Tag Archives: chicken

Life Update and Some Soup

Well, last time I posted on my little blog was entirely too long ago. I have plenty of excuses but none are a true reason as to why I have left my space here for over 4 months! Let’s start with an update on my little life. Last we left off, Alex and I had just gotten engaged. We have now set our date and booked our ceremony and reception venues! The planning process is slow due to my moving to full time at work.

Starting in mid-July, I took over the pediatric position at my hospital. I am now the RD for our PICU, peds floor and step-down unit. I am absolutely loving it and cannot believe my first full time job is my dream job! It has been a learning experience to say the least.

Earlier this month I ran my very first half-marathon. It was a wonderful race. I ran the Chicago Half-Marathon. I felt great most of the race and finished right at my goal time which was something of a miracle due to how poorly I trained. I am really going to try writing a race review but I am putting it out there if you love running and half-marathons, run the Chicago Half-Marathon. It is well run, a flat course and has awesome crowd support. Can we talk about what a goober I look like in the below picture? Almost every picture my family has of me running the race looks like this.


Alex and I celebrated our 6 year dating anniversary this month and I cannot believe that in just over a year he is going to be my husband. I worked on our actual anniversary and he greeted me at the door when I got home my favorite flowers. Wonderful surprise! Speaking of celebrations, we celebrated the two marriages of some of our undergrad friends, family friends and my oldest cousin Matt. It has been a wedding filled summer.

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I’ve been spending a lot of time in my wonderful new apartment kitchen but many of the recipes I’ve been making are from other blogs or ones I found on pinterest. I feel like my own personal creativity in the kitchen has diminished some due to “being busy” with all of the changes in my life. It seems that when one thing happens, everything else changes. All in good ways though. It appears that I have now settled into my new routine of living with Alex, being a full time dietitian, managing our own apartment, and planning a wedding. Hopefully this means I can spend more time here on the blog.

To make up for my absence I have a wonderful fall soup for you! Since it is now officially fall and football season, nothing sounds better than soup. I originally found a vegetarian soup on pinterest then took it an ran to make my own version. I added chicken, some other spices, and more beans. This is a protein packed soup that is perfect for a crisp cool fall night of watching football. I made Sweet Tooth Sweet Life’s Cheesy Italian Quick Bread to go along side our soup to round it out.


Chicken and Bean Soup  (serves 6+, We will probably get 8 bowls out of it which is reflected in the nutrition facts below)

2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed

1 can white beans (I used cannellini), drained and rinsed

1 can tomato sauce

6 cups vegetable broth (or use chicken)

1/2 cup brown rice

2 cloves garlic

1 yellow onion, diced

6-8 cups fresh spinach

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp dried basil

salt and pepper to taste

1. Saute onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft

2. Add in all of the ingredients except for the spinach and let cook until rice is cooked. You can let it cook longer if you would like to let the flavors blend together. I ended up letting mine cook for about 2-3 hours but it could be as little as 50 minutes if using uncooked rice. Use 1 cup cooked brown rice to cut the cooking time, all you would need to do is let it all warm up together before eating.

3. Once rice is cooked and you are ready to eat, stir in the spinach and ladle into bowls. Top with some Parmesan if you feel so inclined and dig in!

Nutrition Facts: 1/8 recipe (~1.25 cups soup): 290 calories, 5 grams fat, 23 grams protein, 26 grams carbohydrate, 9 grams fiber

Hope all is well with you, my internet friends. What have you been up to all summer?

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Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Happy Easter!

Hello everyone, long hiatus again. I got hit with some serious writer’s block,  lack of inspiration in the kitchen and gym and just plain old busy schedule the past few weeks. But, I am now on a four day weekend which means time to refocus and get back in the kitchen. My little break started Friday and I spent it over at my Grandma’s house with my cousin Sara making cake for Easter.

Sara and I make a cake every year. Usually, it is a bunny cake that we make different colors but we decided to make a carrot cake this year. We are decorating it on today as an Easter egg hunt. I’ll make sure to get a picture and put it up here to see. It looks cool so far and it’s only frosted white with a green hill up on top.

The recipe that I have for you today is from a week ago. I had some inspiration in my kitchen but then couldn’t write the post. I think I am back on track with my mindset. I’ve been seeing some recipes like this around Pinterest. Growing up, I loved cheesy chicken casserole with rice or some kind of pasta. The gooey cheese wrapped around the pasta screamed comfort to me. I wanted to make a more healthy, veggie-filled, low carbohydrate (for mom and dad) version of that childhood memory. Thus my cheesy chicken spaghetti squash casserole was born.

