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Whew, meal prepping is no joke. It literally sucks the life out of you. I hope it gets easier the more I get into it. I completely exhausted myself yesterday by prepping breakfast and dinner meals for the week. I guess looking forward, working a bit harder on Sunday to get meals prepped will be a heck of a lot easier for me when we come home from work. It’s just hard to get in the groove and force yourself to be in the kitchen all day when the weather is so nice outside :)
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I started meal planning this weekend because I’m officially jumping on a 30-day paleo challenge with Gina. As you all might’ve read last week, I was looking into doing Whole30 and I had been talking to Gina about it since (to me) she is queen of fitness and healthy eating. She said if I wanted to do a 30-day paleo challenge with her starting Monday, she would do it with me. It’s great to have someone else do it with you. Accountability and motivation. I’m determined to do this. You should see my spreadsheet where I have all my meals written out (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks) and what ingredients I need to buy the weekend before and what prep I need to do. I have a ridiculously organized life and work ethic that if I have a schedule written out and plan detailed out, I get anxious if I stray from it or don’t follow it. So, writing out my meal plan and whatnot will really help me through this challenge.
Don’t worry, I’m still posting regular blog posts during this challenge (’cause I have enough of a backlog of posts that I did months ago) and I’m not turning into a healthy fitness blogger. I honestly want to just revamp my diet and how I eat and see what it does to my body. I’ll also have recipes every now and then that I’ve come up with for my paleo challenge. It’s actually not that hard to cook paleo and I’m having a lot of fun with thinking up new and creative recipes!
Speaking of healthy eating habits, my friends Sara and Kate of Our Best Bites sent me their newest cookbook 400 Calories or Less with Our Best Bites to review recently! You guys are going to LOVE this book. This book is for anyone that is looking for delicious meals while being health-conscious. It’s the best of both worlds. I was really surprised by some of the recipes in this cookbook. At first, I was like, ‘there is no way you can make something flavorful under 400 calories,’ but you guys, they did it!! All of the recipes in the book have so much FLAVOR! As always, the photographs are beautiful and so colorful :)
I chose to make these honey balsamic drumsticks and when I read the ingredient list, I was like hmm okay, standard ingredients…but then you reduce the cooking sauce and smother the drumsticks with it and it’s absolute heaven. Not to mention, the spices that are rubbed onto the drumsticks really amp up the flavor of this dish. I love that this was a drumstick dish because you don’t see much of those out there at all and yet drumsticks are one of the most favorite part of the chicken! I know my brother and I used to always fight over the drumsticks, even though there were two. I think we were just greedy and wanted to have two drumsticks a piece ;)
Honey Balsamic Drumsticks
- 2 pounds (907 g) chicken drumsticks
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
- ¾ teaspoon onion powder
- 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
For the sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons water
- Preheat oven to 350 °F (177 °C)
- Rinse chicken, pat dry, and set aside. In a small bowl, mix together salt, black pepper, paprika, and onion powder.
- Drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil onto the drumsticks and use your hand to coat all the pieces. Sprinkle spice mixture on the drumsticks and gently press onto the skin.
- Heat a large Dutch oven (or heavy oven-proof skillet with an oven-proof lid) to medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan. Brown the chicken for two minutes on either side. You might have to cook this in batches.
- While chicken is searing, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and set aside.
- Once the chicken has finished searing, pour the sauce over the chicken and gently toss the drumsticks in it to coat. Cover pan and transfer to the oven.
- Bake for 20 minutes, rotate chicken pieces, and baste with sauce. Bake an additional 20 minutes then remove chicken from the oven and place the drumsticks on a plate, tenting a piece of foil on top to keep warm.
- Bring the remaining sauce in the pan to a boil on the stove top and simmer, uncovered, for 4-5 minutes until it is thick and glazy. Return the chicken to the pan and gently toss in the glaze.
- Serve and coat with more sauce, if desired.
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