Cooking with the DeGroff’s #1

unnamed-6My wife and I do not have the “Honey, what’s for dinner?” conversation as much anymore…now it’s changed to how should we cook what we pulled out of the freezer. We had pulled out boneless chicken thighs, which by the way is my new favorite cut of chicken. Chicken breasts are the easiest for most people to cook. The problem is you can over-cook them way too easily. We all know how bad overly cooked chicken breasts can taste. That leads most people to like thighs better because they have a little more fat and dark meat, which makes it harder to overcook. Not sure about you, but my least favorite part of chicken thighs is picking around the bones. Wifey comes through again and finds boneless chicken thighs at our local grocery store. That’s what we started with for this dinner. Thawed chicken thighs. That’s it.
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We decided to use our favorite cajun spice mix that she stole from her bosses cupboard. At least that’s the story on how this stuff showed up. It’s great for corn on the cob, fish, and apparently chicken thighs. The time-consuming part of this was waiting for the oven to heat up and then actually cooking the chicken. Watch the quick youtube instruction video on how we made this awesome dinner. This blog post is not about the actual making of the dish, but how you can modify this dish to fit your dietary goals. How can you change a meal you see in a magazine or on a cooking show to fit your diet and lifestyle?

What is the Macro Breakdown?

For many of us, we try to plan out our macronutrients so that we are eating the healthiest as possible. Many times when I was meal planning I would try to plan out the macros first then determine how much of the meal I could eat based on that. Here we just made the meal. It wasn’t until after we were done eating that we figured out what was in the meal. The breakdown surprised me because it was so even and it matched the balance I want in my family’s meals. The breakdown looks like this: unnamed-7461 k/cal total, 32g of Carbohydrates, 27g of Fat and 29g of Protein (retrieved from myfitnesspal.com). It’s amazing when all you focus on is eating good food and not what makes up the meal, you can really have meals that are satisfying and nutritious.

What did we like about the meal?

I always tell people I’m a meat-a-tarian and don’t really like the food that my food eats. I usually say that in jest. I do love a good salad, but I never eat enough greens. With everything, I know about how we should eat and I still don’t eat enough vegetables! When we started adding fresh fruits to our salads, roasted almonds, and a tasty dressing all of a sudden I was craving salads again. The combo of the blueberries, strawberries, and crunch of the almonds really sets up for a great splash on your palate. The cajun dry rub was great on the chicken and it was great without any sauces, which is huge for me because I like my side sauces.

What would we change?

This is less about what we would change and more about how you can change this meal to match your dietary goals. First and foremost is the salad dressing. Since I didn’t plan out this meal beforehand, I never looked at the salad dressings label. What I found there was a ton of sugar and preservatives. What’s the best way you can rectify this? Make your own dressing with some great balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Maybe add some salt and pepper to taste and you’re good to go. One of our favorite custom dressings is apple balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. You might be asking yourself, that sounds great, why didn’t they do that for the video? Easy answer. We just didn’t think about it. Again, this meal was on the fly. Second, the other easy modification is to leave the almonds off the salad. That’s where you can reduce the calories because you can lower the fat intake. Finally, now I don’t recommend this but the other modification you can make is to use chicken breasts instead of thighs. That will reduce the fat some, but like I already mentioned chicken breasts are just not that tasty.
I hope this blog post and video has shown you how easy it is to cook for yourself and your family. Don’t make this more difficult than it needs to be. We started with chicken thighs and ended with an awesome nutritious (and delicious) meal. Before you start making excuses on why you cannot make this meal. Just try it. Watch the video and see how simple the recipe is and try it out. Let us know what you think! Now get cookin’.

Watch the YouTube video here!

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