Honey Balsamic Chicken Strips and Vacation Hopes

Happy Wednesday! This week we are in preparation mode for an upcoming family vacation with Karl’s extended family. Karl and I really struggled with the decision to attend the vacation this year. It is an annual trip and one of our favorite weeks of the year- we love his family and love spending time with them. That being said, as most allergy parents know, vacations are stressful when traveling with a food allergic child. There are extra dangers when you’re outside of your normal surroundings and in our case, we have to pack all of Ricky’s food because there is no guarantee we’ll be able to find his normal non-dairy, non-soy, non-egg, no-nut options where we are going. I don’t really mind packing the food since we’ll be driving and have enough room for a cooler, what scares me more is the potential for contact with his allergens once we arrive. The family all stays in one big retreat center, cooks in a big kitchen and eats together in a big dining hall. One obvious solution is to just stay away from those areas, which we will, but I also don’t want to entirely isolate my son from everyone. It is the family’s vacation and I fully expect everyone to be snacking all day, and understandably, not washing their hands after every time they eat. This means that I have to be extra on-guard when someone wants to play with Ricky as well as extra cautious about what toys he plays with. After MUCH deliberation, we decided to give it a shot with the flexibility of coming home early if there is more stress than fun. I’m hoping that lots of preparation and the support of immediate family members helps to make this vacation feel like a real vacation instead of a very nerve-wracking trial run for travel. Fingers crossed that when we return I can report back that the trip was amazing and there were no mishaps! Oh, and I’m also 35 weeks pregnant as of tomorrow, so let’s hope I don’t go into labor early 🙂

As promised- another delicious freezer meal!

Honey Balsamic Chicken Strips

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs chicken breast
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • Salt & pepper (to taste)

Directions

  • Mix balsamic, minced garlic, olive oil, honey and a bit of salt and pepper (to taste) in a ziploc bag.
  • Slice the raw chicken breasts into ~1 inch strips. Add the chicken to the ziploc bag and marinate for at least 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • When done marinating, empty the chicken and marinade into a 9×13 baking dish and bake for 35-45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through

Note- to freeze, simply mix all the ingredients per directions in the ziploc bag and freeze until ready to cook. 

Baked Chicken Fajitas

Hey all! Pretty standard start to the week over here- made my first excursion to Costco with Ricky/without Karl. This may seem like a small task to some, but loading jumbo size everything into the cart/car, pregnant, with a 19 month old seemed pretty daunting to me. We made it out alive, including a new (Costco size) box of fruit snacks for Ricky- he was pretty thrilled. The exciting life we lead 😉

This recipe is one of my favorites and a favorite among my family, who tend to not enjoy anything that doesn’t include some form of cheese. When I had to stop eating dairy while nursing Ricky, this is one of the first meals I found that tasted just as good alone as it did enhanced with sour cream and other dairy goodness. Modified from this recipe, still full of flavor, this is my slightly tamer version, to accommodate a toddler and a husband who sweats at the idea of spicy food.

Start with the ingredients pictured below.

Chicken Fajitas Ingredients

Mix together your spices and oil in a gallon size ziplock. Cut up raw chicken breasts into 1 inch thick pieces (imagine the size pieces you’d want in a fajita) and place in ziplock bag. Mix to combine- make sure everything is evenly coated and store in fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Raw chicken strips        Marinating chicken strips

Once chicken is done marinating, add to greased 9×13 pan. Thinly slice green peppers and onions, add on top of chicken along with can of diced tomatos with chilies.

Raw chicken fajitas

Mix ingredients together in 9×13 pan and bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!

Baked Chicken Fajitas

Baked Chicken Fajitas

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1.5 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 can (~10.5 oz) diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • 1 medium onion, cut into thin strips
  • 2 medium green peppers, cut into thin strips
  • Serve with flour tortillas

Directions

  • Grease a 9×13 baking dish (I use Earth Balance Soy Free Butter Spread)
  • Cut and place the chicken strips in a gallon sized zippered bag
  • In a small bowl combine the oil and seasonings. Add to bag with chicken and toss to coat. Put in the refrigerator to marinate 30 min. to overnight.
  • When ready to bake, place marinated chicken strips in the greased baking dish. Top with tomatoes with green chilies, onion and bell peppers and stir to combine. Bake uncovered at 400° for 20-25 minutes. Serve on tortillas; with desired toppings (such as guac- yum)

Note- to freeze, simply prepare as though baking, but combine all ingredients in a ziploc bag in the following order: coated chicken, can of diced tomatoes and chilies, diced onions and peppers. Freeze until ready to cook- I suggest thawing the meal in the fridge overnight.

My wonderful MIL is coming over today to teach me to make jello/marshmallow roll-ups. I’m sure you’ve all seen them at some point, but since they are a yummy, allergy friendly treat, you can bet I’ll be sharing them here later this week! She is also staying late to watch the little man while Karl and I go see the new Avengers movie- literally the first time we’ve been to the movies since Ricky was born. That’s almost 2 years, you guys. We’re pretty pumped to take in all the action on the big screen- again, the exciting life we lead!