My sister recently moved to my city, and can I just take a second to say how happy it makes me? Marie and I have been close from the beginning – we even shared a room until I was 18 and off to college! There have been ups and downs, but through it all we’ve held tight to each other and have become the best of friends.
She found the cutest apartment right downtown and on the lake – perfect for her and only 10 minutes from us! There are a ton of reasons I’m happy she’s here, but one of the best is seeing her more – and spending more time together as a family.
Casey was in the U.P. earlier this week for work, and I invited Marie to come for dinner and help with Dane’s nightly routine. It was great to sip on wine and decompress with her; talking about everything and nothing at the same time. I even got to watch an hour of Kardashians without any complaints from Casey. 😉
Another perk is that I can cook a few of my favorite things that just happen to NOT be Casey’s favorite: artichokes & zoodles. So this recipe was born, and it was healthy as can be. This dish made approximately 3 servings at only 375 calories each + it was FULL of delicious veggies and protein. Of course you could sub in pasta but we both agreed we didn’t miss it at all, or maybe that was the wine talking… who knows. Either way, it was a major win!
What You Need
- Approximately 1 lb of chicken – we use tenders because they cook quickly and the portions seem to be right for us
- 4 medium sized zucchini
- 1 can quartered artichokes + liquid
- 7-8 stalks of asparagus chopped into bit sized pieces
- 1 cup of frozen peas
- 1 tbsp capers (optional – they have sort of an acquired taste)
- Juice from one lemon
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
- Approximately 1/4 cup water (you may not need this)
- S+P to taste
This recipe is a little high maintenance, so I’m chunking it into steps to make it easier.
Step 1: Zoodles! I have a spiralizer, which I picked up at Kohl’s during a lucky 30% coupon week, and I love it. But they can be pricy – so my girl Avery has a very easy technique you can use with basically a vegetable peeler (and it’s WAY less expensive) – check out her technique here! Sidenote: Avery is one of the people that inspires me most in my healthy lifestyle journey, check her out on Instagram for daily updates and encouragement! I love to “Zoodle” and this is my favorite part of the meal prep – haha I am a food geek yes it’s true.
Step 2: Cook your chicken – we added some olive oil to a hot pan and sautéed the chicken that we seasoned with S+P on both sides. Cook until the juices run clear and you can see that the chicken is done. Full discloser, Casey is usually in charge of cooking the chicken and can tell when it’s done by touching it – I have no clue how he does this wizardry so I cut them open. 😉
Step 3: Once the chicken is finished cooking, remove from the pan and set aside. Next add the butter, lemon juice, bouillon cube, artichokes and capers and get them up to a simmer in the pan. If there are any delicious bits stuck to the bottom, make sure to scrape those up – they add delicious flavor to the sauce. I let this simmer for about 10 minutes and in the meantime sauté the zoodles in a different pan just until they are tender. Don’t cook them too long or they’ll get mushy. Question: Has anyone ever steamed zoodles? Reviews on it? I’ll have to try next time.
Step 4: Okay, here’s where you’re doing a lot at once, but just stay calm because you can’t screw it up I promise. Add your chicken back into the pan with the lemon sauce, add the asparagus + peas + salt/pepper and let cook for approximately 5 more minutes, adding water if needed. (We put the cover on, and let everything steam so the chicken stayed nice and juicy). Dish out servings of zoodles into bowls and top with pieces of chicken and as much veggie goodness as you want!
Seriously, this is so healthy, fresh and you won’t feel the regret of a pasta binge after you eat it. Under 400 calories people!
What’s everyone up to this weekend? We’re busy – but happy about it. The Badgers are still dancin’ so we’ll be cheering – and Case and I are getting a date night in on Saturday courtesy of Grandma Betty ❤ Sunday will be more family time with my side – watching *hopefully* another Badger game. Fingers crossed and GO BUCKY!