Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Favorite Salad Bowls and Food Travel Bag

One thing that makes healthy eating more pleasurable is the way the meal is plated and served.  Although I am guilty of eating a meal in my car when I have to, I much prefer to sit down to a pretty table (a simple placemat and fresh bunch of flowers) with some care taken in how the food is presented.  My girlfriend, Karen, turned me on to the best salad bowls ever and I'm hooked on them!  They are the Blanc Porcelain Bowls from  Sur La Table and they are so perfect because they are wide (9 inches) and shallow.  You can see all the beautiful components of your dish in this bowl and have lots of room to mix things up. A pasta or noodle dish is also perfect in this bowl, but I think it's too big to use as a cereal bowl. The bowls are expensive ($9.99 each) but so worth it.  You can microwave them and even cook up to 500 degrees in the oven, and of course, they are dishwasher safe.  A set of 4 made a nice "thank you" gift for my trainer after the bikini competition too.  

The other kitchen item I can't live without now is my insulated World Market Jane Lunch Bag.  It's insulated and I use it probably once a day if I have to take a meal with me on the go to eat later.  I can actually fit quite a bit in there- a tupperware meal for me, one for my son, an icepack, and a juice box! There are pockets on the sides that I use to put plastic silverware and napkins.  The bag is $12.99.

What kitchen item can you not live without?  Please share! 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Mustard Lemon Chicken with Thyme

If you've been following along this blog for long, y'all know how much chicken we eat around here. Last week, I shared how we typically grill up a bunch of chicken and then add it to our salads throughout the week.  I'm keeping chicken on my menu, but I wanted to find more interesting ways to prepare it.  I'm sure you know how boring chicken breasts can be if they're not salted, flavored with herbs and spices, or added to a salad with dressing.  Today, I'm sharing a recipe for Mustard Lemon Chicken with Fresh Thyme as a healthy alternative to salting the heck out of your chicken.  I've partnered with Sunkist Lemons on this post and if you want more info about sodium and reduced-sodium recipes, check out their website

I practically cut sodium out of my diet these last few months, and truthfully, I don't miss it.  I do use salt-free seasonings, but here, a little bit of lemon goes a long way toward brightening and adding flavor to this dish.  

And something about using lemons in the summer feels so fresh.  Aren't they pretty?!

This recipe couldn't be simpler.  You just make the mustard-lemon sauce for the chicken, then bake it in the oven.  This recipe would pair well with rice or pasta and fresh veggies. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place the chicken breasts onto a baking sheet. Make the sauce below and spoon it on top of the chicken.  Add some cracked pepper on top and a few sprigs of thyme, along with lemon wedges.  Bake the chicken for about 35 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees.  Remove from the oven and let rest about 10 minutes. 

Chicken (boneless, skinless breasts)- 6 
Lemon (2) - zest of 1 lemon and it's juice (1 more for in the baking dish and/or garnish)
Garlic - 4 cloves minced 
Dijon mustard - 2 tablespoons
Olive oil - 2 tablespoons 
Thyme - 1 tablespoon + more for garnish
Parsley - enough for garnish
Fresh cracked pepper - to taste

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