Reader’s Recipe: Rosemary Chicken

Thank you to Kelly for submitting a recipe for rosemary chicken from Real Simple magazine, which I selected as my first Reader’s Recipe!

*Don’t forget to comment on this post with a recipe or key ingredient you think I should try next week!*

I was intrigued by all the yummy veggies in Kelly’s  recipe, but what sealed the deal for me was the ease of the recipe. You guys know I love easy, peasy dinners!

After work, I swung by the grocery store to pick up the necessary ingredients as well as my weekly essentials.

I arrived home to my sick fiancé and crazy dog. Poor Ryan stayed home from work today because he’s not feeling so hot. This dinner seemed like the perfect dish of comfort food for a sick boy and I figured it was  good night to try out this warm and nutritious meal. Let’s hope it helps him get healthy fast!

Dinner came together quickly, and after a few minutes of slicing and dicing, the chicken and veggies were a-roastin’!

Rosemary Chicken + Roasted Veggies

Rosemary Sprigs

My favorite part of this dish was the roasted zucchini. The combination of the veggie with the olive oil and sweetness of the rosemary made it taste phenomenal.

Chicken

My Plate

Ryan and I both enjoyed second helpings of this dinner. Ryan said we should make thie recipe again if only for the smell. The rosemary made our whole apartment smell fantastic!

I also enjoyed a small bottle of POM Wonderful pomegranate juice with dinner for some added sweetness.

POM Juice

I’m off to unpack from our weekend in St. Pete before climbing in bed early. I’m tiiiired.

Rosemary Chicken with Zucchini

Serves 4, Hands-On Time: 15m Total Time: 1hr 15m

Ingredients

  • 1 pound new potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 small zucchini
  • olive oil
  • whole-grain mustard
  • 1 bunch rosemary
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 4 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 1-quart resealable plastic freezer bags

Directions

  1.  Heat oven to 400° F. Quarter the potatoes. Peel the carrots. Cut the carrots and zucchini into 2-inch sticks. Mix them in a bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons mustard, 1 tablespoon rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Season the chicken with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  2.  Roast for 25 minutes. Toss the vegetables, turn the chicken, and continue roasting until the chicken is cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes more. Divide among individual plates.

Managing Mindless Eating

My work’s fridge has several containers of Einstein Bros. Bagels schmear (aka cream cheese) leftover from a bagel breakfast last week, so I took full advantage of the remaining goods and spread a thick layer on a multi-grain sandwich thin for lunch today.

I added several slices of zucchini that I roasted with garlic salt last night to round out my sandwich.

Zucchini and Cream Cheese Sandwich

Roasted Zucchini

On the side I nibbled on steamed broccoli and sugar-free Jello. YUM!

Wednesday's Lunch

Ways to Stop Mindless Eating

I think we’re all victims of eating mindlessly. How many times have you finished a meal and thought to yourself, “Whoa, where did that go!?”

I read such an interesting article on Jessie’s blog (Graze With Me) that she posted from Prevention magazine and wanted to share the little tips and tricks from the article regarding how to stop mindless eating:

  1. Create Stop Signs: Portion out a snack on a plate or in a plastic bag and leave the rest in the kitchen, so when you’ve finished your portion, you’re “done.”
  2. Ignore the Health Halo: Bypass claims hailing products as “low fat” and head straight to the package’s nutritional information for the important information.
  3. Fixate on Fullness: Most people will stop eating or slow down when a bowl is almost empty or when most of the food on their plate is gone. Don’t rely on the amount of food left on your plate to signal when you’re full. Instead, listen to your body’s cues.
  4. Leave the Mess: Unless you can see the damage, you’re not going to remember how much you ate–and you’ll eat more. Simply leaving the shells from the peanuts you ate  in a bowl in front of you can serve as a reminder of how much you’ve already consumed.
  5. Hide Your Treats: Keep small amounts of your favorite treats in the house, but hide them out of sight and out of easy reach–in an opaque container on a high shelf, at the back of the pantry, or in a distant room.
  6. Pour Smarter: We tend to perceive objects that are tall as larger than short, squat ones. That means you’re more likely to fill a low, wide juice glass to the brim but stop about halfway for the tall highball glass, even if they hold the same amount of liquid. So replace any short, wide glasses with tall, slim ones.
  7. Know Where You Overeat: You may be more influenced by where you are (at the movies), what you’re doing (sitting in the dark, watching an engrossing flick), and what the people you’re with are doing (also chomping away) than by the taste and quality of the food in front of you or your own hunger.
  8. Serve Small: Stick to serving bowls that hold just 4 to 6 cups of food. And scale down everything else: Portion out the food with a tablespoon rather than a much-larger serving spoon and switch to salad plates in place of Frisbee-size dinnerware.
  9. Rate the Taste: Imagine you’re a restaurant reviewer and critically examine the flavor of whatever you are eating. If you don’t care for the dish, don’t finish it.
  10. Keep Snacks Simple: Use variety to your advantage. Keep seven or eight different kinds of fruits and veggies in the house rather than three or four. Look for prepackaged produce that offers variety. But when it comes to high-cal, high-fat treats, keep choices to a minimum.

Which tip do you think would most benefit you?

