Braised Balsamic Chicken

Braised Balsamic Chicken 1

My co-worker in the kitchen hates chicken. She’s a big meat-eater, but chicken is just not her preferred protein. It’s a little ironic because there’s not a day that goes by that we’re not grilling and serving chicken – it is overwhelmingly the protein of choice in our hospital cafeteria. Of course, this suits me just fine as I, too, love chicken.

Putting her personal preferences aside, the woman can scour the internet for the next best chicken recipe like no one else. Every time, it’s a home run.

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I, too, got lucky myself when I made this Fruit and Quinoa Salad with Citrus Poppy Seed Dressing for my diabetes cooking club yesterday (I made some changes to the recipe, but I’m going to be posting it soon – so yum!). I just happened to stumble upon it on the beloved Pinterest.

You see, the cooking kitchen at the hospital is in our wellness center/gym. So wouldn’t you know my cutie-pa-tootie trainer is loitering outside the class, hoping and waiting for leftovers. Along with the facility maintenance man…they’ve got it marked on their calendar that the second Wednesday of every month is cooking day.

And there’s usually leftovers. Lucky guys.

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I digress. Chicken. We were talking about chicken. This chicken dish – Braised Balsamic Chicken.

It’s one of those recipes that you consider the ingredient list and its simplicity and wonder what kind of magic it can produce. Or lack thereof. I had my doubts. But we served it at a provider function and they all wanted the recipe. Administration was swinging by the kitchen the next day to pay us compliments on the meal…always a good thing.

So, we served it in the cafe with the same results. I think we emailed out the recipe to at least a dozen employees. So, to say this meal is well-loved may be quite the understatement. Enjoy!

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Braised Balsamic Chicken
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Simple ingredients...big flavors! Plus, it's ready in under 30 minutes!
Ingredients
  • 4 (4 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ tsp garlic salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
Instructions
  1. Season chicken with garlic salt and pepper.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat; once hot, add chicken breasts and cook until slightly golden brown on each side, about 6 minutes, flipping halfway through. Add onion; cook and stir until onion is browned, 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Pour diced tomatoes and balsamic vinegar over chicken; season with basil, oregano, rosemary and thyme; combine well in the skillet. Simmer until chicken is cooked through and onions are very tender, about 10 additional minutes. Serve immediately.
Notes
Recipe slightly adapted from All Recipes
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4 oz chicken Calories: 250 Fat: 7.6 Carbohydrates: 14.0 Sugar: 9.0 Sodium: 308 Fiber: 2.8 Protein: 27.3 Cholesterol: 55

Baby Shea’s nursery is complete after the final touch…I’m going to do a post on the room soon :) We’re ready for our shower this weekend and then we simply wait :-D

But for now, an OB appointment and then work ;)

Be well,

sig4

Spicy Honey Mustard Chicken Stir-Fry

Spicy Honey Mustard Chicken Stir-Fry 1

I’m soon-to-be 32 weeks pregnant and starting to feel every bit of it.

My stomach capacity is lessened due to the size of baby. I’ve been making my dinner plate, only to share half of it with Mr. Prevention. I wish it were more often that my eyes are bigger than my stomach, but that certainly seems to be the case as of late.

So it probably goes without saying that I’m out of breath nearly all of the time…or so it seems, and the back pain is still very much so present. I told my trainer today that I was ditching him next Monday in lieu of a massage. He didn’t even give me a hard time about it, either. A mama-to-be has NEEDS.

Spicy Honey Mustard Chicken Stir-Fry 2

Speaking of needs, I continue to read about the importance of exercise in pregnancy. Exercise has many benefits, of course, but aiding in a successful delivery tops the list of perks for me…especially after attending our first child-birthing class last week. Tonight, the couples will be split up so the ladies learn all about breastfeeding and the guys are united with new dads to go through a “Daddy Bootcamp”. It should be interesting…

I digress. I’ve been keeping up with workouts quite well. A lot of core and strength workouts with my trainer, along with elliptical and biking for cardio. Walking continues to be the one workout that causes the most strain on my lower back and the less I can walk, the better I feel. Sadly.

