Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Breaking in my brand spankin' new kitchen.

Moving always seems to throw a hitch in my healthy eating.

Moving from San Antonio caused problems, simply because it threw off my healthy eating momentum. Moving into my new apartment caused bigger problems, as I could no longer rely on my parents making dinner. Because I was in the middle of a million things (such as unpacking, party planning, and making up excuses for why I'm not eating healthy), I took to take out rather than grocery shopping. In fact, my apartment has seen more McDonald's in the past two-and-a-half weeks than my house did in the four months I was there (say what you will, but I always have and always will love those chicken mcnuggets).

Yesterday, I finally made the trip to the store to stock up on some healthy staples. Afterwards, I prepared the first meal in my new apartment [assuming you don't count the roughly 10 frozen pizzas my oven has prepared (which weren't just for me, I promise), the 4 scrambled eggs I made over the weekend, and the meat pasta that someone else cooked last Thursday]. Take a look!

This may be the simplest meal ever, but it's always a crowd pleaser (which isn't that big of an accomplishment, considering that I live by myself and am therefore the entirety of the crowd).

Oh, it looks so delicious that you want to make it yourself? Well here's how!

Baked Chicken:

Thinly Sliced Chicken Breast
Lawry's Season Salt

What to do:
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees, Fahrenheit.
2) Cut chicken into manageable chunks.
3) Place on cookie sheet or some other cooking pan lined with foil.
4) Sprinkle with Lawry's Season Salt
5) Bake chicken until it is cooked through (roughly 12-15 minutes)

Apple Salad:

Yogurt of choice (I use Yoplait Fat Free Strawberry Banana, but my mom uses just plain yogurt)
Strawberries (optional)

What to do:
1) Combine a dollop of yogurt with some honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Mix to taste, then set aside.
2) Chop apple into manageable chunks and place in bowl.
3) Add handful of grapes to apple chunks.
4) Cut up a couple large strawberries and add to apple/grape mixture (optional).
5) Add a spoonful or two of yogurt mixture to fruit bowl. Stir.

(Sorry I don't have more exact measurements or anything; I've just always tended to mix it all together and see what happens.)

Caesar Salad:

Fresh Express Caesar Mix Salad

What to do:
1) Empty contents into bowl.
2) Toss.

This meal was kind of my go-to in college, and may have actually been the only dinner-esque meal I prepared while in school (I made plenty of breakfasts and baked goods, but not so many dinners). Even so, it remains one of my favorite meals. I actually prefer this extremely simple chicken and bag salad to most comparable meals that I would get at restaurants. Also, because cooking for one seems wasteful in the amount of effort exerted versus the payoff, I tend to just cook the entire pack of chicken and save the rest for leftovers. Surprisingly, these left over chicken chunks are even good cold! Basically, what I'm trying to say is that my dinner last night was awesome, and simple as it may be, you should try it.

Do you have any super simple go-to recipes that are surprisingly amazing? Is it possible to find big frozen bags of raw shrimp with the tail off? Do you like that rather than grown up glasses, I'm drinking out of my novelty Halloween cup?

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