February 22, 2015

Roasted Chicken

There are tons of different recipes that call for shredded chicken. You can add it to soups, make chicken enchiladas, use it for sandwiches, and so much more! I like to buy whole chickens and roast them. They're inexpensive, and you can use the meat from one chicken for multiple meals. At SAM's I bought 2 whole chickens, a total of 12.50 lbs, for $13.40.

Usually I'll roast a chicken and eat some of it that night with some vegetables and rice. Then I'll use the rest of the meat throughout the week in a bunch of different meals.

All you need is a chicken, a lemon, and your favorite seasonings!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Remove the plastic from the outside of the chicken and rinse it with water, inside and out. Check and make sure theres not a bag of giblets inside. If there is, take that out. Then pat it dry with a paper towel and let it sit for about 10 minutes. If the chicken isn't dry the skin won't crisp up.

Place the chicken in a baking dish and season with whatever you want. I used salt, pepper, and some thyme. Don't be a wimp when it comes to seasoning! There's no need to spray the baking dish with any nonstick spray either. 

Take your lemon and using a toothpick or a fork, poke holes in the outside. 10-15 should be enough. This lets the juice escape while the chicken is roasting. 

Take the lemon and stick it inside of the chicken. 

This is when you would normally use butchers twine and tie everything up and make it look nice, but I don't have time for that and I don't really care what it looks like since I'm the only one eating it! So I just used toothpicks and sealed up the chicken so the lemon stays put.

Next, turn the chicken over so that the breast side is down and season that side of the bird. 

Now place the chicken in the oven.

The cooking time depends on how large your bird is. Mine was about 6 lbs. The total cooking time should be about 20-25 minutes per pound. You're also going to raise the temperature for the last 20 minutes of cooking.

To figure out the cooking time, multiply the weight (in pounds) of the bird by 20, then subtract 20 and divide by 2. This will give the amount of cooking time for each side, then an additional 20 minutes at the end.

For example, 6 lb bird:

6 x 20 = 120
120 - 20 = 100
100 / 2 = 50

So I cooked my chicken for 50-55 minutes on each side. Increased the temperature to 400 degrees, and cooked for an additional 20 minutes.

This is what it looked like when I flipped it the first time.

Once your chicken is done, give it about 10 minutes to rest before eating. Then remove the rest of the meat from the chicken and save for later! I know its not the prettiest chicken ever, but it sure is delicious! Make sure to remove all of those toothpicks!

Happy Cooking!

January 25, 2015

Baked Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan is a classic, and baking it in the oven as opposed to frying it really lightens up the whole dish. I make this when I want a fast and easy dinner that I know everyone will like. You could even make the chicken without the sauce and cheese and use it in a ton of other recipes. Serve with some veggies or on top of pasta for a complete meal.

Here's what you'll need:
  • 3 Large Chicken Breasts $9.93
  • 1 cup Breadcrumbs $0.42
  • 3/4 cup Tomato Sauce $0.66
  • 3 Tablespoons Light Butter $0.42
  • 6 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese $0.62

Serving Size: 1 piece of chicken
Total Servings: 6
Price Per Serving: $2.01
Nutrition (per serving):
      Calories: 283
      Carbs:  15g
      Fat:  7g
      Protein:  38g

 Preheat your oven to 450 degrees

Prepare your chicken by taking each chicken breast and cutting it in half so you have a total of 6 that are each about 1/2 inch thick.

Melt the butter in a small bowl and spread half on the first side of your chicken breasts.

Pour the breadcrumbs on a plate so that you can place the chicken in them.

Place the chicken in the breadcrumbs and then butter the other side of the chicken. Flip it over and make sure that both sides get coated in breadcrumbs. 

Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray and then spread the chicken out on the sheet. 

Bake the chicken for 20 minutes and then flip and bake for another 5. 

Remove the chicken and spoon the tomato sauce over the top, followed by the parmesan cheese. 

Bake for another 5 minutes or just until the cheese has melted.  

I served my chicken with steamed broccoli and garlic mashed potatoes. 

Happy Cooking! 

January 6, 2015

Butternut Squash Noodles

One more spiralized veggie recipe (for now)! I like this one the most. Butternut squash is one of my favorite winter veggies, and they are great for noodles. combine with some kale, mushrooms, and sausage, and you have the perfect dinner recipe. I use hot italian sausage because it goes well with the sweetness of the squash, but you could use whatever kind you want. 

Here's what you'll need:
  • 1 Butternut Squash $2.30
  • 8oz Mushrooms $2.59
  • **4 Hot Italian Turkey Sausages $4.00
  • 1 Bunch Kale $1.00
**My grocery store was out of the italian turkey sausage, so I had to use regular italian sausage. The nutritional info is using the turkey sausage. 

Serving Size: 1/4 Total Recipe
Total Servings: 4
Price Per Serving: $2.72
Nutrition (per serving):
      Calories: 308
      Carbs:  35g
      Fat:  9g
      Protein:  27g

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

If your sausage is in its casing then you'll need to remove it. You can do this by squeezing in the middle and the sausage will come out the ends, throw the casings away.

Heat a large pan or pot over medium high heat and then add in your sausage. break up the pieces with a fork while cooking. Once done, set aside. 

Take your squash and cut off the bulb on the end. The part that you spiralize should be seedless. If you get any seeds in the part that you cut off (like I did) just scoop them out. Save the bulb part for another recipe, roast in the oven and top with some brown sugar for a sweet treat!

For the part that you'll be spiralizing, peel the skin off of the outside using a vegetable peeler and cut off the end.

Place your squash in your spiralizer and go!

Place the squash on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 7-10 minutes until they're flexible but not mushy, they should bend like pasta.

While your squash is baking, chop up your mushrooms and kale. Saute in a pan over medium high heat until kale is wilted and mushrooms have softened. 

Add in the sausage until it is heated through.

Place the noodles on a bowl or plate and top with the kale mushrooms and sausage. If you want, you can also top with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. 

Happy Cooking!

January 3, 2015

Spiral Cucumber Greek Salad

More Spiralized Vegetables! This time it's spiralized cucumbers mixed with tomatoes, chicken, and feta for a delicious greek salad. You don't have to spiralize the cucumbers in this recipe, you could just chop them up into cubes, but I think it makes this recipe a little more fun. This recipe is super easy, no baking or sautéing, just chopping and mixing!  

This goes great with some Homemade Hummus on top! 

Here's what you'll need:
  • 3 Cucumbers $3.00
  • ~12 Cherry Tomatoes $2.99
  • 12 Tbsp Reduced Fat Feta $5.12
  • 1 Rotisserie Chicken $7.99
  • 1 Lemon $0.79
  • 6 Teaspoons Olive Oil $0.36

Serving Size: 1/6 Total Recipe
Total Servings: 6
Price Per Serving: 3.37
Nutrition (per serving):
      Calories: 223
      Carbs:  9g
      Fat:  12g
      Protein:  23g

Start off by getting your chicken ready. You could just bake some chicken breasts if you want to, but I think this is easier and just as delicious. Remove all the skin from the outside of the chicken and either throw away or save for a future recipe. Then remove all the meat from the chicken and chop into bite sized pieces. 

Spiralize your cucumbers by chopping of the ends and then using your spiralizer. If you don't have a spiralizer, just cube the cucumbers. You can also peel them if you want to.

Place the cucumbers in a bowl and add the juice of one lemon and the olive oil. Toss to combine.

Next chop up your tomatoes. I just cut them in half.

Add the cucumbers to a bowl and add the tomatoes, feta, and chicken on top. Top with a little bit of black pepper and you're done! 

Happy Cooking!