easy recipe

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.

Eating For Two

I used to give examples of daily food diaries but for the most part I stopped doing that because  1) my food didn’t change a whole lot day to day and  2) I wasn’t trying to lose weight, just maintain. Then I started doing some posts with daily food diaries when I was trying to lose some weight (remember the Slow Carb diet that basically did nothing for me?).

I figured I’d do a post as an example of what my food looks like now that I’m “eating for two” (not really eating for two).

bump

As I am getting towards the end of the 2nd trimester I’ve been following doctor’s orders and eating 300 more calories a day than I was in the 1st trimester so that means my base is around 1900 calories a day. This was kind of a big change from the low calorie range I was striving for before getting pregnant around 1300-1400 a day as a base because I was trying to lose 10 pounds.

So here is what I ate in a day:

Breakfast

This one doesn’t change much and hasn’t changed since getting pregnant except for one thing — I added orange juice because for whatever reason I crave it!

eggs

2 fried eggs with hot sauce, toasted English muffin with cinnamon and sugar (or stevia) on top, glass of orange juice and when I get to work I have 1 cup of coffee with creamer in it. I also had a small glass of Trader Joe’s Kefir.

kefir

Calories: 505

 

Snack

Right now I’m eating my favorite seasonal fruit! Satsuma oranges!

snack

Calories: Around 50

Lunch

Tomato and penne soup with a small green salad with raw peppers and Trader Joe’s Vinaigrette dressing. I also had a slice of smoked Gouda cheese. And 2 pieces of chocolate. 🙂

lunch

Calories: Around 460

Snack

Plain Greek yogurt with some Craisins. Ever since switching to Costco’s plain Greek Yogurt years ago, I cannot eat “regular” yogurt at all OR flavored Greek Yogurt. Sometimes I splurge and get the Chobani Flipz but that is more like having dessert than yogurt. Flavored Greek yogurts are sooo sweet to me now. I just can’t do it.

It was a slow transition going from the sugary ones to plain. When I first started eating the Costco plain Greek yogurt I put honey or agave in it or ate it with some trail mix or granola mixed in. Now I can eat it without anything in it but I usually want a little something. I like using fresh berries in the summer or dried cranberries in the winter. It gives it just a hint of sweet and a bit of tartness that I like.

yogurt

Calories: Around 160

Dinner

For dinner I made this recipe:  Easy Teriyaki Chicken & Brown Rice. The recipe was decent and had a nice teriyaki flavor but it wasn’t glazed like I would have liked it.

I had some leftover rice I wanted to use and I read through the comments on the recipe to see what people thought of the recipe. There were some good recommendations and variations. I didn’t have broccoli so I used frozen peas and it was just fine. Any veggies would do. One reviewer recommended adding water chestnuts and that was good, too. I used leftover forbidden rice instead of the brown rice and I had some cottage cheese on the side. EmergenC to dink.

dinner1

Calories: Around 530

Dessert

Hot cocoa with whipped cream and 3 squares of chocolate. I ate dessert while we were watching Fargo (if you aren’t watching that show, you’re missing out!) and kind of forgot about my cocoa after drinking 3/4 of it. I dumped the rest out when I remembered and it was cold!

dessert

Calories: 225

Total Calories for the day: 1930

Gym

When I work out I eat back some of the calories I burned. I’m not necessarily trying to create a deficit like I did before when I was trying to lose weight. Instead I just listen to my body and if I’m still hungry, I eat a little bit more.

Today at the gym I did the elliptical. I had planned on doing something else but had twisted my ankle early in the morning and wanted to take it easy.

I’ve rolled my ankle/sprained/strained it so many times in my life I consider myself an expert at it, sadly. But I honestly haven’t twisted it in years–like 5? I guess this is proof that my ligaments are loosening and I need to be more careful how I step. I don’t think my ankle is bad but I still didn’t want to push it, so the elliptical was all I did (and it was fine).

gym1

Tomorrow I will do weights.

Calories Burned: 340

gym2

So as you can see, my day doesn’t look a whole lot different from how it was before getting pregnant. I am eating a little bit more but it’s not crazy. I have days where I am FAMISHED. Then I have days where I don’t have much of an appetite. It’s odd and it really changes day to day. But overall this is what a typical day lately looks like!

How much did your eating habits change when you were pregnant?