Hooray for the first REAL meal cooked in the new apartment!!! Up until this point, it was pretty much granola bars, take out, and decent amount of wine (moving is stressful). After spending all day nesting, I finally made it out to the grocery store (umm Trader Joe’s, where have you been all my life??? Post totally coming on that soon). After a trip up to the building gym (which rocks), I set out to make SkinnyTaste Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Breasts. This recipe was awesome because it included my favorite part of buffalo wings… the blue cheese!! I like wings, but admittedly the blue cheese is my favorite part. Trader Joe’s chicken totally rocked. I got 5 large pieces to stuff and there was plenty left over. I grilled the leftover pieces on the George Forman Grill and made some “healthier chicken salad” for lunch!
While I was moving, I found this little gem hidden in the back of my cabinet. Oh yes, that is an off-brand Slap-Chop. Sold at Costco… purchased by me. I never use it for cutting up vegetables, but the recipe called for minced carrots and celery. Mincing is definitely in the Euro-Chop’s wheelhouse.
The filling was so good it was honestly difficult not to eat it straight out of the bowl with a spoon.
I decided to make the chicken the “star” of the meal and kept extras really simple. I did some small potatoes tossed with a little olive oil and garlic salt and kale.
But hands own the best part of this meal… was EATING AT A TABLE. It was so civilized compared to where I normally eat all my meals… my coffee table.
Needless to say, I’m obsessed with the new apartment, especially the kitchen. I cannot wait to try all kinds of new recipes I never had space for before! Maybe I’ll even try my hand at finally making homemade pasta! I do need to master a new cooking skill this fall (it’s on my to-do list)…
I love to cook. One of my favorite things in the world is to methodically work my way through creating a delicious meal, and then sharing it with people that I love (like Mike and Fig). But sometimes, cooking a big elaborate meal just isn’t in the cards. I still want to eat something healthy and delicious, but I’d rather spend less time cooking and more time snuggled up on the couch. Enter… 10 minute tacos! Literally ten minutes from refrigerator to table. Here’s what you’re going to need!
Extra Lean Ground Chicken
One Packet Taco Seasoning
Steam in Bag Rice
Shredded Mexican Cheese
I typically prefer to make my own rice in my rice cooker (24th birthday present from my amazing godmother… best appliance ever) but these Minute Rice Steamers are GREAT in a pinch. The broccoli / cheddar flavor is a favorite treat, but the Spanish rice was perfect for this recipe. While the rice was steaming in the microwave, I thawed some frozen chopped onion in a pan and cooked up the chicken with the taco seasoning and about 1/4 cup of water (the extra lean ground chicken doesn’t produce much moisture so the water helps mix the seasoning through the whole dish). I drew inspiration from this recipe on Peanut Butter Fingers. I don’t always have the foresight in the morning to put stuff in the crock pot, but this recipe is totally doable in a pan!
While the chicken was cooking through a plated up all the extras. I bought the petite diced tomatoes with green chilies for an extra kick of spice. Mike LOVED it. I’ve been on a serious black bean kick so I loaded up my plate and they were delicious.
We could have made little burritos or tacos, but I didn’t have any of those things so taco salads it was!!
Maybe next time 🙂
Inspired by yesterday’s post, I hit up the grocery store to get restocked post-Florida trip. When I travel a lot I tend to get lazy about grocery shopping and eat out a lot. This is not good for my bank account or my lifestyle! Mike and I are heading back out of town (with Fig) on Tuesday night for spend 5 days in North Carolina with my family, so I pre-planned meals to not over buy on groceries. Plus, I notice that Tina from Carrots’n’Cake pre-plans dinners for her weekly shopping trip and I thought it was a great idea! Here’s my dinner plan until Tuesday.
Wednesday: Jalapeno Popper Chicken with a side of roasted veggies
Thursday: Softball game so I’ll bring a sandwich with me to eat before the game
Friday: Pre-Saturday Long Run meal. Whole wheat pasta with ground turkey, marinara, broccoli and spinach.
Saturday: Eat out or scavenge something
Sunday: Eat out or scavenge something
Monday: Wheatberry Mock Risotto with Spinach, Red Peppers, and Chicken Sausage
Tuesday: Leftovers before getting on the road
Last night I went to a long, hot, sweaty yoga class and Mike has his track workout, so we had a later dinner at my house. Mike really likes jalapenos, but I have to admit they’re not my favorite. I like spicy foods mostly if they’re Asian or Indian flavors, but for whatever reason I’m not a huge fan of spicy peppers like jabaneros or jalapenos. I also am kind of afraid to cook with them because I don’t want to accidentally get the oils in my eye (probably irrational but whatever). But when I saw this recipe from SkinnyTaste I knew I had to make it for him. I decided to compromise and scrape out about 1/3 – 1/2 of the seeds to regulate the spice. I probably could’ve left more but it was still tasty.
