Posts tagged ‘chicken recipes’

Feelin’ like poo

not a happy camper

Guys, I am not feeling well today. I actually stayed home from work yesterday because I woke up feeling like I was going to puke, and spent most of the day sleeping — I barely ate (a shocker for me!). At first I thought I was just worn out, but I think I’ve either come down with something, or the (finally) slightly warmer weather is really aggravating my allergies. Either way, I can barely breathe out of either nostril and my taste and sense of smell are pretty much donezo for now.

I honestly believe that I made myself sick because I rarely get sick anymore…Lack of sleep, lack of healthy foods (eating out all the time/lack of fresh, wholesome foods due to moving) and generally just pushing myself too hard has worn down my body, and boy am I feeling it!

To counteract this, I made some mustard-maple chicken with some sauteed Brussels sprouts. Since my taste buds are moot, I added a bunch of red pepper flakes to the maple glaze, and they definitely are helping with the stuffiness.

Hope you had a great day, and enjoy your night!

May 5, 2011 at 8:24 pm Leave a comment

Mama’s date night steak!

Hi loves!
So for a date night awhile back, I made flank steak.

It had sugar…

Spice…

…and everything nice…

Mama’s Date Night Flank Steak

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (you can use bottled but it won’t taste as good!)
  • 1 cup green onion and tops, chopped
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder (I didn’t measure this, just poured it in)
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger (I’ve used both fresh and dried – I think fresh tastes better though)
  • 1 flank steak (mine was just under a pound)

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients (except steak) and mix well. Place steak and marinade in rectangular dish or large ziploc bag and marinate for 24-48 hours in refrigerator.

chillin'

I had a little helper

Can I have steak too?

To cook on the grill, cook for 4 minutes, turn 90 degrees, flip and repeat. To cook indoors, heat a cast iron grill pan slowly over medium heat. Grill steak for 6 minutes, flip and grill for 5 minutes. Let rest on a plate covered with tinfoil for five minutes (both methods), then slice against the grain at a slight angle and serve. Bravissimo!

I didn’t take a picture because…well…it was date night! ;)

And remember my crazy caprese?

That’s some pink Himalayan sea salt right there!

Is that gorgeous, or what?!

Here’s the maple mustard chicken I had with it.

On the side, I had a New Glarus Spotted Cow.

And some strawbs + dark chocolate for a little sweetness :)

I have another dinner date tomorrow, and I’m still up doing laundry and cleaning — and have NO idea what I’m going to make! Any ideas?

Night, all!

April 4, 2011 at 11:45 pm Leave a comment

Never enough hours in the day [+ pasta rosa verde]

Why, hello there.. *bats eyelashes*

I hope your Tuesday was a lovely one! Mine sure wasn’t, but I’m trying to get myself into bed and move past it…

Remember how I wanted to get plenty of sleep last night? Yeah, that didn’t happen =/ I got caught up making my lunch for today and the stinkin’ pearled barley took for-EVER to cook — even in the rice cooker! After waiting for that to finish, I still hadn’t wound down for bed and couldn’t get myself to go to sleep. I didn’t end up passing out around 2am.

Needless to say, I was tired and a big cranky pants all day.

But I still didn’t work out. What is going on with me? I feel like I’m in a funk :(

At least my lunch was delicious — with the pain-in-the-ass barley (not really, it was super easy) I mixed in some chicken thighs that I popped in the slow cooker with onions, veggie broth and poultry spice on high for about 3 hours. When I reheated it this afternoon, the chicken just fell apart and mixed in with the barley. Super tasty! (Make sure to sneak some of the chicken slow cooker juice though, or else it will be too dry). I also had a side salad. I would have taken a picture, but to be honest, it was pretty boring looking. How about a picture of a puppy instead? ;)

this is what I feel like right now

After work, I had another appointment with my chiropractor’s assistant (or colleague? I’m not really sure of her title) but she does more massage work than the crackin’ stuff. I saw her because I’ve been having issues with my sinuses, and boy did she help. I’m still feeling a little skeptical because I can’t figure out why my health insurance would pay for weekly 30 minute massages…because that’s what these are! Okay…maybe not JUST like a massage, but I always walk away feeling incredible, loose and refreshed. She spent a good amount of time massaging my face [that sounds super weird, doesn’t it?], concentrating specifically on my sinuses and temples — it felt amazing. I was honestly trying not to melt into the table…

As I was leaving, she told me that I need to be wearing a hat when it’s cold out to prevent headaches [I’m not really sure I understand this part.] I laughed and told her my mom would agree with her, to which she responded that I must be the same age as her grandson. The natural jokester that I am (hah), I laughed and asked if he was cute. Apparently that was the magic line, because within seconds she had me writing down my Facebook information and told me she would have him contact me…and she was dead serious! Bahahah! I tried to hold the laughter in and finally burst through the door outside to laugh my ass off….oh my.

