ideal protein recipe

Crunchy Herb Roasted Chicken Tenders, Fancy!

On My Plate, Looks like a magazine, right?
On My Plate, Looks like a magazine, right?

So, to say that I’m not a chef would be a more than subtle understatement. But while on this Ideal Protein diet, I’ve managed, among the messes and failures in the kitchen, to prove that sometimes it all works out and nobody gets hurt (not even the hubby!) Last night, when I decided to cook what I’m calling “Crunchy Herb Roasted Chicken Tenders” I went to the end-all, be-all cookbook that is Pinterest. I searched for Ideal Protein and Chicken. I knew I’d seen this recipe before and with it came accolades like, “favorite IP recipe, EVER” and “I could eat this every meal.” Yes, I was hankering for something that good.

Admittedly, it was that good! Well, I don’t want to eat it every meal, but because it was super easy, I’d venture to say fool proof even because well… I did it, and it was tasty which makes it a success! Woohoo!

I made it for two because the hubs was hungry as well. SQUIRREL! (that means I’m having a wee ADD moment, so bear with me!) He usually cooks, by the way, so I think it was hard for him to get out of the way. He’s a big brother too. He’s the oldest in the family and I’m the youngest from mine. It makes for some super hilarious exchanges “big bossy brother” to stubborn wee “I can do it myself” sister. I often pause after he’s made an obvious “suggestion” and give him the feisty little sister look and say, “Are you big brothering me?” He’ll laugh and say, “maybe” or “only when you need it.” Of course, when he doesn’t and I’m three miles past our exit and I realize it and glance his way, he’s got his funny little grin on (the one that’s really cute and charming) because he knows what is coming. “Why didn’t you tell me to get off?” “Because I didn’t want to big brother you.” He can’t win, can he? He does though because we laugh a lot and gets to live with me!

Back to the Fancy Crunchy Herb Roasted Chicken Tenders recipe! You’ll need: All natural organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts, Ideal Protein Garlic and Fine Herb Crisps (one bag per breast), an egg and spray olive oil.

Preheat the oven to 400. Spray a cooking sheet with olive oil. Cut the chicken into “fingers”. In a bowl, whip up one or two eggs. Crush the crisps. I used a zip lock bag and a glass bowl to squish the crisps because I couldn’t find the rolling pin. It worked great. Dip the chicken pieces in the egg and dredge through the crispy crumbs. Coat well. Place on baking sheet. Bake about 9 or 10 minutes and turn them over. Bake a few more until done.

They were very tasty. Hubby liked them too!

Ta Daaaa!

Day 78: Okra IS Finger Food!!

When you think of okra, do you think slime? I do, and then it’s followed by a “blech”. However, I’ve always liked fried okra. Well, okay, I’ve always liked just about fried anything, but okra, breaded and deep fried till crispy, then coated in ketchup? Yes, that is the bomb, and don’t worry, when I drown it in ketchup, I use a fork. Usually, it’s sharing a plate with chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, but we’re not going there anymore. (except on super secret, highly illicit food fantasy binges). So, I tried roasting okra because, as you may or may not know, I’m not a veggie fan. Well, I am now. This diet requires 4 cups (or at least as much as I can muster) a day. I LOVE okra. There, I’ve said it to the universe.

It's Finger Freaking-delicious Food, I Tell Ya!
It’s Finger Freaking-delicious Food, I Tell Ya!

Here’s what I do:

Preheat oven to 350

Chop okra cross-wise as if you were going to deep fry (sigh)

Spray a cookie sheet with olive oil

Throw on the okra, and try to spread those slimy buggers so there’s one layer

Sprinkle with sea salt (or Ideal Protein Salt)

Put in oven for 15 or more minutes, until they’ve shriveled and look and feel crunchy

Taste for salty accurateness, add more if needed

Scrape into a bowl and dig in with those fingers. 

“Look Mom, no slime!!” Enjoy!

Day 54: Farmer’s Market Morning

My first visit to this Farmer's Market
My first visit to this Farmer’s Market

Ever since I found out that I do, in fact, like some vegetables, and am forced into submission required to eat them on my Ideal Protein diet, I’ve been wanting to go to the local farmer’s market. There’s one within 10 minutes of my house, but we’ve been out of town, and you know, sleep happens. This morning, I got up while the morning light was still in the skinny phase (see this post for reference) and headed out with my little reusable bags in tow.

