October 12, 2012

The Chicken Tender Challenge

Chicken Tenders
Since Lucy was born back in May, I have been on a kind of eating free-for-all, and I am finally starting to get myself back under control. I'd love to be a slimmer, fitter version of myself in the near future, so in addition to exercising (having dance parties in the living room with Lucy at lunchtime) more regularly, I am trying to regulate my diet a bit more during the day. I am eating cottage cheese and tomatoes every morning for breakfast (instead of these doughnuts... yum) , snacking on fruits and veggies (instead of my FAVORITE chips) between meals, and over the past week I gave myself a little something that I like to call "The Chicken Tender Challenge."

Those little 2.5 oz strips of chicken are fairly inexpensive, really good for you, and the perfect size for lunch, but they can be pretty boring. Luckily, a couple of months ago my darling friend, Jarnell, brought me this really cool 8 pack of mixed spices from touroftheworldcafe.com. Each little cup, which interlocks to the others so it is easier to store in a column in the corner of your spice cabinet, represents a different country or region.

For each day, I slathered a chicken tender in a teaspoon of olive oil, coated it in the spices and baked for about 8 minutes at 375 degrees.

The spice packs are numbered, so I decided to try them in the order they came... So here they are... days 1-8 of the chicken tender challenge. 

1. French Made Easy- I served the spiced, baked chicken simply with some honey mustard and a pile of chopped up carrots. Really tasty and I was totally full for a few hours.

2. Curry in a Hurry- I am generally not a big fan of Indian food, but this "Indian Spice" pack was surprisingly good. Spicy and curry-ish but not overwhelming. This time, I added the baked, spiced chicken to some light mayo also seasoned with the Indian spice, and mixed it up with some chopped celery to make an Indian chicken sandwich on wheat bread. I served it with a chopped salad of tomatoes, radishes, arugula and vidalia onions with champagne vinegar. It was completely delicious and I wasn't hungry again until dinner.

3. Mexican in a Minute - I just served the spiced baked chicken with an heap of this amazing fresh salsa I picked up in the prepared food section at Harris Teeter the other day. The chicken and the salsa were both completely delish!

4. Italiano Pronto - I cooked a cup of penne, and dressed it with a tablespoon of olive oil, garlic and parsley. Then I added the baked, spiced chicken and a couple halved tomatoes to the bowl and dug in. mmm mmm mmm.

5. Go Greek - I served the baked, spiced chicken with roasted potatoes garlic, and lemons dressed in olive oil with parsley. This one took a bit more time (about 15  minutes for roasting) but was well worth it. Sooo good.

6. American Bounty - I placed the spiced, baked chicken on wheat with brown, spicy mustard and swiss cheese and ate it with a handful of red grapes. Classic, easy, and tasty.

7. Mediterranean Magic - I sauteed some onions, mushrooms and tomatoes in olive oil and served it on top of the spiced, baked chicken. I was happy and full until dinner.

8. Sassy Salad (ok, so this one is not a country or region) - Made a quick, little salad of iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, robusto cheese and celery. Then I added some of the spice to olive oil and red wine vinegar to make the dressing. I added the baked, spiced chicken in chunks and tossed it all together and poured on the dressing. This was refreshing and zesty.

I have to say, I really liked all of them, but Mediterranean Magic was the stand out.
It really made my boring little baked chicken tender totally delicious and interesting.

And my jeans are fitting a little bit better this week... woo hoo!
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  1. Ooooooo...every dish looks beautiful! And if you say they are delish then I am going to have to try them too! I'll let you know how I do!


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