It’s no secret that I love planning meals and developing a grocery list around the week’s best deals. But there will come a time when there is just too much going on in your life to figure out a whole week’s worth of meals. Then, you’ll face a choice: Hit the drive-thru, or throw together a healthy meal with what you have on hand.

From the moment I woke up Tuesday, I was concerned about what we would eat. I didn’t know what we were going to eat for lunch or dinner or even if we had enough time for breakfast (but we always, always, always make time for breakfast). We figured out our lunches together, but I was almost in panic over dinner. We were not going out for Mexican if I could help it!

Then I remembered I had boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the freezer. A little more kitchen spelunking turned up frozen chopped spinach, mozzarella cheese and carrots. Ah-ha! I would try my hand at stuffed chicken breasts.

I pounded the breasts flat with a meat tenderizer and mixed the spinach, grated carrot, cheese, garlic salt and one egg by hand. I use my hands to mix things a lot — it’s so much easier to tell when everything is perfectly combined.

A lot of the recipes I found online for stuffed chicken breasts called for ricotta or something creamier than what I used, but the mozzarrella melted well and tasted great with the spinach.

I crumbled a strip of turkey bacon (cooked) onto each breast, plopped a big dollop of the spinach mix in the middle, rolled it up and placed it seam-side down in a glass baking dish, coated with non-stick cooking spray. I baked these at 375 for about 40 minutes.

The hardest part of this meal was defrosting the chicken in the microwave without it actually cooking. It was perfect for someone who’s insulin resistant — flavorful, packed with veggies and filling protein and very little starch.

As my weight loss has progressed and I’ve learned more about cooking, I’ve gotten over my fear of following recipes exactly. I almost never do now, and being able to throw together meals like this is so key to weight loss and maintenance.

This dish was so much more satisfying and healthy than just about anything you could order in a restaurant. Between the garlic salt and the juices the chicken released, it really didn’t need much else. I might have to add this dish to our regular line-up!

Are you good at cooking on the fly?

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