Save Time & Energy With A Pre-Baked Chicken

No matter your endurance or love of cooking, there are days when you are just not in the mood to put out much effort. But greasy, fast food? No thanks. A few days ago I was in one of those moods. A hearty meal in pinch….hmm.

I decided to drive to the local grocery store and pick up a whole, roasted chicken. One large chicken could be used for several “No muss, No fuss” meals! Purchasing a couple pre-made bowls of mashed potatoes: Yes, please! Once I returned home, dinner prep was quick-N-easy. Using a pre-baked chicken significantly cuts down cooking time. All I had to do was separate the legs, wings and breasts from the body of the chicken and throw it all on a large serving plate. Warmed the container bowls of mashed potatoes and stuck a large spoon in them to serve. “Family Style” for one. As Emeril Lagasse would say….”Bam!”

Enjoying a relaxing dinner after a long day in the heat, my mind started to wander. What other simple and delicious meals could I prepare with a baked chicken? Here is my TOP 10 list of Baked Chicken recipes. While some of these ideas might be half-baked, it is important to remember to use a chicken that is FULLY-baked.  LoL….I’ll be here all night 🙂

10.) Mini Chicken Pot Pies –  A healthier version that makes 4 single servings and feezable. http://cookthis.menshealth.com/recipes/cook-chicken-pot-pie

8090619.) Chicken Noodle Soup– By chopping some pre-roasted chicken, buying a few 1 quart boxes of chicken broth and doing some easy pre-planning, you can turn a 40 minute ordeal into a 15 minute meal!

http://allrecipes.com/video/564/how-to-make-homemade-chicken-noodle-soup/detail.aspx?prop24=RD_RecipeVideo

8.) Chicken Alfredo PizzaA very simple and tasty alternative to delivery, in half the time! Ingredients: Large Boboli crust, 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, sliced chicken breast, chopped green onions. This is how I’ve always enjoyed it but go ahead, be creative with your toppings!

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7.) Chicken Salad Sandwich –  This is a simple and delicious lunchtime snack. All I need is to chop a chicken breast into bite-sized pieces. Add them to my “Magic Bullet” blender Buy The Bullet. Squirt in mayonnaise, maybe a few raisins or nuts and blend. Spread on bread. Boom!

6.) Chicken Spaghetti Alfredo – If you can boil water and set a timer, you can make this fabulous dinner! I mean, seriously, who doesn’t love chicken and pasta??

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–> Boil water & cook pasta: 12 minutes.

–> In a separate pot, simmer 1 can Alfredo sauce.

–> Chop chicken breast & add to pasta last min.

–> Drain pasta and add sauce; mix.

–> Serve!Piece of cake, eh?

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5.) Chicken Panini – Nothing is easier or more flavorful than a warm, toasted sandwich, especially one filled with meat and veggies! If you don’t have a panini press, toast one side in a pan with a heavy pot on top to act as a press. Set stove to medium-low for 4-5 min., flip, repeat and serve with a nice soup or take it to go.

4.) Chicken & Veggies over CouscousSuper delicious and easy, not to mention healthy! Chop and stir-fry veggies (or buy a frozen bag of mixed veggies.) Add chopped chicken. Mix over medium heat or few minutes. Serve with side of couscous if you like!

3.) Chicken Quesadillasquesadilla1 This is in my arsenal for quick anytime grub. First I lay flat a large tortilla and spread shredded cheese on half. Sprinkle chopped pieces of chicken. Add chopped peppers, onions or tomatoes if you want. I fold the plain tortilla side over and, using my George Forman Grill, toast until cheese is warm and bubbly. 5 minutes. 10, total.

2.) Chicken Taco Salad – Same as regular homemade taco salad with chicken instead of ground beef.taco-salad

1.) OK. So, I’m sure by now you’re wondering what my favorite, time-saving chicken dinner is…

CHICKEN!!  Pick up a pre-roasted chicken from the store, carve it up and serve with a simple side salad. If you can open a bag of mixed greens this is a no-brainer. 

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I hope these food ideas can help you conserve energy so meal preparation can be fun instead of a chore. Maybe you’ll even develop a passion for cooking, like me!

“A meal is an expression of the one cooking it. Invest your own flavor into the food you cook and it will always taste great!”

#Easyprep #Peaceofmind #Winnerwinnerchickendinner.

