Things I learned this week: I can eat the same thing for dinner four nights in a row and not get sick of it.
Is that some sort of special talent? Do I win a prize? If so, I’ll take a giant, gooey GF chocolate chip cookie, please and thank you.
So Peter is out in California for the week, living his best life, and has left me to my own devices back here
in the arctic on the east coast. I figured I’d make my life a little easier and cook one meal on Monday night that would last all week as my dinner. Smart, right? You see, I had a very long list of tasks I was hoping to tackle during the eleven days that Peter was away, and I wanted to maximize my free time. Filing, cleaning, organizing our back room, working on the blog, trip planning — my to do list was about a page and a half long. I needed all the extra hours I could get!
And then… my plan was blown completely to smithereens. The game-which-shall-not-be-named turned my world upside down on Sunday night and then, once everything finally fell back down to the ground and landed upright again, the weight of a thousand lifetimes of stress & anxiety landed directly on my shoulders. The space between my spine and left shoulder blade, to be specific. I spent most of Sunday night/Monday morning writhing in agony from the pain ripping across my back, up my neck and down my arms, wondering if my heart was actually beating and whether I should just go to the emergency room to die there.
Oh, and in case you guys didn’t know this already, I’m a bit of a hypochondriac. and I have literally the world’s lowest tolerance for pain. YAY life!
(sorry for being a pyscho, Mom. and thanks again for hanging out with me/calming me down at 4am)
SERIOUSLY though, my back…. this pain is unreal! and worst of all, I haven’t the slightest clue WTF is wrong… pinched nerve? Maybe. Slipped rib? That’s what my massage therapist thinks.
BUT WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?!
UGH. This injury is putting a serious damper on my task-tackling week! Thankfully, I got a ton of shit done last weekend before becoming a cripple, so I guess my only option for the foreseeable future is to attempt all the to-do’s I can cross off whilst sitting on the couch…
Alright, I think I got a little off track… let me bring this full circle. I made these twice baked BBQ chicken sweet potatoes on Monday night, and they were the perfect meal to come home to this week — flavorful, filling and comforting. Creamy roasted sweet potatoes topped with sweet corn and red onion, smothered in gooey cheese and your favorite BBQ sauce. So good, in fact, that I didn’t mind eating them four days in a row! And thank goodness for that, because I don’t think I had it in me to cook this week.
However, one thing that always surprises me is how long it takes to roast sweet potatoes… though I guess I don’t always have to buy the biggest ones in the bin at the grocery store, do I? If you don’t want to spend an hour and a half in the kitchen making dinner, you could pre-cook the sweet potatoes in the microwave first, which would seriously cut down on your oven time. Or do what I did — roast the sweet potatoes a day or two beforehand (while you’re doing other things around the house) so that you just need to heat ’em up quickly before stuffing them full of BBQ chicken deliciousness. In any case, this recipe is super easy — and totally worth the wait!
I guess I was unknowingly planning for my injury, because I popped four gigantic sweet potatoes into the oven for an hour on Sunday morning before heading out for the game. I somehow managed to hobble around on Monday night and finish prepping it… though to be honest, all those dishes are still in the sink.
You can’t win ’em all, I guess.
- 4 large sweet potatoes
- 1½ - 2 lbs chicken (I suggest tenders or breasts)
- ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
- ½ cup bbq sauce, plus more to drizzle (I love Dinosaur Bar-B-Que)
- ½ cup corn (fresh, canned or frozen - your choice)
- ½ cup black beans, drained & rinsed (optional)
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 3 - 4 scallions (green portion only)
- salt & freshly ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a cookie sheet with either tin foil (sprayed with cooking spray) or parchment paper.
- Scrub the sweet potatoes well and dry thoroughly; poke all over with a fork or knife. Place on cookie sheet and roast for 60-70 minutes or until cooked through. While the sweet potatoes are in the oven, prepare the remaining ingredients.
- Cook the chicken using whatever method you prefer; I typically boil it for this particular recipe. To do so, place chicken in a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Turn heat to medium-low and simmer for anywhere from 8 minutes (for smaller chicken tenders) to 20 minutes (for larger chicken breasts) or until cooked through. Drain and let cool slightly, then roughly chop into small pieces. Mix in a small bowl with the BBQ sauce.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small sauce pan, and then add red onion. Saute 10-15 min or until soft; add corn, cook for a minute longer and season with salt & pepper.
- Slice scallions and set aside.
- Once sweet potatoes are cooked, remove from oven. Slice them lengthwise down the center - but don't cut all the way through, just enough that you can split open the potato.
- In each sweet potato, layer chicken, black beans (if you want), corn and red onions. Top with cheese and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until cheese melts.
- Top with scallions, drizzle with more BBQ sauce and enjoy!
To cut down on the overall cook time, boil or microwave your sweet potatoes before roasting. Another option is to roast the sweet potatoes a day or two before, which drastically decreases the overall prep/cook time for this recipe the day of.
Cheers to the weekend, friends! If you need me, I’ll be over here curled up on the couch, binge watching Fuller House on Netflix until my back stops hurting.