After spending the last two weeks sick, I’ve had a lot of time to think of blog posts, but not much motivation to execute them. Now that I’m feeling better, I hope that I can catch everyone up on our latest happenings.
In one of my latest editions of Real Simple magazine, there was an article on “the 30 Healthiest foods…” and I was inspired by that article as well as one of our MOPS meetings on making healthy choices with foods. It was like a light bulb went off and I realized, as the cook of this family I have the responsibility and honor to give my family the healthiest meals and snacks. It’s not just looking at cooking as a duty, it is providing the best nutrients to my growing children, and keeping Jed and I from growing in the wrong direction. We don’t have to eat as many processed foods if I would just plan better when it come to meal planning and grocery shopping. This requires me to do more research on healthy foods and snacks, which I have really enjoyed.
So one week (when I was healthy) I cooked a meal each night that included at least one ingredient from the “Healthy Foods” list in the Real Simple article. Here are two of the recipes that we really enjoyed:
Cajun Chicken Pasta
2 chicken breasts
4 t. cajun seasoning
4 T. butter
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
3 green onions (I just used 1/2 a white onion, chopped)
container of fresh sliced mushrooms
1 t. lemon pepper
2-3 cloves of crushed garlic
1 t. basil
1/2 box bow tie pasta
1 C. whipping cream (or half and half)
Coat chicken with cajun seasoning, cook with butter until white. In separate pot, boil pasta according to box instructions. Add vegetables and seasonings to chicken, saute. After these are cooked, add in pasta and pour whipping cream over pasta and vegetables. Cook on low heat until sauce is thickened. Serve warm.
Chicken with Quinoa and Veggies
1 C. quinoa
2 C. chicken broth
4 T. olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 zucchini, diced
1 tomato, diced
4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
8 fresh basil leaves
1 T. lime juice
1. Bring the quinoa and chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan; reduce heat to a simmer and cover the pan. Simmer until the broth is absorbed, the quinoa is fluffy, and the white line is visible in the grain, about 12 minutes.
2. Heat 2 T. olive oil in a skillet, cook and stir the garlic and onion until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken breast strips and cook until the chicken is slightly pink in the middle, about 5 more minutes. Remove the chicken meat and set aside. Pour 2 more T. of olive oil in the skillet and cook and stir the zucchini and tomato until the zucchini is tender, 5-8 minutes. Return chicken to skillet and sprinkle with feta cheese, basil leaves, and lime juice. Cook until the chicken is fully cooked and hot, about 10 more minutes. Serve over hot quinoa.
I was worried that Jed wouldn’t like the quinoa, but he did like it. I don’t think he would eat it plain, but with the chicken mixture it was delicious. I even gave the kids some of the quinoa, plain, and they really liked it.