It was a little runny when I made it because I forgot a step but I’m adding it here so you don’t run into the same problem. It thickened up when I reheated the leftovers but the first day was a little too runny. But, still tasted awesome. We were all going back for more.

I took my spaghetti squash and cooked it how I showed in this post. You want to do this ahead of the rest to give it time to drain. Set the cooked spaghetti squash noodles in a colander over the sink or a bowl and let it drain off for 10-20 minutes. This will help decrease the amount of liquid in the baking dish and cause a more firm, held together casserole.

Once the spaghetti squash is set to drain. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Take diced zucchini, onion, and garlic and sprinkle with oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Diced chicken and season with the same 4 seasonings also. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over med-high heat. Once heated, add the chicken and veggies. Cook 7-10 minutes until the chicken is browned and the veggies are soft.20130323_164729

Next, mix the chicken and veggie mixture with the spaghetti squash. Try and keep most of the cooking liquid out of the mixture. I used a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken and veggies into a bowl with the spaghetti squash. Give it a good mix until all is incorporated. Add in half the cheese and stir well. Pour into a casserole/baking dish. I used one of my mom’s which she got for Christmas this past year. Isn’t it pretty?20130323_171146

Then top the casserole with more cheese and pop it into the oven for 30-35 minutes. I let mine go the 35 because it had too much moisture in the dish and I wanted to evaporate some of it.


Let it sit 5 minutes to let everything settle and serve in bowls or on plates. Enjoy your slightly less sinful cheesy chicken casserole.20130323_174507

Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Squash Casserole (Serves 6-8)


1 large spaghetti squash, baked and set aside to drain

2 medium zucchini, diced

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb chicken breasts, diced

oregano, basil, salt and pepper

1-2 Tbsp olive oil

2-3 cups cheddar cheese

1. Cook spaghetti squash, scrape out with a fork and set aside in a colander to drain

2. Preheat oven to 350 F

3. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat

4. Season chicken, zucchini and onion with oregano, basil, salt and pepper

5. Saute chicken, zucchini, onion and garlic for 5-10 minutes until soft

6. Combine chicken and veggies in a large bowl with the spaghetti squash. Taste and add more seasoning as needed

7. Mix in half of the cheddar cheese and pour into a large casserole/baking dish and top with the rest of the cheese

8. Cook 30-35 minutes until cheesy is bubbly on top

9. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving


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Monday Funday

My birthday has come and gone and I had a blast. I left after work on Friday and headed down to St. Louis to see my friends from my dietetic internship. It was a whirlwind trip! We had an ugly Christmas sweater birthday party for me and my two friends: Alyson and Sarah. Check out Alyson’s blog for awesome recipes.


I started my Monday off with a 40 minute treadmill run and 7 min walk/cool down followed by my reps for the 2012 Closeout Workout Challenge. Finished another 70 reps and I may do more later tonight. I had taken my weekend off from working out in St. Louis and this run was difficult. My face was bright red and sweaty.


Afterwards, Adam and I headed up to Chicago for a sibling afternoon with Amanda. We hit up Chriskindlmarket which is a traditional  German holiday market. There were a bunch of booths filled with Christmas ornaments, homemade trinkets and German food. We browsed around for a few hours. Amanda and I bought ornaments for an ornament exchange we are going to on Sunday. The ornaments at these booths are beautiful. I’ll get pictures of them after the exchange has happened. We, also, picked up a new pickle ornament for our pickle present competition on Christmas. It was a cloudy and cold day in Chicago but we saw a couple snowflakes! well worth freezing a bit. It also made getting hot chocolate in a ceramic boot mug totally needed! Tasty chocolate yumminess. 20121210_101058

Somewhere in the above picture is Chicago! I promise.

Adam and I then headed back home. The rest of my day was boring I went to the grocery store, watched some Glee and made a dinner. We had chicken, mashed potatoes and salad. Boring but tasty. I used Simply Potatoes Garlic Mashed Potatoes that we received for free when Mom bought some beef at the store last week. It was the first time I’ve tried them and they were pretty good. I’d buy them again for a lazy night.


How was your weekend and meals recently?

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Garlic Worcestershire Chicken and Veggies

Last night I had plans to make Skirt Steak with Roasted Root Vegetables, a recipe I found in a Food Network magazine over the summer. It was originally to be made last Thursday but kept getting pushed back. I opened up my skirt steak and it smelled awful. Like, take out to the garbage outside awful. Super sad moment because I was looking forward to some beef. I pulled an audible and grabbed a couple of chicken breast from our basement freezer and started them to defrost. I ended up adapting the recipe even more by adding some onion to the carrots and parsnips and adding a gravy to the chicken.


