Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Tomato Basil Chicken (Meal Plan)

So while I’m sure you all are waiting with bated breath for Lynda’s weekly meal plan, I’m almost sorry to say I’m taking it over this week! At first I thought it would be fun, give me an excuse to try new things, but after I committed to doing so, its meaning took a bit of a turn.

I am currently 30 weeks pregnant and discovered last week that I have developed Gestational Diabetes.

What this means, along with pricking my own finger four times a day to check blood sugar, is a pretty strict diet. I will likely post more entries discussing it further, but for now we will just stick to what I ate this week as most was planned out before knowing I had extreme guidelines I need to follow.

I live in the middle of the Mojave Desert, forty miles from the closest town. We have one grocery store (the Commissary) available with slim pickins’ for produce and meat. I recently discovered an organic food co-op in the nearest town from us that is a collection of different farms in the area. You can get produce, meat, dairy, and other goodies for less than what we would pay in store and much better quality! The decision to make the switch was obvious!

This past week we received our first big haul!  This is what we got:

Onion (1 lb Red sping, 1 lb white spring)
Basil (Italian - 1 bunch)
4 Pickling Cucumbers
Mediterranean Cucumbers (1 lb)
Red Potatoes
Seasonal Fruit (red plums/nectarines)
Summer Squash (over 3lb variety mix, zucchini, yellow)
5 Ears of Sweet Corn
3 large Tomatoes
Watermelon (2 little stripy ones)
Leeks (1 bunch)
Nopales- cactus leaf (1 lb - 8 paddles)
Jalapeños (1 lb)

Hot Dogs (6 Organic Beef/Pork. no casing)
Ground Beef (2 lb 85% Lean & 15% Fat-100% grass fed and finished-frozen)
Chicken Breast (2 boneless, skinless)

Raw Whole Milk (1 gallon)
Cream Cheese (7 oz Made from organic pasteurized, cultured milk & cream,sea salt. No gums, fillers,or stabilizers)

We have not used all of this, or probably even half, but the wonderful thing that we haven’t been used to with store-bought  produce is that it's still good!  Typically, our commissary produces starts to go bad even before we've gotten it home, making it very hard to choose to eat fresh foods over processed - the co-op produce is so much fresher!

We pick up our co-op groceries on Tuesdays, so I'm going Wednesday to Wednesday on planning. Here is how my first week looked:

Wednesday -
Chicken Salad - chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, Parmesan cheese, balsamic vinaigrette.
Watermelon slides
(We did not use the farm fresh chicken as we already had store-bought thawed. It was great, easy, and summery!

Thursday -  

Pasta with Parmesan, Chicken and Zucchini
This was an amazing dish prepared by good friends (and fellow RCH writers!) Jessica and Matthew at one of our game nights. (Recipe will be added soon!)

Friday -
(farm fresh grass-fed beef!, lettuce, tomato, red onion)
Corn on the Cob

Saturday -
Chicken Burritos
(shredded chicken, taco seasoning, tomato, onion, black olives, sour cream, tortilla)
Refried Beans

Delicious blueberry pie for dessert made by my good friend, Taylor!

Sunday -  
Pan-seared Tilapia (with lemon and pepper)
Sautéed zucchini and Nopales  
Peanut butter cookies for dessert because my husband is an evil tempting man (my next morning sugar levels weren't too great, thanks to those…)

The Nopales cactus leaves (prickly pear) were odd. We only used two, so still many more to use. They had a sour taste I didn't care for too much.

Monday -
Cheat day (flat crispy crust pizza, veggie only)

Tuesday -
Tomato Basil Chicken
Egg Noodles
Broiled summer squash (patty pan, green, yellow, onion with olive oil and parmesan cheese)

For this we used the farm fresh chicken and it was an entirely different experience than store bought!  Here's the recipe for this one:

Tomato Basil Chicken

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thawed)
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 large Tomato diced (about 2 cups)
1 handful (about ½ cup) chopped fresh basil
2 cloves minced fresh garlic
4 tbsp butter

Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.

Heat the olive oil in a pan (while waiting, I prepped all other sides like heating the water for noodles or chopping vegetables)

Once heated, add chicken. Cook for about 5 minutes on either side.