Unfortunately when I left to run a few errands afterward, my hair and face were a big greasy mess from the lotion she used. I was a sight to behold, let me tell you…

On the trek back home, the weather dipped a few degrees cooler [and it was already cold, crummy and windy] and started drizzling a bit — just as my tummy was starting to grumble. The icky weather [and relative lack of all things carb/cheese loaded] had me craving something gooey and comforting, but I didn’t want to bust my calorie goals (more on this in a minute), so I decided to play around with a few things hiding in my freezer.

image

frozen shrimp + frozen broccoli

See my Misto hiding in the background? ;) I sauteed about 3 oz. [this is a complete estimate] of frozen cooked shrimp in some olive oil, garlic powder and sea salt. I know you are supposed to thaw shrimp before heating it, but I always just toss it in the pan — is this bad? I don’t see the point in taking 2 separate steps!

image

cheese and pasta -- now we're talkin!

After cooking about 3/4 cup of whole wheat rigatoni (my favorite pasta shape, next to orrechiette), I poured 1/2 cup Whole Foods marinara on top and mixed in about an ounce of WF goat cheese, then popped it in the microwave for 30 seconds to melt. I then mixed in about a cup of broccoli florets, mixed it all together and sprinkled some parmesan on top. Oh goody!

cheesy

I love the combination of colors in this dish — the red and green look so tasty together!

image

shrimp time

This may not be quite restaurant quality, but it’s close enough, easy as pie to put together, and pretty healthy to boot. Win!

For dessert, I had a few small squares of Green & Black’s 85% cacao dark chocolate and a bit of Malbec rose. I had thought about hitting the gym, but by the time my food had digested, it would have been at least 9pm — and that just sucks.

I talked a bit yesterday about how crummy I am feeling lately about my self image…One of the great things about living in Chicago is all the incredible restaurants + bars that are a hop, skip and a jump away. But that is also one of the worst things about living in Chicago as well — if you go out to eat/drink regularly, you are taking in a lot of extra calories!

I thought I was doing a good enough job keeping my intake in check, but apparently I have not, as I am feeling very uncomfortable in my skin lately. Add to that the jitters of dating someone new, and, well..you have a recipe for anxiety. So, dear friends…I have begun counting calories again.

BLEGH. I despise counting calories. It is so tedious, so time-consuming and so….sucky! I don’t want to know that my favorite foods are veritable calorie bombs because that means I can no longer eat them! But as any “dieter” will tell you, it keeps you accountable for everything you put in your mouth, and therefore it works. I don’t plan on doing it for long, but I feel that right now I need to get my food priorities back in check and re-learn calorie estimation and budgeting so I can still splurge on dates or weekends [or simply when I want to!]

I’ve been using Livestrong.com because they seem to have the most comprehensive list of foods. Here is a snapshot from my tally today:

This isn’t my usual intake of calories, but since I am trying to slim down, I’ve set it so I can drop a certain amount of weight per week [whether that actually happens or not remains to be seen]. The thing that I don’t understand is their goals for protein and fiber — why on earth would they imply that it’s bad to get more of those things, especially if you’re trying to lose weight?! I mean, they keep you full + satisfied — how the hell would someone eat a low calorie diet without adequate protein and fiber and still stay full? Kinda makes me laugh…silly Livestrong app, I know more about nutrition than you! ;)

The only reason I’m over on cholesterol is because of the shimpies I had for dinner, and I’m okay with that :)

They just released the Android app for Livestrong’s calorie tracker, but since it is so new it has horrible reviews and costs a whopping $2.99! I think I will wait until they drop the price and fix the bugs, thank you very much!

If all goes according to plan, my original goal of hitting the gym 3x a week (minimum) should do just fine in combination with calorie reduction for weight loss. The real trick now is going to be sticking to the numbers and getting enough sleep.

