Ah, the start of my last work week! (yes, you read that correctly) Last work week before I become President & CEO of HipFoodieMom, Inc. 😛 (aka SAHM; stay-at-home-mom). This week isn’t the easy, relaxing last week I was envisioning. . it never is. So, anyway, my Monday started with me waking up at 6:30am (I slept in) and immediately pouring my BIG cup of coffee and going straight to my laptop to check email. My clients are on the east coast so I usually have a good number of emails by this time. . so I answer several emails (I probably receive and send 100-200+ emails a day; no joke.), jump on a few conference calls and then we’re out the door! I had to take my daughters to a dentist appointment. Most pediatric dentists are not there M-F and they get booked extremely fast so I had been waiting for this appointment for over a month and half. I will spare you the details but let’s just say my girls probably left a lasting impression with the staff, Dr. Jimmy and the nice, kind woman who attempted to clean Phoebe’s teeth.
We rush home because I have another conference call I need to make, I’m on the phone and working for the next 5 hours . . (we have a nanny by the way; I’m not that bad of a mother) and I finally call it a day and tell myself not to answer anymore emails. . . they will be there tomorrow.
I am now super excited and appreciative to be able to stay at home – not only so I can actually be present in my kids’ lives but also so I can relax a little, spend more time with them and not have to worry about work or answering that email or making sure so and so knows what to do or has the schedule . . don’t get me wrong, this will be an adjustment for me but my oldest just turned 5 and I will get to experience kindergarten with her and homework (I think they get homework right?) and the PTA (whoa, I am so joining the PTA).
I run around town when doing errands in whatever I have laying around. For work, I totally get myself ready and presentable and fix my hair and stuff . . but on the weekends, when I’m running to the grocery store or whatever, I don’t really care what I look like. . I’m not going to get nominated for “What not to wear” or anything but I’m never going to be the mom who has it all together, hair & make-up perfect all the time, mom who has the perfect, always well behaved kids or the mom who can peel an apple in one long strand without breaking it. . I am the mom who cooks for their kids, cares about what they eat, plays with them, gives them a bath, reads to them every night and tells them everyday that I love them (with my messy, pulled back hair and all) and I am happy with that!
So, the end to this manic Monday, was dinner: simple, quick and really delicious. Balsamic chicken with spinach, mushrooms & couscous. The photos don’t do this dish justice. When you have crazy days and just want a nice, hot, home-cooked meal (in under 30 minutes), give this recipe a try!
Balsamic Chicken with Spinach, Mushrooms & Couscous
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped (or crushed garlic); about 1 tablespoon
- 2 -3 (8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved
- 8 ounces baby spinach (about 8 cups lightly packed)
- 1-2 cups mushrooms; chopped (I used white mushrooms)
- 1 red bell pepper; chopped (optional)
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 can low-sodium canned chopped tomatoes with juice
- 2 cups whole wheat couscous, cooked
- salt and pepper to taste
- Shredded parm to sprinkle on top; I had this out and totally forgot to use it (optional)
- Cook couscous: bring 1 cup water, 2 tablespoons butter and salt to a boil and add couscous. Remove from heat and cover. Leave for 5 minutes.
- Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the chicken and cook about 4 minutes per side, or until cooked through and juices run clear.
- Remove the chicken and set aside.
- To the same pan, add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and add the spinach, mushrooms and bell peppers and cook just until wilted, about 2-3 minutes.
- Season with salt & pepper and remove from the pan and set aside.
- To the same pan, add the balsamic vinegar, chicken broth and canned tomatoes (feel free to chop up the tomatoes more if you don’t want them too chunky) and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits.
- Bring to a simmer and cook 3 to 5 minutes.
- Serve! couscous on bottom, top with the spinach, mushroom & bell pepper mixture, add the chicken and balsamic-tomato sauce on top!
- Sprinkle some parmesan cheese if you want & enjoy!