Spicy Honey Mustard Chicken Stir-Fry 3

Along with walking, we can add standing to the list of activities that wear on my back throughout the day. My job has me up and down all day long, which has been helpful in keeping me moving, but without excess. But by the end of the day, I’m ready to be a couch potato. Literally.

Dinner has to be quick and easy. HAS TO BE. Otherwise, take-out is sounding better and better all the time (and why I continue to crave lunch meat, I’ll never know…all I wanted yesterday was a Beach Club from Jimmy Johns and I probably haven’t had one of those since college).

Quick and easy dinners are something like this Spicy Honey Mustard Chicken Stir-Fry — one pot meal that’s ready in 30 minutes or less. Yes…please! Of course the flavor was great, too…and healthy to boot.

Spicy Honey Mustard Chicken Stir-Fry 4

Spicy Honey Mustard Chicken Stir-Fry
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 (not including rice)
 
A new take on classic stir-fry...plus, a meal ready in minutes!
Ingredients
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • ½ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 Tbsp smooth peanut butter
  • 4 tsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • ½ tsp hot sauce
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp canola oil, divided
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
  • 1 lb asparagus, woody ends trimmed and stalks cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 small yellow squash or zucchini, sliced
  • Hot cooked rice, optional
Instructions
  1. In small bowl, whisk to combine the cornstarch, chicken broth, peanut butter, lime juice, dijon mustard, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, hot sauce, and cayenne pepper.
  2. In a large, nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and stir-fry for 5-7 minutes or until chicken is cooked through; remove chicken and keep warm.
  3. In the same skillet, heat remaining teaspoon of oil. Once hot, add the asparagus and cook 3-4 minutes. Next, add the bell pepper and cook 2-3 minutes before adding the squash/zucchini. Cook vegetables until crisp-tender. Return chicken to pan and stir sauce; toss vegetables and chicken with sauce to coat; cook 2-3 minutes or until thickened. Serve over rice, if desired.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ recipe Calories: 308 Fat: 11.5 Carbohydrates: 18.0 Sugar: 8.8 Sodium: 351 Fiber: 4.3 Protein: 32.8 Cholesterol: 55

 Busy day…busy WEEK. But can’t wait for our baby shower on Saturday! :-D

Be well,

sig4

Thai Red Curry with Shrimp and Mango

Thai Red Curry with Shrimp and Mango 1

I turned 29 last week. I don’t feel any older, but the fact that next year means the big 3-0 is a bit…ohhh, I don’t know the right word. Adult-ish, perhaps?

I called Mr. Prevention’s sweet grandma to thank her for my birthday card (which I found under a pile of crap and other unopened mail days after it had arrived). Inside the card was a check for my birthday which was very kind of her to send. As she and I were chatting on my way home from work yesterday, she said, “Yeah, I’m sure you’ll probably spend it on the baby…but try to get something nice for yourself, too.” …She must not know how much I excel in online shopping ;)

Thai Red Curry with Shrimp and Mango 2

For my birthday, my family got me a Pandora bracelet with some cute charms – one was hockey and one was an “N” and one was a baby charm. So perfectly fitting :) I know I’m late to the Pandora game here, but charm bracelets seem so “mature” to me. I picture them in antique-y stores and boutiques with eclectic selections of patterned, flowy clothing. Feel free to roll your eyes at me or think, ‘Is she offer her rocker? What the h is she talking about?!’

And Mr. Prevention must’ve been desperate for birthday gift ideas for me because I received FIVE books on motherhood, etc (I’m not complaining…just giving him a hard time ;) ). And a sixth book showed up yesterday. Add that to my collection of the 3-4 I already had, and I will be one well-read, hopefully semi-prepared, freaked out mommy-to-be.

