Don Goes From Zero to Hero with His Chicken and Broccoli

Hi everyone!

As part of my desire to get REALLY fit this summer, I’m gaining inspiration from some fellow cooks. Talk about inspiration! This guy broke his neck and recovered, partially by cooking! Check it out:

You do not need to break you neck to cook yummy food!

Anything that you decide to do, make important to you, and become serious about is based on one word, perception. When you shift your perception making time is easy. It all boils down to making a choice and the commitment to follow through with it.

At the age of ten, I broke my neck and was completely paralyzed. My parents were away on vacation, my older brother was seventeen, and in charge of my eight year old brother and me. Three boys left alone! My younger brother and I were playing tag in the house. I ran to the arm of the couch and somersaulted landing flat on the couch. That is how it happened with a simple decision.

Becoming completely paralyzed definitely got my attention. The worst part was no one believed me for forty eight hours. Adults could not figure it out, so I had to be making it all up. That is what made me shift my perception about everything. Eventually it was discovered that I had a nearly fatal brain-spine injury. I recovered completely in less than six months, despite the horrible hospital food.

A few years later, the morning of the first day of summer break from school, my step-father tells me “If you want to be an adult, you have to become completely independent, and that starts with being able to cook”. During that summer here were the rules of the game. 1 – Dinner will be cooked for you. 2 – If you want to eat: be it breakfast, lunch, or snack you have to cook it. 3 – You have to learn to cook something new every day. The choice was simple complain or learn to cook. I chose to cook yummy food!

I appreciate the complete value of home cooked food as it is healthier, cheaper, and easy. Today I find it best to batch cook most of my meals. A few hours in the kitchen provides me with fourteen easily warm-able tasty meals. Being athletic with a high metabolism requires me to eat four to six times a day. I know if I want to feel my best, I have to cook a lot of food to have it available. My perception of cooking is, it is my responsibility, and if I want to eat well it is up to me.

The “Special Don”
Ingredients / Supplies:
5 lbs. chicken breast (non-frozen is best)
1 box of protein pasta (I like penne pasta)
1 jar of pesto (green pasta sauce)
2 heads of broccoli
Package of shredded Parmesan cheese
Pine nuts (not necessary as these are pricy)
Mrs. Dash original blend seasoning (no-salt added)
Olive Oil
Large Fry Pan
Large Boiling Pot
Small Food Scale
Plastic Containers (12 to 14 of them)
Cooking Instructions:

Cooking Broccoli:
Cut the heads off the broccoli into small heads about the size of a quarter to a half-dollar in size (not perfect), throw away the stalks or save to make soup
Take large pot and fill half full with water, bring to boil
Add the cut broccoli to the boiling water, reduce to simmer
Broccoli will need to be stirred an turned over every few minutes
Broccoli will become bright green when cooked
Use colander to drain water and let air cool

Cooking Chicken:
Cut chicken into pieces about the size of a quarter to a half-dollar in size (not perfect)
Lightly coat the bottom of the fry pan with olive oil and turn on medium heat
Cover the fry pan with chicken, leaving room to flip / turn chicken every few minutes
As chicken is cooking to a light golden brown use Mrs Dash seasoning to season
Once chicken is done cooking taste it to make sure it is seasoned to your liking
Lay out plastic containers, put lids to the side and out of the way
Place a container on the scale a zero it
Then add in 6oz of chicken, and continue the process cooking all the chicken and filling all of the containers with 6oz of chicken
Add equal portions of the cooked broccoli to the containers with chicken in them
All containers should have cooked chicken and broccoli in them now

Cooking Pasta:
Follow instructions on the box to cook pasta use the same pot you used to cook broccoli
When pasta is done use colander to drain pasta
Without opening the jar of pesto – shake it well to mix contents, and turn it upside down or lid side down to let gravity help you
Using the empty pot re add the pasta back in the pot and add the contents of the pesto jar
Mix in the pesto into the pasta until you get it evenly distributed
Then add equal amounts of pesto pasta to the containers with chicken and broccoli in them
Let contents air cool the cover with lids, stack and store full containers in refrigerator

Re-warming container’s contents to eat:

Add and mix contents of container into a microwave safe bowl
Microwave for a one minute  and thirty seconds to 2 minutes
Add Parmesan cheese and pine nuts on top and enjoy!

Warm up on stove:
Use a medium size fry pan, with a table spoon of water and a tea spoon of olive oil
Add container’s contents on medium heat, mixing, turning until warmed to desired heat.
Put contents on a plate or bowl, add Parmesan cheese and pine nuts on top and enjoy!

Donald Allen Williams

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