For the last 2 weeks I have had no laptop after my Mac decided to crash, and not unlike my Mac I too (metaphorically) crashed, well at least my immune system did. This change in season from a scorching summer to an icy autumn (it’s not even winter yet and there is snow on the mountains) and the switching on of the awful indoor heating has taken its toll. I very rarely get sick, as I am not much of a pill popper (which I believe is a big contributing factor to why my immune system is usually so resilient) and unless I’ve grown another limb I never visit the doctor (which may or may not have something to do with growing up with a mother who is a nurse).
But alas, I am human, and the winter fiend has got me.
When I am sick my diet is terrible! Largely due to laziness and lack of motivation. If I am not exercising I struggle to keep my eating in check and I sort of give up. For example, I bought a bag of mini Kit Kats for the Halloween kids that I knew would never come by, and a week later…there are two left. As much as I would like to pretend my husband played a role in that demolition, I must hold my hands up and take full responsibility, ’twas I.
This brings me to the conversation of meal prepping and how a few hours spent is many more saved.
Had I meal prepped last Sunday I would have had all my meals ready to go, regardless of my feelings on that day, and I wouldn’t have resorted to buttered toast and Marmite as my main food group. I rarely have a problem preparing dinners because I plan what I am going to make every night of the week on a Sunday/Monday, and perhaps because I cook for two I have an added responsibility to feed another human. Popcorn for dinner one night after the next has been known to happen when I am responsible for only myself.
When it comes to lunch and snacks I am not as good with planning.
This week I have decided to make sure I focus on prepping my lunches and snacks so that when a bout of laziness hits in, diving head first into a packet of kit kats doesn’t follow.
Full disclosure, I am sure very few of you actually read my whole dialogue above because I am the person who usually “skips to recipe” and rolls my eyes at random stories about how sorry someone is they haven’t posted a blog post because their kid pooped on the carpet that day. I truly do try to include some useful information or at least some moral support to let you know you are not the only one swimming in a sea of chocolate wrappers. For those of you reading, thank you for taking the time to do so.
Which brings me to my recipe…
This dish can be made in one (oven safe) pot. I use my Le Creuset Casserole pot because it’s the best thing since everything. The cooking time of this dish is due to oven time, so your actual cooking time is far less. It has about 6 decent servings which means it’s a great dish to whip up and store in the fridge for 3-6 of your meals depending on how many of you there are.
It’s packed with lean protein from the chicken breast, as well as vegetarian type protein in the quinoa, which is also a fibre loaded carbohydrate. The vegetables are full of delicious bold flavours as well as necessary micronutrients (read about macros and micros here), and you will even get a small dose of dairy. To me, this is a perfectly balanced, filling meal which is FULL of flavour.
Protein Packed Mediterranean Chicken & Quinoa Bake
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
- 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cups fresh basil, shredded
- ½ lemon, juice + zest
- salt + pepper to taste
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 Eggplant (Aubergine), chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 2 T. tomato paste
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
I cannot claim responsibilty for this recipe, however please note the changes I made in my ingredients list. These are not necessary changes but it’s how I made mine. Recipe Method: http://liveanddiet.com/2016/04/one-pot-mediterranean-quinoa-chicken.html
According to the ingredient changes I made these are the nutritional values per serving: Calories 293 Protein 23.8g Carbs 25.9g Fat 9.6g