garlic Mayonnaise and prosciutto in small bowl.
  2. Spread cheese mixture evenly on baguette slices, then arrange on baking sheet.
  3. Broil until golden, about 3 minutes. Arrange toasts on serving platter, then drizzle with balsamic glaze and sprinkle with basil.
  1. Tip: To make your own balsamic glaze, simmer balsamic vinegar over medium heat until thickened and it coats the back of a spoon.
What's on Parker's Plate?
 The open faced salmon sandwich has an herb cucumber relish that takes it to a whole new level of awesome.  It’s so refreshing and tastes like spring!

salmon open faced

Open-Faced Salmon Sandwiches with Herb Cucumber Relish
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  1. 1/2 cup Hellmann's® or Best Foods Organic Original Mayonnaise
  2. 1/4 cup finely chopped cucumber
  3. 3 Tbsp. finely chopped red onion
  4. 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh herbs, (dill, tarragon or parsley)
  5. 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  6. 4 slices pumpernickel bread, toasted
  7. 1 cup lightly packed arugula
  8. 4 slices beefsteak tomato
  9. 8 ounces salmon fillet, broiled or poached, cut into 4 pieces
  1. Combine Hellmann's® Organic Original, cucumber, onion, herbs and mustard in small bowl.
  2. Spread 1 tablespoon cucumber relish on each toast slice. Evenly top with arugula, tomato, salmon, then remaining relish.
What's on Parker's Plate?
Now that the little ones have had their fill of the Easter candy, it’s time to get them to brush their teeth!  The dreaded before bed task!  Hello Toothpaste has flavors the kids will LOVE: choose from hello’s bubble gum, blue raspberry or fluoride free natural watermelon.


When I was a kid, my parents would always give us stockings filled with toiletries, like toothpaste, toothbrushes and shampoo.  Easter is the perfect opportunity to do a “Clean and Healthy Teeth” basket!  And, hello’s flavors not only get the kid’s teeth clean (after eating that chocolate Easter Bunny) the flavors tastes so good that they won’t argue with you!

Each toothpaste is as natural as can be with products free from dyes, parabens, microbeads or artificial sweeteners.

Just don’t be surprised when they start going through the tubes faster than normal!  On that note, hello and Happy Easter!

*This is a sponsored post by Premier Protein, Honey Bunches Of Oats, Hellman’s and hello toothpaste, but all opinions are my own.

Protein Pancakes

Protein Pancakes with Premier Protein

Protein Pancakes with Premier Protein

Who doesn’t love pancakes?  When I was a kid, my Grandma Ronnie would sometimes make us pancakes for dinner and it was always the best treat!  Since I started eating healthier and cut out a lot of the sugary, carb heavy foods from my diet, pancakes are something I’ve (*sob!) given up for the most part.  But, when I partnered with Premier Protein for a segment on recipes you can make with their yummy shakes, I was blown away by the taste, texture and how good for you these pancakes really are!  My favorite kind get crispy on the edges and these are utter perfection!  (I did put a little bit of butter in my frying pan, btw.)

Perfectly golden with crispy edges

Perfectly golden with crispy edges

The shakes are pretty awesome on their own– and with only 1 gram of sugar, 160 calories and a whopping 30 grams of protein, there’s zero guilt and none of that chalky aftertaste you sometimes get with protein shakes.  I made this recipe on set for my friend Tony Pagnotti from Fox 45 in Baltimore– he loved them so much he came back into the studio after our segment was done, looking for more!!

Now that is a man who LOVES his pancakes!

Now that is a man who LOVES his pancakes!

By the way, not many people make me look tiny (I’m almost 6 feet tall!)  Tony is the kind of guy I love cooking for because he tells you how much he loves your food!  The pancakes (and pizza) definitely did not disappoint.

Who's hungry, y'all?

Who’s hungry, y’all?

Here’s the recipe— feel free to add in blueberries, chocolate chips or nuts for even more texture and flavor.  Check out the segment on Fox 45 below!


*This post was sponsored by Premier Protein, but all opinions are my own.



