Entries in Meal Planning (2)
When I'm meal planning for the week ahead I always try to incorporate as much variety as I can. Chicken is usually on the menu, vegetables are always front and centre, and sometimes we take a break from meat altogether... meatless Mondays anyone?
Food can get boring pretty easily with repetition, especially when lean chicken breast is a mainstay in our house. Unless you know how to spice things up from time to time. Know what I mean?
Enter the world of spices & herbs and a little out of the box thinking.
That's where this recipe for healthy faux-fried/ chicken comes in. If you recall that lunch salad I made a while ago topped with baked chicken; this is the recipe for the chicken.
Crisped to perfection in the oven using homemade whole grain breadcrumbs and fresh grated Parmesan cheese. A hint of fresh thyme also adds flavour that's reminiscent of Spring.
My go to lunch is almost always a leafy green salad with protein (chicken, hard-boiled egg, lean pork tenderloin, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, nuts etc.). When it comes to salad dressing I will either make my own or opt for lemon juice or balsamic vinegar (sometimes with a bit of olive oil). I've recently discovered how amazing fresh minced ginger root is added to my salads. It practically acts like a salad dressing. It adds a nice zing and it's super good for you too.
The leftovers are really good too. So far I've tried it in my lunch salads and in a wrap all nice and toasty with spinach, mustard, leaf lettuce, and shredded carrots.
Crispy Baked Chicken (serves 4)
- 4 chicken breast halves
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup skim milk
- 1 tsp Sriracha
- 1 cup whole grain bread crumbs *(I like to make my own)* See Note
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- a pinch of smoked paprika (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375*F. Place an ovenproof wire-rack on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, and Sriracha. In a separate medium sized mixing bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, thyme, cheese, and paprika.
- Dip each piece of chicken in egg mixture, shake off excess liquid, then roll in breadcrumb mixture to coat. Arrange on prepared pan/ wire rack.
- Bake without turning for 50 minutes to 1 hour until internal temperature registers 180*F on an instant read thermometer.
To make your own breadcrumbs, take a few slices of day old whole grain bread and chop into small (1 inch) cubes. Place them on a baking sheet in the oven on 350*F for 5-10 minutes or until they are nice and toasty. Watch they don't burn! Transfer them to your food processor and give them a quick whir until they resemble breadcrumbs. You can give them a drizzle of olive oil before toasting, but it isn't necessary.
I thought I'd try something a little different today by posting my clean eats for the day, but don't worry I'll have another recipe for you next week. I have quite the mix of delicious meals to share with you too. I might even make a thing of this and continue to give you a weekly peek at my eats for an entire day. Sort of like a food diary. Of course I'm a eat-whole-foods nutrition nut, so you can expect nothing but the best. Maybe I'll even inspire someone to start doing the same.
Looking back at a full day of meals can benefit your healthy eating goals so much. I know I love getting meal inspiration from many of the what-I-ate blogs out there (many of which are Registered Dieticians or one's in the making).
Now let's get to it shall we?
If you're an edible sound bites reader, you already know that oatmeal is my first breakfast love. It's stick to your ribs good! Todays bowl was the usual with cinnamon, chia seeds, banana, and almond butter. Plus a cup of David's Tea delicious organic Some Velvet Morning green tea. I forgot to take a picture but it looked exactly like this only with cinnamon sprinkled on top.
A little bit of low-sodium water packed canned tuna and chopped cucumbers to tide me over until lunch. Not overly appetizing but definitely the perfect combination of protein and water based carbohydrates to keep the metabolism burning.
Most day's I aim for a salad - the best way to get green's and veggies in! Bright leafy greens are just so cleansing for your body. In the mix was romain and red leaf lettuce, sliced cucumbers, 1 chopped medjool date, baked chicken (recipe coming soon!), and a little drizzle of balsamic vinegar for dressing.
Afternoon Snack: 4:30pm
Today was a gym day. A weight lifting gym day that is, which meant that I had a new routine with repetitions of 5x10 + heavy weights. I needed some serious energy so I had a Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar to fuel me.
Dinner was an incredible piece of bbq'd rainbow trout, steamed veggies and roasted sweet+russet potatoes. And that was all she wrote.
Speaking of Larabars, this arrived on my doorstep the other day.
- 9 different flavours (some of which you can't buy in Canada...I'm looking at you Ginger Snap & Carrot Cake!)
- A cute Larabar bag that they came in.
- And a pretty apron from anna's apron's etsy shop. I love the pattern and colours.
I've been a fan ever since I first spotted them a few years ago. What I love about them so much is their minimal, healthy ingredient lists. No preservatives. Only fruits and nuts with the occasional added spice. The Peanut Butter Cookie one is made up of 3 ingredients; peanuts, dates, and sea salt. That's it! Simplicity doesn't get much better than this.
That's it for me today. I hope everyone has a great weekend!