April 18, 2010

A Car, A Costco Trip and Garlic Pepper Chicken

So, last weekend I did two things that are small in the overall scheme of things, but momentous in Margo-World.

First, we bought a car. We have been car-free for almost two years, since moving to Canada and I have to say that the smugness of being all environmental has never really trumped the annoyance of having every single errand involve waiting, (in the rain, usually) for buses and for cabs so that I can schlep home my groceries, plants from the nursery, whatever. So yippee! I have wheels again!

Second, I returned to Costco. I used to shop there a lot when we lived in Oregon, but haven't been since we moved to the UK during the summer of 06 and then to Canada in 08. I have to say it was nice to be back, although I might have considered the possibility that Sunday afternoon at 4pm with nine year old daughter in tow was not the optimal time to meander around checking out the stock. In the end we whizzed through the butcher section and I dropped a bunch of dollars on protein, then went home and portioned and froze everything that wasn't scheduled for this week's menus.

One fantastic find was the Garlic Pepper Chicken Breasts. These are skinless breasts, on-the-bone (for better flavour I think), with a yummy pepper and garlic paste smeared all over. They were super simple to cook (375 degrees for 1/2 hour or so - use your meat thermometer to check!) and everybody, even the picky child, loved them. The leftovers made a very delicious chicken salad.

Served this with steamed sugar snap peas and a sugar-free version of glazed carrots

Glazed Carrots

As many baby or cut up carrots as you need

Place carrots in a saucepan and pour in enough water or chicken stock to just cover
Add the following to taste:
A pat of butter
2tsp Splenda or other low-cal sweetener
A pinch of salt
A sprinkle of pepper
(Optional) A drop or two of molasses (aids caramelization, adds flavour)

Cook the whole thing over med-high heat until the water evaporates and a glaze forms, stirring frequently toward the end so that nothing burns. By the time the water is gone and the glaze has formed, the carrots should be tender.

Note: I do know that carrots are high carb for a veg. In the small amounts that I eat, they fit into my nutritional plan. My plan includes fresh veg at most meals, fresh fruit a few times a week, potatoes in very small quantities very occasionally (and NOT french fries!), white flour / sugar almost never. It works for me, your mileage may vary.

Husband's Plate

My Plate
(Couldn't finish the veg - so into the chicken salad they went)

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