Chicken Sausage

Buffalo Chicken Sausage Bites 2 Ways

Chicken Sausage

Buffalo Chicken Sausage Bites

My new motto is “Sausage Swap,” y’all!  It really is the new bacon, if you haven’t heard.  Skewer some for a garnish on your Bloody Mary and add it to Dirty Rice for a “Quick and Dirty Dinner!”

I teamed up with Johnsonville again to bring you even more sausage delish– so you can sausage-ize your favorite Game Day dishes.  Instead of boring old buffalo chicken wings, swap out with sausage– I made 2 different versions of Buffalo Chicken Sausage bites.  You’re not only swapping out for big flavor, you’re also saving on calories, sodium and fat.  Chicken sausage has 50% less fat than classic smoked beef sausage and 25% less sodium.  I also love how versatile it is–  in one of these recipes, you’re simply slicing the sausage as is— in the other, you pull it out of the casing and form meatballs with the addition of jalapenos and mango for a sweet and spicy kick!  

You can use buffalo sauce right out of the bottle, but if you add a little melted butter, a few Tablespoons of blue cheese and a bit of white vinegar, the sauce tastes soooo much better.  Trust me on this one!

Another tip, once you form your chicken sausage meatballs, saute them in a pan to brown the outside– it also seals in the juicy flavor— and then cook them off in the oven.

Chicken sausage meatballs on the set of Great Day Washington.

Chicken sausage meatballs on the set of Great Day Washington.

Great Day Washington

With Great Day Washington hosts Chris Leary and Markette Sheppard.

It’s actually a miracle I made it to the set, since I got trapped in the “Pre-Blizzard Ice Storm” that hit the DC area Wednesday night!  I didn’t make it home with my groceries until after midnight (what should have been a 20 minute commute took 4 1/2 hours!) Thank goodness Mama Parker stepped in and helped me prep and cook till 3am!  

Here’s the link to the segment on Great Day Washington and see below for the recipes…..

*This post and segment was sponsored by Johnsonville Sausage, but all opinions are my own.

Buffalo Chicken Sausage Bites
Yummy, savory chicken sausage with buffalo sauce and blue cheese
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  1. 1 cup Canola oil
  2. 1 package Johnsonville Apple Chicken Sausage
  3. 2 teaspoons chili powder
  4. 2 teaspoons corn starch
  5. 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  6. 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  7. 1 cup sour cream
  8. ¼ cup blue cheese, crumbled
  9. 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  1. In a 4 quart saucepan, heat the oil on moderate heat. While the oil is heating, cut the sausages in 1/2 inch coins, and place in a bowl.
  2. Add the chili powder and corn starch and combine thoroughly.
  3. When the oil is hot (350 degrees), add half the Chicken Apple Sausage slices and fry until brown and the casings are shrinking just a bit.
  4. Remove and drain on a pan lined with paper towels and cook the remaining sausage. Coat with melted butter and hot sauce.
  5. Make the dip by combining the blue cheese and sour cream, adding lemon juice until it reaches your desired consistency.
  6. Serve with the buffalo chicken sausage bites.
What's on Parker's Plate?
Buffalo Chicken Sausage Meatballs
Spicy chicken sausage mixed with jalapeno and mango, drenched in tangy buffalo sauce with blue cheese dressing.
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For the meatballs
  1. 2 lbs. Johnsonville spicy chicken sausage taken out of casings
  2. ½ onion finely chopped
  3. 1 cup mangoes diced
  4. 2 cloves of garlic minced
  5. ¼ C. cilantro chopped
  6. 2-3 tbsp. finely diced jalapeño
  7. 1 eggs
  8. 1 Tb chili powder
  9. 1 tsp salt
  10. 1 tsp cumin
  11. ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  12. ½ tsp. ground black pepper
For the Buffalo Sauce
  1. 1 bottle of buffalo hot sauce
  2. 3 Tb melted butter
  3. 2 Tb white vinegar
  4. 3 Tb blue cheese
  5. Combine ingredients in a sauce pan and serve warm.
For the Blue Cheese Dressing
  1. 1 cup sour cream
  2. ¼ cup blue cheese (plus more if you want)
  3. 2 Tb fresh lemon juice
  4. kosher salt to taste
  5. chives for garnish
For the meatballs
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Add all ingredients into a bowl and combine thoroughly. Form into golf ball sized meatballs.
  3. Saute meatballs in 1 Tb butter and 1 Tb canola oil until browned all over (but not cooked through).
  4. Put meatballs on parchment paper or a greased rimmed baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
  6. Pour buffalo sauce over meatballs and drizzle with blue cheese dressing. Sprinkle with more blue cheese and chives.
For the Buffalo Sauce
  1. Combine ingredients in a sauce pan on medium heat and pour over meatballs (or dip in with sauce on side).
For the Blue Cheese Dressing
  1. Combine ingredients and drizzle over meatballs.
  2. Serve with chopped chives sprinkled over meatballs.
What's on Parker's Plate?


