Author Archives: Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and Glamour.com.

Cozy, Rainy, Yummy

Sunday we woke up to rain. Rain rain rain! Downpour, actually! I guess summer is officially over in Portland…So making something cozy for dinner was a must.

I’d been saving this recipe for awhile and finally tried it. And it’s a winner!

FRENCH ONION CHICKEN CASSEROLE

Ingredients:

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Red crushed chili pepper flakes, optional
  • Pinch of salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or Gruyere)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

1. To make the chicken casserole: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Lightly grease a 9×12-inch baking dish and set aside.

2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5-8 minutes until soft.

3. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are caramelized – about 15 minutes. Pour in 1/4 cup of broth to deglaze if your pan gets too dry, and keep stirring until onions are browned. 

4. Stir in fresh minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly.

5. Season chicken breasts with oregano, crushed chili pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Go easy on the salt because French onion and cheese are already salted. Arrange chicken breasts in the baking dish. 

6. Divide caramelized onions on top of each chicken breast. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top and bake for 20-25 minutes in the oven (or more, depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts), until fully cooked and cheese is bubbly. Then broil for 2 minutes to crisp up the cheese. Garnish the French onion chicken casserole with fresh chopped parsley and serve immediately with steamed vegetables or cauliflower rice. Enjoy!

Notes:

  • You can prepare the caramelized onion ahead of time, and just assemble the casserole at the last minute before baking.
  • You can flavor up the french onion with a dash of white wine, sherry or balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan.
  • The cooking time will depend on the thickness of your chicken breasts.
  • Go easy on the salt because French onion and cheese are already salty.

I caramelized the onions in butter and 1/4 cup white wine (the good stuff, too!) instead of chicken broth. I used a mixture of mozzarella and gruyere but used more gruyere then the mozzarella.

It turned out GREAT! Michael and I both loved it and wouldn’t change a thing! It was so delicious and the melted cheese (slightly browned from the broiler) was so so good!

I had one chicken breast with the cheese and onion mixture and a side salad with French dressing. Delicious dinner! I will definitely make this again! It’s a keeper!

I suggest you make this recipe asap!

Also, Friday night I made this recipe: BARELY-BLANCHED BROCCOLI SALAD WITH FETA AND FRIED ALMONDS.

It was delicious! I also recommend it.

Hillside & Seaside

I got some new hiking boots!

I really needed them. For awhile now, whenever I went hiking my feet hurt. My ankle hurt in a weird spot (achilles) and I couldn’t go as far as I would like. Our most recent hike was super easy and flat and my body was NOT happy. Later that night when we got home I was hurting. I even had shin splints. So the next day I went to REI and tried on some different boots and ended up with these:

Merrell Moab 2 boots. I love REI and I can try these boots out for 1 year and if I don’t like them or they cause me issues, I can return them! I think that’s awesome!

I got to test them out over the weekend. We had plans to go to the beach with friends but they weren’t feeling well. We decided to go anyways and go for a hike. We did Tillamook Head in Seaside. We did it once before, when Logan was little. Check out the old post and see photos of LITTLE Logan!!! Oh my!

It’s kinda crazy that last time we did this hike, Logan was probably a year and a half old and still in the hiking backpack. LOL Now he’s a little hiker!

He did so good! We did almost 3 miles roundtrip and he didn’t ask to be carried or act tired at all. We turned around and headed back because of time and lunch.

The trail is still pretty wet, soggy, muddy and slippery in places. But we did ok.

There were only a few parts of the trail that were kinda sketchy for a little kid (a washout). Last time we did it, there had been damage from trees and the trail had been blocked. They’d fixed it and we had no issues this time.

It was a great hike!

It’s a pretty steep hike, too. Lots of uphill. Despite it being the hardest hike Logan’s ever done, he did a great job!

After the hike we drove a short ways to the beach. I’m not sure which beach it was but it was popular with surfers!

We had a picnic lunch on the beach. It was sunny and almost 70 degrees.

It was so nice! We had a great time. Then Logan played in the sand, of course.

And then Logan and I played in the surf. He loved standing at the edge and then running from the water as the tide came in.

We did that for a long time (surprisingly, the water wasn’t too cold!). Then Logan and I got hit with a big, surprise wave! I grabbed Logan and picked him up and ran for the shore! I was drenched from the waist down. Yikes. LOL We were ok and I wasn’t in danger of falling down but Logan did. Thankfully I was holding on to him and was able to pick him up quick. It wasn’t scary until like an hour later. Oy.

Since we were both drenched and it was around 2pm anyways, we packed up, changed at the car and Logan fell asleep immediately.

It was a great day, despite the wave drenching us. It was nice to get out of the city and get a mixture of woods and hills and beach! AND my new boots were GREAT! No pain at all!