Kickin’ chicken nuggets

I eat a lot of chicken. I mostly bake it, sometimes I pan fry it. I own a million spices and seasoning blends so it’s never boring to me. However, that doesn’t stop my boyfriend from asking if the “chicken is going to be exciting for dinner.” Well, yes dear the chicken will be exciting and I promise I won’t feed you sometime I wouldn’t want to eat myself. So because he asked again tonight how exciting the chicken would be tonight, I decided to make something a little different for us tonight – homemade chicken nuggets.

These are better than any store brand, frozen bag not just because the chicken is fresh and there’s less additives, but you get to play with flavors. To me, flavor is important. It makes food interesting and can really change the dynamic of a meal. So tonight’s flavor of choice was Kickin’ Chicken blend.

This recipe is broken down for 1 serving to keep it simple.

What You’ll Need

  • 5 ounces of chicken
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Kickin’ Chicken blend by Weber (or other flavor blend of your choice)
  • 1 egg *
  • 2 tablespoons cold water*

*egg mixture is good for 2 servings

Directions

  1. In bowl combine all dry ingredients thoroughly
  2. In a separate bowl combine egg and water
  3. Using tenders or chicken breast, trim off any excess fat and cut meat into bite size pieces
  4. Add chicken to egg wash, then dip each piece into the dry mix until coated
  5. Place chicken pieces on a greased baking sheet, spray chicken lightly with cooking spray and bake for about 7-10 minutes at 350 degrees

I served my nuggets with 15g of honey mustard and 100g of broccoli. The macros for just the nuggets were 6F, 17C, 31P. Definitely an improvement over the macros from the dinosaur shaped nuggets you see in the frozen food aisle. These were also a winner with my boyfriend. When I started prepping them, he asked if they would be fried. I laughed and said “do I ever fry anything?” He replied, “well, no. Ha, well why did you ask then? For being baked, these little guys had a little crunch because of the cooking spray applied before they went into the oven.

Overall, it probably took my 15 minutes to get dinner together and it was a home cooked meal that I don’t feel guilty eating and since I know it was a hit with my guy, I may need to make them more often so he doesn’t feel consumed by chicken breast and “burrito bowls”.

I hope you enjoy making your own nuggets,  with spices the possibilities are endless!

 

❤ Cristina


  

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Protein Ricotta Cheesecake

I have no idea where the desire to make a cheesecake came from on Friday, but I came up with a pretty good recipe for just winging it. Part of it could’ve been that I had nothing better to do on a Friday night, or that you really can’t go wrong with dessert; regardless of the reason I’m glad that I spent some time in the kitchen experimenting.

I asked my friend Tresa if she had a good protein cheesecake recipe, of course she did. The problem with Tresa’s recipe though – it makes a whole damn cake. That doesn’t work for me. I need something for 1 or 2 servings because a few things will happen. 1. I’ll get sick of it after a few days. 2. It’ll go bad because I have gotten sick of it. 3. I will eat the whole thing.

After looking at Tresa’s recipe and searching on Pinterest, I came to the conclusion that I needed to start from scratch and I wanted to make a ricotta cheesecake. So here’s my recipe.

What You’ll Need

  • 5.3 ounces of plain nonfat Greek yogurt (I used an individual cup from Price Chopper)
  • 1 scoop of whey ( I used cinnamon swirl by Cellucor)
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup of fat free ricotta cheese (62g if you use a food scale)
  • 6 tbsp of fat free cream cheese – softened
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 whole egg

Directions

  • soften cream cheese in a microwave, using 10 second intervals so it doesn’t get too hot and melt
  • combine Greek yogurt, whey and water
  • add ricotta cheese and cream cheese
  • add eggs
  • add vanilla
  • to bake the cakes I used an 8″by 8″ pan and used foil to divide this into two cakes the batter weight 440g, so each cake weighed 220g. next time I will probably divide the batter and then spray a cupcake pan therefore making a few smaller cakes that will equal a serving
  • bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees and let cool. cooling is very important because it really lets the cake set. I chilled mine over night and the foil peeled right off without losing any cake

Since I made two cakes, I decided to swirl in some Walden Farms chocolate syrup into one while the other stayed plain. When I ate the plain one I used Walden Farm caramel syrup and 1 tbsp BearNaked salted caramel apple granola for topping.

