One of the “Big Reasons Why” I spend so much time experimenting in the kitchen is to create dinners that will fill my kids with the nutrition they need – while putting a smile on their faces while they eat it! And as a BUSY mom these dinner recipes have to be fast and practical, or it simply won’t get done and get on the table.
My other “Big Reason Why” is that I live a healthy, fit life and want the food that I eat to support my exercise and fat loss efforts, and to NEVER reverse all that work that I put in at Fit Body Boot Camp! So my meals must be filled with protein and fiber while being low in carbs and sugars…it’s as simple as that!
What’s not as simple is finding recipes that are 1) tasty enough for the kids, 2) quick enough to be made on a busy week night and 3) filled with fat-burning ingredients that will enhance my fitness results. Finding a recipe with all 3 is akin to finding a unicorn wandering through the woods out back. It’s rare.
Today I have one such unicornesque recipe to share with you! It delivers in flavor (kids LOVE it!), speed (SUPER quick and easy to make) and fat-burning nutrition (high in PROTEIN and FIBER and low in sugar and carbs)! And while all this may sound too good to be true, I assure you that this unicorn is fo real!
Cooking “En Papillote” (with Parchment Packets!)
En Papillote is a fancy French way of saying “cooked in paper” :-) So we are going to be French and fancy today while making this super-quick-n-awesome recipe!
This recipe cooks in a packet made with parchment paper, which is one of the reasons that it’s so quick and healthy.
Parchment paper packets use steam to quickly and healthfully cook the contents. It also makes clean up a breeze – crumpling up some paper and throwing it in the trash is my kind of KP! Parchment paper is grease and moisture resistant paper that has been specially treated for oven use. It won’t burn in the oven on bake, however don’t put it under the broiler – it will burn there! There is no right or wrong side of parchment paper – either side can be used.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thin sliced
sea salt and black pepper
½ cup coconut aminos
½ cup natural ketchup (no sugar added)
Liquid Stevia to taste (approx. 3 droppers full)
1 tablespoon Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
fresh chives for garnish (optional)
1 Butternut Squash
1 cup fresh green beans
sea salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon (drizzle) of olive oil
1 (15 oz) can butter beans, drained and rinsed
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Lightly pound the chicken breasts. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
Combine the marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Mix to combine.
In a bowl combine the butternut squash, green beans, shallots, salt and pepper, olive oil, and butter beans. Toss to combine.
Cut four 12-by-16-inch pieces of parchment paper and fold each in half. Open the parchment paper and arrange one-quarter of the veggie mixture in the center of the top half of each parchment. Top with a chicken breast, a shmear of the marinade and a sprinkle of chives. Fold the bottom half of the parchment paper over the chicken. Start folding and crimping the parchment paper ends together from one end all the way around the chicken to the other end, creating a sealed envelope. Fold the end under the chicken. The chicken and veggie should be fully encased, with no breaks in the parchment paper for steam to escape – we need that steam as part of the cooking process! Place the packets on a pan.
Bake the chicken packets for 25 to 30 minutes and remove from the oven. Serve the chicken packets on plates, tearing them open just before serving. Enjoy!