Jamaican Jerk Chicken & Potato Foil Packets

Say hello to my new obsession… FOIL PACKETS! I saw the idea from a Hungry Girl Facebook video. If you Google “Hungry Girl foil packets” she has lots of ideas! Her general “recipe” is veggie + meat + seasoning + sauce. This was the version I came up with with that inspiration and the same inspiration I plan on using for MANY other versions. Think of the possibilities! Sweet potatoes, broccoli, brussel sprouts, zucchini, even sausage, Asian flavors, honey mustard, herb-y flavors, etc etc etc. Since I just made this up on a whim I don’t know exact measurements of seasonings, but sprinkles, pinches, and drizzles count right?? Just don’t be too heavy handled, jerk seasoning is spicy! These were super easy, virtually no clean up, and great for portion control. Seriously, I loved this! My roommate and I were both sad when we were done eating it, not because we weren’t full, but just because it was over!

Jamaican Jerk Chicken & Potato Foil Packets

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 10 minutes prep + 30 minutes cook time
  • Difficulty: easy
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INGREDIENTS (IN ORDER OF USAGE):

  • 1 3lb bag of boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 18 red potatoes (3 per packet, used a 3 lb bag of them but there were a couple of rotten ones)
  • 1 large onion
  • Paula Deen House Seasoning (http://www.pauladeen.com/house-seasoning)
  • Jamaican jerk spice (I got mine in a little ziplock at Fresh Market)
  • Jamaican spiced skinny ranch (1 dry ranch dressing packet made per package instructions but subbing mayo for 1 cup Greek yogurt + 1 cup skim milk + couple of pinches of the Jamaican jerk seasoning to taste)
  • 12 pieces of tin foil about a foot long each (length of a 9×13)
  • cooking spray
  • olive oil

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DIRECTIONS:

Spray 6 pieces of the foil with cooking spray. Cube potatoes in pieces as even as possible. I cut three at a time and put them down on their piece of foil. I used my scale to make sure the potato groupings were as similar in weight as possible for even cooking time. Dice onion in similar sized cubes (I cut it in half, then with flat side down sliced it in half again horizontally, then made verticals cuts all the way across then crisscrosses back again to get cubes, not that it matters or that anyone needed that much detail haha, but it’s the most even cut I think!). Divide onion up evenly and add to each piece of foil. Drizzle a little (really just a tiny bit) olive oil over each pile of potatoes and onions. I sprinkled a pinch of house seasoning and a pinch of jerk seasoning on each one then tossed the piles around with my fingers to get the potatoes and onions evenly covered with oil and seasonings.

Rinse thawed chicken breasts and pat them dry with paper towels. A 3lb bag of chicken comes with about 7-8 chicken breasts and two inevitably are usually really tiny. I don’t like the weird fatty/skin/veiny parts so I cut those off. I used my scale and measured the biggest one which was about 5.3 ounces, so used the extra piece of chicken to get each packet to have about 5.3-5.5 ounces of chicken. I left the main piece per packet whole then added in the extra pieces right beside them. Sprinkle the chicken in each packet  with more house seasoning and jerk seasoning until the top is evenly coated as if I had dry rubbed it (not to heavy, just a pinch or two).

Drizzle each packet with a tablespoon of the skinny ranch. Fold in the long sides first and then the short sides. I put 3 packets each on a baking sheet for cooking in case there was any spillage. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Carefully slice open the foil (it will be hot!) of the packets you are eating then (I made extra for leftovers). Turn the oven broiler on and leave them in the broiler for 2-3 minutes to brown it just a bit. Each person gets their own fun packet! Use the leftover ranch on side salads to serve with the meal.

 

One Pot Garlic Parmesan Pasta with Spinach and Sweet Sausage

A RECIPE! I promise I’m gonna try ya’ll. Last year was full of transition. This year shouldn’t be unless God wants to send the bearded, huggable, Jesus loving man I always ask for, and there would be no arguments there! Therefore I should be able to establish some writing, posting, taking pictures of food (oh wait, I never stopped doing that) patterns. Kinda sorta made this dish up for last night’s dinner, and it was a hit! The roommates loved it, it’s pretty healthy for a creamy pasta dish, it was REALLY filling, and it was EASY! I see a new obsession coming with one pot concoctions.

One Pot Garlic Parmesan Pasta with Spinach and Sweet Sausage

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: less than an hour
  • Difficulty: easy
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Inspired by: this recipe, but I changed it/added to it LOTS

Calories per serving: 427 for 8 servings / 570 for 6 servings (via MyFitnessPal)

Ingredients (in order of usage):

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons of refrigerated minced garlic (or 8 cloves of garlic minced)
  • 2 packages of chicken apple sausage, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons light butter (I used light I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter)
  • salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, italian seasoning
  • 1 lb pasta (I used Barilla Campanelle, but you can use any)
  • 4 cups of chicken broth (I used chicken bouillon or chicken base + water to make my chicken broth)
  • 2 cups of skim milk
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat parmesan (this kind, not the fancy kind, it blends better into sauces)
  • 1 10oz bag of spinach

Directions:

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a big stock pot (you’ll need it to be high for when you add the spinach). Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add sliced sausage and saute until browning on the edges. Add all seasonings to taste, probably a teaspoon of each is what I did if I had to guess, maybe a little more for the salt and italian seasoning and a little less of the pepper. Add butter and stir until melted. Add pasta and let it get coated in the yummy stuff. Add milk and broth. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Boil for a couple of minutes then reduce heat to medium low. Should be softly bubbling just at the surface. Stir frequently and let simmer for 18-20 minutes or until pasta reaches desired al dente consistency and sauce is thickening. Add parmesan and stir until combined. Add spinach and stir until wilted and combined. DONE! Dinner in 30 minutes.

*How about a MyFitnessPal recipe calculating tip! It’s SO easy to put recipes into MyFitnessPal to figure out calories/track them. If you find a recipe anywhere online, you can actually put the link into MFP from the web or from the app. From the web: on your dashboard page click food, then recipes, then copy and paste the link into recipie importer. You can take away the ingredients you aren’t using, change ingredients like 2% milk to skim milk, and add ones you are, change serving size, etc. From the app: click more, my recipes and foods, the add symbol in the top right corner, then add from the web. You can do the same adding and changing from the app. You can also start from scratch in both and make your own recipe. In the app you can even scan the barcode of the exact ingredients you are using. Just make sure for all ingredients you select the correct portion size, like for pasta in this one I had to select whole container. IT’S SO EASY!