Speaking of which, lately I am really feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day. How do you gals do it, between working full time, errands, gym time, showers/prettying up, dating, friends, cooking dinner, prepping lunch….my head is spinning just writing this. It’s only Tuesday and I feel like the rest of my week is completely planned out, with nary a second to spare =/

More details to come, but some of said plans involve butterflies and pencil skirts.

I’m hitting the sack early for real this time. Night kiddos!

March 22, 2011 at 9:01 pm Leave a comment

The higher you fly… [+ mustard-maple chicken]

…the farther you fall.

I spoke too soon, blog friends — I’ve had a rough night.

After work, I stopped at Banana Republic to return a dress I decided I didn’t want (I am a serial returner — I seriously can’t decide on anything until I have it home). I purposely didn’t bring my Banana Card so I wouldn’t buy anything in exchange for the dress since I can’t really afford it right now, but I still wanted to shop around since I am feeling those spring-y urges to wear bright and colorful things (of which I have none).

Enter the dreaded dressing room mirror.

I don’t know if it was because it was nearing the end of the day and I was tired, the particular cut of the clothes I was trying or simply just all in my head, but it was one of those days when every single thing I tried on looked..awful. It’s disheartening because I’ve felt fantastic lately since I’ve kicked up my workout routine. The scale hasn’t budged much, but I can see and feel myself getting stronger, and a pair of jeans that had been too tight all winter is fitting again.

Not today, though. Everything was too tight, or pulled in the wrong direction, or just looked…bad. One failed clothing item after another piled up higher and higher in the dressing room when I finally had just had enough. I’m starting to realize that this is why I seem to wear some variation of the exact same thing — it’s because I don’t feel comfortable in much else.

I’m sorry to be such a downer, guys; I’m just really feeling down tonight. How do you cope with those awful dressing room days?

Instead of going to the gym, I wanted to get home and cook a wholesome dinner and get myself to bed early — there is no situation or mood that is made better by being exhausted. A good night’s sleep works wonders.

So does a good meal.

I really can’t believe I went so long without eating Brussels sprouts. Mmmmmmmmm. To accompany my massive batch of sauteed sprouts I made some chicken. What’s so shocking about chicken, you may ask? Well…it had mustard.

crispity crunchy

Please excuse the crazy burned sauce..I don’t know another way to do it! But at least I didn’t set off the smoke alarm this time :)

If you know me at all (or would like to know now), I despise all things mustard. I don’t know why, but I have never ever liked the smell, taste or even look of mustard — it seriously grossed me out.

Recently though, I’ve been trying to be (even more) open minded about food and tried something with stone grond mustard in it. The real shocker was that I actually liked it! I think stone ground mustard has a much more savory, complex flavor than your acidic, stinky yellow mustard or even dijon. This makes me happy, because mustard is used in so, so many recipes — in everything from salad dressing to sauces to marinades — for a lot of flavor bang for your calorie buck, and I had been missing out on it. Call me crazy, but I think I kinda like stone ground mustard!

Let’s not get all crazy now, though — I still need to do this in moderation! ;)

My dinner turned out wonderful. I wanted something that wasn’t too carb-y or had cheese (okay, that’s a lie, but after feeling the way I did today, I wanted something that wouldn’t make me feel like a piece of lard) so I went with my own take on maple-mustard baked chicken.

Laura’s Maple-Mustard Chicken

Ingredients (serves one)

  • Two boneless, skinless chicken thighs (organic, if possible)
  • Heaping tablespoon of stone ground mustard
  • Heaping tablespoon (or eyeball a pour) of maple syrup
  • Tablespoon red wine vinegar or cooking sherry
  • Liberal shake of garlic powder
  • Liberal shake of poultry seasoning (or any combination of thyme, basil, marjoram and sage)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray baking dish or cookie sheet with cooking spray. In a small bowl, mix mustard, wine/sherry, maple syrup and spices. Whisk together and adjust ingredients as necessary so mixture has the consistency of ranch dressing (thick enough so that it won’t run all over the pan while cooking).

Place chicken thighs in dish and spoon mustard mixture over chicken, making sure to cover completely. Bake on center rack for 20-40 minutes until meat is cooked through (I did about 30 minutes).

It’s slightly sweet, savory, healthy and oh-so-tasty. Try it out! You won’t be disappointed :)

And now, because I want to smile, some puppy pictures from my weekend in Madison

Hi Shandy!

March 21, 2011 at 10:31 pm Leave a comment


Hi, I’m Laura!

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