Wednesday, January 25, 2012

An Easy Dinner Tonight

I've been trying new recipes and getting more adventurous with different foods, but let's be serious, sometimes you just want a simple tasty meal.
Here's an easy dinner loaded with nutrients: baked lemon chicken, baked sweet potatoes, and a green vegetable.

Baked lemon chicken - 
I tend to only buy antibiotic-free organic skinless chicken breasts.  I bought a some chicken at Trader Joe's the other day, and the package came with three decent sized chicken breasts for around $7.50.  
Add a drizzle of olive oil over each one.  Season both sides with pepper, dried basil and fresh pressed garlic.  Or, you can add any herbs or spices you'd like.  Then cover the chicken with sliced lemons.  I tried using some lime slices too.  I also squeezed some fresh lemon juice over the tops of the chicken.  Bake for 30 mins at 350 degrees.

Add herbs and spices first then cover with lemon slices

Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees

Baked sweet potatoes - 
One of natures most nutrient dense foods.  I prefer smaller-sized sweet potatoes for some reason, and I at least always make sure to buy the same sized ones so they bake evenly together.  Wash them thoroughly and stab 'em all over with a fork.  Wrap each one in tin foil and place on baking sheet; they tend to drip.  Bake for 45 minutes at 400 degrees.  Or, if you're cooking them at the same time as the chicken...put the sweet potatoes in first for 30 mins at 415 degrees.  Then, when you add the chicken, lower the oven temp to 350, and continue baking the potatoes for another 30 mins alongside the chicken.
I usually just cut the potato in half, sprinkle a little cinnamon over the top, and eat it right out the skin as is.  No need for any butter since sweet potatoes already have so much flavor.  The cinnamon is a nice touch, and it adds some extra antioxidants to your meal.  I don't eat the skin.

Hot potato!

Nutrients in
Sweet Potato
1.00 cup, baked (114.00 grams)
Nutrient%Daily Value

vitamin A438.1%

vitamin C37.2%


vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)16.5%



dietary fiber15%

vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)10.1%


vitamin B3 (niacin)8.5%

Calories (102)5%

Green vegetable - 
The easiest one to make, I think, is simply steamed broccoli.  Wash and trim broccoli and steam for 5 minutes.  No more, no less.  The broccoli will be just tender enough and it will retain all of it's nutrients (which can normally get lost in the water when boiled or steamed for too long).  Squeeze a lemon wedge over the broccoli right before serving.
Other simple green veggies to make could be sauteed kale or chard.  Washed and remove thick stems and tear off smaller leaves.  Throw the leaves into a large skillet with a few tablespoons of water and cover.  Cook the greens down a bit.  You can add a little olive oil and fresh garlic if you'd like.  Also, red chili flakes add a nice kick.  A squeeze of lemon is nice over these greens too, when serving.
Or, you could always make a quick garden salad with spinach or baby romaine salad greens tossed with a little flavored vinegar.  

Chard: just took the cover off, after cooking for about 5 mins covered

Chard and garlic being cooked down for a few more minutes uncovered

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