Creating my own busywork

April 13, 2008


I keep a binder for all of my gluten-free recipes, as well as ones I want to try. It was a little disorganized, to say the least. I had been shoving the printed versions into the front binder pocket for months, so there were papers sticking out everywhere – and finally, yesterday morning, I dropped it. Imagine that.

I really needed something to organize all those pieces of paper. So I broke down and bought MasterCook 9.0 and started copying and pasting from Just Not Dinner, copying and pasting, copying and pasting. All day long. The really scary part of all this is that I now know what the nutritional content is for all of these recipes, and oh boy.

How did I stay at 108 pounds for 2 years?

Since I collapsed my dress orthotics with the extra 20 pounds I have put on since October or so, I guess I better pay attention to what I am putting in my mouth for a while and see how I do. I downloaded a nutrition program for my PDA and have been entering everything I shove in my mouth in there every day. Ladies and gentlemen, I have been eating far too much crap and not enough of the good stuff, like I used to.

I figure that a good part of not cooking healthy for myself is that whole cooking-for-other-people thing. On Sundays, I cook for a minimum of 7 hours. One other day of the week, it’s about 4 hours. Both people I cook for are…particular…about the foods they eat. So while I love-love-love to cook, it’s sometimes hard to have fun when it’s the same stuff over and over again. But that’s okay. I love that I am helping two people important in my life eat healthy and well.

I am trying to find the old me in the kitchen again. I need to stop taking the easy route of a pizza or sandwich for dinner instead of a wholesome meal. And I need to stay away from the damn Jelly Bellys and Doritos.

That being said, I am now closing the container of Jelly Bellys I was noshing on while typing the last few paragraphs. Someone take these away from me, please.

I made a truly delicious meal on Friday night, reminiscent of the dinners I used to make when I was in control of my snackiness. Saturday saw another Vault muffin recipe converted to gluten free (I will give the recipe in another post).

When I got home from work on Friday, I had no clue what to make for dinner. The Man wasn’t home (a shocker, I know) so I knew I could putz and play and cook what I would like to eat, not what he would be willing to eat. Out came the savory Vault binder. I opened up the section for chicken and rapidly flipped through the page protectors in hopes that something simple would jump out at me.

I don’t know if this qualifies as simple, but it has two bonuses – once I adapted it to what I wanted, I didn’t have to go to the store to get additional ingredients (everything was in the pantry and fridge) and it was damn tasty.

Chicken with Sugar Snap Peas & Asparagus
Adapted from a recipe by Eating Well, found in The Vault

1 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 healthy pinch of salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tsp + 2 tbsp white rice flour
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup fresh sugar snap peas
1 cup fresh asparagus spears cut into 2″ pieces
3 tbsp minced fresh chives
2 tsp champagne vinegar

In a small bowl, whisk together the broth, mustard, salt, pepper and 2 tsp flour until smooth. Set aside.

Using a mallet or rolling pin, pound the chicken breasts until they are between 1/4″ and 1/2″ thick. Sprinkle both sides of each chicken piece with the remaining white rice flour.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet (I actually used a large chef’s pan for this, which worked well) over medium heat. Cook the chicken until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the cooked chicken breasts to a plate and cover with foil to keep them warm.

Using the same skillet; stir the broth mixture and add it to the skillet along with the peas and asparagus. Simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and continue to cook until the peas and asparagus are just starting to get tender (5 minutes or so).

Return the chicken to the pan, squeezing it between the vegetables to get them into the sauce so that it can return to temperature. Continue to simmer for 3 to 5 minutes (until completely heated through).

Remove the chicken and place it on a serving plate. Add the chives and champagne vinegar to the skillet and stir. Serve the sauced vegetables with the chicken. I made sour cream, chive and cheddar mashed potatoes to go along with the meail.

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