Dinner: Not-So-Boring Chicken and Veggies

We had a very busy weekend in Chicago. Taking a 3- and 7-year-old along is a lot of work! So, my plans to have everything prepped for the week and have all sorts of glorious, healthy food (as well as a clean house with clean laundry) and start exercising kind of fell through. I think the first mistake was starting Saturday morning at 3:30 a.m.

I did manage to make dinner tonight, though, and I have a refrigerator full of healthy food.

So, tonight we had chicken and veggies. It sounds boring, doesn’t it? I had a bunch of veggies I needed to use up from last week’s grocery trip.

First, I sliced some grape tomatoes in half and stuck them in a light sesame ginger salad dressing to sit for an hour or so. I meant to put them in a light balsamic vinaigrette, but it turns out I don’t have any. So, the ginger dressing. In case you’re running to the kitchen to try this, you should know it tasted pretty gross. I think it would have been delightful with the balsamic.

Okay, moving on.

Next, I put a small amount of olive oil in a pan and a couple of thinly sliced garlic cloves. I let them cook together for a few minutes and then stuck in about a pound of chicken breast. I added salt and pepper and let it turn toasty brown before flipping it over. Once both sides were browned, I covered it and let it cook for a long time. Probably too long. I’m paranoid about meat like that. And then after it cooked while covered for a long time, I added a chicken bouillon cube and some water, and cooked it longer.

I dumped the sliced tomatoes on a baking sheet (with sides) and stuck it in the oven at 400. They were probably in there for 40 minutes, and the last few were with the broiler turned on.

I sliced some more garlic, diced some onion, and sliced some red pepper and put them into a non-stick pot.

Once they’d softened, I added a big bag of spinach. I love spinach. It is so good for you and to tasty and versatile! I added a splash of water and let that spinach steam and wilt.

I added a little bit of salt and pepper, and it was done.

I don’t have a photo of it on the stove, but I also steamed some broccoli. Just plain old broccoli.

And… I made a box of garlic and parmesan pearl couscous. It was delicious!

The meal:

The chicken was tasty, even if it might have been a little overcooked. The tomatoes, as I said earlier, were pretty disgusting. The couscous – yummo. The broccoli might have been better if it had been a little fresher, but it was fine. The spinach was quite tasty, if I do say so myself.

My husband and kids ate the chicken, ate a little bit of broccoli, and made faces at the tomatoes. My boys scarfed down the couscous and tolerated the spinach. Well, my 3-year-old only ate it if I wrapped a leaf of it around a small piece of chicken and added a few balls of couscous and called it a dog treat because he sometimes will only answer to “Fido” and gets very upset if you call him a person instead of a dog… Oh, am I rambling?

Anyway…. we had leftover chicken and spinach. (I threw the tomatoes and broccoli out.) I’ve found that we eat way less meat if I slice it rather than give each person big pieces of chicken breast. So, I divided the leftovers into four bowls (yay, holiday week – 4 work days!) and added a little bit of whole grain chicken-flavored rice (about 50 calories per bowl for the rice).

(The spinach is under the chicken and the rice.)

Up next? Tomorrow night we’re having beef and broccoli/carrot stir fry, an easy and tasty dish!

P.S. We ate in our hotel’s restaurant in Chicago (The Renaissance Downtown) and their menu had several “Wellness” selections marked on it. Pretty cool, huh? And you’ll be EXTRA proud of me for choosing one of those items for my meal! (Fingers crossed behind my back: I did NOT order spiced chocolate cake from room service later… But if I had, I would rationalize by saying we only ate one real meal that day and my husband ate half of it!)

P.P.S. I started a Facebook page for this blog/contest tonight! I don’t have much on there, but I’m hoping to use it regularly.

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