Meal Prep: Spiced Chicken Breast with Herb Roasted Potatoes, and Green Beans

The finished meal prep containers

Meal prepping is something I do whenever I am going to be very busy or unable to cook for a few days time. This is something that allows me to portion my meals and control how much food I’m eating, save a considerable amount of money by dining out less, and keep my cooking skills sharp.

The Chicken

In my first post directly about meal prepping, I thought I’d keep it simple. I purchased about 2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I pounded, spiced and roasted them. Pounding them makes them thinner and cook quicker. The southwest seasoning that was lurking in my spice cabinet added a great flavor to the finished product, but you can use any poultry seasoning, or fresh/dried herbs. Roast at 425 degrees until 165 inside, or until the juices run clear. (I had some extra onion laying around so threw that in there too.)

  • 2lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 tbl poultry seasoning
  • 2 tbl olive oil

Place everything in a roasting pan and mix well. Roast until 165 or juices run clear.

The Potatoes

These were simply a tri-color potato that I cut in half or quarters, and then roasted with fresh thyme, and garlic, and finished with a looot of parsley and parmigiano reggiano. I seasoned them with salt, and pepper, and roasted at 425 until tender. You can use any kind of potato you’d like, just make sure you cut them into equal, bite sized pieces.

  • Potatoes, cut into equally sized pieces
  • Fresh Thyme, a small bundle
  • Garlic, about 2 tbl, minced
  • Parsley, about 1/4 cup, chopped
  • Parmigiano Reggiano, about two big handfuls

Toss the potatoes and fresh thyme with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast at 425 until almost tender. Add garlic and cook 3 more minutes. Remove from oven and finish with cheese.

The Green Beans

I kept these simple too. In the same pan, I put the cleaned green beans with some julienned red pepper and onion, roasted at 425 until tender and finished with some minced garlic.

  • Green Beans, two big handfuls
  • Red Bell Pepper, 1/2 ea, julienned
  • Onion, 1/2 ea, julienned
  • Garlic 1 tbl, minced

Toss all ingredients except for garlic with olive oil, roast at 425 until almost tender. Add garlic and cook for 3 more minutes.

The Future

I’ll likely be doing more of these types of posts as a try to gain some interest for a side business for myself. You can follow my progress on instagram when I post photos and even some footage from when I’m cooking. I also upload to youtube about once per week with recipe demo’s. Both links are here on my page.

If you had any suggestions for things you might like to see here, please comment down below and I’ll respond.

Full video demo on YouTube

30 Minute Chicken Stew

  • Onion 1 ea, diced
  • Button Mushrooms, 8 ea, sliced
  • Olive Oil, as needed
  • Celery, 2 ribs cut into a small dice
  • Garlic, 6 cloves minced
  • White Wine, 1/2 cup
  • Kale, about 3 cups, chopped
  • Chicken Stock, 6-8 cups
  • Potatoes, 2 ea medium sized yukon golds
  • Chicken Thighs, 4 ea, Boneless & Skinless
  • Tomatoes, 1x 14.5 oz can, diced
  • Chickpeas, about 1 cup
  • Fresh Thyme, small bundle
  • Labneh, Sour Cream for garnish, as needed

Begin by sweating the onion and mushrooms over medium high heat until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add celery, and garlic, and sweat for 2 more minutes. If a brown “fond” develops from caramelizing the sugars in the vegetables, simply deglaze the pan with white wine or water, and scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon. Add chopped kale, then chicken stock. Add chicken thighs, and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Skim the foam from the top. Add chickpeas, and potatoes. Simmer until the chicken is cooked, then remove and shred the meat after it has cooled off. Once the potatoes are cooked through, remove some with broth, and chickpeas and mushrooms. Blend this mixture to a puree, and then add back to the pot to thicken. Add thyme, and the shredded chicken meat. Garnish with sour cream or labneh and enjoy!

Culinary Demo: Beet Salad with Dill, Lemon and Sour Cream

A Polish inspired beet salad. Incredibly simple and very tasty. Requires a little bit of patience because the beets take awhile to cook, but other than that there is really nothing to it!

My step by step YouTube video
  • Beets, 6ea, medium sized
  • Sour Cream, 1/2 cup
  • Dill, 2 tbl, chopped
  • Lemon, 1ea, zest and juice
  • Onion, 1/4ea, julienne

Cook the beets in salted water until tender, about 30 minutes. Cool in an ice bath. Meanwhile, julienne the onion, use the juice of half the lemon, and season with salt. Toss to combine. This will start to break down the onion. Then, peel and slice beets, and toss with all ingredients. You can add more or less of anything you like or don’t.. give it a taste and adjust as you need to!

