Meal Diva – Featured Friday

Happy Friday!! Yahoo! Another Friday closer to Spring right???? Right?? Anyone?? I know I’m not the only one who is dying to take out the flip flops and open up some windows! Maybe even just a hint of it would be nice, like warmer temps or a peak or two of some flowers. Hey I did notice the snow is melting! However I’m not paying attention to the few more inches that are in our near future!

Mealdiva4So let me introduce to you today’s Co-Host. Her name is Jen and she is another #SundaySupper member that I’ve gotten to know these past few weeks. She is the blogger, chef, wife, momma, and writer behind MealDiva. As I was reading her About Me section and navigating around her site (which I love by the way!) I realized we have a lot in common. She too used to stock her fridge with frozen french fries and bagged salads. She came into the job of cooking the same way I did. Her family. She was raised in Ontario Canada until she was in highschool when her family moved to California. Then from California they moved to New Jersey where she now resides with her husband and three children. She calls her children and husband her reason for learning to cook, they are her critics and her cheerleaders. Jen loves Spring because she gets to support the local farms and artisan food makers, she actually has a section called Eating Locally if you happen to live in NJ you should check it out.

Jen has a kiddo that has a severe allergy so she does not cook with shellfish, tree nuts or sesame. She has cooked and tasted every recipe on her site and like myself she really started to do a lot of research on food and nutrition once she became a mother. The more she learnt the more she wanted her family to eat the right foods. Jen made it her mission to research almost every diet/cook book out there. She realized that not only is cooking from scratch the best way to go, it’s also very easy!! I agree Jen!! The new thing she is working on now is helping people meal plan for their family. Jen explains that a lot of the time people just aren’t educated on what to eat and what recipes are good, bad or not so great, believe it or not a lot of people are misinformed. Insert Jen. She started with a friend and wrote a list of things that her family loved and things they disliked or was allergic to. She then sat down with her and went over the meals, they included breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner. She also prepared a grocery list for her as well. She made changes per her friends request and then was there via text and email throughout the week as she prepared the meals. Her friend also had never peeled an Avocado or chopped fresh garlic before so she showed her how. LOVE THIS JEN!! If I could do this for my friends I would in a heart beat. If I could help any family by helping them create healthy and delicious meals I would be all over that! I hope this is a success for you, it’s a great way to help a family!

I looked under Jen’s snacks because that’s the only thing I have yet to cut out of our day that’s not from a package. Then I remembered a Sunday Supper we did a few weeks ago and remembered I bought the ingredients to make her Mini Sweet Potato Pies! I’m on it, not getting my picky 3.5 year old to not eat booty and cheese-it’s is another story!! Not looking forward to that. Then I came across her Butternut Squash Saute. where she shows you how to make black beans in your crockpot, I always wondered how to cut out canned beans too! I’m going to try this soon! Jen try my homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup I made recently that I’m addicted to, as I stare at the crockpot right now knowing my pork chops are cooking with a nice cup or two of it now! Yummy! Jen also has “The Perfect Granola Bar” I’ve only made Strawberry Banana Oatmeal Squares that’s the closest thing I’ve done for homemade with oats. Speaking of I’m making those next week, my daughter is obsessed with Nutrigrain Bars, she seriously has two a day and has for over a year and a half, maybe she will try one of these in place of it (I can hope!) OK one more before I finally share with you what dish I made of Jen’s. I also bought the ingredients to make her Puff Pastry Filled Fall-Fruit Pockets. These look too cute, much better than opening up a package and handing it to your kid, these I’d let her enjoy!

Ok so what recipe did I pick! Well again like last week when choosing a recipe from a Co-Host I had Spring on my mind! Soooo I chose Jen’s Newport Beach Chicken. I wanted something fresh and simple, something tasty yet healthy. Well check, check and check!  On Monday’s Wednesday’s and Friday’s my husband picks up MM from School so I try to time it just right for it to be ready when they get back. Well I’m always wrong, and I stink at this. I was doubtful that this dish was going to turn out well because it sat on the stove for an extra 10 minutes if not more so I was assuming the chicken would be dried out. Well it wasn’t! Of course it wasn’t, it was sitting in broth and it kept it super moist and yummy!!

Newport Beach Chicken (16)

I used all of the ingredients that Jen did, the only thing I did differently was I used two pans instead of three while making this awesome dish! I hate using a lot of pans lol. I sliced the carrots and microwaved them in my steamer for 2-3 minutes and then tossed the carrots, mushrooms and zucchini right in the pan with the chicken. I don’t like crispy carrots so that’s why I steamed them for a few minutes. Oh I also added a summer squash in there too!

Newport Beach Chicken FF (6)

I will be making this dish again and maybe even have it as a regular because it was super healthy and I can’t wait to go to the Farmer’s Market (if Spring ever comes) and use all the veggies I want!

Newport Beach Chicken FF (12)

Thank you so much Jen for helping me see that I can do even more to cook and bake healthy for my family. I loved getting to know you and your website and I’ll be back for more yummy recipes. Visit Jen here. Facebook ** Pinterest ** Instagram ** Twitter. If this dish can make my kiddo eat almost a full plate then I say try it because I hadn’t seen MM eat this much in a long long time! I told her to tell our Co-Host what she thought of the dinner and here is what you got.

Newport Beach Chicken FF (13)

And Drew seems to have a blast too, his first time eating spaghetti!

Newport Beach Chicken

 

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