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With my big, mature life changes (baby due in 13 weeks, people!!) and my preparation for motherhood with my charm bracelet, I’ve relaxed a bit on my very domestic meal planning skills. I peruse Pinterest no less than every few hours, drooling over food, that it seems quite literally IMPOSSIBLE that meal planning has become more difficult over time. And next to all those baby books, my friends, are about 1.2 million cookbooks. Some of which have been opened all of…once. Such a shame.

I’ve decided that next week, I’m going for ethnic cuisine. I’m in need of flavor and fresh, new dishes that will pique my interest in food and cooking again. I reached a new low on Sunday night when I was too lazy to grocery shop for a prepare a side to serve with my king crab legs that I swung by KFC for mashed potatoes (don’t judge me, please! P.S. they were nasty!). I need more flavor in my life, like curry and coconut milk, for example. Mmmm….eeeenjoy!

Thai Red Curry with Shrimp and Mango 4

Thai Red Curry with Shrimp and Mango
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5
 
Ingredients
  • 1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp red curry paste
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 large sweet potato, diced into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • 2 mangoes, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 cup (Thai) basil leaves
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves, bruised or juice of ½ lime
  • 1 cup dry jasmine rice, prepared according to package directions
Instructions
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat; scoop the cream at the top of the can of coconut milk and bring to a simmer in the skillet. Stir in curry paste and simmer, without stirring, until fragrant and coconut cream starts to release oil, about 3-5 minutes. Add the rest of coconut milk and vegetable stock and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and add sweet potato cubes. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Add shrimp and mango and cook until shrimp curls, about 3 minutes.
  3. Season with fish sauce, brown sugar, basil, and lime (leaves); remove from heat.
  4. Allow to sit for 3-4 minutes before serving. Serve with jasmine rice.
Notes
Recipe from the National Mango Board Cookbook, as seen on The Adventures of MJ and Hungry Man
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅕ recipe, including ~ ¾ cup rice Calories: 450 Fat: 16.0 Carbohydrates: 54.0 Sugar: 14.6 Sodium: 492 Fiber: 3.0 Protein: 24.2 Cholesterol: 120

 How about an RD Q&A soon? Who’s got a question for me? :-D (nicole at preventionrd dot com). Thank you in advance!

Only Tuesday, eh? One of thoooose kinds of weeks, I see. Happy Birthday to my lil brother, Bubbie! How are you 25 already!?

Be well,

sig4

 

Tortellini Chili

Tortellini Chili1

Has anyone else seen that Facebook photo/joke that shows a snowy yard with snow-covered trees and the caption says something about not dyeing the Easter eggs and just saying “good luck!” to the kids? I laughed, like, really hard at that one.

The talk around the Great Lakes is that our long-awaited beach time during the summer may never come to fruition. Lake Michigan is still very frozen and it’s um, almost April. No bueno. And let’s be honest, I want to talk about something other than the weather. It’s….time.

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At least artichokes are 3 for $2? I know, a steal! (Not really, but kind of. For artichokes.)

The asparagus is delicious. And $1.99/lb. The stalks aren’t bamboo-like, but instead tender and…crying out for my grill.

Lily sees the sun, begs to go out, and moments later, is begging to come in. This goes on constantly. The sun is teasing the dog to the point I feel downright terrible for her. And there is no exaggeration in the following: I think we need to get her screened for diabetes. Between fatigue, increased thirst, and frequent potty breaks…I think being sedentary since October is finally affecting her health. (LORD, let’s hope I’m wrong.)

Tortellini Chili 3

For now, one foot in front of the next. One day closer to a potentially warmer month. One day closer to flip flops, sundresses, and vitamin D. People, I GLOW. Quite literally, I am illuminated in paleness. *sigh*

To ease us from one day to the next, comfort food can only help. This dish is chili meets soup meets pasta. It’s the best of all worlds that comes together in 30 minutes or less, reheats superbly, and comes in right at 450 calories for a piping hot bowl of goodness. It’s not 80 degree weather. Or 70, or 60, or 50…not even 45, but hey, it’s good. And perfect to be enjoyed as we will warmer weather our way.

