Wednesday, April 17, 2013

two hundred and twenty-six

Today I met with one of my pain management center's nurse practitioners, and she was absolutely lovely.  After chatting for a few minutes, she abruptly stated that I needed to stop being so obsessive and paranoid about doing something wrong and/or being seen as a druggo.  She said it jokingly after I mentioned that I felt like my patches weren't lasting a full seven days (but that I was probably just imagining it [turns out, a lot of people say the same thing!]), but the more I think about the nurse's words, the more I realize that her advice rings true in all aspects of my life.

As you probably know, I'm a terrible combination of perfectionist and ADHD.  I literally cannot make myself slow down enough to think before I act, which means that I end up I spending a lot of time thinking about what I should have done, or should have said, or (more often) shouldn't have said.  Have you ever experienced presque vu?  It's when you just know the word you want to use, but you can't seem to think of the right one.  Most people just shrug it off, but with the way my brain works, I'll suddenly blurt out the forgotten word days or even weeks later.  I think about it in my spare time without realizing it, only because I can't just accept that a word could be so easily forgotten.  Crazy, right?  And that's just how much I think about something as inconsequential as a single word!

As frustrating as my obsession may be, I feel that it is the driving force behind my love of homemaking.  Some people groan and grumble at the thought of cooking dinner or scrubbing the baseboards, but my perfectionism makes it an enjoyable challenge--most of the time.  After a long day, my Type A self retires to its mental chambers, leaving the inexperienced Type B Michele to tentatively poke her figurative head out of her possibly less figurative shell.  Type B Michele demands video games, drawing in the dust instead of wiping it, asking the cats to wash the dishes, and (perhaps most importantly) easy dinners--much like the one I'm going to share with you now.

Enjoy!  Or don't.  I don't really care.  (Don't worry, I'll be back to my normal obsessive self tomorrow.)

Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, fresh or frozen
1 cup prepared Caesar dressing, divided
1 head romaine lettuce
1 large, ripe tomato
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper
4 medium sized tortillas

Trim any fat from the chicken breasts.  Pound the chicken until it is of an even thickness.  (Skip the last two steps if using frozen chicken.)  Toss the chicken into a gallon sized bag with 1/2 cup of the Caesar dressing.

Set the chicken aside as you preheat the oven to 325 F (or refrigerate it until an hour before you're ready to eat.  Then, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature while you preheat the oven).

Shake excess dressing from the chicken and place on a small greased baking pan.  Wrap pan with aluminum foil and place in oven.  Bake for 20 minutes for fresh chicken, 40 minutes for frozen, then remove from oven.

Increase the heat to 350 F.  Carefully remove the foil from the pan, then return the uncovered chicken to the oven.  Cook an additional 10 to 15 minutes (or up to 20 to 25 if using frozen), or until the chicken is cooked through.

Once the chicken breasts have cooked, move them to a plate, tent with foil, and allow them to cool while you prepare the vegetables.

Remove the roots and discard any wilted leaves from the romaine and seed the tomatoes, then wash them.  Chop or tear the lettuce into bite sized pieces and pat dry with paper towels (or dry in a salad spinner).  Dice the tomatoes and, if needed, pat them dry.

In a large bowl, mix the prepared lettuce and tomatoes with up to an additional 1/2 cup of Caesar dressing (I usually use between 1/4 and 1/3 cup, but some people prefer more).  Toss in 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.

Slice the rested chicken into large cubes.  Toss the chicken with the rest of the salad.

If desired, warm the tortillas in a skillet.  Then, fill each tortilla with a quarter of the salad.

Optional: Add veggies or chips on the side.

Not Optional: Eat.


  1. I'm definitely going to have to try this! Life has been so busy that we have been living off of easy dinners. I might or might not have made French toast for dinner tonight, and at least once a week for the past three months. Thanks for the recipe! Really looking forward to trying it!

    1. There's no shame in French toast! Better than eating Micky D's every night. ;-) When Mr N was taking night classes in grad school (after interning during the day), I ended up eating a sandwich/cereal/some bread and cheese for dinner more nights than I care to admit. It certainly made us grateful to have the time to sit down for "family dinner" post-graduation.

      I hope the recipe works out well! I forgot to add the times for frozen chicken (oops!) and just wanted to mention that I've updated the post to fix that. Quick Tip: This recipe works best when your tomato is mold-free. lol

    2. I actually felt semi-proud at making it, considering we had been eating frozen soup from the freezer or whatever was in the fridge so many other nights. :) We are both looking forward to me being done and being able to have a schedule that, while busy, doesn't involve me working from when I get up at 5:30 a.m. until 9 p.m.

      I'm sure that its going to be awesome! I'm going to try it with shredded chicken that I already had cooked in my crock pot. Wonder how it will work. Hmm, mold free tomatoes might be a good thing. Speaking of, I should probably check mine in the fridge...

    3. You're one tough cookie! You deserve a standing ovation or a trophy (or both) for getting dinner on the table every night after such crazy days.

      I've used shredded poached chicken for these wraps and, while different texture-wise, they were still pretty good. Though the Caesar dressing and Parmesan may have something to do with that... :-)