Friday, June 3, 2011

Simple Pleasures

Sometimes the best things in life are the simple pleasures...  like relaxing at home with someone who loves you.  :)



Skillet Chicken with Mushroom Sauce and Haricot Vert

After two weeks of working late, getting stuck in afternoon-thunderstorm-traffic (I have a 60-mile, one-way commute, so rain does not improve matters when driving home in rush-hour traffic), and simply being too tired to work out, I hit the gym tonight with Jamie.  I have a little bit of a love-hate relationship with working out;  I really do feel so much better afterwards and know I'm doing something good for myself, and yet, I haven't seen any drastic results yet, which makes me hate it a little.  If I can lie on the couch and get the same result as an hour and a half in the gym gives me, then what's the point? I'm not always the most patient person waiting for my gym membership to pay off.

But after the gym, spending a relaxing hour at our condo's pool just made my day--I'm so happy it's finally warm enough to sit outside without getting chilled.  (I'm wondering if I could work very productively if I took my laptop down to the pool...?)  Getting back to the gym also calls for a quick and healthy dinner tonight.  And what could be better on a warm summer night than fresh, bright-green haricot vert?  (I can't just call them green beans, since that just makes me think of the mushy canned variety...)

This recipe was also a good use for some leftover mushroom cream sauce which I'd made last month for egg noodles and frozen the extra (using leftovers seems to be my theme this week).I don't remember what went into the mushroom sauce right now, so I might post that recipe later...  A squeeze of lemon juice and some shaved Parmesan cheese on the chicken would be simple and light and compliment the haricot vert perfectly also!

Skillet Chicken with Haricot Vert
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 pound haricot vert, trimmed
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic powder

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet on medium heat.  Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in the hot oil.  Add 1/2 cup water and cover with a lid--when you're cooking whole chicken breasts (as opposed to butterflied) this will allow the chicken to cook through, without burning the outside.  When chicken is cooked all the way through and no pink is visible inside, remove the lid and drain the liquid.  Turn the heat up to medium high to brown the outside of the chicken.

Meanwhile, heat another tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add the haricot vert, season with salt, pepper and garlic powder (I don't usually measure when I season, so just season to your own liking!).  The haricot vert will cook in no time--when they are warmed through, but still crisp, they are ready.

Slice the chicken and top with freshly squeezed lemon juice, parmesan cheese, or like I did, leftover mushroom cream sauce.