It’s Day 30 of the Whole 30! How exciting! We made it! Chad is stoked to have a drink tomorrow. I, however, am going to stick it out through the weekend (so I guess mine is a Whole 35), so I’ll wait for that first glass of red until Monday evening. I should make something Italian on Monday night to pair with it. I sense spaghetti squash on the horizon…
But back to Day 30. I truly had no doubt that we would make it through this challenge, because I was prepared for it. I read the blogs, bought the books, prepped like crazy, shopped in 4 different stores, and knew (mostly) what to expect. Plus, I have a partner in crime who is 100% supportive and was happy to eat whatever I put in front of him (even some of those soggy dinners like the zoodle episode and the mushy Shepherd’s pie). But man, I don’t know how some of these women on the message boards do it when they have husbands who won’t eat this “diet crap” and kids who refuse to try new things. They end up making 3 different meals every night! A sure recipe for disaster.
So to celebrate Day 30, I went simple. I didn’t want to wrap up the month by spending one of those 3-hour nights prepping and cooking, only to eat at 8:30pm. So I chose a recipe I found on Pinterest from Lil’ Luna: Lemon Chicken with Veggies. This is one of those one-dish recipes I keep wanting to try — the veggies, potatoes, and chicken all go in one dish & get thrown in the over for a little over an hour and BAM. Done.
I think you could probably switch up the veggies if you like (maybe asparagus or brussel sprouts), but I used green beans like the recipe called for, snipping off the ends. After I washed the red potatoes (about 10 or so), I lined the baking dish with a tablespoon of olive oil & covered the bottom with thinly sliced lemon. Then the marinade: 5 tablespoons of olive oil, the juice of another lemon, 4 cloves of minced garlic, a teaspoon of kosher salt, and a half teaspoon of pepper. I tossed the green beans in the mixture first, and then placed them all along the baking dish on top of the lemon slices. Then I quartered the potatoes and tossed them in the marinade before throwing them in the dish, all around the edges. Last to go in were 4 chicken breasts; I tossed them in the mixture & then placed them down the middle of the baking dish, covering them with the remaining mixture. The garlic + lemon smell was SO good!
Then the whole thing went in a 350 oven for about an hour and fifteen minutes. I checked it at that point and the chicken needed a wee bit more time, so I threw it back in for another 20.
And took it out again. And the potatoes were still basically raw.
So I took the chicken out of the dish and set it aside (and perhaps a few curse words escaped my lips because of course my “simple” recipe is turning out to be a pain in the you-know-what). Then Chad helped me fish out the potatoes and green beans (which were soaked in lemon juice) and we threw them on a baking sheet and I kicked up the temp to 425 and tossed those suckers back in. I’ll roast them till they’re edible, goshdarnit!
So finally after another 30 minutes in the oven, we could actually eat this meal. All’s well that ends well, eh? At that point I just needed something I could stuff in my starving face. And remember how earlier I was saying “I don’t want to eat at 8:30?” Guess what time we finally ate. (Note: I started prepping this simple meal at 5pm. THREE AND A HALF SIMPLE HOURS AGO.)
And even though it took a million extra minutes to cook this business, I’m glad I made 4 chicken breasts because now I have lunch for tomorrow! And tomorrow’s my long day when I teach until 6:15, so I know I’ll need the sustenance to get through Day 31. And the plan is to get the makings of a chili in the crockpot in the a.m. before I head out, so here’s hoping it’s ready when I get home at 7ish!
Chad, I’m sure, will be waiting for me with drink in hand. He’s earned it. Cheers, babe.