Friday, February 25, 2011

Tuscan Chicken: on sale!

Pineapple wasn’t the only thing on sale at Whole Foods this past week! It was delicious by the way.

I also picked up 2 whole organic chickens ($1.69/lb!!)


and canned San Marzano tomatoes (i.e. the BEST canned tomatoes) (2 for $4!!)

I now have a nice little stock pile of lovely canned tomatoes and an extra chicken in the freezer :)

The other chicken became dinner earlier this week. I wanted to use up some of the canned beans I have in my pantry so I searched for a chicken recipe with tomatoes + beans. Cooking Light never lets me down.

Side note: As much as I love cookbooks with their glossy pages and pictures, I find myself heading to the computer first every time I’m looking for a new recipe. The biggest benefit, in my opinion, is reader reviews! If a recipe sounds great but got lousy reviews from people who have tried it, I am much less likely to try it out. You can also find great tips and tricks to make recipes even better and more user friendly from online reviews! What are your thoughts about cookbooks vs. the internet??

Tuscan Baked Chicken and Beans sounded like exactly what I was in the mood for…now if only my whole chicken was in pieces. That’s where Brian came to help :)

I don’t know what it is, but I find if I handle/work with a chicken and all its pieces too much I get turned off from it. Sounds weird, and I have not problem actually handling poultry, meats, fish…but it happened once with turkey and almost ruined Thanksgiving for me, so I opted to ask the hubs for help.


He was more than happy to take a crack at breaking down the chicken, and was even more excited to wear his big blue gloves!


For his first time he did awesome! Now I had chicken pieces and got going on dinner! After reading some reviews of this recipe online, I opted to use my Le Creuset Dutch Oven to cook then bake this dinner.


Tuscan Baked Chicken and Beans
from Cooking Light with my additions

· 1 (3 1/2-pound) roasting chicken

· 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

· 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

· 3 slices center-cut bacon

· 1 cup chopped onion

· I added 2 cloves chopped garlic

· 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

· I added ¼ cup white wine

· 2 cups packed torn spinach

· 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary (I used fresh thyme and parsley)

· 2 (16-ounce) cans cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained

· 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained


1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Trim excess fat. Cut chicken into 2 breast halves, 2 drumsticks, and 2 thighs. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook bacon in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; chop and set aside, reserving drippings in pan. Add chicken pieces to reserved drippings in pan; cook for 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove chicken from pan; set aside.

3. Add onion (and garlic) and 1/8 teaspoon salt to pan; reduce heat to medium, and cook 5 minutes or until onion begins to brown. Deglaze with white wine, scraping all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Stir in bacon, spinach, herbs, beans, and tomatoes; remove from heat. Arrange chicken pieces on top; bake, uncovered, at 350° for 40 minutes. Discard skin before serving. I discarded the skin from my pieces, but Brian left his on…he likes the legs!


Nutritional Information

Calories: 307
Fat:4.9g (sat 1.2g,mono 1.5g,poly 1.4g)
Protein: 36g


I wanted something to go with this meal, but didn’t feel the need for a potato/rice/pasta type side dish. I’ve had this organic polenta I picked up at Trader Joes and have yet to figure out what to do with it. So I chopped up some pieces, tossed in parmesan cheese, and sautéed them in a pan with olive oil cooking spray. This was just ok, I think I prefer regular creamy polenta, not this kind you slice up. Still good though.


This was a delicious dinner. Comfort food-esque, but not heavy at all. It made for great leftovers as well.



That night I also whipped up a batch of Super Charge Me cookies, so that I could have a healthy and clean baked good around the house. I used white whole wheat flour instead of the spelt flour and added dried cherries and dark chocolate chips. I also added about 3 – 5T of water to the batter.

IMG_7908 IMG_7901

IMG_7949 IMG_7943

So sad I ate the last one today!!!

Other nights my dinners look like this…and I love these meals just as much!


  • baked sweet potato + butter + maple syrup drizzle
  • steamed spinach + balsamic vinegar
  • cheddar + crackers + carrots


These random “snack style” dinners are perfect some nights after work when I come home later than usual and really don’t want to spend much time in the kitchen. Plus I tend to snack a lot while at work so a small dinner balances it out. IMG_7935


Hmm…yeah, so not that great this week. I’ve actually had a hard time getting back into a routine since those crazy work weeks earlier this year!

This is where my half-marathon goal is going to kick in! It’s time to train!! I’m actually really excited and even more so now that I have a stellar training plan made for me by my friend Lizzy!!

Funny side note: we used to work together at Gap Kids while both in high school!! We didn’t even realize who we each were until recently…small (blog) world right??

I’m starting my plan next week! It will consist of 3 running days a week: speed work, easy run, long run. I am really pumped to do the speed work because I’ve never really done it properly before so I’m looking forward to see if I can improve my speed! This plan is great for me because I still need other non-running days to mix up my workouts.

Can’t wait to share my training!


  1. MMM delicious chicken dish!

    Good luck training!

  2. I'm the same way with cook books! I enjoy having them (especially when they have gorgeous pictures)- but I never use them! Great meal. The combination of flavors looks perfect- totally makes me want to run out and get some polenta too! I still haven't tried making supercharge me cookies- maybe I'll put that on my list for next time. Good luck with the training!!

  3. Yum! Good to know about San Marzano's at Whole Foods, they are my favorite brand of canned tomato and that's a great price!

  4. I love online (especially blog) recipes best because they usually provide step by step instructions and pictures.

    The chicken looks great and very flavorful. I did laugh a little bit at the husband with the blue gloves on- he's a pretty serious assistant chef there!

  5. i cannot stand touching raw chicken skin eek!!

  6. Yay, hope you have fun with your training! Looks like the perfect comforting meal too - your hubby did a great job breaking it down!

  7. This looks like a great chicken recipe! I almost took advantage of those on sale tomatoes this week too. Instead we've been buying the Dover sole.

  8. Although I'm like you with using the internet before turning to cookbooks, I've got to say that I'm excited to use the new cookbook (and the box of panko) I received this weekend from your giveaway! Thanks again!

  9. Yay for half marathon training! lizzy knows whats up. best of luck.

  10. I went to Whole Foods yesterday after my race. Love that I got those tomatoes too! I missed the chicken though (it wasn't on my list) so I may have skipped right by it.

    So excited about your training... and I'll follow you on Google Calendar so update it as you can! And we will definitely meet for a run soon : )