Thursday, 28 February 2013

Herb Encrusted Chicken {Clean Eating}

Today I am sharing another one of my easy go-to recipes for when I want a nice easy meal on a busy day or when I need to stock my fridge with some protein for future meals and I don't have a full chicken to put in the Crockpot! It's simple and delicious and you can make it as spicy as you and your family prefer.

This Herb Encrusted Chicken is posted today in honor of a friend...Janet is a lovely woman who attends our church and she is an inspiration because she always has a wonderful attitude in the midst of many physical difficulties. Because of the limitations she endures, she isn't able to leave her home very often. She had been in the hospital a short time ago and due to some illnesses spreading within the hospital she was sent home. It was brought to my attention by another friend that Janet needed some simple clean & healthy foods provided so she could keep her strength up. Everything she was craving as extremely healthy...fruits, vegetables and a good salad...things she was not able to get during her hospital stay. It was also mentioned that she needed some good protein as well to aid in her recovery. So, along with the other fresh food items our family provided, I also prepared this chicken so she could have it on her salads or any other way she preferred. I asked her if she liked spicy foods and she immediately said she LOVED spicy! I couldn't even sample what I made for her because I added so much spice! But she loved it and immediately asked for the recipe.

The thing is, there's really no recipe at all! It's so simple that there is no reason for you not to try it and add it to your regular food prep.

Make sure to read on past the video as I rant a little bit about Clean Eating.





Ingredients:
Chicken Breasts (however many you want for your meal or for future use)
1. Montreal Steak Spice - Very few ingredients & all of them natural- Delicious on beef, delicious on chicken!
2. Bragg Organic Sprinkle - 24 natural herbs - Delicious on anything!


Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Preheat Skillet with a Tbs of Olive oil or non-stick cooking spray.
Sprinkle the seasonings on both sides of each chicken breast and pat them in.
Place them in skillet and sear them for a couple minutes on each side.
Transfer to sprayed oven dish and place in the oven for 30 minutes to cook through.
Serve as desired!


Herb Encrusted Chicken in Lettuce & Spinach salad complete with tomatoes, apples, slivered almonds and Creamy Poppyseed Salad Dressing. On the side: Easy Red Lentil Flatbread (recipe to come!)

Ok...Clean Eating...what do I mean by this? Basically it is attempting to gain access to as many organically prepared foods as you can, preparing as many meals from scratch as you can, eliminating processed and packaged foods from your diet and definitely eliminating as much Fast Food as you possibly can! Unless we all grow our own gardens and raise our own livestock, there is no way to absolutely know where our food has come from and how it is harvested and prepared. But, the reality is, we don't all have the resources, experience and knowledge to do those things. Personally, I have a very brown thumb! I have had very limited success in keeping plants alive. Last summer I had a very successful herb garden, but I have to say that most of the planting was done by my Hubby and for that I am very thankful! We also had a small garden with tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and potatoes, but again, that garden was planted and tended by Kirk as well as our 5 year old, Kaleb who has taken a huge interest in it! Because of them, we were able to have fresh herbs with our meals and a nice harvest of fresh veggies into the Fall!

am not saying we should all become farmers...this is not feasible. Also, let's face it, we are all very busy with the rest of our lives! Being a good spouse, being a good parent, working in our out of the home...it's a lot to think about and trying to eat in a more healthy way can be terribly overwhelming! Therefore, we have to purchase a large portion of our food in the grocery store or the local farmers market if we are blessed to have one nearby. My advice for all of us is to just start small. Don't clear everything out and start over...that isn't a wise thing to do and certainly not financially sound advice!

Start here:
  • Work to clear your pantry of processed foods. 
  • Read every label of the food you purchase to make sure it doesn't contain ingredients of which you are trying to rid your body. 
  • Try to purchase organic produce when you can, but don't stress yourself out about it. It's still going to healthier than any packaged food you purchase!
  • Begin to educate yourself on what foods you should be stocking in your kitchen for YOUR family. We all have picky eaters and as much as we don't like to cater to this, we also want to keep our sanity. Whatever it is that your child eats, find the most healthy alternative and use that. In time they will adjust and grow to love what you give them...even zucchini! :-) You will be surprised at what children will eat when given the chance.
  • Don't beat yourself up if you can't do it all. The most important thing is that you and your family are enjoying each other, that you treat each other well, and love each other as you try to adopt healthier lifestyle habits. 


Now, you may be thinking that I am very much promoting a Gluten-free lifestyle due to most of my videos featuring GF alternatives. I am in no way saying this is THE way you should be eating. There are an increasing number of people who MUST eat this way and I get great pleasure in coming up with tasty alternatives to share with them. Most of my videos will feature the gluten-free recipe, but if you are not adopting this lifestyle, feel free to make each recipe your own creation. I can't stress this enough: EATING GLUTEN-FREE DOES NOT MEAN CLEARING OUT THE GLUTEN-FREE AISLE AT THE GROCERY STORE!!! Please don't do this and expect to become instantly healthier or lose a significant amount of weight. Most pre-packaged gluten-free items are still processed foods, they have less nutrients than "normal" food items due to the lack of certain grains, and they have the same if not more calories than other packaged food items. I'm not saying don't purchase any packaged gluten-free items (GF bread, rolls etc. are extremely hard to make and therefore it is much easier to just purchase ready-made items), but like with anything, the key is moderation

My main goal with the videos and blog is to encourage you and your family to try to eat in a more clean way overall, not to proclaim that our diet is a one-size-fits-all. If all of us attempted to adjust our eating habits, gluten-free or otherwise, we would all have cleaner, happier, more energetic & healthier bodies.

Herb Encrusted Chicken with Lentil & Rice Stir Fry (recipe below)

I hope you try this easy chicken recipe for your family soon and that you strive to eat in a more clean way, not only for your health, but for the benefit of others as well. If you think the side item on this plate looks good then hop on over to my friend, Wendy's blog for this yummy Lentils and Rice Stir Fry. It's great as a side, but I also love to keep the extra in my fridge and use it as a filler for wraps and crepes. It is delicious!!! (Just a side note: the last time I made this recipe I used coconut oil instead of butter and a reversed the amounts of lentils to rice and it came out beautifully! So create it either way...it does not disappoint!)

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Treat yourself well!