Bacon Bites

Bacon-licious Sausage Bites Stuffed with Cheese

Bacon Bites

Crispy Bacon wrapped around sausage stuffed with cheese

Introducing my latest edition of Tailgating Fabulous, Bacon babe reporting….

These might be illegal in 11 states.  We’re talking pieces of kielbasa wrapped in bacon and then stuffed with a mixture of cream and Mexican cheeses, sprinkled with a little brown sugar and BBQ rub.  OH yeah, baby.

When you wrap the bacon around the kielbasa pieces, the bottom of the bacon is flush against the sausage so there’s room to pipe the cheese and green chili mixture in.  You can secure them with toothpicks or put them on a skewer.

Bacon wrapped kielbasa

Once you wrap the bacon around the kielbasa, you’ll have room to pipe the cheese on top. *Pic courtesy of Egg Head Forum.

If you don’t have access to a grill, just put these bad boys in the oven at 300 for 45 minutes to slow cook that bacon– then crank it up to 450 for about 10 minutes to crisp up the bacon.  

Bacon Bites of Awesome

Warning: You won’t be able to eat just one!

Now, let’s talk beer….

Bacon Bites Paired with Lager

Pair these baconlicious bites with an American Lager

Pair Baconlicious Sausage & Cheese Bites with an American Lager.  A classic American lager has a malty sweetness that highlights the smokiness of the bacon and the savory, creamy sausage and cheese layer.  The lager’s balance of crisp hoppiness accentuates the rich flavors without being overpowering.

Bacon-licious Sausage Bites Stuffed with Cheese
Mini bites of smoky, savory, creamy delish!
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  1. 2 (8oz) packages of full fat cream cheese
  2. 1 package thick cut bacon
  3. 1 package of kielbasa sausage (cut into 1/2 inch slices)
  4. 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese
  5. 1/2 cup mild green chilies drained
  6. BBQ rub, brown sugar & cayenne to sprinkle
  1. Preheat grill (or oven to 300 degrees)
  2. Cut up kielbasa and wrap with bacon. Secure with a wooden toothpick.
  3. Mix the cream cheese with the Mexican cheese with green chilies. Put in a Ziploc bag or a Pastry bag. Fill cheese mixture to the top of the bacon.
  4. Sprinkle with your favorite BBQ rub, some brown sugar and a little cayenne.
  5. Grill until bacon is done to your favorite level of crispy!
  6. *Alternately, you can bake at 400 on a tin foil covered baking sheet for 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until cheese is slightly browned and bacon is crispy.
What's on Parker's Plate?
Bacon Artichoke Dip

Hot Bacon and Artichoke Dip

Bacon Artichoke Dip

Cheesey, smoky, gooey Bacon Artichoke Dip

This is the kind of dip you want to sneak downstairs for in the middle of the night and lick right off your fingers!  It’s got the smoky flavor from bacon, the earthiness of artichokes and the cheesy goodness of 2 different types of cheese– mozzarella and parmesan.  This is the kind of dip you can pop into a crock pot and take to the big game– just make sure you double the recipe, because it’s going to go faster than Odell Beckham heading toward the one yard line!  Whoop!

