Archive for February, 2011

February 28, 2011

Veggie Focus is back!! Adobo Chicken and Italian Green Peas for Dinner.

So, I am getting some time back on my calendar now that my photography class is finished. That means… back to cooking! I didn’t forget about my new years resolution to finding ways to eat more veggies… in fact, I have a new recipe to share tonight. And it is downright simple and delicious.

Italian Peas – www.allrecipes.com

I followed this recipe almost to a T!   My (minor) changes: I only used half of an onion (vidalia) and diced it into bigger chunks so Kirk could pick them out. From start to finish, it took me just a little over 15 minutes. SO easy, I highly recommend it!

What did I serve it with?

Adobo Chicken on p252 of Eat This Not That Version: 350 Calorie Meals

I can’t find a link for this, but its easy so I’ll type up what I did:

-Combine 1/2 C Rice Wine, 1/2 C Low Sodium Soy Sauce, 4 Cloves Peeled & Crushed Garlic Cloves, 4 Bay Leaves & 1 tsp black pepper

-Bring to a simmer and 1 pound of chicken breasts.

-Cover and set timer for 25 minutes.

-Prepare white or brown rice after you get the chicken going.

-Remove chicken from sauce (make sure it is cooked all the way through) and then bring the sauce to a rapid boil.  It will take about 10-12 minutes, but the sauce will reduce by half and become really thick.

-While the sauce is thickening, cut the chicken into bite size pieces.  Toss into the sauce when it is thickened (should coat the back of a spoon).

Voila!  This dish is really tasty.  My major piece of advice?  If you’re planning to use frozen chicken, take it out the night before so it will be thawed.  This recipe takes long enough that you don’t need to add extra prep time by trying to thaw out chicken at the last minute.  How do I know?  I learned from experience tonight… 🙂

Oh and prep the pea dish while the chicken is simmering.  Start sauteeing the onions & garlic when there is 5 minutes left on the timer for the chicken.  Then it can cook while the sauce is thickening!

Happy Cooking! 🙂

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February 13, 2011

Nutrition on the go… One-a-Day, V8 Fusion and Smoothie King

Although it may seem like I have forgotten all about my new years resolution to find new ways to cook veggies and get my proper nutrition intake… I haven’t!   I’ve been taking a photography class at the light factory (for my other hobby) and intermediate accounting up at UNCC (for work) – so my window for cooking has been limited.  It makes me realize how things like juggling grad school or being parent could really make cooking healthy a challenge!

So, being realistic – sometimes there are other ways that we need to get in our nutrition if we can’t have a good hearty meal.

Here are some of my newest tactics:

Women’s One-a-Day Vitamin

I got this 250 count bottle at Costco yesterday on-sale (with coupon) for $10!  I bought Kirk a bottle of the Men’s version too.  That is a mere 4 CENTS per pill – and you only have to remember to take it once per day!  How easy is that?  I have found that leaving the bottle next to my OXO cereal container reminds to me to take it with my breakfast.  Otherwise, it can be easy to forget in the hustle and bustle of the morning.

V8 Fusion Pomegranate Blueberry & Strawberry Banana

I’m not sure how long this has been on the market, but I discovered it in my Costco mailer yesterday morning and decided to buy a 24 pack yesterday for $11 bucks (after coupon).  That’s only 45 CENTS per can and you only need one per day.  Not bad, eh?  Luckily they had a sampler station set up so I could try it first.  I was surprised at how good it is!  Because of the V8 brand, I was expecting a tomato base… but it tastes just like Juicy Juice (without the sugary film on your teeth)!  I checked the nutrition facts before purchasing too… only 5% of daily sodium intake and although the sugars are kind of high, they are all natural (none added).   I had one yesterday and again today for an afternoon snack and I am very pleased 🙂  I plan on taking a stock to put in my desk at work and splitting the rest up between my condo and Kirk’s condo!

Smoothie King 20 oz Skinny

With classes from 6-9 two days per week, I’ve had to get creative with eating dinner.  Sometimes I have time to heat something up at work or take a sandwich, but most often I have found myself at the Smoothie King on the first floor of my building.   They now give you the option to make the shake SKINNY, which means they leave out the shot of Turbinado Sugar.  I go with the 20 oz and try to pick one that has protein because it will actually fill me up.  I typically do an add-in of caffeine or multi vitamins to give me energy for the night instead of drinking soda or more coffee.  With my bag of BBQ Pop Chips for snack, it usually ends up being $8-9 bucks.   If you sign up on their website, they’ll send you coupons though 🙂

There are LOTS of ways to get nutrition on the go, these are just some of the tactics I’m currently trying.  If you have more, please share in the comments!

Have a great week!  I’ll write more soon.

February 13, 2011

Oh fabulous new cookware, how I will love you :)

Today, Kirk and I received an engagement present from his parents…. our new cookware!!! 12 PC Stainless Steel Multi Clad Pro from Cuisinart with triple ply construction. 🙂   There is a time and place for all types of cookware.  I love my cast iron skillet and dutch oven, my non-stick skillet and grill pan, and my crock pot (of course).  But, I have long thought about a set of super conductive clean looking pots and pans that I can put on display AND also put to work on the stove and in the oven.

I read tons of reviews on this set before selecting and can’t wait to put it to the test.  The points highlighted in this article are exactly why we chose it!  Here they are…

  1. Rolled Edges
  2. Superior Handles
  3. Lots of Lids
  4. Bang for your buck!

Kirk and I spent the afternoon brainstorming what kind of shelving we’re going to install in his kitchen and will likely choose the same system I have in my kitchen: IKEA Grundtal!

I’ll do reviews on the cookware (and on stainless in general) in future posts.  In the meantime, definitely share your “lessons learned” on stainless steel!  According to the instructions, I’ll need to get used to using much lower heat levels and drying the pans immediately after washing to avoid water spots.

More to come soon…Happy Cooking!