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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Baked Chicken with Mushrooms and Olives

Sometimes I think I need to rename this blog "The chicken blog". We eat A LOT of chicken in this family. My true favorite is grass fed beef, but there are only certain things you can do with a piece of grass fed beef besides grill it. I love the true flavor of how meat should taste and don't like to muck it up with a lot of sauces and spices.



Chicken on the other hand is a different story. I can think of nothing more gross than a plain old piece of chicken with nothing on it. Ewww. No thank you. It reminds me of "Cybergenics" if any of you are old enough to remember along with me. I think it must have been the late 80's when Cybergenics hit the market. It was all the rage. Take 413 different kinds of supplements with god knows what in them and eat nothing but boiled chicken and green beans and watch the weight fall off! The package came complete with full color photos of before and afters that were mind blowingly awesome (and equally photo shopped, I'm sure). I must admit, I fell for this diet. And so the journey began...



The journey ended as promptly as it started. By the third day of eating nothing but boiled chicken and green beans I had succumb to the desire for a supersized #3 combo. I remember the exact feeling as my eyes glazed over, I grabbed the car keys and drove like a maniac straight to the golden arches of doom. That started a chain reaction and by the end of the week my Cybergenics story ended with a three pound weight gain.



Years later when I actually learned to cook, I vowed to myself and all eating my food that I would never make a plain old piece of chicken. This chicken recipe has some of my favorite flavors and a good healthy dose of fat from the olives. I hope you love it!



What you'll need:


4 - 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/4 cup green onions, chopped

1/4 cup lemon juice

3T olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1tsp dried rosemary

1tsp dried oregano

2 cups mushrooms, sliced

1/4 cup black olives, sliced


What you do:


Start in the morning by mixing up the lemon juice with the spices, olive oil and green onion in a zip lock. Add in the chicken and give it a good squish. Let it sit in the fridge all day until you are ready to cook in the evening.


Preheat oven to 400. Place chicken pieces in a lightly oiled pan. Bake covered for 25 minutes. Add the mushrooms and olives to the pan and continue baking covered until chicken is cooked through (about 15 more minutes give or take).


Alternative method: Have that hunk of a man (woman) in your life fire up the bbq and grill the chicken. Sautee the mushrooms and olives on the stove top. Pour the mushrooms over the chicken and serve. This is my preferred method as long as my husband is grilling shirtless :)


Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Chicken Marsala




It's Wednesday and the images in my head of my team mate and me carrying a 140 pound log up and down the field at the CrossFit Southwest Regionals are finally starting to fade. I only wish the two giant black bruises on each of my shoulders would fade just as fast. I had the most amazing time over the last weekend. I got to meet new friends, cheer my team on, root for the individual athletes and see some of the most awesome displays of fitness in the world. I was all to sad to see it end. But everyday that passes by is a day closer to getting to go the CrossFit Games and cheer some more. I am inspired!


Seeing this incredible display of fitness reminded me of how important fueling our bodies properly really is. So let's get some good protein going in a delicious dish that's easy to make and really quick.




What you'll need:



4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (free range is best)

2 tsp ground fennel seeds

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

3 1/2 cups Marsala wine or chicken broth (low sodium/gluten free)

1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms (Mother's or other health food store)

4 garlic cloves, crushed

2 shallots, thinly sliced

olive oil

4T plain coconut yogurt (So Delicious brand, Sprouts/Whole Foods/Mother's)



What you do:



Coat the chicken pieces with the fennel, pepper and red pepper flakes and set aside. In a deep saute pan, add the Marsala wine (or chicken broth), the garlic, shallots and dried mushrooms. Bring this mixture to a boil and then simmer it until it reduces by half. While the sauce is simmering use a grill pan (or your barbeque) to cook up the chicken. I like to slice the chicken breasts in half horizontally and pound out the thick end to make more of a cutlet before cooking. When the sauce has reduced, remove it form the heat and whisk in the yogurt. This gives the sauce a creamy texture. Plate the chicken and pour the sauce over the chicken.


Enjoy!


PS. When choosing your Marsala wine there are three choices. Secco, semi-secco and dolce. The Secco has under 40 grams of sugar per liter. In this recipe we are not using a whole bottle and there are about 4 to 6 servings in this meal. So the sugar content is respectable. If you are freaked out by this go ahead and use the chicken broth. The taste is still devine!



Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Waldorf Salad




Greetings from Primal Slacker!

I know that all of you can relate when I say I have a busy life. If there were only like 900 more hours in the day, I think I could get everything done that needs doing. It seems the last couple of weeks have been extra challenging, though. I am proud to say that I am representing Orange Coast CrossFit as part of the affiliate team during Regionals. This great honor has taken over what microscopic moments I have left and filled them with WODs, stretching, chiropractors, ice packs, jacuzzi baths, etc. Ten years ago I'm sure the last sentence would not have read like that. It would have been a lot less about stretching and chiros and ice... But I have to counter that with 10 years ago I would not have been on the affiliate team. I was sitting on the couch, with a pizza and 26% body fat. Although I am getting older and it takes a little longer to recover, I have never been stronger both mentally and physically. So this is a long winded excuse to say I'm sorry I haven't posted a recipe in a while. I hope all of you did not turn to bread sticks in rebellion.

Summer weather is here today and I always feel like something light when it's hot. And so it is time to make a Waldorf Salad. YUM.

What you'll need:

1 cup chopped celery
1 cup diced apples
1/2 cup sliced grapes
1 cup diced chicken (Trader Joe's Just Chicken or rotisserie)
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1/2 cup plain coconut yogurt (So Delicious brand)
1 T lemon juice plus a little more

What you do:

Look at this easy recipe and notice that you do not have to have a kitchen to make this. So all of you that do not cook... no more excuses. All you need is a knife and a bowl. (They're the sharp silver thing with the handle that will send you to the hospital if you grab the silver end and the thingy that looks like half a sphere). So get out your sharp thing with the handle and chop up said ingredients and place them in the half-sphere. Before you put the apple in, squeeze a little lemon over it so the apple doesn't brown and make your salad look ugly.

For the dressing mix up the yogurt and lemon and taste. If you like a little more tartness then add more lemon.

Mix the salad and dressing together and serve. That's about it! Go for it you non-cooks. I have every confidence that this one is bullet proof :)

Enjoy!