Belgian Witbier Pairing

Pair Bacon Artichoke Dip with a Belgian Witbier.

Looking for a good beer pairing?  Try a Belgian-Style Witbier.  The crisp coriander and citrus notes of a Belgian-style Witbier help cut through the richness of the cheese while letting the flavors of creamy artichoke and bacon take center stage.  This Witbier’s effervescence also helps cleanse the palate with a zesty, slightly spicy touch.

Bacon Artichoke Dip

Top with some extra parmesan to create a crispy, cheesy crust.

Hot Bacon and Artichoke Dip
Smoky bacon, earthy artichoke and 2 cheeses make this the perfect game day dip!
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  1. 1/2 sweet onion
  2. 6 slices of bacon cup up
  3. 8oz full fat cream cheese
  4. 1/2 cup mayo
  5. 1 can drained artichoke hearts roughly chopped
  6. 3/4 cup mozzarella
  7. 1/3 cup grated parmesan (plus more to sprinkle on top of casserole)
  8. dash worcestershire sauce
  9. squeeze of lemon
  10. 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  1. Saute onion and bacon together until bacon is cooked through.
  2. Combine the rest of ingredients until mixed. (Using paddle attachment on the mixer is easiest).
  3. Spoon into a casserole dish and top with extra parmesan.
  4. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned on top.
  5. Serve immediately or put into a crock pot to keep warm on game day.
What's on Parker's Plate?
Thai Cucumber Cups

Thai Beef Tenderloin Cucumber Cups

Thai Cucumber Cups

These yummy bites have 3 cooling ingredients: mint, cucumber and chili pepper

I love a food challenge, so when my producer from The Weather Channel called and said, “Can you put together a segment on foods that cool?”  I said, “COOL!  Yes, I can!”

One of the most interesting things I found in my research is that surprisingly, hot chili peppers are a cooling food….they make you hot initially, but sweating detoxifies and ultimately cools you down.  Cucumber is the most water dense solid food— a whopping 96% water!  And mint is soothing and cooling as well.  What do you get when you combine all three with some high quality beef?  Thai Beef Tenderloin Cucumber Cups.  Plus, they’re low carb– no wontons in this recipe!  The presentation is gorgeous and the bites are so yummy!


AIR HD 2015-07-31 09 55 41 (5) from Parker Wallace on Vimeo.

Thai Beef Tenderloin Cucumber Cups
Low carb cucumber cups stuffed with marinated beef tenderloin, mint and Thai Basil.
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For the marinade
  1. 1 tsp fish sauce
  2. juice from 1/2 lime
  3. 1 Tb brown sugar
  4. 1 tsp chili paste (I use Sambal Oelek)
  5. 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  6. 1 Thai Chili chopped
  7. 1 shallot sliced into thin rings
  8. handful of Thai Basil and fresh mint chopped up
  9. 1 piece beef tenderloin
  10. red bell pepper strips and sesame seeds (for garnish)
For the cups
  1. 1 English cucumber sliced 1 inch thick, the insides scooped out for a cup.
  2. Cucumber
  1. Combine marinade ingredients.
  2. Slice and scoop out cucumber.
  3. Cook tenderloin to medium rare and slice thinly.
  4. Combine meat with marinade. Chill for 2 hours.
  5. Stuff marinated meat into cucumber cups.
  6. Top with sesame seeds and a single strip of red bell pepper.
What's on Parker's Plate?
Pesto Salmon

Pesto Salmon

Pesto Salmon

Baked Salmon with Homemade Pesto

I have always been a salmon lover, whether it’s lox or sushi rolls— it’s really a fish you can take in any direction in terms of cooking.  My grandma Ronnie used to put a coat of mayo on top, sprinkle with paprika and bake it in the oven.  Because salmon is a stronger tasting fish, you can rock out a more flavorful sauce or topping without losing the essence of the fish.  Inspired by my garden, I pulled a combo of fresh basil and Thai basil (which is a little more “peppery”) and turned it into homemade pesto.