I cut the parsnips and carrots into sticks and the onion into thin strips, tossed them with olive oil, Worcestershire, salt, pepper and rosemary. The veggies were then roasted in a 450 degree oven for 50 minutes, stirring once after about 20 minutes.20121203_165451

Meanwhile, I marinated the chicken in minced garlic, olive oil, worcestershire and chopped rosemary. I let it sit while the oven warmed and the veggies cooked for the first 25 minutes.


After the vegetables were stirred, I heated up my cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Let it get really hot before you start your chicken because then everything will get all caramely and delicious. Let the chicken cook for about 4-5 minutes per side, or until done in the middle. Depends on your pan choice, thickness of chicken and heat.


Please excuse above blurry photo. It looked way better on my phone. Remove your chicken and cover with foil to keep warm. Pour some white wine and chicken broth into your pan. Let the wine boil and prepare a slurry. Combine 2 tsp water with 1 tsp cornstarch. This will act as a thickener for your gravy. Add it to the wine and chicken broth and cook until desired thickness is reached.


Recipe: Garlic Worcestershire Chicken and Veggies (Serves 4)


4 chicken breasts (4-6 oz each)

5 tsp Worcestershire

5 medium carrots, cut into sticks

5 medium parsnips, cut into sticks

1 small onion, sliced  (use more if your family likes onions, my dad dislikes them)

3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp chopped Rosemary

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup white wine

1 cup chicken broth

1 tsp cornstarch

2 tsp water

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. In a shallow baking pan, mix together onion, carrots, parsnips, 2 tsp Worcestershire, 1.5 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 Tbsp rosemary. Stir until the veggies are well coated. Put in oven for 50 minutes, stirring after 20 minutes.

3. In a medium to large bowl, mix together chicken breasts, garlic, 3 tsp Worcestershire, 1.5 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 Tbsp rosemary, salt and pepper. Let sit for about 15-2o minutes to let chicken marinate.

4. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes. Let it get really hot. Add chicken and cook 4-5 minutes per side, or until done.  Remove and cover with foil

5. Add white wine and chicken broth to pan and stir.

6. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water together. Add to gravy and cook until thickened to desired consistency. Serve over the chicken and veggies.

This is a good comforting meal for a cold night. If only it was cold here! It was in the 60s when I ate dinner but I’m going to pretend it was cold out. It’s, also, pretty healthy. About 455 calories per serving and 25 g protein.

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Kale and Lentils with Shredded Chicken

What is this? Two posts in one day? I figured since the one earlier was about yesterday that I should post something about today. Dinner tonight comes once again from Everyday Food Magazine. This recipe from April 2007. I adapted it lightly to fit my own palate and what we had in the house. Simple things like cooking my own lentils instead of using canned and adding some garlic.

This was another tasty dinner with thumbs up from the parents and myself. The lemon juice really brightens everything up and the taste is earthy and complex. The flavors blended together really well. Plus, it’s healthy!

We finished this dinner off with sundaes from Oberweis which is my guilty pleasure. Mom and I split one and asked for it to be light on the candy. Living and eating well is all about balance.

Kale and Lentils with Shredded Chicken (serves 4)


4 chicken breasts, I used Market Days Chicken Steaks (4 oz each)

2 cups cooked lentils, boiled in salted water

2 bunches kale, stems removed and cut into bite size pieces

1 small onion, diced

1 tsp thyme leaves

1-2 tsp garlic powder

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 lemon

salt and pepper to taste

1. Prep your ingredients

2. Cook your chicken. My preferred method is to sear them in a cast iron skillet, flip once browned on first side and cook in a 400 degree oven until done. Set aside to cool slightly before shredding. I used about 1/2 Tbsp of oil to do this part

3. In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium heat. Cook onion for 5-6 minutes until soft and translucent.

4. Add in kale along with the rest of the oil, sprinkle with about half the thyme and garlic powder and cook 5-6 minutes until tender, remove to a medium mixing bowl (everything will end up in this bowl so make sure its big enough for all the ingredients)

5. Heat lentils up in the saucepan and season with thyme and garlic powder. Once thoroughly warmed, add to kale and onion.

6. Shred chicken and mix everything together. Squeeze in the juice from half a lemon and mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add more garlic powder or thyme as needed.

For fun I used Myfitness pal to figure out the nutrition facts.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 380 calories, 39 g carbohydrates, 38 g protein, 10 g fat (mostly the good ones), 11 g fiber, 40% DV iron, 25% Calcium

Those are pretty awesome numbers. Its a nice healthy meal that incorporates vegetables and protein. Yummy


What did you have for dinner? Any special treats tonight?

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