Tortellini Chili 4

4.0 from 1 reviews
Tortellini Chili
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5
 
No need to choose a hearty chili or a comforting pasta...have BOTH! :) This works oh so well!
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1½ Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 lb 96% lean ground beef
  • 4 cups low-sodium beef broth or chicken broth
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 9 oz fresh spinach and cheese tortellini
  • ¼ tsp cayenne, more or less to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onions and saute until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, paprika, and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Add the beef and cook until browned, breaking up with a wooden spoon, about 6-8 minutes. If needed, drain any excess grease.
  3. To the pot, add the broth, beans, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and oregano, bringing to a simmer. Once simmering, add the tortellini and cool until tender and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately with toppings of choice.
Notes
Recipe from Closet Cooking
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅕ recipe (about 1⅔ cups) Calories: 455 Fat: 12.0 Carbohydrates: 53.2 Sugar: 8.0 Sodium: 646 Fiber: 11.0 Protein: 34.8 Cholesterol: 80

 Over the hump…I think I can, I think I can.

Be well,

sig4

Recipe Repeat: Buffalo Chicken Tacos

buffalochictacos1

Working in a department of all women is often times challenging, but mostly a riot. Some of my staff treat me like the daughter they hold with great regard and some treat me like their big sister they’d never cross — there’s that perfect balance of work and play with there always being respect and hard work. Work hard, play hard!

Outside of the normal tiffs within a department, everyone gets along great, people trade favors, and I only hope they enjoy their jobs as much as I. Judging by the amount of laughing going on, I have to assume they enjoy their jobs at least somewhat ;)

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If they’re not busy laughing with one another, the girls are probably laughing at me. I embarrass myself at least once daily. It’s actually rather impressive the consistency with which I manage to get myself into the predicaments and situations that I do. Sometimes I sit in something dirty, dribble something down my chest (this is probably the most common occurrence), say something in a way that it comes out completely and totally wrong, forget something (fairly) important, or any number of other ways.

Yesterday, we had fajitas for lunch. Of course, I added salsa which…ended up dribbled down my light grey shirt about 2 minutes before I needed to be in a meeting…at the opposite end of the hospital. I could either go dirty or go wet from removing the stain. I chose the latter. I’m not sure which was worse because SEVERAL people pointed out my mess despite my best efforts to pull my cardigan over the unsightly accident. Of course, the girls found this terribly funny…mostly because I called myself out on the high probability of my messiness before it even happened.

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But there’s some foods worth the risk of being a slob. Tacos, fajitas, chili dogs….mmm.

I haven’t met a taco I didn’t love. Everything from Lentil Tacos to Kung Pao Tacos to Zucchini and Black Bean Tacos to Crock Pot Chicken Tacos. I love them all. Mr. Prevention? Of course he favors all things “buffalo” and so it should come as no surprise that these are making another appearance.

I must admit, these are epic.

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Recipe Repeat: Buffalo Chicken Tacos
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5
 
A fun favorite!
Ingredients
Tacos:
  • 1½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • ⅓ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • large pinch of cayenne pepper
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • ⅓ cup buffalo wing sauce (I used Frank’s Buffalo Wing) + 4 Tbsp, for drizzling
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 10 (6-inch) corn tortillas
Toppings:
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 4 oz gorgonzola
  • ½ cabbage, shredded
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 4 scallions, sliced
Instructions
  1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cornstarch, flour, cayenne, and garlic powder. Season the chicken pieces with pepper, then dredge in the flour mixture, shaking off excess coating.
  3. Add olive oil to the skillet and once it is hot, add chicken and brown on all sides – about 3-4 minutes per side. Once the chicken is done, set it aside in a bowl and toss with ⅓ cup buffalo wing sauce.
  4. Assemble 10 tacos, dividing the toppings evenly among each taco.
Notes
Recipe slightly adapted from How Sweet Eats
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 tacos Calories: 474 Fat: 18.0 Carbohydrates: 38.0 Sodium: 1112 Fiber: 6.6 Protein: 41.2 Cholesterol: 86

 Thursday. The weekend is in sight! :-D

Be well,

sig4