Macros per cake without extra toppings:

Fat: 3

Carbs: 11.5

Protein: 37

Most of us know the ingredients of a regular cheesecake, playing with the ingredients to make it a little healthier doesn’t hurt anyone. This still tasted like a regular cheesecake, it just happened to have a lot less fat in it and wayyy more protein for the average fitchick to enjoy. So I encourage you use your boredom on a Friday night to experiment in the kitchen and not be scared to have a failing recipe.

 


We all have bumps in the road, it’s about how you get passed them that matters

This week starts the 6th week with my trainer. My progress has been pretty steady and when I weighed myself in week 4 I was 152.8 pounds. I’m very excited about that number, but during week 5 I was traveling for work. I had a plan, but I also knew that it would be hard to stick to it completely because 1. traveling changes my eating schedule, which can make me miss my macros. 2. gym time is usually altered because I’m not in my home gym with everything necessary to complete my workouts. 3. I get truly exhausted traveling. It’s my favorite thing about my job, but it’s also the most tiring.

Last Wednesday, I traveled to the big apple! It’s only a few from where I live, but it’s not a place I get to visit often. I was staying in Times Square and I had researched my surroundings. Well, since arriving at 3 pm on Wednesday until I get back home to Worcester, I had walked almost 27 miles and had at least 50 different conversations; both for my job and with strangers in passing. My brain is tired and so is my body.

A few weeks ago I was in DC and it was an amazing trip, almost as tiring at NYC, but I was able to stick to my plan more there than I was last week. I felt great when I came home. I was confident in my eating and the workouts I completed in the hotel fitness center. This time around – not so much.

While there has definitely been progress, I’m not satisfied with my physique. I know I can do better, my food consumption could be cleaner and tighter, but at the same time I’m human and cupcakes exist. So do outside stressors that you can’t control. The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of emotions – my job, my boyfriend’s job, the holidays, and finding things to keep me busy. I joke about how I’m practically single because my boyfriend doesn’t live in the same state, but I almost find it harder to keep myself occupied or create opportunities for myself to stay busy. I’m not only a stress eater, but I’m a bored eater. I will try to nap or find something to do when I notice myself wanting to eat, but I’m not hungry. Last weekend I went to a paint nite event and unleasehed my true artist. It was a fun way to spend a few hours of my Sunday away from my apartment and now I have a painting on my living room wall.

Coming back from my work trip has not only left me exhausted, but slightly less motivated and bored and somehow overwhelmed. After getting a little bit of a push from my friend Sarah today, I got off my couch and ran some errands. I got some Christmas and Thanksgiving shopping done and I picked up some groceries for the week, but overall today was just a bad day. So was yesterday and I’m not super thrilled with Friday either, but I have Alaina.

I can email her and tell her that I need more help, and that’s what I did. I told her a little bit about what’s going on and I explained how I need her guidance this week in my meal planing so I stay on track. I told her what items I have bought and what I have on hand with the hopes that I don’t need to buy too many new items, but I also don’t mind running out to the store.Having her help come up with a consumption plan will keep me on track and get past this rough patch.

I took a break from the gym today, but I’ll be back at it tomorrow. This week is the last week of the second phase and I really am like the workouts. I feel more powerful in my lifts, alternating high and low reps has given me the ability to focus on form and lift heavier than I was before. I even PR’d last week with squats at 135 pounds. I’m really proud of that.

I think we all have days where we just feel crummy about how were doing in any aspect of our lives. There are days I don’t feel productive and some I feel like I accomplished everything in the world. This is just a hiccup, but it’s going to pass.

Here are some photos from my trip to New York last week. It really wasn’t that bad, I just need to figure out how to stick to my food plan on the next trip.

❤ Cristina

Times Square

Trinity Church

Charging Bull in the Financial District