 

Video Demo: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

step by step YouTube video

A favorite Thanksgiving side dish of mine. Salty bacon, acid from the cider vinegar, and a hint of sweetness from the maple syrup, with shallots – that are good with anything.

  • Bacon, 5 slices, cooked and cut into small pieces
  • Brussels Sprouts, about 30 ea
  • Shallot, 2 ea, minced
  • Maple Syrup, 2 tbl
  • Apple Cider Vinegar, 2 tbl

Cook bacon until crispy, reserve bacon fat. Cut stem from sprouts, cut in half, and par cook in salted boiling water. Chill in ice bath, and remove from water. Heat bacon fat over medium heat. Dry off your sprouts very well or they will splatter in the pan and make a tremendous mess. sear until nicely brown, then flip the sprouts, add the shallot, and cook until the shallot is translucent and the sprouts are brown on both sides. Add maple syrup and cider vinegar to deglaze the pan, and then continue to cook reducing the liquid until it is syrupy. Turn off heat, add bacon to pan and toss to coat.

Par cooked sprouts being seared in bacon fat

Video Demo: Pan Fried Green Beans with Smoked Paprika

A very simple recipe, just a handful of ingredients, any of which you may already have on hand! This recipe uses a little more oil than usual to get that “fried” preparation.

  • Green Beans, about 30ea, washed
  • Onion, 1/4ea, julienned
  • Garlic, 3 cloves, minced
  • Smoked Paprika, ~1tbl
  • Olive Oil, ~3tbl – enough to generously coat the bottom of the pan
  • Salt

With heat on high, add the olive oil to the pan and cook the beans until wilted and brown, about 6 minutes, seasoning with salt. Add the onion, then after a minute the garlic, and continue to cook until the onion is soft. Turn the heat off, and add the paprika to the hot pan. The hot oil will toast the spice and it should smell very aromatic. Set aside and serve warm.

Side note – If you leave the pan on the heat for too long the paprika may burn and become very bitter.

 

Video Demo: Smoky Potato soup with Bacon, Kielbasa, and Beans

I’m on a soup kick what can I say! This is great for colder months. Hearty and filling, rich and delicious! The ham hock as well as Worcestershire sauce, and mustard give the broth a lot of depth. Pureeing some of the cooked vegetables with the reserved beans in this recipe make it thicker and get more flavor into each bite. This soup is so good!

 

  • Bacon, 6 slices, cut into lardons
  • Kielbasa, about 3/4 cup small diced
  • Onion, 2 ea, small dice
  • Celery, 5 stalks, small dice
  • Carrot, 2 ea, small dice
  • Garlic, 6 cloves, minced
  • Green Beans, 1 cup, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • White Northern Beans, 16oz can
  • Thyme, 1 bunch
  • Worcestershire Sauce, 2tbl+
  • Chicken Stock, ~3qt
  • Smoked Ham Hock, 1ea
  • Russet Potatoes, 1ea, medium dice
  • Dijon Mustard, 1tbl
  • Heavy Cream, 1/2 cup

Begin by rendering bacon over medium heat. Start in a cold pan and let the bacon slowly release its fat and become unstuck from the bottom. When the bacon freely moves, stir and continue to cook until brown. Add the kielbasa. Saute for 3 min. Remove meats, and add onion, celery, and carrot. Season with salt, to allow the moisture to escape. Saute until there is no more steam being released from the vegetables, about 8 minutes. Next, add the garlic and saute 2 more minutes. Then, add the green beans, HALF of the white beans, and the thyme. Add Worcestershire sauce. Add chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Remove any foam/impurities that rise to the top. Add dijon. The vegetables and potatoes should be tender at this point. Remove some of the cooked vegetables with some broth and puree with remaining white beans until smooth. Add back to the pot. Add heavy cream. Taste for seasoning and adjust. You can add more mustard, Worcestershire, thyme, salt, or anything else you think it might need, but this tasted pretty good for me!

 

Video Demo: Butternut Squash soup with Recipe

It’s that time of the year again! This recipe is simple and straightforward. The only really unique ingredient is the whiskey/bourbon which you can leave out. The ingredients are:

  • Onion, 1ea, small dice
  • Celery, 2 ribs, small dice
  • Carrot, 1ea, small dice
  • Garlic, ~8 cloves, minced
  • Apple, 1ea, large dice
  • Scallions, 1 bunch, whites/greens separated
  • Butternut Squash, 1 ea, large dice
  • Chicken stock, about 1qt
  • Whiskey, ~1/2 cup
  • Heavy cream, 1/4 cup
  • Thyme, small bunch