I really like the “serve small” tip (# 8), and often serve myself dinner on a salad plate or my oatmeal in a smaller ice cream bowl. I love feeling like I am digging into a plate of overflowing food and this is a great way to achieve that without breaking the calorie bank.

Fresh Out of the Freezer

Tonight’s dinner was fresh out of the freezer! How’s that for an oxymoron?

Salmon Dinner

Before heading to work this morning, I took a couple of salmon filets out of the freezer and let them thaw in the fridge so they’d be ready for bakin’ for dinner tonight.

What’s your favorite kind of fish?

My favorite fish is salmon, followed closely by grouper.

Our salmon dinner came together quickly. After sprinkling the filets with dill, salt, pepper and lemon juice, I put them in the oven at 375 degrees and let them bake for about 10 minutes.

(For some reason Ryan finds the “Dill Weed” spice label unusually funny. :D)

Fishy

The fish was moist and flaky.

On the side we enjoyed roasted zucchini sprinkled with garlic salt and portobello mushrooms. Can’t forget the veggies!

On our evening walk with Sadie we snagged two oranges off a neighbor’s orange tree and they were a juicy and delicious addition to our meal.

Freshly Picked Orange

Am I a Runner?

I don’t consider myself a runner. Even when I was training for a half marathon, I didn’t consider myself a runner.

I’m intimidated by the people I think are “runners.” The people who run in several races a month and have completed marathon after marathon… I can’t keep up with the big guys!

I like to run for fun. I run in races because I love the atmosphere and the enthusiasm of so many people gathered to do something great for their bodies.

I started signing up for running races after I graduated college. I’ve never tried to improve my time (though it has improved a bit naturally), and always set out to enjoy the race experience.

I don’t know what criteria I have in my head that qualifies someone as a “runner.” I think anyone who runs regularly for fun or to improve their ability is a runner… so wouldn’t that make me one of them? Maybe… Right now I think I’m just a “worker-outer.” 😉

What do you think makes someone a “runner?”

Frozen Pizza Kind Of Night

Tonight felt like a frozen pizza kind of night!

CPK BBQ Chicken Pizza

Ryan and I came home from work feeling a little sleepy and weren’t in the mood to put a lot of time or thought into dinner after spending an hour at the dog park with Sadie.

Thank goodness I nabbed a California Pizza Kitchen frozen BBQ chicken pizza from my parents’ freezer yesterday.

“A crazy good combo of BBQ sauce, smoked Gouda, mozzarella, and chicken served hot from the (oven) grill.”

Dinner came together in a flash!

Hot Pizza

Cheesy

Along with pizza, we enjoyed roasted zucchini sprinkled with a bit of garlic salt.

My Plate

Yum-may!

For dessert I munched on a small apple and followed it up with Dove dark chocolate (x2)!

So Good

I’m off to watch The Ugly Truth with Ryan before getting in bed early tonight. I feel like a bum and need a good night’s sleep!

G’night!

Paper Airplanes, Robin Williams and a Veggie Stir Fry

A Friendly Office Competition

Yesterday really felt like a Friday at work. Everyone was energetic and antsy waiting for the weekend to arrive. That, coupled with the fact that it was the last day for one employee who is moving to New York, made the office quite a-buzz.

At around 4 p.m. my boss came into the “writer’s cube” and told us there would be a paper airplane competition commencing in approximaltey five minutes. We scurried to create the fastest, most aerodynamic jets we could from scrap paper.

Paper Airplane Competition

Paper Airplane Competition

Sadly, the only paper airlplane I ever learned how to make was the old fashioned “hot dog style” plane (Exhibit A: bottom right corner of the picture). I loved my plane and even wrote “Air Julie” in hot pink on the sides, but this affection did not motivate my little flier to fly.

I’m sad to report I actually came in last place out of the entire office in the paper airplane competition. I think Ryan was more disappointed about this news than I was. I believe his exact words were, “Oh Baby, we gotta work on that.” Apparently it’s quite a serious issue.

Dinner

When I got home from work, I quickly assembled a veggie stir fry using random veggies we had on hand.

  • Eggplant
  • Zucchini
  • Onion
Veggierific

Veggierific

I chopped the veggies and sauted them in a pan sprayed with cooking spray. I also added a freshly chopped garlic clove and two sun-dried tomato and mozzarella chicken sausages.

Once the veggies softened, I added a splash of marinara sauce and topped the mix with breadcrumbs.

Cooked Stir Fry

Cooked Stir Fry

Topped with Marinara

Topped with Marinara

Topped with Italian Breadcrumbs

Topped with Italian Breadcrumbs

Ryan and I both loved this simple dinner. The flavor of the sausages really infused all the veggies. Very tasty!

Lots o’ Laughs

After dinner it was time to head toward the UCF Arena for ROBIN WILLIAMS! Yahooooo!

Simlin' before Robin Williams!

Simlin' before Robin Williams!

Tons and tons of people came out to see Robin perform. He was beyond hysterical. I laughed until my tummy hurt!

Unfortunately cameras were not allowed so I couldn’t snap a picture of Robin, but here’s a picture of his stage:

Robin's Stage

Robin's Stage

I love a great night filled with lots of laughter!