I had a rare weekend with very little planned, which meant I could spend some time in the kitchen.
For some reason I really wanted a baked potato the night before my planned 8 mile training run on Saturday morning. Of course, I needed some protein to go along with that. I immediately went to one of my favorite sites, Skinnytaste, to browse around. I decided on Baked Chicken with Dijon and Lime. It was delicious. I loved the flavor the lime gave the chicken. I think next time I make it I might use some chicken breasts instead of thighs and marinate them in the sauce overnight.
I tried something new with the potatoes. I picked up some basic baking potatoes, rubbed the skins with olive oil and some roasted garlic sea salt from a nearby gourmet shop. I baked them at 400 (since same temp needed for the chicken) for 45 minutes/til tender. OMG, this is how I'm making them from now on! The salt caramelized a bit and had a hint of sweetness to it.
I'd love to say that this meal fueled me for my whole 8 miles, but I did struggle toward the end, in part because I'd forgotten to pack an energy gel. I did the best I could with some Gatorade and a couple of Jolly Ranchers in it's place.
For dinner on Sunday I decided to dig out my Crock Pot. I bought it about a year ago and love it. I had always associated slow cookers with cans of greasy cream of something soups. It wasn't until I started researching recipes, thanks in large part to Pinterest (you can check out my slower cook board here), that I realized it's possible to do actual cooking in it, limiting how many processed ingredients you used. One of my favorite things to make in it is a basic roast chicken. The trick I've learned is to set it on some foil balls to keep it out of it's juice while cooking. At the end of the day it falls apart and is still super moist. But that's not what I made this time, lol.
With pork shoulder roasts on sale at the grocery store, I decided on Balsamic Honey Pulled Pork from Better Homes and Garden. Of course, I decided to get adventurous and make one that required making my own bbq sauce rather than just dumping bottles of some. I increased the chicken broth from 1/2 cup to a full cup since my roast was nearly 5lbs, unlike the 2-3lb one called for in the recipe. I also put some coarse salt and fresh pepper on the roast, in addition to the herbs it called for. I made no alterations to the sauce recipe. It was all excellent. I loved the tang the sauce has from the balsamic vinegar. It reminded me alot of some Carolina style sauces, and I think would be excellent to make for some grilled bbq chicken as well.
A good meal was a great way to wrap up a nice weekend at home. Always fun to find a couple of new recipes to add to the arsenal.