It's Monday and no one wants to slave in the kitchen after a long day of work. Yesterday my husband made the most delicious Soba Noodle bowl. It's so refreshing on a warm summer evening and it takes less than 30 minutes to make.
he other night I was flipping through the Cooking Light magazine and they had a section of sheet recipes and the thought to myself "why am I not meal prepping this way? Umm hello Jo..." I pulled some lemons from the garden and went to work in the kitchen to meal prep for this upcoming week.
Lately I've been on the struggle bus with eating healthy and it hit me on Friday night why. I had been so busy with a ton of meetings that had me traveling back and forth to SF and I haven't been as consistent with my meal prepping as I have generally in the past. Part of this is due to having such an major shift in my life from having a full time traditional 9-5 career to now figuring out how to align all my passions of health and wellness together. As I begin to figure that part of life out I had to remember that the most important thing to do is to give myself grace in this major transition of life. (giving myself grace, although I preach it so much, is not always easy)
So Friday night I got turnt up in the kitchen and started to meal prep for part of my upcoming week. I bought this basil plant from Trader Joes and decided that to start pulling off all the basil leaves from it because I'm terrible at keeping plants to make lemon basil chicken.
- 3 Chicken Breasts roughly 1.5lbs (cut to 2 inch strips to cook more evenly)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Coarse sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 8 garlic cloves, finely chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
- 1 small onion, chopped (about ½ cup)
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar or white wine (I’ll let you guess what I used)
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice (from about 1 lemon)
- 1½ teaspoons lemon zest, finely grated (from 1 lemon)
- 1 cups low sodium chicken broth (475 ml)
- 1 cup fresh basil, leaves torn or coarsely chopped (about 1 large bunch) (more for garnish)
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced, for garnish
- Pre-heat a iron skillet or dutch oven on medium-high for a minute and then add the oil. Add the chicken breasts and cook until deeply browned (5-7 minutes). Turn and lightly brown other side (3-5 minutes). Remove chicken to a plate and set them aside.
- Use the same pan as you used to cook the chicken. Lower the heat to medium. Add onions and cook until just soft, 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and stir for one minute more. Whisk in the apple cider vinegar or wine and let it simmer for 3 minutes while scraping up any brown bits with a wooden spoon.
- Add honey, lemon juice and zest and bring to a simmer. Taste sauce for seasoning, add salt and pepper as needed. Stir in half the basil.
- Put the heat down to low and add back the chicken and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add the rest of the freshly chopped basil and enjoy.
Now if you wanna make this for the family or if you're not looking to have a lean protein version then simply change up the chicken breasts to chicken thighs with the skin on. And replace the step 1 and 4 with the following:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat a iron skillet or dutch oven on medium-high for a minute and then add the oil. Add the chicken thighs skin down and cook until deeply browned (5-7 minutes). Turn and lightly brown other side (3-5 minutes). Remove chicken to a plate and set them aside.
4. Put the the entire skillet in the the preheated oven uncovered and cook for 10-20 minutes.
I love prepping my meals and following macros. Now this might not be the case for everyone and everyone may not like this, but it works for me and my busy life. My biggest piece of advice: FIGURE OUT WHAT TYPE OF HEALTHY MEAL PLANNING WORKS FOR YOU! Now I know you're probably asking: "How do I do that, where do I start?!" My answer: Experiment. This part of your journey will take a little bit of trial and error until you find what works best for you since nutrition is very personalized to the individual.