Archive | September, 2013

Chicken Dinner Winner and Happy Friday!

6 Sep

Isn’t it funny how a shortened week can still draaaaag along? I swear the last four days have seemed never-ending, but we did it people! Friday has arrived! Due to recent automobile difficulties (read: Blair’s car dying in the middle of the street), I have been utilizing the metro more to get to and from work. Luckily the weather noticed this change in circumstance and toned down the heat a little this week. (Obviously on my account, the weather and I are very close) But this morning I was graciously picked up by a colleague at 6am sharp. As I took a step outside, I was hit with some very crisp, maybe even cold morning air. It felt amazing! I closed my eyes, took in a deep breath of autumn (I know I’m jumping the gun a little, but I don’t care!), and could practically taste the hot chocolate that I will be living on all season.
Blair and I have been trying to get better at using the ingredients in our cupboards mixed with fresh ingredients in order to maintain a better budget. This week’s favorite recipe: Roast chicken breast with spiced tomato and chickpeas. I went to epicurious.com to find the recipe, and boy is it a keeper! We already had the chicken breasts, chickpeas, and tomatoes so we were off to a great start. I had all the spices on hand, and instead of plain Greek yogurt (which TJ’s was out of), I used light sour cream from my fridge. The first time I made it, I didn’t have cilantro, but I sprinkled some dried oregano on top so I still tasted some herby goodness in there.

Not too shabby, right?

Not too shabby, right?

The chicken breasts we had were enormous, so I ate half and Blair took the other
half with him for lunch the next day. We’re kinda getting the hang of this
eating on a budget thing!

2chkn

Mine on the left, his on the right! Can you see the really great lighting I was working with….(Must. learn. how. to. use. camera)

It was also a snap to make.

Roast Chicken Breasts with Garbanzo Beans, Tomatoes and Paprika (adapted from epicurious.com)

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed ( I just chopped them and squished them a little with the flat side of the knife to get their juices flowing)
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika (I didn’t have smoked, and I’m not always wild about a smoky flavor, so I used regular!)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt or Greek yogurt (or sour cream in my case)
  • 4 chicken breast halves with bones (no bones for me!)
  • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas),  drained
  • 1 12-ounce container cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided (I’m sure Parsley would work too, and I used oregano the first time!)

Preheat oven to 450. Mix the spices with the olive oil in a large bowl, give a good whisking. Add a couple of teaspoons of the mixture to the Greek yogurt, mix, put aside in fridge. Put the chicken on rimmed baking sheet. I put foil on the sheet first, and it made clean-up a breeze! Spoon 2 tablespoons of the spicy oil over the chicken and get them nice and coated. Add salt and pepper to the chicken. Put the garbanzo beans and tomatoes in the bowl with the spicy oil and get them totally coated. Add bean and tomato mixture to the chicken on the sheet. Pop it in the oven for 20-30 minutes depending on chicken breast size. If you hear little bursts coming from your oven, those are just the tomatoes, and trust me, there is nothing better than a roasted tomato bursting out of its skin! (It doesn’t make a mess, either) When the chicken comes out, hit it with some cilantro if you’ve got it, and serve it with the spicy yogurt. Delicious, satisfying, healthy, and easy clean-up. Definitely staying in the dinner rotation.

I took an unfortunately long break from running this week, four days. However, four days used to be the norm for me in between runs which explained why I only got in 1-2 runs per week, and then I would take week –long breaks every now and then. Yesterday was one of those turning points, where 4 days could have turned into five or seven, and I would continue my pattern of off-and-on running. I am happy to say, I changed my habit yesterday. I really didn’t feel like getting out of bed, but not only did I force myself out, I ended up running 4 miles instead of my usual 3. They weren’t the fastest, but my average pace was still faster than it was 6 months ago.  I feel really great about getting out there and not letting myself get totally off track, and I can’t wait for another great run today after work!

This weekend is one of those blessed times when we don’t have any plans. I have a little to-do list, but mostly I just want to enjoy the beautiful weather we’ve been having (I haven’t checked the forecast, so if it’s supposed to rain, don’t tell me!), and be active. The top item on my to-do list is getting in some hours with my weight management book; I need to make a schedule to keep myself on track so I can take the exam in October. I also want to clean the apartment so I can get ready for fall decorations, which leads to another priority of the weekend: Scour pinterest and choose some cheap DIY projects for fall!

 

What are your favorite fall decorations? Do you buy or make yourself?

 

 

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