My New Secret Ingredient

February 18, 2011

During the week, I usually only cook 2-3 times.

The other nights, we have leftovers or make something ourselves. I usually make myself a salad or wrap, and Craig likes to make paninis.

Last week I only cooked once, so I am proud of myself for having made three meals this week:

Monday: Spinach Cheese Stuffed Shells

Wednesday: Curried Tofu with Israeli Couscous

Thursday’s meal: Lemony Spinach-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

All three of these meals came from various Taste of Home Healthy Cooking magazines. I think I need to be a spokesperson for them!

Lemony Spinach-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

(Based off this recipe)

Yield: 2 servings


1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
3 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)


1. In a skillet, saute onion in 1 teaspoon oil over medium heat for 10 minutes or until onion is golden brown.

2. Add the spinach, garlic and vinegar; cook 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat; cool for 5 minutes.

3. Stir in the lemon peel, salt, and pepper.

4. Flatten chicken to 1/4-in. thickness. Spread spinach mixture over chicken. Roll up and secure with toothpicks.

5. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook chicken in remaining oil for 8-10 minutes on each side or until chicken juices run clear. Discard toothpicks.

We both loved this entree. It is simple yet looks very classy and could definitely be served at a finer dining event.

I also had a salad on the side.

spinach + red bell pepper + mushrooms + pepitas + cilantro + olive oil + honey + kosher salt

I loved the addition of the cilantro to my salad and the sweet/salty combination of the honey and salt!! I will definitely be recreating this combination.


My run this morning was treacherous!!

It started snowing last night around midnight (I had woken up to use the bathroom.), and by 6:00 a.m., there was about 5 inches of snow on the roads!! Of course the snow plows hadn’t been out, so I had to trudge through the snow, which made my workout feel 10 times harder!

Before heading out, I strapped on the trusty YakTraxs, which thankfully helps a lot! I somehow made it 5 miles but not without a fair amount of “fist-shaking” and choice words for the snow.

All in all, we accumulated about 8 inches of snow today. It definitely isn’t spring here like it is in some places!


I was able to enjoy lunch from home today!!

Trader Joe’s Israeli couscous grain blend + steamed broccoli + a fresh, juicy orange

I have been feeling the effects from my 11 miles yesterday because within a couple of hours, I was hungry again, so I made myself a protein spinach smoothie.


milk + 1/2 frozen banana + lots of spinach + vanilla extract + a new, secret ingredient. . . .

instant coffee!!

This was an awesome addition to the smoothie!! I think I added about 1/4 teaspoon–it wasn’t much, but it sure amped up the taste of my smoothie. I will definitely be making it again!

Hooray for a 3-day weekend!

Do you have a 3-day weekend? Any special plans?

    1. Thank you for keeping me motivated to run! I’m also a teacher and we have next week off. I’m hoping to get off the treadmill and run outside this week!

    1. Despite the weather, you food looks very spring-y and colorful!

      Thanks for the chicken recipe – I’m just starting to cook chicken at home (usually we stick to vegetarian) but I am at a complete loss for good recipes. This looks delicious and easy!

      1. The original recipe calls for feta, and we added it the first time we made it, which is a good addition! I just didn’t have any on hand this time.

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