Fresh basil in my garden

I like my pesto a little bit more garlicky, so I add more than typical recipes call for.  Seriously, y’all, I could eat pesto on anything!  Fold it into pasta with a little heavy cream for a rich sauce, top it on your eggs, bake it with your chicken— it’s multi-purpose and multi-delicious!

Pesto Salmon
Easy, homemade pesto topped on fresh salmon
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  1. 2 Salmon Filets
  2. 2 cups fresh basil
  3. 3 garlic cloves
  4. 1/4 cup pine nuts
  5. 2/3 cup olive oil
  6. 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  7. salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Lay out the salmon filets on a baking pan.
  3. Put basil, pine nuts, parmesan, and garlic in food processor and pulse until combined. Slowly add olive oil while food processor is on until pesto is smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Spoon pesto over salmon filets.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes.
  6. Serve with more pesto on the side.
What's on Parker's Plate?
Steak Omelet

Steak and Potato Omelet from Memorial Day Grill Leftovers

Why wait for dinner to have your grilled leftovers?   Hello delish breakfast!

Why wait for dinner to have your grilled leftovers? Hello delish breakfast! (Photo Credit: Michelle Stuckey, WXIA)

Hope you guys had a fabulous Memorial Day weekend!  Got steak leftovers?  No need to wait for another dinner….this is the perfect, protein packed breakfast for the next day!  You can crisp up your taters, warm up your veggies and fold that perfectly cooked steak into an omelet or scramble topped with your favorite cheese.  Steak Leftover tip:  Don’t cut up all of your steak at dinner— it will be easier to reheat without drying out it out.  Pop your meat into some tin foil (it will steam a bit while in the oven) and reheat at 400 for 5-7 minutes.

Steak and Potato Omelet
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  1. Leftover steak, potato and veggies
  2. 3 eggs
  3. Cheese
  4. salt and pepper to taste
  1. Warm up your leftover steak, potato and vegetables wrapped in foil for 5-7 minutes at 400.
  2. Whisk together 3 eggs and pour into a hot omelet pan coated with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. When one side is done, flip omelet and cook on other side.
  4. Fold in warmed up steak, potatoes and veggies.
  5. Top with your favorite cheese.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
What's on Parker's Plate?
I’m wrapping up a statewide tour for Georgia Beef Month– here’s my latest segment in Atlanta with Suzanne Bentley from the Georgia Beef Board.

A huge thank you to the super talented Michelle Stuckey for the great photo featured in this recipe!


Charred Lemon Chicken Piccata

Buttery, Lemony Chicken Delish

Buttery, Lemony Chicken Delish

I love Italian dishes, but they tend to be super carb heavy (read: pasta) and the sauces often use loads of flour to thicken them up.  This piccata dish is a version of a Cooking Light recipe I found online and modified a bit– I cut the flour and sugar in half to make it more low-carb friendly.  I also cooked the lemons longer to caramelize them, so instead of just adding some lemony flavor, you can eat them and they practically melt in your mouth.  OMG, they’re so good!  No need to pound the chicken down, just get the thinly sliced cutlets and it saves you the work.

