I don't really know if this is actually "Szechuan" but it sounded like a good title. I couldn't think of anything else mostly due to the fact that I am fairly certain that I have incurred slight brain damage. You see... I have been fighting inflexibility of my joints due too lots of CrossFit and little stretching. I don't recommend it. I've gone from slightly less than Gumby to what feels like an old, arthritic woman. Oh... wait...I am an old, arthritic woman...
So what's an old, arthritic woman to do but try to increase her flexibility with a nice dose of Bikram Yoga. Just in case you are not familiar with Bikram Yoga, it's the type of yoga that is done in 200 degree heat (I exaggerate, but that is what it feels like). The instructor is borderline militant while taking you through 26 different poses that require ultimate control both mentally and physically. You're not allowed to leave the room even if you feel like you are going to black out, have a stroke and crap your pants all at the same time.
I couldn't imagine doing this on my own so I convinced my honey to go with me. I had a small idea of what to expect... he was blind sided. If I had been angry with him Bikram Yoga would have been the perfect revenge. But I wasn't. All I could do was occasionally glance over at him doing his best to wrap his arms around his chest three times while simultaneously standing on one leg in a full squat with the other leg wrapped around his body in the opposite direction. Oh and breathe deeply through his nose only. Are you kidding me? Breathe??? He was a trooper. He not only lasted the entire class, he could actually do most of the poses . I was duly impressed.
In the end we had a good laugh. We talked about mental toughness and breaking barriers in CrossFit. Bikram Yoga is definitely a way to surmount the aforementioned barriers. Remember the saying in CF about the "unknown and unknowable"? Bikram Yoga would be a great way to experience this. After my rave review above, I fully expect everyone to try it. No, I'm not kidding. The feeling of accomplishment is amazing. (Or maybe I'm confusing that with the shear joy that it's over and we survived). You will gain more flexibility, balance and a mental strength that takes you to a new level. Besides, it's just plain good for you. So get out there and give it a whirl... even if you loose a few brain cells the first couple of times.
And now... Szechuan Chicken!
What you'll need:
Free Range Chicken Breasts
5 T. low sodium soy sauce (gluten free)
2 T. rice vinegar (no sugar, no salt)
1 T. sesame oil
1 T. powdered ginger
1 T. Chili Oil (trader joe's)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp garlic powder
one or two red bell peppers
a bunch of green onions
a few slivered almonds
What you do:
Cut the chicken into bite sized chunks. Slice the bell pepper into thick strips and cut the green onions into two inch lengths. Mix the rest of the ingredients into a marinade. Pour the marinade over the chicken and mix it up. Let the chicken soak while you saute the vegetables. Once the veggies are crisp tender add the chicken to the pan. Make sure the pan is hot. You want to cook the chicken quickly.
Taste. If you want extra heat go ahead and add some more red pepper flakes. Plate it and sprinkle a few slivered almonds over the top. This is an easy and oh so spicy dish. Perfect for when you are sure that most of your brain cells have gone missing.