I was surprised at how many cars were already there. I parked far away because I hate door dings  for the extra walk in the beautiful morning air. Wow, there were lots of stalls and I could hear the live music coming from the far end. I had just entered when, from my left, a girl said, “Hey, could you use a massage? The first 5 minutes are free!” I looked over like, “what are you trying to say? You talking to me? Do I look like I need one?” (Grin) Actually, I didn’t say those things, I smiled at her and said, “Oh, I could use a massage, definitely!” It’s 9am, I just got up, but, they looked bored and were totally sweet. Chair massages don’t really do it for me, but I acquiesced and took a seat. I prefer lots of deep and painful body work that feels like it’s actually doing something, but… she was cheerful and funny, so I told her I’d pay for 5 more minutes.

After my brief, but nice massage, I headed toward the first veggie stall and bought a couple pounds of okra and some zucchini. YUM.<— Did I just write that?

There were dogs, kids, strollers, old people, artisans, farmers and I. It was lovely! I wandered through the free range eggs, rabbit, beef, and chicken farmers, homemade tamale vendors, salsas, sauces and a balloon animal guy. There were amazing looking breads, cookies, cakes, tarts, scones, (even some gluten free stuff!!) and a homemade mud mask vendor… or was it an all natural mouth detoxifier/teeth whitener? There were so many cool and wonderful things. I do wish I had bought some flowers though. They were amazing and wild looking. I love scruffy, wild things that look natural. Perfection seems trite sometimes, doesn’t it?

I will go back next week. I really enjoyed buying my veggies from actual people rather from the ginormous grocery store, though, honestly our HEB grocery store chain is pretty much the best in the country. For real. I did realize that I have absolutely NO idea what things cost. I have no idea whether I paid more, or less, but I appreciated my buys more. It was definitely more fun!

As soon as I got home, I roasted up some okra. It was divine! who is the whackadoo who keeps

Finger food. Seriously delicious.
Finger food. Seriously delicious.

editing my comments about vegetables to be positive?

Here’s how: Just slice your okra. Preheat your oven to 350. Spray a cooking sheet with olive

oil. Throw the okra on it. Spray the top lightly with olive oil and salt. Cook until your preferred crispiness. I scarfed the whole bowl in a few minutes. YUM.

Day 28: Inertia, Rock and (Cabbage) Rolls

First, let me say that I dropped physics, so if I’ve got this inertia idea all wrong then, laugh while you can monkey boy! Don’t correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the idea that an object in motion tends to stay in motion on the same tract unless acted upon by an “outside force”, whereas an object at rest, tends to stay at rest unless likewise acted upon by an “outside force?”

Well, whatever it is, I’m thinking that inertia is with me, finally. It took a huge “force” of will to jump off my two week binge of porkyness, of doing nothing but sitting around feeding my 50, oh, make that 60 pound monkey , and onto this Ideal Protein thing. Now that I’m going in the right direction, I’m hoping that physics, karma and all my lucky stars are working with me to keep this momentum going. All those “outside forces” like Torchy’s breakfast tacos (OMG I miss you!), cheesecake (gluten free, individually made in wee Mason Jars by moi), nacho flavored Doritos (!!), pomegranate cosmos (I had just perfected my recipe!), Deep Eddy Ruby Red (you cruel mistress, you) will continue to be crushed by this incredible inertia of monkey-shedding-Ideal-Protein-awesomeness!

I’m on a roll… a cabbage roll in fact. Here’s what we ate for dinner!

On a Cabbage Roll
On a Cabbage Roll

O’Rooney’s Rock and (Cabbage) Rolls

8 Cabbage Leaves, Par boiled

1 Pound All Natural Lean Ground Beef

Mushrooms (we used about 5) finely chopped

1 Red Bell Pepper chopped

Dash of Salt, and seasons to your taste

Small can of tomatoes or sauce

Preheat oven to 350. Brown beef, add mushrooms and peppers. Season at will. Boil each cabbage leaf until tender, but bright green. Spoon meat into leaf and roll your own! Okay, like a burrito, by my last one I figured out how to work the toothpick to hold it together. In greased cooking pan, lay them in, and pour sauce on top. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Not bad for something wrapped in a vegetable! Not bad at all. Rock and Cabbage Roll, indeed!