I modified the recipe some but mostly because I had to. The chicken I bought ended up being much smaller pieces than I thought. I was pretty sure they wouldn’t be that great to stuff / roll up. I also elected not to use bacon, but that was just because I didn’t want to buy a whole thing of bacon. I didn’t end up missing it though.
So instead of making roll ups like the recipe, I decided to gamble and turn in into a casserole. I lined the bottom of a pan with the chicken and spread the cheesy mixture on top. Instead of coating the chicken with bread crumbs, oil, and lime juice like the recipe indicated, I just sprinkled the final casserole with lime juice, a little salt, and some extra shredded cheese.
I also roasted some brussel sprouts with some yellow zucchini I found at the grocery store. I thought they were summer squash initially and when I realized what they were I was too intrigued not to buy them. They were DELICIOUS. Both Mike and I agreed we really liked them (I think I liked them more then summer squash). The veggies were just tossed with a little olive oil, minced garlic, and seasoned salt.
The end result was DELICIOUS. The casserole turned out to be a perfectly acceptable alternative to the roll ups (though I’d still love to try the roll ups again some other time!).
I tried to practice my new “hunger/satiety” strategies during this meal. I felt REALLY hungry right after yoga, but I had a big glass of water when I got home and that really curbed my appetite (it is absolutely true that most of the time when we think we’re hungry, we’re actually thirsty). I was still ready to eat, but I didn’t feel quite as ravenous. I drank another glass of water with a lime with dinner and tried to take my time while eating. I took smaller bites and chewed them a little more than usual. It really did help!
I grew up in a really awesome, really loud, really BIG Italian family. Food was basically the center of everything. I associate food with great memories and a feeling of family togetherness. So as an adult, I’ve developed quite an interest in cooking. Cooking food at home is the healthiest and cheapest option so you know I’m all over that!!
Recently, Tuesday nights have become my favorite night of the week. I teach my spinning class right after work, Mike picks me up, and then I cook dinner at my apartment for us. We have a lot of fun hanging out and goofing off in the kitchen (Mike helps!). As runners, both of us make an effort to eat healthy so I’ve been experimenting a lot with different healthy recipes. Last Tuesday, I made a chicken and spinach skillet dish accompanied by SkinnyTaste Summer Squash and Chive Pancakes.
I got summer squashes in my produce delivery (I use Washington’s Green Grocer… they are the BOMB. More on that later) and I was kind of lost on how I wanted to use them. The skin in the outside of summer squash isn’t my favorite texture, so I don’t love them cut up and sauteed in a pan. However, the idea of pureeing them into pancakes was very appealing. Here’s how it turned out… (Mike took some of these pictures too so yay! Good job honey!)
Lovely ingredients. I do not have a food processor unfortunately (it’s on my wish list) so I used a hand mixer. It wasn’t perfect but it worked.
There is nothing that spectacular about this chicken dish and I wouldn’t dare to refer to it as “original”. I did not use a recipe from the internet for this one though, so here’s a little info:
Ingredients: Diced chicken meat (this is thigh meat because my grocery store was out of breast meat… how does this happen? We may never know), a huge bunch of fresh spinach I eventually chopped up, some leftover chives from the pancakes, Fat Free Italian salad dressing, and Balsamic Vinegar. I cooked the chicken in a skillet with the Italian dressing (I hope this doesn’t seem weird – I sometimes use this instead of oil for cooking because it provides moisture and a little flavor without fat or a lot of calories) and balsamic vinegar.
Add the spinach and chives on top. Fresh spinach cooks down a TON so put a big pile on top. I added a little more balsamic vinegar and some sea salt to finish up.
Bon Appetite! I know I said I wasn’t drinking any alcohol the week before my marathon but Mike got a really nice bottle of white and it was awesome. I had one glass and also drank a coconut water, so I think it evened out 🙂
Note: I live in a studio apartment, I do not have a kitchen table so we eat at the coffee table. It’s not ideal but we have fun with it. I also don’t have place mats, so we use old issues of Runners World and Fitness magazine. You know, sometimes you just gotta work with what you’ve got!
Just to give you an appreciate of how laughably small my kitchen is, I will share this picture. Yes, this is the ENTIRE kitchen. I have like 2 square feet of counter space that is available for food prep and no dishwasher. It has definitely forced me to get creative 🙂 But it works for me for right now.
Hehe my other little kitchen helper, Fig.
(seen here sitting on my computer obscuring my view of the squash pancakes recipe)