Wednesday, November 12, 2014


One of my worst traits is my inability to meal plan and cook the meals. On Monday I gave myself a fresh start and so far so good! I printed out sheets that show one week at a time; half for meal planning and the other half for groceries. I planned out all the way until December 12th. That is literally like planning a years worth of food for the old Mare cook. *wink* And not only did I plan, but I shopped! I have every grocery item I will need except for things that need to be slightly fresher. I feel like a new woman! Okay, well that may be a bit drastic, but I do feel amazingly proud that I did this. And I cooked three meals in a row from scratch without stressing myself out! If you plan ahead it is so much easier! 

Y'all. This chicken dish above is! And easy! If I can pull this off, ANYONE can! So first of all, get your bottom over to follow Edie @lifeingrace on Instagram and look back to her post on this chicken on November 4th. And then get yourself to the grocery store and make this! *NOTE:* Do NOT put the green veggie of choice in with the rest of the veggies for the full time. Just give it about 30 minutes at the end or you will end up with broccoli that is completely inedible. Yes, unfortunately I am speaking from experience.

You will need the following ingredients:

one whole uncooked roaster chicken
one onion
baby carrots
(and do yourself a favor, follow Edie's tip and buy the squeezable garlic. I thought I was wasting my money, but girl, it is totally worth it.)
two lemons
a few slices of uncooked bacon
green veggie of choice (Edie chose brussel sprouts. I chose broccoli.)
olive oil
salt and pepper

And here are the crazy easy steps:

Preheat your oven to 425. 
Remove the innards from the chicken if yours comes with them (mine did not - but if they did, I would have saved them for my chicken stock). 
Pat the skin dry and rub the skin with butter (slightly melted for easy spreading.)
 Liberally salt the chicken and spread the garlic on top. 
Follow with a good amount of pepper. 
Then cover the chicken with the uncooked bacon. 
Chop up the onions and potatoes and then layer those with the baby carrots around the chicken. Drizzle the whole "shebang" in Edie's cute words, with lots of olive oil. 
Salt and pepper the vegetables and squeeze the lemons all over the chicken.  
You can lay them on top of the chicken for added flavor and to make it an even nicer presentation. 
Cook at 425 for 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours. 
You can serve right away or turn the oven off and let it rest in there until you’re ready to eat. 

Easy peasy and delicioso!

For night two, I went to Ree of The Pioneer Woman for inspiration. I did make a few adaptions to this recipe though and I will let you know what I did. You can get her original recipe here though.

For this delicious chicken noodle soup you will need:

The gizzards from a chicken I had previously frozen 

1 pre-cooked rotisserie chicken 

3 carrots - I chopped these rather than diced time

3 stalks of celery - I chopped these as well

1 whole onion - I cut this in half and then fourths

1 teaspoon of salt

3/4 teaspoon of turmeric

1/4 teaspoon of white pepper (you can do more to taste)

3/4 teaspoon of ground thyme

2 1/4 teaspoons of parsley flakes

12 ounce bag of Reames homemade egg noodles (in the freezer section by ravioli)

4 ounces of chicken base (half of a little glass jar of Better Than Bouillon) 

1 small box of chicken stock - I will try to update this with the exact size

I boiled the chicken pieces in 8 cups of water and then put it on a simmer. About 10 minutes later, I added the chicken stock. I would say I let this go for about 30-40 minutes before removing the chicken pieces with a slotted  spoon. 

Next I added in the carrots, celery, and onions, along with all of the herbs and spices. I also added the chicken base here. Stir this all together and let simmer for about 10 minutes so all of the flavors mx well.

While this is going, shred the chicken off of the rotisserie chicken. 

Increase the heat a bit and add the frozen egg noodles as well as the shredded chicken pieces. Now cook this for about another 10 minutes.

*Ree suggests taking 3 tablespoons of flour, mixing it with a little water, stirring until smooth and then pouring it into the soup. Stir so it combines with the soup and simmer for 5 more minutes. This will thicken the broth a bit. - I will try this next time… I just completely forgot.*

Tonight we had steak with sweet potatoes, roasted veggies, and sautéed onions. 

For the roasted veggies, I cut up baby carrots (cut in half the long way), fresh broccoli, zucchini, and red pepper. I drizzled them well with olive oil, then sprinkled garlic powder, salt and pepper and mixed it up well. I put this on a pan in the oven at 425 degrees for about 25-30 minutes. 

For the onions, I cut the onion in long slices, sautéed them in olive oil and some ketchup. Yes, sounds gross, but it is tasty! Cook those until tender.

The sweet potatoes were just baked in the oven and the steak just had some steak seasonings.

No picture tonight, but it was tasty and successful! Tomorrow night we are having leftovers just so our fridge stays cleaned out. So, if I can meal plan and cook, anyone can!! You can follow along with my journey of meals on Instagram with the hashtag #ciaomarezymeals. Happy cooking! 

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