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.

    1. I may or may not be making that lemon stuffed chicken breast for dinner tomorrow….

      Happy Saturday! No big plans for me expect maybe going out to dinner tonight with my hubby.

    1. Tim’s sister likes to put instant coffee/coffee grounds on her ice cream!

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