Sunday, November 5, 2017

Chicken, Chicken, Chicken, Sausage (Chicken)

If I don't plan, I fail.

I get lazy.

I make bad choices.

After a long chat at the gym the other day, I decided to do a prep day. For me, being home during the day, prepping isn't always necessary.  That will (hopefully) change soon, so I decided it was time.

Prep Day was Wednesday.  Prep Day doesn't have to be a Sunday or a Monday.  It doesn't matter if you decide on a Thursday to turn your eating habits around.  It's okay if you get a stomach ache on mini Halloween candy on Tuesday night - make Wednesday your prep day.

There is absolutely nothing you can do to change poor choices yesterday.  Don't wallow in your failure, move on.  Nothing good comes from self loathing.  Use that energy to cook!  Use it to prepare.  Use it to enjoy the new day.

I *may* have overbought on the chicken, but it's so versatile.

This time, I made it three ways.

First up:  Crock Pot Hot Chicken

I used 5 chicken breasts and covered them in Chohula hot sauce, covered and cooked on High for an hour and then Low for 3 more hours.

Just break one open and make sure it's cooked.

This gets shredded with a couple of forks.

For lunch today, I had this with zucchini..delicious.

HINT:  Because of the hot sauce and chicken, it reminded me of chicken wing dip...minus the cheese and sour cream.  Let your nose tell you what you are eating!

Second:  Balsamic Chicken

Before cooking, cut up your chicken in bite sized chunks.

I used a dutch oven that can go from stove top to oven.  Doing this purely on the stove top, in a covered pan would work just fine.

So easy...add Balsamic Vinegar to your cut up chicken and cook.

I used D'Avolio's Fig Balsamic.  If you are going to eat healthy - pay the extra buck for the good Balsamic.  You will be amazed at how much better it tastes than a basic vinegar from the grocery store.

I also love the white vinegars from D'Avolio's.  Super great on fish.

Third:  Forward Chicken

This is made exactly like the Balsamic Chicken, but I used Forward! Seasoning from Penzey's Spices.  We have a store here in Buffalo, but they also sell online here.

Forward! is salt free and it's got a great flavor.  It looks like a curry, but is mostly peppers.

Again, paired this with zucchini.

Finally:  Chicken (Sausage)

This is hardly a recipe, more of a compilation.  Wegmans carries a great organic Chicken Sausage.  I paired that sausage with spinach and pre-cooked butternut squash.

Let's talk about Wegmans again...they have butternut squash peeled, de-seeded and chopped for you.  It isn't anymore expensive after you pay for the skin, stem and seeds.  Buy the family pack - it goes fast!  I did cut the pieces a bit smaller and drizzled olive oil and some 21 Seasoning Salute (another great salt-free seasoning from Trader Joe's).  Toss and bake in the oven 400 degrees until you like it.  I like it crisp.

When you add the squash in with the spinach and takes on a sweetness that makes you think you are eating less than healthy.

(I just realized I hate the word 'cheat'.  Cheat Meal.  Sounds so depressing.  You aren't cheating.  There are no rules to your nutrition.  You make the rules.  Don't dwell on yesterday.)

Back to my point about the Chicken Wing Dip...let your nose guide your belly.

One quick thing about the zucchini.  I have always cooked my zucchini first.  It was often wet and slimy after a day or two.  These meals that I made, I measured out my chicken and then added raw, chopped zucchini.  When it comes time to heat up the meal, the zucchini retains a bit of crunch, that makes me happy.  Try it.

Tonight, I'll finish the turkey soup and make taco meat.

After that, I'm going to veg and eat meat!

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