Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My Default Dinner Recipe

Good morning blog friends! I hope that you are transitioning well back to the first full work week of the new year. I spent the day catching up on missed phone calls and emails and now have the rest of the week to devote to getting ready for my upcoming presentations next week.

Yesterday at the gym was, um, interesting. The parking lot at my gym was insane and the track was filled with people just walking about in the running and jogging lanes. I am all for getting healthy and fit but WHY do we have this tradition of starting on the first of the year? I know it's about starting anew and all of that, but why limit it to January 1? Okay, rant over. Moving on...

My 3.5 miles went by fairly quickly despite all of the new members in attendance. During the run, I decided I wanted to make my old standby for dinner- Lemon Artichoke Chicken. I LOVE this recipe. It is fairly simple and easy to make. I found it over a year ago on Cooking Light and adapted it along the way to come to the ultimate recipe. You'll need:

-1-1.5 pounds organic chicken breast

-1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

-14 oz organic chicken stock

-2 cups instant brown rice

-2 T olive oil

-1 can (14 oz) quartered artichoke hearts

-1 medium sized yellow onion

-salt, pepper and garlic salt to taste

-parmesan cheese

-approximately half a bag of frozen peas

Optional: 1 Glass Red Wine to ease the cooking process


Also optional- puppy photo shoot.

Bailey always sits like a gentleman- I love it!

The goods, minus the brown rice

You'll need a dutch oven or similar baking pot to make the lemon artichoke chicken.

-Cut the chicken and onion in bite size pieces. If I can do this, anyone can do this. I seriously have issues when it comes to knives. Challenged, if you will. It took me a few tries but I can now cut an onion fairly decently.

-Once you have the chicken and onion cut, place 2 T olive oil into dutch oven and place on stovetop over medium high heat. Saute chicken and onion for 5 minutes. Stir throughout the 5 minutes, like so:

After the five minutes is up, add the chicken stock, lemon juice, brown rice, peas, salt, pepper and onion powder to the mix. Stir, and bring the mixture to a boil. This usually takes a minute or two.

After the ingredients reach boiling point, reduce heat to medium, COVER and let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once this is complete, stir in the (drained) artichoke hearts and let sit for a minute.

Add parmesan cheese and feast!

The finished product.

I really like this recipe because it is easy, has a relatively short ingredient list and keeps well. The rice takes on an almost risotto-like texture. The recipe makes 4 servings (at least), and I've been known to eat it for days on end. The original recipe calls for green peppers instead of peas, but I decided that I like peas better and they are easier to deal with (no cutting!). I think they add a nice flavor to the dish.

Do you have a default dish that you always turn to?

While at the grocery store, I also found that I have an addiction. To bars. I can't seem to stop myself from going down that aisle. I went to the grocery store near my gym, which I haven't been to in years. I've been missing out. They have not only the peanut butter and jelly larabar flavor (which I've been dying to try) but also this new organic clif bar that is made of fruit and nuts. I had to purchase three. The bar damage:

Do you have a favorite "bar" brand? What is your favorite Larabar flavor? Right now mine is cinnamon roll but that is subject to change!

Have a great Tuesday!


  1. Just found your blog Katie, it's great! I hate the crowds around January at the gym! I don't get it. Your pup is super cute, and that dinner looks yum. I can also relate to your bar addiction :) Can't wait to read more!

  2. lol-- I hate the gym at the first of the year! So crowded!

    That recipe definitely looks like a great "default dish"...delicious and easy!

    My favorite lara bar flavor is plain old pb cookie. I tried the PB&J, and I liked it, but not as much as the plain PB flavor. I'll be interested to see how you like it!

  3. I agree, I am all about being healthy and living a balanced lifestyle but why does everyone need an excuse to be healthy?

    And the problem is all those people just walking around won't be there next week because it is too hard.

    Or maybe thats a good thing because then you will have your track back.

  4. I love raw bars! Larabar, Pure Bar, Cliff Nectar bars (which I heard are discontinued!) My favorite Larabar would have to be the PB cookie. Your dish looks beautiful! My default dish is a little more..."college student" lol. Squash fries and veggie burger on toast :)

  5. That looks good. I'll have to try it. My fiance is always happy when we have chicken for dinner as I tend to gravitate towards more vegetarian meals at home.

    My favorite Larabar is Coconut Cream Pie or Key Lime Pie.

  6. Thanks for sharing the recipe! It sounds great, and I like the addition of peas idea with no cutting. I'm not a huge pepper fan so that sounds perfect.
    My favorite Larabar of the ones I have tried is cashew cookie.

  7. Mmm.. your dish sounds delish! I might have to recreate it! And about the bars I actually really like the KASHI bars and have recently been testing out the Cliff bars. I am not so keen on eating a whole one in a sitting since they are 250 cals but I suppose if that were a full meal it would be alright.

  8. I can't stand the surge in gym-goers at the start of a new year. When I was in college, it got really bad right before spring break!

    Recipe looks good!

    I used to love Fiber One bars. I have stopped eating them though. Trying to shift to more natural snacks like fruits, veggies, and nuts.

    I know some bars like larabars have a very short ingredient list...but i haven't been a fan of any that i've tried.

  9. I make something similar with artichokes, chicken, sun-dried tomatoes and lemon juice. Nice!

  10. That recipe looks great - I love artichoke! In fact, planning a Thursday dish including some. But my go-to meal is always stir fry. For me, there's nothing easier than chopping up some veggies, frying them, adding some rice and soy sauce and dunzo. Plus I love soy sauce way too much.

    I love Larabars - right now Coconut Cream Pie is my fave!

  11. I love the recipe! I will be saving that!

  12. The recipe sounded good til you got to the peas -- I haaaaate peas! :)

    Totally agree with the NY resolution rant. i can't stand going to the gym right now.

  13. Hi Katie,
    I was blog surfing and found yours:) Your dish looks very tasty and if I can have a glass of wine when I am cooking....bonus!

    I have no doubt that you will be able to obtain your 5k pr goal. Just keep running and you will get faster and your legs will get stronger:)

    I can't wait to read more about your journey to healthy living and running:)

  14. YUM! That looks awesome KT! I will need to try that. I only like artichokes when they are mixed in something so this may work. If i dont have a dutch oven, can i use a deep pot?

    My FAVORITE bars are the Luna Bars! I am so addicted to them. My favorite is cookies and cream and chocolate pepermint. You can get a box of 6 at Target for about $5.50. Only problem is that they have alot of calories. I believe the cookies and cream have about 190. Do you think this is alot??