Sweat onions and white parts of scallions until beginning to brown around the edges, about 8 minutes, adding salt. Add celery, carrot and apple, and continue to sweat for 2-3 more minutes. Add garlic and sweat for another 2 minutes. Add butternut squash, then turn up the heat to high and saute for 1 minute. Then, turn the heat off, and add the whiskey. You should hear a pan sizzle because the pan should be hot enough to vaporize the alcohol. Light the edge of the pot with a match or lighter, being very careful not to burn yourself or your face. This can be dangerous with those of you with gas burners, so make sure the heat is off. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until the whiskey reduces by about half, and the flame goes out. Then, add the chicken stock. Throw in your thyme Bring to a rolling boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes, until the squash is tender enough to be puréed. Remove thyme stems. Then, in batches with a standing blender, or an immersion blender, begin puréeing the soup. Add heavy cream during this process, and continue to blend until the desired consistency is reached. Taste for seasoning, adjust, and cool.

 

Chipotle Deviled Eggs

Ingredients:

  • Eggs, 8 ea
  • Mayonnaise 2 tbl
  • Mustard 1 tbl
  • Chipotle Purée, 2 tbl
  • Chives, Smoke Paprika for garnish

Begin by hard boiling the eggs. The way I do this is as follows: Put eggs in saucepot in COLD water. Turn heat on high. Once the water begins a steady hard boil, set a timer for 8 minutes. Once the eight minutes has expired, transfer to an ice bath. Once cool, peel the shells off.

Cut the eggs in half and separate the yolks from the whites. In a bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, mustard, chipotle puree, and season with salt and peppers to taste. Once mixture is smooth, fill the egg halves with mixture. Sprinkle with smoked paprika, and then garnish with chives cut on a bias.

 

Lyonnaise Potatoes – A simple French preparation.

Some things to know before you begin…

These potatoes are so easy to make and don’t require any expensive ingredients, unless you sub out the butter and oil with duck fat – which is highly encouraged. Perhaps the best thing about them is that they look incredible as a side dish to almost any entree you make them with. To save a step, par boil the potatoes until they are still firm, about 75% of the way through in salted water ahead of time. If you’ve boiled and cut the potatoes on the same day, make sure they are as dry as possible before you throw them into the pan, as moisture will splatter hot oil everywhere, prevent caramelization, and encourage the potatoes to stick to the pan. When cutting the parsley, slice it finely but don’t hack it up too much.

Ingredients:

  • 16 medium sized Redskin Potatoes, parcooked, cooled, and sliced into rings
  • 1/2 Onion, julienned
  • 5 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 tbl Butter
  • 2 tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 bunch Parsley, finely sliced

Heat oil on medium high in a large saute pan. Surface area is important in this recipe to get as much brown as possible on the potatoes. Saute the potatoes until they start to brown a little, then add the onion, and add salt. Continue to saute until the potatoes develop more caramelization and the onions have colored and wilted a bit too. Next, turn the heat down to medium. Add the garlic, and saute for another 2 minutes. Sprinkle the parsley over the potatoes and turn off the heat. Taste for seasoning and enjoy!

 

Cooking on a budget: Oven roasted potatoes.

potatoes/bellpeppers/onions/garlic/olives

Potatoes are one of the most versatile foods you can cook. There are hundreds of applications you can apply for texture, or flavor. The best part of cooking with potatoes is that they are extremely cheap so they’re a great option if you’re looking for some low budget meal prep. The other benefit to roasting potatoes is that you can do them in large batches and make enough for the week. For this batch I used:

  • About 30 small redskin potatoes, quartered
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into one inch pieces
  • 1 yellow bell peppers, cut into one inch pieces
  • 1 medium sized onion, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 10 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 20 olives, pitted and halved
  • Salt, Olive oil

Begin by preheating your oven to 400F. Grab an oven safe baking sheet or roasting pan, and place your cut up potatoes into the pan. Toss them with a good amount of olive oil and season with salt. Toss them to distribute evenly, to ensure an even roast, and throw the potatoes in your preheated oven. I like a hotter oven not only because the potatoes cook a little more quickly, but they also brown a bit better over time. Cook the potatoes for about 15-20 minutes, until about half cooked.

Next, add your cut onions and bell peppers on top, and toss them with the par cooked potatoes. Add a little more salt. You’ll want to ensure they’re well coated in oil so they begin cooking right away and continue to cook. Put back in the oven for about 20 more minutes, and leave in the oven until the peppers and onions are soft and slightly brown or caramelized. After this, add your minced garlic, and leave in the oven for a few more minutes. At this point, if your oven has a broiler, I’d suggest turning it on to high, to quickly caramelize everything. But keep a close eye because it can easily burn things if you’re not paying close attention.

Throw the olives on top and mix in well. Wait to cool until you throw into meal prep containers and you’re good to go!