Thursday, February 25, 2010

Quick Dinner

Fried Egg and Vegetable

If there was ever a day I would be embarrassed to share, today would be the day. Good thing I don't take photos of everything! Ha!

Let's just say it included a couple of Pop-Tarts and what my coworker called a "PMS cookie" whatever it was, it was pretty tasty. A cookie crust with melted chocolate, pecans and coconut. Yum. Oh and some vegetable straws, which weren't all that bad for me.

I came home, though, not all that hungry and needing some serious nutrition. Because I wanted something light, I microwaved a box of Green Giant frozen veggies and fried up an egg. It was actually a decent combo.

I will make tomorrow a healthier day. I will make time to go down and grab my usual oatmeal from the cafeteria, I'll choose brown rice with tofu and veggies at Mongolian BBQ, and I'll reheat the last of my super healthy vegetarian chili for dinner. If I snack.. I'll snack on fruits/veg/yogurt. And.. I'll make time for a workout after work.

How do you "make up" for a less than healthy day?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Spiced Chicken with Barley

Spiced Chicken with Barley

Thanks for all the suggestions on roasting chicken! I can't wait to try it out.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who has had issues with the oven smoking. You'd think they'd mention those things in a recipe?

I was super busy this weekend. I was out more than I was home -- which is pretty rare for my weekends. Even though was busy I still fit in two workouts, a 3.1 mile run/walk around the indoor track at my work's gym (still working up to running a 5K outdoors) and my Sunday yoga class. It was the last class of the session and we went through all the postures we learned this session. I'm pretty sure I'll be sore tomorrow!

Dinner took awhile, but it's one of my favorite meals. I first shared the recipe in 2007. It makes a ton of food and is super filling. Plus, it uses bone-in chicken, so it's a good value. The recipe calls for chicken thighs, but I used a few thighs and a few drumsticks. You might even be able to use bone-in chicken breast if you don't like dark meat.

It was a perfect choice for a cool, rainy weekend.

Spiced Chicken with Barley
Adapted from Cooking Light. Serves 6.

1 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
1 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs or drumsticks, skin removed
1/2 tsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 (14.25 ounce) cans of less-sodium chicken broth1 1/4 cups uncooked pearl barley
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
Chopped green onions for garnish

Combine first 7 ingredients; rub chicken with half of spice mixture.Heat oil in a large nonstick saute pan with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

Add onion and red bell pepper to pan; cook over medium-high heat 3 minutes or until vegetables are lightly browned. Stir in soy sauce, broth, barley, tomatoes, and remaining spice mixture.

Add chicken to pan, nestling into vegetable mixture. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes. Uncover; simmer 10 minutes until the liquid is nearly evaporated. Let stand 15 minutes. sprinkle with green onion.

304 calories, 4.8 grams fat (sat. 1.1, mono 1.4, poly 1.5), 9.2 grams fiber, 41 grams carbs

Friday, February 19, 2010

Roasting Chicken

Roasted Chicken Thighs w/ Cauliflower

I want to know how people roast chicken without smoking up the place? Seriously. I need this answered.

I once tried to roast a whole chicken in my apartment and it was complete insanity. I had the oven on super hot — maybe 425 or 450. It was what the recipe recommended. The chicken spit grease all over my oven and burnt and smoke started pouring into my kitchen. I had the dinky exhaust fan on high but that doesn't help much. I'm pretty sure it was just pushing the smoke around the room.

Then, my ear-splitting smoke detector went off. I'm pretty sure my entire apartment complex heard it. Nothing was actually burning on the chicken.. it was pretty much just the grease I think. Then, I have to clean my oven the following day or else it smokes up anytime I put my oven up to 400 degrees.

I was convinced it was my el cheapo apartment oven and bad exhaust that was the culprit, so I tried roasting these chicken thighs in my mom's oven. Same smoke problem, only this time, the smoke detector didn't go off because there's plenty of space between the oven, plus a window to help vent the smoke.

I know people roast chickens all the time.. so there has to be some trick to it. I can't believe people put up with the smoke, the lingering smell and the dirty, greasy oven afterward. So what's the deal?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Halibut with BBQ Tomato Sauce

Halibut with Barbecue Tomato Sauce and Honey Mustard Polenta

I am not dead — just super busy. Last week especially. Taking work home really sucks and that was my life last week. The other three weeks or so I was missing in action? I really have no excuse other than I was tired and hungry by the time I made it home and could only manage to make food and collapse on the couch.

What can I say? Sometimes I'm just a bit lazy.

I've also made a lot of grilled cheese/soup combos and ugly food I just didn't feel like sharing.

This halibut with BBQ tomato sauce and honey mustard polenta was probably the best of the bunch the past few weeks, honestly. I've never had halibut before. I could never find it at Meijer, Kroger or Aldi. I've seen it at Whole Foods, but I'm there so rarely I never think to pick it up and try it.

That all changed a few weeks ago when I spotted halibut steaks in the frozen seafood case at Meijer. Hallelujah I could finally make one of the zillions of halibut recipes I've collected and never made.

I was drawn to this one mostly because I heart roasted grape tomatoes and polenta.. plus, I was curious — what would honey mustard in polenta taste like?

This tasted like BBQ fish with cornbread. BBQ fish may sound kind of crazy, but I swear it's much better than it sounds. Especially with the slightly sweet, not too mustardy polenta.

As for the halibut, I'm sure I'll make it again. It wasn't overly fishy in my opinion and is thick enough that I didn't overcook it (something I tend to do with fish). The downside is a 12 oz package (with two pieces) was $9.99. A little pricey — especially if you're feeding a whole family.