As my life continues to fill out in Austin, my days are becoming out of control busy. I’m not complaining, because it has been a humbling experience to earn new friendships here and find my bearings, but the end result is the “not enough hours in a day” feeling, and many, many cups of coffee. The fact that I work from home might initially make you think of endless freedom, sweatpants, and much easier access to leading a healthy lifestyle, but au contraire (a lil french?), I’m finding the opposite to be true (except the sweatpants part–that’s true).
When I worked in New York, the fact that I was required to be in an office from 9-7 made me structure my days to a T. I had to wake up at 6:30 to go to the gym before work–because when else could I go? I had my standard deli to run around the corner to for a sandwich or salad at lunch, and at night I often passed out at a glorious 9:30pm. Now that I don’t have to report anywhere in the morning, or stay in one place all day, I am much more lax with myself. I stay up later at night, but then I have trouble waking up early in the morning and I skip the gym. Lunchtime comes, and because there’s no pre-made options in my kitchen (personal chef looking for a job? call me), I turn to rando combinations like yogurt, half a box of cereal eaten from the box, and steamed broccoli. What kind of lunch is that? The throw-any-healthy-type-food-in-your-mouth-until-you-feel-full kinda lunch. Next thing I know, it’s 4pm, and I should go to the gym, but I’m faintly hungry again, and instead just have a snack. Then it’s 6pm, time to pick up Dave, now I’m starving, and we just go out to dinner because it’s easier and quicker than cooking. Where was my gym time? Nowhere.
SO. In an effort to make healthy living more accessible to myself, the queen of healthy things, I decided that I need to develop an arsenal of 10 minute lunches, 20 minute dinners, and promise myself to sweat once a day.
Today, I’d like to share an awesome 20 minute dinner with you that is now one of my staples. Wahoo!! It’s adapted from another recipe (I have no idea where it’s from), and it’s very awesome. Dave now requests it regularly–and that’s when you know.
20 Minute Chicken Pot Pie in the Sky
- 1 lb of pre-cooked chicken breasts, cubed into 2″ pieces, or shredded. I just throw the chicken in a pan with olive oil, salt & pepper, but you can also buy a rotisserie chicken or strips and cut them cup. Alternatively, you could use turkey, frozen vegetarian meat crumbles, or any kind of protein you’d like. Protein freedom rings in this recipe. Yes, I just said that awkward last statement.
- half a bag of a frozen veggie mix. I like using one that includes peas, carrots, corn, and lima beans, but any mix will work.
- 3 stalks of celery and 3 carrots, chopped into 1″ pieces
- 1 can of Campbell’s 99% fat free condensed cream of chicken soup
- 1/2c of milk. I use almond milk–only 40 calories a cup and tastes great.
- salt & pep to your liking
- 1 can of Pillsbury reduced fat crescent roll dough the secret that makes this dish simple and fast
Preheat your oven to 375. Combine frozen veggies, soup, milk, salt and pepper in an oven-safe casserole dish and mix it up. Microwave carrots and celery for 3 minutes with a sprinkle of water to steam them. Add steamed veggies and chicken into the bowl until the ratio is about 2:1 veggies to chicken, and stir it up again (I usually have 1/3-1/4 of the chicken leftover). Open up crescent roll dough, and cover the top of your casserole dish with it so that there’s one complete layer across the chicken and veggie mixture. This will be your crust! You can tuck the dough into the edge of where the mix meets the dish, or drape it over the top of the dish–just know that if draped over the top, those end pieces will get very well done because they’ll cook quicker than the rest. See exhibit A.
Put the dish in the oven for 12-15 minutes until crust is golden brown. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Then put on the table with a big serving spoon and scoop it out. The scooping is the best part (besides the eating) because the dish looks AWESOME and you feel like a superman cook.