~Breathe Easy~

Trying New Things

I’ve talked about being inspired and doing things you are passionate about but today I’d like to throw new idea in the mix. Improvement.

We all want to improve and grow. To challenge ourselves by stepping out of our comfort zones. But knowing how is the key! Sometimes what we think is a huge challenge can be tackled with a simple answer.

For instance, you want to make friends but are shy? Join a group for  introverts! Want to learn yoga but disabilities make it difficult to join a gym? Buy a Yoga DVD to learn from home, at your own pace! Want to develop your chef skills but intimidated to jump into unfamiliar territory? Try cooking something you have tried many times already!

This last goal is the basis for my latest meal quest. Going through my www.allrecipes.com recipe box, I found a dinner for Chicken Pot Pie. Having grown up on my mom’s New England recipe, I was familiar with the process and decided to try my hand at the website’s version. The first attempt was an odessy of chopping, measuring, walking around and disorganization. 2 hours later I’d put the dish in the oven and sat down, sweaty and out of breath. 7 Pies, 8 chicken breasts, 20 hours and 2 conniption fits later, I perfected a process that gets the job done; no hassle. It’s all about organization and pacing myself.

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After all, improvement is not just about getting better results. It’s about learning a better way of thinking.

Baked Chicken In A Flash!

Hey Friends! I am so excited to be bringing you this new series! My friend Christine from livingon02forlife and I will be blogging about how to prepare, bake and carve up a whole chicken so that you get the most delicious meals while using the least amount of energy.

Personally, standing for hours on end in the kitchen wears me out. Sad but true. Because I love cooking, I’ve continued improving on how to cook and prepare my favorite recipes. Many are chicken-related. Good news for you!

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What I hope to do is give you the benefit of my experience and help you be more energetic, satisfied that there is one less thing to worry about.

The Inspirational Power of San Diego

What I love about San Diego coastal living is that the weather is consistently beautiful! The beach bum mentality breeds good vibes because, seriously, what is there to complain about?

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So-Cal weather is the perfect combination of warm, sunny rays and cool pacific breezes which heal the body and nourish the soul.

San Diego living has me headed to the ocean’s edge for a good time playing bocce ball or walking my cocker spaniel Shadow. I have tons of fun watching my buddies play volleyball and even had the stamina to temporarily remove my oxygen and sub in a few rallies! Serving a few turns, I was overwhelmed with joy, imagining I could be “one of the guys” without the worries of needing oxygen.

I’ve been doing yoga recently. After an uncomfortable live instructional, I decided to buy a dvd so I could learn from home at my own pace. Even though it’s hard for me to do some of the positions, I do the best I can because I feel like it helps my breathing. Sometimes I’ll be doing the basic stretches on the beach and see people on surf boards doing yoga poses like the sunbird, warrior and child. Now THAT’S impressive!

Another thing that inspires me at the beach is sailing…

A few years ago my aunt and uncle, visiting from a small New England town, joined my brother and me for a beautiful sunny day on the bay. They were so excited because they don’t get weather this nice back east. We decided to rent a sailboat, pack a picnic lunch and set sail. The challenge, of course, was storing a full metal oxygen canister on deck….

What if the boat jerked and the tank dropped into the bay?? Could I last without breath for the 10+ minutes it took for the wind to pull us to land? These are questions I think about each time I go on an outing. If I let those fears take over they can easily ruin what would be an exciting event.

Once we finished our instructional course, we pushed off and opened the sail…..BAM! The wind gust and like a sideways hot air balloon, we shot lickety-split along the water. My lungs filled with fresh oxygen and my heart skipped a beat as if I were on a thunderous roller coaster…..thrilling!

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The feeling of being on the water is unlike anything else. The breeze blowing through my hair, the sun on my face and all my worries tied to land, unable to reach me.

Today, upon arriving at the bayside, I unpacked my knapsack to jot down notes, old-school style (pen and paper) for a blog entry. I’m laying on a faded beach towel I’ve been using since I first learned to swim.

Beach paraphernalia and one oxygen canister are my only companions as the healing sun spontaneously breaks through the clouds to blanket my arms with goosebumps. Chills.

Everywhere you look, there are gifts that can inspire. For me, the beach; the ocean; the cool, fresh air; the warm sun; nothing compares.

**What Inspires You?**

#WorryFreeLiving

Breathe Easy!