When almost done with second side, add tomato. After about 30 seconds, add fresh basil, butter, garlic and more salt and pepper.

Stir sauce to mix around and turn down heat once chicken is thoroughly cooked.

If you plan on slicing chicken as opposed to serving whole, remove from pan and let sit for a minute to not lose all the juice. This also gives sauce a chance to thicken a bit.

This is amazing served over egg noodles with the sauce poured over top! Enjoy!

We also served ours with a medley of summer squashes (patty pan, green, yellow) and red onion, roasted in the oven, drizzled with olive oil and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

Is there any vegetable that doesn't taste great when roasted??

If you have any ideas on how to use some of the produce I mentioned, I’d appreciate the suggestions!  This is a very new way of food preparation and eating for me, and I am happy for any advice I can get.

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  1. Hi Jackie, just stopped by to let you know you've been featured today over at Carole's Chatter. Cheers

  2. Well my dear, you did a fabulous job. Praying for the best for your pregnancy. I would love for you to share this inspirational post at our WIW link party. I hope you can join us!


  3. When I first saw all those ingredients I was almost scared away but then realized you were doing a lot with them. This looks scrumptious!


  4. I had gestational diabetes too... great planning is key, it looks like you've got it! Thank you for sharing this recipe over at Wake Up Wednesday, I've shared it today on my blog in a round up of awesome chicken recipes from the party!

  5. Stopping by from Sparkles of Inspiration. I love fresh tomato and basil, this one looks like a winner!

  6. You have some great recipes here its hard to decide which one I like best. thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays Blog Hop

  7. Sorry about your news but so glad you are eating healthy, this looks YUMMY!
    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY...

  8. Hi Jackie,
    We will just love your Tomato Basil chicken, what a great meal. Thanks for sharing with Full Plate Thursday, I always look forward to your visits!
    Come Back Soon,
    Miz Helen

  9. MM! we ate this again yesterday with a side of quinoa, it was just as good!

  10. Oh, I had gestational diabetes with my son, who by the way is now 18 and heading to college in the fall. It was such a pain pricking my finger so I feel your pain, just remember, "this too shall pass" and the real pain is years ahead of you - gotta love teenagers! Thanks for sharing again at the #WWDPARTY

  11. Thanks for coming and linking up at #The Weekend Social. Please be sure to come back next week starting Thursdays at 9PM EST on Kitchen ! I hope to see you there! Pinned

  12. I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis - that must indeed be challenging living where you do! Your menu sounds deliciously healthy though :-) I'll be sharing it on Pinterest and Twitter. Thank you for sharing it with us at the Hearth and Soul hop.

  13. Your recipe sounds delicious! Had to pop by as soon as I saw the pic! #tastytuesday!
    I don't think I have EVER seen a blog post linked in so many places! Lady, you're really working it!!
    Sorry to hear about your diagnosis! 30 weeks (congratulations by the way!!) and living in the Mojave desert... Which by the way is the essence of serenity!! (we had a 5 1/2 week long road trip in California this spring!) ...But how far from a hospital does that make you?! ...Hope you have a fantastic 10 more weeks of pregnancy!

  14. This sounds delicious and looks really healthy. Pinned.

  15. What a great combination! It sounds like it would be the perfect meal! :)

  16. Thank you for sharing this meal plan at City of Creative Dream's City of Links on Friday! I appreciate you taking the time to party with me. Hope to see you again this week :)

  17. Sounds so good! Thank you so much for linking this up to The Creative Collection Link Party.

  18. Well this is a recipe I have to try and it is perfect as summer squash is producing a lot this year. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I hope you’ll join us again next week!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

  19. Wow delicious, thanks for all the foodie inspiration! Thanks for linking up to #tastytuesdays

  20. Nothing like fresh food from the garden. I have the squash and basil. Now if my tomatoes will just ripen. Not doing as well this year. Usually am eating one by July 4th. Best of luck with the diabetes. My oldest daughter is juvenile diabetic, since the age of 11. I know what you are going through! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  21. I love love love chicken but hubby gets sick of it lol unless I find new recipes/ideas so thank you another to add to my chicken dish recipes

  22. All the produce in the photos looks wonderful! Tomato Basil Chicken sounds delicious and what a great assortment of ingredients.
    twinkle at optonline dot net