Charred Lemon Chicken Piccata
Serves 4
Buttery, Lemony Chicken Piccata
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  1. 4 garlic cloves, halved
  2. 2 lemons sliced into thin rounds
  3. 1/2 tsp sugar
  4. 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless thinly sliced chicken cutlets
  5. Pinch of kosher salt and pepper for chicken
  6. 1 Tb olive oil
  7. 4 Tb unsalted butter (divided)
  8. 1 Tb chopped shallot or onion
  9. 1 Tb chopped garlic
  10. 1 thyme sprig
  11. 1/2 cup dry white wine
  12. 1 cup chicken stock
  13. 1/2 tsp all-purpose flour
  14. 2 Tb capers, rinsed and drained
  15. 2 Tb chopped fresh sage
  1. Combine lemon slices, sugar, and garlic cloves in a medium bowl.
  2. Dry chicken on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tb oil and 1 Tb butter; swirl to coat.
  3. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until done. Place chicken on a plate. Add remaining 1 Tb butter oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add lemon mixture to pan; cook 5-6 minutes until lemon slices are lightly browned, turning occasionally. Return lemon mixture to bowl.
  4. Wipe pan with paper towels. Heat pan over medium heat. Add 1 Tb butter to pan; swirl until butter melts. Add shallot, garlic, and thyme sprig; cook 1 minute. Add wine to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil; cook 3 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Add remaining stock and flour to pan, stirring with a whisk.
  5. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until liquid is reduced to about 2/3 cup. Remove pan from heat, discarding thyme sprigs.
  6. Stir in remaining 1 Tb butter and capers, stirring until butter melts. Return chicken and any juices to pan; turn to coat with sauce. Top chicken with lemon mixture. Sprinkle with chopped sage.
Adapted from Cooking Light
Adapted from Cooking Light
What's on Parker's Plate?

Chicken Tikka Masala

an Indian chicken favorite

Chicken Tikka Masala

Traditionally, Chicken Tikka Masala is marinated in a yogurt blend to tenderize the chicken.  I didn’t have any on hand, so I made do without and the finished product tasted so authentic and delish!  When I was at the farmer’s market the last time, I picked up a box of Chicken Tikka spice mix— normally I always mix my own spice mixes, but this looked so, well, authentic, I decided to give it a shot.

spice mix

Found this at the Farmer’s Market

So glad I did!  If you make your own mix, there are a ton of recipes out there— it’s usually a blend of cumin, coriander, ginger, mint, garam masala, paprika, chili powder and garlic powder.  I did a little research on the origin of Chicken Tikka Masala, (I used to be news reporter, so color me curious!) and this is an interesting tid bit from the Food Detective’s Diary:

To fathom the extraordinary fable of Chicken Tikka Masala, we should travel to 5000 years ago when tandoor clay ovens were invented. Locals were beginning to raise chickens at the same time and realized both made an awesome combination. But the small bite sized pieces which we now call ‘Tikka’ came into existence- thanks to the nitpicking of an emperor, Babur, the founder of the Mughal dynasty in South Asia was so sick (or afraid) of choking on the chicken bones, he ordered his Punjabi chefs to remove the bones before cooking the meat in the tandoor. The resulting delicacy was called – Joleh, Persian for Tikka.

 Delicacy indeed!  

I squeezed the juice of 4 lemons, mixed with the spice mix, added a few squeezes of ginger and garlic paste from my favorite Gourmet Garden products and cut up an onion.  Then, I sealed it all in a ziploc and let it marinate for 3 hours.  Boom.

You could skewer the chicken and grill it, but #aintnoonegottimeforthat so I threw those bad boys on my stove top skillet and in 10 minutes they were done.  That fast, that perfect!  I served it with some roasted potatoes and asparagus— my man was HAPPY.  And so am I, to share the recipe with you!

Chicken Tikka Masala
Serves 4
Quick and Easy Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe
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For the marinade
  1. 1 package of Chicken Tikka Masala spice mix (or make your own-- about 1/4 cup of spices total)
  2. 1 package of boneless chicken tenders
  3. juice of 4 lemons
  4. 1 onion cut up
  5. 2 Tb fresh ginger (I use the fresh paste from Gourmet Gardens)
  6. 2 Tb fresh garlic (paste from Gourmet Gardens)
To cook
  1. 1 Tb butter
  2. 1 Tb canola oil
  3. Chopped cilantro for garnish
For the marinade
  1. Mix marinade ingredients together and coat chicken. Place in a ziploc baggie and chill in the fridge for 3 hours.
To cook the Chicken Tikka Masala
  1. If using a grill pan, heat up the butter and oil on medium high heat.
  2. Add the chicken but don't crowd the pan.
  3. Cook for 5 minutes on each side.
  4. Let rest for 5 minutes and serve.
  5. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
What's on Parker's Plate?