Day 21: O’Rooney’s (Blasphemous) Shepherd’s Pie IP Style

All That Remains
All That Remains

Another victory in the kitchen. Now, I must admit that when my husband suggested the iconic Irish dish, Shepherd’s Pie, my mouth watered a bit — until he mentioned using cauliflower for mashed potatoes. Sorry, gack factor! Yes, I’ve seen the recipes all over the net for Ideal Protein dishes that do such a blasphemous thing and pretend it’s “delicious” and “didn’t know the difference”. Doubting Delilah over here, I didn’t buy it for a second.

Fine, I will prove my point, I thought, and we got started in the kitchen.


O’Rooney’s Blasphemous Shepherd’s Pie

1 Head Cauliflower

1 carton of button mushrooms

2 Pounds of Ground Beef

1/2 Cup of Beef (or Chicken Stock since we didn’t have beef)

1 TBS Dried onion

1 TBS Garlic

1 TSP of Dried Rosemary

1 TSP Oregano

Preheat oven to 400. In a big skillet, brown ground beef. Chop mushrooms as small as humanly possible and add to beef. Throw in the garlic, dried onion, rosemary, and a bit of Oregano. Cook it until done. In a large pot, boil the cauliflower florets until fork tender. Either use a potato masher or a blender and whip them good. I added a bit of chicken stock to the Cauliflower and some to the meat to keep it moist. Then in a deep casserole dish, sprayed with olive oil, layer the beef mixture and top with the “mashed potatoes  cauliflower.” Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

Okay, my youngest son busted me whipping up the Cauliflower, so our sneak attack didn’t really work, however, they both ate their small portions. “It was okay, I probably ate it because I was starving,” said the younger. “I can never trust you again,” added the oldest, “I knew those ‘potatoes’ were off.”

I ate it, and I liked it. Even the Irish husband had two servings, so I’d call that a “Gooooaaaaallll!” Sorry, World Cup fever, I’d call it a win!



Day 14: Well, Stuff My Peppers!

Let me just say that today was a pretty good day overall. My first meeting of the day just happened to be at Top Golf and required me to split my attention between my two clients, golf ball hitting (off a balcony into a driving rain… how fun is that?) and watching The Netherlands beat Chile. It was a bit hard to be a spectator as my clients enjoyed chicken and waffles that were absolutely ree-donk-ilous, and a turkey wrap with fries on my dime while I picked at a pile of lettuce with a chunk of chicken on it. But, duty called, and I, a willing employee did my job. I even let them win… <wink> okay, I’m not a golfer, but we enjoyed nonetheless.

Stuffed Peppers the Irish Way
Stuffed Peppers the Irish Way

Which brings me to my crowning victory in the kitchen, of all places! Yes, who would have dreamed this one?  I know, I know, I hate the kitchen and my cooking is worse than my golfing, but with a cute Irish husband acting as sous chef and mentor, it wasn’t so bad. He told me to find the stuffed pepper recipe I’d read to him from Pinterest the other night. Turns out we had peppers and meat, no mushrooms, tomato sauce and more.

“Well, let’s just do it the Irish way. Stuff those things with meat and stick them in the oven!” he offered in his lovely brogue. “Well, okay then,” I countered, and continued to look up recipes to see what we could do. I ran across one that had rice, then one that was paleo… so we sort of “Irished” those recipes together! The result was actually good enough to make again! So here’s what we did.

O’Rooney’s Stuffed Peppers

1 lb of ground bison (or lean meat)

3 peppers

Seasoning, Salt, Pepper

1 TBS Minced Garlic

1/2 Head of Cauliflower

Green Onions

Preheat oven to 350. Boil Cauliflower until fork tender. In a large skillet with a wee bit of olive oil, brown meat and garlic. Add your favorite seasonings. Drain cauliflower, blend/process until consistency of rice… or mashed potatoes (either is fine, we shot for rice, but got mashed potatoes). Add Cauliflower to meat and garlic and cook until you like the consistency. Cut the tops off your peppers and remove the seeds. Spoon in the meat mixture, put the tops back on. Bake in a baking dish for 35 minutes. Top with green onions. Dig In. Slainte!

Ya, I’m doing a wee Irish jig of joy!

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